Cubs stun Giants in the 13th, win 5-2

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Cubs stun Giants in the 13th, win 5-2

June 30, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
CHICAGO (AP) Geovany Soto was waiting for a fastball as he stepped to the plate in the 13th inning. It never came, and it didn't matter.Soto delivered a pinch-hit, three-run homer that capped a four-run rally with two outs in the 13th inning and sent the Chicago Cubs to a wild 5-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.Soto's drive finished off an eventful day for the Cubs.Starter Carlos Zambrano left in the second inning because of soreness in his lower back, then Aramis Ramirez hit a tying home run in the ninth off San Francisco closer Brian Wilson.The Giants were leading 2-1 after a solo shot by Pablo Sandoval in the top of the 13th off John Grabow (1-0), but the Cubs struck back in the bottom half against Ramon Ramirez (2-1).Jeff Baker doubled with two outs and scored the tying run on a single by Darwin Barney, who had checked his swing on the previous pitch - an 0-2 slider. Ramirez then intentionally walked Starlin Castro, and Soto, batting for Grabow, launched a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left to give the Cubs the win and the series split."I was just trying to get a fastball. See it. Time it. He never threw one," Soto said after hitting the first game-ending homer of his career. "On 3-2, I just try to see the ball, see it up, breaking pitch up. I knew Pena was on deck and a lefty. He left it a little bit up, and I put good wood on it. It feels unbelievable."Chicago will take that after dropping a day-night doubleheader before pulling out a 2-1 win on Wednesday. The Cubs will try for their first three-game winning streak this season when they open a weekend series against the White Sox on Friday.The Giants managed just five hits and went 10 1-3 innings without one before Sandoval went deep, wasting another dominant start by Matt Cain."We've got to get these bats going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've got some guys who are scuffling. So, we'll have to make some changes here."Even so, they were in line to win this one. But they just couldn't close it out."You have to make the last three outs," Sandoval said. "Two outs. Two strikes. We lost the game."Ramirez, whose pinch-hit single in the ninth gave the Cubs their victory a day earlier, came up big again with his team trailing 1-0 in the ninth and Wilson going for his major league-leading 25th save. He drove a 3-1 pitch out to left for his 299th career homer and 10th this season."He's not only a great hitter, but a great clutch hitter," Cubs catcher Koyie Hill said. "The last two days, he's proven that."And Soto? Well, no one appreciated that homer more than Hill, who caught the entire game."We're pretty tight, but we're really tight today," Hill said. "That was nice. That was fun for him to hit that."The Giants loaded the bases against Grabow in the 12th on walks to Cody Ross and Nate Schierholtz to start the inning and an intentional pass to Miguel Tejada with one out. But they came away with nothing when pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff flied to shallow center and Aaron Rowand lined to right.Cain pitched four-hit ball over seven scoreless innings for his second straight start. He struck out six and walked one, just as he did in his previous outing against Cleveland.For the Cubs, it was an alarming sight to see Zambrano leaving early. He arrived at the ballpark in discomfort, and his day ended when he threw a ball to Eli Whiteside after an RBI single by Tejada.He started stretching his back, and trainer Mark O'Neal and pitching coach Mark Riggins rushed out with manager Mike Quade following. Marcos Mateo then relieved with the Giants leading 1-0. That was all for Zambrano, who got booed as he walked off the mound.Zambrano has struggled at times this season but had been pitching well of late, going at least seven innings in his previous two starts against the White Sox and Kansas City.Mateo tossed five scoreless innings in relief, striking out six without a walk. Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, James Russell each pitched one inning.Carlos Marmol worked the 10th and 11th, and Grabow escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 12th before giving up the home run in the 13th."God bless Mateo," Quade said. "Are you kidding me? The whole bullpen, obviously, was great, but he was better than great, to give us that length and that quality. Man, oh, man, what a great job by that kid. Saved us. Helped us win the game. Helped us for tomorrow. Just a huge effort."NOTES: Cubs reliever Kerry Wood, out with a blister on his right index finger, expects to come off the DL in time for this weekend's series against the White Sox. ... Cubs OF Marlon Byrd will likely rejoin the team Monday in Washington. He's been out since May 21 with facial fractures sustained when he was beaned by Boston's Alfredo Aceves. ... Bochy is leaning toward having Barry Zito start Saturday against Detroit. ... Wilson had gone 44 outings without allowing a homer, since serving one up against the Dodgers on Sept. 15, 2010.

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.

According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.

Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.

Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.

Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.

No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.

 

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.