Cubs

Barons Roll In Peavy's Rehab Start Against Montgomery

Barons Roll In Peavy's Rehab Start Against Montgomery

Friday April 8, 2011
Posted: 10:10 p.m.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
Winning streaks were hard to come by for Birmingham last season. The Barons won 53 games and, for much of the year, flirted with franchise and league futility records. Yet, after defeating Montgomery for the second time in as many nights on Friday, this time by a 7-2 count, Birmingham has laid the groundwork for what could be a much more impressive season away from home.

The Barons won a league-low 23 road games in 2010 but have already won two this year and Friday night they used the long ball to get their point across. Birmingham hit three homers, including a pair in the eighth inning that broke open what had been a close game. Seth Lomans solo homer and Kenny Williams three-run shot increased the Barons lead after Josh Phegleys solo homer in the seventh snapped what had been a 2-2 tie.

Jake Peavy started for the Barons in a rehab assignment and allowed two unearned runs on five hits in 3 23 innings. He was making his first appearance since March 19 as he works his way back from rotator cuff tendinitis. Matt Zaleski earned the win, giging up just two hits over 5 13 shutout innings.

Charlotte AAA
Jeffrey Marquez has had his moments during the previous two seasons while pitching for Charlotte but very few were as impressive as the effort he put forth Friday night in a 5-0 victory over visiting Norfolk.

Marquez tossed six shutout innings, striking out six and allowing only three hits as the Knights won for the second time in as many outings. The performance was a fine way to start the season, erasing the sour note on which Marquez ended his 2010 season. The right-hander won eight games for the Knights last year but was 0-5 with a 5.97 ERA in his last eight starts.

Anthony Carter and Josh Kinney combined to toss three shutout innings in relief.

Gookie Dawkins had three hits, including a homer and three RBIs, giving him a pair of homers and four RBIs through two games. Stefan Gartrell also had a homer and two RBIs to help make a winner of Marquez.
Winston-Salem A
Ron Rivas RBI single in the bottom of the 10th capped a two-run rally and lifted Kinston to a 7-6 victory over Winston-Salem in the season-opener for both teams at Grainger Stadium.

Jared Mitchells RBI single in the top half of the inning had given the Dash a 6-5 lead but an Adam Abraham double combined with Kyle Davis throwing error knotted the score at 6-6 and set the stage for Rivas game-winning hit.

Mitchell was seeing his first game action since 2009. He suffered a severe ankle injury during Spring Training in 2010 that kept him sidelined for the entire season. Mitchell finished with two hits, including a triple, and two RBIs. Ian Gac had a homer and drove in two.

Brandon Kloess was tagged with the loss, allowing both runs. Terry Doyle started and allowed a run in four innings while striking out eight.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators game against Lakewood was postponed until Saturday because of rain. The game will be made up as part of a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 4:05. Both games will be seven innings.

CUBSTennessee AA
The Smokies put on another hitting clinic Friday night, pounding out 15 more hits en route to another victory at Chattanooga, this one coming by a 6-3 margin. Tennessee has 32 hits in its two victories.

Brett Jackson, Rebel Ridling and Josh Vitters two RBIs each had two more hits while Blake Lalli picked up three hits. It was enough to give Marco Carillo the victory after he pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Rafael Dolis started and left allowing a run on two hits and two walks in four innings.
Iowa AAA
Matt Camps two-run double highlighted a three-run eighth inning as Iowa edged by Round Rock, 6-4, at the Dell Diamond Friday night.

Lou Montanez picked up an RBI single to cap the rally leaving the I-Cubs pen to hold off the Express, which did manage to tack on an eight-inning run. The double was one of two for Camp. Bobby Scales also had a pair of doubles.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx started and allowed three runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out six and didnt walk a batter. Despite allowing a run in 1 13 innings, Chris Carpenter picked up the victory in relief.

In other news, the Cubs recalled RHP Jeff Stevens, who will replace Randy Wells after he was placed on the disabled list. LHP Polin Trinidad will join Iowa from Double-A Tennessee and pitch out of the bullpen.

Daytona A
The Cubs connected for a pair of first-inning homers Friday night and romped by Brevard County, 7-3, at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Justin Bours three-run shot gave Daytona the early lead after the Manatees had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the inning. Wellington Castillo followed with a double before Mike Burgess went deep for the second consecutive evening. The Cubs tacked on runs in the fifth and seventh innings as Jae-Hoon Ha picked up a pair of hits, scored twice and drove in a run to contribute to the offensive outburst.

Nick Struck allowed one unearned run over five innings to pick up the victory. He was 1-2 in three outings for Daytona last season after winning eight games in Peoria.
Peoria A
The Chiefs split a pair of games with Cedar Rapids, dropping the completion of Thursdays season-opener, 7-3, before taking the regularly scheduled contest, 8-2.

The Kernels scored five ninth-inning runs to break open what had been a 2-2 game when the rain forced play to be halted Thursday evening. Jeff Antigua allowed all five runs on four hits and a walk.

The Chiefs rallied in the nightcap, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and tacking on three runs in the eighth as Cedar Rapids struggled to find its offense. The Kernels managed only three hits, none of which came off starter Austin Kirk, who tossed four no-hit innings though he did walk a pair. Kirk, a third-round pick in 2009, was 1-1 in three relief appearances for the Chiefs last year.

Juan Serrano earned the win, allowing a run on one hit in three innings. Elliott Soto had three hits for the Chiefs while Rubi Silva drove in a pair.

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

Cubs' David Ross' plan for weekend off: watch baseball, hang out with his dog

Cubs' David Ross' plan for weekend off: watch baseball, hang out with his dog

The Cubs have a few unforeseen days off from playing after several new Cardinals tested positive for COVID-19 this week. 

With this weekend’s series in St. Louis postponed, the Cubs returned to Chicago, where they’ll remain until heading to Cleveland on Tuesday morning. They have a light workout scheduled for pitchers on Saturday and a simulated game scheduled on Sunday.

What will Cubs manager David Ross be doing otherwise with no games scheduled, though?

“Me personally, it’s just sitting on my couch with my dog and watching baseball and highlights and catching a game,” Ross said Saturday.

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Cleveland is coincidentally in town this weekend, facing the White Sox on the South Side. Ross has the opportunity to get an early look at the Indians ahead of their two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. They're playing on Sunday Night Baseball this week in place of the Cubs and Cardinals.

“We’ll definitely have baseball on, try to get a nice meal delivered and just hang out with myself. I’m pretty awesome by myself,” Ross said with a smile.

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Jonathan Toews ready to be Captain Clutch for Blackhawks' postseason run

Jonathan Toews ready to be Captain Clutch for Blackhawks' postseason run

The big things, the little things... Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was doing them all in the Hawks' 3-1 series upset of the Western Conference's No. 5 seeded Oilers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

Toews, 32, finished the best-of-five qualifying round series with seven points (four goals, three assists) a plus/minus rating of plus-2, a faceoff percentage of 55.34 and was on the ice for five goals for and two against in 5-on-5 play vs. Edmonton.

His game-winning goal with 1:16 remaining in Game 3 to make it 4-3, which deflected off his shin pad from a Connor Murphy shot, tied Toews with Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull and Patrick Kane for most postseason game winners (11) in Hawks' history.

"Technically we just made the playoffs now, so the real fun begins," Toews said after Friday's Game 4. "We worked pretty hard in this series to beat a good team and we're gonna have to dig deep to keep getting better and better (against) the next one. It's fun, like I said, even though there's no fans in the building. Guys want to win. Nice to get that series win. I think everyone's feeling good."

After Friday's Game 4 win, the Blackhawks improved to 17-5 in elimination games since 2010. In those games, Toews has 29 points with 11 goals and 18 assists. Patrick Kane also has 29 points in those elimination contests with 14 goals and 15 assists. 

The stats speak volumes of the captain's start to the postseason, but the way he played to record them say a lot more regarding the level Toews is performing at.

The three-time Stanley Cup champion center parking in front of the Oilers' net was a familiar sight during the series. After more than a decade of taking abuse in front of the crease, Toews is still willing to pay the price for his team. 

Related: More hard-earned goals and a killer PK advance Blackhawks to Round One

It wasn't just his two two-goal games, dominating on the dot and a strong defensive game throughout the series that was impressive, it was the determination that led to it.

There was a retro postseason intensity to his game, on display for the Hawks' younger players to observe the kind of edge successful playoff hockey often requires.

There was pulling up the bootstraps, packing the lunch pail and going to work on the boards, battling to get the puck to create chances, like when he won a battle down low to get rookie Dominik Kubalik the puck for the series-clinching goal at 8:30 of the third period in Game 4.

"Jonny’s been around a long time and he’s got a pretty immaculate track record in the playoffs," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said after Game 4. "To me, his biggest attribute that he has is his compete level. He wins a 50/50 battle on the winning goal, just finds a way to come up with the puck, and that’s the winner. He came up big for us throughout the series in those types of situations. Great player."

Related: How the Blackhawks upset the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers

It's no wonder the Blackhawks' younger players were so effective in the series. When they see veteran Hawks like their captain, several years their senior, doing the right things with purpose, they have no excuse not to.

"Thought he was great," Hawks goalie Corey Crawford said after Friday's game. "He was obviously one of our best players, not just offensively but he had a big block in the third there when they were pressuring. I mean when a leader's doing that I think that just follows throughout the lineup. Obviously he's won some Cups and knows how to play in these games, not much of a difference now. He was great."

Led by their captain, the Blackhawks did a lot right in the play-in series. They'll have momentum heading into Round One, albeit against a better team in the Colorado Avalanche or Vegas Golden Knights, but Toews' team has bought in.

If he continues to play at the level he opened the postseason at, anything is possible for him and his Hawks. Stranger things have happened in 2020.

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