MLB

Angels star Ohtani makes more MLB history, Posey's Giants win 12-0

By Sports Desk April 27, 2021

Shohei Ohtani made more MLB history as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 9-4.

Angels two-way star Ohtani became the first player in almost 100 years to start a game on the mound while also entering the day leading the majors in home runs.

New York Yankees great and Hall of Famer Babe Ruth was the last to do so in 1921.

Ohtani, who picked up his first win since May 2018, went two-for-three with two RBIs and three runs scored against the Rangers, striking out nine over five innings on Monday.

He became the first American League (AL) player to reach those numbers in a game since Luis Tiant in 1967, according to Stats Perform.

"A pretty complete game of baseball," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "If you weren't entertained by watching him tonight, you can't be entertained watching the game of baseball."

Angels star Mike Trout also made his return from an elbow injury, going four-for-five at the plate.

 

Posey and Giants show no mercy

Buster Posey had a two-run homer among his four hits as the San Francisco Giants crushed the Colorado Rockies 12-0. Posey also caught Anthony DeSclafani's three-hit shutout. It is the eighth time Posey has caught a shutout while having more hits himself than the entire opposing team – the most such games by any catcher in the modern era, per Stats Perform.

The Philadelphia Phillies edged the St Louis Cardinals 2-1. Zach Wheeler became the first Phillies pitcher to go eight-plus innings pitched with one hit or fewer since Cole Hamels in 2015. Wheeler gave up one hit and one run while striking out nine.

 

Yankees continue to struggle

The Yankees are not getting hits at the moment. The storied franchise managed just four in a 4-2 loss to AL East rivals the Baltimore Orioles. Between All-Star sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, the pair only managed two hits. The Yankees are bottom of the AL East. Baltimore have finished above the Yankees just three times in the AL East since MLB went to six divisions in 1994, doing so in 1997, 2014 and 2016.

World series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers have now suffered back-to-back defeats, upstaged 5-3 by the Cincinnati Reds after 10 innings.

 

Bryant slam!

Kris Bryant hit the sixth grand slam of his career – a shot off Charlie Morton in the third inning which tied the game. The Chicago Cubs still lost 8-7 to the Atlanta Braves.

 

Monday's results

Cincinnati Reds 5-3 Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians 5-3 Minnesota Twins
Atlanta Braves 8-7 Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles 4-2 New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics 2-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Miami Marlins 8-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels 9-4 Texas Rangers
Houston Astros 5-2 Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants 12-0 Colorado Rockies

 

Tigers at White Sox

The Chicago White Sox (12-9) – riding a four-game winning streak – will host the Detroit Tigers (7-16) in Tuesday's series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lucas Giolito is set to start for the White Sox as the Tigers counter with Jose Urena.

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  • French Open: Nadal overtakes Federer after 106th Roland Garros win French Open: Nadal overtakes Federer after 106th Roland Garros win

    Rafael Nadal has surpassed Roger Federer for match wins at a single grand slam after defeating Jordan Thompson in the first round at the French Open.

    Nadal won 6-2 6-2 6-2 against the world number 82 on Monday, as he bids for a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros.

    The 35-year-old, 21-time grand slam champion has recorded 106 victories from 109 matches, excluding walkovers, at the French Open, only losing to Robin Soderling (2008) and Novak Djokovic (2015 and 2021).

    Nadal's remarkable form in Paris means that he has now overtaken fellow great Roger Federer when it comes to winning matches at one of the majors.

    Federer has tallied up 105 wins at Wimbledon, which the Swiss has won on eight occasions, last doing so in 2017.

    Nadal, one of only three players to have previously won the French Open without losing a single set, will face wild card Corentin Moutet in round two, after the Frenchman defeated Stan Wawrinka – the 2015 champion – 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

  • French Open: Nadal hardly breaks sweat in routine first-round at Roland Garros French Open: Nadal hardly breaks sweat in routine first-round at Roland Garros

    Rafael Nadal cruised through his first-round match against Jordan Thompson to make a strong start to his French Open campaign.

    Nadal is in the hunt for a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros and he turned in a dominant display on Monday, winning 6-2 6-2 6-2 to progress with ease.

    It took Nadal a little over two hours to see off his opponent on Court Philippe-Chatrier and claim a 24th win of what is already proving to be a wonderful season.

    Nadal, seeded fifth, controlled the match throughout, breaking twice in the first set, which he sealed at the first time of asking.

    Thompson, the world number 82, conceded serve again at the start of the second set, and he was left hanging over the net in despair when Nadal turned defence into attack to deny the 28-year-old holding in his next service game.

    A deft drop shot saw Thompson recover but Nadal was clinical when chances to break came, and he took all three on offer in the second set, though the Australian also grasped his only chance to do so.

    Thompson salvaged the first three break points in set three but Nadal would not be denied, and he nosed into a 3-2 lead before breaking again to serve out for the match.

    A stray shot into the net from Thompson wrapped up the win as Nadal – one of only three players to have previously won the French Open without losing a single set – made an emphatic start.

    Data Slam: Nadal's incredible Roland Garros record

    Nadal is the only player to have won the same grand slam title 10+ times, and of the 109 matches he has now played at Roland Garros (excluding walkovers), the 35-year-old has lost just three – once against Robin Soderling (2008) and twice to Novak Djokovic (2015, 2021).

    Thompson, who made 29 unforced errors, seemed frustrated at his own performance, but he was taking on a true great of the game.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Nadal – 27/21
    Thompson – 14/29

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Nadal – 1/0
    Thompson – 5/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Nadal – 7/11
    Thompson – 1/2

  • Salah and Son more deserving of Player of the Season award than De Bruyne, says Thompson Salah and Son more deserving of Player of the Season award than De Bruyne, says Thompson

    Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min were more deserving winners of the Premier League Player of the Season award than Kevin De Bruyne.

    That is according to Liverpool legend Phil Thompson, who also told Stats Perform that Erling Haaland will not necessarily make Manchester City a stronger side next season.

    City playmaker De Bruyne last week edged out Son, Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joao Cancelo, Jarrod Bowen, Bukayo Saka and James Ward-Prowse for the award.

    The Belgium international played a key part in City's successful title defence with 15 goals in 30 league appearances and a further eight assists.

    Remarkably, the 30-year-old's 15 goals came from an expected goals (xG) return of just 6.2, meaning he scored nine goals more than expected from the quality of his chances.

    However, his 23 direct goal involvements were fewer than Salah (36), Son (30) and Harry Kane (26) managed, albeit having played at least five games fewer than any of those.

    De Bruyne ranked above each of those players for chances created (87), though, and was behind only Alexander-Arnold (90) and Bruno Fernandes (89).

    But Thompson believes that Liverpool forward Salah and Tottenham's Son – who shared the Golden Boot with 23 goals – were more consistent than De Bruyne over the season.

    "I think it has to be Mo. I know the players have all given it to Kevin De Bruyne and he's a wonderful player," Thompson said. 

    "He's been wonderful for the last couple of months, but it's over a season and people get swayed by people who finish the season well. 

    "That is still in their minds when they're just putting their name on that form, or whether it's all done on phone now. 

    "But I would like to think over the whole year, and yes, Mo hasn't been rattling them in for the last six weeks or so, but overall, he has been.

    "They were talking around Christmas time that this is the best player in the world. He's not gone from being the best player in the world to playing second fiddle to De Bruyne. 

    "I'm sorry. Mo Salah was the player of the season and then probably Son has probably been more consistent over the whole nine months."

    City's title triumph was their fourth in the past five seasons and they have already moved to bolster their squad with the signing of Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

    Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund, a tally only bettered by Kylian Mbappe (90) and Robert Lewandowski (123) since January 18, 2020. 

    But, citing a rather mixed campaign for British record signing Jack Grealish, Thompson questioned whether Pep Guardiola will get the most out of Haaland.

    "He is a wonderful player, a great player," said Thompson, who won 17 major honours across 13 years playing for Liverpool, before a stint coaching the Reds.

    "Is he a missing piece for the jigsaw for them in the Champions League? They can still do things, but it might upset them a little bit. 

    "As you see with Grealish, who was £100million, has that worked? He's playing as a left-winger because it's the system that Pep likes. 

    "So you've got an out-and-out centre-forward who, yes, is full of energy, but he doesn't understand the press that City use. It'll be a change for them. That might change things." 

    Liverpool, who have seen Luis Diaz hit the ground running since joining from Porto in January, are themselves expected to be active in the upcoming transfer window.

    A deal for Fulham teenager Fabio Carvalho is already in place, but Thompson is not sure if signing a big name is really necessary in order to keep pace with champions City.

    "We have a set pattern, though I still hope that we'll sign a couple of players," he said.

    "I do believe that's what you have to do all the time to give that little bit of a buzz in the dressing room, to change things up on the pitch. And we have just come up short."

    The 92 points accrued by Liverpool this season is the joint-eighth most in Premier League history, yet it was not enough to pip City, who finished one point better off.

    Thompson added: "We have to find the magic ingredient to go that extra couple of points to win that league, but we don't have to do too much. 

    "Chelsea signed Romelu Lukaku and he played well those first half a dozen games. They were going to win the league the way the season started and look how that's unravelled.

    "It's not necessarily a gimme that it always works."

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