Latest Illinois sports


Hendricks, 3 relievers shut down Mets in Cubs' 1-0 win

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Hendricks outpitched Jonathon Niese in a matchup of feeble offenses, and Matt Szczur provided the one big hit Tuesday night as the Chicago Cubs snapped a five-game skid with a 1-0 victory over the New York Mets.

Hendricks (3-4) pitched three-hit ball for six innings and combined with three relievers to bail out the Cubs, who scored just six runs during their losing streak.

Szczur had an RBI double off Niese (3-8) in the sixth, the team's only hit in five chances with runners in scoring position. It was enough to end a four-game winning streak for the Mets, who lost 1-0 for the fourth time in two months.

Chicago was 4 for 37 with runners in scoring position while dropping two to the Dodgers and getting swept by NL Central-rival St. Louis.


Sale ties strikeout record, White Sox edge Cardinals in 11th

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chris Sale matched a major league record by striking out at least 10 in eight straight starts, and the Chicago White Sox outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in 11 innings Tuesday night on a home run by Tyler Flowers.

Sale struck out 12 in eight innings. The lefty tied the mark set by Pedro Martinez in 1999 with Boston.

The White Sox ace had fanned every hitter in the St. Louis lineup by the end of the sixth. He is 0-2 with two no-decisions during the last four games of his streak, getting only four runs of support.

Sale helped himself, getting his first career hit and scoring the first run for the White Sox.

Flowers hit his sixth homer with two outs in the 11th. He connected off Miguel Socolovich (2-1), pitching for the first time in nine days.

Daniel Webb (1-0) got the win and David Robertson earned his 16th save in 20 chances.

Randal Grichuk homered for the Cardinals, whose nine-game home winning streak ended.


Charles, Wiggins lead New York Liberty past Sky 89-81

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Tina Charles had a season-high 26 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Candice Wiggins hit all five of her 3-pointers, to lead the New York Liberty to an 89-81 win over the Chicago Sky on Tuesday night.

Wiggins finished with 15 points, going 5 of 7 from the field, as New York's bench out-scored Chicago's reserves 34-7, ending a 10-game losing streak to the Sky that dated back to Aug. 21, 2012.

Three-time WNBA Player of the Week Elena Delle Donne, who leads the league at 29 points a game, finished with 26 but was only 8 of 20 from the field. She went 10 of 10 from the line, running her streak of consecutive free throws to 58, eight shy of Eva Nemcova's WNBA record set in the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

It was the first meeting of the season between the teams that engineered the biggest trade of the offseason as each team sent a former Rutgers star home. Chicago (5-5) got six-time All-Star Cappie Pondexter while two-time All-Start Epiphanny Prince went to New York (6-4).


Blue Jackets acquire Saad in trade with Blackhawks

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have traded forward Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a seven-player deal.

The 22-year-old Saad set career highs with 23 goals and 29 assists in 82 games this past season. The rugged winger then helped the Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup title in six seasons.

Saad was eligible for restricted free agency, and Chicago is trying to manage its salary cap with twin extensions for captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane kicking in for next season.

The Blackhawks also sent forward Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta to the Blue Jackets for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 draft.

The 27-year-old Anisimov had seven goals and 20 assists in 52 games for the Blue Jackets last season.


Blackhawks agree to one-year extension with goalie Leighton

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with veteran goaltender Michael Leighton on a one-year extension through next season.

The 34-year-old Leighton went 22-13-4 with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage with the Rockford AHL affiliate last season. Over 105 NHL regular-season games with four teams, he is 35-41-14 with a 2.97 GAA and a .901 save percentage. He is 8-4 in the postseason and holds the NHL record for most shutouts in a postseason series with three against Montreal in 2010.

Over the weekend, the Blackhawks dealt backup goalie Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers for forward Ryan Haggerty. Raanta played in 39 career games, all with the Blackhawks, who won this year's Stanley Cup championship behind Corey Crawford and backup Scott Darling.


Trying to make hitting skid disappear, Maddon hires magician

NEW YORK (AP) — Hoping to make a hitting slump disappear, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon tried a trick.

Presto! He hired a magician.

Known for his unusual, motivational and tension-cutting clubhouse activities while with the Tampa Bay Rays, Maddon thought a five-game losing streak was the perfect time to pull out some fun.

Maddon conjured up the idea on the trip to New York after the Cubs were swept in St. Louis.

A team official helped find a magician named Simon, who entertained the clubhouse a couple of hours before the Cubs played the Mets at Citi Field.

Maddon said one of his favorite tricks involved a soda can that was crumpled and empty, only to return to form, full of soda.

The Cubs had scored a total of just six runs during their five-game skid.


Cardinals place RHP Matt Belisle on 15-day DL

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals placed right-handed reliever Matt Belisle on the 15-day disabled list with elbow inflammation, retroactive to June 28.

Right-hander Marcus Hatley's contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis. To make room on the 40-man roster, reliever Jordan Walden was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.

The 35-year-old Belisle is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 30 games with 24 strikeouts in 30 innings.

This is the first call-up for the 27-year-old Hatley, who joined the team for a two-game interleague series against the White Sox beginning Tuesday night. Hatley was 4-2 with a 1.69 ERA in 27 games for Memphis.

The Cardinals signed Hatley as a minor league free agent last November after he'd spent nine years in the Cubs' organization.


Judge weighing Missouri lawmaker lawsuit over Rams stadium

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri judge is weighing whether to allow the governor to sign off on plans to build a new stadium for the St. Louis Rams.

A state lawmaker argued Tuesday in Cole County Circuit Court that Gov. Jay Nixon and officials who oversee the current Rams stadium are overstepping their authority.

The governor and others want to keep the Rams in St. Louis or attract another team if owner Stan Kroenke moves the franchise to Los Angeles, which could happen as early as 2016.

A group of Missouri lawmakers sued. They say Nixon is misusing taxpayer money to plan and promote a new stadium.

Lawyers for Nixon want the case dismissed. Judge Jon Beetem didn't say when he will rule on the case.