Vogelsong, Zito set to start twin bill at Wrigley

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Vogelsong, Zito set to start twin bill at Wrigley

June 27, 2011
GIANTS (44-34) vs.CUBS (32-46)Coverage starts at 10:30 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
(AP) -- If not for the stellar pitching of Ryan Vogelsong, the San Francisco Giants might not be atop the NL West.If not for an injury to Barry Zito in mid-April, Vogelsong might not be a part of the starting rotation.Vogelsong looks to continue his dominance while Zito will make his first start in 2 12 months in Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.Zito (0-1, 6.23 ERA), who will start the nightcap, opened this season as the No. 4 starter but only took the ball three times. He left his start against Arizona on April 16 with a right foot sprain and was put on the disabled list for the first time in his career.Zito's trip to the DL opened the door for Vogelsong (5-1, 1.86), and the journeyman right-hander has taken full advantage of his opportunity.Vogelsong has yielded two runs or fewer in 10 of 11 starts and has a major league-best 1.23 ERA since May 8. He allowed a run, four hits and a walk in seven innings of a 5-1 victory against Minnesota on Wednesday.Vogelsong, who made his major league debut in 2000, played in Japan from 2007-09 and was in the minors last season, is now receiving strong consideration for a spot on the NL All-Star team."We have some time here, and I don't want to get ahead of ourselves," manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants' official website. "This guy's pitched great. That's how well he's thrown, to have his name mentioned."The Cubs are fully aware of how well Vogelsong has pitched.Vogelsong allowed seven hits and struck out seven in a rain-shortened, 3-0 complete-game win at Wrigley on May 14. The game was called in the seventh inning.It also rained the following day, and the opener of the doubleheader is a makeup from that postponement.San Francisco (44-34) arrives in Chicago riding a five-game winning streak after dropping a season-high five in a row.The Giants capped a sweep of Cleveland with a 3-1 win Sunday, as Aubrey Huff drove in his team-leading 39th run. San Francisco, last in the majors with 265 runs, is 19-5 when Huff has an RBI.The Cubs (32-46) are coming off a 7-3 win over Colorado on Monday, a makeup of an April 27 rainout.Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez each homered twice as Chicago, 11 12 games out in the NL Central, won for the third time in nine contests.Although the Cubs are struggling, Vogelsong and Zito will have to be careful pitching to Pena and Ramirez.Pena leads Chicago with 16 homers and has gone deep seven times in the last 11 games. He is batting .316 with two home runs in 19 at-bats against Zito but hasn't faced the left-hander since 2006.Ramirez has hit six of his eight homers in the last 19 games and is 8 for 16 in his last four."I'm more comfortable," Ramirez said. "I'm driving the ball more."Ramirez is 5 for 12 with two homers against Vogelsong and 4 for 10 with a homer and double versus Zito.Zito is 1-3 with a 4.84 ERA in six starts against Chicago.The Cubs will send Doug Davis (1-6, 5.01) to the mound in the opener and Rodrigo Lopez (0-1, 6.59) will take the ball in the second game.Davis gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, as the Cubs fell to 1-7 in the left-hander's starts.Davis made his Cubs debut opposing Vogelsong last month, allowing three runs and four hits in five innings.Lopez has worked primarily out of the bullpen for Chicago. In his lone start against Houston on May 30, the right-hander permitted six runs and 10 hits over 4 2-3 innings but did not receive a decision in a 12-7 loss.He is 0-3 with a 6.97 ERA in six starts against the Giants.

Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House

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AP

Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama welcomed the Chicago Cubs to the White House on Monday to celebrate their World Series win and speak to the power of sports to unite a divided nation.

"Throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together even when the country is divided," Obama said in honoring his hometown team.

The ceremony came four days before Obama hands the presidency over to Donald Trump following one of the most divisive elections in recent memory.

It also follows a weekend in which civil rights icon John Lewis said he didn't consider Trump a legitimate president because of Russian meddling in the election. Trump responded on Twitter by criticizing Lewis as "all talk" and suggesting the Democratic congressman take better care of his Georgia district.

The president has a home in Chicago, but he is a White Sox fan. He rooted for the Cubs after the Sox failed to reach the playoffs.

The Cubs gave Obama a baseball jersey with the number 44, a fitting gift for the nation's 44th president.

Obama invited the Cubs hours after they won the series in November, asking on Twitter if the team wanted to visit before his term ends on Friday.

The Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908 by defeating the Cleveland Indians.

NBA Gameday: Warriors welcome Cavaliers with vengeance in mind

NBA Gameday: Warriors welcome Cavaliers with vengeance in mind

OAKLAND -- With the Christmas Day Collapse lingering about the back of their minds, the Warriors are out for vengeance against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When the teams meet Monday for a late-afternoon Matinee on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Warriors will be trying to end a four-game losing streak to the Cavs, who came from behind for a 109-108 win on Christmas Day in Cleveland.

The Warriors (34-6) hope to benefit from the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, where they have been nearly invincible over the past two-plus seasons. They are 95-7 at home since coach Steve Kerr arrived before 2014-15 season.

The Cavaliers (29-10) are making the final stop of a six-game road trip that spanned 12 days in three different time zones.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 7.5

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving: Though they don’t always defend each other, each point guard is his team’s catalyst. Irving has been winning this battle of late, and the result is success for Cleveland. Curry is playing well of late, better than Irving. If that trend continues Monday, the Warriors will take their chances.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James: Durant was superb on Christmas Day, clearly outplaying James until the final quarter, when he melted down with his teammates, missing seven of his last nine shots. James seized the moment, leading his team to victory. Nothing would please the Warriors more than KD getting the best of James.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: No injuries listed.

Cavaliers: G J.R. Smith (R thumb fracture) and F/C Chris Andersen (R ACL surgery) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Cavaliers: 6-4.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors lost the previous meeting this season and, including the last three games of the 2016 NBA Finals, have lost four straight. They are 10-8 (including postseason) against Cleveland since James returned before the 2014-15 season.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE START: In winning their last three games, all against sub-.500 teams, the Warriors cruised through the first half and didn’t get serious until the third quarter. That formula would be particularly dangerous against a defending champion. A faster start is called for, and the Warriors know it.

THE GLASS: What killed the Warriors in the Christmas Day Collapse, perhaps as much as turnovers, was Cleveland’s relentless work on the offensive glass. The Cavs piled up 18 offensive rebounds, leading to 17 additional shot attempts. If the Warriors can’t do a better job, it could be disastrous.

THE 3-BALL WAR: The Warriors rank fourth in 3-point shooting percentage; the Cavs are third. The Warriors rank fifth in attempts from beyond the arc; the Cavs are third. Cleveland put up more triples, with more accuracy, on Christmas Day. But . . . the Warriors are No. 1 in defense against triples, while the Cavs are 14th.