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Rapid Reaction: White Sox 3, Cubs 2

5/18/2012

CHICAGO -- The White Sox got the jump on the Cubs in the opener of the cross-town series with a 3-2 victory on Friday.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Gordon Beckham put the White Sox on top for good with an eighth-inning home run, but it was Kerry Wood’s final outing that got most of the attention. Wood came on in the eighth inning for the final outing of his career and struck out Dayan Viciedo on three pitches. He tipped his cap as he walked off to a standing ovation and was greeted by his son on the field before reaching the dugout. Paul Konerko hit a two-run home run for the White Sox in the first inning and was hit in the face by a pitch in the third inning and left the game.

WHAT IT MEANS: It was another classic Cubs-White Sox game even without the drama of Wood’s last career appearance. After Konerko was hit by the Jeff Samardzija pitch, White Sox pitcher Phil Humber threw behind Cubs slugger Bryan LaHair an inning later. Samardzija, allowed to bat for himself in the seventh inning while down a run, singled in the tying run. Beckham put the White Sox ahead with his home run in the eighth inning.

OUTSIDE THE BOX (Cubs): Yes, that was a nearly identical first inning for the Cubs in consecutive nights. On Thursday against the Phillies, David DeJesus led off with a double. The same happened Friday. On Thursday, Tony Campana bunted DeJesus to third. On Friday he got DeJesus to third on a bunt but was safe himself on a single. Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly for the run in each game.

OUTSIDE THE BOX (White Sox): The White Sox received their biggest contribution Friday from an unexpected source – their No. 2 hitter. The White Sox have struggled all season to get consistent production from the No. 2 hole. They entered the game with their No. 2 batters hitting .141. Beckham helped improve those numbers Friday by going 2-for-4 with a home run, one run and two RBIs.

OFF BEAT: Cubs manager Dale Sveum earned his second ejection after arguing with umpire Marty Foster. Sveum said that DeJesus was tackled off second base in the fifth inning and should not have been called out. Beckham, the son of a former college football player, appeared to stumble into DeJesus and knock him off the bag. In the argument, Sveum appeared to lose a piece of chewing tobacco on Foster’s shirt.

UP NEXT: The White Sox will send left-hander John Danks (2-4, 6.46 ERA) to the mound in the middle game of the cross-town series. The Cubs will go with right-hander Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.74) in the 6:15 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.