Bears

Youkilis walk-off wins it for White Sox in 10th

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Youkilis walk-off wins it for White Sox in 10th

It wasnt as emphatic as Tuesdays victory, but the White Sox will take a win any way they can get against the team with the best record in the major leagues.

Kevin Youkilis drove in Alejandro De Aza with the winning run, giving the White Sox a 5-4 10-inning victory over Texas on Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Rangers took a 3-0 lead when they strung together four consecutive two-out hits against Dylan Axelrod. Michael Young broke an 0-for-13 stretch with a two-run double and later scored the third run.

A four-run second put the White Sox into the lead against Scott Feldman, who entered 2-6 with a 6.13 ERA. The rally included five straight batters reaching base, and three consecutive run-scoring hits.

Gordon Beckham, the only Chicago starter without a hit in Tuesdays 19-2 victory, capped the outburst with a two-run double after Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez hit RBI singles.

The inning also featured a collision at home plate between All-Star catcher Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski. Trying to score from second on Ramirezs single, Pierzynski smashed into Napoli just after the ball arrived. Napoli dropped it after the collision.

Josh Hamilton, who singled and scored in the first, tied it 4-4 by leading off the third with this 26th home run of the season, a 428-foot blast to right field.

After a start like that it was more than surprising that both starters managed to reach the sixth inning. But both Axelrod and Feldman recovered to turn in quality outings, though neither factored in the final decision.

In keeping with a season-long signature of the rotation, Axelrod lasted 5 innings despite struggling. He allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in the 107-pitch effort.

Feldman completed six innings, giving up four runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts. All the runs came in the second, and Feldman only allowed one runner in scoring position after that.

The White Sox did threaten in the seventh after putting two runners on base with two outs. But Adam Dunn struck out looking on a full-count pitch from Robbie Ross to end that.

The bullpens took over where the starters left off.

The Rangers trio of Tanner Scheppers, Ross and Mike Adams kept the White Sox off-balance.

The young White Sox bullpen did the same to the Rangers. Rookie Leyson Septimo was the lone blip as he surrendered an infield hit and an intentional walk against the only two batters he faced.

But fellow rookie Nate Jones slammed the door, getting pinch-hitter Craig Gentry to ground into a force at second.

Matt Thornton -- the only nonrookie in the bullpen -- didnt allow a hit in two strong innings before giving way to Addison Reed in the 10th. Reed needed only 10 pitches to retire the heart of the Rangers order on easy fly balls to the outfield.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Cubs executive Jason McLeod reportedly linked to Giants' GM opening

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USA TODAY

Cubs executive Jason McLeod reportedly linked to Giants' GM opening

Is this the offseason that Cubs executive Jason McLeod finally becomes an MLB general manager?

According to Bruce Levine, the Giants are reportedly interested in McLeod, the Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development, for their vacant general manager position.

McLeod joined the Cubs' front office in 2011 alongside Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Before the Cubs, he spent six years in the Red Sox front office and two in the Padres' (with Hoyer, who was San Diego's general manager from 2010-2011). 

Of course, the Giants' reported interest in McLeod doesn't necessarily mean that he will interview for the job. However, it's worth noting that McLeod interviewed for the Twins' general manager job in 2016; he also withdrew his name from consideration for the Padres' general manager job in 2014. 

In addition to the Giants, McLeod's name has been linked to the Mets' general manager vacancy. This is more speculation, but the point is that it seems to be only a matter of time before McLeod is hired as general manager elsewhere.

For what it's worth, though, McLeod is under contract through 2021 and has previously said that he is grateful to be with the Cubs. 

“I’m exceptionally grateful,” McLeod said. “All of us are. Look at where we are at this moment in time with this team," McLeod said in 2016. "I can’t imagine a better environment, a better culture to work at in baseball.

"We’ve been together a long time. We’re friends. We’re good. We embrace the fact that we are good. And we challenge ourselves to be even better.”