MLB

Angels' stars combine to down Rangers, Dodgers edge Mariners in pitchers' duel

By Sports Desk April 21, 2021

The Angels' stars were on display Tuesday in Anaheim, as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit towering home runs to back two-way star Shohei Ohtani and the pitching staff in a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers. 

Making his second start of the season, Ohtani baffled Rangers hitters for better or for worse in his four shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, but walked six and struck out seven as he worked his way into and out of jams throughout his stint on the mound. 

Though Ohtani's 11 walks through two starts are a concern, MLB hitters have yet to demonstrate they can do much damage against him with the bat. 

The same cannot be said for the heart of the Angels' lineup. After Trout hammered a 446-foot home run in the sixth inning, Pujols hit one exactly the same distance in the seventh. It was Pujols' second homer of the season and the 664th of his career.

 

Urias takes pitchers' duel

There was little margin for error between the Dodgers' Julio Urias (seven innings, one hit, career-high 11 strikeouts) and the Mariners' Marco Gonzales (seven innings, two hits, six strikeouts) on Tuesday.

The two teams combined for just three hits -- a single and a double by Los Angeles and a single by Seattle -- as the World Series champions prevailed 1-0.

According to Stats Perform, the four combined total bases were the fewest ever in an interleague game. 

 

Cardinals' bullpen blows up

Adam Wainwright turned in a vintage start for St. Louis against the Nationals, but a meltdown by the Cardinals' bullpen led to a 3-2 loss in Washington. Wainwright left after seven innings, holding a 2-1 lead after striking out 10. 

But his replacement, Giovanny Gallegos, could not close the door. He walked the first batter he faced and hit the second before eventually walking Josh Harrison with the bases loaded and two outs to force in what proved to be the winning run. 

 

Spectacular catch backs spectacular pitching

Corbin Burnes had another remarkable outing for the Brewers, striking out 10 without walking a batter to give him 40 strikeouts and zero walks this season. According to Stats Perform, Burnes is the first pitcher to fan at least 40 without walking a man over any four-game span in the modern era.

Impressive as those numbers are, Burnes would not have kept the Padres off the scoreboard in a 6-0 win without an incredible diving catch by Billy McKinney in left field to end the fourth inning with two San Diego runners stranded on base. 

 

Tuesday's results

New York Yankees 3-1 Atlanta Braves
Oakland Athletics 7-0 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 1-0 Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox 8-5 Cleveland Indians
Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals 3-2 St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants 10-7 Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox 4-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago Cubs 3-1 New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays 14-7 Kansas City Royals
Colorado Rockies 6-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels 6-2 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 6-0 San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Cincinnati Reds (suspended)
Pittsburgh Pirates-Detroit Tigers (postponed)

 

Giants at Phillies

San Francisco (10-6) will turn to pitcher Anthony DeSclafani to try to complete a three-game sweep of the Phillies (8-8). The right-hander has allowed just two runs over 17 innings in three starts this season, for a 1.06 ERA. 

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    Edmundo Sosa hit a three-run homer and Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto had solo shots as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Texas Rangers 11-4 for the best 50-game start in franchise history on Wednesday.

    Realmuto finished with three RBIs and Alec Bohm had a two-run double to extend the lead to 10-3 in the sixth inning. He is tied for the National League lead with 46 RBIs.

    The major league-leading Phillies (36-14) are just the 26th team in NL history to win at least 36 of their first 50 games played. The 1988 Atlanta Braves were the last team to get off to such a start. Only 17 teams in AL history have reached that mark. The last was the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who went on to 116 wins.

    Philadelphia has won five straight and 17 of its last 20 games overall and 17 of 19 at home.

    Realmuto’s home run in the third snapped a 2-2 tie and his two-run single in the sixth made it 8-3.

    Corey Seager and Leody Taveras homered for the defending World Series champion Rangers, who have lost four straight and nine of 11 to drop two games under .500.

    Streaking Indians beat Mets

    Johnathan Rodriguez drove in the go-ahead run with his first major league hit and the Cleveland Guardians rallied for their sixth consecutive win, 6-3 over the New York Mets.

    Rodriguez, playing in his second game since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus two days earlier, snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a grounder through the right side of the infield.

    Cleveland, which trailed 3-0 heading into the sixth, moved into a tie for the second-best record in the majors at 33-17.

    Jose Ramirez and Kyle Manzardo had RBI doubles in the eighth after Andres Gimenez hit a tying, three-run homer in the sixth off starter Jose Quintana.

    The Mets got home runs from Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Harrison Bader but have lost eight of 10 to fall to a season-high seven games under .500 (21-28).

    Royals’ Ragans dominates Tigers

    Cole Ragans pitched one-hit ball over six innings and struck out a career-high 12 to lead the Kansas City Royals to their sixth straight win, 8-3 over the Detroit Tigers.

    Ragans walked three but held the Tigers hitless until Riley Greene’s two-out single in the sixth to win for the fourth time in five decisions.

    Freddy Fermin drove in three runs, Bobby Witt Jr. added two hits and two RBIs and Nelson Velazquez homered as the Royals won their first series against the Tigers since September 2002. It was Kansas City’s first sweep of Detroit since July 2021.

    Tarik Skubal allowed four runs on six hits over five innings to end his 14-game unbeaten streak dating to Aug. 29.

    Detroit has lost four straight to fall a season-worst three games under .500.

  • Europa League misery will not taint Alonso's Leverkusen pride Europa League misery will not taint Alonso's Leverkusen pride

    Xabi Alonso will not allow Bayer Leverkusen's Europa League final defeat against Atalanta to alter his pride, after their historic 51-game unbeaten run ended on Wednesday.

    The Bundesliga champions were eyeing an unlikely treble, with the DFB-Pokal final to come this weekend, but those plans came crashing down in a 3-0 loss to Atalanta.

    Ademola Lookman single-handedly powered Gian Piero Gasperini's side to their first title in 61 years, producing an individual performance for the ages with a decisive hat-trick.

    European heartbreak marked Leverkusen's first loss this season, with their last defeat coming to Bochum on the last day of the 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign, as Alonso's side were finally stopped.

    Yet the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder says nothing can take away from Leverkusen's memorable campaign.

    "For me the result today does not change one bit how I feel about my players or what we have been doing," the Leverkusen head coach told TNT Sports.

    "It hurts because we wanted to lift the trophy but you can't have everything. We lifted the Bundesliga and we have the chance to lift the DFB-Pokal on Saturday."

    Leverkusen are the first team to win the league title but lose the UEFA Cup/Europa League final in the same term since Benfica in 2013-14, and the first German side to do since Borussia Dortmund in 2001-02.

    "This season and achievements have surpassed all expectations," Alonso continued.

    "I was hoping and getting ready to maybe do something great but this has been so much more.

    "To achieve what we have for a club like Leverkusen is great. To be in the last week of the season having lifted the Bundesliga and then going for the Pokal too means a lot.

    "First year as a coach, it is going quite well!"

    A monumental occasion at the Aviva Stadium marked Atalanta's first-ever major European trophy as they became the 10th different Italian side to do so, second only to teams from England (13).

    Alonso was unsurprised by the excellence of Gasperini and his Atalanta side, however.

    "It is not something they have just done this year, they have been doing it for many years," the Spaniard said, acknowledging the work of 66-year-old Gasperini.

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    "We were not able to come back and get that back. It was not meant to be.

    "The unbeaten run has come to an end but congratulations to Atalanta, they deserve it, so nothing more to say."

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    Gian Piero Gasperini and Ademola Lookman both cherished creating Atalanta history after ending Bayer Leverkusen's unbeaten run and securing Europa League glory.

    Lookman produced a performance worthy of the most important European moment in Atalanta's history, securing the club's first-ever major trophy on the continent after his dazzling hat-trick.

    The Nigeria winger is just the sixth player to manage a treble in a major UEFA final and the first since Jupp Heynckes’ for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Twente in 1975.

    Lookman will be the toast of Bergamo when Gasperini's side head home, boasting their first trophy in 61 years – after the Coppa Italia – following a 3-0 triumph to end Leverkusen's 51-game unbeaten run.

    "One of the best nights of my life," the hat-trick hero told TNT Sports in Dublin.

    "Amazing performance from the team, we did it, we did it, we did it! I haven't got much else to say, but fantastic."

    Lookman is also just the second player to score a treble for an Italian side in the final of a major European competition, after Pierino Prati for Milan against Ajax in the 1969 European Cup

    Preparing to leave the Aviva Stadium with the Europa League trophy in hand, Lookman could not wait to celebrate a seismic moment in the club's history.

    "We've got to celebrate, we made history tonight," he added.

    Gasperini, aged 66 years and 117 days on Wednesday, is the oldest coach to win his debut major European final, and the second Italian coach to win the Europa League after Maurizio Sarri in 2019.

    The veteran Atalanta mastermind echoed Lookman's sentiment, after securing just a second trophy in the Italian club's history.

    "I think we wrote history, also for the way we won it," said Gasperini, speaking to UEFA's official media channels.

    "It was just extraordinary, we defeated Liverpool, Sporting who won the championship. When we faced Liverpool they were first in the Premier League... And now the German champions.

    "Incredible. The boys were extraordinary, a memorable performance."

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