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CHC@CIN: Feldman drills first home run of his career

The Crosstown Cup shifts to Chicago's North Side on Wednesday, as the Cubs and White Sox continue their home-and-home Interleague series with an afternoon game at Wrigley Field following Tuesday's postponement.

Like the intracity rivals, both of Wednesday's starting pitchers have plenty of history together -- though it has nothing to do with living and playing in Chicago.

White Sox left-hander John Danks and Cubs right-hander Scott Feldman were each drafted by the Rangers in 2003, with Danks the ninth-overall pick and Feldman going in the 30th round. They played Rookie ball together in Arizona and rose through the Rangers' system before Danks was dealt to the White Sox after the 2006 season.

"Scottie and I played together a lot," Danks said. "We were drafted the same year and spent a lot of time together with Texas. It will be fun to see him out there tomorrow."

And, with the game being played on the North Side, Danks and Feldman get to step into the batter's box against each other. The harder matchup of the two no doubt belongs to Danks, as Feldman has four hits -- including two doubles and a home run -- this season.

"For me, it just makes you feel like you're playing baseball," Feldman said of hitting. "You're not just a pitcher. It reminds me of being a kid again. You get to go up there and hit and do the fun stuff that you could do when you were a kid."

Danks, meanwhile -- making only his second start of the season -- has one hit in 19 career at-bats and didn't take any swings during his rehab stint.

"I've gotten in the cage the last couple of days," Danks said. "We'll see if I can hit [Feldman's] sinker."

Danks' start Wednesday also represents a return to where his 2012 season ended. The lefty's final start of last year came at Wrigley Field before he eventually had season-ending left shoulder surgery in August.

"You know, I'm not thinking about it like that," said Danks, who made his season debut Friday. "I actually hadn't thought about it until you guys brought it up. I think my last start [was] where I can say, 'I made it back.' I know we are going to be careful and keep close watch on me. The first one was that. Now my goal is to be thought of as just the next guy in the rotation."

White Sox: Konerko excited for Blackhawks' Game 7
The Crosstown Cup isn't the only big Chicago sporting event going on, as the NHL's Blackhawks prepare for Wednesday's Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is an avid hockey fan -- and player until he was 15 or 16 years old -- and has tickets to Wednesday night's game at 7 p.m. CT. Needless to say, he's hoping Wednesday afternoon's baseball game is a quick one.

"Hopefully we don't do anything stupid like have an extra-inning game or any rain delays tomorrow. Let's keep our fingers crossed there," Konerko said with a smile. "Just the way our seasons work out, you never really get a chance for that to happen.

"I'll definitely take it in. I watch a lot of hockey, I watch tons of games in the offseason. I watch everything I can during the season. It's something I've always been into. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to it, I don't know what to expect. It will be pretty cool."

• Right fielder Alex Rios is batting .333 with four homers, 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored in his last 21 games, seven of which have been multihit efforts.

• White Sox starters are 15-9 with a 2.97 ERA in their last 36 games.

Cubs: Sveum changing lefty lineup
The Cubs are 5-10 against left-handed starting pitchers this season and face one for the second straight game on Wednesday. Cubs manager Dale Sveum is ready to tinker with the lineup and said left-handed-hitting David DeJesus and, perhaps, Luis Valbuena will start Wednesday.

The biggest reason for Sveum's decision is that Danks doesn't have a big left/right split in his seven-year career and, in fact, lefties hit him better -- right-handed batters have a .252/.314/.411 slash line against him compared to a .269/.330/.412 mark for lefties.

DeJesus is a .348 career hitter (8-for-23) against Danks.

• Cubs starting pitchers have a Major League-leading 15 RBIs.

• The Cubs' bullpen has a 1.06 ERA in the last six games.

Worth noting
• The White Sox lead the all-time series with the Cubs, 49-42, and have won eight of the last 12 matchups.

• Danks is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA and .214 average against in five career starts -- four of the quality variety -- against the Cubs.

• Rios is a .345 career hitter (10-for-29) with two homers and four doubles against Feldman.

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