Power surge: White Sox double up Yankees


Power surge: White Sox double up Yankees

NEW YORK --- A.J. Pierzynskis 1,000th game with the White Sox wasnt too shabby.

The veteran catcher homered twice and drove in three runs and the bottom of the order came to life as the White Sox topped the New York Yankees in the Bronx for a second straight night with a 14-7 win on Friday.

Paul Konerko also broke out of his slump in a big way, going 3-for-5 with a solo homer and a walk as the White Sox and Jose Quintana rallied from an early four-run deficit for the teams sixth win in seven days. The White Sox finished with 19 hits as they increased their lead in the American League Central to 3 12 games over the Cleveland Indians and 5 over the Detroit Tigers, who both lost.

A pleasant surprise through his first six starts, Quintana (3-1) struggled out of the gate in his seventh start when he yielded four first-inning runs. Curtis Granderson had a two-run homer and Andruw Jones had a two-run double off Quintana.

But the White Sox fired back in the second inning and never stopped.

Pierzynski led off the second with a solo homer off Yankees rookie Adam Warren, who was making his major league debut. Gordon Beckham -- three hits -- followed consecutive singles by Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez with a two-run double and Youkilis tied the game in the second with an RBI groundout.

Konerko then gave the White Sox the lead with a solo homer to start the third inning. Alex Rios followed with a single and appeared to be thrown out on a stolen base attempt before the ball was thrown wildly by Yankees catcher Chris Stewart, allowing Rios to advance to third. Pierzynski then added to the lead with an RBI single to make it 6-4.

Following Jayson Nixs two-run double in the fourth, Pierzynski didn't allow the game to stay even long as he started the fifth inning with a solo homer off David Phelps (1-3). An inning later, Rios singled in a run to make it 8-6. Ramirez added a two-run homer in the seventh to make it 10-6.

The White Sox continued the onslaught reliever Cory Wade, the Yankees fourth pitcher of the game.

Ramirez -- 4-for-5, three runs, three RBIs -- doubled in a run in the ninth and Alejandro De Aza doubled in two more. Adam Dunn, who also walked twice, singled in another run off Wade to make it 14-7. Wade allowed six earned runs and seven hits in 2 13 innings.

Things got so bad for the Yankees, manager Joe Girardi brought outfielder Dewayne Wise -- who saved Mark Buehrles perfect game with a soaring catch -- in to pitch. Wise recorded two quick outs of Konerko and Rios to end the frame.

His efforts werent quite as heroic as Quintana, who rebounded nicely to earn a victory even though he gave up as many earned runs (six) as he had allowed in his first 43 13 innings this season. Nate Jones also had a big outing as the rookie earned a hold with a scoreless eighth. Leyson Septimo closed out the game with a scoreless ninth inning in his major league debut.

Feeding off 'good karma,' Cubs believe everything happens for a reason

Feeding off 'good karma,' Cubs believe everything happens for a reason

LOS ANGELES - Ben Zobrist leaned to Matt Szczur and asked, "Hey, what do you got for me?"

Everybody wants a piece of Szczur's "good karma" right now.

And why not?

Anthony Rizzo breaks his bat in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. Then he strikes out twice to begin Game 4 and decides to switch to Matt Szczur's bat.

Boom: Home run and just like that, Rizzo is out of his postseason funk.

Addison Russell forgets his leggings. No matter. Szczur has some Russell can wear.

Boom: Two big home runs and just like that, Russell came to life and lifted the Cubs to two key victories.

Just as importantly, Russell has his mojo back.

"Definitely. I feel like my at-bats haven't been that bad this whole postseason, but you stick to your work ethic and you believe in yourself and you stay confident," he said after Thursday's Game 5 victory. 

"There's a little frustration there, but it's a different type of frustration. It's a frustration where you know you have the stuff to get the job done, but you want to help produce for your team and for your offense. And that's where I was kind of struggling a little bit with that frustration."

Szczur's not even on the Cubs' playoff roster, yet spent a second straight night in the bright lights of Hollywood, giving his take to reporters crowded around his locker and delivering a live interview on national TV talking about his underwear.

The good-natured outfielder believes it's all good karma coming back to him and the Cubs.

Before Game 4 Wednesday, ESPN re-ran a feature on Szczur's heroic act - donating bone marrow to a young girl from the Ukraine, which helped save her life at a time in his life when he was trying to make the nearly-impossible leap from college athletics to the pros.

"I didn't expect to talk to the media at all," Szczur said with a grin. "A lot of things have been coming out - the bone marrow story. 

"The same day everything came out, they ended up breaking out of slumps. And it just so happened to be with my stuff. It's good karma. I feel like a lot of things happen for a reason."

And now the Cubs are positioned just one win away from history. 

It's about time this franchise had some good karma in the postseason, eh?

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Szczur isn't just giving the interviews and absorbing the attention. 

Before Russell's offensive breakout in Game 4, the young shortstop asked Szczur - the ex-Villanova football star - to throw a football around in the outfield to loosen up and just get back to having fun on a baseball field. Now, the two plan to make it a part of their regular routine.

Szczur also wrapped another bat for Rizzo, just in case something happened to the one that helped the face of the franchise return to his typical self at the plate.

With a lineup now featuring confident, relaxed versions of Rizzo and Russell, the Cubs love their chances against Clayton Kershaw in a possible NLCS clincher in Game 6 Saturday at Wrigley Field.

So much so that they felt they could joke about the Cubs' World Series drought before boarding a plane back to Chicago.

A reporter asked Dexter Fowler how the Cubs get past the history of a team that hasn't made it to the World Series in 71 years.

"Well, for starters, I don't think any of us are 71 years old," Fowler deadpanned.

Jason Heyward interjected.

"I didn't know that," he said, poking some fun at the franchise drought.

"We weren't alive then," Fowler continued. "We've heard the history, but at the same time, we're trying to make history.

IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show Saturday on CSN

IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show Saturday on CSN

The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show returns to CSN for the sixth-straight year on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

The Playoff Pairing Show, also streaming live on CSNChicago.com and IHSA.tv, will reveal the brackets and first round matchups for all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes.

"The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show' continues to be one of the most highly-anticipated events in the state of Illinois and we couldn't be prouder to once again showcase two-straight hours of live, interactive coverage to our on-air and online viewers on Saturday night," CSN Chicago VP/GM Phil Bedella said. "This show is the perfect precursor to kick off our IHSA Football season, which includes four live playoff battles, along with live coverage of all eight championship match-ups."

CSN's Leila Rahimi will host Saturday's show and be joined alongside IHSA TV announcer Dave Bernhard, Kankakee Daily Journal writer and bracketologist Steve Soucie. CSNChicago.com Preps contributor Edgy Tim and IHSA TV veteran Matt Rodewald will analyze each class with media members from around the state. 

[MORE: Complete Preps coverage

In addition, the Playoff Pairing Show will feature highlights, interviews, and team and fan reaction moments throughout the "Land of Lincoln" from numerous playoff pairing parties.

The IHSA Playoff Pairing Show is a precursor to CSN's live coverage of the 2016 IHSA football postseason. CSN will air one live playoff game during each of the first four rounds and carry all eight state championship games on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26.

Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com's channel finder to find the exact channel locations in their area.