Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 6/26)

Game 1: Friday, June 25
Chi Cubs7Final
Chi White Sox4
Game 2: Saturday, June 26
Chi Cubs3Final
Chi White Sox6
Game 3: Sunday, June 27
Chi Cubs4Final
Chi White Sox9

Cubs 3

(41-33, 21-18 away)

White Sox 6

(38-33, 23-15 home)

    4:05 PM ET, June 26, 2004

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 000210000 3 7 0
    CWS 00500010 - 6 11 0

    W: F. Diaz (1-1)

    L: C. Zambrano (8-3)

    S: S. Takatsu (3)

    Diaz throws six strong innings

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Power and poise helped the White Sox get even with the Cubs.

    Paul Konerko, Joe Crede and Jose Valentin homered, rookie starter Felix Diaz got his first major league win and new closer Shingo Takatsu lived up to his nickname "Mr. Zero."

    It added up to a 6-3 victory Saturday that knotted the spirited crosstown interleague series at one game apiece.

    "I think we were a little more calm today as a team," Konerko said after his second three-run homer in as many games. "We were kind of geeked up yesterday. I think we had a better approach today.

    "I love these games. They're fun."

    If you win, they are. And after capturing the series opener 7-4 Friday, the Cubs couldn't overcome the wildness of starter Carlos Zambrano, who surrendered a season-high five walks and eight hits in six innings.

    Konerko and Crede both homered in a five-run third off Zambrano, who had won four straight decisions and not lost since May 25.

    "One bad outing, it's already in the past," said Zambrano, looking forward to another chance next weekend against the Sox at Wrigley Field.

    "My next start is against them at home and hopefully it will be better."

    Diaz (1-1) earned his first big league win by keeping his composure in a frenetic setting at U.S. Cellular Field. He'd just been called up Friday to start the game after Scott Schoeneweis was put on the disabled list with a sore elbow.

    Roughed up in his first two major league starts earlier this season when he gave up 11 earned runs in 8 2-3 innings, Diaz came through with a much stronger effort when the White Sox needed it.

    "He tried to pitch the same way he did in the minors," White Sox catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. said, translating for Diaz. Then, Diaz surprised Alomar and everyone else during a news conference by speaking for himself in English.

    "You need to keep the ball down at all times," he said.

    Diaz allowed six hits, including Corey Patterson's solo homer in the fifth, and three runs. Cliff Politte pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings, Damaso Marte got one out in the eighth before Takatsu retired Sammy Sosa on a grounder to end the inning.

    Takatsu, the Japanese saves leaders known as "Mr. Zero," pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in as many chances, extending his scoreless streak to 25 1-3 innings over 23 outings.

    Throwing some pitches that didn't even register 70 mph, Takatsu has taken over as the closer with a side-arming array that throws off the timing of opposing hitters.

    "He was the saves leader in Japan and they play good baseball in Japan," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "You don't see that kind of speed differential very often. You throw 90 and then you go down to 65 or 60 whatever that slow pitch he has. ... It's really hard to pick up."

    Konerko's homer followed walks to Frank Thomas and Carlos Lee in the third and gave him 19 for the season, one more than he had last year.

    "I like hitting home runs -- everybody does -- but I'm trying to become a tougher out," said Konerko who struggled last season with a career-low .234 average.

    After Timo Perez followed with a single and then drew several throws from Zambrano as he danced off first, Crede connected to left center for a 5-0 lead, sending the mostly White Sox crowd into a tizzy.

    The Cubs pecked away. Patterson doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Sosa, who was a DH for the first time since 1989 when he was a rookie with Texas. When Aramis Ramirez, Todd Hollandsworth and Derrek Lee hit consecutive two-out singles, the Cubs had cut the lead to 5-2.

    Patterson's ninth homer made it a two-run game in the fifth.

    Valentin lofted a homer to right leading off the seventh off Francis Beltran.

    Game notes


    A crowd of 39,553, announced as a sellout, was on hand. ... Sosa, who missed a month with a sprained ligament in his back, said it feels fine. "They ice it every day," he said. ... Sox outfielder Magglio Ordonez, on the DL after surgery on his left knee, took batting practice and worked in the cage Saturday. ... Thomas reached base four times with two walks and a single and was also hit by a pitch. ... The White Sox have homered in 21 straight home games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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