CHICAGO (AP) - Manager Mike Quade had to watch most of the game from his office. No matter where he sits during this frustrating season, the Chicago Cubs often have a difficult time getting timely hits.
Matt Garza threw a four-hitter in his best game since joining the Cubs over the winter, but his teammates struggled at the plate during a 1-0 loss to the White Sox on Saturday.
Phil Humber allowed five hits and walked three over seven innings for the White Sox, who are 4-1 against the Cubs this season and have won 15 of 20 overall against their crosstown rivals. Matt Thornton followed Humber with two perfect innings for his third save in seven chances.
Quade was ejected in the second inning for arguing with second base umpire Paul Emmel that White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham didn't touch the bag while turning one of three double plays against the Cubs in the first three innings.
``I thought that was taking the old-school neighborhood play a little too far,' Quade said. ``It was important. That was a big play.'
``I wasn't too happy. One of those things I was out of the dugout when the play was developing,' Quade said. ``I don't manufacture stuff. To me I just thought he was way off the base. That shouldn't be given.'
The Cubs struggled with runners on base. They put the first two runners on in the first, second and sixth but came up empty each time.
Garza held the White Sox hitless before Juan Pierre delivered an RBI single with one out in the sixth. It was Garza's first complete game since joining the Cubs and seventh of his career.
``(Garza) was on his game. He's got great stuff,' Humber said. ``We knew it was going to be tough against him, but our guys battled and scratched across a run.'
``I haven't seen him that much, but his fastball was at 95-97 with three other pitches to go along with it,' Pierre added. ``We scrapped, but it just goes to show you how good Humber was for us today.'
Beckham worked a walk leading off the sixth, moved up on Humber's sacrifice and made it to third on Garza's wild pitch. After a close 1-2 pitch was called a ball, Pierre slapped a single to left over a drawn-in infield.
``I was mad,' Garza said of the pitch that wasn't called a strike. ``Big situation, a big moment right there. I wanted that pitch. ... I should have put Pierre away.'
Garza was pitching so well that he was allowed to bat for himself with two outs in the seventh and the Cubs still trailing.
The Cubs grounded into double plays in each of the first three innings, spoiling any chance of an early offensive outburst against Humber. They also wasted a big opportunity in the sixth.
Darwin Barney led off the inning with an infield single off Humber's glove and Starlin Castro reached on a slow roller up the third-base line, again putting two runners on with no outs.
Humber then retired Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena on popups, threw a wild pitch to advance the runners and coaxed Marlon Byrd - who came off the disabled list before the game - into a harmless grounder.
``We had pitches to hit and didn't hit in some of those situations,' Quade said.
Byrd returned to the lineup for the first time since he was hit near the left eye by a pitch from Boston's Alfredo Aceves on May 21, causing multiple facial fractures.
Byrd, saying he felt comfortable, wore a protective flap over the left side of his batting helmet. He got a warm greeting from the bleacher fans at Wrigley Field and went 0 for 3.
``Whatever happens, happens. Can't go out there with fear, not in this game,' Byrd said. ``The game is too fast.'
He drew a four-pitch walk from Humber in his first at-bat in the second, following a leadoff single from Pena, who foiled a defensive shift with a bunt down the third-base line. Byrd then rolled hard into Beckham, who still got off the throw to first after Alfonso Soriano's grounder to third. That brought Quade racing out of the dugout to argue and led to his ejection.
NOTES: The gametime temperature was 93 and it dropped 15 degrees in the first five innings with the wind blowing in.
The Associated Press News Service
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