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Jake Arrieta

Cubs edge Rays in Joe Maddon’s return to the Trop

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Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run and the Chicago Cubs extended their winning streak to a season-high seven by beating the the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Tuesday night in manager Joe Maddon‘s return to Tropicana Field. Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14, then left to manage Chicago and last year led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. Chicago hold a 3½-game lead over second-place Milwaukee…

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World Series managers already face second-guessing

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Joe Maddon and Terry Francona are among the most highly regarded managers in Major League Baseball. If Maddon and the Chicago Cubs win tonight, he joins the exclusive club of guiding a World Series Champion. A victory by the Cleveland Indians would mean a third World Series ring for Francona, having won with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. Despite their high stature, both managers will be open to second-guessing for decisions made in Game 6, depending on…

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Play ball! 3 games on opening day, with Royals-Mets rematch

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Andrew McCutchen vs. Adam Wainwright in the first inning, Josh Donaldson and the bangin’ Toronto Blue Jays teeing off later, then a World Series rematch in Kansas City. Neat way to begin opening day. The forecast at PNC Park calls for temperatures in the upper 30s on Sunday afternoon when McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates host the first game of the 2016 season, facing the St. Louis Cardinals. No worries, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. They played an exhibition game…

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Joe Maddon should seek advice from Terry Francona

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Joe Maddon has his work cut out for him. He must convince his team that they can accomplish the next-to-impossible. Good luck with that. Maddon’s Chicago Cubs are looking at a 3-0 deficit in their National League Championship Series against the New York Mets. New York’s pitching has been better than their opponents from Chicago’s north side. More importantly, the Mets’ starters have been better than the Cubs’ potent, but young, hitters. So what does a manager say to his…

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As baseball winds down, hockey begins; late night golf on TV

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Wednesday night has a lot to offer sports fans, especially those willing to stay up late. For those in Chicago, a dichotomy involving their two teams is front and center. The Chicago Cubs are in Pittsburgh to play the Pirates in the National League Wild Card Game. Chicago is embarking on another attempt to win their first World Series since 1908. They have not even played in one since 1945. Back in Chicago, the Blackhawks are helping the National Hockey…

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Longballs, pitching and the Cubs top the baseball playoff stories

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Now that the regular season is over, baseball heads to the playoffs. The Rays and 19 other teams will watch on television and focus on joining the party next fall. Fans of strong hitting will have more fun watching the American League. As the Rays know well, all five playoff teams are among the top six hitting clubs. Houston, Kansas City and Toronto are in the top five overall while the New York Yankees are in the middle of the pack and Texas…

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Japan overcomes Pennsylvania, huge crowd to win LLWS

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Did the Little League World Series Championship Game move from Williamsport, Pa., to Denver? Did they put cork inside the metal bats? Did Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier, the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby Champion, return to launch moon shots as he did for New Jersey in 1998? How else can one describe what happened on Sunday? Tokyo, Japan, won the LLWS on Sunday by the mind-boggling score of 18-11 over a quality team from Lewisberry, Pa. Seven home runs landed in…

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