White Sox 6, Cubs 1

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CHICAGO (AP) – Mark Buehrle was stingy and the White Sox’s hitters were ready for Greg Maddux.

Buehrle pitched a two-hitter, Paul Konerko knocked in three runs and Jim Thome hit his 17th homer to send the White Sox to a 6-1 victory Friday over the Chicago Cubs before a spirited sellout crowd at U.S. Cellular Field.

Buehrle (5-2) gave up a leadoff infield single to Juan Pierre and no more hits until Ronny Cedeno had a two-out single in the seventh after the White Sox’s lefty had retired 12 straight. Buehrle finished his first complete game of the season with a perfect ninth inning. He struck out two and walked two, and the only run he allowed was unearned.

Buehrle’s last complete game was Sept. 25 against the Twins.

Konkero, now 6-for-13 against Maddux with seven RBIs, had a two-out RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the third. Thome, the AL home run leader, made it 6-1 with his drive in the fifth.

The Cubs, still struggling without defending NL batting champion Derrek Lee, got a first-inning run but Buehrle regrouped and made easy work of a team that has lost 16 of 20.

Maddux (5-3), who started 5-0 for the first time in his career, but is 0-3 in four starts since, gave up nine hits, six runs and an uncharacteristic five walks in 5 2-3 innings. He was visibly upset and apparently frustrated with some of the ball-strike calls of home plate umpire Larry Vanover. They had a verbal exchange in the sixth inning as Vanover took off his mask behind the plate.

After Maddux walked both Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi in the sixth, he was removed from the game for Glendon Rusch.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker and White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen met for a pre-game handshake and embrace before the game behind the batting cage, Baker at one point breaking up in laughter at a comment from the always loquacious Guillen.

“The thing I’m learning is that this goes back a long way. When I first got here I didn’t really understand it,” Baker said of the rivalry with the Cubs. “The more you play them, the more you realize that this is very exciting.”

The Cubs and White Sox played in the 1906 World Series, won by the White Sox in six games. The Cubs claimed titles in the 1907 and 1908 World Series but haven’t won one since.

That’s why a fan dressed in a White Sox jersey stood behind the Cubs dugout during batting practice with a simple sign pointing to the crosstown rival’s long run of futility: “1908.”

The White Sox ended their drought last season, capturing their first title since 1917.

Maddux got in trouble in the third when Podsednik walked, Iguchi singled and Thome walked to load the bases. The 323-game winner had walked just nine batters all season coming into the game.

After a visit by pitching coach Larry Rothschild to Maddux, Konerko followed with a double to left for a 3-1 lead. The White Sox added another run when Jermaine Dye bounced to Cubs shortstop Cedeno, who would have had a play on Thome at the plate but hesitated and then had to go to first.

Joe Crede’s RBI single made it 5-1.

On a cool and overcast day with game-time temperature at 56, the Cubs jumped out first.

Pierre hit a slow roller to third and just beat Crede’s throw to start the game and Jerry Hairston followed by dropping down a nice bunt. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski picked the ball up and threw it into the ground and past Konerko for an error, Pierzynski’s first since April 18, 2005, a span of 150 games.

Todd Walker then delivered a sacrifice fly.

In his previous outing, Buerhle gave up seven runs and seven hits in the first inning against the Twins, but only one was earned because of two errors.

Notes: Pierzynski’s error also stopped his AL record of 962 consecutive errorless chances accepted. … A total of 149 players have spent time with both the Cubs and the White Sox. That list includes current Cubs relievers Bob Howry and Scott Eyre and White Sox utility man Ross Gload. … The White Sox lead the interleague series that began in 1997, 26-23.

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