How it happened: The Cubs abused White Sox pitchers on Monday. Bryan LaHair, Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Luis Valbuena all hit home runs for the Cubs. The Cubs sent 11 hitters to the plate and scored six runs in the seventh inning. Cubs leadoff hitter David DeJesus was hit twice by pitches in the inning. Cubs starter Matt Garza improved to 3-5 after allowing three runs in six innings. White Sox pitcher Zach Stewart struggled in his first start of the season. He allowed nine hits, six runs and four home runs in 5 2/3 innings. Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski hit home runs for the White Sox.
What it means: The Cubs snapped the White Sox’s three-game winning streak over them. The White Sox have now lost five of their last seven games. The Cleveland Indians, who defeated the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, moved within half a game of the Sox for first place in the American League Central.
Outside the box (White Sox): Konerko has often produced during interleague play. With Monday’s home run and two RBIs, he’s up to 57 home runs and 162 RBIs in interleague play. He’s second all-time in both categories in interleague play.
Outside the box (Cubs): Castro had consecutive games of at least three hits for the first time this season. The last time he had three hits in consecutive games, he did it in three straight Aug. 1-3 of last season, all in games against the Pirates. That was in the midst of a run when he had four three-hit performances in a span of five games. Castro’s three hits Sunday, combined with his fifth-inning home run Monday, gave him the cycle over two days.