Small ball, D carry Sox in Windy City opener

Small ball, D carry Sox in Windy City opener

CHICAGO -- Bragging rights for Day 1 of the White Sox-Cubs Interleague series go to the South Siders' bench.

Pinch-hitters Emilio Bonifacio and J.B. Shuck combined for the only run of the game as the White Sox posted a 1-0 win Friday over the Cubs in front of 41,580 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs didn't help themselves, hitting into five double plays in the game. This was the first of six contests this season between the two teams. Last year, the White Sox won the series, 3-1, and they lead overall, 53-46 . More >

"It was fun. Tight game, the fans were loud. It was different playing in Wrigley. A lot of history. It was cool to be on that mound," said White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, who finished with a no-decision. "I've seen a lot of guys go through it. [Greg] Maddux, a bunch of other great pitchers stepped on that mound, and a lot of fun games, a lot of postseason games on that field. It was different. It was exciting."

"A little non-fortuitous today in certain moments," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It just happens. We'll show up tomorrow, I promise."

Hector Rondon came on in relief for the Cubs in the eighth, starting the inning by plunking Bonifacio on the leg. Bonifacio, who played for the Cubs last season before he was dealt to the Braves, then stole second and reached third on Adam Eaton's sac bunt before scoring on Shuck's sacrifice fly to left.

Start me up: Neither starting pitcher got a decision despite quality outings. The Cubs' Kyle Hendricks scattered five hits over seven innings and extended his scoreless streak to 22 1/3 innings. This was his first career start against the White Sox.

Hendricks' scoreless outing

"I'm trying not to do too much and simplifying everything," Hendricks said. "My fastball command has been better and my changeup was good today, and I've been using my four-seam fastball more. I think that's been helping." More >

Effectively wild: Rodon allowed only two hits and just three balls hit out of the infield over six innings. He struck out six, but he also walked six while throwing 57 of his 104 pitches for strikes. But four double plays turned behind him kept the Cubs scoreless.

Rodon's six strikeouts

"He got the big outs," the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo said of Rodon. "We put him in a couple jams. That play in the third was huge. ... We grounded into a lot of double plays and they got out of a few walks."

Double or nothing: The Cubs ended the first four innings in double plays, but the one in the third was the most unusual. Hendricks was on second and Addison Russell at first with one out when Dexter Fowler flied out to right fielder Avisail Garcia, who caught the ball and then rolled over. Fowler was called out, but Hendricks had already rounded third and didn't go back. Garcia threw the ball in and it skipped toward the White Sox dugout. Catcher Tyler Flowers recovered, and threw to Alexei Ramirez at second for the force on Hendricks.

"It was kind of just confusion for everybody out there," Hendricks said of the double play in the third.

Double your pleasure: The White Sox hit on pretty much every variety of double play in the five that they turned. There was a 4-6-3, a 6-4-3, the rare 9-2-6, a 2-5 and then a 6-3, in which Ramirez tagged Chris Coghlan -- who was on the move with Starlin Castro hitting -- and threw to first to finish the double play. Carlos Sanchez also made a diving stab of a Coghlan liner up the middle at second to end the game.

Sanchez's game-ending catch

"Probably in a couple years, I would say. Not just this year. We'll go multiple years," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, about to whether this was the team's best defensive game this season. More >

"I've been involved in playoff baseball, All-Star baseball, World Series baseball, and [Wrigley Field] has that same feeling every day. Of course, you want to win more than you lose, but if you're a baseball purist and want to know what's good for the game of baseball, come to Wrigley and check this whole thing out. It's extraordinary. I feel really fortunate to be part of it." -- Maddon

"We put ourselves in a situation where we're basically the underdogs. I want them to semi-embrace it and let it all hang out and play." -- Ventura, on his team winning eight of its last 10 games

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the White Sox are the first team to record double plays in the first four innings since the Rangers did so on June 2, 2012. This was the first time the Cubs hit into five double plays in a game since Sept. 4, 2007, against the Dodgers.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon asked for a review of Garcia's catch of Fowler's fly ball in the third inning. The ball came out of Garcia's glove after he had rolled over, but the White Sox right fielder picked it up and threw in, starting a 9-2-6 double play. After a review, the call was confirmed.

A. Garcia's diving catch

White Sox: Chris Sale, who has a chance to be named the American League All-Star starting pitcher, makes his final first-half start when the teams meet at Wrigley Field Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT. Sale threw a complete game in his last start against the Blue Jays and Mark Buehrle, but he had his streak of double-digit strikeout efforts end at eight.

Cubs: Jon Lester knows all about rivalries, having pitched for the Red Sox vs. the Yankees. On Saturday, he'll get his first exposure to the Cubs' crosstown showdown. In his last start, the lefty held the Cardinals hitless through six innings. He's looking for his first win since May 16. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CT.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.