Local Sports

White Sox Castillo Banned 80 Games for Failed Drug Test

Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo has been suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball following a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.

The commissioner's office said Thursday he tested positive for EPO. Erythropoietin is a hormone that stimulates the red blood cell production and often has turned up in the test results for cyclists.

He is the eighth player suspended this year under the major league drug-testing program.

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Snarskis keys Illini's 7-1 B10 Tournament win over Indiana

 
Quinn Snarskis and two relievers combined on a two-hitter and Michael Massey's three-run homer broke open the game in Illinois' 7-1 victory over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday night.
 
The Illini (32-18) play top-seeded Minnesota on Thursday night. The Hoosiers (37-16) face Michigan State in an elimination game.
 
The Illini broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning when they plated three runs on a pair of two-out errors. Massey's three-run homer made it 7-0 in the seventh.
 
Snarskis, who transferred to Illinois after Division II St. Joseph's College closed last year and became Illinois' No. 1 starter, pitched 4 1/3 perfect innings before Luke Miller singled. Ryan Thompson (8-3) allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
 
Indiana starter Jonathan Stiever (5-5) pitched six innings and took the loss.

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Redbirds Fall to Bradley in MVC Tournament Opener

The Illinois State Redbirds got a home run from Collin Braithwaite, but struggled against the Bradley Braves, falling in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament first round by a 14-2 final score.
 
Jake McCaw went 2-for-3 for Illinois State, while Braithwaite and Joe Aeilts had the team's other two hits in the contest. Braithwaite and Aeilts drove in a run each, as Braithwaite and Jordan Libman each scored once.
 
After being retired in order in the top of the first inning, the Redbirds gave up four runs in the bottom half of the first. Bradley scored two runs in the third and another in the fourth to lead 7-0.
 
The Redbirds did not get their first hit in the game until the top of the fifth inning when Braithwaite took a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field, ending the perfect game and shutout bid with one swing of the bat. After a pair of outs, McCaw singled up the middle, and Bryce Grimm walked to put a runner in scoring position, but could not squeeze a run across.
 
Following the Redbird run, the Braves scored six times in the bottom of the fifth inning, and another in the bottom of the sixth to lead 14-1.
 
Illinois State rallied in the top of the seventh, as the first three batters all reached base, as Libman walked, and scored a batter later on an Aeilts double into left field. McCaw singled to right field to put runners on the corners; however, a fly-out, foul-out, and ground-out ended the threat, and the game.
 
The Redbirds will return to action this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. as they'll take on Dallas Baptist.

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Covey earns 1st win, White Sox hit 3 homers in rout of O's

Dylan Covey tossed seven strong innings for his first major league win, Yoan Moncada and Adam Engel each hit three-run homers and the Chicago White Sox pounded the Baltimore Orioles 11-1 on Wednesday night.
 
Jose Rondon added his first major league homer, a two-run shot in the seventh, as last-place Chicago rolled to its fifth win in seven games.
 
Covey (1-1) allowed one run on six hits and struck out eight in his 20th game and 14th start - and longest outing - in the majors. Baltimore, last in the AL East, has lost four of five overall and is 5-21 on the road.
 
Moncada's shot to center in a four-run third inning put the White Sox ahead for good after Jace Peterson singled in Baltimore's lone run in the second. Moncada's seventh homer was his first since April 26, a stretch that included time on the disabled list with left hamstring tightness.
 
Engel, who entered hitting .183, added three singles and matched a career high with four hits. His drive to left in the fifth was his first homer since last September.
 
Alex Cobb (1-6) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since April 19. The right-hander allowed six runs on eight hits.
 
Covey was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday to take Carson Fulmer's spot the in rotation after Fulmer was assigned to the farm club.
 
Covey made one start with Chicago earlier this season, losing on April 28 at Kansas City. The 26-year-old righty was 0-7 with a 7.71 ERA in 12 starts and six relief appearances in 2017.
 
Covey looked shaky only in the second, when Baltimore used two singles and a walk to take a 1-0 lead.
 
In the third, Tim Anderson walked and Engel singled with one out before Moncada connected on a 1-2 pitch from Cobb.
 
Chicago tacked on two more runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu.
 
Engel's shot with two outs in the in the fifth off Pedro Araujo made it 9-1. Rondon's drive complete the scoring.
 
Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy (2-6, 4.70) faces White Sox righty Lucas Giolito (3-4, 6.42) in the finale of the four-game series this afternoon.

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Indians defeat Cubs 1-0

Adam Plutko carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Andrew Miller provided stellar relief work, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Wednesday night.
 
Plutko (2-0) struck out four and walked four in his second major league start. The right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Columbus to replace the struggling Josh Tomlin in Cleveland's rotation.
 
Michael Brantley, Francisco Lindor and Rajai Davis had two hits apiece as the AL Central leaders won for the third time in four games. Brantley extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and Davis also contributed a leaping catch against the wall in center, robbing Addison Russell of a likely run-scoring hit in the second.
 
The Indians completed a sweep of their two-game set versus the Cubs in their first appearance at Wrigley Field since they lost the 2016 World Series.
 
Chicago wasted a terrific start by Jon Lester (4-2) in its second straight loss.  The lefty allowed six hits, struck out four and walked one while lowering his ERA to 2.37 in his 10th start this year.
 
Plutko was even better. He retired 13 in a row before Anthony Rizzo led off the seventh with a double for Chicago's first hit. Willson Contreras then reached on an infield single, chasing Plutko and putting runners on the corners.
 
But Miller came in and shut the door, preserving Cleveland's 1-0 lead. He jumped on Javier Baez's bunt right back to him and threw out Rizzo at home. Russell then struck out swinging and Jason Heyward bounced to first, ending the inning.
 
Miller also got the first two outs of the eighth. After Kyle Schwarber singled, Cody Allen retired Kris Bryant on a fly ball to center. Allen worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
 
Plutko also helped the Indians jump in front with a sacrifice in the third, advancing Davis to second after a leadoff single. It was Plutko's first professional plate appearance; he did not bat in the minors or during his college career at UCLA.
 
The Cubs will have the day off, RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-3, 3.40 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against San Francisco.
 

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Royals score 3 in 10th inning to down Cards 5-2

Kansas City Royals backup catcher Drew Butera had a two-run single in the 10th inning and the Royals earned a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
 
Butera's RBIs were his first since May 2. Jon Jay followed with an RBI single as the Royals won their first series since May 6th.  
 
Salvador Perez hammered a first-pitch fastball by Cardinals starter Michael Wacha for his eighth home run of the season to lead off the second.
 
Royals starter Jakob Junis gave up two runs in five innings, while striking out seven.
 
Blaine Boyer (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win. Kelvin Herrera earned his 10th save with a perfect 10th.
 
Abraham Almonte scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth to tie it 2-2.
 
Wacha retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced. He gave up two runs, one earned, in 6 2/3 innings.
 
Bud Norris (1-1) pitched a perfect ninth, but couldn't record an out in the 10th, giving up back-to-back singles to Jorge Soler and Alex Gordon before compounding the issue by committing an error on Alcides Escobar's sacrifice attempt to load the bases ahead of Butera.
 
Francisco Pena capped a two-run second inning with an RBI double, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Pena had a pair of hits after going 1-for-12 the previous three games.
 
Cardinals left fielder Marcell Ozuna was scratched from the lineup and was replaced by Tyler O'Neill after oversleeping and reporting late. Ozuna was hitting .714 (5 for 7) with a walk in his previous two games.
 
The Cards will have the day off as RHP John Gant (1-1, 4.67 ERA) gets the start in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Pittsburgh.

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Sanchez lifts White Sox over Orioles 3-2

 Yolmer Sanchez capped Chicago's three-run eighth with a tiebreaking RBI single, lifting the White Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
 
Welington Castillo also had an RBI single and Yoan Moncada added a sacrifice fly as last-place Chicago won for the fourth time in six games. Bruce Rondon (2-2) pitched a scoreless eighth and Nate Jones got three outs for his fourth save.
 
Mark Trumbo went 4 for 4 with two doubles for Baltimore, which won 3-2 on Monday night in the series opener between two of the AL's worst teams.
 
The last-place Orioles wasted a gem by Kevin Gausman, who matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander allowed nine hits and walked one.

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Ramirez hits 14th homer, Indians rout Cubs 10-1 in rematch

Jose Ramirez hit his 14th homer and the Cleveland Indians routed the Chicago Cubs 10-1 on Tuesday night in their first meeting at Wrigley Field since the 2016 World Series.
 
The AL Central leaders moved back to .500 with an easy victory against the team that beat them two years ago to end a 108-year championship drought.
 
Ramirez got the blowout going with his three-run drive in the third. The Indians scored four times in the inning while chasing a wild Tyler Chatwood (3-4) and simply poured it on after that.
 
Trevor Bauer (4-3) went six innings in his second straight scoreless start. The right-hander gave up seven hits and struck out six while walking two after shutting down Detroit over eight innings in a win last week.
 
Yonder Alonso had three of Cleveland's 11 hits, including a three-run double in the fifth to make it 10-0.
 
Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a pair of singles and scored two runs. Francisco Lindor added two hits and two runs, and the Indians started the two-game series on a winning note after the teams split two games in Cleveland last month.
 
Chatwood walked six while allowing four runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings. Three of those walks came in the third, bringing his major league-leading total to 40, and the crowd of 37,168 let him hear it.
 
Ramirez delivered the big blow with his three-run drive to the right-field basket. Roberto Perez added a sacrifice fly, and the Indians sent nine batters to the plate in the inning.
 
Cubs manager Joe Maddon lifted Chatwood with runners on first and third after he threw four balls to Greg Allen. Mike Montgomery struck out Bauer to end the rally, but got tagged for six runs in 2 1/3 innings.
 
Chicago's Ian Happ led off the ninth with a pinch-hit homer against Josh Tomlin.

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Royals Hammel earns first win in win over Cardinals

Kansas City starter Jason Hammel had to jog his memory on what to do after a win. It had been that long for Hammel, who was making his 290th career start Tuesday night.
 
He earned his first victory of the season, helped by home runs by Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez in a 5-1 win by the Royals over the St. Louis Cardinals.
 
Hammel (1-5) has been winless in his previous 13 starts dating back to his last win Sept. 6, 2017. He also had been winless in his previous seven road starts.
 
Hammel went seven innings, giving up nine hits and a run to help the Royals win for the second time in 10 games. He struck out six and hit a batter with no walks.
 
Kansas City added two runs in the ninth of struggling reliever Greg Holland, a former Royal, who did not get any of the four batters he faced out.
 
Holland, who sports an 8.76 ERA, left to a chorus of boos as he did Saturday against visiting Minnesota. It was his third consecutive poor outing for the three-time All-Star.

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Rochester Ends Lady Maroons Season

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Rochester Lady Rockets by a score of 3-0 on Tuesday afternoon. Olivia Sanders takes the loss pitching 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, allowing one walk, and striking out 12. The Lady Maroons were led at the plate by Amanda Tool who went 2 for 3 with 2 singles.

 

Rochester was led by Reagan Miles going 2 for 3 with a home run, a double, and 3 RBIs. Miles takes the win pitching 7 innings allowing 5 hits on 0 runs and 14 strikeouts.

 

Rochester improves to 21-12 and the Lady Maroons end the season 11-19.

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Machado hits 15th homer as Orioles edge White Sox 3-2

Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo homered, helping Andrew Cashner and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Monday night.
 
Machado hit a line drive to left in the fourth inning for his 15th homer, moving into a tie for the major league lead with Boston's Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Trumbo connected in the fifth against Hector Santiago, and Jones went deep in the sixth after leaving Sunday's 5-0 loss to the Red Sox due to an illness.
 
Cashner (2-5) got his first win since April 5, helped by some terrific relief work by Mychal Givens. Cashner pitched five-plus innings and was charged with two runs and eight hits.
 
Baltimore improved to 2-3 on an 11-game trip to Boston, Chicago and Tampa Bay. The last-place Orioles (15-32) had dropped four of five heading into the four-game series between two of the AL's worst teams.
 
Jose Abreu, Matt Davidson and Leury Garcia had two hits apiece for Chicago (13-31), which had won three of four. Santiago (0-2) struck out seven in six innings, but remains winless in four starts and nine relief appearances this year - with the White Sox losing all 13 games.
 
Garcia chased Cashner with an RBI double in the sixth, making it 3-2 and putting runners on second and third with none out. But Givens came in and retired three in a row, getting Welington Castillo to pop out to first before striking out Tim Anderson and Adam Engel.
 
Chicago also had a runner thrown out at the plate in the fifth, and blew a prime scoring opportunity in the ninth. Yolmer Sanchez struck out with runners on the corners and one out. After Abreu was walked intentionally, Trayce Thompson struck out swinging to give Brad Brach his seventh save in eight chances.

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Ex-LPGA Tour golfer Carol Mann dies at 77; won 38 titles

Carol Mann, a two-time major champion who won 38 LPGA Tour titles, has died. She was 77.
 
The LPGA Tour issued a statement Monday that Mann had died Sunday at her home in The Woodlands, Texas. LPGA Tour officials said a family member notified them of Mann's death.
 
Her major titles were the 1964 Women's Western Open Invitational and the 1965 U.S. Women's Open. She won 10 tournaments in 1968.
 
Mann also served as LPGA president from 1973-76. She was an analyst for men's and women's golf on ABC, ESPN and NBC.
 
Mann was inducted into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977.
 
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan says Mann has been "part of the fabric of the LPGA for more than 55 years, with a Hall of Fame career both on and off the golf course."
 
Mann grew up in Baltimore and Chicago. She took up golf at 9, attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and joined the LPGA Tour in 1961.
 

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Mikolas gets 1st shutout, O'Neill homers, Cards beat Royals

Miles Mikolas pitched a four-hitter for his first career shutout and Tyler O'Neill homered for the third straight game and drove in four runs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
 
Mikolas (6-0) retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. The only trouble he faced came after he allowed back-to-back singles to start the third, but got out of it with the help of a double play.
 
Mikolas faced just three batters over the minimum, lowering his ERA to 2.24 putting him in the top five in the National League. His ninth-inning walk was the first free pass he had issued in 29 1/3 innings at Busch Stadium this season.
 
O'Neill's three-run homer, his first career to the opposite field, capped a four-run third in which the Cardinals strung together five two-out hits. O'Neill's double in the fifth scored Marcell Ozuna, giving the Cardinals a 5-0 lead.
 
Ozuna proceeded O'Neill's blast with an RBI single, breaking a 0-for-22 slump. Ozuna reached three times and had a pair of hits.
 
Matt Carpenter homered in the seventh as part of a three-hit night. Carpenter is hitting .542 (13 for 24) in his last six games, including seven doubles, to raise his average to .210. It is the first time since April 7 that Carpenter's average rose north of .200.
 
Royals starter Ian Kennedy (1-5) gave up five runs, all with two outs, in 5 2/3 innings. He has lost his last five decisions and hasn't gotten a win since April 7.
 
The Royals have lost eight of their last nine.

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Lady Maroons Defeat Springfield Southeast in First Round of Regionals

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated Springfield Southeast (SSE) by a score of 4-0 Monday afternoon in the first round of IHSA Regionals. 
 
The Maroons were led by pitcher Olivia Sanders who went for seven innings, gave up no runs and had two hits, two walks, and nine strike-outs. Mac Armstrong went 2 for 3 with a run scored.
 
SSE was led by pitcher Gianna Flammini who went six innings, gave up four runs and seven hits. Brooklyn Hutchins went 1 for 3 with a double.
 
Tune in tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 pm as the Lady Maroons take on Mahomet. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Lopez goes 8 innings as White Sox blank Rangers 3-0

Reynaldo Lopez allowed only two hits in a career-high eight innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 3-0 on Sunday for their first home series win this season.
 
Lopez (1-3) struck out eight and walked two in his first victory since Sept. 22 against Kansas City. The 24-year-old right-hander has been Chicago's best starter this year, but has been hurt by poor run support.
 
Leury Garcia had two hits and two RBIs, and Welington Castillo homered as the major league-worst White Sox (13-30) took three of four against last-place Texas. They won consecutive games for the first time since winning three in a row at Kansas City from April 26-28.
 
Texas (18-30) lost for the sixth time in eight games. Mike Minor (3-3) struck out nine in five innings, but was charged with three runs and six hits.
 
Shin-Soo Choo singled in the first and Carlos Perez led off the third with a double for the Rangers' only hits. Jace Fry pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.
 
Lopez was visited by manager Rick Renteria after he walked Delino DeShields with two outs in the eighth. The crowd cheered when Renteria left Lopez in, and the pitcher pounded his chest after he struck out Choo swinging to end the inning.
 
Castillo put the White Sox in front with a one-out drive deep into the seats in left in the second. Garcia added an opposite-field, two-run single in the third, with Tim Anderson sliding in ahead of Perez's tag.
 

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Backed by HRs, Darvish beats Reds 6-1 for 1st win with Cubs

Yu Darvish recovered from a shaky start to earn his first win with the Cubs, and Kyle Schwarber hit one of Chicago's three home runs Sunday in a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
 
Schwarber launched a two-run drive, and Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist each had a solo shot to help the Cubs take three of four in the series. Darvish (1-3) went six innings and allowed only two hits, both in the first, during his eighth start since signing a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago last offseason.
 
In his second outing since coming off the disabled list Tuesday, the four-time All-Star overcame a 39-pitch first inning and finished six for the third time this season. He allowed one run with three walks and seven strikeouts.
 
Tyler Mahle gave up all three Chicago long balls, passing Homer Bailey for the team lead in homers allowed with 13. The Cubs reached Mahle (3-6) for seven hits, two walks and four runs. He struck out six.
 
Chicago outscored the Reds 16-1 over the final two games of the series while completing a 4-2 road trip. The Reds are 2-5 since sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series at Los Angeles for the first time since August 1976.
 
The Reds scored their only run on Scott Schebler's bases-loaded infield single with two outs in the first. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell went deep into the hole to backhand the ball, but he couldn't hang onto it. Darvish retired the following eight batters and nine of the next 10.
 
Schwarber gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the second with his first home run since April 26. Baez, who went into the game leading the National League with 37 RBIs, followed with his first since May 7.
 
Zobrist led off the fifth with his second homer of the season and first since April 8. The Cubs capitalized on first baseman Joey Votto's throwing error to add two unearned runs in the seventh.

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Flaherty fans 13 for 1st MLB win as Cards beat Phillies 5-1

Jack Flaherty struck out a career-high 13 to earn his first major league win and Tyler O'Neill homered as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 on Sunday.
 
Making his ninth big league start, Flaherty (1-1) gave up only two hits and walked one in 7 2/3 dominant innings. But after throwing 120 pitches, all the rookie right-hander had on his mind was his first hit in 10 at-bats - a relatively meaningless single in the third.
 
Odubel Herrera went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, ending his on-base streak at 45 games dating to last season.
 
Tyler O'Neill, who had three hits in the cleanup spot, homered for the second time in two games. His solo shot off Aaron Nola (6-2) in the sixth made it 3-1.
 
Matt Carpenter added three hits and Greg Garcia drove in two runs to help St. Louis split the four-game series.
 
Rhys Hoskins homered in the fourth off Flaherty, who retired 10 in a row during one stretch.
 
Flaherty was called up Tuesday from Triple-A Memphis when Cardinals starters Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez went on the disabled list. He became the 13th pitcher to strike out at least 13 in a game this season. Flaherty's total marked the most by a Cardinals pitcher since Martinez fanned 13 on Aug. 29, 2016, against the Braves.
 
Nola gave up a season-high four runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out six, walked one and had a five-game winning streak snapped.
 
Garcia broke a 1-all tie with a run-scoring single in the fourth. He added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
 
St. Louis improved to 17-7 against Philadelphia since the start of the 2015 season.
 

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Lady Maroons Down Normal U-High With Walk Off, Extra Innings Win

Destiny Schlessinger hit a walk-off run-scoring double in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Clinton Lady Maroons downed Normal U-High 2-1 in non-conference girls softball action from Clinton High School Saturday morning.
 
Schlessinger was the Country Financial Brad James Player of the game and her hit was set up by Camdyn Alsup's lead-off walk to start the eighth inning. After Zoie Pollen struck out, Schlessinger hit a fly ball past the U-High right fielder and Alsup beat an errant throw home for the winning run.
 
Olivia Sanders picked up the win in the circle for Clinton. She went eight innings, allowed an earned run on nine hits with seven strikeouts and zero walks.
 
Schlessinger finished 2-for-3 with a run. Elly Maier was 2-for-3 with a run.
 
Sanders had great help in the field as well.
 
Maier saved an extra base-hit in the fourth inning when she snagged a fly ball over her head as she tumbled to the ground on an Emily O'Leary fly ball.
 
Pollen threw a strike to home plate as U-High's Maddie Roop tried to score on a sacrifice fly later in the inning to preserve a shutout, at the time, for Sanders.
 
The Lady Maroons host Springfield Southeast Monday afternoon at Clinton High School in Class 3A Regional quarter-final action. Hear the game live starting at 4:30 pm on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Castillo helps White Sox rally past Rangers 4-2

Welington Castillo hit a tiebreaking two-run single in Chicago's four-run eighth, helping the White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series between two of the worst teams in the AL.
 
Yoan Moncada sparked the winning rally with a ground-rule double after Jose Leclerc (1-1) retired the first two batters of the inning. Moncada advanced on a passed ball and scored when Leclerc committed a throwing error on Yolmer Sanchez's tapper back to the mound.
 
The White Sox then used three consecutive walks to tie it at 2 before Rangers manager Jeff Banister pulled Leclerc in favor of Kevin Jepsen. One of the walks was intentional, but there were some close calls along the way and Banister was thrown out by plate umpire Paul Nauert after he made the pitching change.
 
Castillo greeted Jepsen with a single that dropped in front of diving center fielder Delino DeShields, driving in Jose Abreu and Nicky Delmonico.
 
Moncada finished with three hits for Chicago, which had lost nine of 10. The White Sox improved the majors' worst record to 11-29, still a franchise record for worst 40-game start.
 
Luis Avilan (1-0) got two outs for the win and Nate Jones worked the ninth for his second save. The Rangers put runners on second and third with one out, but Ronald Guzman grounded out and DeShields struck out to end the game.
 
It was Chicago's fourth win in 19 home games this season.
 
Texas (17-28) wasted a terrific start by Doug Fister, who stepped in for Cole Hamels and pitched seven sparkling innings. Shin-Soo Choo had two hits, drove in a run and scored.
 
Hamels was scratched after he woke up Wednesday with a stiff neck, prompting Banister to move Fister up a day to pitch on regular rest. The veteran right-hander showed no signs of any trouble with the change, surrendering six hits.
 
James Shields set season highs with eight strikeouts and 7 1/3 innings for Chicago, but remains winless in nine appearances since he beat Kansas City on opening day on March 29. The right-hander allowed one run and three hits.

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Velasquez helps Phillies down Cardinals 6-2

Vince Velasquez pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, and Carlos Santana and Pedro Florimon each hit home runs in the Phillies' 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
 
Velasquez (4-4) gave up five hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked two in recording his third straight win.
 
The Phillies won for the seventh time in eight games and improved to 17-2 against opponents outside of the NL East.
 
Odubel Herrera reached base three times to extend his on-base streak to 43 games, fifth-longest in franchise history. It is also the longest streak in the majors since Atlanta's Freddie Freeman reached in 46 successive games in 2016.
 
Santana broke a scoreless tie by slugging a 437-foot drive to center - his team-leading eighth - in the fifth off Luke Weaver (3-3), who gave up one run and four hits over seven innings. Weaver struck out six and walked one for St. Louis, which has lost four of five.
 
Aaron Altherr drove in a pair of runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth that pushed the Phillies' lead to 3-0. He snapped an 0-for-13 skid with the hit. Herrera's RBI double made it 4-0.
 
St. Louis cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the eighth on Marcell Ozuna's run-scoring fielder's choice and Jedd Gyorko's RBI single.
 
Florimon hit a two-run homer in the ninth off reliever John Brebbia.
 
St. Louis catcher Francisco Pena had three of his team's 10 hits.

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Cubs-Braves postponed by rain; makeup game on Aug 30

The final game of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves has been postponed because of rain.
 
The game will be made up Aug. 30.
 
Rain began falling a few minutes before Thursday's scheduled first pitch at 7:35 p.m. It was coming down heavily an hour later and was called at 9:56 p.m.
 
It marked the sixth postponement for the Cubs this season and their second against Atlanta, which won a makeup game 6-5 on Monday at Wrigley Field.
 
There was no immediate announcement on how the teams' pitching plans will be affected. Jon Lester was scheduled to start for the Cubs, who begin a three-game series Friday in Cincinnati.
 
Max Fried was Atlanta's starter, filling in after Mike Soroka went on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Sean Newcomb is slated to start for the Braves when they begin a three-game series Friday night at home against Miami.

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Acuna gets big hit as Braves score 3 in 8th, beat Cubs 4-1

Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in Ozzie Albies with the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning to send the Atlanta Braves past the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Wednesday night.
 
Carl Edwards Jr. (2-1) allowed five straight baserunners in Atlanta's three-run eighth, including a bases-loaded walk to Tyler Flowers, without getting an out. Justin Hancock also forced in a run with a walk to Johan Camargo.
 
The Braves' big inning was set up by Albies' triple to the wall in center field past Albert Almora Jr., who robbed Flowers of a probable home run earlier in the game.
 
Albies scored on Acuna's second hit, a sharp single to left field off Edwards. Acuna moved to third on Freddie Freeman's single against the shift to the opening on the left side of the infield. Freeman advanced to second on the play. Following an intentional walk to Nick Markakis, Edwards walked Flowers to force in a run.
 
Albies scored Atlanta's first run after his leadoff double in the first.
 
A.J. Minter (2-0) stranded two runners in the eighth. Arodys Vizcaino, who blew a save opportunity in Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to Chicago, pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances.
 
The Cubs had one baserunner in each of the first four innings but did not score until pulling even at 1-all in the fifth. Ian Happ led off with a single and scored on Kris Bryant's single. Bryant had three hits.
 
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first when Albies doubled off the center-field wall and scored on Freeman's single.
 
After allowing a combined 14 earned runs on 23 hits in only eight innings in losses to the Giants and Marlins in his last two starts, Braves right-hander Brandon McCarthy gave up just one run and five hits in six innings.
 
Chicago's Tyler Chatwood allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He appeared stunned when he was pulled after a single by Acuna. Brian Duensing walked Freeman before Markakis hit into his second inning-ending double play of the game.
 
Chatwood applauded on the mound after Almora reached over the center-field wall to rob Flowers in the second. Almora timed his leap perfectly to make the catch near the 400-foot mark. He then turned his back to the field to watch the replay on the video board before tipping his cap.
 
LHP Jon Lester (3-1, 2.66 ERA) is 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves. He brings a 1.83 ERA in six starts at Atlanta into Thursday night's game.

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Bell's single lifts Pirates over reeling White Sox 3-2

Pinch-hitter Josh Bell singled to break a seventh-inning tie, and the streaking Pittsburgh Pirates beat the skidding Chicago White Sox 3-2 Wednesday.
 
Pittsburgh has won seven of eight and improved to 10-2 in interleague play this season.
 
Chicago has lost eight of nine and 13 of 15. A major league-worst 10-29, the White Sox have matched their worst start since 1948.
 
Pittsburgh has won eight straight over Chicago, outscoring the White Sox 45-17. The Pirates also swept a two-game series last week against them in Chicago.
 
With the score tied 2-2, Elias Diaz doubled off Joakim Soria (0-2) leading off the seventh and Jordy Mercer walked with one out. Bell, rested from the starting lineup in a day game after a night game, grounded a single into left.
 
Rookie Edgar Santana (1-0) allowed one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first major league win. Felipe Vazquez allowed Welington Castillo's two-out single in the ninth, then got Jose Abreu to hit into a game-ending forceout. Vazquez remained perfect in eight save opportunities.
 
Chicago lost despite outhitting the Pirates 8-4.
 
Leury Garcia homered in the second and Yolmer Sanchez in the fifth.
 
Pittsburgh's Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run double in the second.
 
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon went 5 2/3 innings and showed no ill effects from a cut right index finger that forced him from Friday's start against San Francisco after three innings.
 
Hector Santiago pitched five innings for Chicago in place of Carson Fulmer, who was pushed back to Saturday against Texas to allow extra work with pitching coach Don Cooper.
 
White Sox SS Tim Anderson was not in the lineup after starting each of the first 37 games. He pinch hit in the ninth and flied out. Sanchez, the regular third baseman, played shortstop and Matt Davidson, normally the designated hitter, started at third.
 
Sanchez made a sliding over-the-shoulder catch in short left field to take away a hit from David Freese in the seventh inning.
 
RHP James Shields (1-4, 5.44 ERA) starts Thursday's opener of a four-game series against visiting Texas and LHP Cole Hamels (2-4, 3.48). Shields is winless in eight starts since beating the Royals at Kansas City on opening day.

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Cubs throw out 2 runner at home, rally to beat Braves 3-2

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras helped Chicago throw out two runners at home plate and another at third base before rallying for two runs in the ninth inning, pulling off a stunning 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
 
After Ronald Acuna Jr. broke a 1-1 tie with a mammoth homer in the eighth , the Cubs bounced back against closer Arodys Vizcaino to hand the Braves a loss that really stung - especially after a couple of questionable calls went against the home team in a wild fifth inning.
 
Back-to-back doubles by Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell tied it at 2, and Ben Zobrist came through with a two-out, run-scoring single off Vizcaino (1-2).
 
Carl Edwards Jr. (2-0) earned the win despite surrendering Acuna's homer over the 400-foot sign in center field. Brandon Morrow got the final three outs for his 10th save.
 
The Braves returned home with the National League's best record after a 6-1 road trip, only to let one get away.
 
Chicago's Yu Darvish returned from the disabled list after a bout with the flu. He worked four innings in his first appearance since May 2, allowing a homer to Ender Inciarte.
 
In the fifth, Javier Baez's throwing error ruined a potential double play, but the Cubs escaped the jam when Contreras threw out runners at home and third after errant pitches got away from him.
 
The Braves sure didn't see it that way.
 
First, Mike Montgomery's pitch skipped past Contreras but caught a fortuitous ricocheted off the backstop, bouncing right back to the catcher so he could make a quick throw to Montgomery covering home. The tag caught Johan Camargo on the left shoulder as he made a head-first slide , leading plate umpire Jim Wolf to call him out. The Braves challenged, and at least one replay angle appeared to show Camargo getting his left hand to the plate a split-second ahead of the tag.
 
After a two-minute review, the call was upheld. Braves manager Brian Snitker was irate, screaming and waving his arms in the dugout until Wolf mouthed to him, "Enough."
 
Snitker was fuming again when another pitch got away from Contreras, who briefly struggled to find the ball. Charlie Culberson broke for third and appeared to get a foot to the bag before Kris Bryant tagged his ankle, but third-base umpire Sam Holbrook signaled out. With no more challenges, there was nothing the Braves could do.
 
Mike Foltynewicz struck out 10 in five innings, but the Cubs scored an unearned run in the fourth on Kurt Suzuki's throwing error after a strikeout.
 
While the Atlanta defense let down Foltynewicz, Darvish benefitted from a brilliant throw by left fielder Kyle Schwarber after a Contreras' errant throw on Freddie Freeman's steal of second skipped into short left field.
 
Schwarber swooped in to pick up the ball and the throw landed perfectly in Contreras' mitt just in time to tap Freeman's left foot as he was sliding for home.
 
RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 3.35) will face the Braves on Wednesday night looking for his fourth straight win after beginning the season 0-3.

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White Sox push back Fulmer's next start

The Chicago White Sox have pushed back Carson Fulmer's next turn in their rotation and plan to give Hector Santiago a spot start.
 
Fulmer was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday at Pittsburgh, but instead will go Friday against Texas. Manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday the team wanted to get Fulmer some extra time in between his starts.
 
The 24-year-old Fulmer is 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA in eight games, seven starts, this year. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings in his previous outing against the crosstown Cubs on Friday, yielding five runs in an 11-2 loss.
 
Fulmer was selected by Chicago with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft.
 
Instead, Santiago will start Wednesday. He has made two starts this season, going 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA. In nine appearances in relief, he has a 3.26 ERA. His longest outing of the season is 4 2/3 innings.

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Clinton Falls to Rantoul

The Clinton Maroons fell to Rantoul by a score of 5-3 on Monday afternoon at Rantoul. Jake Wade takes the loss allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and walking none. Parker West as 2 for 4 at bat.

 

For Rantoul, Adam Crites take the win allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 10, and walking 2. Nolan Riddle went 2 for 3 with a double and John Frerichs hit a triple.

 

With the loss, Clinton goes to 9-10 and Rantoul's record is 15-9. 

 

Clinton plays against Paris at home on Wednesday, May 16, at 5:30 pm.

 

 

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Albies, Bautista homer as Braves outslug Cubs 6-5

Ozzie Albies hit a leadoff drive for his 13th homer, Jose Bautista connected for a three-run shot and the Braves held off Chicago 6-5 on Monday.
 
Julio Teheran (4-1) pitched six innings and Tyler Flowers hit his first homer this season as NL-leading Atlanta (25-15) won for the sixth time in seven games. The Braves moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since July 28, 2014.
 
A.J. Minter worked a shaky ninth inning for his second save in the makeup of an April 15 rainout. Minter hit Ian Happ to force in a run with two out, but Kris Bryant lined out to left to end the game.
 
Chicago closed out a 5-2 homestand with its second straight loss. Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. each hit a two-run homer, but Jose Quintana (4-3) allowed all three Atlanta homers after pitching six sparkling innings against Miami in his previous start.
 
The 21-year-old Albies drove Quintana's second pitch the opposite way into the bleachers in right for his fourth career leadoff homer. The rookie second baseman tied Manny Machado, Mookie Betts and Bryce Harper for the major league lead in homers. He also doubled and singled.
 
Almora went deep in the second, and Bryant connected in the third, but the Cubs were unable to keep up with the slugging Braves.
 
Flowers, Quintana's former batterymate with the Chicago White Sox, hit a two-run shot in the third, a towering drive over the wall in left-center. Bautista lifted Atlanta to a 6-4 lead in the fifth, belting a drive to left for his second homer since joining the club on May 4.
 
Teheran allowed four runs and four hits, struck out one and walked three. The 27-year-old right-hander had a scoreless streak of 16 2/3 innings before Almora's second homer of the season.
 
Sam Freeman replaced Teheran and got one out before departing with runners on first and second. Shane Carle then came in and retired each of his five batters while extending his scoreless streak to 13 innings.
 
Quintana was tagged for six runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings against a Braves team that has been feasting on left-handed pitching. Atlanta is 8-3 against lefty starters.
 

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Anthony Holman to be College World Series' top administrator

Anthony Holman has been named the NCAA's managing director for championships 
 
operations and playing rules.
 
The NCAA announced the appointment Monday. Holman will be the lead administrator for the 
 
College World Series as the successor to Ron Prettyman, who resigned in March.
 
Holman also will oversee championships in bowling, men's ice hockey, FCS football, women's 
 
volleyball, beach volleyball and rifle. Holman also will have responsibilities related to playing 
 
rules, governance duties and sport committee activity for multiple championships.
 
The 1995 graduate of Augustana (Illinois) has been a member of the NCAA championships 
 
and alliances staff since 2009 and most recently served as director of championships with 
 
direct oversight of Division I men's lacrosse and wrestling.

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Owen Miller Named MVC Player of the Week

Illinois State junior shortstop Owen Miller has been named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
 
Miller went 10-of-14 for the week at the plate, including a five-hit effort in the weekend finale in which he hit for the cycle. He had three RBI's during the week, and scored four runs.
 
In the series opener he went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. On Saturday he had a 3-for-5 outing with a run scored and an RBI. He also swept his only base of the week in the middle game of the series. He had a spectacular ending to the week by going 5-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and driving in one run. He opened the game with a single in the first inning and followed with a solo home run in the second inning. He singled again in the fourth inning, before hitting a triple off of the top of the center field wall in the sixth inning. In his final at-bat of the game, he doubled down the right field line to close out the cycle.
 
He has nine multi-hit games in his last 11 contests, and he saw his batting average rise from .374 entering the week to its current standing of .397. His five hits in the finale are tied for the 12th-most hits in a game in the NCAA this season.
 
He is second in the MVC and 16th in the country in batting average (.397). He also ranks second in the country in hits per game (1.77), behind only Ryan Ward of Bryant University. He also stands seventh in total hits, 85th in total bases, and is the 86th most difficult player in the country to strike out.

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Color war: Zobrist defies MLB again with black spikes

Ben Zobrist was joined by Chicago Cubs teammates Kyle Schwarber and Steve Cishek in 
 
wearing black spikes on Monday despite a warning from Major League Baseball that he was 
 
in violation of the sport's uniform regulations.
 
Zobrist posted a letter from MLB on Instagram on Saturday that cited him for violating 
 
regulations requiring at least 51 percent of the exterior of a player's shoes be the club's 
 
designated primary shoe color. For the Cubs, that color is blue.
 
The letter said Zobrist will be subject to discipline, including a fine, if he continued to wear 
 
non-compliant shoes.
 
Zobrist said he planned to contract Joe Torre, MLB's Chief Baseball Officer.

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Davidson helps White Sox rally past Cubs 5-3

Matt Davidson hit a solo homer and a tiebreaking sacrifice fly, helping Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox salvage the finale of their weekend series against the crosstown Cubs with a 5-3 win on Sunday.
Giolito (2-4) matched a career high with seven walks, tossed three wild pitches and hit a batter, but pitched two-hit ball for 5 2/3 innings in his first victory since April 26. The right-hander allowed three runs and struck out three while lowering his ERA to 6.91 for the season.
 
The White Sox (10-27) stopped a seven-game slide and became the last major league team to reach 10 wins. Yolmer Sanchez, Nicky Delmonico, and Leury Garcia each drove in a run, and Bruce Rondon finished a nearly perfect relief effort for his first save.
 
Javier Baez drove in two more runs for the Cubs (21-16), who had won five in a row. Kyle Hendricks (3-3) surrendered four runs, three earned, and six hits in six innings.
 
Willson Contreras' throwing error on the catcher's 26th birthday set up Sanchez's tying RBI single in the third, but the Cubs regained the lead on Ian Happ's RBI double off the wall in right-center in the fourth.
 
Happ's hit put runners on second and third with no outs, but Addison Russell was caught off third on Hendricks' bouncer to third and Ben Zobrist grounded into an inning-ending double play.
 
That blown opportunity proved costly when the White Sox rallied for two in the sixth. Jose Abreu singled with one out and scampered home on Delmonico's triple to right-center. Davidson drove Hendricks' next pitch to the warning track in center, providing plenty of time for Delmonico to tag up for a 4-3 lead.
 
The South Siders added an insurance run on Garcia's RBI single in the seventh, and the Cubs were unable to rally after scoring 19 times in the first two games of the series. Jace Fry, Nate Jones and Joakim Soria and Rondon combined to retire 10 of the last 11 batters.
 
Pinch-hitter Tommy La Stella singled with two out in the ninth, but Zobrist flew out to center to end the game.
 
Giolito was just 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his previous four starts coming into the day, and he almost didn't make it out of the first.
 
Baez lined a two-run single into left-center with two out, giving him 36 RBIs in 36 games. Kyle Schwarber then walked and swiped second as part of a double steal - two of five on the day for the Cubs - but Giolito struck out Russell looking to end the inning.
 

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Richard fans 10, Wainwright struggles as Pads beat Cards 5-3

Clayton Richard matched his career high with 10 strikeouts in eight brilliant innings for his first win in more than a month, and the Padres beat struggling Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 Sunday to salvage a split of their four-game series. Wainwright said afterward that he re-aggravated an elbow injury that had landed him on the disabled list.
 
Richard (2-5) held the Cardinals to two runs and five hits while walking only one to win for the first time since April 9 at Colorado. He then had a no-decision and four straight losses.
 
Richard has been plagued by poor run support, with the Padres scoring no runs for the big left-hander in four of his previous eight starts. Included was his last start, when he pitched three-hit ball for eight innings and struck out eight but lost 4-0 to Washington.
 
Richard got enough backing Sunday thanks to Wainwright's wildness. The 36-year-old right-hander was activated from the 10-day disabled list after a bout with right elbow inflammation and walked six in just 2 1/3 innings, throwing 79 pitches. He allowed two runs on three hits and struck out three.
 
Richard got into trouble only in the sixth, when he walked Tommy Pham and then allowed an RBI triple by Harrison Bader and an RBI single by Jose Martinez.
 
Wainwright (1-3) threw 33 pitches in the first inning, loading the bases with two outs on a single and two walks, but didn't yield any runs.
 
He wasn't as lucky in the third. He walked the bases loaded with one out and then allowed a single by Cory Spangenberg and was pulled in favor of John Gant. Freddy Galvis followed with a sacrifice fly.
 
The Padres added on in the fourth with three hits against Gant, with Jose Pirela hitting an RBI double and Franchy Cordero following with an RBI single.
 
Brad Hand struggled through the ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities. Hand allowed Bader's leadoff homer, his third, and then loaded the bases with one out, on two walks and a hit batter. He struck out Carson Kelly and Kolten Wong to end it.

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Owen Miller's Cycle Leads Redbirds in Series Win Over Crusaders

Owen Miller hit for the cycle, and the Redbirds got a stellar pitching performance for the program's first shutout since the MVC Tournament a season ago, topping Valparaiso 8-0 to take the series over the Crusaders.
 
Miller opened the game with a single in the first inning, before hitting a home run with one out in the second inning. Another single in the fourth led the way to a triple off the wall in center field to lead off the sixth inning. Leading off the eighth inning, Miller doubled to the wall in right field to complete the cycle. In all, the junior shortstop went 5-for-5 at the plate.
 
Starting pitcher Matt Walker went six innings, scattering two hits, walking one while striking out four batters. Dalton Harvey and Braden Niksich each struck out one batter in an inning of work, while Jeff Lindgren struck out two in the ninth inning to secure the shutout win.
 
John Rave and Jake McCaw each went 2-for-4 as the Redbirds pounded out 13 hits in the game. Miller scored three times while Rave had a pair of runs. McCaw drove in a team-high four runs, as Rave chased home a pair.
 
The Redbirds started strong offensively, as Rave, Tyson Hays, and Miller each singled to load the bases through three batters in the game. After a fly-out, McCaw doubled home the trio to provide the eventual game-winning RBI's. After a groundout, Noah Sadler singled home McCaw to put ISU ahead 4-0.
 
An inning later, Derek Parola opened with a single, and trotted home following Rave's team-leading seventh home run of the season, putting the Redbirds ahead 6-0. Two batters later Miller cleared the wall in left field with his fifth home run of the season, and ISU held a 7-0 lead after two full innings.
 
The following three innings were played without a run scored, before Miller opened the sixth inning with a triple off the center field wall, and scored on a McCaw sacrifice fly, as the freshman drove in the first and last runs of the game.
 
The shutout was the first by the Redbirds since May 24, 2017, against Missouri State in the MVC Tournament last season.
 
The Redbirds return to action on Thursday, May 17, when the team faces off against the Evansville Aces in a three-game regular season-ending series.

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MLB to Cubs' Zobrist: Stop wearing black cleats

Major League Baseball has warned Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs against wearing black cleats.
 
Zobrist posted a letter from the league office on Instagram saying the cleats he wore May 2 against Colorado violated the collective bargaining agreement. MLB says they must be at least 51 percent blue - the Cubs' color - and warned he could be fined and disciplined if he doesn't comply.
 
Zobrist says he has worn black cleats for day games at Wrigley Field the past two years to honor the game's past. He says he was inspired by watching highlights of greats such as Ernie Banks and Stan Musial in the 1950s and 1960s.
 
Zobrist says feedback from fans has been positive. He questioned why the league is enforcing the rule now.
 
Cleveland pitcher Mike Clevinger recently got a letter from MLB warning him against the further wearing of his tie-dye cleats.

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Cardinals Win; Carlos Martinez To DL

Miles Mikolas won his fifth straight decision to begin the season and Pham homered in his return from a groin injury, sending the Cardinals past the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Thursday night.
 
Mikolas (5-0) allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings against his former team, lowering his ERA to 2.51. The right-hander had never faced the Padres, who drafted him in 2009 and used him as a reliever from 2012-13.
 
And though Mikolas issued his first walk in three games, he allowed fewer than three runs for the fourth consecutive start.
 
Padres cleanup man Franchy Cordero had three of the five hits against Mikolas.
 
A home run by Raffy Lopez chased Mikolas in the seventh and was the only extra-base hit against him.
 
Pham, who had missed four games, singled and scored in the first inning on Jose Martinez's sacrifice fly and homered in the fifth for the Cardinals' only extra-base hit. Both hits came against Jordan Lyles (0-1).
 
Jordan Hicks got the final out of the seventh and Greg Holland worked a scoreless eighth.
 
Cardinals left fielder Marcell Ozuna aided Mikolas in the fourth by throwing out Jose Pirela trying to stretch a single off the left-field wall.
 
After each of Cordero's singles, Mikolas retired Chase Headley, once on a double-play grounder.
 
Lyles, swapping roles with Mitchell, got the start Thursday and worked five innings. He allowed five hits.
 
Pham's sixth home run, off a hanging breaking ball in the fifth, was a 371-foot line drive over the left-field wall.
 
Luke Weaver (2-2, 5.50 ERA) has given up at least four runs in each of his last four starts.
 
Eric Lauer (1-1, 5.79) will make his fourth career start. Last time out, he earned his first win with six scoreless innings against the Dodgers in Mexico.
 
>>Cardinals Place RHP Martinez on DL
 
Placed ace Carlos Martinez on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained lat. The right-hander leads the National League with a 1.62 ERA. RHP Mike Mayers was recalled from Triple-A Memphis.

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Bears Sign Draft Picks

The Chicago Bears have signed six of their seven draft picks, leaving Georgia linebacker and No. 8 overall selection Roquan Smith as the only one left.
 
The Bears signed Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels (second round) and Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller (second round), Western Kentucky linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (fourth round), Delaware defensive lineman Bilal Nichols (fifth round), Utah linebacker Kylie Fitts (sixth round) and Georgia receiver Javon Wims (seventh round).
 
Chicago announced the moves on Thursday. The Bears start rookie minicamp on Friday.

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DJ Among Leaders At The Players

Nobody wanted to lead on Thursday at the 2018 Players Championship, it appeared. After multiple golfers (including Si Woo Kim, Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Cantlay) touched 7 under, nobody stayed there and now we are left with a six-way tie atop the leaderboard after Round 1 at TPC Sawgrass.
 
Maybe the most impressive full round of the day came early as Dustin Johnson shot a bogey-free 66 to grab a share of the early clubhouse lead with Webb Simpson. 
 
DJ was 6 under through 11 before parring in. 
 
Rory McIlroy, who somehow had the best score of the six marquee players in the two biggest groups, finished outside the top 100 in strokes gained off the tee (mostly because he hit it in the water on No. 18) and couldn't ever really get going. He had moments but he needs a big Friday afternoon to really get into the mix. 
 
It was going fine until he found the water on No. 18. Tiger Woods (E) struggled mightily off the tee on Thursday, which is a bit disconcerting considering the fact that you don't have to hit driver on this course as much as you do on most courses. Woods lost a stroke to the field off the tee and hit just five of 14 fairways. He'll have some work to do on Friday to make it to the weekend.
 
The entire afternoon featured group struggled, and Rickie Fowler (+2) was not exempt. He was playing fine until he got to No. 17 late in the day. He came up short there, made double bogey and now sits well back of the leaders. His group with Woods and Mickelson combined to shoot 9 over.
 
Jordan Spieth (+3), the three-time major winner's scorecard was a rainbow of sadness today. He opened bogey-bogey-eagle-double bogey, and it didn't get a lot better from there. If he misses the cut on Friday, that will be four in a row for him at this event. 

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Clinton Girls Track Takes Home CIC Title; Two School Records Set

The Clinton High School Lady Maroons track and field team won the Central Illinois Conference championship for the second straight season last week Central A&M. 
 
The Lady Maroons racked up 192 points and Decatur St. Teresa came in second with a team score of 157.
 
At the CIC meet, Madi Filkin and Payne Turney set school records at the meet. Turney also won four events at the meet. Athletes are only allowed to compete in four events at conference meets.
 
RyTy DuPont-Barlow set a personal best in the trimple-jump and a new personal best in the long jump.
 
Other Lady Maroons to set personal bests at the CIC meet:
 
Tori Burke (200 m) - good for 5th at conference
Riley Pruser (long jump/triple jump) - both good for 2nd at conference
Emma Wertz (1600 m) - 6th at conference
Aryn Scott (3200 m) - 5th at conference
Madi Filkin (300 m hurdles) - 5th at conference
Jackie Green (4x200 m relay/4x400 m relay)
RyTy Dupont-Barlow (4x200 m relay)
Natalie Rhodes (4x400 m realy)
Hadley Wilson (4x800 m releay)
Alyssa Saulsberry (discuss) - 7th at conference
 
The Lady Maroons are at sectionals tonight in Monticello. Athletes need to place first or second in their events or meet the qualifying standards to advance to state. 

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Cubs Pound Marlins; White Sox Lose Again; Top Prospect Out Another Year

>>Cubs Pound Marlins
 
Kris Bryant hit his 100th career homer, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell connected in an eight-run third inning, and the Cubs pounded the Miami Marlins 13-4 on Wednesday.
 
Rizzo also had a pair of doubles and finished with five RBIs as the Cubs outscored the Marlins 31-9 in a three-game sweep after dropping a season-high five in a row. It was quite a turnaround for a team that finished with three runs or less in 10 of 11 games prior to this series.
 
On the third anniversary of his first career home run, Bryant hit a drive about halfway up the bleachers in left in the first inning. He followed his third homer in four games with an RBI double to deep center in the third.
 
Chicago poured it on from there, scoring seven more runs in the inning against Wei-Yin Chen to go up 9-0 while sending 11 batters to the plate.
 
Rizzo, Russell, Albert Almora and Willson Contreras each had three of Chicago's 17 hits.
 
Jose Quintana (4-2) returned the favor after getting hit hard in a loss at Miami on April 1. The left-hander allowed one run and five hits in six innings.
 
Rizzo hit a three-run homer to right in the third and added RBI doubles in the fourth and sixth. Russell led off the third with a double and scored, then capped the inning with a two-run shot .
 
Miguel Rojas hit a two-run homer for Miami in the seventh, and Bryan Holaday added a solo drive in the ninth.
 
Chen (1-2) got tagged for nine runs and seven hits over three innings in his third start back from a strained left elbow. His ERA leaped from 4.82 to 10.22.
 
The Cubs open a three-game series Friday against the crosstown White Sox, with RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-3, 3.31) going against RHP Carson Fulmer (2-2, 5.02).
 
>>Pirates Rally Past White Sox
 
Colin Moran hit a two-run homer that capped a four-run rally against Nate Jones in the ninth inning, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over Chicago 6-5 on Wednesday and sending the last-place White Sox to their ninth loss in 10 games.
Chicago took a 5-2 lead into the ninth behind Reynaldo Lopez, who allowed two runs and three hits in a career-high 7 1/3 innings.
 
Jace Fry struck out the final two batters of the eighth, but Jones (2-1) blew a save for the second time in three chances as the White Sox lost their fifth in a row and fell to 9-25. Chicago is off to its second-worst 34-game start behind an 8-26 opening in 1948. The White Sox have the poorest home record in the major leagues at 3-15.
 
Starling Marte and Josh Bell singled on consecutive pitches off Jones, Corey Dickerson grounded out and Elias Diaz cut the lead to one with a two-run double on an 0-2 pitch.
 
Moran took a ball and then hit drive to right-center.
 
Richard Rodriguez (1-1) won despite allowing consecutive doubles to Jose Rondon and Welington Castillo in the eighth. Felipe Vazquez pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in seven chances.
 
Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco hit solo home runs in the sixth for the Pirates, who had trailed 4-0. Tim Anderson and Daniel Palka hit two-run homers for the White Sox.
 
Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams allowed a season-high four runs and seven hits in five innings.
 
Carson Fulmer (2-2, 5.02 ERA) starts Friday at Wrigley Field as the White Sox and Cubs open a weekend series.
 
>>White Sox Propsect Burger Re-Tears ACL, Out Another Year
 
Chicago White Sox third base prospect Jake Burger has torn his left Achilles tendon again and will be sidelined for an additional year.
 
Burger first tore the tendon Feb. 26 while running out a ground ball during an exhibition game against Oakland. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Wednesday that the 22-year-old re-injured the tendon last week while walking in his backyard and had surgery Tuesday.
 
Chicago selected Burger with the 11th overall pick in last year's amateur draft from Missouri State and signed him for a $3.7 million bonus.
 
Yoan Moncada (left hamstring tightness) took ground balls before the game. The team is optimistic that can be activated from the 10-day DL when eligible on May 15.

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Monticello Gets By Danville

Seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning propelled Monticello past Danville for another 10-run win, 16-6 Wednesday afternoon in non-conference boys baseball action from Monticello High School.

 

The Sages drew seven walks in the seven-run inning as the race was on to get the game complete before a round of severe storms rolled into Monticello.

 

Mitch Carr hit a two-run home run in the first inning. Luke Stokowski jumped missed a home run before Carr and settled for a run-scoring triple off the center field fence.

 

The Sages jumped out to 5-0 lead after the first.

 

In the top of the third, the Vikings loaded the bases with two outs and a routine ground ball to second base took a bad hop over the head of Brody Macak and three runs would score on the play.

 

The Sages would tack on two more in the bottom half of the inning after three straight walks to start the inning. Brock Wade walked in a run and Brett Macak hit a sac-fly to center field to make it 7-3.

 

The Sages tacked on another two in the fourth.

 

Alek Bundy, Stokowski and Carr each scored three runs.

 

Jeff Wileaver reached base four times with a single, double and two walks. Wileaver also scored twice.

 

The Macak brothers each walked twice and scored twice.

 

Cam Wittig capped the Sages five-run first inning with a two-run double.

 

Illinois football commit, Caleb Griffin, reached base three times and scored twice. He reached base all three times on infield bunt singles. He finished 3-for-4 to lead the Vikings offense. Logan Spicer had a two-run single in the third and Cayden Spires hit a home run to start the sixth inning and singled and scored in the third inning. He finished 2-for-3.

 

Each team hit into a double play.

 

The Sages are 23-3 overall. Danville drops to 8-10.

 

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Clinton Defeats Shelbyville

The Clinton Maroons defeated the Shelbyville Rams by a score of 8-3 on Wednesday evening.
 
The Maroons were led by Country Financial Player of the Game, Braden Cross, who went 2 for 2 with 3 doubles and 3 runs scored. Mac Hickman got the win, pitching 5 plus innings. He gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Jake Wade, also for the Maroons, went 1 for 2 with an RBI.
 
Quinn Martz took the loss for Shelbyville. He pitched 2 1/3 innings, gave up 4 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, hit 2 batters, and struck out 4.
 
With the win, the Maroons improve to 9-9 overall and 9-4 in CIC action.
 
Additionally, the Maroons regional assignment was announced Wednesday afternoon. Their 3A regional game will be played on May 21 at Pontiac. 
 
Tune in the 19th as the Lady Maroons take on U-High. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Blanks Mahomet-Seymour

Taylor Wunderlich allowed four base runners across seven shutout innings, Delaney Hilderbrandt hit a two-run home run and Monticello beat Mahomet-Seymour 7-0 in non-conference girls softball action Tuesday afternoon from Monticello High School.

 

The Lady Sages used a big four-run fourth inning to push a 1-0 lead to 5-0 and Hilderbrandt’s two-run shot to left in the sixth inning pushed the margin to 7-0 and capped a 3-for-4 afternoon on Senior Day.

 

Wunderlich struck out seven and allowed two hits and two walks.

 

The Lady Sages are 13-10 overall on the season.

 

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Monticello Crushes Urbana

Asher Bradd and Jeff Wileaver reached base three times, Bradd drove in a game-high three runs and the Monticello Sages routed Ubrana, 16-2 in non-conference boys baseball action Monday afternoon in Ubrana.
 
Luke Stowkowski drove in two, Cam Wittig also drove in two and picked up the win on the mound as Andrew Rulolph and Brett Macak each pitched an inning of relief.
 
The Sages racked up 12 hits as Urbana committed six errors.
 
The game was six innings long as Monticello put a five-spot on the board in the sixth to push the game to a double-digit advantage and pick up another ten-run win.
 
The Sages are 22-3 overall. They host Danville Wednesday afternoon. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Clinton Rallies Past Sullivan

Jake Wade shook off a slow start and the Clinton Maroons rallied past Sullivan for a 7-6 win in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball Tuesday in Sullivan.
 
The Redskins opened things up with a 3-1 advantage before the Maroons used a 3-run fifth inning to go up 4-3, highlighted by Wade's two-run home run. 
 
The Redskins answered in the bottom half of the inning with two runs to retake the 5-4 advantage, but Clinton scored two runs in the top of the sixth for the 6-5 advantage. The Redskins again answered with a run in the bottom of half of the inning to tie things up at 6 and then the Maroons scored a run in the top of the seventh and Wade closed the door for the Maroons.
 
Wade went all seven innings, allowing six runs, 11 hits, issued two walks and struck out 11. 
 
Mac Hickman's lone RBI for the afternoon was the difference in the seventh. Braden Cross led the Maroons offense with four RBIs finishing 3-for-4.
 
With the win, the Maroons are now .500 on the season at 8-8 overall with an 8-4 mark in CIC action.
 
They will host Maroa-Forsyth this afternoon.

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Cubs Win; Cardinals Lose

>>Happ Homers Twice As Cubs Pound Marlins
 
Ian Happ homered from both sides of the plate, and the Chicago Cubs stopped a five-game slide by routing the Miami Marlins 14-2 on Monday night.
 
The Cubs collected 15 hits after scoring three or fewer runs in 10 of the previous 11 games. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez connected, and Happ finished with five RBIs.
 
Kyle Hendricks also provided a lift for Chicago by pitching eight innings of two-run ball. The Cubs dropped their previous two on game-ending hits in St. Louis, taxing their bullpen.
 
The only downer for the Cubs was an early exit for Baez, who departed in the sixth with right groin tightness.
 
Miami starter Jarlin Garcia (1-1), who entered with a major league-best 1.09 ERA, was rocked for seven runs and six hits in four innings. The 25-year-old left-hander allowed just two earned runs in 23 innings in his previous four starts.
 
Before Monday, the Cubs' last 13 homers had been solo drives. Bryant stopped that streak with a two-run shot in the first.
 
Baez then made it 5-0 with a three-run drive to center in the third - one pitch after losing his balance on a hard swing and miss.
 
Happ added a two-run shot in the fourth. Batting from the left side in the seventh, he belted a three-run drive to left against Tyler Cloyd.
 
Bryant finished with three hits and scored three times, and Addison Russell had two hits and two RBIs.
 
Cameron Maybin had two hits and drove in a run for Miami, which had won six of eight.
 
Jose Urena (0-5, 4.28 ERA) pitches the second game of the series Tuesday night. Urena was the Marlins' opening-day starter against the Cubs in Miami on March 29, allowing five runs in four innings.
 
>>Twins Blank Cardinals
 
Romero (2-0) followed his impressive debut a week ago with another scoreless outing Monday night, throwing six sharp innings to lead Minnesota to a 6-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The 23-year-old right-hander permitted just three hits and struck out nine while throwing 97 pitches.
 
He extended his shutout streak to 11 2/3 innings to begin his career, building on a win over Toronto last week. The victory was a season-high fourth straight for the Twins, who have won 13 of their last 16 games against National League opponents dating to last year.
Romero had plenty of help in the field on Monday, most spectacularly in the form of Eddie Rosario's home run-saving catch of Dexter Fowler's drive in the first inning. The left fielder was playing shallow with Fowler batting left-handed, but that didn't stop him from tracking the shot, crashing into the wall and reaching over it to take away what would have been a game-tying, two-run homer by Fowler.
 
St. Louis had its season-best five-game winning streak snapped, one night after finishing a weekend sweep of the rival Chicago Cubs at nearly 1 a.m. John Gant (1-1) gave up six hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, who managed only four hits.
 
Paul DeJong had three of those for St. Louis, which struck out 12 times. Seven came on called third strikes, including three for Marcell Ozuna.
 
Five of Romero's nine strikeouts caught Cardinals batters looking, thanks in large part to his upper-90s (mph) velocity and fine command.
 
Robbie Grossman went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, and Bobby Wilson knocked in two runs for Minnesota.
 
After striking out a season-high eight in his last outing, Jake Odorizzi takes the mound as Minnesota closes out its two-game interleague series in St. Louis on Tuesday afternoon. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.10 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings this season.
 
Carlos Martinez (3-1) has allowed one run or less in six straight starts and is second in the National League with a 1.40 ERA.
 
>>White Sox RP Farquhar Released From Hospital
 
Chicago White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar has been released from a hospital.
 
The White Sox say in a statement Monday that the 31-year-old right-hander is resting at home with his family after being discharged from Rush University Medical Center.
 
Farquhar collapsed in the dugout with a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm during a home game against Houston on April 20. He had surgery the following day.
 
Neurosurgeon Dr. Demetrius Lopes expects Farquhar will be able to pitch again but says he won't medically release him to throw in a game this season.
 
Farquhar is 10-15 with a 3.93 ERA and 18 saves for Toronto (2011), Seattle (2013-15), Tampa Bay (2016-17) and Chicago (2017-18).
 
>>Cubs Place RHP Darvish On DL
 
The Cubs placed struggling right-hander Yu Darvish on the 10-day disabled list with the flu. The 31-year-old Darvish is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in his first season with Chicago after finalizing a $126 million, six-year contract in February.
 
He was scheduled to start Tuesday night against Miami, but the Cubs provided no word on a replacement.
 
The Cubs also recalled right-hander Cory Mazzoni from Triple-A Iowa and optioned reliever Luke Farrell to their top farm club. Mazzoni worked the ninth against the Marlins.
 
The DL stint for Darvish was made retroactive to Friday. The team said it will announce a corresponding move on Tuesday.

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Illinois State Splits Saturday Double-Header With Bradley

The Illinois State Redbirds split a Saturday afternoon doubleheader with the Bradley Braves, giving the visitors a 2-1 series win. 
 
Illinois State's won the opener 13-6, before Bradley took the finale 9-3.
 
John Rave went 4-for-8 on the day with three runs scored and a pair of doubles, while Jordan Libman was 3-for-6, also with three runs scored. Rave, Libman, and Collin Braithwaite each scored three times, while Rave, Jack Butler, and Braithwaite drove in three runs apiece.
 
Libman was a perfect 3-for-3 in the opener for the Redbirds, scoring three times and driving in two. Rave went 2-for-3, as the pair combined for five of the team's eight hits in the contest. Hays, Rave, Butler, and McCaw each scored twice, while Rave had three RBI's, and Braithwaite, Jack Butler, and Libman each had two.
 
Brent Headrick got the win for Illinois State, improving to 2-3 on the season as he scattered five hits over his five innings of work, gave up two earned runs and struck out two. 
 
In the finale, Rave and Butler each went 2-for-4, and Miller and Braithwaite were 2-for-5.
 
The Redbirds return to action on Friday hosting Valparaiso Crusaders in the team's final MVC home series of the season.

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Illinois Drops Weekend Series To Ohio State

Ohio State scored eight unearned runs Sunday to beat the Illinois baseball team 10-5 at Illinois Field. 
 
The Buckeyes clinched the series 2-1.
 
Illinois (27-16, 11-7 Big Ten) made a season-high four errors, including three on sac bunt attempts. The Illini had made only four errors in their previous seven games combined. 
 
Ohio State (30-15, 11-7 Big Ten) capitalized on Illinois' miscues with five runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead, an advantage that never got below four runs.  The Buckeyes won a series in Champaign for the first time since 2009 after losing three straight.
 
Kobie Foppe and Noah West led Ohio State with two hits and four RBIs each. West hit a key three-RBI double with two outs in the seventh to make the score 10-3.
 
Bren Spillane homered for Illinois, his 18th home run of the season. Spillane is tied with Bubba Smith's 1991 season for fourth on Illinois' single-season home run records list. 
 
Spillane, Jeff Korte and Doran Turchin all had two hits for the Illini. Illinois and Ohio State were even with nine hits. 
 
Ty Weber (4-3) started and took the loss by allowing five runs (one earned) in 1 1/3 innings. Illinois was forced to use six pitchers.
 
Illinois is back on the diamond Friday at Michigan for the start of a three-game series.

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Four Charged Slaying Linked To Ex-Packers Lineman

Four men are charged with murder and kidnapping in a slaying that police in Alabama say is linked to the killing of a former Green Bay Packers player.
 
Former Packers defensive lineman Carlos Gray was shot to death Monday in a killing sheriff's officials believe was linked to the drug trade. They say 21-year-old Darryl Thomas was found dead of bullet wounds the next day.
 
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department says friends of the 25-year-old Gray believe Thomas killed him, and Thomas was killed in retaliation.
 
Capital murder charges were filed in Thomas' death Thursday against 27-year-old Aeriol Lasean Barbee of Hoover; 24-year-old Cortez Clark-Johnson of Center Point; 22-year-old Myzel Contest Arbuckle of Birmingham; and 21-year-old Jalen McIntyre of Pinson.

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Cardinals Outlast Cubs in 14 Innings; White Sox Lose; Moncada to the DL

>>Cardinals Outlast Cubs in 14 Innings
 
Dexter Fowler's game winner lifted St. Louis to a 4-3 victory over Chicago, doing so in a twice rain-delayed game that appeared to be all but finished when Javier Baez put the Cubs up by a run with his solo home run in the top of the 14th.
 
The victory was the Cardinals' fifth straight, matching their season-best winning streak. It also improved St. Louis to 4-1 on the season against the rival Cubs, a year after Chicago won 14 of the 19 games between the two.
 
After Chicago took a 3-2 lead on Baez's solo shot in the top of the 14th, Luke Farrell (1-2) struck out the first two Cardinals batters he faced before allowing an infield single to Harrison Bader. Fowler then lifted a 2-2 pitch down the right-field line and just over the glove of Chicago outfielder Jason Heyward.
 
Mike Mayers (1-0) earned the win in relief for St. Louis, allowing one run in three innings. The Cardinals bullpen allowed only three hits in 8 2/3 innings.
 
The loss was the season-high fifth straight for Chicago, the team's worst losing stretch since a six-game skid in late May last season. The Cubs have now failed to score more than three runs in 10 of their last 11 games.
 
The game, which ended at nearly 1 a.m. local time, was delayed twice by rain, a 30-minute delay in the first inning and then 29 minutes during the third. It was also matched the longest game between the Cubs and Cardinals in nearly 12 years, equaling a 14-inning Chicago win over St. Louis on June 2, 2006.
 
Michael Wacha allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, and Jon Lester overcame four walks to allow two runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Cubs.
Chicago returns home to open a six-game, seven-day homestand on Monday, beginning with a visit from the Miami Marlins. Kyle Hendricks starts for the Cubs, having allowed more than three runs in a start only once this season and sporting a 3.19 ERA.
 
John Gant gets his first start of the season when St. Louis begins a two-game series with visiting Minnesota on Monday night. The appearance will be the first for the right-hander since being called up from Triple-A Memphis on April 26th, and it comes in place of the injured Adam Wainwright - who will make a rehab start at Double-A Springfield also on Monday night.
 
>>White Sox Fall Late To Twins
 
Chicago's James Shields pitched a no-hitter into the seventh inning before the Minnesota Twins rallied late for a 5-3 victory over the White Sox on Sunday.
 
With the Twins trailing 2-0, Eduardo Escobar broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single in the seventh. Eddie Rosario then followed with a single to drive in Brian Dozier, who led off the inning with a walk.
Shields, who retired the first 16 batters, got the next batter Robbie Grossman on a fly to center for the second out (with Escobar advancing to third) before being lifted after 91 pitches.
 
Left-hander Luis Avilan was brought in to face lefty Logan Morrison, but the strategy backfired as Morrison dropped a soft liner just inside the right-field foul line for a two-run double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.
 
Shields allowed three runs and two hits in 6 2/3 innings.
 
The 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball was the longest for a White Sox pitcher since Jose Quintana (also 6 1/3 innings) on May 21, 2013.
 
Rosario homered and drove in two runs as Minnesota won its third straight.
 
Leury Garcia and Matt Davidson each had an RBI for Chicago, who has dropped seven of eight.
 
Davidson's sac fly in the bottom of the seventh tied the game at 3.
 
In his previous start Tuesday at St. Louis, Shields allowed one run and two hits in six innings. He allowed a lead-off homer to Tommy Pham and then retired 15 straight. Shields left with Chicago leading 2-1, but received a no-decision after the bullpen surrendered two runs in a 3-2 loss.
 
Minnesota regained the lead on Sunday on an RBI groundout by Max Kepler in the eighth and Rosario added a solo homer in the ninth.
 
Zach Duke (2-1) got the win with Fernando Rodney pitching the ninth for his fifth save.
 
Bruce Rondon (1-2) took the loss.
 
Following a day off, RHP Lucas Giolito (1-4, 7.03 ERA) opens a two-game series against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. RHP Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.01) is the scheduled starter for the Pirates.
 
>>White Sox Put Moncada On DL
 
Chicago White Sox infielder Yoan Moncada has been put on the 10-day disabled list with tightness in his left hamstring.
 
The White Sox made the move before Saturday night's game against Minnesota. Manager Rick Renteria said an MRI came back clean and the move was precautionary.
 
The 22-year-old Moncada made an early exit in Friday night's loss to the Twins. He also was taken out of Wednesday's game against St. Louis.
 
Moncada is batting .263 with six home runs and 17 RBIs. His .359 on-base percentage and .509 slugging percentage are both second on the team among regulars.
 
The White Sox recalled infielder Jose Rendon from Triple-A Charlotte to take Moncada's spot on the roster.

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Jason Day Takes Wells Fargo Championship

Jason Day got through those three holes, playing to a field average of 1 over on the day, in 2 under on Sunday en route to a 12-under 272 for the week and his second win of 2018 at Quail Hollow at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship.
 
Going to the wicked par-4 16th, Day was reeling a bit. He'd just made two bogeys in his last three holes and parred the par-5 15th, which is one of the easier holes on the course. He'd hit just four of 12 fairways to that point, and he felt lost.
 
Day hit both the 16th fairway and green and rolled in a 11-foot putt for birdie to put some distance between himself and those chasing. 
 
Then he stood on the par-3 17th, where Justin Thomas shut down the 2017 PGA, and he nearly dunked an ace. It might not have been a great shot considering it probably would have run off the green had it not clipped the stick, but it was timely. And it was also nearly a 1.
 
Day closed with a par on No. 18 for a 2-under 69 to get to 12 under overall and secure a two-stroke victory over Nick Watney and Aaron Wise. His putter saved him in the final round as he gained over four strokes on the field on a day when his long game was a wasteland.
 
Next week is the 2018 Players Championship.
 
Phil Mickelson made 18 birdies on the week, including a ridiculous seven in the final round.Mickelson grabbed his eighth top-five finish at this tournament on this course
 
After making the cut at T48 and shooting a 66 in Round 3, Rory McIlroy stalled with a 71 on Sunday. He said he felt uncomfortable with his game all week. He was top 15 in strokes gained tee to green but outside the top 40 in strokes gained putting.
 
Rickie Fowler was 6 under through 52 holes of this event before four-putting from 22 feet on the par-3 17th hole on Saturday. He played the final 20 holes of the tournament in 4 over and dropped back outside the top 20 after looking like he was going to contend to win the event. The final 18 holes were a roller coaster as he made a monstrous 75-footer for eagle at the par-5 7th, but he had two more double bogeys (including another one at the 17th.
 
Tiger Woods didn't make a birdie for the final 21 holes of the event, mostly because he could not putt. He finished 72nd (of 75 golfers) in strokes gained putting and 8th in strokes gained tee to green. 

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Monticello Blanks St. Joseph-Ogden, Clinch Share of Illini Prairie Conference Title

Mitch Carr threw a one-hit, five-inning shut out and the Sages jumped out quickly against St. Joseph-Ogden in a 10-0 Illini Prairie Conference boys baseball game Thursday afternoon from Monticello High School and clinched at least a share of the Conference title. 
 
The Sages scored five runs in the bottom of the first then three more in the second inning and added a pair of insurance runs in the fourth as they picked up their 21st victory on a soggy day in Monticello.
 
Carr struck out just two spartans in his five innings.
 
Jeff Wileaver and Alek Bundy paced the Sages offense with three hits apiece, and Brock Wade drove in four. Bundy and Luke Stokowski each had a pair of RBIs.
 
Monticello moves to 21-3 overall and 8-1 in the Illini Prairie. 
 
Their game today against Warrensburg-Latham has been canceled as the Cardinals seek to make up Central Illinois Conference games rained out earlier this year.
 
The Sages will travel to Urbana Monday afternoon and then host Danville Wednesday.
 
Hear Wednesday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Thompson's HR Lifts White Sox Past Twins

Trayce Thompson homered with two out in the ninth, and Chicago stopped a four-game slide by topping the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Thursday night.
 
The 27-year-old Thompson connected against former White Sox reliever Addison Reed (0-2), driving a 3-1 pitch 403 feet to left. It was his third homer in 43 at-bats this season and third game-ending shot of his career.
 
Thompson was drafted by Chicago and broke into the majors with the White Sox in 2015. He was reacquired last month in a trade with Oakland after he was designated for assignment by the Athletics.
 
Chicago trailed 5-1 in the fourth inning. Nate Jones (2-0) got the win, retiring his only batter.
 
Logan Morrison, who attracted little interest on the free-agent market over the winter despite hitting a career-high 38 homers for Tampa Bay last season, went deep in his first three-hit game for the Twins.
 
Morrison belted a two-run shot in Minnesota's three-run fourth. He also doubled and singled in his second multihit game of the season.
 
Chicago rallied behind rookie Daniel Palka, who hit a two-run drive off Jake Odorizzi in the bottom half. It was his second homer in five career starts.
 
Yolmer Sanchez singled in Omar Narvaez in the fifth, and the White Sox tied it in the sixth. Jose Abreu scored from first when Twins right fielder Robbie Grossman mishandled Matt Davidson's double.
 
Chicago had a chance to go in front in the seventh, but Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario robbed Adam Engel of a possible homer with a leaping catch near the wall.
 
Both starting pitchers were hurt by shaky defense.
 
Odorizzi allowed five runs - three earned - and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked two.
 
Reynaldo Lopez pitched 6 2/3 innings for Chicago, yielding four earned runs and six hits. Passed balls by Narvaez on consecutive pitches in the third contributed to a two-run frame for the Twins.
 
Twins right-hander Jose Berrios (2-3, 3.63 ERA) is set to match up with White Sox righty Carson Fulmer (2-1, 4.32 ERA) in the second of a four-game series on Friday night. Berrios struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings in a victory over the White Sox on April 12. Fulmer allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings against Kansas City last time out.

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Cubs, Cards Match Up This Weekend At Busch

Jose Quintana has had three rough outings in his first five starts, but last Saturday wasn't one of them as he rolled through seven shutout innings in a 3-0 win over Milwaukee, yielding just two hits and a walk while fanning seven.
 
In four career outings against St. Louis, Quintana is 3-0 with a 3.13 earned-run average, winning two starts last year when he was acquired from the White Sox at the All-Star break.
Chicago (16-12) has lost consecutive games after a five-game winning streak, dropping an 11-2 decision to Colorado Wednesday. The Cubs have managed just 16 runs over their last eight games but permitted only four runs during their winning streak.
 
They'll be put to the test this weekend when they head to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. 
 
Miles Mikolas is 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA in his first five starts with the club after spending the last three years in Japan. Mikolas would be 4-0, except the bullpen hacked up a 5-2 lead after he left his last start on April 27 in Pittsburgh.
 
Mikolas, who will make his first career start against Chicago, has lasted seven innings in three consecutive outings. In 33 innings, Mikolas has walked just two and fanned 27.
 
Tyler Chatwood gets the ball Saturday for Chicago opposite Luke Weaver for St. Louis. The series concludes on Sunday night baseball on ESPN. St. Louis has not announced a starter for the game while Chicago will send Jon Lester to the hill. 

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Weather Shortens Illinois State, Northern Illinois Matchup; Redbirds Rally For Win

The Illinois State Redbirds scored three times in the top of the seventh inning, and held Northern Illinois scoreless in the bottom half of the inning as the game was stopped after the frame because of an impending storm. 
 
The 7-6 Illinois State win ran the Redbirds' win streak to three games heading into the three-game series against the Bradley Braves as Duffy Bass Field.
 
Owen Miller went 3-for-4 from the plate, extending his hit streak to 17 games, and is his fifth consecutive multi-hit game. He scored once and drove in a season-high four runs. John Rave scored twice, while going 2-for-3 at the plate. 
 
Jeff Lindgren picked up the win for the Redbirds, pitching two innings of scoreless relief, while Braden Niksich picked up his first save, pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

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Cardinals Beat White Sox; Cubs Lose

>>Cardinals Edege White Sox
 
Carlos Martinez hit his first major league home run and also threw 7 1-3 effective innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
 
Dexter Fowler added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who won their second game in a row.
 
Chicago has dropped four straight and 13 of 17. The White Sox fell to a season-low 12 games under .500.
 
Martinez (3-1) hit a 407-foot shot off Lucas Giolito (1-4) with two outs in the sixth to break a scoreless tie. Martinez allowed one run on five hits and left with a 3-0 lead. He struck out five and walked two. The Cardinals have won each of his six starts.
 
Giolito surrendered three runs on four hits over 6 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two. He had walked 21 batters and struck out 11 over his first five starts.
 
Bud Norris picked up his sixth save in as many opportunities by getting four outs.
 
Martinez fanned three consecutive batters after giving up a leadoff double to Jose Abreu in the fourth. He also induced Daniel Palka to hit into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.
 
Fowler hit his 100th career home run in the seventh to push the lead to 3-0.
 
Yolmer Sanchez had an RBI single in the eighth. Abreu followed with a sacrifice fly to trim the deficit to 3-2.
 
Yadier Molina had two hits for the Cardinals.
 
Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.27) takes on LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 5.74) in the first of a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday. Mikolas leads the majors with a walk-strikeout ratio of 1-13.5.
 
>>Arenado, Rockies Power Past Cubs
 
Nolan Arenado hit two of Colorado's four homers and drove in five runs to back Tyler Anderson and lift the Rockies to an 11-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
 
Arenado hit a long two-run homer to center off Yu Darvish in the first inning. He connected again in the eighth, hitting a three-run drive to left off Luke Farrell.
Trevor Story led off the fifth with a long homer to left, and Chris Iannetta chased Darvish one out later with a solo drive that made it 6-1.
 
Anderson (2-0) pitched a season-high seven innings after leaving his previous start because he was feeling light-headed. The left-hander struck out a season-high nine while permitting two runs and three hits.
 
Anthony Rizzo homered in the fourth and Kris Bryant went deep in the sixth, but that was it for Chicago. The Cubs finished with four hits in their eighth consecutive game with three or fewer runs.
 
Rizzo's drive was his second in as many days. He connected from the fourth spot in the order after hitting his fourth career leadoff homer on Tuesday. But the Cubs dropped their second straight following a season-high five-game win streak.
 
Darvish (0-3) got tagged for six runs - five earned - and seven hits over 4 1/3 innings by a team that began the day with the majors' lowest batting average. Coming off a dominant start against Milwaukee, the right-hander exited to boos this time around.
 
The latest shaky outing left his ERA through six starts at 6.00 - not what the Cubs envisioned when they signed him to a $126 million contract in the offseason.
 
Chicago opens a three-game series Friday at St. Louis, with LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 5.74 ERA) pitching for the Cubs and RHP Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.27 ERA) starting for the Cardinals.

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Second Alabama Homicide Possibly Linked To Ex-Green Bay Player

A man whose bullet-riddled body was found dumped along a rural road in Alabama apparently was killed in retaliation for the slaying of a former Green Bay Packers player, authorities said Wednesday.
 
A statement from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said Darryl Thomas, 21, of Center Point appeared to have been killed in retribution for the shooting death of former Packers defensive lineman Carlos Gray, 25.
 
Thomas' body was found along a road near Birmingham on Tuesday, the day after Gray's body was found in his home, also near Birmingham.
 
No charges were filed immediately in either death, but four suspects were in custody following Thomas' slaying and at least one was believed to have been a close friend of Gray, authorities said.
 
Gray, who played at North Carolina State University, signed with the Packers in 2014 and was living in Alabama after being released in 2015.
 
Authorities said Gray's girlfriend returned home from an outing to find him dead and called police. Officers discovered marijuana, scales, a handgun and an AK-47 rifle with a high-capacity magazine in the home, the statement said.
 
The next morning, according to authorities, deputies received a call about a reported kidnapping at a convenience store. A man who wasn't identified by police said he and Thomas had been abducted at gunpoint by several men. The man told officers he escaped at an intersection but that Thomas did not, officials say.
 
A passer-by later found Thomas' body along a dirt road, and authorities determined he had been shot more than once.
 
Police said murder charges and kidnapping charges were likely.

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Clinton Lady Maroons Fall to Lady Hawks

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Meridian Lady Hawks by a score of 1-0 on Tuesday evening. The Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game Olivia Sanders takes the loss, allowing 1 run on 5 hits, and striking out 6 while walking 2. At the plate, Mackenzie Armstrong was 1 for 3 and Destiny Schlesinger was 1 for 3.

 

For Meridian, Peyton Latham takes the win, pitching for 7 innings, allowing 0 runs on 2 hits, striking out 2, walking 0. Latham lead the Lady Hawks at the plate 1 for 2 with an RBI.

 

With the loss, the Maroons fall to 5-15 overall and 3-6 in CIC play. Meridian with the win improve to 18-4 on the season and 10-2 in conference action.

 

The Lady Maroons' next broadcast is May 19 as the take on U-High. Tune in Wednesday, May 9, as the Maroons take on Monticello. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

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Monticello Edges Prairie Central

Monticello's Cam Wittig pitched six innings of one run ball and Alek Bundy drove in both runs of a 2-1, eight inning win over Prairie Central Monday afternoon from Fairbury in Illini Prairie Conference boys baseball action.
 
Alex Marquardt picked up the win in relief. Wittig struck out four allowing an unearned run. 
 
Asher Bradd and Bundy each had a pair of hits for the Sages who improve to 20-3 overall and 7-1 in the Illini Prairie.
 
The Sages return home Thursday afternoon for a showdown with St. Joseph-Ogden and then hit the road Friday to take on Warrensburg-Latham.
 
Hear Friday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Maroons Rally Past Sullivan

Trailing 4-2 after three and a half innings, the Clinton Maroons bats came alive for the bottom of the fourth as they outscored Sullivan 9-3 the rest of the way for an 11-7 win in a makeup game of Central Illinois Conference boys baseball action Monday afternoon from Clinton.
 
Mack Hickman went the distance allowing just two earned runs as the Maroons defense comitted six erros. Hickman struck out 14 to just one walk and seven hits.
 
Hickman also doubled and walked. Parker West scored four times finishing 3-for-3 with a walk. Cameron Wertz and Michael Oswald each drove in a pair. Wertz added a double finishing 2-for-3.
 
The Maroons are 6-8 overall and now 6-4 in the Central Illinois Conference. 
 
The Maroons will host Meridian this afternoon at 4:30 pm. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Cubs Outlast Rockies

Jon Lester grinded his way into the sixth inning, continuing an impressive stretch for Chicago's rotation and helping the Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Monday night for their season-high fifth straight victory.
 
Lester allowed two runs and five hits, struck out five and walked three. Luke Farrell (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief for his first career win, and Steve Cishek got two outs for his first save of the season.
 
The Rockies put runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth before Cishek struck out Nolan Arenado.
 
Colorado wasted a solid start by Kyle Freeland (1-4) in its third straight loss. The left-hander pitched seven innings of three-run ball, allowing six hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
 
The Rockies jumped in front with two in the fifth, taking advantage of an ugly error by Javier Baez. With one out and a runner on first, the second baseman dropped catcher Willson Contreras' throw to first on Freeland's sacrifice.
 
After Ian Desmond flied out, Charlie Blackmon blooped an RBI single into center and Arenado hit a tiebreaking double. But the Rockies missed out on a chance for more when Chris Iannetta struck out looking with the bases loaded.
 
The Cubs responded with Albert Almora Jr.'s RBI single in the bottom half, then went ahead to stay in the sixth.
 
Kris Bryant led off with a triple high off the wall in left for his first hit since he was beaned by Colorado on April 22. Bryant then scampered home when Anthony Rizzo followed with a grounder to second.
 
Lester was pulled with two outs and runners on first and second, but Farrell got Desmond to bounce into a fielder's choice. Farrell also worked the seventh in the 13th major league game for the son of former Red Sox manager John Farrell.
 
Addison Russell had an RBI single in the second for Chicago, which has won nine of 11 overall. The Cubs moved a season-high six games over .500 and picked up their 16th win before May 1 for only the fourth time in franchise history.
 
Rockies right-hander Jon Gray and Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks square off Tuesday night. Gray (2-4, 5.79 ERA) stopped a personal three-game slide when he struck out 11 while pitching six scoreless innings in a 5-2 victory against San Diego on Wednesday. Hendricks (2-1, 3.10) is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts, including a win at Colorado on April 20.Cubs Outlast Rockies

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Illinois Drops Weekend Series To Indiana

The Illinois baseball team dropped a 9-2 decision Sunday to No. 15 Indiana at Bart Kaufman Field. Indiana clinched the series 2-1. 
 
Illinois (25-14, 10-5 Big Ten) was limited to two runs on eight hits in the game and six runs on 22 hits in the series. 
 
Indiana hit three homers, including back-to-back home runs in the second inning to open a 3-0 lead. Scott Bradley, Matt Gorski and Justin Walker all homered for the Hoosiers.
 
Michael Massey and Michael Michalak led Illinois with two hits. Michalak drove in a run with an infield single in the seventh and Bren Spillane had an RBI sac fly in the fourth.
 
Ty Weber (4-2) took the loss, allowing six runs in six innings. Weber struck out a career-high nine batters. 
 
Illinois returns home for four games next week at Illinois Field. The Illini host Southern Illinois on Tuesday before a weekend series against Ohio State. 

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Illinois State Splits Weekend Series With Butler

A ninth-inning sacrifice fly by Derek Parola drove in Joe Aeilts for the game-winning run, as Illinois State drew to a draw in a two-game series with the Butler Bulldogs, winning 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. 
 
The win provided revenge for the Redbirds, who fell on a walk-off hit less than 24 hours earlier against Butler.
 
Owen Miller went 2-for-3 at the plate for Illinois State, while starting pitcher Matt Walker struck out four while scattering five hits and not allowing a run over a career-high seven innings on the mound.
 
Michael Sebby picked up the win for the Redbirds, pitching the clean ninth inning while striking out one, and improving to 2-1 on the season.
 
Illinois State returns to action on Tuesday, May 1, when the team travels to play at Milwaukee, before facing off against Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Illinois, a day later.

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Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

>>Chatwood Leads Cubs To Shutout, Weekend Sweep of Brewers
 
Tyler Chatwood pitched seven sparkling innings and helped himself with an RBI single, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday and a sweep of the four-game series between NL Central rivals.
 
Chatwood (2-3) allowed two hits, struck out four and walked three in his second straight win. Carl Edwards Jr. worked the eighth and Brandon Morrow got three outs for his seventh save in seven chances, finishing Chicago's second straight shutout and its fifth just this month against Milwaukee.
 
The Brewers had won eight in a row before they were held to two runs and 14 hits in the sweep by the Cubs. Chicago's starting pitchers - Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana and Chatwood - allowed an unearned run and 11 hits in 27 innings in the series.
 
Addison Russell had two hits, a sacrifice fly and scored a run as the Cubs improved to 7-1 against the Brewers this year and moved a season-high five games above .500.
 
Zach Davies (2-3) kept Milwaukee in the game for most of the day, but Chicago got to the right-hander for a run in the fifth and sixth.
 
Russell led off the fifth with a triple into the right-field corner. Davies then struck out Jason Heyward, but Chatwood lined a run-scoring single back up the middle for this first hit of the season.
 
Davies hurt himself in the sixth, hitting Anthony Rizzo with one out after Chatwood threw one up and in on Lorenzo Cain in the top half of the inning. Rizzo lingered in the batter's box for a bit before going to first.
 
Willson Contreras followed with a double and Kyle Schwarber was intentionally walked to get to Russell, who drove in Rizzo with a fly ball to center for a 2-0 lead.
 
Jon Lester (2-1, 3.29 ERA) faces Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (1-3, 4.33 ERA) on Monday night in the opener of a three-game set. Chicago won two of three against Colorado last weekend at Coors Field.
 
>>Royals Down White Sox Sunday
 
Cheslor Cuthbert homered twice and drove in four runs as the Kansas City Royals won consecutive games for the first time this season, defeating the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Sunday.
 
Whit Merrifield singled home Alcides Escobar, who was hit by a pitch to leadoff the eighth inning, with the go-ahead run off Bruce Rondon (1-1). Escobar left in the ninth with a left hand contusion.
Cuthbert, who had not homered since August 20 - a span on 109 at-bats - drove a Hector Santiago pitch into the White Sox bullpen in the fourth.
 
He homered in the fifth with Salvador Perez and Jorge Soler aboard off Chris Volstad. It was Cuthbert's second career multi-homer game. The other was June 11, 2016.
 
Royals starter Ian Kennedy left after five innings with a 4-2 lead, but reliever Brian Flynn could not hold it.
 
Daniel Palka doubled home two White Sox runs in the fourth, giving him five RBIs in two games.
 
Leury Garcia two-out triple in the sixth scored Trayce Thompson, cutting the Royals lead to 4-3. Nicky Delmonico's run-producing double in the seventh tied the score.
 
The Royals loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, but failed to score. Kansas City is 4-for-25, .160, with the bases loaded this season
 
Brandon McCarthy (2-0) picked up the victory, while Blaine Boyer logged his fifth career save and his first since May 29, 2016 while with the Milwaukee Brewers
 
After an off-day Monday, RHP James Shields will start Tuesday at St. Louis. He is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in his last three starts.
 
>>Pirates Rookie Nearly Throws No-Hitter in First Career Start, Bucs Sweep Redbirds
 
Nick Kingham started out better than any pitcher in more than a half-century, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning of his big league debut and leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 Sunday.
Kingham retired the first 20 batters before Paul DeJong singled down the left-field line with two outs in the seventh.
 
Kingham was taken out after seven innings. He fanned nine and threw 98 pitches, 72 for strikes.
 
Elias Diaz had three hits and drove in two runs as the Pirates won their fifth straight and completed a three-game sweep of the Cardinals.
 
Luke Weaver (2-2) allowed in 5 1/3 innings.
 
Weaver pitched five scoreless inning before walking the bases loaded with one out in the sixth.
 
Diaz hit a two-run single that finished Weaver, and Colin Moran had an RBI single off Jordan Hicks.
 
Michael Wacha (4-1, 3.62) will attempt to extend his winning streak to five games when he takes the mound against the Chicago White Sox at Busch Stadium on Tuesday. Wacha has won four straight starts since last losing on March 31, when he allowed four runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings against the New York Mets.

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Packers, Bears Wrap Up NFL Draft

The Green Bay Packers prioritized the secondary first in the NFL draft.
 
Josh Jackson is joining a revamped cornerback group after the Packers took the Iowa junior with the 45th overall pick in the second round on Friday night. Jackson led the nation with eight interceptions last season.
 
Green Bay also went cornerback in the first round on Thursday after choosing Louisville's Jaire Alexander with the 18th overall pick.
 
At 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, the Packers like Jackson's physical ability. He turned into a ball hawk in his only year as starter in college.
 
Green Bay also dealt back into the third round to select linebacker Oren Burks from Vanderbilt with the 88th overall pick. The Packers sent the first pick in the fourth round — the 101st overall — and a fifth-round selection to the Carolina Panthers to take Burks.
 
Burks is listed as an outside linebacker on the NFL's prospect list, though he played inside linebacker as a senior last season with the Commodores. Pro personnel director John Wojciechowski said that Burks will play inside, where he hopes that his ability in pass coverage will help.
 
The focus shifted to offense for the late rounds on Saturday. The passing attack slipped to 25th in the league last season after Rodgers was limited to seven games because of a broken collarbone.
 
Gutekunst drafted three wideouts, starting with Missouri's J'Mon Moore in the fourth round. The 6-foot-3 senior had team highs of 65 catches and 1,082 yards last season.
 
Besides Moore, the Packers also took two 6-5 receivers in South Florida's Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fifth round and Notre Dame's Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth round. Valdes-Scantling offers an intriguing blend of size and speed after he ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine at 4.37 seconds. Brown played with Packers backup quarterback DeShone Kizer for two seasons at Notre Dame.
 
There might be competition at punter, too, after the Packers drafted JK Scott from Alabama. Scott had just five punts returned as a senior, crediting the success to a renewed focus on hang time. Last year's punter, Justin Vogel, was seventh in the NFL in net punting average at 41.6 yards.
 
Green Bay also took a long snapper with the second of their three seventh-round picks in Mississippi State's Hunter Bradley.
 
The selection of offensive lineman Cole Madison from Washington State in the fifth round addressed another position of need. The 6-5 Madison played tackle in college. But the Packers like his versatility and plan to use him at guard. Green Bay has questions on the right side of the line.
 
Green Bay returned to defense with its two other seventh-round picks, selecting end James Looney from California and edge rusher Kendall Donnerson from Southeast Missouri State.
 
The Bears went back to building their offense on the second day of the draft.
 
Chicago took Iowa center James Daniels and Memphis receiver Anthony Miller on Friday night, giving prized quarterback Mitchell Trubisky more protection and another target.
 
The Bears took Daniels with the 39th overall pick. They then traded back into the second round with New England to take Miller at No. 51. In exchange, the Bears sent the Patriots a fourth-round pick this year (105) and a second-rounder in 2019.
 
The 6-foot-3, 306-pound Daniels — who turns 21 in September — played three seasons at Iowa and was honorable-mention, all-Big Ten last year.
Miller had no FBS offers coming out of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis and opted to walk on at his hometown school. He went on to catch 238 passes for 3,590 yards and 37 touchdowns in three seasons and was a first-team, All-American as a senior last year. A broken bone in his right foot caused him to miss the Senior Bowl. He said it's completely healed.
 
The Bears did not have a third-round pick late Friday.
 
Pace turned largely to the defensive side in the final day with three selections, including sixth-round defensive end Kylie Fitts from Utah.
 
Before Fitts, the Bears selected Western Kentucky inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe in Round 4, and Delaware defensive tackle Bilal Nichols in Round 5. They closed out the draft in the seventh round by taking another target for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Georgia wide receiver Javon Wims.
 
A defensive end in Utah's 4-3 formation, Fitts has more than his inexperience in the Bears' 3-4 scheme to overcome. He had a Lisfranc ligament tear in his foot in 2016 and played in only two games, then had shoulder and ankle sprains last year.
 
Delaware's Nichols has a real inside Bears connection. Nagy is a Delaware grad, as is Bears offensive assistant Brian Ginn, who played quarterback and was an assistant for the Blue Hens.
 
Additional outside pass rushers are needed because the Bears like to use a rotation of three or four outside rushers. Fitts joins Howard Jones, Isaiah Irving and Sam Acho as potential outside pass rushers behind Lynch and Floyd.
 
Veterans Lamarr Houston, Pernell McPhee and Willie Young accounted for 10 Bears sacks last year but are no longer with the team.

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LeBron, Cavs Get Past Indiana in Game 7

Unwilling to sit despite battling leg cramps in the second half, LeBron James scored 45 points and got some much-needed help from his teammates in Game 7 to stay unbeaten in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, leading the Cavaliers to a 105-101 win on Sunday over the Indiana Pacers, who pushed the game's best player to the breaking point.
 
James added nine rebounds, seven assists and played over 43 minutes while improving to 13-0 in the first round. 
 
The Cavs got a huge lift from Tristan Thompson, who played just 24 minutes in the first six games but made a rare start as Cavs coach Tyronn Lue used his 34th different starting lineup this season. Thompson added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Kevin Love made four 3-pointers, and George Hill returned after missing three games with back spasms to score 11 in 19 second-half minutes.
 
Victor Oladipo scored 30 and Darren Collison had 23 for the Pacers, who were still within four in the final minute before a cutting James scored on a bullet pass from Kyle Korver with 30 seconds left.
 
Oladipo hit a 3 at the horn and was immediately embraced by James, who had never played a first-round Game 7 and was in jeopardy of seeing an eighth trip to the Finals end quickly.
 
Both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis fouled out for Indiana. 
 
The Cavaliers will meet the Raptors for the third straight postseason.

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Big Sixth Inning Propels Clinton Past Decatur St. Teresa

Clinton used a five run fifth inning and Jake Wade went the distance on the mount help the Maroons get past Decatur St. Teresa 11-1 Thursday afternoon in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball action from Decatur.
 
Wade struck out 14 over his seven innings. He walked zero batters and allowed an unearned run on four hits.
 
Mac Hickman doubled in two going 2-for-4. Braden Cross also finished 2-for-4.
 
Seth Gillespey finished 2-for-3 for the Bulldogs.
 
The Maroons are 5-7 overall and 5-3 in the Central Illinois Conference.
 
Clinton will take on Warrensburg-Latham today. 

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Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox Win Thursday

>>Schwarber HR, Hendricks Solid Outing Lead Cubs Past Brewers
 
Kyle Hendricks outpitched Chase Anderson with seven crisp innings, and the Chicago Cubs stopped Milwaukee's eight-game win streak with a 1-0 victory over the Brewers on Thursday night.
 
Hendricks (2-1) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none in his best outing this season. Anderson (2-2) stayed with him until Kyle Schwarber drove a 0-1 pitch over the wall in right for his seventh homer with one out in the sixth.
 
Carl Edwards Jr. worked the eighth and Brandon Morrow finished the six-hitter for his fifth save in five chances. With two outs and Ryan Braun on first, Travis Shaw flied out to the warning track in left.
 
The Cubs had seven hits while playing without slugger Kris Bryant, who missed his third straight game after he was beaned during a victory at Colorado last weekend. Catcher Willson Contreras rested for most of the night before entering as a defensive replacement for the eighth.
 
Milwaukee got a two-out double in each of the first two innings but was unable to capitalize. Shaw flied out with Braun on second in the first, and Jett Bandy took a called third strike after Orlando Arcia's hit in the second.
 
Anderson allowed five hits and walked one in seven innings. He had won each of his prior two starts.
 
The right-hander got some help from Braun, who made his first start at first base since Eric Thames tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb during Tuesday night's 5-2 victory at Kansas City. Braun and Jesus Aguilar are expected to fill in at first while Thames is sidelined.
 
With two outs and runners on first and second in the second, Braun made a great diving stop behind the bag and flipped to Anderson to retire Jason Heyward. Braun held out his right arm and pointed as Anderson stepped on the base, and then hustled into the dugout with his mouth open and his tongue out.
 
Hendricks' defense also turned in a couple of nice plays. Albert Almora Jr. made a solid running catch on Lorenzo Cain's deep drive to center in the sixth, and second baseman Javier Baez robbed Braun of a hit with a leaping catch for the first out of the seventh.
 
>>Davidson's Two HR Lead White Sox Past Royals
 
Matt Davidson hit two of Chicago's five home runs, leading the White Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
 
Davidson, who drove in three runs, has seven home runs this season - five against the Royals in Kansas City. He hit three out in the season opener March 29. In this game, he homered in the fourth and then hit a two-run shot in the sixth that went 450 feet to left-center.
Davidson is 6 for 10 with five home runs in three games this season at the Royals' ballpark.
 
Yoan Moncada homered to open the first inning for Chicago for the second straight game, and Yolmer Sanchez and Trayce Thompson also went deep against Jakob Junis (3-2), who became the third pitcher in franchise history to allow five homers in a game. The others were Chris Young, May 9, 2016 at the New York Yankees, and Sean O'Sullivan, May, 28, 2011 at Texas.
 
Junis gave up six runs and six hits with two walks over 5 2/3 innings.
 
The Royals went 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners.
 
Giolito allowed two runs and five hits over 5 2/3 innings. His only hiccup was a Jorge Soler home run with Mike Moustakas aboard in the fourth.
 
The Royals loaded the bases with one out in the eighth and managed to score a run on Alcides Escobar's two-out single. Joakim Soria worked a scoreless ninth for his third save in four chances.
 
The White Sox picked up just their second victory in 11 games. The Royals dropped to a major league-worst 1-10 at home.
 
Jose Abreu was not in the lineup with flu-like symptoms, which caused him to exit in the fourth inning Wednesday. ... LF Nicky Delmonico was scratched with a stiff neck. Traycie Thompson replaced him in the lineup.
 
Reynaldo Lopez has not allowed more than four hits or two runs in any of his four starts.
 
Danny Duffy was pulled after 4 2/3 innings in his previous start, allowing six runs on 10 hits and two walks at Detroit.
 
>>Cardinals Outlast Mets in 13 Innings
 
Dexter Fowler's 13th-inning single capped a comeback from a pair of deficits Thursday and gave the Cardinals a 4-3 victory.
 
St. Louis trailed 2-0 in the seventh and 3-2 in the 10th. Tommy Pham had four hits and scored twice, a day after leaving a game after cutting his head with his bat while warning up in an indoor batting game. He played with a large bandage on his head.
Jose Martinez walked with one out in the 13th against Paul Sewald (0-1), took second on a single by Marcell Ozuna and scored when Fowler singled to right for his sixth game-ending RBI.
 
John Gant (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Memphis before the game, pitched three perfect innings of relief for his second big league win. His first was for Atlanta against the Mets on June 17, 2016.
 
St. Louis won its second straight against the Mets after losing the series opener in 10 innings. The Mets have lost eight of 12 after an 11-1 start.
 
New York went ahead 3-2 in the 10th when Luke Gregerson loaded the bases with a walk to Adrian Gonzalez and forced in a run with a walk to Jose Lobaton.
 
Pham singled with two outs in the bottom half and scored when Martinez doubled off the center-field wall against Jeurys Familia, who blew a save for the third time in 12 chances.
 
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs - one earned - and six hits in 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He retired his first 10 batters and did not allow a runner into scoring position until the seventh inning.
 
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez gave up one run and four hits in six innings.
 
Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI double in the first that ended Martinez's scoreless streak at 18 innings and made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. His 23 RBIs are one behind NL leader Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs.
 
Pham doubled leading off the seventh and scored on Marcell Ozuna's single. Greg Garcia led off the eighth with a grounder that bounced off the glove of shortstop Amed Rosario, who didn't get hit glove down and was charged with an error. Garcia advanced to third on Matt Carpenter's single against Syndergaard and scored on Pham's single off Robert Gsellman.
 
Jacob deGrom (2-0, 2.53 ERA) start Friday at San Diego in the opener off a three-game series. DeGrom has reached double digits in strikeouts in his last two starts.
 
Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.46 ERA) starts Friday at Pittsburgh. Mikolas has walked two in 26 innings this season.

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Bears, Packers Draft Notes

>>Bears Take Georgia LB
 
The Chicago Bears have drafted Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick, adding a potential cornerstone on defense rather than another offensive player.
 
The Bears have spent the offseason collecting pieces they believe will help Mitchell Trubisky develop into a franchise quarterback. But when Indianapolis took Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson with the sixth pick, it became apparent Chicago would address the defense.
 
The Butkus Award winner as college football's best linebacker in 2017, Smith has the speed to wreak havoc on opponents. At 6-foot-1, 236 pounds he is a bit undersized but has the ability to drop back in pass coverage. Smith figures to play inside with former first-round pick Leonard Floyd on the outside.
 
He joins a team with four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North and just one playoff appearance since the 2006 team's run to the Super Bowl. The Monsters of the Midway haven't finished with a winning record since 2012, Lovie Smith's last season as coach.
 
The Bears fired John Fox after three seasons and replaced him with an offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy, who spent the past 10 years working on Andy Reid's staffs in Philadelphia and Kansas City. They also gave Trubisky some new targets, most notably signing former Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson.
 
The Bears were still looking to add a playmaker on defense. Chicago ranked 10th overall last season despite injuries to several key players, including Floyd, and tied for seventh in the NFL with 42 sacks last season. But the Bears let linebackers Pernell McPhee and Willie Young go.
 
Chicago has one second-round pick, two fourth-rounders and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. But the Bears don't have a third-round selection.
 
The Chicago Bears might look for a pass rusher or help on the offensive line when the draft resumes Friday after taking Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick.
 
The Bears grabbed a potential cornerstone defensive player in the first round Thursday rather than add another weapon for prized quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
 
Chicago has one second-round pick Friday night, two fourth-rounders and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. The Bears don't have a third-round selection.
 
Chicago had 42 sacks last season but let linebackers Pernell McPhee and Willie Young go. The Bears could also use a blocker, with guard Kyle Long recovering from multiple surgeries and guard Josh Sitton gone.
 
>>Packers Take Louisville CB
 
The Packers drafted what they needed most: a cornerback.
 
But what Green Bay also got by selecting Louisville's Jaire Alexander at No. 18 overall on Thursday night is a skilled defender and kick returner.
 
Injuries have ravaged the Green Bay cornerback position in recent years. The Packers dealt Damarious Randall to the Browns earlier in the offseason in a trade that brought backup quarterback DeShone Kizer to Green Bay. That left last year's second-round pick, Kevin King, as the Packers' top cornerback following an injury-shortened rookie year.
Veteran Tramon Williams returned as a free agent to the Packers, who also brought back Davon House. But a defense can never have too many cornerbacks in the pass-happy NFL.
 
The Packers are hoping Alexander is the playmaker they desperately need after another subpar year on defense. Alexander had a team-leading five interceptions as a sophomore in 2016. He only played in six games last season, starting five, after sustaining a knee injury. But the injury didn't scare off the Packers.
 
Alexander was healthy at the NFL combine and turned some heads, running blazing 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash. At only 5-foot-11, Alexander has to use his speed to his advantage to beat bigger wide receivers.
 
As a kick returner, Alexander had 20 returns for 210 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore. He'll compete with Trevor Davis for the Packers' starting return position.
 
Green Bay entered Thursday night with the No. 14 pick, but Gutekunst acquired the Saints' first-round pick (No. 27), a fifth-round pick (No. 147) and the team's first-round selection in 2019. Then the Packers moved up to No. 18 and also received the No. 248 pick in the seventh round and gave Seattle the No. 27 pick, a third-rounder (No. 76) and a sixth-rounder (No. 186).
 
The Green Bay Packers could be looking to make more deals on Day 2 of the NFL draft.
 
Green Bay has just one pick for now on Friday, the 45th overall selection in the second round. With 10 picks for the third day of the draft on Saturday, Gutekunst has the tools needed to move up and make another pick or two in the second or third rounds.
 
The Packers could also use reinforcements at receiver after parting with Jordy Nelson, and on the offensive line.
 
>>No Charges For Green Bay WR For Fale Bomb Threat
 
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis is not being charged after falsely claiming to have explosives while checking in for a flight at Los Angeles International Airport this month.
 
Los Angeles City Attorney Office spokesman Frank Mateljan said Thursday that Davis appeared at an informal hearing and was given an opportunity to explain what happened. Davis was advised of the law on making false bomb threats at an airport.
 
Airport police said Davis was checking in for a Hawaiian Airlines flight when an airline employee asked him whether he had any explosives in his bag. Davis said "yes" and asked a woman he was traveling with, "Did you pack the explosives?"
 
Airline employees called police and Davis was arrested.

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Monticello Rallies Past Pontiac

Mitch Carr settled down after giving up five runs in the first three innings and set down 13 of the final 14 batters he faced, including an inning double play in the sixth, and Monticello rallied past Pontiac 9-5 in Illini Prairie boys baseball action Thursday night at Monticello High School.

 

The Indians scored the games first five runs but the second time through the order proved to be the difference as Monticello tacked on four runs in the third inning then took the lead in the fifth and added three insurance runs in the sixth.

 

Jeff Wileaver finished 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a pair of runs, and a run driven to pace the Monticello offense. Luke Stokowski added a double and a run finishing 2-for-3.

 

Brett Macak scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning on an Andrew Ellison sacrifice fly RBI. Macak finished 2-for-3, hitting in the sixth spot in the order, generally filled by his big brother Brody, who sat with a sore knee.

 

The Sages were without juniors Brody Macak (knee) and Owen Trybom and senior Alex Marquardt (finger, hip) because of injury, featuring four sophomores in the lineup.

 

Carr went 6 2/3 innings allowing five runs, eight hits and struck out seven.

 

Stokowski worked around a walk, hit batter and struck out Jacob Grieff to end the game.

 

Monticello is 19-2 overall and 6-1 in Illini Prairie Conference action.

 

The Indians are 4-10 overall. Thursday’s game was their third Illini Prairie matchup this week with another Friday afternoon.

 

Hear Monticello boys baseball action next Friday at Warrensburg-Latham on 95.9 FM WEZC and online dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Tuscola Routs Clinton

The Tuscola Warriors opened the game with seven straight runs before Clinton got on the scoreboard and by the time they did, it was too late as Tuscola rolled to a 13-2 six inning win over the Maroons in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball action Wednesday from Clinton High School.
 
Noah Pierce shut out the Maroons over the first three innings, Cade Kresin allowed two runs in two innings in relief and Cameron Ochs finished the game out with a scoreless sixth. 
 
Matthew Overton took the loss for the Maroons. He went five innings, allowed eight runs, four were earned as Clinton committed six errors. He struck out two and walked two.
 
Braden Cross allowed five runs, four earned in an inning of relief.
 
Dalton Hoel finished 3-for-4 with a double to pace Tuscola. Kresin finished 2-for-4 with a double and three runs batted in.
 
Overton and Tyler West each went 2-for-3.
 
The Maroons drop to 4-7 overall and 4-3 in conference play. 
 

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Cardinals Pound Mets; Cubs, White Sox Lose

>>Cardinals Pound Mets
 
Using a bat borrowed from teammate Jose Martinez, Marcel Ozuna hit a tiebreaking two-run single, and Michael Wacha won his fourth straight start as the Cardinals beat the New York Mets 9-1 on Wednesday night.
 
Jedd Gyorko added a two-run homer for St. Louis, which has won nine of 11.
 
Ozuna had just one hit in his previous 24 at-bats prior to a bases-loaded single to cap a three-run third inning that put the Cardinals in front to stay 3-1. Acquired from the Marlins on Dec. 14 for four prospects, the outfielder had struck out 23 times in his previous 20 games. He finished 1 for 4.
 
Wacha (4-1) gave up one run on five hits over six innings. He struck out eight and walked one. He is 4-0 with 2.78 ERA over his last four starts. His only loss this season came in a 6-2 setback to the Mets on March 31.
 
Kolten Wong and DeJong had two hits each for the Cardinals, and Dexter Fowler drove in two runs.
 
Steven Matz (1-2) gave up seven runs, just three earned, over 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered five hits and fell to 0-3 with an 8.49 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals.
 
The Mets have dropped six of 10 after an 11-1 start to the season.
 
St. Louis added four runs in the fourth on two hits and two errors. Wacha brought in Paul DeJong with a squeeze bunt. Dexter Fowler drew a bases-loaded walk for a 5-1 cushion.
 
Gyorko's 100th career homer, in the fifth off Corey Oswalt, pushed the lead to 9-1.
 
Jay Bruce had given the Mets a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the third.
 
Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 3.29) will face St. Louis RHP Carlos Martinez (2-1, 1.42) in the final game of the three-game series Thursday. The Mets are 5-0 in Syndergaard's starts. Martinez has not allowed a run his last 18 innings.
 
>>Indians Power Past Cubs to Split Brief Two Game Series
 
Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion hit sixth-inning home runs and the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Wednesday night despite losing relief ace Andrew Miller to a left hamstring injury.
 
Miller grabbed the back of his leg after throwing two pitches to Anthony Rizzo in the seventh inning. He was visited by manager Terry Francona and a team trainer before walking to the dugout. The team announced he had left hamstring tightness.
Lindor's leadoff homer against Jon Lester (2-1) broke a 1-all tie in the sixth, and Encarnacion homered into the bleachers with two outs. Lester allowed only one hit until Brandon Guyer's two-out home run in the fifth tied it.
 
Miller relieved Trevor Bauer (2-2) with a runner on first and Cleveland leading 3-1. Bauer held the Cubs to one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
 
Miller hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings this season. He fell behind Rizzo 2-0 before grabbing at his leg.
 
Lester allowed three runs in seven innings. Cleveland added a run in the eighth on Rizzo's throwing error. Rizzo had an RBI single in the fifth.
 
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was out of the lineup for the second straight game after being hit in the helmet by a pitch Sunday. The 2016 NL MVP didn't play in the Cubs' 10-3 win Tuesday.
 
Miller replaced Bauer after Javier Baez's two-out single. Tyler Olson retired Rizzo on a flyball. Willson Contreras doubled to start the eighth, but Olson got pinch-hitter Victor Caratini on a groundout and struck out Kyle Schwarber.
 
Nick Goody struck out Addison Russell to end the eighth before Allen worked the ninth.
 
Kyle Hendricks will start the opener of a four game series against Milwaukee at Wrigley Field on Thursday.
 
>>Mariners Down White Sox
 
Mike Zunino homered and scored twice to back Felix Hernandez in the Seattle Mariners' 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
 
Chicago's Yoan Moncada hit his first career leadoff homer. At 5-16, the White Sox are off to their worst start since 1950.
Zunino doubled and scored in a two-run third and gave the Mariners a 4-3 lead with a solo drive to right against James Shields in the sixth. Nelson Cruz added three hits, including two RBI singles.
 
Hernandez (3-2) settled down after a shaky start, scattering three runs and seven hits over six innings. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out six and walked two.
 
James Pazos and Juan Nicasio each worked a perfect inning, and Edwin Diaz tossed a one-two-three ninth for his 10th save in as many chances.
 
Shields (1-3) went six innings, allowing four runs and six hits. The right-hander is 0-3 in four starts and five appearances since a season-opening win at Kansas City.
 
Yolmer Sanchez doubled, singled and scored two runs for Chicago. But the White Sox lost for the 14th time in 16 games.
 
Tied for the major league lead with 19 walks, RHP Lucas Giolito (0-3, 9.00) hopes to solve his control problems as the White Sox open a five-game series at Kansas City. RHP Jakob Junis (3-1, 2.03) goes for the Royals. The teams are scheduled to play a day-night doubleheader Saturday.

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LeBron's Buzzer Beater Sends Cavs To Series Lead Over Pacers

LeBron James dropped a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another one of his brilliant performances, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
 
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo's possible go-ahead layup - a play the Pacers felt was goaltending - James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and hit his winner over Thaddeus Young.
 
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
 
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland's much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
 
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
 
With the score tied at 95-all, Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
 
However, Oladipo thought his shot hit the backboard first, and goaltending should have been called. TV replays showed the ball appear to hit the glass before James touched it.
 
Oladipo's shooting woes continued. He's only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers' Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
 
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
 
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
 
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.

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Packers May Move Up In Tonight's Draft

It's been nearly 10 years since the Packers pulled off a trade to move up in the first round of the NFL Draft, and it sounds like they might be interested in doing that again. 
 
According to NFL.com, the Packers are plotting to trade up from the 14th overall spot so they can land a "top-tier talent." If the move happens, it would mark the first time Green Bay has moved up in the first round of a draft since 2009, when they selected Clay Matthews with the 26th overall pick. Nine years ago, the Packers used the ninth overall pick on B.J. Raji, then traded back into the first round to grab Matthews after making a deal with the Patriots. 
 
After all, new general manager Brian Gutekunst, who took over for Ted Thompson in January, has already proven that he's willing to pull the trigger on a big move or two, if that's what needs to be done. In just three months on the job, Gutekunst has already made several splash signings, including Mo Wilkerson and Jimmy Graham. 
 
The other reason it wouldn't be shocking to see the Packers trade up is because they have the ammo to do it. The Packers have a total of 12 picks in this year's draft, which is more than any other team in the NFL. If Gutekunst wants to move up, he's got three fifth-round picks that he can use as trade bait. The Packers also have multiple picks in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds. 
 
If the Packers are looking to move up, the speculation is that they'd be looking to take either a defensive back or a pass-rusher.

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Clinton JFL Having Meet and Greet With Coaches

The Clinton Junior Football League would like to invite all interested parents and athletes to a “Meet the Coaches Event” at the Clinton High School Football Stadium from 4:00 to 5:30 Sunday, April 29th.  
 
All future players that attend will have a chance to be fitted for helmets and meet the coaches.  
 
There will be a brief meeting to discuss the upcoming season, equipment handout, and answer questions relating to JFL.  
 
Food and Drinks will be provided by the JFL.

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Bradley Drops Suddenly Sputtering Illini

Bren Spillane hit an eighth-inning double Tuesday to tie Bradley 3-3 but the Braves scored one in the 11th to beat the Illinois baseball team 4-3. 
 
Illinois (24-12) rallied back after trailing 3-0 after three innings. The Illini scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth before falling in extra innings for the first time this season.
 
Joey Gerber took the loss by allowing the 11th inning run. No. 9 hitter Keaton Rice hit a two-out single to left field to score the winning run as Gerber looked to close out his third inning of work.
 
Bradley (24-9) managed just five hits. 
 
Ben Troike reached base for the 41st consecutive game, the longest active streak in the Big Ten.
 
The Illini have lost four of their last five games.
 
Illinois travels to No. 15 Indiana this weekend for a three-game series. 

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