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Levine: White Sox Continue Walk-Off Magic

By Bruce Levine--

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The White Sox made the big plays and continued their walk-off magic Monday night, taking the opener of the four-game Crosstown Classic series against the Cubs on Tyler Saladino's game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 win.

It was the White Sox's third straight walk-off win.

"This is south side baseball," Saladino said. "Everybody shows up for work here every day. We don't win every day, but we put the effort out."

The three straight walk-off wins have come after ace left-hander Chris Sale's outburst Saturday in which he cut up team uniforms in frustration. The White Sox hadn't walked off in three straight games since June 4-6, 1992.

"We have been all over the place," manager Robin Ventura said. "These guys are resilient and fight back. They come every day to play hard. You have some stuff to go your way, and tonight was one of those."

White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez got instant defensive help when left fielder Melky Cabrera robbed Cubs slugger Kris Bryant of a home run in the first inning with a perfectly timed jump. Gonzalez settled down after that, holding the Cubs to five hits over six scoreless inning before Javier Baez hit a two-run homer off him to pull the Cubs within 4-2 in the top of the sevening.

Gonzalez went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out eight and walking two.

Cub ace right-hander Jake Arrieta was roughed up in the sixth inning, when White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer to give his team a 4-0 lead after Arrieta struggled with his command and pitch count. That inning changed after a 10-pitch at-bat by White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. Arrieta made 37 pitches in the inning and left the game trailing 4-0.

Arrieta went six innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out six and walking two.

The Cubs scored two in the top of the ninth to tie the game. They could've had a huge inning if not for an over-aggressive Bryant, who lined a hit to left field with with nobody out but was thrown out at second by Cabrera trying to stretch it into a double. Dexter Fowler reached third on that play, and Anthony Rizzo followed with a single to drive him in and tie the game at 4.

Caberera's throw proved to be huge.

"When he gets to a ball, his throws are as accurate and strong as anybody," Ventura said. "He is a really smart player and always seems to know what to do. That was a big play for us, and it probably saved the game."

Cabrera also extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

"I do not lose focus, I give my best every night," Cabrera said. "I have a lot of pride in what I do. I am very proud of what I can do on defense. I just try to take advantage of everything I can on offense and defense. I like to play well in all areas of the game."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon complimented Cabrera on his play, with a personal touch.

"I am revoking Melky Cabrera's membership in my wife's gym in Tampa," Maddon joked. "He went over the wall, made a great throw, actually two great throws. He just played a really great game."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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