Sometimes You Feel Like A McNutt, Sometimes You Don't

Sometimes You Feel Like A McNutt, Sometimes You Don't

Tuesday April 26, 2011
Posted: 10:00 p.m.

CUBS
Tennessee AA
The Smokies have been getting recognition all season for their bats but Tuesday night Trey McNutt deserved some attention for the way he gutted through five innings for his first victory of the season in a 6-1 victory at Jacksonville.

McNutt 1-1 allowed only one run in his five innings of works but surrendered seven hits and issued a walk, skating in and out of trouble on more than one occasion before the bullpen locked up the Suns with four scoreless innings.

Tennessee broke the game open with a four-run third inning. Matt Spencer and Rebel Ridling had RBI doubles before Steve Clevenger and Blake Lalli added RBI singles. Ridling extended his hitting streak to seven games and pushed his average to .424 in the process. Hes 14-for-31 .452 on the current road trip, which concludes Wednesday afternoon.
Iowa AAA
Memphis scored three times in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday afternoon at Auto Zone Park to rally past Iowa, 4-3. Nick Stavinohas RBI single brought in the winning run, making a loser of John Gaub.

Lou Montanez had two hits and an RBI. Hes hitting .435 and has driven in 26 this season. He has reached base safely in 17 of 18 games.
Peoria A
Arismendy Alcantara stayed hot and Austin Kirk had his second consecutive solid outing Tuesday night as Peoria bounced Clinton, 10-1, at Alliant Energy Field.

Alcantara extended his hitting streak to six games with a pair of hits. He also drove in four runs as did Tony Giansanti. Alcantara his hitting .500 11-for-22 during the streak with 12 RBIs. Rohan was 3-for-5 and has eight hits in his last 15 at-bats, pushing his average to .358.

Kirk 2-1, meanwhile, allowed a run and struck out six over six innings, his longest outing of the season.

WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
The Dash have struggled through much of the latter half of April but found some solace Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark, topping Frederick, 3-2, for just their second victory in the last nine games.

Winston-Salem scored three seventh-inning runs to take the lead. Jared Mitchells two-run single tied the score at 2-2 before he was thrown out attempting to steal second. Ian Gac walked and then went to third on an Andy Wilkins double before Jason Bour brought him home with a fielders choice.

Jose Martinez finished with a pair of hits and is hitting .397. Addison Reed, making his second appearance of the season with the Dash after coming up from Kannapolis, pitched two scoreless innings for his first victory. Taylor Thompson went 1 13 innings for his first save.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators had their biggest offensive output of the season Tuesday night, pounding host Lexington, 13-6.

Kannapolis jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings with Trayce Thompsons three-run homer in the second providing the big blow. It was his team-leading sixth of the season. Kyle Eveland added a three-run homer of his own in the seventh. Jake Petricka improved to 2-0 after allowing four runs in five innings.

In other action, Charlotte saw its losing streak stretch to five games as it dropped an 8-5 decision to ScrantonWilkes-Barre at Knights Stadium. Dayan Viciedo had a homer and three RBIs for the Knights. Huntsville bested Birmingham, 7-3, at Joe Davis Stadium. Charlie Leesman struck out eight over six shutout innings before Nate Jones surrendered seven runs in a third of an inning to take the loss and waste Leesmans effort.

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

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.

Jonathan Toews' four-point night paces Blackhawks past Canucks

Jonathan Toews' four-point night paces Blackhawks past Canucks

Jonathan Toews has been doing a lot of things right this season. The offensive production, however, has been hit and miss as the Blackhawks' captain looked for the same consistency on the score sheet he had in the rest of his game.

On Sunday, he hit pay dirt.

Toews recorded a four-point night, including the game-winning goal, and Corey Crawford won his 200th career game as the Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Sunday night. The Blackhawks remain in second place in the Western Conference. They and the Minnesota Wild each have 65 points, but the Wild still have three games in hand.

It was a milestone night for a few Blackhawks. Marian Hossa had an empty-net goal late to record his 400th point in a Blackhawks uniform. Toews' three assists put him 13th all-time among Blackhawks in that category with 331. Brian Campbell recorded his 500th career point.

Richard Panik had a goal and an assist.

The Blackhawks had arguably their best start of the season in this one, outscoring the Canucks 2-0 (Panik and Patrick Kane) and outshooting them 18-9. But in less than a minute in the third period, the Blackhawks lost the lead, thanks to Troy Stecher's power-play goal and Bo Horvat's rebound goal.

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But Toews, who played his part in the Blackhawks' start, was there for the finish. Panik's late third-period shot caromed off the backboard and went right to Toews, who scored for the 3-2 lead with 1:18 remaining in regulation.

"I guess the goals have scored lately are just getting those bounces and being in the right spot at the right time. Nice to get that one on my stick," Toews said. "I just keep telling Hartsy (Ryan Hartman) and Panner to keep shooting — they both have unbelievable shots — and we're going to generate stuff whether it hits the end wall, goes in or hits the guy's pads. We'll find something around the net. It's nice to get that bounce late in the game."

The Blackhawks had some bad luck — and Michal Kempny had a rough shift or two — during the Canucks' third-period comeback. It was a bit of frustration at the time, but coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks kept their cool.

"I still thought we didn't get away from our game at that point, which could have happened," he said. "Finding a way to get it to overtime or scoring a late goal tonight is something our guys have been good at. Just (the) play at the net, Johnny in the right spot with the finish. I still thought we kept our composure at that point."

Crawford, meanwhile, stopped 25 of 27 shots and looked better than he has in some recent outings.

"We gave him some looks where he could feel comfortable again, and he had some great plays in close from post to post on their power plays, especially in the second," Toews said. "He was finding them all night. Nice to see Crow play the way he did tonight and obviously he was a big part, as usual, in the win."

The Blackhawks had a bit of a gaffe early in the third period, but they were able to weather it. Toews has been steady in most facets of his game this season but was looking to build on his production. Sunday’s game was a step in the right direction.