Bulls

Konerko, Beckham power White Sox to Crosstown victory

766822.png

Konerko, Beckham power White Sox to Crosstown victory

Gordon Beckham hit a tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning Friday and the Chicago White Sox overcame the loss of star Paul Konerko to beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 in what was the final major league game for Cubs reliever Kerry Wood.Beckham's solo shot and a two-run blast from Konerko in the first were the only runs allowed by Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (4-2).Konerko suffered a laceration above his left eye and swelling when he was hit by a Samardizja pitch in the third inning and had to leave the game. He was to have more tests to determine the extent of the injury.Wood's retirement dominated the pre-game conversations as the right-hander shagged batting practice balls in the outfield with his son. After struggling with injuries over the better part of a decade and again early this season, Wood was expected to retire after one more appearance with the Cubs and he made that in the eighth after Samardzija walked Adam Dunn.Wood, who began his major league career with the Cubs in 1998 and struck out 20 Houston Astros batters in his fifth major league start, took the mound to rousing cheers. When Wood struck out Dayan Viciedo with three pitches - the only batter he faced - he was taken out as teammates congratulated him on the mound and Dunn doffed his batting helmet and clapped from first base.Wood left to a rousing standing ovation and was hugged by his son as he reached the dugout. Moments later, Wood emerged for a curtain call, waving his cap to the fans at Wrigley Field as James Russell threw warmup pitches. He played slightly more than 13 seasons, most of them in Chicago."It's time," Wood said afterward. "We all get to this point.'Konerko's 19th career homer in 66 games against the Cubs came one out after a first-inning single by Beckham and made it 2-0.

But the Cubs responded right away against Phil Humber. David DeJesus led off with a fly ball double into the ivy in left field and Tony Campana had a bunt single when Humber slipped down trying to field it. Campana then stole second before Starlin Castro's long sacrifice fly made it 2-1 and sent Campana to third. Humber then struck out Bryan LaHair and got Alfonso Soriano to fly out.Samardizja hit Konerko with a high tight pitch in the third, sending him sprawling into the dirt and eventually out of the game holding a towel to his face. The next inning, Humber threw a pitch high and behind Cubs cleanup hitter Bryan LaHair in the fourth and home plate umpire Tim Timmons issued a warning to both teams.The Cubs tied the game in the seventh when Ian Stewart led off with a single and one out later Darwin Barney doubled into the left field corner to finish Humber after just 66 pitches. Matt Thornton (2-3) came in and Samardzija promptly bounced his first pitch through the left side for an RBI single to tie the game and put runners at first and third. DeJesus popped out and so did Campana on a bunt attempt, ending the inning.Samardzija allowed six hits and three runs in 7 1-3 innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.Humber allowed five hits and the two runs in 6 1-3 innings and is now 0-2 with three no-decisions since pitching a perfect game against Seattle on April 21. Addison Reed got his fourth save in as many chances with a scoreless ninth that included a double by Barney when White Sox right fielder Alex Rios lost his two-out fly ball in the sun.Cubs manager Dale Sveum was ejected in the fifth inning after arguing a call at second base with umpire Marty Foster, who was covering second on the play. DeJesus had hit a ball to left center and appeared to be safe at second but when Beckham went to make a tag he knocked DeJesus off the bag and Foster called him out.Notes: White Sox 3B Brent Morel was a late scratch with a sore back that has bothered him off and on this season. He was replaced by Eduardo Escobar ... Cubs C Geovany Soto will have surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss three to four weeks ... The Cubs called up catcher Blake Lalli and optioned out struggling right-hander Chris Volstad, who had an 0-6 record.
Box scoreCopyright2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Zach LaVine is “tired of people talking sh*t about my defense” and working towards becoming an NBA All-Star

lavine-1014.jpg
USA Today

Zach LaVine is “tired of people talking sh*t about my defense” and working towards becoming an NBA All-Star

Zach LaVine is fed up with being underestimated and he’s going to do something about it. The Bulls guard has been having a strong pre-season so far but is looking to improve his skills as a two-way player.

“I’m just tired of people talking shit about my defense,” LaVine said. “I’ve always been a good on-ball defender. But there’s no reason I can be this good offensively and not be that on the defensive end.”

“I’m taking more pride in it,” he continued. “I’m pretty sure it’ll show. I’ll make sure of that.”

If you think LaVine sounds confident, he has good reason to be. Last season LaVine was one of only ten players to average at least 23 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, making him stand out as an elite player in the company of MVPs and All-Stars. LaVine’s personal triumphs, however, were overshadowed by the Bulls abysmal 22-60 record last season.

So far, this preseason LaVine has been looking better on defense, averaging 1.3 steals per game through three preseason games. Any improvements on defense will greatly help LaVine’s All-Star case.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.