CHICAGO (AP) -- Ryan Dempster has been unbeatable at Wrigley Field. Now, it seems, so are the Cubs.
Dempster improved to 9-0 at home, Aramis Ramirez hit his fourth homer in three games, and the Cubs completed a sweep of the crosstown White Sox 7-1 Sunday night.
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The Cubs have found a hot spot in Wrigley Field. With a three-game sweep of the White Sox, the Cubs extended their home winning streak to 14 games, the eighth time in franchise history they've won that many in a row at home. Here's a list of the longest single-season home win streaks in Cubs history:
"We're winning all the games. That's what makes it fun. Not because of the White Sox," Ramirez said after completing a huge series in which he had eight RBIs and went 6-for-13.The Cubs, the owners of the best record in the majors (48-28), won their 14th straight home game to go 32-8 at Wrigley Field this season."We're playing good at home. I don't know why," Ramirez added.Dempster (9-2), who moved from closer back to starter this season, allowed 10 hits and a run in eight-plus innings, leaving after giving up back-to-back singles in the ninth. He walked one and struck out four and got a standing ovation when he batted in the eighth."It was crazy out there. When I went to hit, a standing ovation like that and coming off the field -- it's really special," he said."Pretty unbelievable," he added. "For whatever reason, guys enjoy pitching here, guys hit well here, guys field well here. It's a little bit of everything."Eric Patterson, who recorded three hits Saturday when he was recalled from the minors, hit his first major league homer, a two-run shot off Javier Vazquez (7-6) in the fifth to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead.One out later, the hot-swinging Ramirez connected for a solo shot. Ramirez hit the tying and winning homers in the Cubs' 4-3 victory on Friday. He also delivered a three-run homer during a nine-run fourth inning Saturday to spark an 11-7 win.Ramirez added an RBI double in the seventh inning Sunday."Obviously we caught them when they had some guys that you could say were as hot as doughnut grease," White Sox first baseman Nick Swisher said. "A lot of those guys are really swinging the bats well and we weren't."Now the White Sox, who are still in first in the AL Central, head west to play the Los Angeles Dodgers before returning home to face the Cubs next weekend at U.S. Cellular Field."They kicked our butt and a loss is a loss no matter who you lose against or what kind of weekend you play," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "They played better than we did. They performed better. They hit better, they pitched better. Not a lot you can say."The White Sox have lost a season-high nine in a row on the road."We just played terrible the last three or four road games. We really stink," Guillen said.Trailing 5-0, the White Sox ended the shutout bid in the seventh on Jermaine Dye's double and RBI single from Joe Crede.The Cubs turned three double plays in the first five innings behind Dempster, including one on the White Sox's hottest hitter, Dye, in the first after a pair of singles. Dye had six homers and 15 RBIs in his previous six games.Vazquez couldn't find the strike zone in the first, walking Kosuke Fukudome and Patterson on eight pitches. Then on a hit-and-run, Derrek Lee singled to center to score Fukudome, and Patterson also crossed when shortstop Orlando Cabrera mishandled the throw from center fielder Dewayne Wise for an error.Vazquez allowed five hits and five runs with five walks and four strikeouts in six innings.The White Sox, who have lost 8 of 12 overall and had their lead in the AL Central over the Twins chopped to 1½ games, didn't win a game this weekend. But before and during the series they took some shots at the Cubs' old ball park and the team's emotional fans.Guillen told reporters there were rats as big as pigs in the batting cage; pitcher John Danks said Wrigley smelled of urine; and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who is always booed loudly, weighed in after fans directed a profane chant in his direction Saturday."They're idiots," Pierzynski told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's like what Lee Elia said: 'Eighty-five percent of the people work, the other [bleeps] come out here.'" Elia was a former Cubs manager, most well-known for an expletive-filled rant against Cubs' fans 25 years ago.Cubs manager Lou Piniella is 8-1 and has won six straight against the White Sox in his two seasons on the North Side.
The Cubs have won 14 straight at home for the first time since June 4-June 10, 1936. ... White Sox 1B Paul Konerko, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle, did some light rotational and bicycle work Sunday. Konerko said he hopes to be hitting off a tee by Wednesday and perhaps take batting practice next weekend. Konerko had been one of the White Sox's top hitters against the Cubs with 14 career homers.