White Sox

Orr beats Farragut in Public League Playoffs

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Orr beats Farragut in Public League Playoffs

By Patrick McGavin
YourSeason.com
DeVante Jones practices the shot all the time. We practice shooting, and we try to get a thousand shots up every day, the Orr senior guard said.Jones drilled a game-breaking three-pointer from the left wing with just over three minutes remaining that powered the host No. 9 Spartans past No. 22 Farragut 54-43 in a second-round Public League Playoff showdown Friday afternoon.Seconds after Farragut star Rashaun Stimage missed the front end of a one and one, Jones caught the ball on the break and fired in the 20-footer for a 48-43 Orr lead. In the third quarter, he hit a three-pointer from an identical location.Orr scored the games final eight points.I had a lot of faith and desire that the shot was going to go in, Jones said. Jones and senior guard Deshawn King combined for five three-pointers in the second half that erased a 27-24 Farragut halftime lead.Jones and King scored 13 points apiece for the Spartans (18-3), who advance against in Sundays quarterfinals against the winner of the ForemanLane game at Chicago State.With Jamal McDowell, the Orr guards also shut down Farraguts own perimeter attack. Senior Farragut guard John Carter hit three three-pointers and scored 13 points n the first half as the Admirals led by as many as eight points (27-19) in the first half.Carter was held scoreless and Farragut guard Lavell Boyd was limited to just five points. We take a lot of pride and competition in our defense, Jones said. We play the right defense, getting into our stances and getting the right position.We feel like we can shut down any backcourt in the state.With the Spartans up 39-37 to start the fourth quarter, King converted a rare four-point play. During an odd stretch, both teams combined to miss 12 consecutive free throws. Farragut went 0 of 10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. It shot just 1 of 12 for the game. Orr was finished 10 of 21. After committing just seven turnovers through the first three quarters, Farragut turned it over five times in the final quarter.Senior Deonte Terrell, who scored 10 points, scored on a drive and was fouled with 3:21 that cut the Orr lead to 45-43. The Admirals never scored again. The repeated missed free throws and inability to score meant the Admirals could never apply their press. Thats the craziest thing Ive ever seen, Farragut coach William Nelson said. If we make our free throws, we win the game. Orr missed a lot of free throws, too, but they made some. Everybody missed.Stimage nearly recorded a triple-double by scoring 13 points, blocking 11 shots and grabbing nine rebounds. His counterpart, Orr 6-7 junior Marquise Pryor, scored eight of his 12 points in the second half. He added 10 rebounds.The Orr guards were the story. Orr never had a name in basketball before, and were trying to change that, King said.

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

The Cubs and their fans may want to invent and use one of those Men In Black neuralyzers because the four-game series in Cincinnati was one to forget.

The Reds finished off a four-game sweep of the Cubs on Sunday with an 8-6 win. The way the Reds won the finale will be especially painful for the Cubs considering they led 6-1 after six innings. Mike Montgomery appeared to tire in the seventh inning and Pedro Strop got rocked out of the bullpen to lead to a seven-run seventh for the hosts.

The Reds have now won seven in a row and 10 of 12, but still sit 13 games under .500. Bizarrely, the Reds also swept the Dodgers, the Cubs’ next opponent, in a four-game series in May. Duane Underwood will start for the Cubs Monday against the Dodgers and make his major league debut.

Here are some other wild facts and figures from the series:

  • The last time the Reds swept the Cubs in a four-game series was back in 1983. That was the first week of the season and three weeks before the infamous Lee Elia rant.
  • One positive for the Cubs from the game was Montgomery’s start. Through six innings he allowed one run on three hits and two walks. However, he gave up a single, a double and a single in the seventh before Strop relieved him. Montgomery had gone six innings and allowed one run in each of his last four outings.
  • Strop was definitely a negative. On his first pitch, Strop gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Jesse Winker, the second home run for a Reds pinch-hitter in the game. Then Strop allowed a single, a walk, a single and a double before getting an out. Strop’s final line: 2/3 inning pitched, four runs, one strikeout, three walks, four hits.
  • The Cubs led in three of the four games this series, including two leads after five innings.
  • The Cubs were 5-for-23 (.217) with runners in scoring position in the series. On the season the Cubs are hitting .233 with RISP, which is 22nd in the majors and fourth-worst in the National League (but ahead of the division-rival Brewers and Cardinals).
  • The Reds outscored the Cubs 31-13 and scored at least six runs in every game. The Reds are now 6-3 against the Cubs this year after going a combined 17-40 against the Cubs from 2015-2017.