On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

On The Farm: Samardzija, Archer win again

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010
10:30 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBS
Iowa (AAA)
Good, bad or ugly, Jeff Samardzija continues to find ways to win at Iowa whether hes starting or coming out of the bullpen.

Thursday nights effort at Principal Park falls under the good and the starting categories as Samardzija paced the I-Cubs to a an 8-3 victory over Tacoma. The Notre Dame product allowed a run on three hits over six innings to win his second in a row, fourth in five starts and ninth overall.

The only blemish on his season has been a horrendous one-inning outing at New Orleans in June 29 as he allowed seven runs and suffered his only loss.

Samardzija got a big assist from Micah Hoffpauir, who was 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Hes hitting .415 (22-for-53) during that stretch with six homers and 18 RBIs. Bryan LaHair and Marquez Smith also had homers for the I-Cubs.

Daytona (A)
The Cubs long winning streak is but a memory. Evidence of that can be found in Thursdays 7-2 loss to Jupiter at Roger Dean Stadium. It was Daytonas fourth-loss in a row and second straight to the Hammerheads, statistically one of the worst teams in minor league baseball.

Alberto Cabrera allowed four runs on 10 hits in six innings to suffer the loss. Dave Patton fared no better, allowing three runs in his inning of work. Ryan Flaherty had a homer and two RBIs for the Cubs.

Peoria (A)
Justin Bours eighth-inning grand slam punctuated a monstrous offensive evening for Peoria as it topped Wisconsin, 13-1, Thursday night.

Bours slam was part of a six-run inning and was one of 16 Cheifs hits. He finished with six RBIs and now has 69, third in the Midwest League. Hak-Ju Lee added a pair of hits as did Matt Cerda (two RBIs).

Peoria pitchers allowed only four hits and two of them were surrendered by Su-Min Jung (7-3) over his five shutout innings.

Tennessee (AA)
It was a case of another game, another strong effort for Chris Archer on Thursday night as Tennessee earned a 11-3 victory at Montgomery.

Archer (6-1) improved to 13-2 overall and now has an outside shot, depending on how he is used over the final month of the season, at becoming the minor leagues first 20-game winner since John Fritz went 20-4 for Quad Cities in 1992. Archer cant lose again and may have to pick up a victory or two out of the bullpen but a 20-win season remains a possibly though a long shot.

He allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings keeping his Southern League ERA at a minuscule 0.46. Archer can also thank Matt Spencer, who had a titanic night at the plate, hitting a pair of homers, including a grand slam, and driving in seven as the Smokies scored nine runs over the final three innings.

WHITE SOX

Birmingham (AA)
Jacksonville scored all of its runs in the sixth inning, rallying by Birmingham, 3-2, Thursday night.

Lee Mitchells two-run single off Charlie Leesman was the deciding blow. Leesman allowed five hits in 5 13 innings though only two of the three runs were earned. Justin Greene hit a solo homer for the Barons. Tyler Kuhn went hitless in four at-bats, ending his hitting streak at eight games. Birmingham RHP Charles Shirek was assigned from Charlotte
In other action, Bristol and Johnson City were rained out. The game will be made up Friday as part of a doubleheader. Winston-Salem and Frederick were also washed away and will play a pair on Friday. Kannapolis game with Greensboro was canceled because of the weather and no immediate date was set for when it will be played. Charlotte and Toledo were suspended with one out in the bottom of the second inning with the Mud Hens leading 4-0. The game will be finished Friday beginning at 5 PM with a seven-inning game to follow thereafter.

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

Fast Break Morning Update: Jonathan Toews powers Blackhawks past Canucks

Fast Break Morning Update: Jonathan Toews powers Blackhawks past Canucks

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

The Blackhawks’ starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain’s confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should’ve gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews’ goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He’s getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen.”

2. Great start. This hasn’t been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn’t the Blackhawks’ best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 25 of 27 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford “looked like he was in control.”

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he’s been very good. When he’s been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second goal. Kempny didn’t play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team’s road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. “Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it’s man coverage, sometimes it’s playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff,” Quenneville said. “Defenseman is a tough position as you’re growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he’s making progress.”

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik’s 11th goal of the season in the first period.