MLB

Ohtani shines again in history-making display, Dodgers stay hot

By Sports Desk July 03, 2021

Another day but the same story for record-setting Shohei Ohtani, who fuelled the Los Angeles Angels' 8-7 walk-off win over the Baltimore Orioles in MLB on Friday.

Ohtani hit two homers and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Angels overcame the Orioles at Angel Stadium.

The two-way Angels star took his tally to an MLB-best 30 homers in 2021 thanks to home runs in the third and fourth innings.

According to Stats Perform, Ohtani became the first player in American League (AL) history to reach 30 home runs and 10 stolen bases in his team's first 81 games of the season. The only National League (NL) players to achieve the feat are Sammy Sosa (1998) and Albert Pujols (2009).

Ohtani also earned the franchise record for the most homers before the All-Star break, surpassing Mike Trout's 2018 record of 28.

 

Dodgers extend streak, Manoah masters Rays

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers won their seventh consecutive game by downing the Washington Nationals 10-5.

Alek Manoah set a Toronto Blue Jays record in their 11-1 demolition of the Tampa Bay Rays. The rookie pitcher made history with seven consecutive strikeouts in a game, according to Stats Perform. Manoah – back from a five-game ban – struck out a career-high 10 batters over seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. George Springer, Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all homered for the Blue Jays.

Willy Adames homered as the Milwaukee Brewers emerged 7-2 victors against the Pittsburgh Pirates for their 10th successive win.

 

Lopez ejected in Marlins loss

Miami Marlins right hander Pablo Lopez was ejected after his first pitch hit All-Star Ronald Acuna Jr. in a 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves. In a long-running history, Marlins manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. were also ejected.

The slumping Chicago Cubs tasted a seventh straight defeat after losing 2-1 at the Cincinnati Reds.

 

Phillips makes his first appearance on the mound

In a lopsided defeat, the Rays did manage to provide a highlight after outfielder Brett Phillips pitched. With Tampa Bay trailing by nine runs ahead of the bottom of the eighth inning, Phillips was sent to the mound for the first time in his professional career. In an inning, the 27-year-old allowed two hits, a run and two walks.

 

Friday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 10-5 Washington Nationals
Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 11-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox 8-2 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 2-1 Chicago Cubs
Houston Astros 6-3 Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves 1-0 Miami Marlins
Kansas City Royals 7-4 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 9-3 Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox 3-2 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels 8-7 Baltimore Orioles
San Francisco Giants 11-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Texas Rangers
New York Mets-New York Yankees (postponed)

 

Mets at Yankees

After the opening was rained out, the Subway Series will get underway between the Mets (41-36) and Yankees (41-39) on Saturday. Taijuan Walker is the starter for the Mets, while the Yankees send Jordan Montgomery to the mound.

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    Andrew Kellaway scored his fourth try of the Rugby Championship as in-form Australia beat Argentina 27-8 to go second in the table on Saturday.

    The Wallabies have a runners-up spot behind champions New Zealand in their sights with one match against the Pumas to play after scoring three tries in their first ever Test in Townsville, moving above South Africa after they were beaten by the All Blacks.

    Emiliano Boffelli dragged a penalty wide before Reece Hodge burst through a tackle after throwing a dummy and applied the finish following a swift side-step.

    Hodge's early opening try came after a powerful run from the outstanding Samu Kerevi, who crashed over for a score of his own and Quade Cooper made it three successful kicks out of three to put the vibrant Wallabies 17-3 up at half-time following a penalty from Boffelli.

    Julian Montoya touched down early in the second half at the back of a driving maul, but Boffelli missed the conversion and was also off target with another penalty.

    James O'Connor sent a kick sailing through the posts after coming on for his first Test of the year while Marcos Kremer was in the sin-bin.

    Replacement fly-half O'Connor set up Kellaway, the leading try-scorer in the tournament, for a simple finish nine minutes from time in another impressive showing from Dave Rennie's men.

    Wallabies hitting their stride under Rennie

    Australia, up to third in the rankings, were clearly brimming with confidence after beating world champions South Africa twice and they have won three consecutive Tests for the first time since November 2017 with head Dave Rennie making his mark.

    The Pumas, on the other hand, have lost five in a row and have not scored more than 13 points in a game during that dismal run. The last time they went longer without scoring more than 15 points in a Test was a five-game stretch from March to August in 1990.

    Kerevi causes havoc

    The pace and power of centre Kerevi caused Argentina all sorts of problems.

    Kerevi gained 90 metres with his 14 carries and beat six defenders in an all-action display.

  • Koeman warns Barca must be patient as Fati returns from injury lay-off Koeman warns Barca must be patient as Fati returns from injury lay-off

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    Fati has not played for Barca in 322 days, after he suffered a serious knee injury in November 2020.

    The 18-year-old, who has taken the number 10 shirt vacated by Lionel Messi, has undergone three operations and only returned to training last month.

    However, Fati has been called into Barca's 20-man squad for Sunday's home game against Levante, a team he has scored two goals against in two matches. He has only netted more times against Villarreal (three) in LaLiga.

    Fati became the youngest goalscorer in Barcelona's history when he netted against Osasuna in August 2019 aged 16 years and 304 days and has since added a further 12 goals to his tally, but Koeman says the Spain international will need more time to recover full fitness.

    "It's really important to have Fati back, for himself because he has been out injured for many months," Koeman told a news conference.

    "We have a plan to recover him, to get him in his best shape, so he will have to get minutes little by little and the plan is that he will play around 15 minutes maximum [on Sunday].

    "There is a long way to go before he is as sharp as he has been. He does not recover in two games or in two weeks. We have to help him. The most important thing is that he recovers.

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    Koeman's future at Barcelona is far from certain. His position seems a precarious one, given president Joan Laporta is reportedly searching out replacements, with Belgium coach Roberto Martinez a rumoured target.

    Barca have been held to draws by Granada and Cadiz in the last two games, with Koeman seeing red in the latter match.

    "I have to learn from this. Be calmer. Think about the team and the game," Koeman said. "I am also human and there are moments in games where it is difficult to accept decisions."

    As for his future, Koeman said: "I can't say much about this issue because I haven't been reading the press for a long time.

    "I know the rumours out there, but all we have to do is win games. There are rumours, names. I'm not going to waste energy on things I can't control.

    "The president can speak, he is the most important man at the club. I have no problem. I am involved in my job, I have to win games. The rest does not interest me."

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    "Every player and every coach wants to win titles and games," he said.

    "There are no differences on this issue because I have spoken with them. In general, the players agree. That is the important thing. In that sense, there are no differences of opinions between them and me."

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    The 18-year-old has been included in Ronald Koeman's 20-man group for the LaLiga game at home to Levante on Sunday.

    Fati has not played for the Catalans in 322 days, having torn the meniscus in his left knee during a 5-2 win over Real Betis last November.

    The winger, who underwent three operations, only returned to training in August.

    Sunday's game at Camp Nou will offer Fati the chance to make his first competitive appearance since inheriting the number 10 shirt from Lionel Messi, who left the club at the end of his contract before signing for Paris Saint-Germain ahead of this season.

    Fati has scored two goals in his two matches against Levante in LaLiga, only netting more against Villarreal (three) in the competition.

    He became the youngest goalscorer in Barca's history when he scored against Osasuna in August 2019 aged 16 years and 304 days.

    Fati has since added a further 12 goals in 42 appearances across all competitions for the Blaugrana, whom he joined at the age of 10.

    The Guinea-Bissau-born youngster has been capped four times by Spain and scored his first international goal against Ukraine in September 2020.

    Barca's 0-0 draw with Cadiz on Thursday piled further pressure on head coach Ronald Koeman, with president Joan Laporta reportedly keen to appoint Belgium boss Roberto Martinez in his place.

    The Catalans have won two and drawn three of their opening five league matches of 2021-22 and are already seven points behind leaders Real Madrid, albeit with a game in hand.

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