7/9/2013 5:30:00 AM Monday roundup: Cubs complete season sweep of White Sox; Howard, Oswalt to DL; Butler names Miller coach; plus, more national briefs
Cubs 8, White Sox 2
CHICAGO (AP) - All the interest around the league is flattering. Matt Garza just isn't sure what to make of it.
He realizes the Chicago Cubs could trade him at any moment. And performances like this will make him that much more attractive to contenders.
Garza pitched seven strong innings, Alfonso Soriano homered and scored four runs, and the Cubs pulled away late to beat the White Sox 8-2 on Monday night.
Dave Sappelt had a career-high four hits, while Soriano had three along with two steals. Luis Valbuena drove in three runs, hitting the tiebreaking two-run double and scoring during a five-run eighth.
Garza (5-1), meanwhile, came through with another terrific outing at a time when interest in him is high.
"At least you're wanted," he said. "It could be the other way. If it happens, my phone will ring and that will be it. But it hasn't rung."
For now, management's phones are ringing. General manager Jed Hoyer acknowledged that earlier in the day, saying Garza's "a guy we've gotten a lot of phone calls on" and has "opened a lot of eyes" of late.
Garza, who has an expiring contract, said he's discussed a new deal with the Cubs and isn't ruling it out, no matter how slim the odds appear to be.
He said the possibility is "as real as the trade."
"It's always a possibility, 50-50," he added.
He's 4-0 in his last five starts after allowing two runs - one earned - and five hits, striking out six without a walk. He's lowered his ERA from 4.98 to 3.22 during this stretch, while his trade value has remained high.
Valbuena broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run double off reliever Matt Thornton (0-3) and came around on a single by Sappelt off Nate Jones. Ransom capped the rally with a two-run, bases-loaded single, and the Cubs completed the four-game season sweep against their crosstown rivals.
Hector Santiago lasted 5 1-3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits, for the White Sox, but they lost for the 10th time in 12 games. This one, a makeup from May 28, was delayed 29 minutes at the start by rain.
"It's at that point where you want to win against anybody," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Coming back here and losing this one, you don't like losing to anybody, but again, we have to right the ship."
The Cubs continued to unload players before the game, trading outfielder Scott Hairston to the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Ivan Pineyro. In the past week alone, they've also dealt pitchers Scott Feldman and Carlos Marmol, along with catcher Steve Clevenger, and Garza could be on his way out, too.
He gave up a solo drive in the third to Josh Phegley, who hit his first career homer against Tampa Bay's David Price on Sunday. That made him the quickest White Sox rookie to homer in consecutive games since Magglio Ordonez went deep in his second and third games in 1997.
"Other than that, (Garza) was outstanding," manager Dale Sveum said. "I think he'd probably tell you he didn't have the great fastball command, but he did have the velocity."
Soriano gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead when he knocked a high pitch to the seats in left leading off the sixth, just after lightning flashed and thunder cracked. The home run was his 13th on the season and sixth in 10 games. It was also the 385th of his career, putting him in sole possession of 59th place on baseball's all-time list ahead of former White Sox All-Star Harold Baines.
But the White Sox immediately tied it, thanks to some shaky defense by the Cubs.
Second baseman Darwin Barney threw wildly to first on an infield single by Gordon Beckham with one out, allowing the runner to advance to second, and a single by Alex Rios put men on the corners. With two outs, catcher Dioner Navarro bounced a throw to second that Barney could not handle on a double steal, allowing Beckham to score the tying run. It was also the first time a White Sox player swiped home since Juan Pierre did it against Cleveland on Oct. 2, 2010.
Phils' Howard out 6-8 weeks
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Phillies slugger Ryan Howard needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss at least six to eight weeks.
Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, went on the disabled list Saturday. An MRI Monday confirmed the tear in his knee. A date for surgery hasn't been set.
The three-time All-Star was hitting .266 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs. He was noticeably limping during games before he was shut down.
Rockies place Oswalt on DL
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Colorado Rockies have placed pitcher Roy Oswalt on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
To fill Oswalt's roster spot Monday, the team recalled outfielder Charlie Blackmon from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Blackmon is in his second stint with the Rockies this year. He batted .240 (6 for 25) in 12 games earlier this season.
Oswalt is 0-4 with a 7.64 ERA in four starts with the Rockies since signing a $2.3 million, one-year contract on May 2.
The 35-year-old right-hander, a three-time All-Star with Houston and the 2005 NL championship series MVP, went 4-3 with a 5.80 ERA in 17 games for Texas last season, including nine starts.
He won 20 games for the Astros in 2004 and again in 2005.
Butler promotes Miller to head coach
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Butler promoted former player and assistant coach Brandon Miller to fill the vacancy left by coach Brad Stevens, who was hired this week to coach the Boston Celtics.
Athletic director Barry Collier announced Miller's hiring on Saturday.
Miller played at Butler through 2003 as the team built a 77-20 record over a three-year span, earned three conference championships and appeared in three postseason tournaments.
Jets' coach Ryan runs with bulls in Pamplona
NEW YORK (AP) - Rex Ryan spent part of his summer vacation running from angry bulls.
The New York Jets coach joined thousands of thrill-seekers on Sunday and Monday in the annual running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain.
The team confirmed Monday that Ryan was uninjured while participating both days in the run, which is the highlight of a nine-day street festival and is televised nationally. Ryan was there on two mostly uneventful days as there were no gorings, while six people were treated for injuries.
Ben Patton, a contestant on NBC's matchmaker show "Ready for Love," tweeted an Instagram photo of himself and some friends posing with Ryan in Pamplona. A slim-looking Ryan is wearing white pants, a red T-shirt with a picture of a bull in the middle - with the words "Bad Toro" printed underneath - and a red bandana around his neck.
Broncos' exec charged with drunk driving
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP) - Denver Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell apologized for his arrest over the weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The Colorado State Patrol said Russell was arrested Saturday after rear-ending a Breckenridge police officer's SUV that was stopped on the shoulder of Colorado 9. The officer, suspecting Russell was drunk, had pulled over to wait for Russell to pass, troopers said. Russell and the officer were taken to hospitals and released.
Kaman to sign with Lakers
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Chris Kaman is headed back to Los Angeles, this time with the Lakers.
The 7-foot free agent center who spent the first eight years of his career with the Clippers said on Twitter that he had agreed to join the Lakers. The deal is reportedly for one year at $3.2 million.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak later issued a statement through the team saying Los Angeles has been negotiating with Kaman and intends to sign him.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) - Jonas Blixt shot a 3-under 67 Sunday to win the rain-delayed Greenbrier Classic by two strokes.
The Swede emerged from a five-player chase over the final five holes to pick up the $1.1 million winner's check. He also gets a spot in next year's Masters and is likely to be the top alternate for the upcoming British Open.
Blixt overcame a four-shot deficit at the start of the final round and finished at 13 under. Third-round leader Johnson Wagner (73), Australians Steven Bowditch (68) and Matt Jones (68), and Jimmy Walker (71) tied for second.