Escobar's walk-off single gives Sox series win over Brewers


Escobar's walk-off single gives Sox series win over Brewers

The White Sox won their first series in three weeks on Sunday and will reward themselves with Kevin Youkilis.

Minutes after they acquired the three-time All-Star from the Boston Red Sox, Eduardo Escobar singled in the winning run to lift the White Sox to a 1-0, 10-inning win over the Milwaukee Brewers at U.S. Cellular Field.

Before Sunday, the White Sox hadnt won a series since they took two of three from the Seattle Mariners on June 1-3.

Prior to the ninth inning, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams was finalizing a deal to acquire Youkilis from Boston for pitcher Zach Stewart and utility man Brent Lillibridge.

Escobars one-out single to left-center off Manny Parra ended a difficult day for the White Sox, who stranded four runners in scoring position in the eighth and ninth innings.

On Sunday, the White Sox had loads of trouble against Brewers right-handed starter Michael Fiers until an eighth-inning rally.

Fiers, who entered the game with a 3.60 ERA, had four 1-2-3 innings and set down 13 of 14 hitters in the middle innings. Using a looping curveball, Fiers kept the White Sox off-balance for seven-plus innings. He struck out seven batters, including six from the fourth inning on.

Fiers started to fade in the eighth inning though. Alexei Ramirez singled, and after Orlando Hudson reached on a fielders choice, Alejando De Aza doubled to put runners on second and third base.
But Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez came on to strike out Gordon Beckham and Adam Dunn to strand the go-ahead run only 90 feet away.

That kept Quintana from becoming the pitcher of record even after he posted another eight shutout innings and ran his current streak to 16. The young left-hander, who also blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers for eight innings last Sunday, kept Milwaukee off the board with the backing of an outstanding defensive effort. Quintana was aided by several running catches in the outfield from Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios, including one in the fourth inning where Rios appeared to rob Corey Hart of a two-run home run.

Quintana never allowed more than one runner to reach base in any inning as he threw strikes on 71 of 101 pitches. He went 29 batters without a walk to increase his walk-less streak to 97 batters and lowered his ERA to 1.25.

The White Sox hope Youkilis, a three-time All-Star, can help them solve left-handed pitching and also fill a void at third base. Entering Sunday, White Sox third baseman had hit .167 with 18 RBIs and a .466 OPS.

Orlando Hudson, the man whose job appears in jeopardy, popped out to shortstop with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning minutes after word of the trade began to spread.

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots


NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots


Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.