MLB

Mets' DeGrom could return against Diamondbacks

By Sports Desk May 05, 2021

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom could return to the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

DeGrom was diagnosed with inflammation in his right lat following an MRI on Tuesday, though the star pitcher avoided the injured list having been shut down for the "next few days".

The two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner was scratched from his scheduled start against the St Louis Cardinals on Tuesday before the MLB showdown was postponed due to inclement weather.

The Mets open a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Friday.

"I was a little bit more sore after my last start. Didn't think too much of it," DeGrom said on Wednesday.

"I noticed my mechanics were off. Looked at some of the video and got some of the numbers, and my arm was down a little bit and ... flying open. So that's obviously going to put more stress on my arm."

"Feeling good now. The plan is to see the doctor again tomorrow and let him re-evaluate," DeGrom said. "It's in a good spot, I guess. If it kind of creeps up towards the armpit, then it's not good, but the spot it's in is definitely manageable."

DeGrom is boasting an MLB-best 0.51 ERA through his five games in MLB in 2021.

The three-time All-Star has allowed 16 hits, five runs and just two homers for the Mets, while he has struck out 59 batters.

DeGrom tied Nolan Ryan's record for most strikeouts through a pitcher's first five starts of a season.

The 32-year-old tallied nine strikeouts over six innings against the Boston Red Sox last month to improve his five-game total to 59, matching Ryan's feat in 1978.

DeGrom also ranks first for strikeouts per nine innings (15.17) among pitchers this season.

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    Jose Ramirez broke a tie with a solo home run in the sixth inning to help the Cleveland Guardians record a sixth consecutive win with Monday's 3-2 victory over the suddenly slumping Baltimore Orioles.

    Ramirez had a run-scoring single earlier in the game in support of Tanner Bibee, who tossed six solid innings before three Cleveland relievers protected the one-run lead and send the Orioles to a season-high fourth straight loss.

    Bibee (6-2) struck out seven while allowing two runs - one earned - on five hits to win his second straight start.

    After Ramirez's 431-foot blast off Cade Povich gave the Guardians a 3-2 edge, Tim Herrin and Hunter Gaddis threw a scoreless inning each before Scott Barlow struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth for his second save of the season.

    The Guardians grabbed an early 1-0 edge as their first three hitters reached base off Povich. Steven Kwan led off the game with a single and Andres Gimenez drew a walk before Ramirez brought in the first run with a base hit.

    Baltimore countered in its half of the first when Gunnar Henderson stroked a lead-off double and crossed the plate on Ryan O'Hearn's one-out single.

    Back-to-back doubles by Gabriel Arias and Bo Naylor in the top of the second put Cleveland back ahead, but the Orioles tied it in the third with an unearned run.

    After Adley Rutschman reached base with a double, the standout catcher advanced to third on a fielding error by Guardians' first baseman Josh Naylor before scoring on Anthony Santander's sacrifice fly.

    Povich (0-2) took the loss after surrendering three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

     

    Lynn, Donovan help Cardinals stay hot

    Lance Lynn yielded one run over 6 2/3 strong innings and Brendan Donovan collected three hits as the surging St. Louis Cardinals ran their winning streak to four games with a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

    The Cardinals have now won nine of 12 after taking the opener of this three-game series, though they had to hang on after Atlanta scored twice off star closer Ryan Helsley in the ninth inning.

    St. Louis had built a seemingly comfortable lead by scoring four runs off Atlanta starter Spencer Schwellenbach in the third inning, all coming with two out. 

    Alec Burleson began the rally with a double that brought in Michael Siani with the game's first run. Willson Contreras, activated from the injured list prior to the game, then plated Burleson with a single in front of another base hit by Nolan Gorman. Donovan then singled to right to score Contreras for a 3-0 advantage.

    Donovan was later thrown out trying to steal second, though Gorman would cross the plate before the tag was made for the Cardinals' fourth run.

    That was enough for Lynn (3-3), who gave up a solo homer to Austin Riley in the fifth inning but just three other hits over his outing. The veteran right-hander struck out five without a walk.

    Helsley converted his 27th straight save opportunity to begin the season, though it didn't come easy as he walked Marcell Ozuna to begin the ninth before allowing a single to Matt Olson. Another walk would load the bases with one out to set up Ramon Laureano's run-scoring single that cut the lead to 4-2.

    Olson scored on a sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter Travis d'Arnaud to get the Braves within a run, though Hesley would strike out Zack Short to end the game.

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    Bryce Harper went 3 for 5 with a homer and five RBIs and was part of a rare triple play turned by the Philadelphia Phillies in an 8-1 rout of the Detroit Tigers.

    The Phillies also got a very good start from Aaron Nola (9-3) en route to their third straight win. The right-hander held the Tigers to one run and six hits while striking out six without a walk over seven innings.

    Nola also snared a line drive off the bat of Matt Vierling with the Tigers threatening in the third inning, then threw the ball to Harper at first base to double off a runner for another out. Detroit's Zach McKinstry was also running from third on the play and was thrown out as well when Harper relayed the ball to third baseman Alec Bohm to complete the triple play.

    According to Major League Baseball, it was the first 1-3-5 triple-play (pitcher-to-first base-to-third base) in an MLB game since 1929.

    The Phillies had a 4-0 lead at that point thanks to a big first inning that began when Kyle Schwarber reached on a fielding error by shortstop McKinstry. Trea Turner then doubled before Harper sent both runners home with a double of his own to open the scoring.

    Bohm then drilled a pitch from Casey Mize over the left field wall for his first of four hits on the night, with the two-run homer giving Philadelphia a 4-0 advantage.

    Detroit got on the board in the fifth when McKinstry doubled and scored on Carson Kelly's single, but Harper's three-run homer off Tyler Holton in the sixth increased the Phillies' lead to 7-1.

    Harper also scored Philadelphia's final run in the eighth by coming home on a double from Bohm, who finished 4 for 5 with three runs batted in.

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    Brazil began their Copa America campaign with a frustrating goalless draw against Costa Rica at the SoFi Stadium.

    The Selecao dominated large periods of the Group D clash. Marquinhos saw a goal ruled out following a VAR review, while Lucas Paqueta rattled the woodwork from distance.

    Yet despite enjoying just under three-quarters of the possession and registering 19 shots to their opponents' two, they could not find the breakthrough and failed to win their opening match in the competition for the first time since 2016.

    Dorival Junior's side subsequently lost early ground on Group D leaders Colombia, who beat Paraguay 2-1 earlier in the day.

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    The Selecao thought they had broken the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Marquinhos applied the finishing touch after Rodrygo glanced Raphinha's free-kick towards the far post, only for the strike to be ruled out for offside following a VAR review. 

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    Dorival withdrew the quiet Vinicius Junior in favour of Endrick and Savinho for the final 20 minutes, and both looked dangerous upon their introductions.

    The latter's cross almost saw Costa Rica defender Haxzel Quiros head into his own net with his blushes spared by Sequeira, who then beat away Guilherme Arana's fierce volley.

    Savinho was involved again in stoppage time as he teed up one final opportunity for Bruno Guimaraes, who bent his first-time shot narrowly wide to compound a frustrating start to the tournament for the nine-time winners.

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    It is fair to say Brazil do not boost particularly fond recent memories of playing in the United States in recent years.

    After all, the Selecao crashed out in the group stages when the Copa America was last held in this nation eight years ago.

    Neymar, who was part of that side, watched on from the stands having been ruled out of this tournament through injury.

    Try as they may, his team-mates just could not break down their opponents and turn their dominance into the elusive goal, with just three of their 19 attempts on target.

    Fresh from playing a starring role in Real Madrid’s LaLiga and Champions League double, Vinicius Junior was unable to inspire his nation – his tallies of 45 touches and 23 passes were the lowest recorded by any of Brazil’s outfield starters.

    On a brighter note, Marquinhos made his 16th Copa America appearance – with only Dani Alves (19) and Thiago Silva (18) playing more times for the Selecao in the competition since 2000 – though a VAR review prevented him from marking the occasion with a goal.

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    Costa Rica were heavy underdogs on their return to the Copa America for the first time in eight years.

    Not since 2004 have Los Ticos progressed from the group stages of this competition, but they certainly know what it takes to claim a scalp on the big stage.

    Exactly 10 years ago, they beat Uruguay and Italy to top Group D, which also featured England, on the way to reaching the World Cup quarter-finals.

    Fast forward a decade and Joel Campbell, who was part of that side, came off the bench for his 140th cap as his nation halted a run of nine successive defeats by Brazil. 

    More impressively, Costa Rica have kept clean sheets in each of their last four competitive games.

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