Baseball / Sports

Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (29) throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Monday, May 5, 2014. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Marcus Semien delivers in clutch for White Sox

CHICAGO -- It took 12 innings and nearly four hours for the White Sox and Cubs to settle their score in Monday night's City Series opener at Wrigley Field.

Marcus Semien delivered a two-out RBI double and Alejandro De Aza a bases-loaded walk to give the Sox a 3-1 victory.

"In late innings, (Semien is) a tough hitter," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He stays in there, hangs in there, no matter what has happened earlier. He can have some at-bats that look a little ugly. But you get some guys on base late, he's been able to come through."

Said Semien, who drove in Alexei Ramirez, who had singled: "It's an at-bat to help the team win. You always feel good about it. ... I just tried to get a pitch up ... and keep my hands back."

Reliever Daniel Webb (3-0) earned the win and Matt Lindstrom the save. Justin Grimm (1-1) took the loss.

Starters Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzija have deserved better the last couple of seasons, and Monday was no different as neither earned a decision.

Quintana, the wicked left-hander, set an American League record with 17 no-decisions last year.

Cubs right-hander Samardzija has performed magnificently this season but has no victories to show for it.

Quintana pitched five hitless innings to start the game before Samardzija led off the sixth with a double to left. Quintana had been perfect, retiring the first 14 batters he faced, before issuing a walk to Nate Schierholtz with two outs in the fifth.

Quintana went seven innings, allowing one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out three. He now has 31 career no-decisions. Since 2012, that's the most in the majors.

"He was great," Ventura said. "I think both pitchers were great. Q just seemed to have a little extra life on him today. I would have liked to have kept him in there. He's not quite the hitter the other guy is, but he pitched great."

The teams combined for only 10 hits and stranded 15 baserunners.

"With the wind blowing in, it was just tough to be able to score," Ventura said. "We had some opportunities, and Jeff just shut us down."

Samardzija, who threw a career-high 126 pitches, got the Cubs' first hit of the game and scored their only run. He allowed one run -- unearned -- on three hits.

"We wanted that game for (Samardzija)," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He was strong. He did everything you could ask in a starting pitcher. ... We've got to take advantage of the (opportunities) you do get."

Samardzija, who is winless in his last 13 starts, is the first Cubs pitcher to throw nine innings and not record a complete game since Matt Garza on Sept. 16, 2011, versus the Astros.

Samardzija's 1.62 earned-run average belies his 0-3 record. He entered the game having received an average of 2.41 runs, fifth lowest in the majors.

The Cubs defense unwittingly conspired against Samardzija as the White Sox took a 1-0 lead. The Sox scored an unearned run in the first after third baseman Mike Olt threw wildly to second on an attempted force play. Samardzija then gave up a sacrifice fly to Jose Abreu.

In the first five innings, the Cubs committed two errors, a wild pitch and a passed ball.

Lindstrom earned his fifth save.

"It's nice to see our hard work come to fruition a little bit," Lindstrom said. "We were a little out of sorts there at the beginning of the season, and now we're putting it all together."

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