Bulls

Birmingham Bounces Huntsville To Snap Losing Streak

Birmingham Bounces Huntsville To Snap Losing Streak

Monday April 25, 2011
Posted: 10:04 p.m.
WHITE SOX Birmingham AA
The Barons snapped a two-game losing streak and pounded their way by Huntsville, 6-2 at Joe Davis Stadium Monday night. The Stars had been tied with Tennessee for first place in the Southern Leagues North Division and remained there after the Smokies were bested in Jacksonville.

Christian Marreros two-run triple snapped a 2-2 tie and sparked a three-run sixth inning. Marrero would then score on a wild pitch to help Birmingham keep pace in second place in the South Division. Tyler Kuhn had two hits, including a two-run homer in the second inning, for the Barons.

Justin Edwards picked up his first victory in four starts of the season, striking out four and allowing two runs over five innings. Greg Infante pitched two scoreless innings for his fifth save.
Charlotte AAA
Charlotte remained mired in an early-season slump Monday night, dropping a 4-3 decision to Gwinnett County at Knights Stadium. It was the 10th loss in 12 games for the Knights.

Julio Teheran made it a difficult evening for Charlotte, scattering six hits and striking out seven over eight innings. While he allowed three runs, two of those came in the seventh. Prior to that late Knights burst, Teheran was dominant.

Lucas Harrell 1-1 allowed all four runs and took the loss despite striking out seven in his six innings of work. He was undone by the long ball, allowing a pair of homers. Alejandro De Aza had two hits for the Knights.
Winston-Salem A
The Dashs woes continued Monday night at BB&T Park as they dropped a 14-7 decision to Frederick, marking the eighth time in 10 games that they have lost.

The Keys banged out 15 hits and withstood a seven-run fifth inning by Winston-Salem, an inning that saw their lead dwindle from eight runs to one. Frederick, however, wouldnt let the Dash draw any closer, scoring six runs over the final three innings to put the game out of reach.

Starter Terry Doyle 0-2 took the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits over six innings. Jake Oester had three hits for the Dash while Austin Yount two-run and Andy Wilkins three-run each hit homers in the fifth. Jose Martinez was 2-for-5, pushing his average to .391. In other news, right-hander Justin Collop was place don the disabled list with an undisclosed injury. Collop made his first start of the season Sunday and was hit hard by Wilmington.
Kannapolis A
Lexington scored the winning run Monday night on a passed ball in the bottom of the 10th to edge by the Intimidators, 7-6, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

Telvin Nash led off the inning with a single and was then pinch-run for by Ben Orloff, who went to third on a Chris Wallace double. After Jimmy Ballinger intentionally walked Mike Kvasnicka to load the bases, Blanke couldnt handle a pitch with Tyler Burnett at the plate, allowing Orloff to come home with the winning run.

Drew Lee, who joined the club from Bristol last week, was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs after coming on a pinch runner for Ross Wilson in the first inning. There was no immediate word on any injury.
CUBS Peoria A
The Chiefs exploded for eight second-inning runs and coasted to 14-3 victory Monday night over Clinton at Alliant Energy Field to move over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Arismendy Alcantara and Pierre LePage each had two-run singles in the inning while Peoria added runs on a pair of bases-loaded walks to end any doubt as to the games outcome. The top of the Chiefs batting was marvelous throughout with each of the first three batters picking up a pair of hits.

Peoria had 13 hits in all with LePage, Alcantara and Greg Rohan each picking up three RBIs. Rohan has a team-leading 17. Eric Jokisch 3-0 went a career-high five innings and picked up the victory in relief after starter Hayden Simpson went only four innings. The former top pick allowed five hits, walked a batter and gave up two runs.

Micah Gibbs also had two hits, extending his hitting streak to a career-high five games. The run total was Peorias highest since scoring 16 against Cedar Rapids on Aug. 30, 2009. Marcus Hatley was activated from the DL while Casey Harman will be added from Extended Spring Training. To make room on the roster, pitcher Eduardo Figueroa has been promoted to Daytona while catcher Chad Noble has been sent back to Mesa.

Iowa AAA
It may still be April but Lou Montanez is making some Triple Crown noise in the Pacific Coast League as he continues to assault opposing pitching. He had another big evening on Monday as Iowa out-slugged Memphis, 12-8, at Auto Zone Park.

Montanez had four hits, including a homer, and drove in four runs to lead the 15-hit I-Cub effort. He pushed his average to .438, putting him in the top five in the PCL batting race. Montanez also has 25 RBIs, temporarily putting him in the lead pending Anthony Rizzos performance with Tucson late Monday night.

Brad Snyder added a homer and three RBIs to help make a winner of Robert Coello 2-2. Esmailin Caridad tossed three scoreless innings to pick up the save.
Tennessee AA
Jacksonville went the double nickel route Monday night, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to power its way to an 8-4 victory over visiting Tennessee.

Luke Montz three-run homer off Ryan Buchter proved to be the decisive blow in the inning and the game. Rafael Dolis, however, also had a hand in the inning and took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 4 13 innings.

One bright spot for the Smokies was Rebel Ridling, who remained red hot while taking control in the early race for the Southern League batting title. Ridling had three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs to push his average to .436 while extending his hitting streak to six games.
Daytona A
The Cubs were postponed at Dunedin because of rain.

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

Lauri Markkanen celebrates 21st birthday with a spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team

Lauri Markkanen celebrates 21st birthday with a spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team

Lauri Markkanen’s celebration for his 21st birthday coincided with another major honor, being selected to the All-Rookie First team.

Markkanen received 76 of 100 possible first-team votes to join Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma on the first team. Mitchell and Simmons were unanimous selections and Tatum was one vote short of joining Mitchell and Simmons.

Markkanen, acquired on draft night in the package of players for Jimmy Butler, showed he was far more advanced than many expected. His 15.2 points per game ranked third among rookies and his 7.5 rebounds were first.

Markkanen was a constant in a topsy-turvy season for the Bulls, scoring 30-plus twice and hitting the 25-point plateau another three times. As a perfect fit in Fred Hoiberg’s offensive system, Markkanen had eight games where he hit four triples or more, including a game in New York where he drilled eight 3-pointers against the Knicks.

Only 15 rookies have hit more than 140 triples in NBA history, with Markkanen accomplishing the feat in 68 games—he was joined by Mitchell and Kuzma from this year’s star-studded class.

As the season progressed and Markkanen took hold of the power forward position, the Bulls began maneuvering personnel around him, trading disgruntled forward Nikola Mirotic and making a concerted effort to put Bobby Portis at center to pair Portis with Markkanen as a spread-shooting duo.

As the most impressive rookie the Bulls have employed since Derrick Rose, he’s also the first rookie since Taj Gibson in 2010 to make All-Rookie First Team.

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

The Chicago Bears have a really good problem in their backfield. Both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will demand touches in 2018 and are each starting-quality running backs. Howard is the more traditional first and second-down back while Cohen offers top-tier playmaking ability.

The duo is so talented that they were recently ranked the fourth-best backfield in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears' Jordan Howard has emerged as one of the NFL's top rushers. He finished his rookie season with 1,313 yards, second-most in the NFL. Last season, he rushed for 1,122 yards and 4.1 yards per carry even though Chicago had the league's least threatening passing attack (175.7 yards per game).

Howard isn't the only standout back on the roster, though. Tarik Cohen is a supremely talented runner and receiver and a perfect complement to Howard. Last season, he amassed 370 rushing yards, 53 receptions and 353 receiving yards.

The Bears' backfield was behind only the Rams, Saints and Chiefs.

Howard set Chicago's rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards in 2016 and became the first Bears running back to start his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He should be the Bears' primary back, but coach Matt Nagy expressed genuine excitement over Cohen's skill set which suggests he plans on getting him the ball quite a bit this season.

Regardless of how the touches play out, the Bears will present opposing defenses with one of the most challenging ground games in the NFL.