Iowa Salvages Series Finale in Albuquerque

Iowa Salvages Series Finale in Albuquerque

Thursday April 14, 2011
Posted: 4:00 p.m.

CUBSIOWA AAA
The I-Cubs finally found some solace in Albuquerque, taking the final game of a four-game set Thursday afternoon at Isotopes Park. Iowa had dropped three in a row before picking up a 10-6 victory behind the five-RBI effort of Bobby Scales.

Iowa will head to Des Moines for its home-opener Friday night against Memphis having split eight games on a season-opening road trip.

Scales had a pair of doubles, bringing in two runs with one of them in the fourth inning. His bases-clearing, three-run double in the seventh gave the I-Cubs the final push they would need to end the trip on a positive note. His seventh-inning double proved to be critical because the Isotopes scored twice in the ninth, cutting the lead to 10-6.

Lou Montanez added three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs.

Robert Coello 1-1, despite allowing four runs on eight hits over five innings, picked up the victory. The New Jersey native has allowed 11 run in nine innings in his two starts this season.
Tennessee AA
The Smokies roughed up an old friend Thursday night as they bounced visiting Montgomery, 11-2.

Former Cub and Tennessee ace Chris Archer got the nod for the Biscuits and his former mates did him no favors, scoring three times on five hits in 4 23 innings. Archer also walked three in suffering his first loss of the season.

Brett Jackson was 1-for-3, extending his season-long hitting streak to seven games while D.J. LeMahieu and Josh Vitters led a group of five players that had two hits apiece. Rebel Ridlings sixth-inning grand slam proved to be the decisive blow. The red-hot Smokies had 15 hits in all and continue to lead the Southern League in hitting.

Rafael Dolis allowed a run on four hits while striking out five in his six innings to secure the win.
Daytona A
Tony Plagmans bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth lifted Lakeland to a 4-3 victory over Daytona Thursday night at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Flying Tigers scored their run without the benefit of a hit. Daytona loaded the bases on a pair of hit batsmen and an intentional walk. After the Cubs induced a fielders choice that got a runner at the plate, Frank Batista walked in the winning run.

Aaron Kurcz started and lasted only 3 23 innings for the Cubs. He gave up three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks. The bullpen was solid until the ninth-inning meltdown, which culminated with Jeff Beliveau and Batista being unable to find the plate.

Wellington Castillo drove in two runs for the Cubs.
Peoria A
Sergio Burreal broke up a no-hitter with two outs in the eighth inning Thursday night but it did little to take the sting out of Peorias 5-1 loss to Burlington at Community Field.

The Bees A.J. Griffin kept the Chiefs out of the hit column by striking out nine and walking only two before Burreal spoiled the no-hit bid. By that time, however, Burlington had built a 5-0 lead with all of the runs coming against Peoria starter Dallas Beeler, who lasted only two innings.

Greg Rohan, who has a season-long, seven-game hitting streak, collected one of Peorias three hits and drove in the run.
WHITE SOX Charlotte AAA
Jeffrey Marquez struggled with his control Thursday night for Charlotte and as a result, his effort didnt yield the kind of success he in his season-opening performance.

The Knights began their road trip at Gwinnett County with a 3-1 loss and Marquez was at the center of the Braves attack, walking five and allowing five hits over five innings. He surrendered two runs, only one of which was earned, the Knights could never catch up to what was a strong effort by Gwinnett pitchers.

Included in that group was highly touted Julio Teheran, who allowed a run on three hits in four innings. He, too, was a bit wild, walking four but didnt factor in the decision.

Alejandro De Aza had two of Charlottes five hits. Dayan Viciedo went 0-for-3 and is hitting .185.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators needed a quartet of pitchers to support their big effort at the plate but in the end it all came together Thursday for a 9-5 victory at Delmarva.

Kannapolis had nine hits, including two-hit efforts from Juan Silverio and Brady Shoemaker, each of whom has a seven-game hitting streak. Ken Gilbert added a homer and drove in four. Chase Cooney pitched three shutout innings to earn the victory.
Birmingham AA
Matt Zaleski pitched a brilliant game for Birmingham Thursday night but it went for naught as the Barons dropped a 2-0 decision to visiting Chattanooga.

Zaleski allowed a run on four hits over seven innings, striking out six. He has a 0.73 ERA through two starts. Tyler Kuhn had four of Birminghams seven hits.

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

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

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

Insert title of this "Bowl" game here...

Two teams. Three wins combined. December. So much for holiday cheer. The snow may provide a certain Christmas element on the lakefront Sunday. But something different has to happen for the Bears defensively. In their spirit of giving, the 49ers have allowed a league-high 76 points off their turnovers. Problem is, the Bears have just eight of them in eleven games. If that San Francisco generosity doesn't change – either by Vic Fangio's defense finally making plays despite the core of their defense missing, or by the visitors finding a way to protect the ball in those conditions after practicing in Orlando all week – it's a golden chance for the Bears to gain a smidge of momentum before becoming a factor in the division race (because they face all three other NFC North contenders in their final four games).

1. Read zone read

Colin Kaepernick has grown much more comfortable with time in Chip Kelly's offense. He had the Dolphins hanging on for dear life until the clock struck zero last week. He became just the sixth quarterback in league history to pass for three touchdowns in a game while rushing for over 100 (no, Bobby Douglass isn't one). The challenge becomes greater minus the talented inside linebacker tandem of Danny Trevathan (injury) and Jerrell Freeman (suspension). It becomes even greater if Leonard Floyd's quickness and speed is taken away as a shadowing option as he recovers from being carried off the field on a flat board two weeks ago. He's listed as questionable. So that makes it imperative for inside replacements John Timu and Nick Kwiatkowski to find a way to be instinctive while remaining disciplined enough to contain the league's best rushing quarterback by yards per attempt (8.1).

2. Don't stray from the run

Give this Niners defense without NoVorro Bowman and Eric Reid enough opportunities to be gashed, and they'll let you. Too many times the pregame formula has been for Jordan Howard to get the ball, only to find reasons not to – whether it's looking at the clock while trailing by double digits, too much traffic at the line of scrimmage or panic after injuries up front (to name a few). The 172 rushing yards per game allowed by San Francisco is the worst in eight years (Detroit).  Howard's 5.14 average gain per attempt is fifth in the NFL. Enough said.

3. Catch the ball!!!

Okay, Marquess, Josh and Deonte. Okay, Cam, Jordan and Jeremy. Okay Daniel (and/or Eddie?). We know conditions might be a little slick if it's snowing/sleeting/raining. You're supposed to be among the best in the world at what you do, even if you're down the original depth chart. Can you get your mitts on the football and hang on to it this week? Help your guy Matt out a little bit? After all, if you cut last week's nightmare in half, and maybe you're shooting for (oooh!) a fourth win Sunday, not a third.

Get set for Sunday's noon kickoff at 11 a.m. on CSN as ex-Bears Jim Miller, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Chris on "Bears Preagme Live." Then as soon as the second quarter ends, come back here to CSNChicago.com, where Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments. And finally, when the game goes final on Fox, switch immediately back to CSN as Chris and the three former Bears give you 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on "Bears Postgame Live."

Sub-.500 Hawkeyes on four-game losing streak after home loss to Omaha

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USA TODAY

Sub-.500 Hawkeyes on four-game losing streak after home loss to Omaha

Things are not going too well in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes saw their losing streak stretch to four games Saturday with an upsetting 98-89 home loss to Omaha.

Iowa has been a high-scoring team this season, entering the weekend with the Big Ten's No. 2 scoring offense at 85.6 points a game, but it's also been the league's worst defensive team, allowing an average of 85 points a game. And that's before the Mavericks nearly hit the century mark on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes were out-rebounded, including a big advantage for the Mavericks on the offensive boards, where they turned 19 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points. Omaha's bench outscored Iowa's bench, 37-9, and the Mavericks had a 40-26 scoring edge in the paint.

Trailing by six after allowing 53 first-half points, the Hawkeyes led for just 18 seconds over the game's final 21-plus minutes.

Peter Jok, the Big Ten's leading scorer, poured in 33 points in this one, though efficiency was not his strong suit, going 8-for-21 from the field. He added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Iowa's losing streak stands at four, the loss to Omaha linking with losses to Virginia, Memphis and Notre Dame. In the last three games, the Hawkeyes have surrendered an average of 96.7 points. In four of their five losses on the season — the heretofore unmentioned one coming against Seton Hall — opponents have scored at least 91 points.

The Hawkeyes' only wins this season have come against Kennesaw State, Savannah State and Texas-Rio Grande Valley.

Iowa has five more non-conference games — including a date with ranked in-state rival Iowa State — prior to the start of Big Ten play at the end of the month.