MLB

Judge blasts Yankees to victory with first homer of season, Ohtani sends down 10 Ks in Angels defeat

By Sports Desk March 31, 2023

After his record-breaking 2022 season, there was no one more fitting to hit the first home run of the 2023 campaign than Aaron Judge as the New York Yankees won 5-0 over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

Judge, who blasted an American League single-season record 62 home runs last season, lit up Opening Day with the first home-run shot of 2023 in the first inning at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees outfielder needed only two pitches before launching Logan Webb's sinker over the center-field wall. Judge's blast had an exit velocity of 109.3 mph and traveled 422 feet according to Statcast projections.

Gerrit Cole did the rest on the mound, recording an Opening Day franchise record 11 strikeouts across six scoreless innings.

Gleyber Torres creamed a two-run blast in the fourth inning to open up a 3-0 lead, while Torres scored again from a D.J. LeMahieu single in the seventh.

Judge chimed in with a broken-bat RBI single in the same inning, with Jose Trevino scoring, securing a 5-0 win and initiating "M-V-P!" chants from the home crowd.

Top prospect Anthony Volpe also got a rousing reception from the Yankees faithful, finishing 0-2 with a walk in his maiden start at shortstop.

Jays edge Cards in 19-run, 34-hit epic

The Toronto Blue Jays edged the St Louis Cardinals 10-9 in a wild 19-run 34-hit Opening Day classic where Vladimir Guerrero Jr played a key role.

Guerrero brought home the decisive run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly for new addition Kevin Kiermaier to score the go-ahead run. Guerrero finished with three RBIs from two hits.

Alejandro Kirk had helped the Jays to a 3-0 first-inning lead with a two-run single on a line drive, after Daulton Varsho drove in George Springer on a double.

The chaotic contest saw the Jays become the first MLB team to allow a go-ahead run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings on the road and still win since the Boston Red Sox in 1938.

Ohtani sends down 10 Ks in Angels defeat

Shohei Ohtani took the unusual step of calling his own pitches, sending down 10 strikeouts, but it was not enough for the Los Angeles Angels in a 2-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

Ohtani threw six shutout innings, allowing only two hits, but the A's capitalized after he exited, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory, scoring two at the bottom of the eighth.

Tony Kemp doubled on a fly ball past Mike Trout in center field with Esteury Ruiz scoring, before Aledmys Diaz's line drive drove in Kemp.

Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe produced a moment of magic in the fifth inning with a no-look catch, leaving Ohtani stunned.

Related items

  • Verstappen crashes as Leclerc takes Monaco pole Verstappen crashes as Leclerc takes Monaco pole

    Charles Leclerc ensured pole position for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen could only manage sixth place after crashing into a wall during qualifying.

    Leclerc beat Oscar Piastri by 0.154 seconds for his third pole in the last four races in Monaco, where Ferrari have excelled on the narrow track layout, high kerbs and slow-speed corners.

    Verstappen was seeking history by surpassing Ayrton Senna for an eighth successive pole in Qualifying, while maintaining his perfect record at the start of the season.

    However, the runaway Drivers' Championship leader hit the wall at Sainte Devote on his final lap, and had to settle for sixth on a track where overtaking is regarded as the most difficult on the calendar.

    Leclerc now hopes he and Ferrari can now convert their position at the head of the grid into victory, having failed to do so in each of the last two years.

    "It was nice. The feeling after a qualifying lap is always very special here," he said. "[I am] really, really happy about the lap, the excitement is so high, but it feels really good.

    "But now, I know more often than not, qualifying is not everything. As much as it counts, we need to put everything together on the Sunday. In past years, we did not manage to do it, but we are a stronger team now, and I am sure we can achieve the target."

    His Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz was third, though he faces an investigation for impeding Williams' Alex Albon in the first session, ahead of Lando Norris and George Russell.

  • Lino: Final-day win at Sociedad a big boost for Atletico Lino: Final-day win at Sociedad a big boost for Atletico

    Samuel Lino believes Atletico Madrid's final-day victory over Real Sociedad will provide them with a timely boost heading into next season.

    Diego Simeone's side ran out 2-0 winners at Reale Arena in their final match of the 2023-24 campaign. Lino opened the scoring after just nine minutes, while Reinildo sealed the points in second-half stoppage time.

    However, despite a fourth-place finish in LaLiga, it brought the curtain down on a third successive trophyless season for Atleti, who will finish at least 18 points adrift of champions Real Madrid.

    Los Rojiblancos fell to Borussia Dortmund following a 5-4 aggregate defeat in the Champions League quarter-finals, while they were soundly beaten by Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

    But Lino, who had his fourth direct goal involvement in three appearances (one goal, three assists), thinks a hard-earned win against their sixth-place opponents - a fourth success in five games - will give him and his team-mates positive momentum to build on next season.

    "It was an important victory to finish the season well," he told Movistar Plus. "We were good, focused, played a good game and that's what we wanted.

    "Overall, we were not within the club's objectives, but we finished well, and now we have to switch off. A win away from home could help us to come back strong next season."

  • Real Sociedad 0-2 Atletico Madrid: Simeone's men end LaLiga campaign with three points Real Sociedad 0-2 Atletico Madrid: Simeone's men end LaLiga campaign with three points

    Atletico Madrid ended their LaLiga campaign with a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad on Saturday thanks to a first-half strike by Brazilian winger Samuel Lino and a stoppage-time Reinildo tap-in.

    Atletico, who had already secured fourth place and a spot in next season's Champions League, finished the season on 76 points, 11 ahead of Athletic Bilbao in fifth.

    Meanwhile, sixth-placed La Real have qualified for the Europa League.

    Runaway champions Real Madrid are top of the standings on 94 points, 12 points ahead of second-placed Barcelona and 13 clear of Girona in third.

    Atletico took the lead in the ninth minute after Marcos Llorente burst up the right wing and delivered a low cross to the far post for Lino, who netted with a tidy finish past Alex Remiro.

    Remiro and Atletico's keeper Jan Oblak made several saves before Atletico were reduced to 10 men after Saul Niguez was shown a second yellow card in the 92nd minute.

    In the last move of the match, Atletico secured the three points on a counter-attack led by Alvaro Morata, who delivered a perfectly placed cross for substitute Reinildo to tap into the empty net.

    Data debrief

    Diego Simeone's men ended the campaign with four wins in their last five league outings, and their performance was very much worth the three points against La Real.

    Atletico accumulated 2.31 xG (expected goals) to the hosts' 0.59, scoring their 10th and 11th goals in their last six matches to end the season on a high.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.