Preps Talk

White Sox return home no worse for wear

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White Sox return home no worse for wear

They would have preferred to play better. They always do.

But when the White Sox wake up at home on Thursday morning, they can do so satisfied they played above-.500 baseball during a stretch where 16 of their 19 games were on the road.

Included in the teams first 19 games out of the All-Star break were four contests at Boston, three at Detroit and three in Texas. Not to mention a five-game losing streak. Though they spent most of the previous three weeks living out of their suitcases, the White Sox went 10-9 and find themselves in nearly the same position they were in when they broke for the All-Star Game.

The White Sox -- who open a nine-game homestand against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday -- maintained a 2 1 2-game lead over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. They led the Tigers by three games on July 13.

Thats a tough stretch, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. You come back off the All-Star break and most of them are on the road. You were home for a couple of days at most. You know, its tough. Its not easy. You go out on the road and tough teams, and you kind of held your own. Now, its time to go home and win some games.

The White Sox home record isnt any better than how they play away from U.S. Cellular. The team is five games above .500 at home (27-22) and on the road (30-25). Of late, however, the Sox have won eight of their last nine home games.

Its going to be nice to go back at home and play in front of our home fans and be in our own beds, closer Addison Reed said. Its fun playing anywhere, its just a little nicer playing at home.

Larger crowds -- perhaps boosted by the June 24 acquisition of Kevin Youkilis --may have improved the home cooking even more.

In their last home series, a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins last week, the White Sox drew three straight 30,000-plus crowds, including two sellouts. It was the teams largest three-day total since the Cubs visited from June 20-22, 2011.

Thats a big boost for us, Ventura said.

It might give us an advantage, outfielder Alex Rios said.

Any advantage would be OK with the White Sox, who expect a dogfight with the Tigers to extend into early October. The team has added reliever Brett Myers and starting pitcher Francisco Liriano in the last 10 days in what is expected to give the pitching staff a veteran boost. The two should allow the White Sox to rely less on younger pitchers and afford rest time for first-year starters Chris Sale and Jose Quinanta.

But the big key for the team is consistency, pitcher Jake Peavy said.

Youre going to ride your good and bad streaks, but you want to be consistent from here on out, Peavy said. Love the moves Kenny (Williams) has made. Were going to regroup and have a few off days in the next few weeks.

"Were excited about the off day, to take care of business. Those off days help so we can keep running our regular guys out there and it helps pitching wise, to give Sale some extra rest and not abuse guys. Would have liked to play better in Detroit and Boston. But you see the resiliency and attitude of this team.

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 9

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 9

High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 9 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from Friday's games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.


DRIVE: Batavia (episode 9)

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Oak Forest football

VIEWERS' CHOICE GAMES OF THE WEEK: Fremd runs past Schaumburg

WINTRUST ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame running back Ty Gavin

FRIDAY'S TOP 25 SCORES

(1) Lincoln-Way East 31, (16) Bolingbrook 0

(2) Batavia 24, Wheaton North 13

(3) Brother Rice 31, (17) Montini 0

(4) Marist 24, Benet 7

(6) Homewood-Flossmoor 56, Sandburg 0

(7) Cary-Grove 55, (15) Naperville Central 41

(9) Nazareth Academy 42, Marian Catholic 6

(10) Maine South 48, Niles West 6

(11) Oswego 22, Plainfield South 15

(12) Richards 41, Eisenhower 6

(13) Phillips 41, Raby 0

(14) Willowbrook 42, Downers South 20

(18) Oak Park-River Forest 48, Lyons 0

(19) Warren 43, Mundelein 7

(20) Glenbard West 35, Proviso West 6

(21) Hillcrest 43, Bremen 6

Joliet Catholic 33, (22) Notre Dame 17

(23) Hinsdale Central 21, Hinsdale South 12

(24) Rolling Meadows 34, Buffalo Grove 7

Wheaton Warrenville South 13, (25) St. Charles North 11

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Payton 43, Kenwood 42

Coal City 43, Lisle 14

Huntley 55, Dundee-Crown 12

Perspectives 32, Solorio 16

SATURDAY'S TOP 25 GAMES

Fenwick vs. (5) Mount Carmel 

(8) Simeon vs. Curie

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

Chris Emma, Matt Zahn and Gabe Ramirez join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins the panel to discuss the Bulls’ terrible defensive performance as well as Zach LaVine’s impressive season debut.

11:35- Khalil Mack is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Can the Bears pull off the upset against Tom Brady?

23:50- NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran joins Kap to talk about how New England views the Bears and discuss how Matt Nagy’s team can exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.

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