CHICAGO (AP) -- A trip across town made all the difference for the White Sox.
Swept by the Cubs a week ago at Wrigley Field, they were the ones doing the sweeping in their home park on the South Side of town.They finished off the three-victory run at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday night, beating the Cubs 5-1 with homers from Carlos Quentin, Brian Anderson and Jim Thome backing solid pitching from Mark Buehrle.
• The White Sox have won four straight and sent the Cubs to their first four-game skid of the season.
• Jim Thome hit his 522nd career homer, passing Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 16th on the all-time HR list.
• In last weekend's sweep, the Cubs hit .330 with nine homers and scored 22 runs at Wrigley. This weekend at the Cell, the White Sox batted .310 with seven home runs and scored 21 runs in their sweep.
-- ESPN.com research
"It's going to be a different Monday in Chicago," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I bet White Sox fans can't wait to get up for work because I know that was tough for them last weekend. It's nice to see the fans with a smile on their face."Being home turned out to be the biggest factor in the six frenetic games between two first-place teams."It's kind of crazy baseball," Guillen said.Cubs manager Lou Piniella wasn't around for most of his team's eighth loss in 12 games. He was ejected for the first time this season after arguing an appeal call on a checked swing in the second inning.And Piniella wasn't available for comment after the game."It was one of those things I think Lou was frustrated," said bench coach Alan Trammell who filled in for Piniella in the dugout and at the postgame news conference.The Cubs have their first four-game losing streak of the season and are 16-23 on the road with six more at San Francisco and St. Louis coming up."I can't figure out why that is. We got to correct it if we want to go far," the Cubs' Mark DeRosa said. "We've got to win on the road, got to be able to go into other people's backyards and get 'Ws.' We haven't been able to do it."Illustrating the Cubs' road woes was Aramis Ramirez. He homered four times against the White Sox last weekend but went 0-for-13 at U.S. Cellular the last three games.Thome's 15th homer, a two-run blast in the eighth off reliever Jose Ascanio, was his 522nd, moving him past Ted Williams and Willie McCovey into sole possession of 16th place all-time.The Cubs threatened in the ninth after a walk, and a double by DeRosa. But Jim Edmonds lined to White Sox first baseman Nick Swisher who threw to second to double off DeRosa and douse the threat. Daryle Ward then grounded out to end the game.The White Sox swept three from the Cubs for only the second time -- the first came at Wrigley Field in 1999, two years after interleague play began.This season the two rivals met as first-place teams for the first time in interleague play and are still atop their respective divisions. The Cubs' lead in the NL Central was sliced to 2½ games with the loss and the White Sox are 1½ ahead in the AL Central.Buehrle (6-6) won his fourth straight decision, allowing six hits and an unearned run in seven innings in a matchup of lefties with the Cubs' Sean Marshall (0-2). Marshall gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings, two of them homers."I'm done with this series. I'm kind of glad it's over," Buehrle said. "It's so stressful playing these guys and everything that comes with it. I can't wait for tomorrow to come in here ... kind of relax and get back to normal."Quentin, who hit the go-ahead homer Saturday in the White Sox's 6-5 win, connected for his 19th leading off the fourth to make it 1-0.Anderson's fourth homer was a two-run shot in the fifth that just carried over the fence in left center and gave Buehrle a three-run cushion.The Cubs broke through in the seventh after DeRosa's ground ball went through third baseman Joe Crede's legs for an error. After Edmonds singled and Henry Blanco filed out, Ronny Cedeno delivered a two-out RBI single before Buehrle struck out Kosuke Fukudome with two on.Piniella was ejected after protesting an appeal call from first base umpire Chad Fairchild. When Crede had a check swing at a potential third strike, an appeal was made to Fairchild, who ruled no swing and a ball.That brought Piniella out of the dugout yelling in Fairchild's direction. Home plate umpire Rob Drake ejected Piniella, who then began arguing with Drake.Crew chief Jeff Kellogg came down from third to try to settle the situation. Piniella, known throughout his career for tantrums against umpires, left the field but not before waving at Fairchild and making another angry comment in his direction."He [Piniella] stood up for us. I guess the replay showed that he swung and from my angle it looked like he did," said Marshall, who escaped the inning without a run scoring.Trammell gave Fairchild an earful in the fifth. The White Sox turned an around-the-horn double play when Fairchild called Cedeno out, even though Swisher dropped the ball after the play. A replay appeared to show that Cedeno beat the throw.
The all-time series is tied 33-33. ... The crowd of 39,573 was the third straight sellout and sixth of the season for the White Sox. There were several fights in the stands. ... The White Sox turned four double plays Sunday night.