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updated: 6/19/2012 6:18 AM

Cubs handle Sox 12-3 in front of record low crowd

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  • Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro celebrates after his fifth-inning homerun with teammate Tony Campana during a 12-3 victory over the White Sox on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field.

      Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro celebrates after his fifth-inning homerun with teammate Tony Campana during a 12-3 victory over the White Sox on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Cubs crush Sox

 
By Chad Thornburg
cthornburg@dailyherald.com

The White Sox threw four pitchers at the Cubs, but the hits just kept on coming.

With the wind at their backs, the Cubs' batters exploded for 5 home runs and 15 hits en route to a 12-3 victory over the Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

"We showed up," said Cubs outfielder Brian LaHair. "We have some good hitters in the lineup. We grinded it out on the bats tonight and we got some good wood on the ball tonight."

The Cubs' victory came in front of the smallest crowd to ever see a Cubs-Sox game since the beginning of the cross-town series as 33,215 fans turned out. That broke the previous low of 35,155 set last season at U.S. Cellular Field.

After being swept by the Sox (35-32) last month at Wrigley Field, the Cubs (23-44) got out to an early lead in the third inning with a 2-run homer from LaHair, who made the shift from the infield to the outfield Monday night.

The Cubs continued to pile on the runs as back-to-back homers by Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano in the fifth put the Cubs up 5-0.

The Sox responded with homers of their own from A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko in the fifth and sixth to cut the lead to 6-3, but a 6-run seventh inning from the Cubs put the game out of reach.

"These guys have been playing their butts off every day," said Cubs starter Matt Garza. "That was awesome, especially with the wind that was knocking me down ... It was awesome to see this kind of output from our guys."

White Sox starter Zach Stewart (1-2) struggled through 5 innings and was tagged with the loss. He allowed 6 earned runs on 9 hits, four of them homers.

"You get two outs and then he just couldn't get that third out," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "They were swinging it. It was a night (the ball) was carrying, and they put it on the barrel a lot."

Stewart was pulled in the sixth to a chorus of boos after Cubs catcher Geovany Soto hit a solo home run. Pitchers Will Ohman, Nate Jones and Hector Santiago finished out the game for the Sox, allowing the final 6 runs and 6 hits.

Garza (3-5) got the win. He allowed 5 hits, 3 earned runs and struck out six in 6 innings.

The Cubs will look to repeat Monday's offensive success as the Sox try to get back on track when the series continues Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

"Tomorrow, we've got to come out with the same attitude as we did today, no doubt," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum.

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