MLB

Gray sets up Twins win over Guardians as Yepez crushes Marlins

By Sports Desk June 28, 2022

Sonny Gray pitched seven scoreless innings as the Minnesota Twins stretched their lead atop the American League Central on Monday, trouncing the Cleveland Guardians 11-1.

Gray was in solid form for the Twins despite only striking out three, giving up only three hits over 97 pitches in those seven innings.

The biggest surprise of the night was the Twins dominating at the plate without a big performance from Luis Arraez, who went zero-for-three on the night. Gary Sanchez's three-run home run in the second inning off Triston McKenzie helped set up the win.

Nick Gordon and Carlos Correa each added home runs in the first a high-profile five-game series in the AL Central.

With the opening win, the Twins extended their lead in the division to three games over the Guardians, who have now lost their last five games.

Yankees leave it late against A's

Josh Donaldson hit a two-run double to spark a winning six-run sixth inning for the New York Yankees, who claimed a 9-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Trailing 5-3 coming into the bottom of the sixth, the Pinstripes were able to rally on the back of catcher's interference calls, a hit batter and a walk to set Donaldson's double up and the eventual win.

The Yankees moved to 54-20 for the season, extending their lead over the Houston Astros in the American League to eight games.

Yepez and Cards crush Marlins

The St. Louis Cardinals moved to within a game of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central, shutting out the Miami Marlins 9-0.

Cardinals designated hitter Juan Yepez had the first multi-home run game of his career, going long off Pablo Lopez and Richard Bleier in the fourth and sixth innings respectively.

Paul Goldschmidt now leads the major leagues for batting average (.347) and OBP (.429) after claiming four hits from as many at-bats.

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  • 'It's an incredible honour': Judge ties Maris' Yankees and AL single-season record with 61st HR 'It's an incredible honour': Judge ties Maris' Yankees and AL single-season record with 61st HR

    New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge made baseball history after blasting his 61st home run of the season to equal Roger Maris' franchise and American League (AL) single-season record.

    Judge, who had gone homerless in seven games, crushed a two-run homer in the seventh inning in Wednesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Judge's record-tying 61st home run comes with another seven games remaining in the regular season. Maris' mark dates back to 1961, edging Babe Ruth's previous record of 60 in 1927.

    "It's an incredible honour, getting a chance to be associated with one of the Yankee greats, one of baseball's greats, words can't describe it," Judge said.

    "That's one thing so special about the Yankees organisation, is all the guys that came before us and kind of paved the way and played the game the right way, did things the right way, did a lot of great things in this game and getting a chance to be mentioned with those guys now is, I can't even describe it, it's an incredible honor that's for sure."

    The 30-year-old had gone 31 consecutive homerless plate appearances coming into Wednesday's game with some speculation he may be rested with the Yankees clinching the AL East on Tuesday.

    Only three players have scored more homers in a single season for any franchise than Judge; Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1999 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999). Those three players all achieved the feat during the steroid era.

    "I think it puts it a notch above," Boone said about Judge last week. "I got to believe it's right there with some of the best very short list of all-time seasons. I go back to the context of the season, and the more I look at it and dive into it, it's got to be an all-time great season."

  • Dodgers post 107th regular season MLB win to smash franchise record Dodgers post 107th regular season MLB win to smash franchise record

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have set a new franchise record for wins in a single season after notching their 107th victory of the MLB campaign against the San Diego Padres.

    The California outfit posted a 1-0 victory over their neighbours at Petco Park on Wednesday to shatter their previous best of 106, set last year as they came home fifth in the National League (NL) West division.

    This time around, the Dodgers sit top of the pile, with only last year's World Series runners-up, the Houston Astros, cracking the triple-digit mark for wins this term. The Dodgers can still better their new record, with seven regular season games to come.

    Ex-NL MVP Freddie Freeman made the clutch play in the 10th inning for a career-high 192 hits this season to secure the win, delighting manager Dave Roberts.

    "To know that we’ve made our mark on Dodgers history is pretty remarkable," he said. "A lot of people have their hands on this, not just this year but, kind of building where we’re at right now. It’s something to be proud of."

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  • Judge should be true single-season home run champion if he reaches 62, says Maris Jr Judge should be true single-season home run champion if he reaches 62, says Maris Jr

    New York Yankees history-maker Aaron Judge should be revered as the single-season home run champion if he can crush a 62nd blast this season, according to Roger Maris Jr.

    Judge matched Maris Sr's Yankees and American League single-season record of 61 home runs from 1961 with a seventh-inning two-run shot in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, ending a run of seven games without a homer.

    That moved Judge beyond Yankees great Babe Ruth (60 in 1927), with only three players having hit more homers in one season: Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1998 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999).

    All three of those players set their marks during baseball's so-called 'steroid era', making Judge's achievement appear all the more remarkable. Bonds and Sosa have denied knowingly using steroids.

    Maris Jr, who sat in the crowd next to Judge's mother Patty for Wednesday's historic moment, said the Yankees outfielder's feat stood out.

    "He's clean. He's a Yankee," Maris Jr told reporters. "He plays the game the right way. And he gives people a chance to look at somebody who should be revered."

    The Yankees have seven regular-season games remaining, so Judge is unlikely to get near Bonds' all-time record of 73 despite being on track for that at one point earlier this season.

    Instead, Judge will next set his sights when they resume at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday on breaking Maris Sr's mark, which Maris Jr said would set him apart.

    "He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ," Maris Jr said. "That's really who he is, if he hits 62."

    Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Judge for being a great teammate and making the whole group feel part of his achievement.

    "He's as beloved as they come," Boone said. "Everyone is just so excited for him but also, I think it's partly because of how Aaron is, everyone feels a part of it.

    "That's who he is as a teammate. That's part of the reason guys are so excited. That's a tribute to him."

    Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, who also achieved franchise history on Wednesday by tying Ron Guidry's record of 248 strikeouts in a single season, was glowing towards Judge.

    "I think it's more special because of what Aaron did tonight, to be honest," Cole said. "It's obviously a really special number. Guidry was so good for us, so magical and his record held for so long."

    On Judge's 61st home run, Cole added: "It kind of felt like we were the only ones there. It was just a really special moment of togetherness, and we're all so proud of him and know how hard he works.

    "I know he wants to keep it low-key, but boy does he deserve it."

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