MLB

Yankees improve league-best record to 48-16, Cubs and Braves end their respective streaks

By Sports Desk June 17, 2022

The best team in baseball keeps on chugging along as the New York Yankees hammered the Toronto Blue Jays 12-3 on Friday.

Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery was excellent on the mound, giving up two earned runs from three hits and one walk across six innings, striking out five in a quality start.

The Blue Jays, at home, would take the early lead with Gabriel Moreno's RBI single in the second inning – but the Yankees responded by rattling off 10 runs in a row.

Gleyber Torres and Kyle Higashioka drove in a run each in the fourth inning, before an explosion in the fifth,

Giancarlo Stanton got things started with a 350-foot, two-run home run, followed by a massive 411-foot solo blast from D.J. Lemahieu. Joey Gallo then brought in another run with his RBI double, and the eight-run inning was capped off by a 435-foot grand slam from Anthony Rizzo.

Gallo put an exclamation point on the result in the last frame as the fourth Yankee to hit a home run in the game.

MVP favourite Aaron Judge was surprisingly not part of the power surge, but he kept his numbers strong with two base hits from five at-bats.

Judge leads the majors in home runs with 25 – six more than any other player – while Rizzo is now tied for seventh (17 home runs) and Stanton is also in the top-20 (14).

The win moves the Yankees' league-leading record to 48-16, six games clear of the New York Mets in second-place (43-23).

Cubs snap streaks

The Chicago Cubs ended a 10-game losing streak with their 1-0 home win against the Atlanta Braves – also snapping the visitors' 14-game winning streak.

In a true pitching duel, Cubs starter Keegan Thompson struck out nine batters in six innings, allowing just two hits and two walks for no runs.

Charlie Morton was just as impressive on the mound for the Braves, striking out nine batters of his own in seven innings, giving up three hits and no walks for no runs.

When Morton was withdrawn, the Cubs capitalised, with pinch-hitter Jonathon Villar earning a walk to lead-off the eighth inning. He would make it to second with a sacrifice bunt, before stealing third base, setting up a sacrifice-fly from Christopher Morel for what would be the winning run.

Alonso moves to top of RBI list with grand slam

New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso now leads the majors in RBIs after driving in four runs with one swing in his side's 10-4 win against the Miami Marlins.

Fellow Mets star Francisco Lindor provided the early fireworks with a monstrous 440-foot, three-run blast in the first inning, helping the hosts build a 6-1 lead.

With bases loaded, Alonso sent his only hit of the night over the fence, giving him his 19th home run of the season and his league-leading 63rd RBI. Jose Ramirez (62 RBIs) and Paul Goldschmidt (56) are the only other players with more than 49 RBIs this season.

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    It was far from a warm welcome for newly acquired New York Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas, getting smacked around in a 12-9 away loss to the St Louis Cardinals.

    Montas, who was traded from the Oakland Athletics before the deadline, struggled mightily, conceding six runs in the first two innings, with four coming off the bat of Nolan Arenado.

    Arenado collected an RBI single in the first inning to cancel out an early Yankees run, and after the visiting side jumped ahead 4-1 in the second frame thanks in large part to a two-RBI base hit from AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge, it all began to fall apart.

    Dylan Carlson's RBI double started the rally and cut the margin to 4-2, a sacrifice-fly from NL MVP favourite Paul Goldschmidt made it 4-3, and then Arenado connected on a three-run home run to lead 6-4 after two innings.

    Montas would be pulled to begin the fourth frame, finishing with figures of six earned runs from five hits and three walks in his 64 pitches.

    To the Yankees' credit, they refused to lay down, with Judge driving in another two runs with a double in the fifth inning to tie the game at 6-6, but the Cardinals continued to answer right back, adding three more runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth.

    The Yankees again cut the lead to 9-8, but Paul DeJong put the game to bed in the eighth inning with a three-run homer to grab a winning break.

    Overall, the teams combined for 21 runs from 27 hits, with Arenado going three-for-five at the plate with four RBIs, and Judge finishing two-for-five with four RBIs. Judge now leads the majors in RBIs with 97, two more than New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso.

    DeGrom makes his case as the game's best pitcher

    There were concerns that perhaps injuries would strip New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom of his status as the sport's most elite pitcher, but he continued to dispel that myth on Sunday in his side's 5-2 win against the Atlanta Braves.

    DeGrom, in his second start of the season, struck out 12 of the 19 batters he faced, going on to finish with two earned runs from one hit and one walk in five-and-two-thirds innings.

    Through five innings, deGrom had a perfect game with 10 strikeouts, but was pulled in the sixth after his first walk of the game was followed by a home run from Dansby Swanson to cut the Mets' lead to 5-2, with both bullpens keeping things scoreless the rest of the way.

    Rays pull off improbable late rally

    With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, there had yet to be a run in the Tampa Bay Rays' road game against the Detroit Tigers, before an incredible offensive explosion saw the Rays prevail 7-0.

    The Rays as a team conceded only three hits and no walks as six pitchers combined beautifully, while the Tigers relied on Matt Manning to get them through most of the game, pitching seven scoreless frames for seven baserunners and seven strikeouts.

    In the ninth inning, after two outs, the Rays rattled off consecutive at-bats resulting in a double, three walks, a single, a double and another single as seven straight batters reached base.

  • Neville hits out at 'desperate' Man Utd transfer strategy amid Arnautovic links Neville hits out at 'desperate' Man Utd transfer strategy amid Arnautovic links

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    United began the Erik ten Hag era in dismal fashion on Sunday as Pascal Gross' double condemned them to an opening-day defeat to the Seagulls.

    The result made Ten Hag the first United boss to lose his first Premier League game at the helm since Louis van Gaal did so against Swansea City in August 2014.

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    United have also failed to entice top target Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona thus far, and Neville did not hold back when discussing the club's recruitment.

    "The first thing you do when the phone rings from Manchester United is reject the bid, because the reality of it is after losing that game against Brighton on Sunday, they're actually negotiating from an even worse position than they were on Saturday, and that's an even bigger problem for them," the former United defender said on Sky Sports.

    "I've got a comment on everything in the world, apart from Manchester United signing Marko Arnautovic. I've got nothing to say.

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    "It's happening time and time again. I don't even get angry or animated about it anymore. I'm not going to comment about it."

    Micah Richards was also unimpressed by the potential acquisition of Arnautovic, adding: "What has happened to Manchester United, seriously? I'm not going to stick the boot in. Arnautovic was a quality player, but he's 33 playing in Italy."

    After playing in the Premier League for Stoke City and West Ham, Arnautovic spent two years in China with Shanghai Port before moving to Bologna – for whom he scored 14 Serie A goals last season – in 2021.

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    "I don't go into names because I think in this pre-season 250 players are involved or linked with Manchester United, so that's it," Ten Hag said. "We have two strikers, maybe a third one, with Marcus Rashford as well.

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    "So I think it was the right decision to do it like this, the typical number nine wasn't available today."

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    Shreyas Iyer top scored with 64 off 40 balls and Deepak Hooda made 38 as India posted 188-7 in the final match of the series in Florida on Sunday, 

    The Windies were skittled out for 100 in reply, with all 10 wickets falling to spinners for the first time in a T20I.

    Bishnoi took 4-16, while Axar Patel (3-15) and Kuldeep Yadav (3-12) also capitalised on West Indies' batting frailties as Shimron Hetmyer (56) scored over half of their runs.

    India were not fazed by losing Ishan Kishan early on, Iyer and Hooda putting on 76 for the second wicket to put them on course to an imposing total.

    Iyer finally fell to Jason Holder after Hayden Walsh saw the back of Hooda, but captain Hardik Pandya made a brisk 28 before he was run out by Odean Smith.

    Smith (3-33) claimed his third scalp by sending Axar (9) packing in the final over, but the Windies were soon in big trouble in the run chase.

    Axar bowled Holder for a duck with the third ball of the innings before getting Shamarh Brooks (13) stumped and the tweaker also cleaned up Devon Thomas (10) in the fifth over.

    Kuldeep stepped up to remove West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran, reducing the Windies to 50-4, before Bishnoi trapped Rovman Powell (9) and Keemo Paul (0) lbw with successive balls.

    Hetmyer was running out of partners as the procession of wickets continued, with the left-hander falling to Bishnoi, who then finished off the job by getting Obed McCoy caught in the deep.

    India put Windies in a spin

    Bishnoi was outstanding as the Windies failed a trial by spin, with Axar and Kuldeep also tormenting Pooran's side.

    The excellent Bishnoi took four wickets for the first time in the shortest format at international level, ending the series on a high note.

    Iyer shows his class

    With such competition for places in a T20 World Cup year, Iyer gave another exhibition of his class.

    He struck two sixes and another eight boundaries, setting India on their way to a total that was far too many for the Windies.

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