Jake Peavy did all he could to get the White Sox a victory, pitching a gutsy complete game while giving up just one earned run on five hits and walking only one. And he was never better than he was in the top of the ninth when he shut down the North Siders after a leadoff triple to keep it a one-run game.
But the truth is that the 2-1 Cubs win was pretty much decided in the bottom of the second inning and top of third.
In the Sox half of the second with one out, Alex Rios walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild throw by Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. Dayan Viciedo proceeded to walk and Alexei Ramirez smashed a ground rule double to right, scoring Rios and sending to Viciedo to third. After Tyler Flowers walked to load the bases, the Sox seemed to be in business. But they squandered a golden opportunity to score more as Orlando Hudson popped out and Alejandro De Aza struck out swinging.
While the Sox missed their chance, the Cubs took advantage of what the Sox gave them in the top of the third inning. With one out, Soto reached on a throwing error by Hudson--a play that should have been made easily. Then, Tony Campana singled on a line drive off of the foot of Peavy to put runners on first and second. Peavy threw a wild pitch with the runners moving up to second and third and David DeJesus followed with a line drive double to right scoring Soto and Campana.
Both offenses stalled until the Sox threatened in the bottom of the eighth, but they left runners stranded on first and second with one out after Paul Konerko flied to right and Rios grounded out. In the top of the ninth, DeJesus led off the inning with a triple, but was stranded by Peavy's outstanding effort as Starlin Castro and Reed Johnson were retired on infield groundouts and after Alfonso Soriano walked, Steve Clevenger struck out to end the threat. The Sox put the tying run on base in the ninth (An A.J. Pierzynski walk), but no magic was in the offing.
By virtue of the loss, the Sox lost their fifth consecutive series and more importantly lost the A.L. Central lead. They now trail the Indians by a half-game.
Sox Note of Note: Hard luck Peavy has now suffered back-to-back 1-0 and 2-1 losses.