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Southern Illinois rallies to defeat Illinois State 35-17

Nic Baker threw two touchdown passes and Javon Williams Jr., rushed for two in a Southern Illinois comeback that saw the Salukis score five unanswered touchdowns and defeat Illinois State 35-17 in a Missouri Valley Conference opener on Saturday.

 

Jackson Waring’s 1-yard touchdown run had given Illinois State (2-2, 0-1) a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter, but the game flipped from there as Southern Illinois (3-1, 1-0) forced two punts, a fumble and took over on downs three times on the Redbirds final six possessions.

 

Baker was 21 of 32 passing for 227 yards with a pair of touchdowns. He was also intercepted twice. Landon Lenoir rushed for 86 yards and a TD while Izaiah Hartrup gained 82 for Southern Illinois.

 

Waring, a freshman, passed for 166 yards for Illinois State with Austin Nagel making four catches for 100 yards.

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O'Connell rallies Boilermakers late to get past Illini 13-9

After relieving Jack Plummer in the third quarter and throwing interceptions on his first two series, Aidan O'Connell capped a 94-yard scoring march drive with a 14-yard scoring toss to T.J. Sheffield for the game’s only touchdown and a 13-9 victory over Illinois.

 

The Boilermakers (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) started the day without their best receiver, their top two running backs and lost starting tight end Payne Durham in the first half after a jarring hit knocked his helmet loose.

 

After leading Purdue to field goals on its first two series, Plummer couldn’t muster another score, so Brohm changed quarterbacks and O’Connell made the game-turning play for the touchdown with 5:44 left in the game.

 

Purdue’s defense clinched the victory by forcing a turnover on downs in its own red zone.

 

Illinois (1-4, 1-2) has lost four straight since a season-opening win over Nebraska.

 

But it was coach Bret Bielema’s decision to punt on fourth-and-2 from the Boilermakers’ 34-yard line that drew questions, especially after Jeff McCort made three field goals including the tie-breaker to give Illinois a 9-6 lead early in the fourth quarter.

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Big-play defense helps Eastern Illinois stop Tennessee Tech

As heard on WHOW, Bryce Dewberry returned a fumble 90 yards for a pivotal touchdown and Eastern Illinois went on to defeat Tennessee Tech 28-14 in an Ohio Valley Conference opener on Saturday.

 

Midway through the fourth quarter, Tennessee Tech drove inside the 10-yard line looking to tie the score. With 2nd-and-goal from the 5, the 16th play of the Golden Eagles’ drive went awry as quarterback Drew Martin fumbled in the backfield and Dewberry returned it 90 yards for an Eastern Illinois touchdown and a 28-14 lead.

 

Tennessee Tech (0-3) outgained Eastern Illinois (1-4) 379-304 and controlled the ball for 36 minutes. However, The Golden Eagles committed four turnovers and were 4 for 15 on third down as the Eastern Illinois defense came up with several big plays. Jordan Miles had three of the Panthers’ five sacks and caused two fumbles and Jason Johnson had 16 tackles, nine solo.

 

The Panthers’ Otto Kuhns completed 15 of 26 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns, both to Deairious Smith, who had six receptions for 109 yards.

 

Martin was 26-for-38 passing for 315 yards and a touchdown for Tennessee Tech.

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Monticello Clamps Down in Second Half to Beat Pontiac 42-12

Joey Sprinkle accounted for all six Monticello scores and the Sages blanked Pontiac in the second half to roll the Indians 42-12 in Illini Prairie Conference high school football action Friday night from Homecoming at Pontiac High School.

 

Sprinkle ran in from 2-yards out three times in the first half, scored from five-yards out to start the second half, another two-yard score in the third quarter and hit Triston Foran from a yard out in the back of the end zone for the final score.

 

The Indians stayed around thanks to a 35-yard pass from junior quarterback Nick Crane to Wyatt Griffith and then hit Kodi Davis for a 57-yard touchdown in the second quarter that made the score 21-12 at the half.

 

Sprinkle finished 17-for-31 for 256 yards and a score. He also ran for 62 yards and five touchdowns. Foran hauled in nine more catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. Spencer Mitze (mitts) broke out for five catches and 89 yards. 

 

Luke Teschke finished with five carries and 64 yards in limited action for Monticello. 

 

The Sages improve to 5-0 while Pontiac drops to 1-4.

 

Monticello will host Rantoul for Homecoming next Friday night. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Monticello Travels to Pontiac

Joey Sprinkle hit Tristan Foran with an 8-yard go-ahead touchdown that Foran wrestled away from the defender in helping Monticello outlast Bloomington Central Catholic 32-27 last week, now the Sages head to Pontiac tonight for another Illini Prairie Conference high school football matchup.

 

Coach Cully Welter liked the way his kids played with poise after the Saints used over eight minutes of the first quarter to punch in the game's first score and then trailed 10-0 early in the second quarter. 

 

 

Coming into tonight's matchup at Pontiac, Coach Welter says the Indians will, per usual, be bigger than the Sages upfront and they bring some matchup problems in the skill positions.

 

 

The third-ranked Sages come into tonight's contest tied for first in the Illini Prairie at 4-0 with Tolono Unity while Pontiac is among a trio of teams at 1-3 in conference play. Game time is 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Illini Prairie

 

Prairie Central at Illinois Valley Central

Paxton-Buckley-Loda at Rantoul

St. Joseph-Ogden at Olympia

Tolono Unity at Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Apollo

 

Effingham at Taylorville

Mahomet-Seymour at Charleston

Mt. Zion at Lincoln

 

Big Twelve

 

Champaign Central at Normal Community

Danville at Peoria Manual

Normal West at Peoria Notre Dame

Peoria at Champaign Centennial

Peoria Richwoods at Bloomington 

 

Central Illinois

 

Central A & M at Tuscola

Shelbyville at Warrensburg-Latham

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

Argenta-Oreana at Oakland Tri-County

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Cerro Gordo-Bement 

Sangamon Valley at Arcola

Toledo-Cumberland at Villa Grove

 

Mid-Illini

 

Limestone at East Peoria

Dunlap at Metamora

Morton at Washington

Pekin at Canton

 

Sangamo

 

Maroa-Forsyth at Williamsville

 

Non-Conference

 

Ridgeview at El Paso-Gridley

G.C.M.S. at Eureka

Heyworth at Tri-Valley

Dee-Mack at Fisher

Fieldcrest at LeRoy

Tremont at Madison (Sat.)

Urbana at Du-Pec (Sat.)

 

8-Man Football

 

Polo at Flanagan-Cornell-Cornell-Woodland

Champaign St. Thomas More at Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran

Blue Ridge at Decatur LSA

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Illinois Takes on Purdue Saturday

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm decided to pull Jack Plummer during last week’s loss to No. 12 Notre Dame.

 

Illinois coach Bret Bielema took the opposite approach with Brandon Peters.

 

Now after a week of quarterback questions, the Boilermakers and Illini will renew their rivalry Saturday with Plummer and Peters again expected to be again in the starting lineup.

 

Plummer was solid, going 25 of 36 with 187 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and two sacks by the Fighting Irish. Backup Aidan O’Connell finished 11 of 18 with 104 yards and no sacks.

 

Illinois (1-3, 1-1 Big Ten) faced a similar scenario this week after losing its third straight.

Peters struggled against Maryland after returning from a non-throwing shoulder injury. Some were calling for a switch back to Artur Sitkowski, the transfer from Rutgers who stepped in when Peters got hurt.

 

Freshman running back Josh McCray was one of Bielema’s first recruits and after last week’s game against Maryland, everyone understands why. McCray scored on a 38-yard TD run and led the Illini with eight carries for 60 yards before going to a nearby hospital for an undisclosed reason. Bielema said McCray went home a few hours after the game and is expected to play Saturday.

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Eastern Illinois Takes on Tennessee Tech

Eastern Illinois and Tennessee Tech will meet on Saturday afternoon in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both schools.  

 

EIU fell to 0-4 on the season after a 31-24 loss to Illinois State in the 109th Mid-America Classic on Saturday evening at O'Brien Field. The Panthers have played three of their first four games on the road including a loss at SEC member South Carolina.  

 

Tennessee Tech fell to 0-3 on the season with a loss at SEC member Tennessee.  TTU has been shutout in its last two losses.

 

Eastern Illinois special teams had two blocked kicks on Saturday against Illinois State as the Panthers blocked both a punt and field goal in the game.  Last season EIU blocked three kicks during the season with two blocked punts and one blocked field goal. 

 

Eastern Illinois pass defense limited Illinois State to just 54 yards passing on Saturday night as the Panthers are ranked sixth in the FCS in passing defense allowing just 115 yards per game.  It was the second time this season EIU has held an opponent under 100 yards passing after Indiana State had 87 yards in the Week Zero opener.  

 

Game time is 1:30 pm on Saturday. Hear the action starting at 1 pm with pre-game at 1 pm on WHOW.

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White Sox Clinch Division Title in Thursday Doubleheader Split

Tony La Russa stood in the visiting dugout, soaking in the scene as the Chicago White Sox celebrated their first AL Central title since 2008 after a 7-2 victory over Cleveland in a doubleheader opener Thursday. 

 

Chicago (86-66) moved into first place for good on May 7. The White Sox have not advanced in the postseason since winning the 2005 World Series and last hosted a playoff game 13 years ago.

 

Anderson hit his fifth leadoff home run of the season and added a three-run drive in the second for his sixth career multi-homer game. Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez hit consecutive homers in the second as Chicago grabbed a 7-0 lead off Aaron Civale (11-5).

 

Aaron Bummer (4-5) retired all three batters in the fifth as four White Sox relievers combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings in a game shortened to seven innings under pandemic rules.

 

Closer Liam Hendriks struck out Myles Straw to end the game, setting off a celebration in front of the visiting dugout that featured players saluting the several hundred White Sox fans at Progressive Field.

 

As heard on WHOW, Oscar Mercado broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the seventh as Cleveland earned a split of the Thursday doubleheader. Straw led off with a single and Mercado followed with his first game-ending home run, a drive off Jose Ruiz (1-3).

 

The White Sox trailed 3-2 entering the seventh, but strung together three straight hits against Emmanuel Clase (4-5). Gavin Sheets scored when Hernandez hit into a forceout.

 

Shane Bieber (7-4), who hasn't pitched since for the Indians since June 13 because of a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to start Friday night. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner will face White Sox RHP Dylan Cease (12-7).

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Cardinals Win Their 12th Straight

Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 Thursday and extend their longest winning streak in 39 years to 12 games.

 

On a day Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis trailed 5-0 before rallying with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth.

 

The Cardinals maintained a 4 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia for the second NL wild card, with Cincinnati another game back.

 

St. Louis began its winning streak by overcoming a four-run deficit against Cincinnati to win on Sept. 11. The Cardinals are on their longest winning streak since April 11-24, 1982, and are two shy of the franchise record set in 1935.

 

Milwaukee has lost five in a row since clinching its fourth consecutive playoff berth on Sept. 18, including four defeats to the Cardinals.

 

Yadier Molina started the comeback with an RBI single in the fifth off Adrian Houser.

St. Louis loaded the bases with one outs in the seventh on two walks and a single against Jake Cousins, and Tommy Edman hit an RBI grounder off Brad Boxberger, whose throwing error on a pickoff attempt brought in another run. Goldschmidt tied the score with a two-run homer.

 

Nolan Arenado walked against Aaron Ashby (3-1) leading off the eighth and scored on Manny Pina's passed ball for a 6-5 lead. Molina added a sacrifice fly.

 

Goldsdmidt added his 29th homer in the ninth off Ashby.

 

T.J. McFarland (4-1) pitched a one-hit seventh, Luis Garcia threw the eighth and Giovanny Gallegos struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 20 chances as four relievers combined for shutout relief.

 

Wainwright, who has won nine of his last 10 decisions, allowed five runs, four hits and two walks in four innings.

 

Tyrone Taylor hit a grand slam in the first inning and a solo shot in the fourth.

 

J.A. Happ (9-8, 6.02 ERA) opens a four-game road series as the Cardinals take on LHP Justin Steele (3-3,4.20 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs. It's the first time Happ has faced the Cubs since 2017. He is 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA in seven career starts against them, including 0-2 at Wrigley Field.

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Lady Maroons Fall Short Against Central A&M

The Clinton Lady Marons took the first set at Central A&M but the Lady Raiders rallied to hold off Clinton and take home a three-set win in Central Illinois Conference girl's volleyball action Tuesday at Central A&M High School.

 

The Lady Maroons took the first set 25-18 but Central A&M bounced back to take the second set 25-18 and then held off Clinton 25-23 in the final set.

 

Clinton will host Decatur St. Teresa Thursday night.

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3A State Rankings Nearly Unchanged; Monticello Stays at No. 3

The Top 10 of the latest Class 3A high school football AP rankings remained nearly unchanged, as Monticello continues to hold steady at No. 3.

 

Reed-Custer cracks the top-10, replacing Durand in the poll this week. Wilmington received seven first-place votes to stay at No. 1. Princeton received the remaining three votes to stay at No. 2. Monticello, Tolono Unity and Williamsville round out the top 5. 

The Sages have been ranked third in 3A since the start of the season. 

 

Byron, Farmington, Mt. Carmel and Montini remained sixth through ninth in the poll.

 

Decatur St. Teresa received seven first-place votes to stay at No. 1 in the 2A poll followed by IC Catholic and its three first-place votes. Maroa-Forsyth stays at No. 3 this week followed by Breese Mater Dei and Tri-Valley moved up a spot to No. 5. 

 

Bismarck-Henning, Pana, Rushville-Industry, Knoxville came in 6-9 and Rockridge and Sterling Newman tied for tenth in the 2A poll.

 

Lena-Winslow is the unanimous No. 1 in 1A followed by Brown County, Central A&M, Winchester West Central second through fourth, and Camp Point Central and Carrollton tied for fifth. 

 

Fulton checks in at No. 7, Abington and Kewanee-Weathersfield tied for eighth this week and Forreston rounds out the top-10.

 

Joliet Catholic is the unanimous No. 1 in 4A. Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin is No. 2 in 4A this week. Mt. Zion is No. 9 this week.

 

Rochester is the unanimous No. 1 team in 5A this week. Peoria checks in at No. 6, up a spot from last week. Metamora is No. 8 and Mahomet-Seymour cracks this week's top 10 at No. 10. 

 

East St. Louis is the No. 1 team in 6A, Mt. Carmel is No. 1 7A, while Normal Community moved up to No. 7 in this week's 7A poll - up from No. 9 last week. Loyola is the unanimous No. 1 in 8A.

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Cardinals Edge Brewers

Cardinals closer Giovanny Gallegos fanned pinch-hitter Pablo Reyes with the bases loaded for the final out and St. Louis won its 10th straight game, increasing its lead in the playoff chase by holding off the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Tuesday night.

 

The Cardinals increased their edge for the second NL wild-card spot to four games over Cincinnati. Philadelphia remained 4 1/2 behind St. Louis while San Diego fell five back.

 

Milwaukee, which has secured a playoff spot, lost its third straight. The Brewers, whose magic number to clinch the NL Central stayed at three, lead the Cardinals by 9 1/2 games.

 

Jake Woodford (3-3) and four relievers combined on a four-hitter as the Cardinals moved closer to the longest winning streak in franchise history, 14 games set in 1935. In their 130-year history, the Cardinals have only had 12 double-digit winning streaks.

 

Avisail Garcia singled to open the Milwaukee ninth and Lorenzo Cain grounded into a forceout - originally ruled a double play, the call was reversed by replay.

 

After Luis Urias walked, Cain took third on a flyout. Christian Yelich was intentionally walked and Gallegos struck out Reyes for his 11th save, and eighth in nine chances in September.

 

St. Louis scored a run in the first without a hit off Brandon Woodruff (9-10) and added a run in the eighth on Tommy Edman's RBI single.

 

The Brewers scored once in the eighth off Luis Garcia when pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach walked, Kolten Wong doubled and Willy Adames followed with a sacrifice fly.

Woodford allowed just two singles in five innings, striking out five and walking one. Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera each followed with a hitless inning.

 

Miles Mikolas (1-2, 4.50) starts the third game of the series on Wednesday. Mikolas allowed three hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his last start for his first victory since 2019.

 

Brett Anderson (4-8, 4.18) is scheduled to come off the IL for his first start since Sept. 1. Counsell said Anderson was likely to make a short start, followed by the bullpen.

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Tigers Edge White Sox

Akil Baddoo and Victor Reyes drove in two runs apiece and the Detroit Tigers stalled the Chicago White Sox's drive for the AL Central title with a 5-3 victory on Tuesday.

 

The magic number for the White Sox to clinch the division remained at two games.

 

Reyes had four of Detroit's 16 hits. Daz Cameron reached base four times and scored two runs for the Tigers, who have won the first two games of the three-game series.

 

The White Sox have lost five of their last seven games and manager Tony La Russa is concerned that his team is ''treading water'' as the postseason approaches.

 

Bryan Garcia (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for Detroit starter Tyler Alexander, who went five innings. Michael Fulmer got the last four outs for his 11th save.

 

Jace Fry (0-1) gave up three runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings of reli

ef of Keuchel. Luis Robert led Chicago's offense with two hits and two RBIs.

 

Robert gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the third with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield. The Tigers scored in the bottom of the inning on Baddoo's RBI single.

 

Baddoo's second run-scoring hit tied the score at 2 in the fourth.

 

Detroit nearly took the lead in the sixth when Reyes was called safe at home on Baddoo's fielder's choice grounder. The call was overturned upon video review.

 

The Tigers broke the deadlock in the seventh on Niko Goodrum's RBI single. Reyes ripped a two-run single to give his team a three-run lead.

 

Tim Anderson's single in the eighth knocked in the White Sox's final run. Chicago left 13 runners on base.

 

Reynaldo Lopez (3-3, 3.00) is scheduled to start the series finale on Wednesday. Lopez has 13 career starts against the Tigers, posting a 4-4 record and 3.42 ERA in those outings.

 

Casey Mize (7-8, 3.64 ERA) has lost all three of his starts against the White Sox this season. The prized rookie won't be on the mound for long - he's been placed under a three-inning limit.

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Twins Outslug Cubs

Nick Gordon hit a two-run homer and two singles, Josh Donaldson and Max Kepler each had three hits and two RBIs, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago Cubs 9-5 on Tuesday night.

 

Mitch Garver added three singles and an RBI in his return from a back injury to help last-place Minnesota end a two-game slide. Byron Buxton had two hits and scored twice as the Twins rode a 16-hit attack to win for just the third time in nine games.

 

Willson Contreras and Trayce Thompson cracked solo shots for the Cubs at breezy Wrigley Field. Patrick Wisdom drove in two and fellow rookie Frank Schwindel doubled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, but Chicago lost for the fifth time in six.

 

Thompson homered for the second straight game and for the second time in eight at-bats since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa a week ago. Thompson, who bounced around the minors after playing 51 games with Oakland and the White Sox in 2018, is the brother of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson.

 

Contreras' 21st homer was his second in three games. The Cubs catcher also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Rafael Ortega had two hits and scored twice.

 

Kyle Barraclough (2-0), the first of six Twins relievers, got five outs for the win. Cubs starter Alec Mills (6-7) allowed seven runs on six hits in four innings.

 

Twins RHP Joe Ryan (1-1, 2.12) faces Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (14-6, 4.81) on Wednesday night.

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Clinton Football Game Friday vs St. Teresa Canceled

COVID protocols within the Clinton High School football program has led the forfeiture of this Friday night's game against Decatur St. Teresa for a second straight week.

 

Last week it was announced the Maroons did not have enough players to field a varsity roster after quarantine protocols were finalized for their Saturday game against Central A&M.

 

The Maroons, who are 1-3 on the season and will move to 1-4 after its Friday forfeit, will play at Tuscola Friday, October 1.

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Packers Blow By Lions

Aaron Jones caught three of Aaron Rodgers' four TD passes and rushed for a fourth score, and the Packers had a welcome return to normal, dominating the second half in a 35-17 win over the division-rival Lions on Monday night.

 

The Packers, who got thumped 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, looked more like the team that went 13-3 in each of coach Matt LaFleur's first two seasons. Green Bay (1-1) won its ninth straight home opener.

 

Rodgers went 22 of 27 for 255 yards and surpassed John Elway for 10th all-time in passing yards with 51,633. Rodgers has followed up each of the Packers' last five regular-season losses by throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his next game.

 

Detroit's Jared Goff completed 13 of his first 14 passes but struggled the rest of the way as the Lions (0-2) blew a 17-14 halftime lead. Goff finished 26 of 36 for 246 yards. He connected on touchdown passes to Quintez Cephus and T.J. Hockenson but also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

 

Green Bay scored touchdowns on its first three second-half possessions to seize control.

 

The Packers faced third-and-12 on their opening series of the second half when Rodgers threw a 50-yard completion to Davante Adams, who ended the night with eight catches for 121 yards.

 

The Packers are at San Francisco (2-0) on Sunday night. This will be the fourth time in the last three seasons the Packers have played at San Francisco. They won 34-17 last season. Two years ago, the Packers lost 37-8 to the 49ers in the regular season and 37-20 in the NFC championship game.

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Tigers Rally Past White Sox

As heard on WHOW, Carlos Rodon was pulled after a rocky third inning and the Chicago White Sox, closing in on the AL Central title, squandered a three-run lead in a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

 

Despite the defeat, Chicago's magic number to clinch the division dropped to two when second-place Cleveland was swept by Kansas City in a doubleheader.

 

The White Sox can wrap up their first AL Central crown in 13 years Tuesday - and secure a second consecutive playoff berth for the first time in franchise history - with a win over Detroit and another Indians loss to the Royals.

 

Harold Castro's eighth-inning single broke a 3-all tie for Detroit.

 

With two outs in the eighth, Craig Kimbrel (2-2) hit Robbie Grossman with a pitch. Grossman stole second and Castro drove a 2-2 pitch through the infield.

 

Drew Hutchison (2-1) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Tigers rookie Alex Lange pitched the ninth for his first career save, becoming the eighth Detroit reliever to earn a save this season.

 

Detroit's Matt Manning allowed three runs on four hits in five innings.

 

The teams continue their three-game series Tuesday afternoon. The game was originally scheduled for 6:40 p.m. but has been changed to 1:10 p.m. to try to avoid expected rain in the area. Detroit's Tyler Alexander (2-3, 4.13 ERA) will face Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 5.23).

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Cardinals Continue Rolling

Jon Lester notched his 200th career win, Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Monday night for their ninth consecutive win.

 

The Cardinals have won nine straight for the first time since 2004 to solidify their grip on the second NL wild card. They remained three games ahead of Cincinnati for the final postseason spot, with San Diego four games back and Philadelphia 4 1/2 games behind.

 

The longest winning streak in franchise history is 14 games, set in 1935.

 

Milwaukee's magic number over the Cardinals to clinch the division title remained at three.

 

Lester (7-6) is the third active pitcher with 200 wins, joining Houston teammates Justin Verlander (226) and Zack Greinke (219). He's the 30th left-hander in major-league history to reach the mark.

 

St. Louis got on the board in the first on Arenado's homer, his 33rd of the season, off Freddy Peralta (9-5).

 

Milwaukee clawed right back in the second. Avisail Garcia, who returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with lower back spasms, led off with a homer off Lester. Luis Urias followed two batters later with a solo shot of his own to tie it.

 

Lester retired 10 straight until giving up a single to Jackie Bradley Jr. with two outs in the fifth. Lester surrendered three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out two and didn't walk a batter in an efficient, 77-pitch outing.

Lester has worked five innings or more in 19 of 26 starts this year, including nine of 10 since joining St. Louis at the trade deadline.

Cardinals' relievers Kodi Whitley, T.J. McFarland and Luis Garcia held the Brewers scoreless over the final three innings. Garcia got his first save of the season.

Peralta retired 11 of 12 until allowing the first two batters to reach in the sixth. The Cardinals took a 3-2 lead on Yadier Molina's run-scoring single.

Peralta gave up seven hits and three runs in six innings. He struck out nine and walked one.

St. Louis tacked on a run in the seventh when Matt Carpenter, batting for Lester, hit a leadoff double and scored on Paul Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly. Molina drove in another run in the eighth to extend the lead to 5-2.

Jake Woodford (2-3, 4.30 ERA) will take the mound for the Cardinals in the second game of the series while RHP Brandon Woodruff (9-9, 2.55) goes for the Brewers. Woodford will be making his second career start against Milwaukee. Woodruff is 3-2 with a 3.32 ERA in eight career games (six starts) vs. St. Louis.

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Bears Get By Bengals

Justin Fields played the second half after Andy Dalton exited with a knee injury against his former team, and the rookie quarterback used Chicago's stellar defensive performance to direct the Bears to a 20-17 victory over Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

 

Roquan Smith returned an interception 53 yards for his first career touchdown, one of three straight picks thrown by Burrow and four consecutive takeaways for the Bears during the decisive stretch in their first win of the season.

 

Fields took over on Chicago's final drive of the second quarter after getting in on a handful of plays prior to that. But the biggest key for the Bears was the defense bouncing back after it was picked apart by Matthew Stafford in a season-opening loss at the Los Angeles Rams.

 

Dalton was hurt on a 14-yard run early in the second quarter. Fields took the final three snaps of that possession.

 

Dalton was in for the next drive, before Fields led Chicago's final one of the half. Dalton took some warmup throws at halftime, but did not return to the game.

 

The Bears were up 20-3 before Burrow threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ja'Marr Chase. Fields then got intercepted at the Chicago 25 by Logan Wilson, who returned it to the 7. Burrow hit Tee Higgins for a 7-yard TD on the next play, cutting it to 20-17 with 3:39 remaining. But the Bears hung on for their third straight win over Cincinnati (1-1).

 

Fields, who was in on five plays in the opener, completed just 6 of 13 passes. The No. 11 overall draft pick also ran for 31 yards.

 

Dalton, facing his former team for the second time in as many seasons, threw a touchdown pass to Allen Robinson. The three-time Pro Bowler, who led Dallas to a victory at Cincinnati last year, completed 9 of 11 passes for 56 yards.

 

Robinson caught his 40th career TD when he hauled in an 11-yarder on the game's opening possession.

 

Robert Quinn had one of Chicago's four sacks, giving him 1 1/2 on the season. He had just two last year.

 

The Bears are in Cleveland next Sunday.

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Cardinals Hold Off Padres

San Diego center fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. dropped Nolan Arenado's bases-loaded popup and heaved the ball home, leading to a five-run first inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Padres 8-7 Sunday for an eight-game winning streak.

Tatis' brutal error and mental mistake - he chose not to make an easy throw to second or third for a forceout - came one day after his dugout dustup with teammate Manny Machado.

 

St. Louis completed a three-game sweep and opened a three-game lead for the second NL wild card over Cincinnati and Philadelphia, which played at the New York Mets later Sunday. The Cardinals had not won eight in a row since Aug. 7-15, 2018.

 

St. Louis was 8 1/2 games out of a wild card spot on Aug. 10.

 

San Diego, which trailed 8-4 in the eighth inning, has lost eight of 11 and dropped 3 1/2 games back of the Cardinals.

 

Jake Arrieta (5-14) left after six batters and 20 pitches because of a right adductor groin strain. He allowed five runs - four earned - three hits and a walk while getting one out.

St. Louis loaded the bases with no outs in the first when Tommy Edman doubled, Paul Goldschmidt singled and Tyler O'Neill walked.

 

Arenado hit a pop to center that Tatis settled under 226 feet from the plate and allowed to bounce out of his glove. Rather than throw to second or third for an easy forceout, the 22-year-old center fielder with the $340 million, 14-year contract rushed a one-hop throw that reached the plate well after Edman scored standing up.

 

Dylan Carlson followed with a sacrifice fly, Sosa hit an RBI double and Harrison Bader greeted Stammen with a two-run double for a 5-0 lead.

 

Former Cardinal Tommy Pham's 14th homer cut the gap to 7-4 in the sixth, and Carlson singled home a run off Dinelson Lamet in the seventh.

 

Pham hit a two-run double off Luis Garcia in the eighth and scored on Hosmer's groundout. With Myers on third, Genesis Cabrera induced Adam Frazier's inning-ending flyout.

 

Jake Woodford (2-3, 4.30 ERA) will start the first game of a four-game series in Milwaukee Monday night. The Brewers will counter with RHP Freddy Peralta (9-4, 2.57 ERA).

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White Sox Down Rangers

As heard on WHOW, Lucas Giolito pitched into the sixth inning, Jose Abreu matched the major league RBI lead and Yasmani Grandal homered for the second game in a row as the White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Sunday in the rubber game of their weekend series.

 

With 13 games left in the regular season, Chicago's magic number is four to clinch the division title over second-place Cleveland. The White Sox (85-64), looking to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history, on Thursday start a span of five games over four days in Cleveland.

 

Abreu's two-run single capped a five-run fourth for the White Sox and pushed his RBI total to 113, tying Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez. Abreu is trying to join Cecil Fielder (1990-92) as the only AL player to lead the league in RBIs in three consecutive seasons.

 

Chicago's big inning started when Grandal led off by lining a ball just over the wall in right-center for his 22nd homer. Cesar Hernandez also had a two-run single in that outburst off Jordan Lyles (9-12) for a 5-0 lead.

 

Giolito (9-10) struck out four while allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings. It was the right-hander's second start since missing two weeks because of a strained left hamstring, and he pushed to go back out to the sixth and got his pitch count to 97.

 

Carlos Rodon (12-5, 2.38 ERA) has won four consecutive starts going into the opener of a three-game series at Detroit on Monday night. Rodon is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Tigers this season.

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Cubs Rally Past Brewers

Patrick Wisdom struck out four times for a second straight day but delivered a towering three-run shot that highlighted the Chicago Cubs' eighth-inning comeback in a 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

 

Wisdom set a Cubs record for homers by a rookie on a day that exemplified his feast-or-famine approach.

 

The Brewers' ninth-inning rally fell short and the magic number for wrapping up their first NL Central title since 2018 remained at three. Milwaukee clinched its fourth consecutive playoff berth Saturday.

 

The Brewers had beaten the Cubs 11 consecutive times, one off the franchise record for consecutive victories over one opponent. The Brewers won 12 straight from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008.

 

Milwaukee seemed on its way to matching that record until the Cubs rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the eighth.

 

Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras started the rally with a 14-pitch walk against Brad Boxberger (5-4). Matt Duffy and Frank Schwindel followed that up by hitting consecutive first-pitch RBI doubles.

 

Adam Morgan (1-0) earned the win with one inning of shutout relief.

 

The Cubs are off Monday before beginning a two-game home series with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. Alec Mills (6-6, 4.50 ERA) will start for the Cubs and Griffin Jax (3-4, 6.65) pitches for the Twins on Tuesday.

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Illinois State edges Eastern Illinois 31-24 with late score

As heard on WHOW, Pha’leak Brown scored on a 3-yard run with 1:54 to play and Illinois State defeated Eastern Illinois 31-24 on Saturday night.

 

After Illinois State stopped the Panthers on downs, Eastern Illinois blocked a field goal attempt but couldn’t get an advance on the ball and had four incompletions from inside their 35 in the final 34 seconds.

 

The Redbirds (2-1) put together the winning drive after stopping the Panthers on fourth-and-1 from the 27 with 4:15 left.

 

Eastern Illinois never led after the Redbirds took the opening drive 75 yards, scoring on a 15-yard run by Nigel White. The Panthers caught up on a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown by DeAirious Smith that tied the game at 17 at 6:46 of the third quarter.

 

Illinois State regained the lead on an 8-yard run by Jackson Waring before Eastern Illinois tied it again early in the fourth.

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Petrino's late FG lifts Maryland over Illinois 20-17

Joseph Petrino kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to lift Maryland over Illinois 20-17 on Friday night.

 

In a game best described as weird from beginning to end, the normally explosive Terrapins consistently had trouble against a tough Illinois defense. Taulia Tagovailoa passed for 350 yards (32 of 43) but was held to only one passing touchdown.

 

Tayon Fleet-Davis carried the ball 11 times for 62 yards for Maryland. He also caught the lone touchdown pass from Tagovailoa.

 

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters, in his first start since being injured early in the first game of the season against Nebraska, was effective but clearly rusty for Illinois (1-3, 1-1). He was 10-of-26 passing for 185 yards and had one interception.

 

Josh McCray carried the ball eight times for 60 yards and had a 38-yard touchdown run for the Illini. Chase Brown carried 14 times for 57 yards. Receiver Casey Washington had a 30-yard touchdown run.

 

The game got interesting on the first drive of the third quarter. Tagovailoa marched the Terrapins down the field to cap a drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by Fleet-Davis to make the score 10-3 Maryland. Illinois then went three and out, but Maryland fumbled the ball on its next drive at the Illinois 7 that prevented what appeared to be a certain score.

 

Illinois then put together an impressive eight-play drive capped by McCray’s 38-yard touchdown run.

 

McCray and Brown would each leave the game in the second half with injuries, which severely hindered the Illinois offense.

 

The Illini took the lead in the fourth quarter, after a series of fumbles and turnovers by both teams, when Washington recovered a fumble by teammate Reggie Love III and scampered 38 yards into the end zone.

 

Maryland answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to Fleet-Davis to tie the score at 17.

 

Illinois couldn’t put together a drive late in the game, and Maryland took advantage of a short field following an Illinois punt from its own end zone that helped set up Petrino’s game-winning kick.

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Monticello Outlasts Bloomington Central Catholic in Thriller

Tristan Foran wrestled away an interception from his defender in the end zone for a go-ahead score as Monticello outlasted Bloomington Central Catholic in a 32-27 thriller Friday night from Monticello High School in Illini Prairie Conference football action.

 

From the 8-yard line, Joey Sprinkle’s pass sailed high, Foran wrestled the pass away from his defender. Initially ruled an incomplete pass, the officials overturned the call after about a minute of deliberation.

 

The touchdown was set up by a 47-yard reception by Tylor Bundy on a 3rd and 25 after Monticello had a first down called back because of a questionable block in the back. With pressure in his face, Sprinkle lofted a floater up the junior had to sky for to snag out of the air and tumbled another 10-yards for a momentum-changing first down. 

 

The Sages got down quickly 10-0 after BCC used an 8-plus minute drive to strike first on the opening possession of the game.

 

After an early field goal in the second quarter, the Sages answered with 12 straight points on a Sprinkle one-yard touchdown pass to Foran and then Sprinkle ran another score in from 4-yards out. 

 

The Sages held a 19-18 advantage at the break. 

 

Out of the half, Monticello went three-and-out but on the Saints' first possession, a deep pass over the middle was tipped and picked by Peyton Scott, setting up an 18-yard touchdown pass to Blake McDuffie on a screen pass. 

 

The Sages withstood a fourth-quarter safety after a punt by Sprinkle was blocked and stayed poised when the Saints took a late 27-26 lead. 

 

Sprinkle finished with 163 yards through the air and four touchdowns and 81 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

 

Foran finished with eight catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Jacob Tackett finished with 81 total yards and a touchdown. 

 

Monticello improves to 4-0 overall and will travel to Pontiac next Friday night.

 

BCC is 3-1. 

 

Hear next week’s action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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