MLB

Fried does it all for Braves, White Sox dominate Astros

By Sports Desk July 18, 2021

Max Fried did it all for the Atlanta Braves, pitching seven scoreless innings and collecting three hits in a 9-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Proving Shohei Ohtani is not the only multi-talented pitcher in the majors, Fried allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out seven on the mound and going 3-for-3 with a two-run double at the plate

Fried, who had a pinch-hit, walk-off single on July 4, boosted his batting average to .333 with his offensive effort Saturday. 

In addition to their pitcher's heroics, the Braves also got home runs from new addition Joc Pederson and reigning National League MVP Freddie Freeman as they pulled to within a win of .500 at 45-46. 

 

Giolito, White Sox dominate Astros

Chicago starter Lucas Giolito held the Houston Astros to just three hits and the White Sox pounded five home runs in a 10-1 victory over the Houston Astros. 

Sixth-inning homers by Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres were the difference for the New York Yankees in a rain-shortened 3-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. 

The Milwaukee Brewers scored three times in the 11th inning against Sean Doolittle to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 and extend their division lead to six games. 

Robbie Grossman had a leadoff home run in Game 1 and Miguel Cabrera a walk-off bloop single in Game 2 as the Detroit Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Minnesota Twins 1-0 and 5-4. 

 

Ohtani runs out of gas

After a busy week as the center of attention at the All-Star Game, Ohtani turned in his worst batting performance of the year, going 0-for-5 with a season-high four strikeouts in the Los Angeles Angels' 9-4 win over the Seattle Mariners. It was only the second time in 340 MLB games Ohtani has struck out four times at the plate. The other, on Aug. 30, 2019 against the Boston Red Sox, was a 15-inning game in which he made eight plate appearances. 

 

Pirates slam Mets 

Trailing 6-0 to the New York Mets, the Pittsburgh Pirates scored five runs in the eighth inning before Jacob Stallings' walk-off grand slam in the ninth gave them a 9-7 victory.

 

Saturday's results

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


Astros at White Sox

After splitting their first two games, division leaders the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox will square off again in Chicago with the series on the line. 

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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."

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    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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