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Associated Press

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 6:00 PM

WHITE SOX-ROYALS

Chen pitches Royals to 3-0 win over White Sox

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bruce Chen pitched into the seventh inning, Alex Gordon hit a two-run double and the Kansas City Royals beat the AL Central-leading White Sox 3-0 last night to snap Chicago's five-game winning streak.

Billy Butler hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning, but that was it until Gordon connected off Chris Sale (17-7) with two outs in the seventh. Left fielder Dayan Viciedo couldn't make the catch at the wall, allowing Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar to give Kansas City a cushion.

Chen (11-12) scattered five hits and three walks over 6 2-3 innings to win for just the second time in six starts. The crafty left-hander escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth and got some help from reliever Kelvin Herrera to get out of trouble in the seventh.

ASTROS-CARDINALS

Freese, Molina power Cards to 5-0 win over Astros

ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Freese and Yadier Molina both connected for their 20th home run of the season, and Lance Lynn threw 6 1-3 shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-0 win over the Houston Astros last night.

The Cardinals, who have won seven straight against Houston, moved two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the race for the second wild card spot in the National League. Milwaukee is 2 1-2 games back.

St. Louis has won three in a row for the first time since a four-game streak from Aug. 21-24.

The Cardinals have five players with at least 20 homers for the first time in franchise history. Carlos Beltran (29), Matt Holliday (27) and Allen Craig (21) already hit the milestone.

REDS-CUBS

Stubbs leads Reds past Cubs 6-5 in 11 innings

CHICAGO (AP) — Drew Stubbs hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning last night and Cincinnati beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 hours after Reds manager Dusty Baker left the ballpark for chest X-rays.

Baker was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and was expected to stay overnight in a Chicago hospital. Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said the 63-year-old manager would not be with the team today.

Brandon Phillips' lazy popup with two out in the 11th was misplayed by Cubs right fielder David DeJesus, allowing him to reach second. Stubbs then smoked a run-scoring single to left against Alberto Cabrera (0-1).

Logan Ondrusek (5-2) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th to earn the win. Jonathan Broxton earned his fourth save in six chances since joining Cincinnati in July.

CUBS-MINOR LEAGUES

Cubs confirm Kane County as Class A affiliate

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs say the Kane County Cougars have become their Class A affiliate, marking an end to their relationship with the Peoria Chiefs.

Both the Cubs and the Cougars said yesterday they'd reached a two-year deal. The Cougars play just outside Geneva in northern Illinois.

News reports had indicated for weeks the Cubs were making the move, but neither team had confirmed the information until yesterday.

Earlier in the day the St. Louis Cardinals announced they signed an agreement to make the Peoria club their Class A affiliate through 2016.

Kane County had been part of the Kansas City Royals system.

Cougars General Manager Curtis Haug said the Royals had been a great partner and called the decision difficult.

BEARS-BEATEN BLOCKERS

Bears O-line looking awfully familiar

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears offensive line is second in the league in sacks allowed with nine, an all-too-familiar situation for quarterback Jay Cutler.

While Cutler has taken heat for shoving tackle J'Marcus Webb during the 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the line is getting its share of heat for failing to protect their quarterback.

The Bears made no real offseason moves designed to help and the results have been mixed at best. They'll move left guard Chilo Rachal into the starting lineup in place of Chris Spencer this week against St. Louis, but will keep Webb at left tackle and hope for the best.

Cutler says he addressed the shoving incident he had with Webb individually and it is in the past now.

RAMS-BRADFORD'S PROTECTION

Rotating cast keeping quarterback upright

ST. LOUIS (AP) — It's only Week 3, but Harvey Dahl is the last man standing on the offensive line the St. Louis Rams envisioned at the start of training camp.

All they can do this week at Chicago is keep patching things together in hopes of keeping Sam Bradford upright. Short-handed or not in last week's 31-28 victory against Washington, it worked just fine.

Coach Jeff Fisher said yesterday it's a challenge but he'll have the group ready. One of them, tackle Wayne Hunter, (left ankle) did not practice.

Fisher said running back Steven Jackson (groin), who also did not practice, was day to day.

ILLINOIS-SCHEELHAASE

Illini coach: Scheelhaase close to 100 percent

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Tim Beckman says quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (SHEEL'-hows) is close to 100 percent healthy after being hobbled by an ankle sprain since the opening week of the season.

But the Illini coach yesterday didn't name a starter for Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech (2-0).

Scheelhaase sprained his ankle in the Illinois (2-1) win over Western Michigan. The junior hasn't played in Illinois' two games since then.

Sophomore quarterback Reilly O'Toole has been inconsistent playing in place of Scheelhaase. O'Toole struggled in a blowout loss to Arizona State but threw more than 300 yards and five touchdowns last Saturday in a 44-0 win over Charleston Southern.

Scheelhaase said earlier this week that he's feeling better and plans to play.

Bulldogs coach Sonny Dykes says he expects to face Scheelhaase.

BCS MEETING

Commissioners discuss tweaking postseason format

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — The BCS executive director says conference commissioners have discussed the possibility of adding another game to be part of the semifinal rotation for the new college football playoff.

Bill Hancock says nothing was decided during meetings the last two days near Chicago.

The postseason plan approved by university presidents in June called for the national semifinals to rotate among six bowl sites. The years those sites do not host semifinals, they would be marquee bowl games, involving other highly ranked teams.

Hancock says commissioners talked about whether there would be enough access to those marquee games for conferences that do not have contractual ties to high-profile bowls, such as the Pac-12 and Big Ten's partnership with the Rose Bowl.

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