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Monday, July 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 8, White Sox 2

By Jesse Rogers



CHICAGO -- A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 8-2 win to complete a season sweep of the Chicago White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

How it happened: Luis Valbuena's two-run double off reliever Scott Thornton in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie, setting up Matt Garza for his fifth victory. Garza pitched seven innings, giving up just two runs -- only one was earned -- including a Josh Phegley home run in the third inning. The Cubs opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Valbuena plating Alfonso Soriano, who was on base four times. He homered in the sixth inning then scored the go-ahead run on Valbuena’s double in the eighth. Then Dave Sappelt drove in Valbuena and Cody Ransom added a two-run single in that key inning. The Cubs tacked on one more in the ninth, with Soriano scoring on a single by Sappelt, his fourth hit of the game.

What it means: Trade values of Garza and Soriano continue to rise as both played well again. Garza has pitched at least seven innings in five straight starts while Soriano is 15 for his last 41 with six home runs. He also stole two bases. Garza’s price tag is rising whether he’s traded or not. With every solid start he’s earning more money on his next contract as he’ll be a free agent at season’s end -- unless he signs a new deal sooner with the Cubs or someone else.

Outside the box: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Soriano became just the 14th Cub to hit a home run and steal two bases in the same game and the first to do it since Delino DeShields in 2002. ... Before the game Dale Sveum said Brian Bogusevic was closer to returning from a hamstring injury and confirmed the Cubs would carry 13 pitchers for the time being as Brooks Raley was recalled to replace the traded Scott Hairston on the roster.

What’s next: The Cubs begin a two-game series with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday with Travis Wood (5-6, 2.69 ERA) facing Joe Blanton (2-10, 5.14).