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Page C6 • Sunday, September 22, 2013

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL DIVISION W L PCT Detroit 91 64 .587 Cleveland 85 70 .548 Kansas City 81 73 .526 Minnesota 65 89 .422 White Sox 60 94 .390 EAST DIVISION W L PCT x-Boston 94 62 .603 Tampa Bay 85 69 .552 New York 82 73 .529 Baltimore 81 73 .526 Toronto 71 83 .461 WEST DIVISION W L PCT Oakland 92 63 .594 Texas 84 70 .545 Los Angeles 76 78 .494 Seattle 67 88 .432 Houston 51 104 .329

RED SOX

From worst to 1st, Red Sox return to playoffs

GB — 6 9½ 25½ 30½

By JIMMY GOLEN The Associated Press

GB — 8 11½ 12 22 GB — 7½ 15½ 25 41

x-clinched division

WILD CARD W Tampa Bay 85 Cleveland 85 Texas 84 New York 82 Baltimore 81 Kansas City 81

L 69 70 70 73 73 73

PCT GB .552 — .548 — .545 ½ .529 3 .526 3½ .526 3½

Saturday’s Games Detroit 7, White Sox 6 (12 inn.) Tampa Bay 5, Baltimore 1 N.Y. Yankees 6, San Francisco 0 Oakland 9, Minnesota 1 Cleveland 4, Houston 1 Texas 3, Kansas City 1 Toronto 4, Boston 2 L.A. Angels 6, Seattle 5 Sunday’s Games White Sox (Er.Johnson 1-2) at Detroit (Ani. Sanchez 14-7), 12:08 p.m. Houston (Bedard 4-11) at Cleveland (Kluber 9-5), 12:05 p.m. San Francisco (Petit 4-0) at N.Y. Yankees (Pettitte 10-10), 12:05 p.m. Toronto (Dickey 13-12) at Boston (Doubront 10-6), 12:35 p.m. Baltimore (Feldman 5-4) at Tampa Bay (Ro. Hernandez 6-13), 12:40 p.m. Texas (Ogando 7-4) at Kansas City (Shields 12-9), 1:10 p.m. Seattle (F.Hernandez 12-9) at L.A. Angels (C.Wilson 17-6), 2:35 p.m. Minnesota (De Vries 0-0) at Oakland (Gray 3-3), 3:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL DIVISION W L PCT St. Louis 91 64 .587 Pittsburgh 89 66 .574 Cincinnati 88 67 .568 Milwaukee 68 86 .442 Cubs 65 90 .419 EAST DIVISION W L PCT Atlanta 91 63 .591 Washington 83 71 .539 Philadelphia 71 83 .461 New York 70 84 .455 Miami 56 98 .364 WEST DIVISION W L PCT x-Los Angeles 89 66 .574 Arizona 78 76 .506 San Diego 72 82 .468 San Francisco 71 84 .458 Colorado 71 85 .455

Northwest Herald / NWHerald.com

BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox were one win away from clinching a playoff berth, and Fenway Park was packed with its biggest crowd of the season. The fans didn’t just come to this midweek game against Baltimore hoping to celebrate their team’s return to the postseason. It was also “Dollar Beard Night,” which drew more than 4,000 – with still more turned away – sporting real or phony facial hair to honor the hirsute heroes who turned a last-place and unlovable team into the best in baseball in only one year. “Werewolves of London” played over the ballpark speakers while the scoreboard video cut from men with long-curated shrubs on their chins to women and children with fake facial hair glued or painted on. Even the team’s mascot, Wally the Green Monster, slapped on some felt to get in on the Whiskers Rebellion. “The beards are part of the camaraderie. It’s almost intense,” Red Sox owner John Henry said shortly after first baseman Mike Napoli hom-

ered to tie the score and set off the now-traditional beard-tugging celebration. “I, for one, underestimated – potentially have always underestimated – the effect of camaraderie.” A throwback to the times when the Red Sox had to hustle to sell tickets, “Dollar Beard Night” also brought back memories of the beloved Boston teams of the not-so-distant past – the “Dirt Dogs” of the 1990s, the “Cowboy Up” team of 2003 and the “Idiots,” who in ’04 ended the franchise’s 86-year championship drought. Since then, though, the team fell back into some of its less-celebrated traditions. The checkbooks were opened for big-name, marketable free agents – without regard for how they would respond in the lineup, the clubhouse or the Fenway atmosphere. That strategy collapsed along with the ballclub in September of 2011, when the team went 7-20 to blow a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race. The next season there was no sudden breakdown: The Red Sox stumbled to a 69-93, lastplace finish that was its worst in almost half a century. “It was a 13-month reboot,” Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said in an in-

AP photo

As sparkling wine is sprayed around the clubhouse, Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes grits his teeth as he celebrates with a crash helmet on after the Boston clinched the AL East title with a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays on Friday at Fenway Park in Boston. terview in his suite this week. “Thirteen months ago, we were down and out. And maybe something like that can be, in this perverse way, can be a positive thing for an organization that had a lot of early and sustained success. An opportunity to re-assess what we were doing and how we were doing it.” The opportunity presented itself in the form of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were

GB — 2 3 22½ 26

L 66 67 71

Sale already blazing trails in record book

GB — 8 20 21 35

By DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN

GB — 10½ 16½ 18 18½

dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

PCT GB .574 — .568 — .539 4½

Saturday’s Games Cubs 3, Atlanta 1 N.Y. Yankees 6, San Francisco 0 Pittsburgh 4, Cincinnati 2 N.Y. Mets 5, Philadelphia 4 (7 inn.) Miami at Washington, ppd., rain St. Louis 7, Milwaukee 2 Arizona 7, Colorado 2 L.A. Dodgers 4, San Diego 0 Sunday’s Games Atlanta (Teheran 12-8) at Cubs (E.Jackson 8-16), 1:20 p.m. San Francisco (Petit 4-0) at N.Y. Yankees (Pettitte 10-10), 12:05 p.m. Cincinnati (Arroyo 13-11) at Pittsburgh (Locke 10-6), 12:35 p.m. Miami (Flynn 0-2) at Washington (Haren 9-13), 12:35 p.m. N.Y. Mets (C.Torres 3-5) at Philadelphia (Cl.Lee 14-6), 12:35 p.m. Arizona (Corbin 14-7) at Colorado (Nicasio 8-8), 3:10 p.m. L.A. Dodgers (Greinke 15-3) at San Diego (Cashner 10-8), 3:10 p.m. St. Louis (J.Kelly 9-4) at Milwaukee (W.Peralta 10-15), 7:05 p.m.

CUBS 3, BRAVES 1 Atlanta ab Smmns ss 4 J.Upton rf-lf4 FFrmn 1b 2 CJhnsn 3b 4 Gattis lf 4 Heywrd rf 0 G.Laird c 4 Uggla 2b 3 BUpton cf 3 Medlen p 2 SDowns p 0 DCrpnt p 0 Totals

Chicago ab StCastr ss 4 Valuen 3b 2 DMrph ph-3b 1 Rizzo 1b 4 DNavrr c 3 Schrhlt rf 3 Sweeny cf 4 Bogsvc lf 3 Barney 2b 3 TrWood p 2 Villanv p 0 Lake ph 1 Strop p 0 30 1 5 0 Totals 30 r 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

h 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Atlanta Chicago

bi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

r 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

h 2 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 9

bi 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

000 100 000 — 1 000 000 03x — 3

E–Schierholtz (3). DP–Atlanta 2, Chicago 1. LOB–Atlanta 7, Chicago 6. 2B–J.Upton (26), Valbuena (15), Rizzo (38). S–Medlen. SF–Schierholtz. IP H R ER Atlanta Medlen 71/3 6 1 1 S.Downs L,2-1 BS,1-1 0 2 2 2 D.Carpenter 2/3 1 0 0 Chicago Tr.Wood 7 5 1 1 Villanueva W,7-8 1 0 0 0 Strop S,1-1 1 0 0 0 Tr.Wood pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. S.Downs pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

BB SO 2 0 0

6 0 0

4 0 0

7 0 3

WP–Medlen. Umpires–Home, Chris Conroy; First, Gary Darling; Second, Jerry Meals; Third, Paul Emmel. T–2:42. A–34,612 (41,019).

TIGERS 7, WHITE SOX 6 (12 INN.) Chicago

Detroit

ab LeGarc cf 5 DeAza ph-lf 1 Semien ss 6 Gillaspi 3b 6 Konerk 1b 6 AGarci rf 6 JrDnks lf-cf 5 Kppngr dh 5 GBckh 2b 5 BryAnd c 4 A.Dunn ph 0 Phegly c 0 Totals Chicago Detroit

r 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0

h 1 0 1 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 0 0

bi 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 0

AJcksn cf TrHntr rf MiCarr 3b D.Kelly 3b Fielder 1b VMrtnz dh Tuiassp lf Dirks ph-lf Infante 2b RSantg ss B.Pena c Avila ph HPerez pr Holady c 49 6 12 6 Totals

ab 5 5 4 0 6 5 3 2 5 3 3 0 0 0 41

r 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 7

h bi 0 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 1 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 7

000 000 213 000 — 6 000 000 006 001 — 7

One out when winning run scored. E–R.Santiago (2), Infante (9). DP–Detroit 1. LOB–Chicago 8, Detroit 11. 2B–Semien (3), Keppinger (12), G.Beckham (20), Bry.Anderson (1), V.Martinez 2 (35). 3B–Tor.Hunter (5). HR–Dirks (9). SB–Le.Garcia (7), A.Garcia (3). S–R.Santiago, Holaday. SF–Tor.Hunter. Chicago Sale N.Jones H,14 A.Reed BS,7-45 Veal Petricka L,1-1 Detroit Porcello Veras Bonderman D.Downs Benoit Alburquerque W,4-3

IP

H

R

72/3

4 5 0 0 2

0 5 1 0 1

0 5 1 0 1

1 0 4 0 3

7 0 0 0 0

6 1 4 0 0 1

2 1 3 0 0 0

2 0 3 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 1

9 1 2 0 2 2

1/3 2/3 11/3 11/3 62/3

2/3 11/3

1/3 1 2

ER BB SO

N.Jones pitched to 5 batters in the 9th. WP–Sale. PB–B.Pena. T–4:02. A–41,772 (41,255).

“I’m still learning,” he said. “But from what I saw, there were big guys like Adrian and like Carl – big-time guys. They’re great players. They’re on their own program with what they’re doing. Here, everyone’s kind of like working together. I think that’s a lot different than most clubhouses, and ours was last year. “That was the biggest thing I’ve seen.” Napoli was signed as a free agent, and so was Shane Victorino – a happy-go-lucky sort nicknamed “The Flyin’ Hawaiian.” Newcomers Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes and David Ross, along with holdovers Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, form the nucleus of the beard brigade. “The guys they got cared about winning,” outfielder Daniel Nava said, “and they cared about the guy that’s to their left and to their right.” The Red Sox clinched a playoff berth Thursday and upgraded it to an AL East title the next night with a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. With 94 wins, they had the best record in baseball. Did they expect things to turn around this far, this quickly? Not by the hair on their chinny chin chin.

WHITE SOX ANALYSIS

x-clinched division

WILD CARD W Pittsburgh 89 Cincinnati 88 Washington 83

willing to take Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez and more than $250 million in future salaries off Boston’s hands – in one transaction cleansing many of the bad feelings, the bad contracts and the bad karma. Bobby Valentine, who had been brought in to bolster clubhouse discipline after Terry Francona’s regime ended in the unprecedented collapse, was replaced by former Boston pitching coach John Farrell. And when the team arrived for spring training this year, it could do more than talk about a fresh start. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks said players do more together off the field, and instead of sitting around the clubhouse drinking beer and eating fried chicken during games, they stick around before and after to talk baseball. “In no way am I saying there were a lot of bad guys in here. It’s just camaraderie and the way these guys have meshed together is a lot different,” Middlebrooks said. “I felt like last year it was a bigger group of like superstars and a whole lot of guys that kind of do like their own thing. Middlebrooks has yet to spend a full season in the major leagues.

AP file photo

Cubs manager Dale Sveum (4) stands in the dugout before a game against the Pirates on Sept. 12 in Pittsburgh.

CUBS ANALYSIS

Bosio goes to bat for Sveum By TONI GINNETTI tginnetti@suntimes.com CHICAGO – A day after the dust settled on another odd Cubs controversy, the unsettled future of manager Dale Sveum and his staff was still the elephant in the room. As if a week with two player incidents and word of his “evaluation” wasn’t enough, Sveum was caught off-guard by closer Kevin Gregg’s angry outburst after Friday’s game. Gregg had thought Sveum said he no longer would close Next games so Pedro Strop could vs. Atlanta, have a chance. 1:20 p.m. Sunday, WGN, In fact, the two will share the AM-720 role. “I can’t lie about that. It caught me completely off-guard,” Sveum said Saturday. “I’ll take some credit for that. I guess the communication somewhere down the line just got miscommunicated.” Although team president Theo Epstein told Gregg on Friday night that he wouldn’t be disciplined, the timing of the incident didn’t help ease the focus on Sveum. And that scrutiny is hard on those who have worked with him. “Dale has put his heart and soul into this, like the rest of us,’’ pitching coach Chris Bosio said. “Personally, I look at the job we’ve done, the number of stars and good players we’ve traded, and it’s a process. But when you don’t win games, it doesn’t matter what your payroll is or the youth of your team. It’s a business. “I come to the park every day and try to prepare our

(this season). He’s a success story.’’ They are success stories for the starting pitching, CHICAGO – The Cubs didn’t want which has been the best to see a championship celebration element of 2013 – and perhaps at Wrigley Field – not if the other more a feather in Bosio’s cap. team would have been whooping But he credits his manager, too. it up. “Everyone wants to win A late rally prevented that. so bad it hurts,” he said. Dioner Navarro hit a tiebreaking single in a three-run eighth inning, “We’ve had opportunities and the Cubs beat Atlanta, 3-1, on to win games, but we’re Saturday to keep the Braves on the overmatched sometimes. But we give [opponents] a run for brink of the NL East title. their money. Atlanta’s magic number “People ask me, ‘What remained at one to clinch its if you hadn’t traded (Ryan) first division title since 2005. Dempster or (Matt) Garza Second-place Washington hosted or (Paul) Maholm or (Scott) Miami later Saturday. Feldman? But we wouldn’t Either way, the Cubs didn’t have have gotten the high-ceiling to watch a celebration. prospects we have now. We “One day, hopefully, that’ll be us need to get good depth in the and we can move forward from organization, and they’ve that,” Travis Wood said. done an outstanding job of – The Associated Press acquiring that. “The big thing we’re all guilty of is we want to win. guys as best I can, whether it’s Jeff Samardzija or Travis We want to win bad. We all have the will to win, whatevWood with three years experience or guys with less expe- er it takes, but sometimes we tend to beat ourselves.” rience. My job isn’t going to He points to games such change.” as the 3-1 comeback victoBosio said it’s also that way for Sveum, who has kept ry Saturday over the Atlanta an even-keel through two bad Braves as proof of the right attitude Sveum has fostered. seasons while the roster has And he is emphatic about churned and the losses have the future, saying “We will be mounted. better next year and the Epstein and general following year. The plan is in manager Jed Hoyer won’t be place.’’ judging Sveum on wins and The question is whether losses but on player development and effort – and perhaps this staff will be part of it. But Bosio believes the coaches communication. already are. But Bosio said there are “We are a part of it,’’ he success stories in those areas. said. “Everybody here, from “Travis Wood was a guy sent to the minors at the start players to coaches, are part of it, and they should feel that of last year who worked his way back and was an All-Star way.” this year,’’ Bosio said. “Jeff Samardzija has a 200-inning • Tony Ginnetti covers season and 200 strikeouts. the Cubs for the Chicago There are only, what, five Sun-Times. Write to her at guys who have done that tginnetti@suntimes.com.

Cubs rally late, beat Braves

DETROIT – Chris Sale is so good, he almost beat the first-place Detroit Tigers with five White Sox rookies behind him Saturday night. But these are the 2013 Sox, who have been so bad that blowing a six-run lead in the ninth inning is well within their range. In a “what else can go wrong?” kind of year, the 60-94 Sox found something. Leading 6-0 in the ninth inning with Sale set to enjoy his 12th victory, Sox relievers Nate Jones Chris Sale and Addison Reed combined to give up six runs in the bottom of the ninth, giving Sale (11-13) a no-decision and assuring him Next of finishing at Detroit, his tough-luck 12:08 p.m. season with a losing record. Sunday, The Tigers CSN, AM-670 won, 7-6, on Omar Infante’s infield single with the bases loaded in the 12th inning against rookie Jake Petricka, who had walked the bases full. According to ELIAS, it was the first time in Sox history they have led by six runs or more in the ninth inning and later lost the game. It was the first time since 1947 that the Tigers were down six in the ninth and won. “Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, you see something else,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Here’s what the Tigers’ near-miraculous ninth looked like: After getting the last out in relief of Sale in the eighth, Jones opened the ninth by giving up a triple to Torii Hunter, singles to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, a double to Victor Martinez and a three-run homer to Andy Dirks to make it 6-5. With no outs, Reed, the closer, replaced Jones and walked four, giving up the tying run on a sacrifice fly to Hunter before Donnie Veal got Fielder on a ground ball to send the game to extra innings. “The game is hard,” Ventura said. “Unless you get 27 outs. They battled, we had our guys out there that we wanted but they just couldn’t get it done.” In a season they can’t put

Sox give up 6 in 9th, lose in 12th DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers tied the score with an six-run rally in the ninth inning, then beat the White Sox, 7-6, on Saturday night when Omar Infante hit a single with the bases loaded in the 12th. Infante’s grounder deflected off the glove of reliever Jacob Petricka (1-1) with one out, and the Tigers spilled onto the field. Detroit plays its final scheduled home game of the year Sunday and can clinch a third straight AL Central title with a win and a Cleveland loss. – The Associated Press behind them soon enough, Sale is the primary reason the Sox are able to look ahead with a glimmer of hope. He’s 24, a two-time All-Star lefthander and he’d be making a bigger racket in the Cy Young discussion if not for his won-lost record that has been mostly out of his control. “You want to win every time out and want your team to win when you get in a position to win, but the hardest outs to get are the last three, and it’s a tough lineup, too,” Sale said. “It’s sports. It’s baseball. You keep your head up and not worry about the what ifs and maybes.” With one more start to go in his second season as a starter, Sale already is blazing a trail into the Sox’s record books. With seven strikeouts over 7⅔ innings, he hiked his total to 221 and passed Gary Peters (1967) for the most by a Sox lefty. Only one pitcher in Sox history, right-hander Ed Walsh from the early 1900s, has struck out more in a season. Walsh topped 254 innings four times, but needed 464 innings in one season (1908) to do it. It was a different era. Sale lowered his ERA to 2.97, striking out seven and walking one and allowing four hits. Why were five rookies playing behind Sale? With eight games left, the Sox are looking toward 2014, getting looks to see if, how and when they might fit in. Ventura placed center fielder Leury Garcia, shortstop Marcus Semien, third baseman Conor Gillaspie and right fielder Avisail Garcia in four of the top five lineup spots around cleanup man Paul Konerko and gave Bryan Anderson (two-run double) his first opportunity to catch Sale.

• Daryl Van Schouwen covers the White Sox for the Chicago Sun-Times. Write to him at dvanschouwen@ suntimes.com.

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NWH-9-22-2013