Fire

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.

Notes from the rewatch: What stood out about the goals in Fire's win against Union

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USA TODAY

Notes from the rewatch: What stood out about the goals in Fire's win against Union

Normally when revisiting games there are trends or performances that stick out, but the most notable plays from Sunday's Fire win against Philadelphia were the goals.

Here's what stood out from the four goals that were scored from open play in the Fire's 3-2 victory.

Nikolic gives Fire early lead on long ball

Believe it or not this pass was a direct assist on the first goal of the game:

Brandon Vincent is barely beyond his own penalty box when he launches one for Nemanja Nikolic. The ball bounces three times before Nikolic gets his first touch on it. His second touch is a goal.

The pass itself is nothing special and a defensive error plays a part, but it's hard to believe a pass from that far back can result in an assist.

Philly’s first goal is a chain reaction

On the first goal for Philly, the play begins when Matt Polster is caught way too high in press. Philly was building out of back and Polster, the Fire's right back, pressed well past midfield to win a ball and didn't.

When he doesn’t win it, the ball falls to Fafa Picault behind him on the left wing. Next it's off to the races for the Union.

Center back Johan Kappelhof moves wide to cover for Polster and defend Picault, who makes a nice switch to Chris Pontius after the Fire appeared to be getting back in position. C.J. Sapong beats Joao Meira, who a minute before shook off a leg injury that forced him to have a significant limp after the match. Sapong probably had the edge in the first-step department at that point to get some separation. Kappelhof had to try to slide it away because Picault was waiting at the back post for a tap-in.


The Fire had a chance to recover, but it all started with Polster getting caught too high up the field.

Union string passes together to take lead

A Dax McCarty turnover gave Philadelphia possession and the Union combined passes for an impressive team goal. First it was eight straight passes before one was broken up, but Philadelphia immediately regained possession and connected 12 more passes. After an initial cross is headed away, the second pass after that is Haris Medunjanin chipping a pass to Alejandro Bedoya for the goal. Just an impressive team goal from the Union.

Nikolic shows his instincts for game-winner

As for the Fire’s third goal, just watch Landon Donovan and recently-fired New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps explain what happened:

Bobby Portis punches Nikola Mirotic, breaking bones in Mirotic's face

Bobby Portis punches Nikola Mirotic, breaking bones in Mirotic's face

Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic were involved in an altercation that resulted in Mirotic suffering two broken bones in his face after Portis punched him, according to sources.

Mirotic, who’s out indefinitely, was evaluated for a concussion and taken to a hospital, where he was released but was apparently a bit out of it, according to a source. The altercation began with pushing and shoving between the two before Mirotic lunged forward at Portis and Portis hit Mirotic, sending him to the floor.

“I’ve seen worse,” a witness said.

Mirotic was taken to the training room and Portis went to the other side of the floor.

Apparently the two have had testy moments since Portis entered the league in 2015. The two play the same position and have battled for minutes, with Portis often getting the short end in the rotation.

Where this leaves Portis with the Bulls for the immediate future as far as a suspension is unknown.

But what was supposed to be a so-called nondescript season has suddenly put the spotlight on the players and the coaching staff, who’ll have to navigate the relationship between the two teammates.