MLB

Yankees sweep slumping Jays for franchise first, Diamondbacks set unwanted record

By Sports Desk June 18, 2021

The New York Yankees achieved a franchise first after rallying to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays on the road in MLB.

On Thursday, the Yankees overcame a deficit in the seventh inning to top the slumping Blue Jays 8-4 in the American League (AL) East showdown.

The Yankees trailed 4-3 in the seventh but came back to win behind Giancarlo Stanton's go-ahead homer in Buffalo.

According to Stats Perform, it was the first time the Yankees have ever swept a three-plus game road series despite trailing in the seventh inning or later in every game.

 

Tatis doing his thing

Fernando Tatis Jr. helped the San Diego Padres beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4. Tatis homered alongside Victor Caratini, Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado. Padres star Tatis Jr. joined Cody Bellinger as the only players aged 22 or younger to hit 22 home runs through their first 53 games in a season.

Charlie Morton is the oldest Atlanta Braves pitcher to go 7.2-plus innings pitched without allowing a run since John Smoltz in 2006. The Braves blanked the St Louis Cardinals 4-0 behind Morton, who gave up just three hits while striking out seven batters. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh.

C.J. Cron's grand slam inspired the Colorado Rockies to a 7-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

Sorry Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks suffered a 23rd consecutive road defeat after going down 10-3 at the San Francisco Giants. Arizona set unwanted history following the loss, breaking a tie with the 1963 Mets and 1943 Philadelphia Athletics for longest run of away defeats.

 

Caratini calls game

A sell-out crowd had plenty to celebrate in San Diego, where Caratini hit a walk-off two-run homer in the ninth inning to sink the Reds.

 

Thursday's results

Cleveland Indians 10-3 Baltimore Orioles
San Francisco Giants 10-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Yankees 8-4 Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago Cubs 2-0 New York Mets
Atlanta Braves 4-0 St Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros 10-2 Chicago White Sox
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Angels 7-5 Detroit Tigers
Colorado Rockies 7-3 Milwaukee Brewers
San Diego Padres 6-4 Cincinnati Reds

 

Dodgers at Diamondbacks

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers (41-27) will look to inflict more pain on the Diamondbacks (20-5) when they visit on Friday. The Dodgers start with Walker Buehler, while the Diamondbacks send Matt Peacock to the mound.

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    Nicholas Pooran has guided West Indies to a series-levelling One Day International victory despite a scare in the run chase against Australia in Bridgetown on Saturday.

    Akeal Hosein (30-3) and Alzarri Joseph (39-3) were exceptional in reducing Australia to 45-6 before the tourists rallied to 187.

    But the West Indies stumbled in their chase, slumping to 72-5 before Pooran (59* from 75) combined with Jason Holder (52) for a decisive 93-run sixth-wicket stand.

    Player of the Match Pooran was crucially dropped by Moises Henriques off Adam Zampa on 26, before making his eighth ODI half-century.

    Mitchell Starc, who finished with 26-3 from 10 overs, had dismissed Evin Lewis (1) and Darren Bravo (duck), before trapping Holder LBW but Pooran guided the hosts home.

    Earlier, Australia struggled with the bat, with Hosein dismissing Henriques, stand-in captain Alex Carey and Ashton Turner in an excellent spell.

    Matthew Wade (36) and Adam Zampa (36) rallied for Australia, before an excellent late cameo from second-gamer Wes Agar (41 from 36).

    POLLARD HAILS 'SCRATCHY' POORAN

    West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said allowing Australia to reach 187 was disappointing but hailed Pooran's determination after a "scratchy" knock.

    "What was good this time around was the fight by the guys, Nicholas Pooran getting that half-century and Jason Holder as well," Pollard said.

    "Pooran has been looking like his old self again. He was a bit scratchy tonight but sometimes that's what you need in a game like this. You want someone to scrap and I think they both scrapped well for us to come through for a victory."

    The West Indies avoided suffering back-to-back home defeats for the first time since August 2019.

    Pooran's innings also took him past 1,000 ODI runs, becoming the 39th West Indian player to achieve the feat and the joint-third fastest for the side (Viv Richards – 21, Gordon Greenidge – 23, Ramnaresh Sarwan – 27).

    AUSSIES STILL BULLISH AHEAD OF DECIDER

    Australia are unbeaten in their past six ODI bilateral series (W4, D2) against West Indies and missed out on the opportunity to seal another victory but Carey remained bullish ahead of Monday's decider.

    "Bring on game three," Carey said. "The batting group has a bit to prove to get a good score on the board for our quicks but our quicks and spinners are doing a great job."

    The stand-in skipper bemoaned Australia's top-order batting, with none of the top six scoring more than 16.

    "Obviously it doesn't help when you're five for not-a-lot," he said. "Wade and the bowlers did a great job to get us to a total and we were back in the game.

    "We took some early wickets again and the belief was there. We created opportunities and we were in the game in the back end. Unfortunately we couldn't quite close it out and it proved we were 20 or 30 short."

  • Solskjaer's new contract: Ole stays at the wheel, but can he drive Man Utd to success? Solskjaer's new contract: Ole stays at the wheel, but can he drive Man Utd to success?

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's working relationship with the club he loves is set to carry on until at least 2024 after he signed an extension with Manchester United.

    The deal, a pre-season boost as United prepare for a new campaign, came with a glowing endorsement from outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who talked up the "foundations in place for long-term success on the pitch" in the official statement released by the club.

    There are obvious reasons to be so optimistic, too, considering the Red Devils finished runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League and also reached the Europa League final.

    However, as has become a worrying trend of late, they still came up short in the quest for silverware. Solskjaer's new deal, plus the signing of Jadon Sancho, shows a high degree of faith in the current regime, but also shortens the list of excuses if the near-misses continue.

    Partnerships in football can sour swiftly if things do not pan out as hoped – the previous manager to occupy the home dugout at Old Trafford knows that only too well...

    A sign of better times after life under Mourinho

    Solskjaer has a win rate of 52.6 per cent in the Premier League since taking charge. His average of 1.86 points per game sits him third on the United list since the competition's inception, behind an undoubted club legend and a former boss who knows an extension is not always a guarantee of sticking around.

    Jose Mourinho triumphed in exactly 50 of his 93 league games in charge. In contrast to the man who replaced him, the Portuguese had early success with United as well, winning the EFL Cup and the Europa League in his first season.

    Those seemingly solid foundations subsided quickly, though. He was handed an extension in January 2018 yet was gone inside a year, dismissed amid dissatisfaction with not just results on the pitch but also the style of play. A defeat to Liverpool at Anfield proved to be the final straw.

    Mourinho fell seven games short of his Premier League century with the Red Devils, caught out by his entrenched views on how the team should be set up as he seemingly failed to grasp the club's traditions.

    Solskjaer now has his hundred within sight, a number that seemed highly improbable when he flew in from Molde to answer United's SOS (Save Our Season) call. The trip to Wolves on August 29, United's third outing in 2021-22, following on from games against Leeds United and Southampton, will see him reach three figures in the Premier League. 

    In doing so, he will become the first manager to make it to the milestone with United since Alex Ferguson. Matching his league success rate of 65.2 per cent may appear a tall order, but the team have been trending in the right direction after mixed times under the stewardship of more illustrious names.

    United's 73 league goals they scored last term were the highest tallied in the post-Ferguson era, while 12 away wins in the top flight were also the most since the Scot stepped aside. All they need to do now is work out a way to get over the hump, whether that be at home or abroad.

    Finding the balance in the quest for success

    Upon his arrival in December 2018, Solskjaer cited the "very talented squad" at his disposal. That group which struggled for points in the dying embers of Mourinho's reign went unbeaten in his first 12 league games, a run that helped the caretaker stick around in the job for a while longer.

    A Champions League away win over Paris Saint-Germain provided further ammunition to suggest the Norwegian should be retained on a permanent basis (he would receive a three-year deal). Marcus Rashford scored the winner from the penalty spot on that famous night in the French capital, one of his 52 goals under Solskjaer.

    No player has managed more than the England international, who also tops the list for appearances (128). Mason Greenwood – another product of the academy system that remains so highly valued by both club officials and supporters – has 29 goals in 105 appearances.

    There have been hugely successful signings, too, with Bruno Fernandes (40 goals in just 80 games) the pick of the bunch. Edinson Cavani, who scored 17 times in the 2020-21 season, proved an astute bit of business as well, a free transfer that paid off spectacularly as a much-needed focal point in the forward line.

    Rashford, Greenwood, Fernandes and Cavani demonstrate the "good balance" within the squad that Solskjaer mentioned in the announcement of his new contract. Sancho joining from Borussia Dortmund only adds even greater depth to the attacking options, having returned to Manchester – albeit the other side of the divide – after dazzling during his time in the Bundesliga.

    A centre-back, quite possibly Raphael Varane, would help bolster the back-line that gave up 44 league goals in the previous season, but Solskjaer has plenty to work with already.

    He spoke both prior to the end of the league season and also in the aftermath of losing on penalties to Villarreal in the Europa League showpiece about the need to strengthen the squad, calling for two or three high-profile signings.

    Sancho is certainly one of those, while Varane would tick that box as well, so it seems the much-maligned owners board are set to grant him his wish.

    United have shown faith in Solskjaer throughout and now he needs to repay them in the only way possible – by winning trophies.

  • Ronaldo 'will stay' with Juventus, claims Nedved Ronaldo 'will stay' with Juventus, claims Nedved

    Cristiano Ronaldo will remain with Juventus despite speculation he will depart before the new season, according to the Serie A club's vice-president Pavel Nedved 

    The Portugal international is into the final year of the four-year contract he signed following his transfer from Real Madrid in a €112million (£99.2m) deal.

    Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Turin ahead of the new campaign, with former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid among those to have reportedly been interested, along with Paris Saint-Germain.

    The 36-year-old scored 29 times in 2020-21 to win the Capocannoniere having previously also been the top scorer in the Premier League and LaLiga.

    Since he joined Juve in July 2018, only Robert Lewandowski (103) has scored more goals in all competitions than Ronaldo's 73 among players in Europe's top five leagues.

    Ronaldo's 83 goal involvements over that period ranks fourth behind Lewandowski (121), Lionel Messi (106) and Kylian Mbappe (97).

    "Ronaldo will return to training on Monday and he will stay with us," Nedved told Sky Sport Italia.

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    Argentina forward Dybala, 27, is also entering the final year of his contract with the Serie A club. 

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    "We are in good time to get the situation resolved, it’s not a problem."

    On Italy centre-back Chiellini, whose contract expired in June, Nedved added: "When he returns from his vacation, then we can talk."

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