Fire travel to Houston Tuesday

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Fire travel to Houston Tuesday

The Fire thought it had cleared up Sebastian Grazzinis playing status last week, but maybe not.
Grazzini missed three days of practice last week, then was left off the travel roster for Fridays 1-0 win at Sporting Kansas City. Coach Frank Klopas said the lack of practice time kept Grazzini from playing against SKC.
Though Grazzini trained with the team in Bridgeview on Monday, he also didnt make the trip to Houston, where the Fire (8-5-3) visit the Dynamo (6-5-5) on Tuesday night. A club spokesman said Grazzini is staying home to tend to "personal matters in Chicago.
The club also has made it known that, contrary to the Major League Soccer Players Union website, Grazzini is not among the Fires lowest-paid players. The accuracy of the Players Union salary figures was discredited as they pertained to non-U.S. players.
Even without the Argentine midfielder, the Fire has been cruising. Klopas club will seek its fourth straight win against the Dynamo and also bid to be the first MLS team to win at the new BBVA Compass Stadium, the Houstons team home since May 12. The Dynamo is 4-0-2 there, and the Fire will get its first look at the facility on Tuesday.
Not since the 2005 season has the Fire won four straight. That year the Fire built a winning streak of the same size in late June and early July.
Tuesdays meeting comes in the middle game of a three-games-in-10-days stretch. The busy period concludes when the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy, struggling with a 6-9-2 mark now, visit Toyota Park on Sunday. Los Angeles visit ends a streak of six straight Fire matches against Eastern Conference rivals.
In addition to Grazzini, the Fire will be without midfielder Rafael Robayo (shoulder injury) at Houston and striker Federico Puppo and goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi wont be available for the second straight game because of ankle injuries. Puppo, though, went through training on Monday.
Veteran defender Arne Friedrich, who left the Sporting Kansas City match with cramps after 72 minutes, and striker Chris Rolfe, who finished that one hobbling on a sore ankle, were deemed available to face the Dynamo and defender Gonzalo Segares returns after sitting out a one-game red card suspension.
In addition to visiting a new stadium the Fire will be challenged by a new star. Honduran international Boniek Garcia, Houstons newly-signed Designated Player, made his debut with the Dynamo in Sundays 2-1 home win against the Philadelphia Union. He looked good in that match, and Houston was rolling even before he arrived. The Dynamo was 4-0-1 in MLS play in June.

Chris Sale cruises as White Sox top Blue Jays

Chris Sale cruises as White Sox top Blue Jays

Chris Sale delivered exactly what the White Sox needed in more ways than one. 

The ace left-hander fired eight strong innings to pace the White Sox to a 4-2 win Sunday afternoon in front of 28,345 at U.S. Cellular Field. The win earned the White Sox their first back-to-back series victories since late April and saved a banged-up bullpen that’s been used plenty over the last week. 

Sale scattered five hits and two walks and was the recipient of some solid defense behind him. Right fielder Adam Eaton threw out Josh Donaldson at second base in the first inning when the reigning American League MVP tried to stretch a line drive off the wall into a double, and a sterling double play turned by third baseman Tyler Saladino and second baseman Brett Lawrie erased a Donaldson single in the seventh. 

Troy Tulowitzki and Junior Lake both blasted solo home runs in the top of the eighth, but that was the only damage Toronto was able to inflict against Sale. 

The 27-year-old only sprinkled six strikeouts throughout the afternoon as he efficiently pounded the strike zone. 67 of his 99 pitches were for strikes as Sale became baseball’s 13-game winner on Sunday. 

Eaton’s sacrifice bunt in the third scored Saladino to plate the White Sox first run in the third, and Melky Cabrera’s RBI single later in the inning brought home another tally. Cabrera finished the day with three hits, raising his season slash line to .297/.348/.467. 

Tim Anderson led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run — his third of the season and second in as many days — and Eaton scored on a wild pitch from Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman four batters later. 

J.B. Shuck’s eighth-inning solo home run provided a much-needed insurance run with longball threats in Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion looming in the top of the ninth. With a three-run lead, closer David Robertson breezed through a scoreless inning to earn his 20th save of the season.

Cubs drop series finale with Marlins, lose for sixth time in seven games

Cubs drop series finale with Marlins, lose for sixth time in seven games

MIAMI — Jose Fernandez delivered another gem at Marlins Park, allowing one run in seven innings and striking out 13 on Sunday to help Miami beat the faltering Cubs, 6-1.

The Marlins won three of four from the injury-depleted Cubs, who went 1-6 for the week but still have baseball's best record.

Fernandez improved his career record at home to 24-1 with a 1.48 ERA, and this year the right-hander has been pretty good everywhere — he's 10-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 138 strikeouts.

Giancarlo Stanton doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth for the Marlins, who went 7-3 on their homestand. At 41-35, they're six games above .500 for the first time since June 2012, their first season in Marlins Park.

Cubs' Jake Arrieta will get tattooed after losing bet to Tommy La Stella

Cubs' Jake Arrieta will get tattooed after losing bet to Tommy La Stella

Jake Arrieta is heading to a tattoo parlor near you.

The Cubs ace and reigning National League Cy Young Award winner bet on the outcome of a few College World Series games with teammate Tommy La Stella and lost, meaning he's slated to get a new tattoo, according to a report from ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers.

Arrieta's alma mater, TCU, tangled with La Stella's school, Coastal Carolina, and it was the Chanticleers defeating the Horned Frogs in a pair of games this week, ending the CWS run of Arrieta's former squad.

As the loser, Arrieta will get a Coastal Carolina tattoo.

La Stella isn't walking away unscathed, though. TCU did take one game earlier in the week, meaning La Stella will have to dress up as TCU's mascot, Super Frog.