issue into a three-week race at the height of the sea

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ST. LOUIS -- Jeff Samardzija hopes his traditional June swoon is a thing of the past. Samardzija picked up first career win as a starter in his most unlucky month, tossing 8 1-3 strong innings to help the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. Samardzija (4-7) came into the contest winless in eight June starts -- he was 2-8 with a 7.14 ERA, with both victories coming in relief. "I really want to knock this June bugaboo," he said. "Ive been working really hard and I like where I am today." Samardzija gave up two runs on seven hits and left with a 4-1 lead. He struck out six and walked one for his first win since May 27. Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom hit back-to-back homers in a four-run first as Chicago broke a five-game losing streak in St. Louis. The Cubs started fast against Adam Wainwright (10-4) and won for the fourth time in six games. Carlos Beltran hit his team-high 17th homer for the Cardinals, who lost for the third time in five games but still lead the majors with a 45-26 record. Cubs manager Dale Sveum was especially impressed with his starter. "He was as good as hes been all year against the best offence in baseball," he said. "If you can do that to them, youve had one heck of a game." Said Sweeney: "Watching from centre field, he was unbelievable." "He was keeping hitters off balance and still throwing 96 to 97 (mph) in the ninth inning," he said. Kevin Gregg picked up his 10th save in as many opportunities. He got David Freese to ground into a strange game-ending double play. Pinch-runner Shane Robinson was called out for interference while trying to break up the play at second. Robinson was ruled to have gone out of the way to hinder the relay throw from shortstop Starlin Castro. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny agreed with the call by umpire crew chief Fieldin Culbreth. "He got it right," Matheny said. "Its just frustrating to see the game end like that." The Cardinals cut the lead to 4-2 on an RBI single by Yadier Molina with one out in the ninth. Matt Holliday and Allen Craig singled with one out to chase Samardzija. Gregg, after giving up the hit to Molina, induced Freese to hit a hot shot right at second baseman Darwin Barney, who started the double play. Freese hit into three double plays and also struck out. The Cubs first-inning runs all came after two outs. Nate Schierholtz and Alfonso Soriano hit consecutive singles before Sweeney unloaded with his second homer of the season to make it 3-0. Ransom followed with his eighth homer. "We just got on them early," Sweeney said. "Thankful enough that we did. If you dont get to a guy like that, hell bear down and then you cant score any runs." The Cubs tied a season high with four runs in the first -- they also did it in the first inning of a 10-7 loss to San Francisco on April 14. Wainwright, who was trying to become the majors first 11-game winner, gave up back-to-back homers for the third time in his career. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits over seven innings. Wainwright had won his previous five starts, but has not beaten the Cubs since Sept. 24, 2010. He had given up a total of four first-inning runs over his first 14 starts this season. "It was unforgivable," Wainwright said. "I put my team in a really tough spot." Samardzija never let a runner past second base in the first five innings and was helped out by three double plays. "What else can you ask for?" Samardzija said. "Great defence. And the icing on the cake were those four runs in the first." Beltran homered off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the sixth. Molina went 3 for 3 and leads the NL with a .367 average. NOTES: Schierholtz has hit safely in a career-best 10 straight games. ... St. Louis OF Jon Jay has gone 215 successive games without making an error in centre. He is second in team history behind Curt Flood (226). Jay last made an error on Aug. 24, 2011. His streak is the longest current run in the NL. .... Chicago signed LHP Rob Zastryzny, their second-round draft choice. ... St. Louis rookie right-hander Shelby Miller (8-4, 2.08) left after five innings of Mondays 5-2 win due to cramps caused by dehydration. He will not miss a start. ... Chicago pitchers have a league-leading 22 RBI this season.... The Cardinals signed LHP Rob Kaminsky, their second first-round selection. The 28th overall pick, Kaminsky is from St. Josephs Regional High in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Andrew Sendejo Jersey . -- Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver was found dead at his Atlanta-area home Tuesday night, and a medical examiner said Wednesday that the ex-player committed suicide. Ben Gedeon Jersey . Andreas Johnson had a goal and two assists while Jacob de la Rose also scored for Sweden (2-0-0). Esa Lindell and Rasmus Ristolainen replied for Finland (1-1-0) Lindell opened the scoring for Finland just 41 seconds into the game, but the hosts quickly regained their composure and tied the score less than four minutes later on Wennbergs first of the game. http://www.cheapvikingsjerseyselite.com/?tag=cheap-stefon-diggs-jersey .C. -- Chris Thorburn thinks one of the reasons the Winnipeg Jets have been successful under new coach Paul Maurice is that theyre playing together as a team. Jerick McKinnon Jersey . Didier Drogba gave away the penalty that put Senegal one goal away from a major upset, but the veteran striker will get another chance -- probably his last -- at the World Cup after Salomon Kalous injury-time strike sealed the Ivorians place in Brazil next year. Marcus Sherels Jersey . Andrew Luck lost his favourite target and the Indianapolis locker room lost one of its most revered leaders when Reggie Wayne was diagnosed Monday with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that will cost him the rest of the season. Sir Bradley Wiggins has denied he was trying to gain an unfair advantage when he obtained permission to use a banned drug before some of his biggest races, including his victory in the 2012 Tour de France.Wiggins has faced widespread criticism ever since it emerged he was given injections of the powerful anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone shortly before the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Tour de France and the 2013 Giro dItalia.This was revealed last week when a Russian-based group of computer hackers known as the Fancy Bears started to publish private medical data belonging to some of the worlds leading athletes that they stole from the World Anti-Doping Agency.In a pre-recorded interview with BBC1s Andrew Marr Show that will be broadcast on Sunday morning, the 36-year-old rider said: (The triamcinolone) was prescribed for allergies and respiratory problems.Ive been a life-long sufferer of asthma and I went to my team doctor at the time and we went, in turn, to a specialist to see if theres anything else we could do to cure these problems.And he said yeah, theres something you can do but youre going to need authorisation from cyclings governing body.You have to show and provide evidence from a specialist that they will then scrutinise with three independent doctors and authorise you to take this product. If one of those three doctors says no, you get declined.This was to cure a medical condition. This wasnt about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage.This was about putting myself back on a level playing-field in order to compete at the highest level.The authorisation Wiggins refers to is known as a therapeutic use exemption (TUE), which is effectively a doctors note allowing an athlete to use a substance that would normally be prohibited under WADAs rules because of its performance-enhancing qualities.After last weeks Fancy Bears leak, it is now known that Wiggins has received six TUEs during his career: three for asthma inhalers between 2008 and 2009, and the three injections between 2011 and 2013.The five-time Olympic champion still uses an inhaler but no longer needs a TUE to cover that as WADA relaxed the rules for the most common asthma drugs in 2010. But triamcinolone, a corticosteroid, remains banned as it can aid recovery from strenuous activity, postpone fatigue and help with weight loss.However, there is no suggestion that either Wiggins or Team Sky, his former team, have broken any rules, and his TUEs were approved by the British authorities and cyclings world governing body the UCI.Team Sky responded to the publication of Wiggins TUEs by saying it had followed the rules to the letter and restating its commitment to clean sport. British Cycling has said it is proud of its strong anti-doping culture.But that has not stopped several current and former riders from criticising Wiggins and Team Sky for seekingg permission to use the drug on the eve of his main target in each of those seasons, and expressing surprise that the authorities allowed them to do so.ddddddddddddGermanys Jorg Jaksche told the Cycling Tips website that he and his team-mates used the drug illegally a decade ago and branded Team Sky as a bunch of hypocrites, while Britains David Millar told the Daily Telegraph it was the most potent drug he used when he was doping and could not fathom why a doctor would have prescribed it so close to a race.On Friday, the BBCs Newsnight broadcast an interview with the doctor from the team Wiggins was riding for (Garmin-Slipstream) when he finished third in the 2009 Tour de France, his breakthrough performance on the road.I was surprised to see there were TUEs documented for intramuscular triamcinolone just before three major events, said Dr Prentice Steffen, a well-respected figure within the sport.You do have to think it is kind of coincidental that a big dose of intramuscular long-acting corticosteroids would be needed at that exact time before the most important race of the season.I would say certainly now in retrospect it doesnt look good, it doesnt look right from a health or sporting perspective.Wiggins, though, told the Andrew Marr Show he needed the drug to combat a serious allergy to pollen that would exacerbate his asthma.When asked how he could justify taking a drug usually prescribed for acute asthma attacks less than a week before the Tour, and just two weeks after winning the Criterium du Dauphine, Wiggins said: June-July is the worst period for that - April, June, July, right through those months - and I was having problems.When you win the race three weeks out from the Tour de France, as I did, youre the favourite for the Tour.[And] you have the medical team and coaches checking everythings OK -- Bradley, youre on track here, youre the favourite to win this race, now we need to make sure the next three weeks is...is there anything we can help with at the moment?Well, Im still struggling with this breathing, I know it didnt look like it but is there anything else you can do just to make sure that I dont, this doesnt become an issue into a three-week race at the height of the season?And, in turn, I took that medical advice (to take triamcinolone).Wiggins will hope this interview draws a line under a difficult chapter in what has been an otherwise magnificent story for him as an athlete, particularly as he is widely expected to retire as a professional rider at the end of this season.But that will not stop this debate rumbling on within the sport, as Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin, one of cyclings rising stars, told the De Limburger newspaper on Saturday that he thinks the whole episode stinks. 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