MLB

Rays top Red Sox to move into first place, Mets win in Baez debut

By Sports Desk July 31, 2021

Two key hits from highly touted rookie Wander Franco lifted the Tampa Bay Rays past the Boston Red Sox 9-5 on Saturday.

Tampa Bay's third consecutive win and Boston's third straight loss moved the Rays into first place in the American League (AL) East by half a game.

After the Rays' Francisco Mejia and Boston's Bobby Dalbec traded two-run homers in the fourth and fifth inning to leave the score tied 5-5, Franco's triple to right field in the sixth gave the Rays the lead.

Franco would add an RBI single in the eighth and come home on Mejia's two-run single later in the inning as the Rays sealed the win.

 

Baez homers in Mets debut

Javier Baez homered in his first game with the Mets as New York rallied past the Cincinnati Reds for a 5-4 victory. Baez's two-run shot in the sixth drew the Mets within one after Eugenio Suarez and Kyle Farmer home runs had given Cincinnati a 4-1 lead. Dominic Smith's ninth-inning single sent the game to extra innings, where Brandon Drury won it in the 10th. Joey Votto went one-for-five with a single for the Reds, ending his streak of games with a home run at seven straight.

Speaking of new New Yorkers, Anthony Rizzo continues to endear himself to Yankees fans. He reached base in all four plate appearances in a 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins, collecting two walks, a single and his second home run in as many days. According to Stats Perform, Rizzo is the first player in Yankees history to have at least two hits, including a home run, in each of his first two games with the team.

The San Francisco Giants hit five home runs to slug their way past the Houston Astros 8-6 in a matchup of division leaders. Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores, LaMonte Wade, Darin Ruf and Mike Yastrzemski went deep for the Giants, while Houston got two homers from Aledmys Diaz and one from Martin Maldonado in a losing effort.

Kyle Hendricks is now the longest-tenured Chicago Cubs player after the team's sell-off this week, and he was his usual self in allowing one run in seven innings to beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 and win his 11th consecutive decision.

Colorado Rockies All-Star pitcher German Marquez allowed two runs in six innings and provided one of his one, homering off Yu Darvish in the fifth as the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3.

 

Rough Brewers debut for Curtiss

Making his Milwaukee Brewers debut after coming over from the Marlins in a trade this week, reliever John Curtiss allowed four hits and a walk to Atlanta, punctuated by a Dansby Swanson grand slam that would give the Braves an 8-1 win.

 

Zavala's first, second and third career homers

Entering Saturday, Chicago White Sox catcher Seby Zavala had played 17 major league games between 2019 and this season, collecting three singles, two doubles and one RBI. You could say he had a career game in Chicago's 12-11 loss to the Cleveland Indians, as the 27-year-old went four-for-four with three home runs, including a grand slam. Zavala is the first player in MLB history to collect his first three career home runs in the same game. 

 

Saturday's results 

Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs 6-3 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Kansas City Royals
New York Mets 5-4 Cincinnati Reds
New York Yankees 4-2 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 9-5 Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Atlanta Braves 8-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 5-4 Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Indians 12-11 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 8-1 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels 1-0 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 8-6 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 5-3 San Diego Padres

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays (63-42) will look to hold onto first place on Sunday with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox (63-43) at Tropicana Field. 

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    Form

    South Africa will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats in men's Tests for the first time since November 2018.

    Australia have not won back-to-back Tests since October 2019 and may need to show their staying power once again to get their hands on the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate.

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    Ones to watch

    Andrew Kellaway scored Australia's only try in last week's win over the world champions.

    The wing is the joint-leading try-scorer in the tournament with three, alongside David Havili and Malcolm Marx. 

    With Lood de Jager absent due to concussion, Orie takes over at lock for South Africa.

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    ARGENTINA V NEW ZEALAND

    Form

    The All Blacks dished out a 39-0 thrashing to Argentina in round three, Luke Jacobson scoring two of their five tries.

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    Joe Moody comes into a much-changed All Blacks side and Ardie Savea returns as captain, while Samisoni Taukei'aho makes his first Test start. Patrick Tuipulotu and Ofa Tuungafasi are also among the starters.

    Santiago Carreras starts for Argentina at fly-half, while Pablo Matera takes the number eight shirt as Mario Ledesma makes six changes.

     

    Ones to watch

    The versatile Damian McKenzie gets the chance to start a second Test at fly-half for the All Blacks.

    Playmaker McKenzie can put on a show at number 10 and pull the strings in tandem with scrum-half TJ Perenara.

    Pumas captain Julian Montoya won three turnovers in the defeat to the All Blacks last weekend and his tally of four is twice as many as any other player in the tournament.

    Montoya has not missed any of his 40 tackles in the competition.

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