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Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzijhas allowed three earned runs or fewer 12 his 14 starts this season. | Gene J. Puskar/AP

Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 14 starts this season. | Gene J. Puskar/AP

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Updated: July 16, 2014 6:28AM



This week’s names and numbers in baseball:

WHITE SIX NINE TO KNOW

1. Alexei Ramirez leads the American League with 52 games in which he hasn’t had an extra-base hit.

2. The White Sox are the only team in the majors that hasn’t shut out an opponent.

3. The Tigers’ Justin Verlander is 15-13 with a 4.16 ERA in his career against the Sox. Since the start of the 2013 season, Verlander is 1-3 with a 5.59 ERA against them.

4. Speaking of Verlander, he was the losing pitcher last July 9, when the Sox won their 35th game of the season to improve their record to 35-52.

5. Of Jose Abreu’s first 19 home runs, 10 were with men on base. But he’s hitting .288 with the bases empty and .247 with men on. On the other hand, he’s hitting .300 with runners in scoring position but only .190 with runners in scoring position and two outs.

6. Sox pitchers are second in the AL in getting called strikes. The Rays have 1,925 and the Sox 1,797.

7. All props go to the Cubs’ Jason Hammel, whose streak of 512⁄3 innings without allowing a homer ended Wednesday. The Sox’ Jose Quintana hasn’t allowed a homer in nine starts since April 27.

8. No team has a higher batting average on the first pitch of an at-bat than the Sox, who are hitting .393.

9. Since the start of 2012, Chris Sale has a 2.94 ERA. That’s third behind the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (2.93) and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (2.27) among pitchers with at least 65 starts.

CUBS NINE TO KNOW

1. The Cubs have the second-lowest on-base percentage in the National League (.299), but their first basemen (primarily Anthony Rizzo) have the highest OBP at .407.

2. Mike Olt, Luis Valbuena and a little Emilio Bonifacio lead all NL third basemen with 72 strikeouts.

3. Jeff Samardzija has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 12 starts, one behind the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha, the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez and the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka for tops in the majors.

4. There are teams out there looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder (sounds like Nate Schierholtz) who hits well against righties (which doesn’t sound like Schierholtz, who is hitting .217 overall). Against righties, Schierholtz is hitting .208 with a .273 on-base percentage and a .318 slugging percentage.

5. The Cubs’ staff has a 0.968 WHIP in the eighth inning this season, the third-best in baseball behind the Rays (0.881) and the Giants (0.955).

6. Both the Cubs’ and the White Sox’ first two batters in the lineup are hitting .257.

7. If the Cubs are leading at the start of the seventh inning, they are 25-4. If they are trailing at the start of the seventh inning, they are 2-30. If they are tied at the start of the seventh inning, they are 0-4.

8. Luis Valbuena had two homers and eight RBI in 78 at-bats in May. The other night, the Indians’ Lonnie Chisenhall had three homers and nine RBI in five at-bats.

9. The Cubs are 3-10 in two-run games, the worst record in the NL. They are 6-11 in one-run games.

Chicago-gram:

Chicago player anagram (scroll down for answer)

OUR BLOCK

June 15, 1964, is a day that will live in Cubs infamy. They traded this player, Jack Spring and Paul Toth to the Cardinals for pitchers Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz and outfielder Doug Clemens.

The Week ahead:

The Sox host the Giants before heading to Minneapolis to face the Twins. The Cubs head to Miami for three games with the Marlins, then come home to face the Pirates for the start of a 10-game homestand.

Chicago-GRAM ANSWER:

Lou Brock



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