MLB

White Sox enhance World Series potential with crushing win, Ohtani hits MLB-leading 13th homer

By Sports Desk May 18, 2021

The Chicago White Sox further enhanced their MLB World Series potential after pounding the Minnesota Twins 16-4.

Having made no secret of their World Series aspirations at the start of the season, the White Sox continue to impress following Monday's crushing win over the Twins.

American League (AL) Central leaders the White Sox – who have won nine of their past 11 games – posted season highs in hits (18) and runs.

Nick Madrigal had three hits, including his maiden MLB homer and White Sox team-mate Danny Mendick launched his first career grand slam in Minneapolis.

For the ninth time in White Sox history, a player hit their first career homer and first career grand slam, however, Monday was the first time it was achieved by two different players.

Yasmani Grandal became the first player in White Sox history with three four-plus walk games in a season, while team-mate Yermin Mercedes is the first player in franchise history to homer off a position player pitcher since 1955.

White Sox ace Dallas Keuchel pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits against the hapless Twins.

Meanwhile, two-way star Shohei Ohtani was at it again as the Los Angeles Angels took down the Cleveland Indians 7-4.

Ohtani hit his MLB-leading 13th home run of the season – a three-run homer in the second inning.

 

Cole makes history

The New York Yankees were beaten 5-2 by the Texas Rangers but it was a memorable outing for ace Gerrit Cole, who recorded the most strikeouts without a walk (61) in any stretch of a season since 1983, eclipsing the 58 tallied by Corbin Burnes earlier this season. The Rangers snapped a six-game skid in the victory.

The San Francisco Giants trumped the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 behind six shut-out innings from Logan Webb, who gave up six hits, struck out four and walked a batter.

 

Pillar left bloodied in scary incident

The New York Mets topped the Atlanta Braves 3-1 but it came at a cost. Right fielder Kevin Pillar was hit in the nose by a pitch from Atlanta's Jacob Webb in the seventh inning. Pillar fell straight to the ground as blood poured from his nose. The incident left Mets and Braves players shaken in Atlanta.

Angels star Mike Trout exited in the first inning of the team's victory. Trout walked and reached second base before sustaining a right calf strain.

 

Pujols makes immediate impact

Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, following his exit from city rivals the Angels. The 41-year-old slugger – a two-time World Series champion, three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star – made his first appearance for the Dodgers that day, his first hit an RBI single. It brought in star Mookie Betts to score in the World Series champions' 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

Monday's results

San Francisco Giants 6-3 Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets 3-1 Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox 16-4 Minnesota Twins
Chicago Cubs 7-3 Washington Nationals
Texas Rangers 5-2 New York Yankees
Los Angeles Angels 7-4 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres 7-0 Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers 4-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Red Sox at Blue Jays

AL East leaders the Boston Red Sox (25-17) will travel to Dunedin for their series opener against division rivals the Toronto Blue Jays (22-17) on Tuesday. Blue Jays ace Ryu Hyun-jin takes to the mound, while the Red Sox counter with Eduardo Rodriguez.

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    Jurgen Klopp says it will only be a matter of time before Darwin Nunez gets his first Liverpool goal at Anfield after the striker failed to find the net against Rangers.

    Liverpool ran out comfortable 2-0 victors against Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side in the Champions League, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah on target.

    Allan McGregor was forced into eight saves to keep the scoreline down, while Nunez had more shots than any Liverpool player in the match – finding the target with four of his attempts.

    The former Benfica striker's six efforts were the most a Liverpool player has had without scoring in a Champions League group stage game since Sadio Mane against Salzburg in December 2019 (also six).

    Despite just the sole strike to Nunez's name in the Reds' first Premier League game of the season at Fulham, Klopp insists the 23-year-old will soon get off the mark at home.

    "I think you can see that. The way the boys moved together up front today was extremely good for just one [training] session," Klopp said of his attackers responding to a change in shape against Rangers.

    "We only had one session, low intensity because we only played recently, so it showed how good a striker he is, getting into these situations. Everybody saw tonight, this will happen."

    Liverpool trail Group A leaders Napoli, who hammered Ajax 6-1 on Tuesday, by three points ahead of a return trip to Rangers next week after visiting Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

  • 'Maradona will have been proud' – Spalletti revels as Napoli hit Ajax for six 'Maradona will have been proud' – Spalletti revels as Napoli hit Ajax for six

    Luciano Spalletti declared "even Diego Maradona will have been proud" after Napoli thrashed Ajax 6-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    Despite falling behind to Mohammed Kudus' ninth-minute opener in Amsterdam, Spalletti's side responded with goals from Giacomo Raspadori, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Piotr Zielinski putting them 3-1 up at the break.

    The visitors' task was made easier after Dusan Tadic's second-half dismissal; Raspadori and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia increasing the advantage, before Giovanni Simeone sealed an emphatic victory.

    Spalletti referenced the late Maradona after Napoli scored six times in a European game for the first time in their history, while Ajax suffered their heaviest defeat in all competitions since November 1964.

    "When you go into a stadium like this, with that roar there, it's not easy to immediately regain the conviction in pressing and recovering after going a goal down," the Napoli coach told reporters. 

    "It could have disturbed us a lot, but the team did the things it had to do; they never let themselves be influenced and won a great match.

    "More than the result, it is beautiful as the performance shows us our qualities; the boys played important football and will benefit because they have all seen it. They played very good plays, even Maradona will have been proud tonight."

    Continuing their perfect start to the competition after making it three wins from three, Napoli are three points clear of Liverpool at the halfway point in Group A, and in the driving seat to reach the knockout stages.

    "With this victory, we have excellent chances [to qualify], but we have to achieve other results," Spalletti added. "What gives context is the quality of the opponents who we produced this performance against, they are a great club."

  • 'We have to be more clinical' - Conte rues missed opportunities in Eintracht draw 'We have to be more clinical' - Conte rues missed opportunities in Eintracht draw

    Antonio Conte has urged Tottenham to be "more clinical" after they were held to a goalless draw by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.

    Despite registering 11 shots on goal, Spurs failed to score in successive group games in the competition for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

    Conte's side subsequently missed the chance to move top of Group D, but the Italian praised the intensity and personality demonstrated by his players on the back of a 3-1 North London derby defeat at Arsenal.

    "We played a match with great intensity; we didn't allow them to play their football or press a lot in every area of the pitch," he told BT Sport.

    "At the same time, we have to be more clinical. We created many chances to score. At the end, we are talking about a draw. It is a good draw because it is not easy to play away with the atmosphere. We played a good game but if you don't score, you don't win.

    "There are moments you are more clinical, there are moments like in the game against Arsenal and today; you create chances, but make a mistake with the last pass.

    "It is important to create chances; the game was good for us and we played with a great personality."

    Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was left disappointed by his team-mates' failure to turn positive build-up play into a breakthrough, but the midfielder highlighted the maturity on display as they ended a run of three successive away defeats in the Champions League.

    "We are not 100 per cent happy, I thought we prepared until the penalty area well," Hojbjerg said. "We tried to get in behind them, but the opportunities we had, we didn't use them. It's disappointing. The last bite needed a bit.

    "I thought we took the game well, we tried to be dominant. We tried to find the spaces and tried to overcome the first pressure.

    "If you cannot win, you don't lose the game. The team presented themselves as very mature. We are here, we are competing and every game, we want to win."

    Spurs are second in Group D, two points behind Sporting CP and level on points with Eintracht.

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