MLB

Cole tosses down 12 strikeouts in Astros' shutout, Acuna tears ACL

By Sports Desk July 11, 2021

Gerrit Cole returned to Houston with venom as he tossed down 11 strikeouts to lead the New York Yankees to a 1-0 win over the Astros in the MLB on Saturday.

It was a star match-up between Cole, who was with the Astros from 2018 to 2019, and Zack Greinke at Minute Maid Park.

Cole, who came into the game with a 6.46 ERA across his last three starts, starred early before Aaron Judge homered in the third from Greinke.

The Yankees pitcher kept the Astros scoreless across seven innings, the first time he had achieved that since May 27.

But he completed a shutout, tossing down 129 pitches, the most by any pitcher in a single game over the past two seasons.

 

Double grand slam in Dodgers rout

The Los Angeles Dodgers piled on the runs with a 22-1 thrashing of the Arizona Diamondbacks highlighted by grand slams from Mookie Betts and Justin Turner. The Dodgers finished with eight home runs, while Walker Buehler starred on the mound with seven strikeouts.

The 22 runs scored by the Dodgers tied an LA record and are the most runs ever scored in a game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers also become the first team in MLB history to hit two grand slams in a game twice in the same season.

The Cincinnati Reds won 4-3 over the Milwaukee Brewers buoyed by Nicholas Castellanos' three-run home run, a Eugenio Suarez solo shot in the ninth inning secured the victory.

The St Louis Cardinals scored five runs in one innings, with home runs from Paul Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman and Paul DeJong as they won 6-0 at the Chicago Cubs.

 

Cruel blow for Braves slugger

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr will undergo season-ending knee surgery after he tore his right ACL jumping for an outfield catch during Saturday's 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins. Acuna had hit 24 home runs in the 2021 MLB season, with a majors-high 72 runs.

 

Brown creams 472-foot homer

Seth Brown hit a monster 472-foot home run in the fourth inning off Mike Foltynewicz as the Oakland Athletics won 8-4 over the Texas Rangers in extras. It was a game of homers, with Rangers pair Adolis Garcia and Joey Gallo striking home runs, along with the A's Stephen Piscotty with a two-run homer in the 11th inning.

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Minnesota Twins 9-4 Detroit Tigers
San Francisco Giants 10-4 Washington Nationals
Chicago White Sox 8-3 Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics 8-4 Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 New York Mets
Atlanta Braves 5-4 Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies 11-2 Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Indians 14-6 Kansas City Royals
Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers
St Louis Cardinals 6-0 Chicago Cubs
New York Yankees 1-0 Houston Astros
New York Mets 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners 2-0 Los Angeles Angels
Colorado Rockies 3-0 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 22-1 Arizona Diamondbacks

 

Reds at Brewers

The in-form Reds (47-42) will aim to continue their impressive run against National League Central leaders, the Brewers (53-38), in the final game in their series, before the All Star break.

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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

    Ronald Koeman called for caution over Ansu Fati's return to action after the youngster was included in Barcelona's squad for the first time in 10 months.

    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.

    "It depends on his state. We are talking about a young man who will give us a lot of quality, but little by little."

    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."

    Koeman also explained he believes he has the backing of the dressing room.

    "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."

  • Ansu Fati back in Barcelona squad after 10 months out with knee injury Ansu Fati back in Barcelona squad after 10 months out with knee injury

    Ansu Fati is back in the Barcelona squad after spending 10 months out of action due to a knee injury.

    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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