CHICAGO (AP) -- As the Wrigley Field crowd let out a deafening
roar, pinch-hitter Todd Walker dug in against Damaso Marte and his
90 mph-plus pitches.
After falling behind 0-2 with the bases loaded in the ninth,
Walker worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch to give the Cubs a 2-1 victory
and a three-game sweep of the crosstown White Sox on Sunday night.
"When you're down 0-2 to a guy like Marte, it's a battle from
there. I got fortunate," said Walker, who was mobbed by his
teammates after driving in the winning run."He's one of the nastiest lefties a lefty has to face. When it
got 3-2, I tried to take extra time. ... It might have affected him
here at Wrigley the way the fans were on their feet."Derrek Lee homered for the Cubs against Mark Buehrle in the
second inning, but Carlos Lee tied it with a ninth-inning homer off
LaTroy Hawkins (2-1), who blew a save for the fourth time in 15
chances."I thought once Carlos hit the home run, we got some momentum
on our side. I thought that was going to carry, but it didn't,"
Buehrle said.Instead, the Cubs got their first sweep of the White Sox since
1998, when they also won all three at Wrigley Field. That season
the teams played just one series, not two."Sweeping the Sox is nice, but more importantly we want to win
this division and we want to stay close to St. Louis," Cubs
manager Dusty Baker said."Boy, that was some game."Moises Alou, chosen for the All-Star game earlier in the day,
singled off Shingo Takatsu (4-1) leading off the bottom of the
ninth.Derrek Lee sacrificed, Michael Barrett was walked intentionally
and Takatsu walked Ramon Martinez, loading the bases.With Walker ready to pinch-hit in came Marte, whose slingshot
delivery is tough, especially against left-handers."I think he was the right match and he didn't get it done,"
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "There's nobody more
disappointed than Ozzie Guillen. There's nobody who wants to beat
the Cubs or anybody more than me. Wait for next year, I guess."Derrek Lee had three of the four hits against Buehrle, who
struck out eight and walked two in seven innings.But it was Lee's nearly perfect bunt on a rare sacrifice attempt
that set up the ninth inning winner for the Cubs."I was a little surprised because I never bunted that much, but
it got the guy in scoring position," Lee said. "It was a crucial
situation and I didn't want to blow it."Glendon Rusch, who came out of the bullpen May 16 to start in
place of Kerry Wood, allowed five hits in eight shutout innings,
striking out six and walking none."That's about as loud as I've ever heard it in any stadium,"
Rusch said, calling his performance one of the best of his career.
And with Wood ready to return in about a week, it might be one of
his last as a starter.Rusch was 1-12 last season with the Brewers, but the Cubs might
be in a deep hole without him, considering all their injuries."He keeps doing it. I think he's one of the guys who has helped
the Cubs stay a contender," Guillen said.Buehrle, who has won seven of eight decisions, worked quickly
and flashed his impressive pickoff move in the fourth when he
caught All-Star Sammy Sosa leaning the wrong way at first. Buehrle
later made an error on a wild pickoff but the Cubs were not able to
capitalize.The White Sox won two of three last week against the Cubs at
home, then went to the Metrodome and won three straight from the
Twins to take the lead in the AL Central.They came to Wrigley Field leading the majors in scoring and
with a five-game winning streak, but managed just five runs in the
series."Glendon Rusch kept our guys off balance and we didn't score
any runs," Buehrle said.
Alou made the NL All-Star team with the Cubs for the first
time. He's also been selected as a member of the Expos, Marlins and
Astros. "This was going to be my last year. I wasn't going to play
anymore after this year," said Alou, who turned 38 Saturday.
"That was before spring training. Now after spring training and
the season started, I want to play a couple more years because I
feel good about myself." ... Frank Thomas struck out as a pinch
hitter in the eighth and fanned in all three of his pinch-hitting
at-bats in the series. Thomas is 4-for-25 as a pinch hitter in his