Cubs 4, White Sox 3

Ryan Dempster appears ready to take the mound on Opening

Day.

The Chicago Cubs’ No. 1 starter shut out the Chicago White Sox

for five innings Friday as the Cubs hung on late to beat their

crosstown rival 4-3.

The righty scattered two hits and struck out six, including the

last four he faced. He allowed one walk and hit a batter, but was

otherwise dominant, throwing 39 of 64 pitches for strikes.

”(Catcher Geovany Soto) and I today were on a real good page. I

was able to keep the ball down,” Dempster said. ”I was pounding

the strike zone and felt real good command of my fastball.”

White Sox Opening Day starter Mark Buehrle, on the other hand,

labored through a 63-pitch outing. He gave up six hits and three

runs in three innings, walking two batters and striking out one. He

has given up 16 hits and eight runs in his last two starts.

After joking about his innings being on the decline when they

should be rising, Buehrle admitted he isn’t happy with his results

this spring.

”I’m more frustrated than I should be for a spring training

start,” Buehrle said. ”Being competitive, I don’t like getting

hit around.”

Despite giving up a run each inning, things could have been much

worse for Buehrle. The two-time defending Gold Glove winner used

his dexterity to get out of trouble several times, including

snagging a sharp ground ball to start an inning-ending double-play

in the third.

The White Sox bullpen rebounded nicely, giving up just one run

on four hits and striking out six over six innings.

Carlos Pena led off the second inning with his first Cactus

League home run, sending a 2-2 pitch from Buehrle over the center

field wall. Pena singled in another run in the third.

Jeff Baker doubled twice and scored a run for the Cubs. Soto

added two hits and an RBI. Blake DeWitt and Brett Jackson hit

back-to-back doubles in the ninth, producing what would end up

being the deciding run.

Jeff Samardzija entered in the ninth inning with a four-run

cushion but allowed an RBI-double to Stefan Gartrell and a two-run

homer to Lastings Milledge to cut the lead to one before recording

the final two outs.

While the rivalry may be more tense during the regular season,

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen wishes the best for his

counterpart.

”I think this man is a great baseball man,” Guillen said of

Cubs manager Mike Quade. ”Hopefully, he puts that team in a

position to win and puts them in a good spot. This guy has been in

baseball so long. I know he’s happy to have the job.”

Notes: White Sox RHP Jake Peavy felt good after a ”very light”

23-pitch bullpen session Friday morning. He makes his next Cactus

League start on Monday. … Former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas

stopped by the clubhouse for a visit Friday. … Sean Marshall,

Thomas Diamond and John Maine all worked scoreless innings for the

Cubs. … Illinois governor Pat Quinn attended the game.