White Sox

Samardzija's gem not enough as Cubs fall to Padres

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Samardzija's gem not enough as Cubs fall to Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Clayton Richard threw a five-hitter and the San Diego Padres swept the Chicago Cubs with a 2-0 win on Wednesday.Richard (9-11), coming off one of his better starts of the season, held the Cubs to five singles and pitched out of trouble three times to hand Chicago its eighth straight loss.Richard struck out five, walked one and hit a batter as the Cubs had a runner reach third base three times.Chicago scored four runs - all in Tuesday night's 7-4 loss - and had 15 hits in the three-game series.San Diego's runs came on Will Venable's RBI double in the second inning and Yonder Alonso's run-scoring single in the ninth.Richard has three career complete games and two shutouts.Jeff Samardzija (7-10) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.In his last start, Richard gave up one run and scattered eight hits over seven innings in Friday's 3-1 win over the New York Mets.San Diego scored the game's first run when Chase Headley led off the second with a double and scored one out later on Venable's double.Alexi Amarista doubled with two outs in the ninth and went to third on first baseman Anthony Rizzo's error before Alonso blooped a single to left.Chicago's Starlin Castro singled in the sixth to snap an 0-for-19 drought. Castro's single sent Alfonso Soriano to third after he was hit by a pitch with two outs and stole second. But Wellington Castillo grounded out to end the inning.Samardzija struck out swinging to end the seventh inning and snapped his bat in two over his right leg.
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Tim Anderson celebrated his birthday in style

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USA TODAY

Tim Anderson celebrated his birthday in style

Tim Anderson turned 24 on Saturday and celebrated the occasion with a bang.

Anderson smashed a three-run home run in the first inning against the A's. It was actually his first swing on his birthday. Anderson took the first two pitches before launching the 1-1 pitch over the right field fence.

That home run, Anderson's 13th of the year, gave the White Sox a 5-0 lead. Things took an ugly turn later in the game with Oakland winning 7-6. Dylan Covey left in the fifth with a hip injury, which manager Rick Renteria said will be evaluated tomorrow to determine the severity of the injury.

Anderson finished 2-for-4 on his birthday. He later added a single, a stolen base and a run in the sixth inning.

Anderon's power surge this year has him on pace to blow past his 17 homers from a year ago. He is four shy of last year's total and has done so in just under half as many plate appearances.

Bears receive Sports Illustrated's top offseason grade in NFC North

Bears receive Sports Illustrated's top offseason grade in NFC North

The Chicago Bears are less than one month from the start of training camp, but the praise for general manager Ryan Pace's offseason continues to pour in.

Pace and the Bears received an A for their offseason -- the best grade in the NFC North -- from Sports Illustrated. A big part of the perfect score was the overhaul at wide receiver.

Chicago had one of the weakest receiving groups in the NFL last season—the team ranked dead last in passing yards per game (175.7)—so that position was clearly an area of focus this offseason for general manager Ryan Pace. The additions of Allen Robinson from Jacksonville, Taylor Gabriel from Atlanta and Anthony Miller via the draft will boost a stagnant group, assuming Robinson returns fully healthy from last September’s ACL tear. If 2015 first-round pick Kevin White can stay healthy for a full season for the first time in his ill-fated career, it’s an added bonus.

Much is expected from the revamped group of pass-catchers even though none of them have an overwhelming history of production. Robinson had a dominant season in 2015 (1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns), but his last two seasons involved mediocre production in 2016 and a torn ACL in Week 1 last year. Gabriel's never topped more than 621 yards in a season and tight end Trey Burton has been a backup his whole career. Miller has yet to play a snap in the NFL and White, now entering his fourth season, is still looking for his first touchdown catch.

Mitch Trubisky has a lot of work to do once training camp kicks off. Not only must he master coach Matt Nagy's offense, but he must do so while building chemistry with all of his new receivers. Growing pains will happen, but the upside and expectations for the Bears in 2018 are higher than they've been in many years, and it's all because of a great offseason had by the front office.