On The Farm: Iowa Loses Marathon, Will Need To Win Finale To Reach Playoffs

On The Farm: Iowa Loses Marathon, Will Need To Win Finale To Reach Playoffs

Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010
8:50 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

CUBSIowa AAA
The I-Cubs made a mighty comeback and almost pulled off a stunning victory Sunday at Principal Park but in the end, dropped an 8-7 decision in 15 innings to Memphis. The loss leaves the Redbirds a game back of Iowa with one game remaining in the regular season. That game will be played Monday with the winner clinching a berth in the Pacific Coast league playoffs.

Allen Craigs RBI single in the 15th off Jeff Gray gave Mondays game meaning. The Redbird had battered I-Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija, scoring four times in the first and three more in the third. Iowa rallied in the middle innings, though, tying the score at 7-7 on a Brad Snyder RBI single.

Iowa had a chance to win it in the ninth when Jason Dubois lined a one-out double to right. Bryan LaHair struck out, though, and after an intentional walk to Bobby Scales, Chris Robinson struck out to end the inning. The I-Cubs also had men on in the 10th, 12th and 15th innings but each time the rally fizzled.

Dubois was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. The Cubs used seven pitchers even after Samardzija gutted his way through six innings. Jay Jackson 11-8, 4.58 will face Evan MacLane 8-7, 4.35 in Mondays finale.
Daytona A
The Cubs finished out the regular season Sunday afternoon with a 6-0 victory over Lakeland at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Daytona, which was in the hunt for a playoff spot until the final week of the season, received a stellar effort on the mound from Robert Whitenack, who pitched his finest game in seven Florida State League outings. Whitenack went seven innings and allowed only two hits while striking out three.

Whiteknack finished the season on a 17-inning scoreless streak, ending with a 3-1 record and a 2.04 ERA with Daytona. Overall, he was 11-8 with a save and a 4.15 ERA while splitting time between Daytona and Peoria.

Ryan Flaherty was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. DJ Lemahieu added a pair of hits and finished with a .314 average and a six-game hitting streak. ... The Cubs finished with an overall record of 75-64 but were 41-28 in the second half.

In other action, playoff-bound Tennessee eked out a 3-2 victory over Carolina, scoring the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning on a fielders choice. Brett Jackson and Brandon Guyer each had a pair of hits. Guyer is batting .342, second in the Southern League. Chris Archer started and pitched two scoreless innings in his final playoff tuneup. James Leverton picked up the win.

WHITE SOXCharlotte AAA
Charlotte, looking to finish the regular season on a positive note, earned a victory in its penultimate game by defeating visiting Gwinnett, 5-1, at Knights Stadium.

Stefan Gartrell and Luis Rodrigues each had a homer and two RBIs. Gartrells homer was his 27th while Rodriguez went yard for the 15th time. Buck Coats drove in the other Charlotte run.

Freddy Dolsi 3-7 picked up his first victory since July 10 after allowing a run on five hits through six innings.

In other action, Winston-Salem saw its winning streak come to an end at nine games after it was swept in a twinbill by Sale, 3-0 and 8-1. The Dash magic number for winning the second half Southern Division title remains one with Mondays finale looming. The opener was played in 1:28, the shortest game for either team this season. Josh Phegley had a homer and three RBIs to lead Birmingham by Mississippi, 9-2. Justin Greene and Sal Sanchez also had homers while Henry Mabee pitched two scoreless innings for the win. ... Jose Vargas' two-run single in the 10th inning gave Kannapolis a 4-2 victory over playoff-bound Lakewood. Jordan Cheatham had three hits, including a pair of doubles. Orlando Santos earned the victory. ... Stephen McCray allowed a run over 5 23 innings to pick up the victory as Great Falls defeated Billings, 3-1.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Pirates on CSN

Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Pirates on CSN

The Cubs wrap up their three-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage from the North Side starts at 7 p.m., and be sure to stick around following the final out for reaction and analysis on Cubs Postgame Live.

Starting pitching matchup: Jason Hammel (13-7, 3.21 ERA) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (3-3, 3.02 ERA)

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Preview: Chris Sale, White Sox close out series with Tigers on CSN

Preview: Chris Sale, White Sox close out series with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox close out their series against the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Chris Sale (15-7, 3.14 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.33 ERA)

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White Sox bullpen falters in loss to Tigers

White Sox bullpen falters in loss to Tigers

DETROIT — The 2016 White Sox expected an improved offense when they addressed two of last season’s biggest needs with trades for Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie.

While scoring is up a hair over the 2015 club, it hasn’t nearly been enough.

As they have for much of the season, the White Sox jumped out to an early three-run lead on Tuesday night but failed to put their opponents away. Their dormancy allowed the Detroit Tigers to rally back to send the White Sox to an 8-4 loss in front of 27,121 at Comerica Park. Frazier homered early before Detroit scored eight runs between the fifth and seventh innings. The Tigers look to complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon on CSN.

“That’s kind of been the story of our year,” leadoff man Adam Eaton said. “With runners in scoring position we haven’t been able to drive in and get the big hit. When we do that we win. When we get it done we win and when we don’t it bites us.”

The White Sox thought they added serious bite to an offense that finished at or near the bottom of the American League in 2015 in most of the major categories. Frazier was acquired in a three-team deal from the Cincinnati Reds and Lawrie came over from Oakland for two-minor leaguers. On top of the acquisitions of Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche a year earlier, Frazier and Lawrie were expected to bolster positions in which the White Sox finished last in OPS in the majors last season.

To an extent, the plan has worked. The White Sox entered Tuesday having increased their scoring average to 4.07 runs per game, up from 3.84. But even with that improvement, the White Sox started play 13th among 15 AL clubs in runs scored and 63 runs below the league average.

They also were 13th in home runs (131), slugging percentage (.402) and OPS (.717).

Part of their struggles can be attributed to injuries — Lawrie has been out since July 22 and Austin Jackson has been gone since early June. The unexpected retirement of LaRoche also left the White Sox short on left-handed power in the middle of the lineup and forced Cabrera from the second spot to fifth to provide balance. And some can be attributed to down years by several key veterans, including the performance with runners in scoring position by Jose Abreu and Frazier.

But even the White Sox thought they’d be a better run-scoring team than they have proven through 131 games.

“I think we did,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You lose Rochie at the beginning of the year, and that changed the left-handed dynamic of what our lineup would have been like. But you still expect guys to hit a little better and score more runs than we’ve done. We haven’t held up our end of the bargain.”

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Their end of the bargain left the White Sox vulnerable on Tuesday. Frazier’s two-run homer and an RBI groundout by Eaton in the second inning had the White Sox in command. But Daniel Norris struck out Tim Anderson to strand a runner at third.

Then in the fourth, Norris got Tyler Saladino to fly out to shallow right, which prevented the runner on third from tagging. After Eaton walked, Norris got Anderson to ground into a fielder’s choice.

Even though Norris’ pitch count was sky high, the White Sox failed to knock him out of the game. That allowed the Tigers to rally back against Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Albers and Jacob Turner.

“They seem to add on,” Ventura said. “They don’t stop adding on that extra run. A guy on third with less than two outs, they’re able to get it in. That’s been an Achilles heel for us.”

It’s also been a source of frustration, Eaton said. The White Sox look around the room and feel like they have a talented group, especially now with Justin Morneau solidifying the middle. But once again, that group didn’t keep their foot on the pedal and paid the price.

“They just continue to plug away,” Eaton said. “Their offense is good enough to come back from any deficit. Hats off to them, but we’ve got to keep adding on. We got on Norris early and got his pitch count up, but we’ve got to keep knocking on the door. We didn’t keep on it enough and knock him out real early.

“Top to bottom I think we have a pretty good lineup. It is frustrating when you don’t get that big hit and vice versa for the big pitch.”