By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Regardless of the standings, the White Sox have traditionally been tough on the crosstown counterpart Cubs.
That was once against the case Monday afternoon, when the White Sox broke a nine-game losing streak at Wrigley Field with a 3-1 win against the Cubs, who entered the day winners of eight of their last nine and tied for first place in the NL Central. With the win, the White Sox improved to 14-8 in their last 22 games at Wrigley Field.
The matchup included some extra emotion for White Sox manager Rick Renteria, who managed the Cubs in 2014 before being fired to make room for Joe Maddon. He down played the importance of beating the team that let him go, but the victory still had to feel good down down.
“I was emotional because we were down nine days in a row,” Renteria said about his club winning as opposed to his own personal agenda. “Honestly we had been just looking for a victory. I was just proud of the way they played. Both teams seem to go out there and try to minimize the mistakes being made. Today we came out on top.”
The White Sox kept their success going against the Cubs behind a strong performance from right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who threw 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball while allowing seven hits and three walks and striking out three. He was backed by solo homers from Adam Engel and Matt Davidson.
“We needed to change speeds on their guys,” Gonzalez said. “You need to keep them off balance. They have a great club out there. They have tied for first place or something like that. We just have to keep grinding it out playing the way we did today.”
The White Sox lead the all-time series 58-51 against the Cubs, with a somewhat surprising 28-27 record at Wrigley Field.
“This was the closest thing I have played to a playoff game,” Davidson said. “It was pretty cool in this atmosphere and just pretty cool hitting one at Wrigley alone. Getting into the Cubs rivalry was fun.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.