MLB

Rays match franchise record and edge closer to MLB history with 12th win, Yankees rally against Guardians

By Sports Desk April 12, 2023

The Tampa Bay Rays claimed a franchise record and moved a step closer to an MLB record with Wednesday's 9-7 win over the Boston Red Sox that extended their season-opening streak to 12 wins.

The Rays improved to 12-0 with the win that included only one home run this time, coming from Randy Arozarena's first-inning opposite field three-run blast.

Taj Bradley fanned eight batters across five innings on his majors debut, allowing five hits, one walk and three runs, before Rafael Devers tightened up the scoreline with a three-run homer in the seventh inning.

But Arozarena's eighth-inning sacrifice fly meant Tampa Bay had done enough to extend their winning streak, meaning they are one short of matching the 13-0 starts by the Milwaukee Brewers (1987) and the Atlanta Braves (1982) which are the longest ever in MLB history.

The Rays matched a franchise record for a winning streak, previously 12 in a row from June 2004.

Tampa Bay have outscored their opponents 92-27 through the first dozen games, blasting 30 homers, which is only bettered by the 2019 Seattle Mariners (32) and the 2000 St Louis Cardinals (31).

Arozarena was struck out twice had four RBIs while Wander Franco went three-for-five with two RBIs and two runs.

Franco's fourth-inning two-run double opened up a 6-1 lead but the Red Sox did well to rally after reliever Zack Kelly left in the fifth with right elbow pain, while Devers snapped a run of 10 hitless at-bats.

The Rays can match the MLB record 13-0 season-opening start when they face the Red Sox again on Thursday.

Yankees win after Boone tossed & ump hospitalised

Aaron Boone was ejected early and Franchy Cordero homered for the fourth time this season as the New York Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-3.

Yankees manager Boone was tossed in the first inning following a confusing play, while second base umpire Larry Vanover was taken to hospital during the fifth after being struck in the face by a relay throw.

Vanover was struck in a bizarre sequence from Kyle Higashiakoa's RBI single, with the incident allowing Isiah Kiner-Falefa to score after Oswaldo Cabrera had plated.

Cordero tied the game with a 439-feet seventh-inning blast, before Cabrera's ninth-inning go-ahead single. Closer Clay Holmes was nervy, loading the bases on a hit batter, but finished the job.

Bregman finds form as Astros triumph

Alex Bregman homered for the second straight game as the inconsistent Houston Astros thrashed the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-0.

Bregman's three-run blast in the seventh inning opened up a 5-0 lead, after rookie outfielder Corey Julks crushed his maiden homer into left field in the fourth inning.

The Astros rode the pitching of Jose Urquidy who allowed only two hits – both singles - and three walks across six scoreless innings, striking out two.

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    Nestor Cortes pitched six scoreless innings and the New York Yankees overcame the loss of Aaron Judge in a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a three-game series between the top teams in the American League East on Tuesday night.

    Judge, the major league leader with 26 home runs and 64 RBIs, left one inning after he was hit on the left pinkie by a 94.1 mph fastball from Albert Suarez.

    Judge remained in the game and scored on Giancarlo Stanton’s single. He played center field in the top of the fourth but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom half.

    Judge said X-rays and a CT scan were negative. He said there is some swelling, and he hopes not to miss any games.

    Cortes allowed five hits with six strikeouts and no walks to improve to 4-2 with a 1.57 ERA at home this season.

    Anthony Volpe, Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu each drove in a run for the Yankees, who extended their lead in the East over Baltimore to 2 ½ games.

    Anthony Santander hit a two-run homer in the ninth off closer Clay Holmes for all the Orioles’ offence. Santander has a major league-best nine home runs this month.

    Orioles third baseman Jordan Westburg left in the middle of the second inning with left hip discomfort after colliding with baserunner Juan Soto.

     

    Mets rally for 7th straight win

    Pete Alonso delivered a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the New York Mets rallied for their season-high seventh straight victory, 7-6 over the slumping Texas Rangers.

    The Mets trailed 6-2 after the Rangers put up a five-run fifth, but they scored once in the sixth, once in the seventh and tied it in the eighth on Francisco Alvarez’s two-run double.

    Rangers closer Kirby Yates walked Brandon Nimmo with one out in the eighth and J.D. Martinez reached on a catcher’s interference call and Alonso’s double into the left-field corner put New York on top.

    Mark Vientos and Nimmo homered for the Mets (35-37), who have won 11 of 13 to get within two games of .500 for the first time since mid-May.

    Defending World Series champion Texas (33-40) has lost five in a row to fall a season-worst seven games under .500.

     

    Dodgers stun Rockies with 7-run 9th

    Jason Heyward hit a pinch-hit grand slam and Teoscar Hernandez added a go-ahead, three-run homer as part of a seven-run ninth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for a shocking 11-9 win over the Colorado Rockies.

    Heyward’s blast came off Tyler Kinney and followed walks by Andy Pages and Miguel Vargas around a single by Miguel Rojas. That drew the Dodgers within 9-8 with one out in the ninth after they trailed 7-2 in the fifth inning.

    Shohei Ohtani singled off Victor Vodnik before Will Smith struck out. After a wild pitch, Freddie Freeman was walked intentionally to bring up Hernandez. He checked his swing at a 1-2 fastball and first base umpire Lance Barksdale ruled it wasn’t a swing, as Colorado manager Bud Black argued and was ejected.

    On the next pitch, Hernandez hit his 18th home run to make it 11-9. After the ball cleared the wall, Rockies right fielder Jake Cave immediately took a few steps toward Barksdale and began yelling.

    Alex Vesia got the first two outs in the ninth and Evan Phillips retired the only batter he faced for his 11th save.

  • MLB Hall of Famer, Giants legend Mays dies at 93 MLB Hall of Famer, Giants legend Mays dies at 93

    Willie Mays, who was one of baseball's most colourful and exciting stars, has died at the age of 93.

    The San Francisco Giants announced Tuesday that he "passed away peacefully" this afternoon.

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    Nicknamed the "Say Hey Kid," Mays made an immediate impact, winning the 1951 Rookie of the Year Award. He finished his career with 660 home runs, 3,283 hits, 1,903 RBIs and a .302 batting average.

    An elite defensive centre fielder, he won 12 Gold Gloves and made one of the most famous catches in baseball history. In Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, while playing centre field, Mays tracked down a deep fly ball by running with his back to the infield toward the warning track to make a thrilling over-the shoulder catch.

     

  • St. Louis City v Colorado Rapids: Carnell desperate for response as winless run persists St. Louis City v Colorado Rapids: Carnell desperate for response as winless run persists

    St. Louis City will be desperate to snap a record six-game winless run in MLS when they host Colorado Rapids at CityPark Stadium on Thursday.

    The Missouri-based side have just three wins from their 17 league matches this term, falling down to 11th in the Western Conference standings.

    Bradley Carnell's men have not triumphed in MLS action since a 3-1 win over Chicago Fire in the middle of May, and were defeated 2-0 by FC Dallas last time out.

    St. Louis coach Carnell referenced injury struggles, however, as his side continue to battle through a troubling period.

    "Obviously, it doesn’t take a genius to look at the roster and see where we are. We're not the first team to struggle with this.

    "Now we get challenged and now get to prove what we are as a group, team, organisation and unit – sticking together.

    "We have a plethora of young players who are performing [for our academy] and we will keep some of those guys with us through the week."

    The Rapids have enjoyed a better season, sitting sixth in the West table after returning to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Austin FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

    That ended a four-game winless streak for Colorado, who secured a much-needed victory after a rocketed finish from Cole Bassett before Rafael Navarro netted his 10th goal of the season.

    The next challenge for the Rapids is to secure back-to-back victories for the first time since April, though they have lost three straight on the road.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    St. Louis City – Jared Stroud

    Jared Stroud was involved in a goal in both matches (one goal, one assist) against the Rapids last season.

    The St. Louis man has eight assists to his name in MLS this season, too, and will hope to deliver once more when Colorado come to town.

    Colorado Rapids – Djordje Mihailovic

    Djordje Mihailovic has scored in each of the Rapids' last three away matches.

    He is the first Rapids player to score in three straight away from home in a single regular season since Shkelzen Gashi scored in five straight on the road from June-October 2016.

    MATCH PREDICTION – ST. LOUIS CITY WIN

    St. Louis are the heavy favourites for victory in this encounter, considering their record against the Rapids.

    Carnell's side collected four points from their two matches against Colorado last season, including a 2-0 win at home last July.

    Colorado have lost their last three road matches, conceding 10 goals in those games, and that run of form comes as no surprise.

    Indeed, the Rapids have lost 15 of their last 21 away from home in all competitions (W3 D3), dating back to last May.

    Yet a home win is by no means a foregone conclusion.

    St. Louis are winless in six straight matches (D2 L4) for the first time in club history. They have just three wins so far, tied for the fewest in MLS this season, though all three have come at home.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    St. Louis City win – 48.8%

    Colorado Rapids win – 25.5%

    Draw – 25.7%

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