MLB

Rays grab a share of history after improving to 13-0, Rutschman hits walk-off for the O's

By Sports Desk April 13, 2023

The Tampa Bay Rays tied the record for the best start to an MLB season since 1884 after defeating the Boston Red Sox 9-3 on Thursday to improve to 13-0.

To reach 13-0, the Rays completed their fourth consecutive series sweep to begin the campaign. They began their season at home with a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, before a three-game sweep at the Washington Nationals, followed by a three-game sweep of the visiting Oakland Athletics.

Thursday's victory polished off a four-game series against the Red Sox, and while the whole team is in great touch, nobody is swinging a hotter bat than second-baseman Brandon Lowe.

Lowe, 28, hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, marking his fifth game with a home run from his past six starts. He has made the most of his extra-base hits, with only one double and no triples, as five of his 11 total hits this season have cleared the wall.

Tampa Bay ended up scoring the last eight runs of the contest, as the Red Sox opened up a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning thanks to a home run from Rob Refsnyder and RBIs to Enrique Hernandez and Justin Turner.

But a seven-run explosion from the Rays at the bottom of the fifth turned the tide, highlighted by a bases-clearing double from designated hitter Harold Ramirez as one of his three hits on the day.

Tampa Bay starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs was forced to leave earlier than planned in the fourth innings due to inflammation in his elbow, but that only put a slight damper on the evening as they joined the 1982 Atlanta Braves and 1987 Milwaukee Brewers as the only teams since 1884 to reach 13-0.

One more win on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday would give the Rays the best post-1900 start to a season, with 20-0 the overall record set by the 1884 St Louis Maroons.

Rutschman nails walk-off homer for Baltimore

Elite young catcher Adley Rutschman was the hero as he connected on a walk-off home run to give the Baltimore Orioles an 8-7 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

In a back-and-forth contest where the teams combined for 21 hits, Rutschman himself was hit-less from four at-bats when he stepped up for a fifth time to lead off the bottom of the ninth.

He saw two fastballs, and connected on the second, sending it 405 feet to right-center field and ending the game.

Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo collected his league-leading seventh stolen base, while team-mate Cedric Mullins stole his sixth to sit in a tie for second.

Twins hammer Yankees rookie

It was a day to forget for New York Yankees rookie starting pitcher Jhony Brito as he was only able to secure two outs before being pulled in his side's 11-2 home loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Brito gave up six hits and a walk, punctuated by a two-run Michael Taylor homer to put the Twins up 7-0 in the first inning. Brito was pulled, but his replacement Colten Brewer gave up two more solo homers before the end of the first.

Taylor ended up hitting his second two-run homer of the game in the third inning, before Anthony Rizzo added a pair of consolation solo home runs to put the Yankees on the board.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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  • 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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