CHICAGO (AP) -- The only sweep at Comiskey Park this weekend was
the postgame cleanup.
Matt Clement shut down the surging White Sox offense and quieted
their broom-waving fans, and Mark Bellhorn homered from both sides
of the plate Sunday as the Chicago Cubs avoided a sweep with an 9-2
victory over their crosstown rivals.
"When you see a lot of brooms around, you don't want to be
involved in that,'' Cubs manager Don Baylor said.
The victory also snapped the Cubs' five-game losing streak,
their second-longest of the season.
"Every win right now for us is huge,'' said Clement, who
matched his career-high with 12 strikeouts. "We just have to keep
banging away and I think we're going to hit a hot streak. We have
too many talented players on this team not to, and too good of a
"Hopefully this will get us on a roll right before the break.''
If any game could spark the Cubs, this was it. The White Sox won
the first two games of the weekend series in devastating fashion --
they rallied from an 8-0 deficit Friday and Sammy Sosa struck out
with the tying run at third Saturday -- and South Siders arrived at
Comiskey Park feeling confident.
Many carried brooms, and the derogatory chants that are a staple
of the series sounded particularly boisterous.
But Clement (6-5) wanted none of it. With the game-time
temperature at 91 degrees and high humidity making it feel more
like Miami than Chicago, Clement -- who was traded from the Florida
Marlins in spring training -- coolly handcuffed the White Sox.
He scattered two runs and six hits over eight-plus innings,
allowing only two walks. He was never in any trouble until the
"Clement was out of his mind,'' Paul Konerko said. "He could
have told you the slider was coming and it still wouldn't have
After Kenny Lofton led off the game with a bunt single, Clement
retired 13 of his next 14 batters. The White Sox had a runner in
scoring position only once through the first eight innings.
"It's hard to keep a team with that kind of lineup down very
long,'' said Clement, who had to wait out the Cubs long at-bat in
the top of the ninth. "Ray got the big hit to start it, and
unfortunately that's the way it worked out.''
Antonio Alfonseca relieved, and got the last three outs. It was
Clement's second win of the year over the White Sox, having beaten
them at Wrigley Field two weeks ago.
"Every now and then, you run into someone who has your
number,'' White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "He was pretty good
And the Cubs finally came out with some offense, too. Bellhorn
hit a two-run, right-handed shot in the five-run sixth and added a
solo, left-handed shot in the ninth.
"We went out there and played the game today and swung the bats
the way we are supposed to be swinging,'' said Sosa, who added an
Mark Buehrle, trying to become the AL's first 12-game winner,
instead had one of his worst outings of the season. Buehrle (11-6)
matched his season high with eight runs and nine hits allowed, and
also gave up four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
"It's nice to get a lead, especially against a pitcher as
talented as Mark Buehrle is,'' Clement said. "They made the plays
in the field and really picked me up.''
Buehrle got in trouble in the third, walking Bellhorn to load
the bases. Sosa singled to short center to drive in a run, and
McGriff followed with a two-run single to left.
The Cubs have blown leads all weekend, but they found a way to
pile more runs on Sunday. Angel Echeverria started a five-run sixth
with an RBI, ground-rule double. One out later, Patterson lined one
inside the first-base line for a two-run double that made it 6-0.
And the Cubs weren't done with Buehrle. On the first pitch he
saw, Bellhorn hit a two-run homer to center, sending Cubs fans into
That was it for Buehrle, who was booed as he walked off the
"Both series we've had with the White Sox have been pretty
intense,'' Bellhorn said. "We just want to come out and win. It's
a big game for Chicago.''
Bellhorn is the first Cub since Ellis Burton in 1964 to
homer from both sides of the plate. ... Lofton's leadoff bunt
single broke an 0-for-12 slump, but his struggles continue. He
finished 1-for-4. ... Sosa's RBI single came in only his second
at-bat with the bases loaded this year.