About an hour before Game 2 of the City Series, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was telling Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney about all the rats he has seen at Wrigley Field over the years.
Kenney politely listened to Guillen's rant before offering a facetious response.
"Ozzie, the rats are part of the Wrigley Field ambience," he said.
Rats or no rats, the Cubs are feeling invincible in their home park, as Saturday's 11-7 victory over the Sox proved before 41,021 at Wrigley.
A nine-run fourth inning that featured four home runs helped the Cubs to their 13th straight win at Wrigley, their longest since a 13-game stretch in 2001.
Jim Edmonds hit a homer off Jose Contreras to start the inning, and Mike Fontenot and Aramis Ramirez followed with two more, Ramirez's three-run shot into the left-field basket his third in two days. Edmonds then book-ended the inning with a solo shot off Boone Logan, joining Sammy Sosa and Mark Bellhorn as the only Cubs to hit two home runs in an inning.
Four homers in the frame tied a club mark set in 1930 and matched in 2000.
Edmonds received salaams from the fans in the center-field bleachers, though he declined to say whether the Cubs-Sox rivalry was different from Cubs-Cardinals.
"I don't know," he said. "I can't say. You guys are going to get me in trouble. Let's leave it at that. You guys already ruined me before I got here, so don't get me in trouble again."
The only one experiencing trouble after Saturday's game was Guillen, who was hearing it from Sox fans for leaving Jose Contreras in during the fourth-inning shelling, one day after taking out left-hander John Danks while Danks looked almost untouchable."I already got a couple of e-mails," Guillen said. "It's my fault again."
The Cubs, he went on, "are better than us. They should be a championship [team]. We're not. I don't know what to say. They kicked our ass. … Tomorrow is another day. We always take it one day at a time. We do. We've got another game. You can't do much about it."
The Sox took an early 4-1 lead off Jason Marquis on two-run homers by Jermaine Dye and Dewayne Wise before Contreras imploded in the nine-run fourth.
"You get nine runs, everyone chipped in somewhere," Derrek Lee said. "It was a good inning for the team."
The outburst allowed Marquis (6-3) to cruise to his fifth straight victory despite allowing five runs on eight hits over seven innings. Carlos Marmol survived another outing of control issues, and Bob Howry got a hook after giving up a run on three hits with a five-run lead in the ninth.
Lou Piniella brought in Kerry Wood for a chance to get a cheap save, and Wood did just that, striking out Nick Swisher for his ninth straight and 19th save of the season.
The Cubs have not lost a home game since May 17 against Pittsburgh and will go for a sweep of Round 1 of the City Series Sunday night, with Ryan Dempster facing Javier Vazquez. While Guillen remains on the lookout for rats, Marquis said the Cubs are thriving on the energy their fans create at Wrigley.
"We know they know we have something special here," Marquis said. "But we have to go on the field and do it. It's nice to be in your own, friendly confines, and hopefully it can be one of those magical seasons."
Cubs 11, White Sox 7