Danusia Francis got a good warm-up for the Summer Olympic Games this weekend while competing for Xelska in Spain's Liga Iberdrola in the city of Gironella.

Toto Wolff insisted Mercedes had to pit Valtteri Bottas first at the French Grand Prix and allow Red Bull to set up Max Verstappen for a stunning undercut.

After an early Verstappen error, the championship leader was running in third, between two Silver Arrows.

Lewis Hamilton led, with Bottas back in third, but Mercedes team principal Wolff explained the Finn had issues with his tyres that meant he had to head for the pit lane.

That call prompted Verstappen to pit next and he enjoyed an out lap described by Wolff as "phenomenal" while Hamilton followed him in and narrowly lost the lead.

Red Bull took a further risk by bringing Verstappen in a second time to attack the Mercedes pair on fresh medium tyres, but the first stop proved pivotal, accommodating that bold two-stop strategy.

Verstappen won the race, with runner-up Hamilton a fraction under three seconds behind him.

Wolff pondered if Mercedes had "misjudged" the undercut and added it was "something to improve".

However, he told Sky Sports: "We knew we were going to trigger the stops too early, but we had no choice."

Wolff said: "It went back and forward. We were in the lead because Max made the mistake, so that was a bit inherited.

"Then our pace was good, probably a little bit of a margin even. But then we had just about three seconds gap for the undercut, to protect the undercut, but it wasn't enough.

"We were lacking a second. Somewhere we lost it."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner added: "I think it's been a great race. You can see how close it is.

"It's been a great win for us today, but you've only got to look how tight it is between the two teams. It's going to be nip and tuck all the way through this championship, but we're going to be very happy leaving here.

"I think I'm visibly ageing with each grand prix, but we'll give Toto a few grey hairs by the end of the year as well."

Qualifier Liudmila Samsonova battled back from a set down to beat Belinda Bencic in Sunday's bett1open final for her first WTA title.

Samsonova became the first qualifier to reach a WTA 500 final this season by shaking off Victoria Azarenka in the semis and followed that up with victory over fifth seed Bencic.

The world number 106, competing in her first career final, held serve in the final two sets to win 1-6 6-1 6-3 in a time of one hour and 37 minutes in Berlin.

Bencic was seeking a fifth WTA title and stormed into a 5-0 lead in a one-sided opening set, but Samsonova soon found her rhythm and hit back in the second.

The Russian broke her opponent's service game in the second and fourth games to level up the contest and earned an early break in the deciding set.

Samsonova did not look back and got over the line on her second championship point by forcing Bencic into a netted backhand with a strong return.

She ended the match with 28 winners to just 15 unforced errors and will move into the world's top 100 following victories over Madison Keys, Azarenka and Bencic in this breakthrough week.

Ons Jabeur got her first WTA singles title on the board as she overcame Daria Kasatkina to win the Viking Classic in Birmingham.

In her third career final, the Tunisian second seed prevailed 7-5 6-4.

Jabeur's victory saw her inflict defeat on fourth seed Kasatkina, who won a Moscow title-match showdown between the pair in 2018. The other final defeat for Jabeur came earlier this year in Charleston.

The triumph adds to what has been a superb season so far for Jabeur. She has 28 match victories in 2021, matching world number one Ashleigh Barty's tally – no player has more.

Jabeur faced a tough opponent in the form of Kasatkina, who had won the previous two meetings between the pair and has claimed two titles this season.

World number 24 Jabeur started with real intent, breaking immediately, yet Kasatkina hit straight back and then saved three set points.

Jabeur took the set at the fourth time of asking, however, and two breaks got her clear in the second set, with the win wrapped up at the first opportunity when Kasatkina found the net.

A delighted Max Verstappen reflected on his "very rewarding" win at the French Grand Prix in which Red Bull's risky strategy delivered in dramatic fashion.

Championship leader Verstappen had pole position but swiftly slipped behind Lewis Hamilton when he lost his rear at Turn 2 on the opening lap.

From there, though, Red Bull provided a hugely effective rescue package, first by executing an undercut that allowed Verstappen to edge back in front despite a solid Hamilton pit stop.

The Dutchman's battling qualities came to the fore as he held off both Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, before Red Bull opted to take a gamble.

Verstappen went in for a second stop and faced a sizeable deficit on fresh medium tyres, albeit with time on his side.

The 23-year-old had to stay patient, but Bottas put up little fight and Hamilton was then passed on the penultimate lap to open up a 12-point gap at the top of the drivers' standings.

"Thank you so much, so good," Verstappen told his team, and he was then asked on the podium if he had enjoyed a gripping race.

"Towards the end, yes," he replied.

 

"In the beginning, it was super difficult out there with the wind, so one lap you had an okay balance and then the next lap you were just sliding everywhere. It was really difficult to keep the car stable.

"Once we made the first pit stop, you could clearly see on the hard tyres they were pushing me hard from behind. 

"But when we made the call to do a two-stopper, luckily in the end that paid off. We had to work hard for it, but of course it's very rewarding."

On his attempts to reel in Hamilton, Verstappen added: "It was difficult, because there was quite a lot of backmarkers to go through, but luckily they all did well so we could have a good fight to the end."

And talk predictably then turned to the title picture, with seven-time champion Hamilton finally facing a fight again.

"You could see the whole race we were fighting each other, so I think it will be like this for the rest of the season," Verstappen said.

Hamilton added: "We've got to find some pace, that's for sure.

"You could see most of the time we lost today was on the straights, so we've got to definitely dig deep, try to figure out what that is – whether it's power or drag – but we've still got a good package."

Matteo Berrettini became the first Queen's Club Championships debutant to carry off the singles trophy since Boris Becker, as the Italian landed the biggest title of his career.

The world number nine beat British hope Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 in the London showpiece match on Sunday, setting himself up ideally ahead of a Wimbledon mission later this month.

Whereas Becker was 17 when he triumphed at Queen's Club in 1985, going on to be champion at Wimbledon just weeks later, Berrettini is 25 years old and established as a leading player.

His big serve – an aspect of his game he shares with vintage Becker – proved a huge asset against Norrie as Berrettini served 19 aces and won 91 per cent of points when landing his first delivery.

Norrie could not forge a break point but did commendably well to force a deciding set in a match that lasted three minutes short of two hours.

Berrettini said he had experienced an "unbelievable week", lifting his first title at ATP 500 level, and he was blown away by the Becker link.

"If I think about his name and my name, it's crazy," he said in an on-court interview.

"I was dreaming about playing this tournament. I was watching when I was a kid and now I had the chance to lift the trophy. It's a dream come true."

Berrettini could be a threat to anyone if his serve fires at Wimbledon, and he was proud of how he fended off Norrie.

"I didn't check the numbers during the match. I knew I was serving well," said Berrettini. "I knew it was important because in the rallies this guy is dangerous. I knew I had to play my best tennis."

Berrettini said his celebrations were likely to be muted, given he is in a pre-Wimbledon bubble, predicting his team would limit his post-match treats to "probably room service and sparkling water".

There would be cause for greater cheer if Berrettini goes on a run at the All England Club, with Wimbledon due to begin on June 28. His previous best performance at Wimbledon was a run to the fourth round two years ago.

Berrettini told Amazon Prime: "I know it's going to be a really tough tournament.

"Probably all the players have extra motivation to play well there so it's going to be tough, but I have a lot of confidence."

Marc Marquez dedicated his German Grand Prix victory to all those who had helped him during his recovery from a broken arm.

Six-time MotoGP champion Marquez sustained the injury following an accident in the opening race to the 2020 season in Jerez, before then suffering a further setback when a plate inserted into his fractured humerus became damaged.

After sitting out all of last year and then also the opening two rounds of the 2021 campaign, the Spaniard finished seventh and ninth upon his return before enduring three successive retirements, leaving him short of form and way down the list in the standings.

However, a visit to Sachsenring saw Marquez rediscover his best form as he completed an 11th successive win at the track, with this latest triumph his eighth in a row in the top category.

There were understandably emotional scenes after he crossed the finishing line as he not only ended his own personal drought but also the long wait for success for his team, Honda having not prevailed at a race since Valencia in 2019.

"It's true that it was, and still is, a hard time in my career, so this victory helps a lot," said Marquez, who appeared in tears on the track before joining in emotional celebrations with his team ahead of the presentation ceremony.

"When you are in a hard situation, when you have had three crashes in a row, it's not easy mentally or physically. But when I crossed the line I thought of all the people who had helped me be there, because in such a situation it is impossible to do it alone.

"You need the team, the doctors, the physios, the manager, your family and friends, everybody that helps you. They were helping me a lot, and have helped me a lot to come back.

"Today is a time to enjoy and say thanks to all of them, specifically Honda. The respect they gave me during all of this year was something I appreciated a lot. 

"This will be a great and important victory for me, but also for the Honda family."

Honda have won 17 of the past 23 MotoGP races at Sachsenring, with Marquez's latest victory making it 11 in succession at the venue.

Marquez moves up to 10th in the championship standings as Frenchman Fabio Quartararo leads the way, his advantage over compatriot Johann Zarco extended to 22 points thanks to securing third place in Germany.

"I knew we were going to struggle, turns six and seven we were extremely slow," Quartararo, who had started the race from sixth position after a difficult qualifying session, said in his news conference.

"On other parts of the track we were okay, but this corner where we stayed a long time on the angle we struggled a lot.

"It was quite clear with the team this morning. We said that we had good pace, but to fight for the victory looks difficult.

"The goal was trying to finish in front of the Ducati and finish on the podium, so we achieved that."

Red Bull rescued a dramatic victory for Max Verstappen with a powerful undercut and a bold second stop after his first-lap error put Lewis Hamilton in the ascendancy at the French Grand Prix.

A third consecutive win for Red Bull – two for Verstappen and one for Sergio Perez – boosted their leads in both the drivers' and constructors' championships.

Verstappen looked to be in trouble when he let Hamilton through at Turn 2, but his team's strategy turned the race on its head, extending his advantage to 12 points in the standings.

The championship leader – starting from pole – kept his nose in front at Turn 1 but then ran wide, exiting the track to give up position to Hamilton, who looked at ease at the front of the race.

Pit strategy proved pivotal, though, as Mercedes called in Valtteri Bottas – running in third – before team-mate Hamilton.

Red Bull followed as Verstappen boxed, causing Mercedes to react again, calling for "Hammer time" from their lead driver before bringing him in for a 2.1-second stop, the fastest of the three.

However, a flying out lap from Verstappen meant Hamilton could not quite get out ahead of his rival, instead settling in behind the Dutchman for a lengthy battle alongside Bottas.

Verstappen worked hard to keep Hamilton out of DRS range and gradually built a gap to the fading Silver Arrows that encouraged Red Bull to gamble with another stop and a switch to medium tyres.

Perez, who pitted after the other three, let Verstappen through to quickly take chunks out of the Mercedes lead, with Hamilton warned of a "painful" finish.

Bottas failed to hold Verstappen up, opening a gap for the rapid Red Bull and fuming at his team for delaying a second stop, with Perez soon following his team-mate through.

Red Bull cut it fine, but Verstappen eased past Hamilton on the penultimate lap after only a short tussle to land a significant blow in a thrilling title race.

Ugo Humbert upset the odds by overcoming Andrey Rublev to win the Halle Open title, clinching his first ATP 500-level trophy in the process.

Unseeded Humbert already claimed the scalp of Alexander Zverev earlier in the week and, having seen off Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the final, came out on top against world number seven Rublev 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Rublev was appearing in his eighth final since the start of 2020, though it was his first on grass. The Russian was seeking a fifth successive victory in an ATP 500 level final, yet ultimately came up short, meaning Humbert made it three wins from three in his career finals.

The 22-year-old won his first two titles – in ATP 250 events in Antwerp and Auckland – last year.

Humbert's victory took just 87 minutes, with the Frenchman winning 45 of 53 points on his first serve.

The only break of the game went Humbert's way when he struck to make it 5-3 in the first set before holding off two break points in the next game to take the lead.

Neither player offered a single break point in the second set, and it was Humbert who nosed himself in the tie-break to secure a third career triumph, becoming the first player to win the Halle Open on his debut at the tournament since Lleyton Hewitt defeated Roger Federer in 2010.

Humbert's win will also take him up six places in the ATP rankings, from 31 to 25.

President of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association has described Alana Walker’s historic bronze medal performance in women artistic gymnastics at the Junior Pan Am Gymnastics Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday as a major boost for the sport locally, one that could help the association generate desperately needed funding.

The 14-year-old Walker scored 48.850 to finish third in the All-Around – bars, beam, floor and vault - that was won by the USA’s Katelyn Jong with a score of 54.10.  Her compatriot Madray Johnson scored 53.550 for second place. It was the first time that Jamaica has ever won a medal in gymnastics at a major event.

By winning the bronze medal, Alana, who is coached by Ashley Brooke Umberger at North Stars Gymnastics in Boonton, New Jersey, automatically qualifies for the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia later this year.

Grant, who spoke to Sportsmax.TV from Panama said this victory provides the push needed for the sport to continue to grow locally.

“Every appearance at any international competition of this nature is always a boost for the sport, that is what we thrive to be a part of and that is why we are working on our programme to ensure that we can participate and compete effectively as a country, as young as our sport is locally,” Grant told Sportsmax.TV today.

“This major win for us is very important to the growth and development of our local sport because it shows that we have the ability and the capability to do well in gymnastics.

“This is also a major boost for our young gymnasts who are preparing for a youth competition in Colombia later this year, the Pan American Age-Group Hopes Tournament where the age-group levels are from age eight right up to age 14 and she will also be competing in the elite category as well.”

Notwithstanding these achievements, Grant said, the sport continues to face significant obstacles.

“Our setback is equipment, landing equipment, something that we have been campaigning for, for some time now and it’s very important because when Alana comes to Jamaica, and she comes to Jamaica very often, she trains at the gym but the landing equipment is not good for her at this time because of the kind of skills that she has,” Grant said.

“And that is why we are working so hard because when our elite athletes come to Jamaica they are in awe of the gym but as its relates to the landing aspect, it’s just not up to the standard and it’s really dangerous for them to train their high-level skills.”

Grant thanked the Jamaica Olympic Association, which she said, did not hesitate to provide funding for the trip, despite the ‘last-minute request’.  She also thanked Alana’s parents, who “have always been there and have put out a lot of effort to ensure that she got the documentation in order for her to compete at the event.

She also expressed her gratitude to Marlene Hylton-Williams, who was instrumental in helping Alana getting the license that allowed her to be able to compete and Naomi Valenza, who allowed Alana’s late entry to be accepted into the tournament.

  

Marc Marquez claimed his first race win since returning from injury as he ended Honda's MotoGP drought with a dazzling ride at the German Grand Prix.

A six-time world champion who missed nearly all of the 2020 season – as well as the start of this year's campaign – due to a broken right arm, Marquez had failed to finish in his three previous races, a career first. 

However, the Spaniard clearly felt right at home around a Sachsenring track where he had won his previous 10 outings, including seven in a row in the top category between 2013 and 2019.

Further success on German soil appeared a tall order considering both his form and also his starting position following qualifying, yet Marquez burst off the line to go from fifth to second in a flash and was out in front by the end of lap one.

It was a lead he retained for the remainder of the race to become just the second rider ever to take eight consecutive premier class wins at the same circuit.

Aleix Espargaro put the early pressure on as pole-sitter Johann Zarco slipped back, though the former's challenge faded as the laps ticked by.

Instead it was Miguel Oliveira – winner of the Catalan Grand Prix last time out – who headed the chasing pack, the Portuguese getting inside a second of the frontrunner at one stage, but Marquez remained calm under pressure and was even able to pull away in the closing laps.

His victory means Honda have now won 17 of the 23 MotoGP races at the venue, though this is the first triumph for the manufacturer since the 2019 Valencia Grand Prix, a barren run of 21 outings – the worst in their history – that is finally over.

Emotions were understandably high at the result. There were tears on the track and in the garage, while Marquez dropped to his knees after dismounting his bike and looked skywards appearing to offer a prayer.

As for the championship standings, leader Fabio Quartararo extended his lead thanks to a third-place finish. The Frenchman is now 22 points clear of compatriot Zarco, while Jack Miller sits a further nine back in third place.

Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers superstars past and present – will both be absent as the team enter the Western Conference Finals for the first time.

The Clippers play Paul's Phoenix Suns in Game 1 on Sunday, having battled past the top-seeded Utah Jazz.

Leonard and Co became the first team in playoff history to overturn 2-0 deficits twice in the same postseason, having recovered first against the Dallas Mavericks and then against the Jazz.

The Game 6 win over Utah at Staples Center was the Clippers' eighth in this playoff campaign – a team record.

However, they were without two-time NBA Finals MVP Leonard for Game 5 and Game 6 due to a knee injury that is reportedly feared to be serious.

The five-time All-Star had been averaging 30.4 points per game in the postseason but remains out for the trip to Phoenix.

Paul is missing for the Suns, too, though, due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. As with Leonard, this means an indefinite spell on the sidelines.

Sixteen-year veteran Paul is considered among the Clippers' greatest ever players, having spent six seasons in LA.

In the regular season, he has the most assists in Clippers history (4,023), ranks sixth for points (7,674) and eighth for minutes (13,885).

 "Control what we can control," Suns team-mate Devin Booker said. "Obviously Chris is in the health and safety protocols and we don't know the timetable on that, so we just go with what we hear day to day. It's next man up."

The next man up would appear to be Cameron Payne, the backup point guard who has only one start across the regular season and playoffs since moving to Phoenix in 2019.

In 20.4 minutes per game in the postseason, Payne has averaged 10.2 points but just 2.9 assists, although he and Paul have been on the floor together for 54 of the 26-year-old's 204 playoff minutes this year.

For the Clippers, Paul George has come to the fore since Leonard's injury, scoring 37 points at Utah in Game 5 – his highest playoff output for LA and tied for the second-highest of his career.

He will have to continue to perform, as coach Ty Lue said of Leonard: "I know [he is out for] Game 1 for sure.

"Right now he's back home getting treatment. We're not sure about Game 2 yet.

"Until he gets back, we can't do hypotheticals if he's coming back, what game. We have to prepare like he's not playing, just kind of go from there."

Giannis Antetokounmpo made clear there is still work to do for the Milwaukee Bucks after they survived a Kevin Durant onslaught to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Bucks came out on top 115-111 in Game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets, albeit only after a dramatic finish in the fourth quarter that saw them escape by a matter of inches.

Durant hit a stunning turnaround jumper with one second remaining to tie the scores at 109-109, with Milwaukee relieved to see he had a foot on the three-point line as they narrowly avoided falling behind.

"Big, big shot," Antetokounmpo told the media about Durant's play that forced overtime. "That's KD – he makes shots like that."

However, the Nets were held to just two points in the extra period as the Bucks came through on the road, setting up a showdown with either the Philadelphia 76ers or the Atlanta Hawks – who meet in a Game 7 on Sunday – for a place in the NBA Finals.

Defeat was tough on Durant, who finished with 48 points – the most by any player in a Game 7 in NBA history – as he was on court for all 53 minutes. He went 0-for-6 in overtime, though, as the ailing Nets, minus the injured Kyrie Irving and with James Harden not at full fitness due to a hamstring issue, saw their season come to an end.

For the Bucks, however, the focus will have to quickly switch to their next assignment.

"We really wanted this as a team," said Antetokounmpo, who had 40 points and 13 rebounds.

"There were a lot of ups and downs during the series – there were a lot of ups and downs in just this game. We could have finished the game before overtime but weren't able to. We kept our composure."

He added: "At the end of the day, though, the job is not done. The job is not done. That's the message here and in the locker room, we’ve got to keep our heads in the game.

"We can't get too high, we can't get too low. It's a great step for our organisation and a great step for us, so we have got to enjoy this moment and then look at our next opponent.

"We've got to put this in the past and focus on the moment, focus on our next opponent."

Durant's performance drew praise from Stephen Curry, who simply tweeted at his former Golden State Warriors team-mate after the fourth-quarter shot: "That is insane."

Even P.J. Tucker – the player who attempted to cover Durant on the play – was suitably impressed.

"When I cut him off, I thought he would one-foot it, or step back. When he spun, he threw me off. That shot was incredible," Tucker said. "People don't really appreciate the level of difficulty with that shot, it was incredible.

"I laughed, I just laughed when he made it. I appreciated it, as a fan of the game, when someone makes that shot."

Durant was one of just 11 different players to score, the fewest in any regular season or postseason game since the merger.

Bryson DeChambeau is fully embracing the atmosphere created by the so-called 'Brooksy bros' at the U.S. Open.

There is little love lost between defending champion DeChambeau and two-time winner Brooks Koepka, with their simmering rivalry one of the more intriguing sub-plots in golf during 2021.

At last month's US PGA Championship, a video of Koepka visibly frustrated at an interruption from DeChambeau went viral, which led to the pair trading back-and-forth jibes on social media.

Prior to the tournament, DeChambeau admitted the two just "don't like each other". On Sunday, as he contemplated going for the par-five 18th in two while in a sand trap, fans of Koepka yelled "go get 'em Brooksy" and "Brooks would go for it".

DeChambeau resisted the temptation to bite but when questioned about it after his round, the world number five insists he is relishing the rivalry.

"Hey, I love it. I think it's so much fun," said DeChambeau, who recorded his first ever bogey-free round in major golf to sit two back of leaders Mackenzie Hughes, Louis Oosthuizen and Russell Henley at three under at Torrey Pines.

"People think that it annoys me. If anything, it just creates a great atmosphere for golf. At first, I didn't really know how to handle it. You're kind of thrown into a situation. 

"But now I enjoy it. I think it's great. You've got to embrace it. There's going to be team Bryson, team Brooks out there, and hey, keep it up, I'm happy about it. 

"I'm excited that one day we can eventually get paired up and play together. It would be fun."

DeChambeau, who scored a three-under 68 in round three, is using driver at almost every opportunity in tactics similar to those he employed when winning at Winged Foot last year.

He says he has learned the nuances of coping with major golf.

"You've got to be really patient out here at these majors. It's something that is not easy to do," he added.

"My first few goes at majors, I was not successful or anywhere near successful, and I feel like I'm starting to understand major championship golf and how to play it and how to go about managing my game, my attitude and just my patience level. 

"If I can continue to do that [on Sunday], I think I'll have a good chance."

Jon Rahm is three off the lead after signing for a one-over 72 on Saturday. The Spaniard thinks being part of the chasing pack may actually play to his strengths.

"I feel like it's easy when you're in the lead to get a little tentative and start trying to be a little bit more safe in certain parts," he said. 

"I feel like when you're a couple shots back, you have nothing to lose early on. So, I feel like you can be a little bit more aggressive and try to get some birdies.

"There will be somebody who gets a fast start, and hopefully that's me tomorrow, and I get a fast start, and I get it going fast."

Since winning The Open in 2010, Oosthuizen has been a perennial nearly man in the majors, recording five runners-up finishes including play-off defeats at the 2012 Masters and 2015 Open, while he was tied second to Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship last month.

The South African is aiming to take the positives from those experiences, though, saying: "The two that really hurt was the playoffs. That's so close to winning.

"You know, the other ones, just good weeks and good results. Could have been better but taking more positive out of it than anything else."

Oosthuizen drained an eagle at the par-five 18th, which drew a huge reaction from the galleries.

"A year ago, that would have been a very boring eagle with a few people going nuts. But that was nice to see everyone back," he said, alluding to the return of fans who were unable to attend in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fighting before a home crowd in Houston, Jermall Charlo defeated Juan Macias Montiel  to defend his WBC middleweight belt and improve to 32-0. 

Charlo won by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the bout in his favour 120-108, 119-109 and 118-109. 

Though Charlo dominated the fight, he never seemed a threat to knock out the challenger. 

“He was a real warrior to get into the ring with me,” Charlo said.

“He fought hard each and every round.”

In Las Vegas, Naoya Inoue remained unbeaten with a third-round TKO of Michael Dasmarinas to retain his WBA, IBF and The Ring bantamweight titles. 

Inoue (21-0) had little trouble with the IBF mandatory challenger, delivering a flurry of body blows to send the Filipino to the canvas at 2:45 in the third. 

The Japanese fighter's win in the third followed a knockdown on a body shot in the second that only ended up prolonging the agony for Dasmarinas. 

 

The Boston Red Sox have returned to the top of the American League (AL) East division. 

Boston defeated Kansas City 7-1 Saturday as Martin Perez and three relievers shut down the Royals' hitters while J.D. Martinez and Bobby Dalbec each hit two-run homers for the Red Sox. 

That win on the road coupled with the Tampa Bay Rays' 6-5 extra-inning loss at the Seattle Mariners later in the evening put the Red Sox alone atop the division for the first time since May 22. 

The loss was Tampa Bay's season-high fifth in a row, and the third in that stretch to come via a walk-off win by their opponent, as Mitch Haniger's 10th-inning single scored J.P. Crawford for the victory. 

Crawford had hit a grand slam in the second inning to give Seattle a 5-2 lead but Tampa Bay came back to tie it on solo homers from Mike Zunino, Manuel Margot and Brandon Lowe. 

 

Tatis' replacement lifts Padres

After replacing the injured Fernando Tatis Jr. in the fifth inning, Kim Ha-seong hit a two-run homer in the eight to give the San Diego Padres a 7-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Tatis is day-to-day after hurting his left shoulder while diving for a ball hit by Tyler Naquin. 

Walker Buehler struck out 11 and had a no-hitter through seven innings in a 9-3 Los Angeles Dodgers win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

 

Orioles collapse despite long-ball heroics

The Baltimore Orioles' first six hits of Saturday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays were home runs -- a franchise first, according to Stats Perform -- but the O's still managed to lose 10-7 after the Blue Jays scored six in the ninth inning. 

The Chicago Cubs managed only three hits in an 11-1 loss to the Miami Marlins as they fell into a share of the National League (NL) Central lead with the Milwaukee Brewers. 

 

Adames lights up Rockies

The Brewers prevailed over the Colorado Rockies thanks in large part to Willy Adames, whose two-run homer in the ninth provided the winning margin in a 6-5 victory. Adames also had three doubles, becoming just the fifth player in club history to record at least four extra-base hits in a game. 

 

Saturday's results

Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Cleveland Indians
New York Mets 5-1 Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals 6-2 New York Mets
New York Yankees 7-5 Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays 10-7 Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins 11-1 Chicago Cubs
Minnesota Twins 3-2 Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox 7-1 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 7-3 Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 8-3 Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Philadelphia Phillies 13-6 San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres 7-5 Cincinnati Reds
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves-St Louis Cardinals (postponed)

 

White Sox at Astros

The Houston Astros (42-28) look for a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox (43-28) and their seventh win in a row as they send Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound against former team-mate Dallas Keuchel. 

Kevin Durant turned in the most productive Game 7 performance in NBA playoffs history, but it was not enough to get the Brooklyn Nets through against the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Brooklyn's 115-111 overtime loss in the Eastern Conference semi-finals decider saw the exhausted Nets give everything they had before the visitors prevailed in the end. 

Durant scored a Game 7-record 48 points but could not do it all as a Brooklyn team missing the injured Kyrie Irving did not have enough weapons in the end. 

 "We've got to give credit to the Milwaukee Bucks," Durant told reporters. "They're a great, great team who've got a good chance to win a championship.

"The story should be about them and how well they played this series -- how well they played all year."

Though Milwaukee ultimately prevailed, few have performed better than Durant on the big stage. 

With little in the way of a supporting cast, he played all 53 minutes in defeat after carrying the hobbled Nets through the series as Irving missed the decider and James Harden played the entire game though he has not been fully healthy for some time. 

"I can't even speak about how much we missed Kyrie out on the floor and how much we missed James to start the series," Durant said.

"I could go for 40 minutes on both of those two and how much they care about us and how much they put their bodies on the line to help us out as a team.

"Kyrie had a gruesome ankle injury and he was thinking about when can he play next -- that shows that he cares about us so much.

"James, playing on one leg, came out there and gave it his all. ... There's nothing but respect and love for those two guys; we missed them out there. But we still had a chance to win."

The second-seeded Nets ultimately came up short, as head coach Steve Nash ran out of options to help ease the load on Durant. 

"We didn't have a lot of buttons to push at the end in this series," Nash said. "But we had a chance to win, so that's all you can ask for."

Now the Nets are left to look forward rather than back, as they can only hope they will be at full strength this time next year. 

"We want to win every game we play, we want to win a championship, just like every team," said Durant. 

"So the last game of the season, you lose ... but the beauty of our profession is, we get up and keep going.

"Everybody on this team works extremely hard, they care about the game, so we get ready for next year."

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a record-breaking performance from Kevin Durant to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 115-111 in overtime in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series. 

Antetokounmpo scored 40 points and Khris Middleton had 23, including what proved to be the game-winning shot, as the Bucks won a Game 7 for the first time in 20 years, stunning the Nets in Brooklyn. 

Durant finished with 48 points, the most ever scored in a Game 7, and for much of the game appeared ready to will the Nets through to the next round on his own. 

Brooklyn was playing without the injured Kyrie Irving and leaned on Durant to carry the load as he had throughout the series. He played 53 minutes, making 17 of 36 shots from the field and 10 of 11 from the line, but he did not get enough help in the end. 

James Harden was just five of 17 from the field, including two of 12 on three-point attempts, but every time the Nets needed a shot down the stretch they went to Durant. 

That worked for a while, most notably at the end of regulation when he hit a turnaround jumper with his foot on the three-point line to tie the game at 109-109 and force overtime. 

But the Bucks clamped down on Durant and everyone else in the extra session after Bruce Brown hit a jumper early in the period to put Brooklyn up by two.

The Nets would not score again the rest of the way, as Antetokounmpo tied the game with a shot over Durant with 1:12 to go before Middleton hit a jumper from the middle of the lane with 40.7 seconds remaining to take the lead and Brook Lopez added a pair of free throws with 0.3 seconds left for the final margin. 

Entering the game, home teams were 109-31 in Game 7s in NBA history, but Milwaukee bucked that trend to advance. 

They will await the winner of Sunday's Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Final.

 

Hawks at 76ers

The top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers host the upset-minded Atlanta Hawks in Game 7, with Atlanta looking for their fifth road win of the playoffs so far. Earlier Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns open their Western Conference Final series. 

Ten years to the day after he wrapped up his first major championship win at Congressional, Rory McIlroy put himself in position for another U.S. Open title by shooting 67 Saturday at Torrey Pines. 

McIlroy is three under par for the tournament, two strokes back of the leading trio of Louis Oosthuizen, Mackenzie Hughes and Russell Henley entering Sunday's final round. 

The Northern Irishman will feel good about his chances after a round that featured five birdies and just one bogey a day after he shot a wobbly 73. 

The lone bogey may have been the key to his round, a difficult save that kept him from losing momentum after what had been a positive day. 

"This is the only tournament in the world where you fist pump a bogey," McIlroy told reporters.

"Only losing one there was a big deal, and getting it up-and-down out of the bunker on 16 and making that birdie on 18 just to get that shot back that I lost, really big."

By the end of the day, McIlroy considered it "one of the best rounds of golf I've played in a while." 

The 32-year-old broke an 18-month title drought with his win at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.

He also won that tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina for his first PGA Tour victory six weeks before securing his first major championship a decade ago.

There will be no repeat of that astonishing eight-stroke victory over Jason Day this weekend, but McIlroy is satisfied to be in the hunt for his first major title since the 2014 US PGA Championship. 

"I mean, I'm trying to think of the last time where I really felt like I had a chance [at a major]," he said.

"Carnoustie in '18 felt like I maybe had half a chance, going into the final day at Pebble in 2019.

"But apart from that, there's been some good finishes but never felt like I was in the thick of things.

"I'm just excited for the opportunity to have a chance and be in one of the final groups."

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