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CHICAGO (AP) Veteran Rodrigo Lopez allowed two hits in seven shutout innings and Aramis Ramirez homered Sunday as the Chicago Cubs beat the White Sox 3-1 to salvage the finale of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
The White Sox captured the season crosstown series 4-2 with both Cubs’ victories coming against Gavin Floyd. Floyd (6-8) gave up five hits and six runs over five innings in a June 20 loss at U.S. Cellular Field. He yielded seven hits in seven innings Sunday, three in the Cubs’ three-run fourth inning.
The 35-year-old Lopez (1-2), in his third start for the Cubs since he was acquired in a minor league deal from the Braves in May, gave up a pair of infield singles, to Mark Teahen in the third on a hard-hit ball that first baseman Carlos Pena stopped and to Carlos Quentin, who hit a ball to deep short in the fourth. He struck out three with no walks in an efficient 75-pitch outing.
The White Sox broke through in the eighth against Kerry Wood when back-to-back one-out singles by Teahen and Gordon Beckham put runners at the corners. With pinch-hitter Paul Konerko at the plate, Wood threw a wild pitch and Teahen scored to make it 3-1. After Konerko worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch, Sean Marshall relieved and retired Juan Pierre on a popup before Carlos Marmol came in and struck out Alexei Ramirez on three pitches. Marmol also pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 22 chances.
Starlin Castro, the Cubs’ 21-year-old star shortstop, celebrated his selection to the NL All-Star team with an RBI triple in the fourth after a leadoff single by Darwin Barney. Aramis Ramirez then followed with his 12th homer, a drive that carried into the bleachers in left center.
Quentin, named to the AL All-Star team Sunday, started a relay from right field as the White Sox cut down a potential run in the third. Geovany Soto tried to score from first on Kosuke Fukudome’s double off the right field wall, but Quentin made a good throw to second baseman Gordon Beckham, whose strong peg to A.J. Pierzynski was in plenty of time to get the sliding Soto.
The White Sox, trying to go over .500 for the first time since April 15, got the first two runners on against Lopez in the third, but Floyd bunted foul on a third strike and Pierre then lined back to Lopez who flipped to first to complete a double play.
NOTES: Castro is the youngest player in Cubs’ history to be chosen for the All-Star team. He turned 21 this past March. Greg Maddux was 22 while with the Cubs when picked in 1988 but did not pitch in the game. The late third baseman Ron Santo was 23 when he was picked in 1963. … Although Konerko of the White Sox was left off the AL squad despite being a leader in numerous offensive categories with a .317 average, 21 homers and 62 RBIs, he is on the Final Vote ballot. Konerko didn’t start Sunday as slumping Adam Dunn started at first and went 0 for 4 … Aramis Ramirez has 10 homers in his last 26 games. He hit his 300th career homer Friday against the White Sox’s Edwin Jackson. … The attendance Sunday was announced at a season-high 42,311 – the largest White Sox-Cubs crowd ever at Wrigley Field. The three-day attendance was 125,962, also the biggest for a three-game Sox-Cubs series at Wrigley. It was also the second largest attendance for a three-game series ever at Wrigley, surpassed by the 126,283 that came to watch the Yankees-Cubs last month.