Penguins' Malkin wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

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Penguins' Malkin wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

LAS VEGAS -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin won the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night as the NHL's most valuable player.

The Russian superstar and NHL scoring champion won the Hart for the first time at the NHL Awards ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas casino. Malkin also collected the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer and the Ted Lindsay Award from his fellow NHLPA members as the NHL's best player.

''It's the best day of my life,'' Malkin said. ''It's very exciting.''

Malkin gathered the Hart, Ross and Lindsay awards next to him after the ceremony.

''I can't believe I'm sitting here, and around me there are three trophies,'' Malkin said. ''It's an unbelievable day for me.''

Malkin, who turns 26 next month, won the Hart Trophy over Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who still won the Vezina Trophy for the first time.

Lundqvist's win in his fourth Vezina nomination topped an impressive list of Swedish winners at the awards ceremony. Ottawa's Erik Karlsson won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, and Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.

Boston forward Patrice Bergeron won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward. Florida's Brian Campbell became the first defenseman since 1954 to win the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanlike play, and Montreal forward Max Pacioretty won the Masterton Trophy for his comeback from serious injury.

St. Louis' Ken Hitchcock won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's top coach for the first time in his lengthy career, while Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was named the league's top executive.

Malkin won his first MVP award after arguably the most impressive season of his six-year career in Pittsburgh.

Malkin had a career-high 50 goals and 59 assists while carrying the Penguins during the extended injury absence of 2007 Hart winner Sidney Crosby, who played just 22 games. Malkin was the NHL's only 100-point scorer this season and the first scoring champion in a decade to win a second title.

Malkin then scored eight points in the Penguins' six-game loss to Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs. The four-time NHL All-Star then was named the MVP of the IIHF World Championships last month after leading the undefeated Russian team to the title.

Malkin was a Hart finalist for the third time. He won the vote over Stamkos, who already had wrapped up the Richard Trophy with an NHL-best 60 goals.

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.