NOTES—Before the game, the White Sox put relievers Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz on the 15-day disabled list, leaving their bullpen a bit short on experience. They recalled right-hander Lucas Harrell from Triple-A Charlotte and reinstated lefty Erick Threets from the disabled list following a rehab assignment in the minors. Threets pitched two scoreless innings. … Beckham homered in his second straight game.
NOTES—Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg, on the DL with a right strained forearm tendon, will have a second MRI Thursday to determine the extent of the injury. His scheduled spot in the rotation Thursday will be filled by RHP Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann has not pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. … OF Nyjer Morgan was suspended seven games for hitting a fan with a ball thrown into the stands at Philadelphia Saturday. Morgan appealed the suspension and played Wednesday. … OF Josh Willingham had left knee surgery Wednesday and is unlikely to play again this season. …Soriano is one of five players to have at least 20 home runs in each of the nine seasons. The others are Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn and David Ortiz.
NOTES—Jones left the game after the top of the fourth with a contusion on his left shoulder. … Both teams were issued warnings after Guthrie hit Rios in the seventh. … The White Sox have had 10 or more hits in 10 straight games. … Pierre extended his hitting streak to 12 games and finished with three hits.
NOTES—Colvin’s 19 homers lead major league rookies and are the fourth-most by a rookie in Cubs history. … Before the game, the Nationals placed RHP Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain and recalled RHP Collin Balester from Triple-A Syracuse. …The Cubs optioned Justin Berg to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday and selected the contract of LHP Scott Maine. … Before the third, Zambrano had not allowed an earned run at Nationals Park in 14 2/3 innings. He is 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA in four career starts at Nationals Park. … With runners on first and second and the Cubs in an exaggerated shift against Washington’s Adam Dunn in the eighth, Nyjer Morgan jogged to third uncontested. It was ruled defensive indifference, not a stolen base.
NOTES—Marlon Byrd was hit on the right wrist by Hernandez in the third inning. He stayed in the game to run the bases but was removed in the bottom of the inning. X-rays were negative, and Byrd is day to day with a bruise….In a pregame ceremony, the Nationals unveiled a plaque featuring Piniella on a Washington Senators rookie baseball card from 1964. The Senators drafted Piniella in 1962, but he never played for the franchise. The plaque will be given to Piniella.
|An emotional Lou Piniella waves to the Wrigley Field faithful as he bows out as he brings an end to his career. (AP)|
Lou Piniella waved goodbye Sunday, bowing as out the Cubs manager and ending a career that spanned five decades after the Atlanta Braves routed the sinking Northiders 16-5.Piniella, 66, announced before the game that he leaving to be with his ailing mother. Third base coach Mike Quade was promoted to interim manager.He joins the likes of Jim Essian and Bruce Kim who were past Cub interim skippers.The disappointing Cubs weren’t able to send Piniella out as a winner. Omar Infante and Jason Heyward each hit a pair of home runs, and the Braves scored 11 times in the last three innings to break away.Former Cub Derrek Lee had a bases clearing double as part of the blowout.Piniella was in the dugout when the game was over, and he waved his hat to longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox across the field. Cox plans to retire after the season.Piniella hugged Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez before heading down the dugout tunnel to the clubhouse.After contemplating the decision for several days and discussing it with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, Piniella decided to walk away from baseball after 48 years as a player, manager and executive.The surprising announcement came in a team handout in the morning, and after Piniella had repeatedly insisted he would finish the season. “My mom needs me home and that’s where I’m going,” Piniella said. The loss left the Cubs at 51-74. Atlanta held its lead in the NL East.Piniella and Cox were honored before the game as they exchanged lineup cards at home plate.Piniella and the umpiring crew posed for a picture. He shook hands with Cox, and they hugged each other and exchanged back slaps as Piniella’s No. 41 was posted on the center-field scoreboard.Cox made his last trip as a manager to Wrigley Field. He was announced to the crowd and took his cap off and waved it to the fans.Braves starter Mike Minor (2-0) set a team rookie record by striking 12 in six innings. The lefty allowed three runs and six hits.Heyward and Infante each finished with four hits, drove in four runs and scored four times. It was 5-3 before the Braves scored four runs in the seventh, five more in the eighth and twice in the ninth.The Cubs have lost six of their last seven. Randy Wells (5-12) took the loss.Rookie Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro finished 4 for 5 with two doubles.The teams each had 13 hits despite the lopsided final score. … The Cubs have lost 12 of their last 14 at Wrigley.
Lou Piniella’s long and colorful career has spanned 48 years, from an aggressive outfielder with a sharp batting eye to a successful manager whose highlight-reel base-throwing tantrums sometimes overshadowed his baseball acumen.His family, from his relatives to his teammates and players, always has come first. And that’s why the leader of the Cubs decided to step down after Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves — he wants to spend more time with his ailing mother.”My mom needs me home and that’s where I’m going,” Piniella said before one last game in the dugout.The Cubs couldn’t send Piniella out a winner, playing some sloppy baseball and losing to the Braves 16-5 to fall 23 games under .500. After Sam Fuld grounded into a game-ending double play, Piniella took off his cap and shook it in the direction of the Atlanta dugout, apparently to say goodbye to fellow retiring manager Bobby Cox. Many in the crowd of 37,518 had already left Wrigley Field. Piniella said last month he planned to retire at the end of the season and reiterated his plans just Saturday. But he missed four games in August to be with his mom in Florida and decided this weekend his divided attention wasn’t helping anyone. “She hasn’t gotten any better since I’ve been here,” said Piniella, who turns 67 on Saturday. “She’s had a couple other complications, and rather than continue to go home, come back, it’s not fair to the team, it’s not fair to the players. So the best thing is just to step down and go home and take care of my mother.” The surprising announcement — made in a team handout Sunday morning after Piniella had repeatedly insisted he would finish the season — led to a memorable scene when Piniella brought the lineup card to home plate and greeted Cox who empathized with his counterpart. “It’s in your blood that long, but Lou’s mom is in ill health,” Cox said before the game. “It’s a sad day for me because I kept on thinking that Lou would be back, not here but somewhere else.” Piniella and Cox shook hands after they reached the plate, hugged each other and exchanged back slaps as Piniella’s No. 41 was posted on the center-field scoreboard.Cox was announced to the crowd and took his cap off and waved it to the fans.Then the public address announcer ran down Piniella’s achievements as he stood at the plate, and scattered cheers of “Louuu” could be heard throughout the crowd.After Piniella and Cox posed for a picture with the umpires, the managers hugged each other again. Piniella then headed to the dugout and, as the cheers got louder, took off his cap, waved it to the crowd and began to clap for the fans.When Piniella made the first of three trips to the mound in the seventh inning to change pitchers, fans behind the dugout gave him a standing ovation as he came off the field and he acknowledged them with a little wave of his hand.Third base coach Mike Quade was promoted to interim manager, getting the nod over bench coach Alan Trammell, who was thought to have been a candidate to succeed Piniella next season. But general manager Jim Hendry said Trammell was not going to be considered for the job, so Quade was selected to finish out the season.Piniella met with his team to let them know he was leaving and it was very emotional, despite the Cubs’ terribly disappointing season – two years after they had the best record in the NL.”I wish we would’ve played better for him,” reliever Sean Marshall said. “You hate to see stuff like that. You hate to see a grown man kind of tear up like that, it just shows his heart for winning and his drive for baseball and his family.” Piniella finished with an overall record was 1,835-1,713. He trailed only Tony La Russa, Cox and Joe Torre in victories among active managers. Piniella’s record with the Cubs was 316-293. Under the mellowed skipper, the Cubs won consecutive NL Central titles in 2007-08, but missed the playoffs last year and slipped back even further this season with a new owner, Tom Ricketts, in charge. “I’ve enjoyed it here,” Piniella said. “In four wonderful years I’ve made a lot of friends and had some success here, this year has been a little bit of a struggle. But, look. Family is important, it comes first.” In 18 years in the majors as a player — he had a .291 career batting average — and another 22 as a manager, Piniella made five trips to the World Series and has three championship rings. He began his professional playing career in 1962. “It’s a very tough day for him, very emotional,” Hendry said of the man he hired four years ago to replace Dusty Baker. “There has been some times the last couple of months where he knew his family was possibly going to need him. He certainly didn’t want to go out before the end of the year, but it’s just at the point now where he need to be home with his mother and his family.” Piniella began managing in 1986 with the Yankees and lasted three years, including a stint as general manager. He managed the Reds from 1990-92, leading them to a World Series championship in his first season. He also got national attention during his time there for a clubhouse wrestling match with reliever Rob Dibble, who downplayed the incident and said “we’ve been family ever since.” After Cincinnati, Piniella had a long run in Seattle, where his teams won at least 90 games four times and 116 in 2001. The three-time manager of the year also spent three seasons in Tampa Bay’s dugout, but he questioned his hometown team’s commitment to winning at the time before the team bought out the final year of his four-year contract. The Cubs won 97 games under Piniella in 2008, but were swept out of the playoffs for the second straight year and it’s been mostly downhill since that successful run.What Cub fans saw for the most part was a more reserved Piniella, although he did have one dirt-kicking meltdown with umpire Mark Wegner early in his first season and soon thereafter the Cubs took off and eventually overtook the Milwaukee Brewers to win the NL Central in 2007.Piniella joined the Cubs after doing some TV work, looking for a final challenge and hoping — like so many before him — that he would be the manager to bring the Cubs a long-awaited championship. The Cubs’ last World Series appearance came in 1945, their last World Series winner in 1908. It didn’t happen, despite the promising first two seasons. “It’s a tough job. But, look. I mean. They’re going to win here. They’ve got a family owned business now,” Piniella said.”The Ricketts family is going to do what they need to do to get this thing to where it can win. They’re going to give it the care that it deserves. When I took this job I didn’t call anybody. I came here and did the best I could for as long as I’ve been here. That’s all you can do,” he added.Piniella said he would look back later.”I’ll have plenty of time to reflect, I will,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a wonderful place to work and wonderful people to work with and for. To end a career in a place like Wrigley in a city like Chicago with these wonderful fans, I couldn’t be more appreciative to the Cub organization.”
KANSAS CITY—Jason Kendall hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 10th inning, giving the Kansas City Royals a 3-2 victory over the White Sox on Sunday in the teams’ third extra-inning game in less than 24 hours.Gregor Blanco walked with two outs and stole second and third before Kendall delivered the hit to left-center off Scott Linebrink (1-1).The Royals and White Sox played three games totaling 9 hours, 32 minutes and 31 innings. They split a doubleheader Saturday night, the first game going 11 innings and the second 10, that did not end until 1:11 a.m. CT on Sunday morning.The last time the Royals played three consecutive extra-innings game was June 9-11, 2000, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Bears and Oakland Raiders both played their starters for the most part for most of the first half.The Bears know they still have some work to do,mostly on the offensive line. Oakland won the game 32-17 as Jay Cutler again had to run for his life and Brian Urlacher hurt his calf muscle.The Raiders won the toss,and unlike the Bears of the past couple of seasons, they chose to take the ball. Oakland,as they have done in their long time tradition had a quick holding penalty and a false start,but they recovered and Jason Campbell picked the Bears number one defense apart, driving them 81 yards in ten plays, using 8:27 off the clock. TE Zach Miller and RB Michael Bush did much of the work before Campbell broke the plane of the goal line on a third down after he had been stopped by Julius Peppers on second down.The Raiders thus led 7-0.Oh yes, to make things worse,Urlachler suffered a calf strain and was ruled out for the game. The Bears first offensive series was awful against Oakland’s three man front. After a two yard gain by Matt Forte, Cutler was sacked by Tommy Kelly for a nine yard loss and then by Kamerlon Wimbley for 11 more yards leaving it fourth and 28 at the 4.Following an incomplete pass,Bush ran up the middle for 15 to the Bears 24.From there the Bears forced a Janikowski 43 yard field goal which he drilled to make it 10-0 with 4:58 left in the quarter.On the Bears second possession,Forte ran for a first down,but Brad Maynard had to punt the Raiders back to their 19. On first down,Peppers was shaken up while tackling Bush but went off on his own power.Campbell hit Marcell Reece for 40 yards to the Bears 26 on a screen pass.Campbell then lobbed a pass that was nowhere near Miller and went right into the hands of Charles Tillman for the interception at the Bears 11.Forte then brought the crowd to it’s feet with an 89 yard run down the West sideline with :22 left to make it 10-6 as a bad snap from Desmond Clark (who was filling in for injured Patrick Mannelly)bounced to Maynard who simply fell on it.The first quarter ended with Oakland on the midfield stripe.The Bears drove into field goal range thanks to a nice Cutler to Devin Hester pass and a Hester end around,but again Clark’s snap was a “ground ball” that Robbie Gould picked up a threw away for what was intentional grounding and Oakland took over at their own 33 but went three and out as did the Bears as Cutler was sacked for the third time of the half. The next time Oakland got the ball,they took over at midfield and went 25 yards to set up another 43 yard Janikowski field goal,this one with 4:24 left in the half to make it 13-6 Raiders. After another Bears punt, Campbell couldn’t handle a snap and Isreal Idonije fell on it at the Oakland 25.Four plays later,Cutler avoided a rush on third down and hit a wide open Johnny Knox in the end zone and this time they they went for two points and Chester Taylor ran around right end and got in easily to give the Bears their first lead 14-13 with 1:40 left.The half ended that way with Cutler getting sacked five times on the night.Dan LeFevour started the second half for the Bears and the first series ended with a punt as did Oakland’s,but Swayze Waters punt was muffed by Eric Peterman into the Bears end zone and recovered by Norris for a touchdown as the Raiders regained the lead 20-14.Norris also later blocked a Maynard punt out of the end zone for a safety.
NOTES—Cutler completed 7 of 15 for 99 yards with a 22-yard TD pass to Johnny Knox and was sacked five times – four of them credited to Raiders’ linebacker Kamerion Wimbley…..Oakland’s Campbell was 10-for-20 for 170 yards with the short TD run and one interception…..Next Saturday the Bears host the Arizona Cardinals.