Peavy shelled in first inning as Twins hold off Sox 7-6.

Jake Peavy’s one bad inning was enough to send the White Sox to a costly loss. Jason Kubel and Luke Hughes homered during Minnesota’s six-run first inning, and the Twins snapped the Southsider’s five-game winning streak with a 7-6 victory on Wednesday.Kubel and Hughes each hit a two-run shot off Peavy (6-7), who allowed four consecutive extra-base hits during his rocky beginning. Trevor Plouffe, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer hit three straight doubles to plate the first two runs.The White Sox fell six games back of the AL Central-leading Tigers, who rallied for a 5-4 victory over Kansas City. The Sox are off Thursday and open an important three-game series at Detroit on Friday.There was a stout wind blowing out to left field on a hot afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field and Peavy said Minnesota’s ability to get the ball up into the breeze was the key to its strong start.The damaging streak of extra-base hits started with Plouffe’s one-out double. Mauer drove in Plouffe to give him 500 career RBI. Cuddyer then doubled in Mauer and scored when Kubel lofted a fly ball to left that got some help from the wind and barely cleared the outstretched glove of a leaping Juan Pierre.Kubel’s third homer in his last four games was his 14th in 39 career games at U.S. Cellular Field.After Danny Valencia struck out, Rene Tosoni singled and Hughes hit a drive to left-center for his seventh homer.Scott Diamond (1-2) allowed three runs and three hits in six innings to earn his first major league win. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Diamond may have learned from Peavy’s struggles.Joe Nathan yielded Paul Konerko’s two-run single in the ninth before finishing for his 12th save.Peavy settled down after the rough start, giving the White Sox a chance to get back into the game. Lillibridge hit a two-run homer in the third and came all the way around from first to score on Konerko’s double in the sixth.Peavy allowed six runs and eight hits over five innings, falling to 2-6 with a 5.77 ERA since a relief appearance on June 25. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner still isn’t 100 percent after having surgery on his right shoulder and said the bullpen outing might have been a mistake.Jason Repko added a two-out drive in the seventh for the Twins, who went 7-21 in August for the club’s worst-ever record in the month.Alex Rios hit an RBI single in the eighth but the Sox left the bases loaded when Tyler Flowers lined out to third to end the inning. The Sox mounted another challenge in the ninth, but Nathan struck out Rios with a runner on first to end the game.Ozzie Guillen had Adam Dunn hit for Lillibridge with runners on second and third in the ninth and the much-maligned slugger struck out swinging before Konerko’s bloop hit.Tough loss, but now it’s on to Detroit for what may be a season-turning series for the White Sox, one way or another.

NOTES—Carlos Quentin said his sprained left shoulder has improved but he wasn’t willing to put a timetable on his possible return. He’s been on the disabled list since Aug. 21….Twins 1B Justin Morneau (mild concussion symptoms) has to be cleared by the league before he can return. Morneau jammed his shoulder on Sunday and experienced headaches, prompting a concussion test….After a day off, the Twins begin a three-game road series against the Angels on Friday with Carl Pavano going against Los Angeles ace Jered Weaver….John Danks will start the series opener against Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who is 20-5. Verlander’s last loss came against the Sox on July 15

No sweep for the Cubs who get blanked by Bumgarner.Giants 4-0


SAN FRANCISCO—His team practically desperate, Madison Bumgarner delivered a boost that could not have come at a better time for the defending World Series champions.NL West-leading Arizona arrives for something the Cubs won’t have to worry about, a crucial weekend series with the Giants starting Friday.Bumgarner matched his career high with 11 strikeouts, Jeff Keppinger and Pablo Sandoval hit consecutive home runs in the fourth inning, and San Francisco beat the Cubs 4-0 on Wednesday to snap a three-game skid and avoid a sweep.On a day when general manager Brian Sabean began making big changes to his struggling club, Bumgarner (9-12) was brilliant.Keppinger also drove in a run with a bloop single in the fifth off Rodrigo Lopez (4-6), who lost his third straight outing and dropped to 0-5 in eight career starts against San Francisco. San Francisco began the day a season-high six games behind NL West-leading Arizona, which was hosting Colorado on Wednesday night. Sabean shook up the roster before the game, designating infielder Miguel Tejada and outfielder Aaron Rowand — the team’s second-highest paid player — for assignment. Dazzling while winning his second straight start, Bumgarner allowed a season-low two hits and walked two in eight innings. Manager Bruce Bochy stuck with him after a one-out walk to Geovany Soto in the eighth and Bumgarner got out of it. Sergio Romo finished the Giants’ 11th shutout with a 1-2-3 ninth that included a strikeout. Music blared through the clubhouse afterward for a group that believes it can rediscover its swagger from last fall’s improbable title run. Keppinger drove the first pitch he saw from Lopez into the left-field seats leading off the fourth for his team’s first lead in the series. Sandoval then splashed a shot into McCovey Cove beyond the right-field arcade – right to the eager kayakers who had been waiting to retrieve a rare souvenir in the bay of late. It marked the fourth time San Francisco connected for consecutive homers this season and first since Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff accomplished the feat June 2 at St. Louis. Sandoval picked up his sixth career splash hit and second this year. It was the third by a Giant in 2011, 58th by San Francisco overall and No. 82 in the history of the 12-year-old ballpark. Barry Bonds, the home run king, has 35 of them. Lopez has allowed two of Sandoval’s splash homers. The first came in 2009 when the right-hander was with Philadelphia. While this result was encouraging, the Giants realize there will have to be a lot more wins the rest of the way to stay in the playoff hunt.San Francisco hasn’t won a home series in six opportunities since taking two of three from the Brewers from July 22-24, and hasn’t won in five straight series overall. Nobody was too shocked, and some were saddened by the departures of a pair of proven veterans.The Giants avoided being swept by the Cubs for the first time since May 20-22, 1994, and in San Francisco since Sept. 13-15, 1993, at Candlestick Park.Cubs slugger Alfonso Soriano, who hit solo home runs in each of the first two games and had homered in four of his previous seven overall, went 0 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout.Chris Stewart added an RBI double as the Giants’ bats produced enough support for Bumgarner after the Cubs had outscored San Francisco 12-2 in the first two games. Stewart’s fifth-inning single snapped an 0-for-14 funk.Still, San Francisco finishes up August at 11-18 with 78 runs — the lowest monthly runs total since the Giants scored 77 in April 2009.The 11 wins are the fewest in a month since getting 10 victories in April 2009.

NOTES—San Francisco is 11-14 at home since the All-Star break….Cubs manager Mike Quade is keeping his rotation in order even with Thursday’s off day….Giants RHP reliever Ramon Ramirez celebrated his 30th birthday….San Francisco lined up its rotation to have its three best pitchers going against the Diamondbacks, starting with 10-game winner Matt Cain on Friday night for his fifth 2011 start vs. Arizona……The Cubs, who had their first winning month (16-13) since going 19-10 last September/October, return home to host Pittsburgh for a weekend series starting Friday….Ryan Dempster (10-10) takes the mound after losing his last two starts.

Cubs again beat fading Giants.Soriano hits one of longest Homers at A T & T Park


SAN FRANCISCO—Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs and hit one of the longest homers at AT&T Park, leading the Cubs to a 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.Geovany Soto added a two-run double and Darwin Barney also drove in a run for the Cubs, who won their second straight.Jeff Keppinger had three hits and drove in two runs for the Giants, who lost their third in a row to fall a season-high six games behind Arizona, which beat Colorado 9-4, in the NL West.Matt Garza (7-10) lasted 6 2-3 innings in his first appearance against the Giants. He allowed two runs on nine hits, walking one and striking out six. Carlos Marmol pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 39 chances.Ryan Vogelsong (10-5) lost his third straight start in his shortest outing since May 3. He gave up three runs on seven hits over five innings, walking two and striking out three.Sean Marshall recorded his 29th hold – on his 29th birthday – and is one shy from matching Marmol’s club record in 2008.The stagnant Giants failed to score more than three runs for the sixth consecutive contest and have scored two or fewer in 24 of their last 44 games since the All-Star break.Carlos Beltran, acquired in a trade from the New York Mets in an attempt to bolster the offense, was 0 for 4, ending the third, fifth and seventh innings with a pair of runners on each time.Soriano’s second-inning solo shot traveled an estimated 445 feet, bouncing onto the concourse above the left-field bleachers. Only Andres Galarraga has hit one further to left field, an estimated 475 feet on Sept. 18, 2001 off Roy Oswalt.Barney and Soriano each drove in runs in the third to make it a 3-0 Cubs lead.After Keppinger doubled home a run in the fifth to pull the Giants to 3-1, the Cubs added two more on Soto’s ground rule double with the bases loaded. Only fan interference prevented the Cubs from tacking on another run.Keppinger’s double was the Giants’ ninth extra-base hit in the first eight games of the homestand. He added an RBI single in the seventh.The Giants are 10-21 since leading the Diamondbacks by four games in the division after play on July 28.

NOTES—Giants RHP Brian Wilson will throw one more time before throwing off the mound. … Castro’s nine triples are the most by a Cubs player since Ivan DeJesus had 10 in 1979. … The Cubs lead the NL with 39 home runs in August. … LHP Madison Bumgarner pitches Wednesday for the Giants. He’s reached the seventh inning in each of his past five starts. Bumgarner is 1-1 in three starts vs. the Cubs. … RHP Rodrigo Lopez will go for the Cubs in Wednesday’s series finale. He’s lost his last two starts and is winless in seven starts against the Giants….Garza had two hits, his first career multi-hit game, and has five hits on the year. … The Giants have scored 74 runs in August, their fewest in the month since at least 1946.

Sox rally from three runs down,beat Twins 8-6 for fifth straight.

Alejandro De Aza drove in a career-high four runs to lead the White Sox to an 8-6 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.De Aza hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to erase an early deficit and help the White Sox win their fifth straight game. He also walked and scored two runs.Paul Konerko doubled, scored twice and had an RBI during the decisive five-run rally in the fifth.Will Ohman (1-3) got the win and Sergio Santos capped a strong performance by the bullpen with his 28th save. Starter Zach Stewart allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings.Twins starter Anthony Swarzak (3-5) allowed eight runs – six earned – over 4 1-3 innings.Jason Kubel hit a three-run homer for Minnesota.The White Sox remained five games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central. The Tigers beat Kansas City 2-1 in 10 innings earlier Tuesday. Minnesota fell to 23 games below .500 for the first time since the end of the 2000 season.The game was scoreless through three innings before the game came to life in the fourth with three straight three-run frames and the wild five-run fifth – which erased a 6-3 deficit.The White Sox sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning and were helped by an error and two hit batsmen. Michael Cuddyer threw the ball away on what might have been an inning-ending double play, opening the floodgates for the Sox.Konerko had an RBI double. Two runs scored on Cuddyer’s miscue to tie the game at 6-all. The go-ahead run scored when reliever Alex Burnett hit Gordon Beckham on the helmet with the bases loaded.Stewart beat Minnesota on Aug. 6 for his only big-league win but was hit hard for the second straight outing after allowing seven runs to the Los Angeles Angels in his last start. He was sharp early, then Kubel launched a drive into the back of the Twins’ bullpen in right field, putting Minnesota ahead 3-0 in the fourth.The turnaround was almost as abrupt for Swarzak in the bottom of the fourth. He hit Konerko in the shoulder with a pitch, then allowed an infield single to Alex Rios. One batter later, De Aza tied the game with a drive into the Twins’ bullpen.Stewart couldn’t take advantage of the second chance, giving up three runs and exiting in the fifth. Mauer laced a two-run double and scored on Cuddyer’s single.The Sox bullpen posted 4 1-3 scoreless innings. Ohman got the last out of the fifth, Jason Frasor threw a scoreless sixth and Chris Sale struck out four over two scoreless frames.

NOTES—Ozzie Guillen said before the game that he’d like to return to the White Sox in 2012 but would only do so if his contract is extended. … Rehabbing White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski (fractured left wrist) and RHP Phil Humber (facial contusion) appeared for Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. Pierzynski went hitless in three at-bats and is expected to rejoin the White Sox on Thursday. Humber, who allowed seven hits and four runs over five innings, is slated to pitch Monday at Minnesota. … Twins 1B Justin Morneau is expected to miss several games due to mild concussion symptoms. Morneau missed the second half of last season because of a concussion. … Minnesota’s Scott Diamond will square off against Jake Peavy in Wednesday afternoon’s series finale. Diamond is seeking his first major-league win.

Cubs blank Giants 7-0,Wells first complete game,a two hitter


SAN FRANCISCO—Tim Lincecum reached a new low this season and so did the San Francisco Giants’ offense.Lincecum gave up three home runs and allowed five runs in a 7-0 loss to the Cubs on Monday night.The loss dropped the Giants five games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West with 27 games to play. At the same point a year ago, they were three games out of the division lead before going 18-8 in September.Manager Bruce Bochy has tried everything to shake his team out of the slump. On Friday, he held a meeting with San Francisco’s pitching staff and told them not to worry about the lack of run support.The Giants managed only two hits against Cubs starter Randy Wells.San Francisco managed only a two-out double by Andres Torres in the third and Mike Fontenot’s pinch-hit single with one out in the eighth. Beyond that, the Giants managed only a walk against Wells. Carlos Beltran went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.That continues to be a big problem for the Giants, who went into August with a two-game lead in the division. Now San Francisco needs a strong finish to avoid missing out on the postseason altogether.Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, had allowed only five runs over his previous five starts. He pitched out of jams in the first and sixth but gave up solo home runs to Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto before Blake DeWitt’s three-run blast in the seventh. It’s the first time in his career that Lincecum (12-11) has allowed three home runs in one game.Lincecum’s 11 losses are a career-high. Wells (6-4) pitched a two-hitter for his first career complete game while the Cubs backed him with four home runs to snap a four-game losing streak.Carlos Pena accounted for the fourth homer, a solo shot off reliever Steve Edlefsen in the seventh. It was the third time this season the Cubs had four or more home runs in one game. The Cubs have 38 home runs in August, most in the National League.The way Wells has been pitching it didn’t matter what Lincecum did.Wells faced only four batters over the minimum and only allowed two runners to reach second base. He matched his season high of seven strikeouts and walked one while winning his third consecutive start on the road. The right-hander, who hasn’t lost since July 28, improved to 2-1 in four career starts against the Giants.Soriano’s home run was his 23rd of the season, one shy of tying Pena and Aramis Ramirez for the team lead. Soto’s home run, which led off the seventh, snapped an 0-for-25 streak by the Cubs’ catcher.Lincecum finished with four walks and four strikeouts. He needs seven more to reach 200 for the fourth consecutive season.

NOTES—One day after Bochy hinted LHP Jonathan Sanchez (left ankle sprain) might be done for the year, Sanchez acknowledged his recovery hasn’t gone as quickly as he hoped but said he’s hopeful of pitching again this season….LHP Barry Zito is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday and could begin a rehab assignment soon…..Matt Garza (6-10) starts for the Cubs on Tuesday and will make his first career appearance against the Giants. Garza has only two wins and a 5.07 ERA on the road this season…..Former San Francisco mayor and current California Sen. Dianne Feinstein was among those in attendance.



Sox within five of first as Buehrle shuts down Twins 3-0

With the way Tyler Flowers is playing, putting him in charge wasn’t a bad idea by Mark Buehrle.Buehrle pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning and Flowers drove in two runs as the White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Monday night in a game played in a brisk 2 hours, 4 minutes.The White Sox have won four straight and improved to two games above .500 for the first time since April 13. They moved within 5 games of the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers.Buehrle (11-6) pitched around two walks in 7 2/3 innings and struck out four. He won his 159th game, tying him for sixth on the White Sox’s all-time list. Buehrle relied on Flowers, a rookie catcher, on just about every pitch.Flowers, who has been playing in place of the injured A.J. Pierzynski, was impressive at the plate again after hitting a grand slam in Sunday’s win over the Seattle Mariners.Buehrle has allowed only one earned run in 30 2/3 innings this season against the Twins and has 27 wins in his career over Minnesota. He has more wins over the Twins than any other active pitcher has against an opponent.Jesse Crain got an out in the eighth and closer Sergio Santos pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save in 31 chances, finishing the four-hitter.Twins starter Kevin Slowey (0-3) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. Slowey was out from May to August with an abdominal strain.The Twins are one-half game ahead of the last-place Kansas City Royals in the AL Central. After a leadoff walk by Tsuyoshi Nishioka in the eighth, Ben Revere moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt. Buehrle then retired Trevor Plouffe on a soft liner to second. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen pulled Buehrle after 109 pitches. After Buehrle left to a standing ovation, Crain struck out Michael Cuddyer to end the inning.Buehrle, who is a free agent after the season, isn’t worrying about his future with the White Sox.Before its current four-game winning streak against Minnesota, the Sox had lost 17 of 20 to the Twins and only won for the second time in 11 games against the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox manufactured a run in the second inning. With one out, Alejandro De Aza doubled to left. He stole third and scored on Flowers’ sacrifice fly.In the seventh, Dayan Viciedo led off with a single against Slowey and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by De Aza. Flowers followed with a double to left-center to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.The White Sox got another run in the eighth. With two outs and Alexei Ramirez on second, Viciedo hit a slow roller to Valencia at third. Valencia wasn’t able to field the roller and Ramirez rounded third base hard and continued to the plate and scored without a throw.Both pitchers worked at a rapid pace, the first five innings were completed in under an hour.Again, the Twins had to play without catcher Joe Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau. Mauer was out with a sore neck for the sixth straight game and Morneau injured his left shoulder diving for a ball in Sunday’s win over the Tigers. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau is day to day and Mauer took swings in the cages before Monday’s game.

Bears move ball but lose to Titans 14-13


NASHVILLE—Seventh-round draft pick Tommie Campbell returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown, and the Tennessee Titans rallied to beat the Bears14-13 on Saturday night.The Titans (2-1) had trouble stopping the Bears (1-2) who outgained Tennessee 416-220. But the Titans came up with two interceptions, and the cornerback from Division II California (Pa.) picked off Caleb Hanie’s pass late in the third quarter and ran up the left sideline untouched to put Tennessee ahead to stay.Cutler played one series into the third quarter and was 13 of 21 for 170 yards with his one interception coming on the opening drive. Matt Forte ran 17 times for 74 yards and a touchdown, but Marion Barber hurt his calf early and did not return.


NOTES—In addition to Barber’s injury,Tight end Desmond Clark was injured after getting drilled in the left leg by safety Anthony Smith, who forced an incomplete pass.Clark was taken to the locker room….The Bears last Pre Season contest is Thursday with Cleveland at Soldier Field at 7pm

Brewers stay hot, beat Cubs 6-4

 Milwaukee Brewers logo

MILWAUKEE—Yovani Gallardo matched a season high with 10 strikeouts over seven innings and Prince Fielder hit a 443-foot homer before the Brewers bullpen held on in Milwaukee’s 6-4 victory over the Cubs on Saturday night.Milwaukee has won 26 of 31 and moved 10½ games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central after St. Louis lost 7-0 to Pittsburgh.Gallardo (15-8) allowed one unearned run and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to set a career high for wins, but Alfonso Soriano’s three-run double off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth made things interesting.Hawkins was less than successful as a Cub,and has been torch by his former Club since leaving and on this night it was no different.Casey McGehee’s two-run homer against Ryan Dempster (11-9) gave Milwaukee a 3-0 lead after the first, and Fielder and Corey Hart helped the Brewers build a 6-1 lead before the Cubs rallied.Hawkins loaded the bases after allowing a single to Aramis Ramirez, a double to Tyler Colvin and an infield hit to Marlon Byrd. Soriano then lined a fastball to the left-field corner that made it 6-4.Hawkins departed for Francisco Rodriguez and Soriano stole third, but Geovany Soto struck out and Reed Johnson grounded out weakly to end the inning.John Axford pitched the ninth for his 39th save, converting his 36th opportunity in a row.Milwaukee improved to a majors-best 49-16 at home by jumping out to a 3-0 lead early when Braun doubled in Hart and came home on McGehee’s homer.Gallardo’s errant throw in the second allowed Carlos Pena to reach. Pena scored on Soriano’s single that made it 3-1.Hart, on a 10-game hitting streak, tripled in a run with two out in the bottom of the second before adding his 20th homer of the season in the seventh. He finished a single short of the cycle.Fielder smacked his 29th homer in the third off the lower metal scoreboard supports immediately after Braun hit a towering blast that Byrd, the center fielder, caught with a leaping effort at the wall.The Cubs’ best chance against Gallardo came in the seventh after the right-hander walked Blake DeWitt and Starlin Castro to load the bases with two out. But Gallardo fanned Darwin Barney for his 10th strikeout of the night to set the stage for the shaky bullpen outing.Gallardo is 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA over his last five starts in Milwaukee, where the Brewers are on pace for the best home mark since the 1998 Yankees went 62-19.More importantly, Milwaukee is surging to its first division title since winning the AL East in 1982, when the Brewers reached the World Series for the only time in franchise history.Dempster, who left after the fourth, had been 6-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his previous eight starts against Milwaukee before July 26.That day, Milwaukee beat him 3-2 at Miller Park to start this 26-5 streak that’s vaulted the Brewers from third place to their biggest divisional lead ever.

NOTES—Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 16 games….Castro extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He’s the first Cub with three hitting streaks of at least 10 games in one season since Sammy Sosa did it in 2000…..Brewers RHP Zack Greinke (12-5, 4.22 ERA) faces Cubs RHP Casey Coleman (2-6, 7.59) in the finale of this three-game series.

Two costly Barney errors help Brewers to 5-2 win over Cubs

Milwaukee Brewers logo

MILWAUKEE—Ryan Braun thought he had homered to give the Brewers a lead. Instead, he rounded the bases like a kid in a wild scramble.Braun ended up scoring on his double that plated three runs after Darwin Barney made his second error of the inning, rallying the Brewers to a 5-2 victory against the Cubs on Friday night for their 25th victory in the past 30 games.The Brewers lead St. Louis by 9½ games in the NL Central.George Kottaras hit a solo home run for Milwaukee, and Barney’s two mistakes in the fifth cost the Cubs, who lead the majors with 110 errors.He failed to touch first base on a sacrifice bunt by Nyjer Morgan that moved Corey Hart to second, then his throw over the head of third baseman Aramis Ramirez allowed Morgan and Braun to score on Braun’s RBI double that gave Milwaukee a 4-2 lead. Brewers starter Randy Wolf (11-8) allowed a leadoff home run to Starlin Castro before winning his fifth consecutive decision.Wolf left with a man on second and two outs in the seventh for Takashi Saito, who struck out Castro to end the threat. In the bottom of the inning, Prince Fielder singled in his 101st run this season to make it 5-2. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a quiet eighth and John Axford converted his 38th save in the ninth by getting Blake DeWitt to ground out sharply to Fielder at first on a seven-pitch at-bat with runners at second and third.The Brewers improved to a majors-best 48-16 at home as they continue to show little signs of slowing down in their quest for their first division title since winning the AL East in 1982 on the way to their only World Series appearance. Castro homered to start a game for the first time in his career and the Cubs went ahead 2-0 on Jeff Baker’s double in the third after an error by Wolf, but Kottaras answered with a towering solo shot in the fourth.In the fifth, Hart singled to extend his hitting streak to nine and Morgan laid down a bunt that Cubs starter Rodrigo Lopez (4-5) fielded. Lopez’s throw was just a little low and Barney, who moved from second base to cover first on the play, pulled his left foot off the bag to field it, allowing Morgan to reach.After a double steal, Braun followed with his double that hit the top of the wall, but landed just below the yellow line. As Braun hustled to second, Barney took right fielder Reed Johnson’s relay throw and fired over Ramirez’s head into the Cubs dugout.Third base umpire James Hoye awarded both Morgan and Braun home to give Milwaukee a 4-2 lead.Wolf has been another important reason why the Brewers’ rotation has been so strong. The veteran left-hander who turned 35 on Monday has won five in a row for the first time since pitching for the Dodgers in 2009. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits to lower his ERA to 3.37.

NOTES—The Cubs have lost six straight in Milwaukee….Wolf’s career-best ERA was 3.20 with the Phillies in 2002….It was Kottaras’ first home run since June 18…..Ramirez doubled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 15 games…..Saturday’s matchup features Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.51 ERA) against Ryan Dempster (10-9, 4.60).






Lillibridge homer holds up, Sox beat M’s to remain seven games behind Detroit

SEATTLE—Brent Lillibridge now has a Safeco Field memory that goes well beyond the 20 or so Seattle Mariners games he would attend every summer as a kid.A game-winning home run trumps nearly everything else.The White Sox do-everything utility man hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning, Jake Peavy pitched six strong innings for only his second victory since late June and the White Sox beat Seattle 4-2 on Friday night.Lillibridge, a Seattle area native and former college star across town at Washington, snapped a 2-2 tie with his 12th home run deep into the bullpen in left-center field off Seattle starter Charlie Furbush. Lillibridge had struck out in his first two at-bats before taking Furbush (3-6) deep.White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has used Lillibridge nearly everywhere this season. He has played all three outfield positions, second base and made his eighth start at first base on Friday night. It has all come without regularity — Friday night was his first start since last Sunday — but along the way, Lillibridge has proved himself invaluable to the White Sox lineup.And, as Guillen noted, probably made himself some money in the future. Lillibridge’s home run was his fifth in the past 15 games and came after he got only one at-bat in the Sox previous series against the Angels. He connected in his previous start Sunday in Texas.Peavy made Lillibridge’s home run stand up despite pitching with base runners on for most of his six innings. Seattle left runners in scoring position in the first, third and fourth innings against Peavy, but the only damage Seattle’s offense could manage was Miguel Olivo’s solo home run leading off the second and Trayvon Robinson’s bloop single in the fourth. Kyle Seager scored on Robinson’s single after doubling off the glove of Juan Pierre’s diving attempt to open the inning. Otherwise, Peavy was strong. He matched his season high with eight strikeouts and retired the final six batters he faced. It was only the fourth start this season where Peavy allowed two earned runs or fewer.The White Sox bullpen didn’t make it easy for Peavy to even his record. Matt Thornton took over for Peavy and struck out Ichiro Suzuki and Dustin Ackley in the seventh, but gave up singles to Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Carp. Jesse Crain entered and walked Olivo to load the bases but got rookie Kyle Seager swinging at strike three in the dirt to end the threat.Crain finished off the eighth striking out Wily Mo Pena and Brendan Ryan, and getting a groundout from Robinson. Chris Sale then pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances. Guillen went with the matchups using the left-handed Sale to get lefty hitters Ackley and Carp.Seattle left 11 runners on base. NOTES—The White Sox plan on placing OF Carlos Quentin on the disabled list Saturday with a back injury. The team will bring up Dayan Viciedo from Triple-A Charlotte. … Friday was the 1,000th game played at Safeco Field, including four with Seattle as the visiting team. … Former Seattle Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones threw out the first pitch. … Seattle rookie RHP Michael Pineda (9-7) gets his fourth chance at win No. 10 on Saturday. Since picking up his ninth win on July 30, Pineda’s had three straight no decisions. …John Danks (5-9) looks to continue his impressive comeback on Saturday. After starting the season 0-8, Danks is 5-1 with a 2.32 ERA in his last 10 starts. He had a no decision in his last start at Texas.