Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010
Posted: 8:30 a.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
The I-Cubs began their critical eight-game West Coast road trip in brilliant fashion Friday night with a 5-0 victory over Fresno at Chukchansi Park. The win, over the Pacific South leading Grizzlies, allowed Iowa to maintain its 2.5-game lead over Omaha in the American North Division.
Iowa has three more games at Fresno before playing four games at second-place Sacramento next week.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx put on yet another show in what has become a common occurrence by Chicago pitching prospects in recent weeks. Bibens-Dirkx scattered three hits over seven innings in winning his third consecutive start. He improved to 5-0 overall since joining Iowa at the beginning of July and has fashioned a 1.97 ERA in 32 innings.
The right-hander also withstood a 41-minute delay in the fourth inning when a pipe burst and water began flooding the warning track in the left-field corner. Play was eventually resumed and Bibens-Dirkx proved to be dominant.
He would get all the help he would need in the second inning when Bobby Scales connected for a two-run homer. Micah Hoffpauir returned to the I-Cubs from Chicago and went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, extending his hitting streak to 19 games. Hes batting .418 33-for-79 during the streak with eight homers and 24 RBIs. Hoffpauir is also two games shy of equaling the longest hitting streak in the PCL this season. Catcher Robinson Chirinos made his Iowa debut after moving up from Tennessee this week and went 2-for-4.
In other action, the AZL Cubs dropped a 5-3 decision to the AZL Mariners despite banging out 13 hits. Dustin Geiger was 3-for-3. Boise dropped a 4-1 decision to Tri-City at Memorial Stadium. In White Sox action, Great Falls was blanked at Billings, 3-0. Mike Blanke had a pair of hits, pushing his average to .344, seventh best in the Pioneer League.
Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cubs take on the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 2:30 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.
CSN will also carry the live audio call of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully during Sunday's game as the SportsNet LA audio feed will be featured during the third inning.
Sunday’s starting pitching matchup: Jon Lester vs. Kenta Maeda
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RFK Stadium hosted one of the stranger games of the Chicago Fire’s season on Saturday.
It also may end up being a killer blow to the Fire’s playoff hopes.
The Fire lost 6-2 to the host D.C. United, falling nine points out of the playoffs with nine matches remaining.
Patrick Mullins had a hat trick and former Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko played a role in three of D.C.’s goals. The six goals were the most the Fire have allowed this season.
Fire midfielder Khaly Thiam received a red card in the 34th minute in a match-changing moment. Thiam fouled Nyarko then argued with the ref and dropped the ball on Nyarko’s face while Nyarko was still on the ground.
Nyarko keyed the opening goal in the 25th minute with a backheel in the box to Marcelo, whose low cross was finished off by Mullins.
Michael de Leeuw answered for the Fire (5-12-8, 23 points) by tucking away a big rebound from goalkeeper Bill Hamid after Matt Polster hit a half-volley at Hamid. The relief was short-lived for the Fire because Thiam was sent off a few minutes later.
Nyarko set up Mullins for a goal in the 40th minute and then Luciano Acosta did the same for Mullins in first half added time to make it 3-1 D.C. (7-8-11, 32 points). Razvan Cocis got the Fire back within one on the final kick of the half with a long shot that took a big deflection, lofting the ball perfectly over Hamid and into the net.
However, Nyarko quickly restored D.C.’s two-goal lead out of halftime with a goal in the 51st minute. Mullins finished off his hat trick in the 76th minute and Nick DeLeon finished the scoring in the 89th.
David Accam, who was favoring and icing his left leg after Wednesday’s draw with LA, did not start the match. He subbed on at halftime. He and David Arshakyan, who made his Fire debut off the bench, will both leave for international duty and miss next weekend’s match against Philadelphia.
Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose may not be teammates anymore, but that didn't stop them from catching up on the west coast while watching a familiar Chicago team.
The former set of Bulls teammates happened to bump into each other at the Cubs-Dodgers game on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, where they both work out in the offseason.
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Rose and Butler likely haven't seen each other since the trade that sent Rose to the New York Knicks over the summer.
Butler shared the picture on his Instagram with Rose and his son P.J., capturing a cool moment after speculation of a reported rift during their time together in Chicago never seemed to go away: