Bayne Nearly Untouchable In Winston-Salem Victory; Burgess Raking For Daytona

Bayne Nearly Untouchable In Winston-Salem Victory; Burgess Raking For Daytona

Monday April 11, 2011
Posted: 10:20 p.m.WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
A late offensive burst lifted Winston-Salem to a 7-5 victory against Potomac Monday night at Pfitzner Stadium. It was the third consecutive win for the Dash, who have allowed nine runs in three games after surrendering seven runs in a season-opening defeat at Kinston.

The Dash scored five runs over the final three innings, offsetting the Nationals four-run outburst in the eighth. Kyle Sheltons solo homer in the seventh got the late charge started. The Dash also scored twice as a result of a Potomac error in the ninth. That was sandwiched around an eighth inning that saw Winston-Salem plate three times on run-scoring hits by Jose Martinez, Ian Gac and Jason Bour.

Martinez remains red hot, collecting a pair of hits. Hes hitting .556 through four games.

Cameron Bayne, a 12-game winner last year at Kannapolis, made his season debut and allowed an unearned run in seven innings before the bullpen stumbled. Bayne struck out three and allowed only one hit in earning the victory. He had a no-hitter for 6 23 innings, retiring 16 consecutive batters at one point, before a Destin Hood double spoiled his evening.
Charlotte AAA
The Knights continued to improve on their best start in franchise history Monday night, topping the Durham Bulls, 4-3, with a late rally to remain undefeated. Charlotte improved to 5-0, marking the first time in franchise history it has gotten off to such a start. The Knights and Columbus, which was rained out on Monday, are the only undefeated International League teams remaining.

Charlotte spotted the Bulls a 3-0, first-inning lead and thats how the score stayed until the seventh when Gookie Dawkins RBI double made it 3-1. Dayan Viciedos two-run homer in the eighth knotted it up at 3-3 before Alejandaro De Azas RBI single in the ninth brought home the game winner.

Brandon Hynick started and settled down after allowing the three first-inning runs, tossing shutout ball over the next five innings. Jhonny Nunez then pitched two scoreless innings before Josh Kinney earned his first win of the season despite walking a pair in a shaky ninth.

In other news, Jake Peavy is scheduled to make a rehab start for the Charlotte on Wednesday when it faces Durham on Wednesday at Knights Stadium.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators, coming off their riveting doubleheader sweep of Lakewood on Sunday, continued their road trip on Monday with a 5-3 victory at Delmarva.

Kannapolis scored what would prove to be the winning run in the seventh without the benefit of a hit, snapping what had been a 3-3 tie. Trayce Thompson was hit by a pitch, went to third on an errant pickoff throw and then scored on a wild pitch to give the Intimidators the lead. Juan Silverios run-scoring single made it a two-run game an inning later. Thompson also had a homer and drove in a pair.

Jimmy Ballinger picked up the win in relief.
Birmingham AA
The Barons dropped their second consecutive game, this one a 10-3 decision to Montgomery in a game that was stopped in the seventh inning because of weather. Nevin Griffith allowed seven runs in three innings to take the loss.
CUBSDaytona A
Michael Burgess three-run homer capped a four-run seventh inning as Daytona rallied for a 6-5 victory over Clearwater at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The victory, coupled with Ft. Myers loss, leaves the Cubs 5-0 as the lone undefeated team in the Florida State League. Burgess, meanwhile, continues his long-ball tear. He had two homers in the game and has four this season. The outfielder, who was originally a first-round draft pick by the Nationals in 2007, had three hits and five RBIs.

Though Brent Ebinger allowed three runs one earned in four innings he picked up his first victory of the season.
Tennessee AA
The Smokies couldnt handle Mother Nature or Chattanooga on Monday night, dropping a 6-5 decision in a game that was called in the sixth inning because of rain.

Ryan Flaherty, Josh Vitters and Steve Clevenger all had homers for Tennessee but Brooks Raley, making his Double-A debut after winning eight games for Daytona last year, allowed six runs on eight hits over 3 23 innings to take the loss.
Peoria A
The Chiefs opened their first road trip of the season, a 10-game Midwest League jaunt, in disappointing fashion, dropping a 4-2 decision at Burlington.

The Bees took the lead with a two-run third inning without ever getting the ball out of the infield. Greg Rohans error helped fuel the inning and made a loser of Graham Hicks. Rubi Silva was 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to five games while Matt Szczur had two hits and made a spectacular diving eighth-inning catch in center field. The three Chiefs pitchers did not record a strikeout. It marked the first time since April 13, 2006 against Quad Cities that Peoria pitchers didnt strike out a batter. Hicks walked a career-high six.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at

Jon Lester says Cubs haven’t done anything yet: ‘Nobody likes second place’

Jon Lester says Cubs haven’t done anything yet: ‘Nobody likes second place’

As Cubs players and generations of fans celebrated Christmas in October, Jon Lester had to be The Grinch for a moment. Sure, the Cubs would party from Saturday night into Sunday morning, probably get “a little bit” drunk and enjoy the franchise’s first National League pennant in 71 years. But the reality of the Cleveland Indians would set in once the Cubs got rid of this hangover.

“We ain’t done anything yet,” Lester said during the Wrigley Field celebration after the Cubs eliminated the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Nobody likes second place.”

There are enough Boston Red Sox connections in this World Series that Lester already knows what to expect, starting with Indians manager Terry Francona, who became a father figure as he dealt with a cancer scare as a rookie.

There are ex-teammates from those championship teams in 2007 (Coco Crisp) and 2013 (Mike Napoli, Andrew Miller) at Fenway Park. There is the accumulated experience from throwing 119 postseason innings (2.50 ERA) and becoming one of the best big-game pitchers of his generation.

“I don’t want to sound like a smart-ass, but we got a long ways to go,” Lester said. “I know that manager on their side’s going to be prepared. I know their coaching staff’s going to be ready. I know their players are going to be ready, just based on one player alone, and that’s Mike Napoli. I know what he brings to the table. He helped transform our 2013 team.

“Come Tuesday, we got to put the gloves back on. We got to get ready to fight and grind and do what we’ve done well all year. We got four more games to win.”

After limiting the Dodgers to two runs in 13 innings, and being named the NL Championship Series’ co-MVP along with Javier Baez, Lester should be a worthy Game 1 starter opposite Corey Kluber, the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner.

This is why Lester took a leap of faith with Cubs bosses/ex-Red Sox executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer and chairman Tom Ricketts’ family and what had been a last-place team in 2014.

Two seasons into the $155 million contract that signaled the Cubs would be serious about contending – and not just in the Baseball America/Baseball Prospectus prospect rankings – the franchise has won 200 games and four playoff rounds and remained in position to dominate for years to come.

“Theo and Jed and the front office and Tom and all these guys had a belief,” Lester said. “I believed in that belief. The talent here speaks for itself. I didn’t do anything – I came here because I wanted to win in Chicago. I’m just happy to be here and be a part of this and get to this point.

“(But) we’re four hard wins away from doing what we set out to do in spring training.”

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As bright as the future looks on the North Side, Lester will be 33 next season and his left arm has already accounted for more than 2,000 innings during his decorated career. John Lackey turned 38 on Sunday. Jake Arrieta only has one more season before becoming a free agent.

The Cubs built their franchise around young hitters, with the idea that they can figure out the pitching later with free agents, change-of-scenery trades and bounce-back guys. Easier said than done. They have a true No. 1 starter now in Lester, who as a free agent watched a recruiting video that imagined what it would be like when the Cubs win the World Series.

“This isn’t it,” Lester said. “It’s been a tough playoffs for us to this point and it’s only going to get tougher. We’re going to enjoy it. We’re going to show up Tuesday in Cleveland ready to play. We’ll see what happens.”

Three quick fixes for some Bears woes while searching for a turnaround

Three quick fixes for some Bears woes while searching for a turnaround

Positives were difficult to find in last Thursday’s 26-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. So maybe the place to look for improvement lies in just getting rid of a few negatives.

As far as positives, Leonard Floyd would be the obvious one, with two sacks, one a strip and fumble recovery for a TD. Ka’Deem Carey would be another, with 10 carries for 48 yards, his second straight game with high-impact running; Jordan Howard has been shackled for two weeks, so the Bears have needed another backfield-committee member contributing. Jeremy Langford may have trouble finding work when he comes back from his ankle injury.

But negatives have far outweighed positives, which is how you get to 1-6. Fixing three of those will go a long way toward improving their chances against a Minnesota Vikings team that appeared eminently beatable in losing at Philadelphia on Sunday:

Stop the penalty hemorrhaging

For the third straight game the Bears had 10 penalties walked off against them. This "streak" started after eight infractions in the win over Detroit. The 10 in Green Bay cost the Bears 108 yards in a game where their offense netted just 189. Seven of the penalties were charged to the defense, six of which gave the Packers first downs.

The three offensive penalties were mental. A wide receiver (Alshon Jeffery) lined up offsides. The quarterback (Matt Barkley) drew a delay flag. An offensive lineman (Ted Larsen) was illegally downfield.

All of which point to a discipline problem getting worse, not better. Whether the fault lies with players losing focus or coaches not instilling a mindset is a debate, but meaningless if the problem is not addressed. “There were a lot of penalties out there,” said cornerback De’Vante Bausby, who committed three of those penalties. “We had a good scheme and plan but we just didn’t finish in the second half as a group.”

Stop the dinking

While Brian Hoyer replacing Jay Cutler scaled back the downfield element of the offense, the loss of an emerging Kevin White should not be understated. The de facto rookie may not have gotten in the end zone but he was leading the team in receptions before he suffered a broken leg in the win over Detroit.

Since the loss of White, however, the offense has shrunk. The Bears averaged 7.5 yards per pass attempt through four games with White. Without White the average is 7.0, and that is including the blip in Indianapolis, which stands as a complete anomaly. The average was 5.9 in the Jacksonville loss and 5.0 in Green Bay.

Hoyer’s ball-security orientation has been a positive, but also a limiting factor. Cutler last year had one of the best ball-security seasons of his career, yet the offense was able to average 7.5 yards per attempt.

The Bears scored two of their three rushing touchdowns in games with White, who may not yet be the field-stretcher his 4.35 speed but the prospect of White arguably made for a more threatening offense than even with the contributions of Cam Meredith.

Stop the Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have suffered injuries at a rate like the Bears’ but have overcome them. Until Sunday in Philadelphia, when the Eagles sacked Sam Bradford six times and hit him more than a dozen other times. The Vikings never sacked Carson Wentz, who wasn’t special but was good enough while Minnesota was self-destructing.

The Vikings have beaten the Bears the last three times they’ve met, the first time that’s happened since 1999 and 2000, which is also the last time the Bears started 1-6. And the Bears have lost three straight.

The Bears were able to end the first three-game skid by focusing on one game: the Lions. The result was shutting down a very good offense, the lowest yardage-allowed (263) of the season and the firmest commitment to the run game (29) attempts.

Morale inside the locker room can only be revived by a win. One game. This game.