Jays hold off Sox 4-2 behind Escobar

TORONTO—Yunel Escobar doubled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning and Toronto beat the Sox 4-2 on Friday night.The left-hander came in 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA in his previous eight starts against Toronto, but couldn’t extend his run of success against the Blue Jays. Right-hander Casey Janssen (2-0) pitched one inning of relief for the win as Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak.Shawn Camp got one out and Jon Rauch finished in the ninth for his sixth save in eight opportunities.Jose Molina opened the seventh with a single but was erased at second on Jayson Nix’s fielder’s choice grounder, with Nix beating out the double play relay. Escobar followed with a double to right, with outfielders Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin colliding on the play, allowing Nix to score standing up.The White Sox left 10 men on base and finished 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, while Toronto stranded nine and went 2 for 11 with men in scoring position.Buehrle (4-4) had won two straight starts and three of four overall, but lost for the first time since April 27 at New York. He allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings. One of his two walks was intentional, and he struck out three.The Blue Jays jumped on Mark Buehrle with a run in the first. Escobar hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a one-out hit by Jose Bautista and scored on Juan Rivera’s double to left.The White Sox tied it in the third when Juan Pierre tripled, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Alexei Ramirez.Toronto’s Aaron Hill singled to lead off the fourth and scored on a triple by Rajai Davis, but Davis was later caught in a rundown between third and home. The White Sox tied it again in the fifth when right-hander Kyle Drabek issued a bases-loaded walk to Carlos Quentin. The Sox left the bases loaded when Paul Konerko followed by grounding into a fielder’s choice.Toronto added an insurance run in the eighth against right-hander Tony Pena, with Molina’s single to right scoring J.P. Arencibia.White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham left in the third inning after he was hit in the face by Rios’ throw from the outfield. The ball bounced over Beckham’s glove and hit him below the left eye. Beckham’s eye was swollen but he did not suffer any vision damage. White Sox trainer Herm Schneider accompanied Beckham to a local hospital for X-rays.Dropped from fifth to seventh in the order, struggling White Sox slugger Adam Dunn walked in all four plate appearances. Dunn went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts on Thursday.With Quentin scheduled to get the day off Saturday, Guillen said he’d bump Dunn up to third in the order.Dunn is the first player since Richie Allen in 1968 to go 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in one game, then walk in all four plate appearances the next day.Drabek, who has won just one of his past six starts, didn’t figure in the decision. The rookie allowed two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out four. His 121 pitches were a career high.

NOTES—The Blue Jays placed INF John McDonald (strained right hamstring) on the 15-day DL after the game and recalled INF Mike McCoy from Triple-A Las Vegas. … Toronto was without INF Edwin Encarnacion (left foot). Encarnacion fouled a pitch off his big toe in New York earlier this week, then did the same thing during batting practice Thursday. … Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind (back) is set to play in an extended spring training game on Monday. Lind has not played since May 8.

Correia strong as Bucs continue to dominate Cubs, 4-2

Kevin Correia pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning before the Pittsburgh Pirates held on to beat the Cubs 4-2 on Friday.Correia (7-4) limited the Cubs to four singles and a pair of walks in 7 1/3 innings. He moved into a tie with Boston’s Jon Lester for the major-league lead in wins, and has six of the Pirates’ 14 victories away from PNC Park this season.Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen remained a thorn in the Cubs’ side with two singles, a walk, an RBI and two stolen bases. He’s reached base in 19 straight games against the Cubs. Doug Davis (0-3) walked six batters and hit another during 4 2/3 innings in his 300th career appearance. The Cubs committed a pair of errors in the second that led to two unearned runs, and Davis allowed four in all. Alfonso Soriano hit his 12th homer of the season, two-run shot off reliever Joe Beimel in the ninth, but Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan came on to strike out three straight batters to remain perfect in 14 save chances this season.The Cubs got two singles and a walk from Carlos Pena, but not much else. Pena has reached base in 20 of his last 21 games. The Cubs loaded the bases in the eighth. After Correia allowed a single to Koyie Hill and walked Kosuke Fukudome, he was replaced by reliever Jose Veras. He got Darwin Barney on a shallow fly to center, but walked Starlin Castro to load the bases.Veras got cleanup hitter Aramis Ramirez on a pop fly to second to end the inning. The Pirates improved to 14-12 on the road this season. Last season, they went 17-64 away from home, eight games worse than any other team in baseball. Davis’s wildness didn’t help the Cubs, nor did their continuing defensive problems, which led to two unearned runs for the Pirates in the second.After the first two batters reached, Ronny Cedeno’s sacrifice bunt was mishandled by Davis, loading the bases. Ramirez then bobbled Correia’s grounder to third, scoring Chris Snyder with the game’s first run. The second scored on Steve Pearce’s sacrifice fly. It was the second straight game the Cubs have committed two errors in an inning, and the sixth time this season. They also dropped into last in the NL in fielding percentage.The Pirates added two more runs against Davis in the fourth on three walks, a hit batter and an infield single. McCutchen drew a bases loaded walk to score Cedeno, and Neil Walker’s infield hit brought home Jose Tabata.Davis was finally pulled after walking Correia with two outs in the fifth. He had burned through 111 pitches by that point..Correia also beat the Cubs at Wrigley on April 1, the opening game for both teams. The Pirates have won three of their four games in Chicago this season, and have beaten the Cubs in 15 of their last 21 meetings.

NOTES—The Cubs activated Rodrigo Lopez, acquired from Atlanta in a minor-league trade on Thursday. He was 6-1 this season for Triple-A Gwinnett. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated Coello for assignment. Justin Berg, who threw 12 straight balls to the three batters he faced in his last outing, was optioned to Triple-A Iowa….Carlos Zambrano said the stiff neck he had checked out after Thursday’s win over the Mets is getting better. He thinks the problem started because of the way he positions his head on the pillow while he watches TV at home….Hurdle said 3B Pedro Alvarez will be able hit while he rehabs from a right quad strain. Alvarez won’t be allowed to run the bases or play in the field…..The game-time temperature at Wrigley Field was 48 degrees, the fourth straight game on the Cubs’ current home stand that it’s been below 50 degrees. It’s been below 50 in 15 of their first 25 home games.

Bulls choke away 12 point lead in final few minutes. Heat win Eastern Finals 4-1 with 83-80 win

    nba story thumbnail

This one will haunt the Bulls all summer long. They had the Miami Heat down 77-65 with under three minutes to play,but their return trip to Miami was promply cancelled.After the Heat LIVED on the free throw line for most of the second half,two of the so called Big Three took over and the Bulls were helpless.LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined to win a championship. Well, now they have their shot.James scored 28 points, Wade added 21 and the Miami Heat eliminated Derrick Rose and the Bulls 83-80 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday.James and Wade were simply spectacular down the stretch, each scoring eight during a game-ending 18-3 run as Miami wiped out a 12-point deficit to clinch this series. Now, the Heat are headed back to the NBA finals for the first time since 2006, and in a fitting twist, they’ll be facing the Mavericks. Back then, with Wade leading the way, Miami beat Dallas to capture the championship. This time, it’ll be James and Dirk Nowitzki going for their first rings.Rose had a key turnover that led to James tying three pointer.


Pierre’s IF hit in 9th gives Sox 3-1 win over Jays.

TORONTO—Down to his last strike in the ninth inning, with the tiebreaking run just 90 feet from home, Juan Pierre went into Wiffle ball mode. Pierre’s infield single drove in the go-ahead run and the White Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Thursday night. Pierre went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The White Sox, who had won just two of their previous 12 games in Toronto, posted their 13th victory in the last 19 overall. Jesse Crain (2-1) pitched one-third of an inning for the win and Sergio Santos finished the ninth for his eighth save in nine opportunities. Former Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios reached on a throwing error by third baseman John McDonald to begin the ninth, moving to second when the high toss sailed into the seats. After A.J. Pierzynski struck out, Rios went to third on reliever Marc Rzepczynski’s wild pitch. Omar Vizquel struck out but Gordon Beckham was hit by a pitch and stole second. After swinging and missing at two sliders, Pierre made sure just to get a ball in play, grounding one behind first base. Rios scored when neither Juan Rivera nor Rzepczynski could get to the bag ahead of the speedy Pierre. Rivera’s errant throw bounced away, allowing Beckham to score a second run. Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Pierre’s hustle made it a tough play. Rzepczynski (2-1) allowed two runs, none earned, in one inning. Yunel Escobar homered, his fifth, for the Blue Jays, who have lost three straight and six of nine. Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings, setting down 11 straight at one stretch. The Sox broke through in the fifth, using three singles to score the game’s first run. Hits by Pierzynski and Vizquel put runners at first and second for Pierre, whose two-out single through the right side scored Pierzynski from second. Toronto tied it in the sixth when Escobar hit a leadoff homer to center off White Sox right-hander Phil Humber. Humber worked a career-high 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run and six hits. He walked one and struck out three.Morrow allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, walked two and struck out five. Alexei Ramirez doubled to open the eighth against reliever Jason Frasor, and advanced to third on Carlos Quentin’s grounder in front of the plate. After Paul Konerko grounded to third, Rzepczynski came on to face Adam Dunn, who struck out on three pitches. Dunn went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts, dropping his average to .186. He is 0 for 33 against lefties this season. Guillen said he would drop Dunn to seventh in the order on Friday and bump Pierzynksi up to the fifth spot. Toronto chased Humber when Corey Patterson hit a two-out single in the eighth. Crain came on and walked Jose Bautista intentionally after Patterson stole second on a 2-1 pitch that missed outside. Rivera ended the inning by grounding to short.

NOTES—Blue Jays LHP Jesse Carlson (shoulder) had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff Thursday and will miss the rest of the season. Carlson has not pitched for Toronto this year. … Toronto RHP Jesse Litsch (shoulder) is scheduled to see doctors in Florida on Friday after feeling soreness while throwing on flat ground. Litsch went on the 15-day DL May 20. … Chicago IF Mark Teahen (strained oblique muscle) ran the bases and took part in batting practice before the game, but will need a minor league rehab assignment before being activated, Guillen said. … The Blue Jays will go with closer by committee for the time being, Farrell said, with Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel all sharing the role. Francisco has two losses and a blown save in his past three appearances.


Cubs take advantage of Dickey injury, beat up on lowly Mets weak pen for 9-3 win.

Carlos Zambrano pitched six strong innings, went 3 for 3 at the plate and drove in a run to help the Cubs beat the New York Mets 9-3 on Thursday. Zambrano (5-2) allowed two runs – one earned – on six hits and two walks while picking up his first win at Wrigley Field since Sept. 4. He doubled and scored a run at the plate, and now has four hits in his last four at-bats to raise his average to .375 on the season. Carlos Pena stayed hot, lacing a two-run homer in the fourth. It was Pena’s sixth of the year, all of them since May 3. Pena has reached base in 19 of his last 20 games.The Mets lost starter R.A. Dickey to a heel injury in the third when he fell trying to cover first base. New York’s bullpen allowed eight hits and seven runs after Dickey departed. Alfonso Soriano had a two-run double, a single and scored a run for the Cubs. Rookie Tony Campana added three singles and made a couple of nice catches in center in his first start. Kosuke Fukudome also had three hits, including his first homer of the season, a solo shot in the eighth that gave the Cubs their last run. They matched their season high with 17 hits.The Mets added to their season-long injury woes in the third.Zambrano reached on a two-out single, and Fukudome chopped a grounder to second. First baseman Daniel Murphy had come off the bag in pursuit the ball, so Dickey ran over to cover first. He stumbled and fell, and remained on the ground for several minutes.Dickey eventually limped off the field and down the dugout steps, and was replaced on the mound by reliever Pedro Beato. The team said Dickey had “pain in his right heel.” The Cubs got to Beato in the fourth. Starlin Castro led off with a walk, and Pena lined a 2-1 pitch into the right-field bleachers through a stiff wind. Koyie Hill added an RBI groundout, and Zambrano lined a run-scoring single, giving the Cubs a four-run inning. The Cubs tacked on another couple of runs in the fifth on Soriano’s two-run double.The game didn’t start so well for the Cubs. After the first two innings passed quickly, the Mets broke out on top on a mash and some miscues.Jose Reyes lined a double into the left-field corner. As he rounded the bag at second, the throw from Fukudome skipped by second baseman Barney. Reyes raced for third as Barney retrieved the errant throw, but Barney’s throw to third was wild, allowing Reyes to score.Barney also was charged with an error in the first trying to flip a ball to shortstop Castro at the second base bag, giving the home team three errors in the first two innings. The Cubs entered the game 15th in National League fielding percentage.The Mets’ second run came in the fifth, when Jason Pridie led off with a triple and scored on Josh Thole’s two-out single.More depressing spring weather delayed the start of the game for 31 minutes. The temperature at game time was 42 degrees and a 15 mph wind was blew out of the north.The Mets’ 7-4 win on Wednesday was called in the seventh inning because of a building rain storm, heavy winds, cold temperatures and fog. The conditions persisted overnight in the Chicago area, right up to the scheduled 2:20 p.m. EST first pitch.The temperatures stayed crisp and the wind stout, but the rain subsided.

NOTES—Mets manager Terry Collins expects OF Angel Pagan (strained left oblique) to rejoin the team Friday. … The Mets have won five straight rain-shortened games dating to 2007. … The Cubs have won 345 games to 344 for New York, with two ties, in a rivalry that dates to 1962. … Thursday’s game snapped string of 10 straight night games for the Cubs, the longest such streak in franchise history. … The Mets finished their six-game trip at 2-4, and now return to New York for a 10-game homestand beginning Friday against Philadelphia. … The Cubs, in the midst of nine straight at Wrigley, host Pittsburgh in a three-game series beginning Friday.


Mets and downpur beat Cubs in rain shortened game

Dillon Gee had trouble getting a grip. His problems, though, hardly compared to those of Cubs reliever Justin Berg. Gee recovered from a wild start while Berg never found the strike zone on a raw, messy Wednesday night as the New York Mets beat the Cubs 7-4 in a rain-shortened game.The game was called with two outs in the top of the seventh inning after a 41-minute delay. It was 47 degrees for the first pitch with a fierce northern wind blowing in from Lake Michigan, and a fog set in around Wrigley Field and kept growing thicker.It was particularly bad for Berg, who took over for Casey Coleman (2-4) during the Mets’ five-run second inning. Berg came in with runners on second and third and threw 12 pitches — all balls. His three walks forced home two runs. Gee (4-0) walked two while allowing four runs in the first, but bounced back to throw five scoreless innings and retire 16 of the last 18 batters he faced.Carlos Beltran doubled, tripled, scored twice and drove in two more for the Mets. Beltran and Daniel Murphy hit two-run doubles in the big second off Coleman and Berg. The Mets, who had lost three straight, go into Thursday’s series finale with a chance to break even on their six-game road trip. Both starters were coming off spotless outings, but faltered in the long early innings, bad news for teams racing against storms moving into the Chicago area. Quade didn’t like the stoppage in the seventh, especially with his team trailing. He charged onto the field and argued with the umpires for a couple of minutes as the field was being covered in front of him. After throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings of two-hit ball against Washington his last time out, Gee put himself in trouble in the first and gave up two-run doubles to Reed Johnson and Alfonso Soriano.If Coleman’s 5 2/3 shutout innings at Florida last Saturday marked one of his best career outings, this was one of his worst. Jason Pridie and Ruben Tejada singled to open the second and Jose Reyes and Josh Thole hit one-out singles.Beltran, whose .398 career average at Wrigley entering the game was the highest of all active players, hit a tying double — Thole would have scored on the hit, too, but fell down rounding third and had to scramble back to the bag. Beltran’s hit chased Coleman, who was charged with six runs, seven hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Berg relieved and soon was done. James Russell escaped the inning by striking out the next two batters, meaning that Berg wasn’t actually charged with any of the Mets’ runs in the inning, during which New York turned a 4-1 deficit into a 6-4 lead. While Coleman wasn’t around to recover from his struggles, Gee settled down after his early problems. He threw six innings, allowing four runs and four hits. Gee even drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The weather finally caught up with the teams in the top of the seventh when a steady rain that began in the sixth intensified. The umpires called for the tarps with two Mets on base, two outs and Thole at the plate. Quade wasn’t too happy. “If you’re going to play in it, I thought you keep playing,” he said. “[Crew chief] Dale [Scott] had a forecast and I had a forecast. I think we were coming at it from two different directions.

NOTES—Mets 3B David Wright is scheduled to meet with a physical therapist in New York on Wednesday to discuss next step in his rehab from a stress fracture in his lower back. Wright hasn’t played since May 15….Mets LF Jason Bay was back in lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game because of tightness in his right calf…..This marked the first time the Cubs needed three pitchers (Coleman, Berg and Russell) to make it through the first two innings of a game since June 29, 1989, vs. San Francisco (Paul Kilgus, Jeff Pico and Les Lancaster).

Floyd solid,but Rangers take series from Sox 2-1

ARLINGTON—C.J. Wilson survived a harrowing drive home through rain, lightning, hail and tornado warnings. Less than 12 hours later, he kept his nerve and turned in a sharp pitching performance for the Texas Rangers.Wilson lasted into the seventh inning, Ian Kinsler’s RBI single produced the go-ahead run, and the Rangers hung on to beat the White Sox 2-1 on Wednesday.Wilson (5-3) gave up one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings to help the Rangers win for the third time in four games. The left-hander struck out five.Late Tuesday night, Wilson left Rangers Ballpark early to get some rest before his start. The drive to his home in Dallas was hair-raising to say the least.Both teams had reasons to be tired. The White Sox had earned an 8-6 victory in a game that started early Tuesday night and ended at 1:27 Wednesday morning following a rain delay of almost three hours.The Rangers managed to do just enough to beat White Sox starter Gavin Floyd, who allowed just three hits.Stormy weather passed through the area, and Wednesday’s game was played under sunny skies.Neftali Feliz issued consecutive one-out walks in the ninth, but got A.J. Pierzynski to fly out with runners on first and third for his 10th save in 12 chances as Texas took the deciding game of the three-game series.Wilson gave up a single to Juan Pierre leading off the game, then recorded the next 16 outs before Gordon Beckham’s one-out single in the sixth.Brent Morel, the next batter, bounced into a double play.Wilson carried a two-hit shutout into the seventh before the White Sox broke through by putting runners on first and third on one-out singles by Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin. Paul Konerko’s RBI single ended the shutout bid, and ended Wilson’s 103-pitch outing.Reliever Mark Lowe got Alex Rios to ground into an inning-ending double play…..The White Sox threatened again in the eighth with runners on first and third and one out. Lefty Darren Oliver came on to strike out pinch hitter Adam Dunn, and retire Pierre on a forceout…..In the third inning, David Murphy’s leadoff grounder off Floyd (5-4) kicked off the glove of Beckham at second base for an error, and Murphy took third on Yorvit Torrealba’s ground-rule double….Murphy came home on Mitch Moreland’s sacrifice fly, and Kinsler followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0…..Floyd allowed two runs with five strikeouts and one walk in seven-plus innings and 110 pitches…..Texas’ three hits matched the fewest for the team in a victory in the 18-year history of Rangers Ballpark.The Sox were 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position, but Floyd didn’t point any fingers at his misfiring offense.

NOTES—Rangers CF Julio Borbon won’t be cleared to test his tender hamstring until Friday at the earliest. Borbon, on the 15-day DL with left hamstring inflammation, has to run the bases and in the outfield before he can move on to a minor league rehab assignment. Borbon will need at least 20 minor league at-bats before he’s ready to return to the majors…..The White Sox have six starters for what’s traditionally a five-man rotation, and that’s the kind of math that can give a manager headaches. The six-man setup probably will be history when the 10-game road trip ends June 1. The Sox have two days off scheduled in the first two weeks in June. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he’s not worried about hurting anyone’s feelings when he has to inform one of his pitchers that he’ll be moving to the bullpen. “It’s not about one guy,” Guillen said. “It’s about the ballclub. I have a job to do, and that’s to do what’s best for the team.” …..Guillen held Dunn out of the starting lineup despite Dunn’s homer on Tuesday night. Prior to that, Dunn had been in a 3-for-33 slump…..Pierre stretched his hitting streak to 10 games.


Heat gets by Bulls in OT to lead series 3-1.

MIAMI—Dwyane Wade was ailing, so LeBron James and Chris Bosh more than picked up the slack. Then Wade found his groove at the perfect time, and the Miami Heat, the team put together solely to win championships, moved one emotional victory away from the NBA Finals.James scored 35 points, Bosh added 22 and the Heat beat the Bulls 101-93 on Tuesday night, taking a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.Game 5 is Thursday in the United Center, when the Heat can wrap up their first finals trip since 2006. Wade went scoreless for nearly 33 straight minutes, before making a jumper with 2:08 left in overtime to help Miami keep the lead. He had two blocked shots in overtime, and after James made a contested jumper with 29 seconds remaining for a six-point lead, Derrick Rose’s layup was swatted away on the next Bulls possession. At long last, it was over. Bosh scored the first four points of overtime, and the Heat — now 8-0 at home in the playoffs — never trailed in the extra session. James closed it with two free throws with 1.4 seconds left, his 12th and 13th of the night, all without a miss. Bosh was 10 for 11 from the line, and Miami outscored the Bulls 32-17 in that department. The Heat made their final 24 free throws. Rose scored 23 points for the Bulls, who got 20 apiece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. The Bulls have lost three straight games for the first time this season. But what this game will be remembered for was how the Heat rallied around Wade — then watched him save his best for the very end.The 2006 NBA Finals MVP was in the arena late Monday night, trying to work on some things in one of his customary playoff after-dark sessions. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. This seemed like it would be the latter.Whatever answer he sought, he didn’t find for much of Game 4. Wade made just 5 of 16 shots from the field, lacking his usual lift at the rim. He made a pair of free throws with 1:50 left in the first half for his seventh and eighth points, and didn’t score again until overtime.Better late than never. That was just the start for the Heat. The Bulls turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, Wade turned the second of those into a layup with 1:01 left for a 95-89 lead, and the Heat soon knew they were one win away from the title round.Mike Miller scored 12 for Miami. Rose tried to take personal blame for the loss.The fourth quarter was pure theater, both teams clearly knowing — clearly relishing — the stakes. Miami scored the first seven points for a 70-69 lead. The Bulls took the lead back on a pair of free throws by Rose with 6:34 left, and Miami answered with a four-point possession — two free throws by Bosh after a flagrant foul against Boozer, followed by Miller making a jumper over Rose for a 78-77 edge. Back and forth from there, with the lead, the momentum, control of the series, all seeming to turn every time the ball crossed midcourt.Rose had a chance with 28 seconds left, his jumper from the left side hitting the rim and eventually being corralled by Miller. The Heat called time with 23 seconds left, 18 seconds on the shot clock, everyone in the building probably thinking the play would be set up for James.It was. And it never got a chance for liftoff. Referee Bennett Salvatore called James for an offensive foul with eight seconds left, saying Ronnie Brewer beat him to the spot as the two-time MVP tried to back down the right side of the lane. So instead of winning the game late in regulation, James had to send it to overtime with defense. He guarded Rose on the final possession, forcing the guard into a taking a jumper that fell way short, and off to an extra five minutes they went. “Just came up short,” Rose said. Rose finished 8 for 27 from the field, with seven turnovers. A day after being fined $50,000 for directing an anti-gay slur at a fan in Game 3, Bulls center Joakim Noah had six points and 14 rebounds in 45 minutes. And there seemed to be very little, if any, unusual rancor from Miami fans toward Noah. The Bulls lead was 46-44 at halftime, after some wild emotional swings — a 19-4 run by the Bulls, followed by a 29-9 spurt for the Heat, then capped by an 18-7 rebuttal by the Bulls to close the second quarter.Game 2 star Udonis Haslem replaced Bosh with 3:49 left in the opening quarter, and for whatever reason, that was when the Heat began what became a 20-point turnaround over the next 10 minutes. They took a 19-8 deficit and turned it into a 37-28 lead, with Haslem on the floor the entire way.The BullsChicago grabbed the lead back, thanks to — who else? — the MVP. Rose was 2 for 11 after getting blocked by James with 5:01 left in the half, and wouldn’t remain quiet much longer. He blew past Mario Chalmers for a dunk with 2:03 left until halftime, then had an even better slam — getting free with a crossover dribble, then elevating past Joel Anthony at the rim — for another three-point play 25 seconds later to put the Bulls back on top.The Heat never led in the third quarter, but they never pulled away.The Bulls were up by eight and had possession with three minutes left, before Miami scored eight of the game’s next 10 points to make a precarious deficit a bit more manageable and set up the unbelievable final quarter.”Look, this series is an absolute bloodbath,” Spoelstra said. “It’s about as competitive and physical as it can be.” And down 3-1, Rose conceded nothing.

NOTES—Duke coach,and Chicago native Mike Krzyzewski, sat with Heat owner Micky Arison near midcourt…..Wade missed a dunk in the first quarter, the second straight game he’s had a slam attempt blocked by the rim…..The teams combined for 21 turnovers in Game 3. They had 22 by the midpoint of the third quarter on Tuesday night…..Bulls reserve C Omer Asik, who tweaked an ankle in Game 3, logged two minutes on Tuesday, limping noticeably.

Cubs pound hapless Mets 11-1 behind Dempster

Backup catcher Ronny Paulino committed two of New York’s season-high three errors, and the Mets lost 11-1 to the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game series. Collins and the Mets returned to the field for the first time since The New Yorker posted a profile of Wilpon on its website that contained some sharp criticism of David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran – the latest in a long line of mishaps for the stumbling franchise. There was more turmoil Tuesday when Sports Illustrated posted an article on Wilpon, who told the magazine the team is “bleeding cash” and could lose up to $70 million this year. He also said the club might slash payroll next year, and there could be an agreement within three weeks to sell a minority share of the team. Alderson said he had not seen the SI article so he couldn’t comment on Wilpon’s remarks in the story. Collins said the pregame meeting was planned before the profile of Wilpon put the Mets on the back page of New York tabloids for all the wrong reasons again. But the message was going to be about continuing to play the game the right way through a rash of injuries that put Wright and first baseman Ike Davis on the disabled list. New York cleared the air, then struggled on a cool night at Wrigley Field. Ryan Dempster limited the Mets to one run in seven innings and Starlin Castro finished with three hits and two RBI for the Cubs.Beltran and Reyes spoke to Wilpon before the game on a speakerphone in Collins’ office, and a spokesman for the team said he was trying to reach Wright, who flew to Los Angeles on Monday to get his injured back examined by a specialist. Most of The New Yorker article deals with Wilpon’s upbringing in Brooklyn, his real estate business and his relationship with Bernard Madoff. But the owner really let loose during New York’s 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros on April 20, when the Mets dropped to 5-13. Sounding a lot like the team’s frustrated fan base, Wilpon disparaged the Mets’ play, called the franchise “snakebitten,” and made a couple of stinging comments about three key players. Wright, who didn’t travel with the team to Chicago, released a statement though his agent Monday calling Wilpon “a good man” who is “obviously going through some difficult times.” Wilpon is facing a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed by a court trustee seeking to recover money for victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. The Mets received a loan from Major League Baseball in November to help cover expenses, and Wilpon and his son, Jeff, are looking into selling part of the team.

NOTES—Mets LHP Johan Santana was back on the mound for the first time since he had shoulder surgery last September. The team said he made 25 throws from the rubber on Monday. … Mets OF Angel Pagan (strained left oblique) went 1 for 3 and walked twice in a rehab game with Class-A St. Lucie. He is expected to play for St. Lucie again on Wednesday, then make an appearance with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday. … The gametime temperature was 45 degrees.



Rangers win as Ogando blanks Sox 4-0

ARLINGTON—Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz each hit a home run in their return to the Texas Rangers lineup and Alexi Ogando threw a five-hitter for his first career shutout in a 4-0 victory against the White Sox on Monday night.The sluggers were back in the Texas lineup together for the first time in almost six weeks.Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP, got his first home run of the season when he pulled a liner over the right-field wall in the first off John Danks (0-7), who also threw a complete game. Hamilton added a double in the eighth.Cruz hit his eighth home run, a two-run drive in the sixth.Ogando (5-0) struck out six and walked three.Danks struck out three and walked two in his third career complete game.