Maybe the Cubs just needed a little crosstown rivalry to get their season going.
After losing seven of nine, the Cubs have taken two straight against the White Sox, outscoring their Chicago foes, 16-3, in the process.
"I know our guys have been talking about it prior to this," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's a series that sometimes when you're in a little bit of a lull, it gets you going because of the intensity and you know everybody in Chicago is watching and throughout the country sometimes, because it is a crosstown rivalry, like the Mets and Yankees-type thing. These are the series that get you going back in the right direction, because the adrenaline is at another level."
The Cubs took a 7-0 win over the White Sox on Monday before the rain interrupted a 2-0 lead on Tuesday, postponing the game.
Back to National League rules, the Cubs were at it again Wednesday, scoring nine runs in a 9-3 win.
"All of a sudden, it seems like everybody is having good at-bats and everybody is contributing," Sveum said. "Everybody is getting a little bit of playing time and doing a nice job."
For the series finale on Thursday, the Cubs will have to do their work against White Sox righty Jake Peavy, who has been at his best of late, coming off his 14th career complete game.
After two mediocre seasons in Chicago following an impressive career with San Diego, Peavy has put together a year and a half worth of impressive outings. In nine starts this year, the 31-year-old has gone 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA and 63 strikeouts to 15 walks in 60 2/3 innings.
Throughout his career, Peavy is 7-3 with a 2.23 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP against the Cubs.
For the North Siders, Travis Wood takes the hill, coming off his only non-quality start of the season, in which he allowed five earned runs to the Reds over 5 2/3 innings.
"He still pitched a good game -- it just got away from him," Sveum said. "Take nothing away from him. He's done a great job."
The lefty has allowed fewer than three runs in seven of his 10 starts this season.
Cubs: Fujikawa to have surgery
Kyuji Fujikawa, who was signed to a two-year, $9.5 million contract this offseason after spending 12 years as a closer in Japan, will have Tommy John surgery.
The news comes shortly after Fujikawa had finally turned the corner, having given up just one run over his last 7 2/3 innings after posting a 12.46 ERA in his first five games. He was on the disabled list from April 13 to May 10 with a strained right forearm.
"We've been pretty conservative building him back [since his first time on the DL] and hadn't pushed him to go two innings yet," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "He was throwing the ball well and his walk-to-strikeout ratio was impressive. I feel the guy we saw at the beginning of the year wasn't him. He's a guy who has good command of his fastball, and when that didn't happen, something was wrong.
"The guy we've seen since he came off the DL was more of what we were expecting. The timing is disappointing, and we're confident we'll get a very good pitcher back next year."
White Sox: Konerko to return Thursday
Without the designated hitter in the NL park, the White Sox were going to lose either Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn for their two games at Wrigley.
Konerko took a seat and gave Dunn a chance to play first base on Wednesday. Dunn went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a sacrifice fly, but Konerko is expected to get his turn on Thursday.
"Both of them probably [have good numbers at Wrigley]," said manager Robin Ventura. "You flip a coin with both of them as far as putting them in there. You can only play one of them. You can put Dunn in left, but I don't know if today's the day to do that."
• Gordon Beckham will resume his Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday after being shut down last Friday while experiencing ongoing soreness in his surgically repaired left hand.
• The White Sox will keep Chris Sale on regular rest and give him the start Sunday at Oakland after he threw just three innings in a rain-shortened effort Tuesday.
• Alfonso Soriano is 9-for-29 with three homers off Peavy. He has five RBIs in his last four games.