Bulls

Difficult start dooms Dempster, Cubs

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Difficult start dooms Dempster, Cubs

ST. LOUIS (AP) Kyle Lohse worked seven strong innings and the St. Louis Cardinals' slumbering offense ended Ryan Dempster's 33-inning scoreless streak with a three-run first in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.Matt Holliday added a home run estimated at 469 feet, the longest at 7-year-old Busch Stadium, in the third inning.Lohse (10-2) won his fourth straight decision over five starts to complement a lineup that topped three runs for the first time in 12 games. The defending World Series champions found an unlikely victim in Dempster (5-4) after totaling 15 runs and going 8 for 51 (.157) with runners scoring position on a 1-5 trip that left them five games back in the NL Central to start the day.Dempster hadn't allowed a run since May 30 while winning five straight starts and entered with a major league-best 1.86 ERA before running into immediate trouble, giving up four straight singles in a span of six pitches with one out. Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina each had an RBI single and Lance Berkman drove in a run with a groundout.Dempster allowed four runs in six innings while under heavy scrutiny from several teams looking to make a deal before the trade deadline. The streak was the majors' longest since the Phillies' Cliff Lee had a 34-inning run last year, and it was the Cubs' longest since Ken Holtzman also had a 33-inning streak in 1969.Seven straight Cardinals were retired before Holliday's one-out clout in the third that soared past Big Mac Land in left field and traveled 4 feet longer than Albert Pujols' drive over the bleachers behind the visitor's bullpen in left against the Rockies' Esmil Rogers last Aug. 14.According to ESPN Home Run Tracker, Holliday's homer is tied for the fifth-longest in the majors this year.The Cardinals worked Dempster for 32 pitches in the third, including a nine-pitch walk by David Freese to load the bases, but came up empty when Rafael Furcal broke his bat on a liner to second.The Cubs lost for the 11th time in their last 15 games in St. Louis.

Manager Mike Matheny juggled the lineup with Skip Schumaker, who entered a .431 career hitter against Dempster, at the top and Furcal dropped to eighth for the first time this season. Schumaker took a called third strike to open the first and was 1 for 4 while Furcal had two hits.Lohse has won 13 of his last 15 starts dating to last season, according to STATS LLC. He worked seven or more innings for the seventh time in eight starts, allowing a run on six hits with four strikeouts, all but one looking.The Cubs opened the second with a walk by Bryan LaHair, a single by Steve Clevenger and a sacrifice fly by Darwin Barney. They had only two runners in scoring position against Lohse, and were a collective 2 for 15 with men on.Tyler Greene is 0 for 13 as a pinch hitter after taking a called third strike from Scott Maine with runners on second and third to end the Cardinals' eighth.Jason Motte a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 25 chances, and first in three chances against the Cubs.

Kris Dunn out 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

Kris Dunn out 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

The Bulls season has gotten off to a rocky start, losing their first three games of the campaign. Part of that can be attributed to injuries to star Lauri Markkanen, and things just got a whole lot worse.

Point guard Kris Dunn will miss the next four to six weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee.

Dunn played in his first game against the Mavericks on Monday night after missing the first two games for the birth of his son. Dunn scored nine points with seven assists and four rebounds.

Cam Payne has been filled in for Dunn in the first two games and will be tabbed to do so for the next month or so

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

While the notion of a "good loss" is more coachspeak than anything of real substance, it looks like NFL media agree. 

After a close loss to the Patriots -- about three feet close, to be exact -- Power Rankings makers aren't blaming the Bears too much. In fact, shoutout to our mothership, Big NBC Sports, for actually *raising* the Bears in their latest rankings. Thanks guys! 

Here's what they're saying: 

Ours: #17, down 4 -
You can do worse than barely losing to the Patriots, but what on earth has happened to Chicago's defense?

NBCSports: #10, up 1 - 
Bears went toe-to-toe with the Patriots and made it to the later rounds before taking one on the chin. No shame in that.

NFL.com: #11, N/A - 
The opportunities were there for the Bears, who took it to the Patriots in the first half Sunday. The second half was a different story, as Chicago was stuck in catch-up mode.

Washington Post: #16, down 1 - 
The Bears came up a yard shy of a tying TD on the Hail Mary against the Patriots. This was a far less egregious loss than falling to Brock Osweiler and the Dolphins a week earlier. But it was still a loss.

ESPN: #13, down 1 - 
Need more from: RB Jordan Howard. Howard is averaging only 3.46 yards per rush, which ranks 41st out of 47 qualifying running backs. Bears running backs as a whole rank 30th with 1.45 yards after contact per rush, and Mitchell Trubisky has led the team in rushing in two of the past three games.

Sports Illustrated: #18, N/A - 
The Bears were 3-1 before starting a four-game tour of the AFC East. They need to take care of business against the Jets and Bills to keep pace in a tough NFC North.

Sporting News: #16, down 1 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and the offense have become a fun, unpredictable and mostly explosive roller-coaster ride, but the defense is showing it has plenty of leaks behind Khalil Mack.

FanSided: #17, down 2 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and those special teams were a disaster on Sunday.

Bleacher Report: #15, N/A - 
The problem is the Bears also have five tough divisional games remaining, including two with the Vikings. A date with the Rams also looms. However, if the Bears take care of business in the first four games mentioned, they will need to go just 3-3 in their remaining six matchups to go 10-6 and (presumably) make the playoffs.