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White Sox too strong for Cubs

THE Chicago White Sox took the decider of their three-game series with crosstown rivals the Cubs, as John Danks and Scott Linebrink combined on a four-hitter in the 6-0 win on Sunday.

Danks struck out five and walked four over seven innings, while Linebrink struck out four in two perfect relief innings to give the Sox their second straight win over the Cubs after losing the series opener.

Danks also beat the Cubs 4-1 on June 17 and has allowed just one earned run in his 14 innings against them this season.

"I didn't throw as many strikes this time around, but I feel like I was still able to make the big pitch when I had to and guys were making plays all over the field for me," Danks told reporters.

Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the third inning and that was all the runs the Sox would need, but Jermaine Dye also hit a solo homer for the winners. Chris Getz stole home for another run in the sixth inning.

The White Sox took two of three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors, and then won two of three in this series.

Manager Ozzie Guillen was not ready to talk about the team's prospects despite their run of good form. "I'm going to take it one day at a time and try to move on real sneaky and quiet and see where we are in September," Guillen said.

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano (4-3) struggled, allowing five runs, four of them earned, on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. "You have to give credit to the other pitcher, Danks," Zambrano said.

"Sometimes the other pitcher comes with his best stuff, and there's nothing you can do about it."

The White Sox lead the all-time series 36-35.

In New York, Mariano Rivera earned his 500th save, becoming the second reliever to reach the milestone, as the New York Yankees beat the Mets 4-2 for a Subway Series sweep. Chien-Ming Wang won for the first time in more than a year and Rivera got four outs, securing the Yankees' fifth consecutive victory - all away from home.

In Atlanta, homers by Chipper Jones and Garret Anderson carried the Atlanta Braves past Boston 2-1 to prevent a Red Sox sweep.

In Houston, Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the ninth inning as the Tigers averted a sweep against the Astros with a 4-3 win.

In other action, it was: Royals 3, Pirates 2; Rays 5, Marlins 2; Reds 8, Indians 1; Phillies 5, Blue Jays 4; Nationals 5, Orioles 3; Twins 6, Cardinals 2; Mariners 4, Dodgers 2; Rockies 3, Athletics 1; Angels 12, Diamondbacks 8; and Padres 2, Rangers 0.

In the National League, the Giants trounced the Brewers 7-0 on Sunday.


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