MLB

Cubs inflict more walk-off pain on slumping Dodgers, Means throws no-hitter in O's shutout

By Sports Desk May 06, 2021

A new day but the same result for struggling World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who suffered a 6-5 walk-off defeat to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

The Dodgers were condemned to walk-off misery in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader and the slumping MLB holders experienced the same fate midweek.

Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI single in a two-run 11th inning to lift the Cubs, who completed a sweep of the Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The Cubs swept the Dodgers – who lost for the 13th time in 17 games following a 13-2 start to the season – at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2008.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Orioles ace John Means entered the MLB history books after throwing a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners.

Means threw the Orioles' first solo no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969 as Baltimore blanked the Mariners 6-0.

It was an almost perfect performance for Means, who retired all 27 batters he faced in Seattle but did allow a baserunner when Sam Haggerty reached on a third-strike wild pitch in the third inning.

Means is the first pitcher to throw a non-perfect no-hitter in which the team did not record a walk, hit by pitch or error.

According to Stats Perform, Means is also the second pitcher in American League (AL) history to throw a no-hitter with 12-plus strikeouts and 0 walks, joining Felix Fernandez – who had a perfect game in 2012.

 

Fulmer follows in Ryan's footsteps

Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer earned his first career save in a 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox. Fulmer retied Bobby Dalbec and Kike Hernandez to snap Detroit's six-game skid. According to Stats Perform, Fulmer is the first pitcher to get a save the day after a start of less than an inning since Nolan Ryan in 1973.

Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam to lead the Atlanta Braves past the Washington Nationals 5-3, while Didi Gregorius also managed a grand slam as the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4.

Giancarlo Stanton stayed hot with a homer and four runs in the New York Yankees' 6-3 win against the Houston Astros. Stanton homered in back-to-back games for the first time since last July as the Yankees extended their winning streak to six games.

 

A's falter against Jays

The Oakland Athletics were leading the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 before faltering. Toronto produced a five-run eighth inning to rally past the A's. Lou Trivino struggled in the eighth, allowing three hits, five runs – all earned – and two walks. Toronto won 9-4.

 

Ohtani the freak

Is there anything Shohei Ohtani cannot do? The two-way Los Angeles Angels star – returning to the mound – caught his own pitch in a fine example of his fielding and agility. Ohtani pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit while striking out seven but the Angels still lost 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Wednesday results

Cincinnati Reds 1-0 Chicago White Sox
Colorado Rockies 6-5 San Francisco Giants
Baltimore Orioles 6-0 Seattle Mariners
St Louis Cardinals 4-1 New York Mets
New York Mets 7-2 St Louis Cardinals
Miami Marlins 8-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves 5-3 Washington Nationals
New York Yankees 6-3 Houston Astros
Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Detroit Tigers 6-5 Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs 6-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
Texas Rangers 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 5-4 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 Oakland Athletics

 

Blue Jays at Athletics

The Blue Jays will look to split their series away to the Athletics on Thursday. Blue Jays ace Ryu Hyun-jin starts, while the A's counter with Mike Fiers.

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  • MLB: Guardians, Cardinals extend streaks MLB: Guardians, Cardinals extend streaks

    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.

    Schwellenbach (1-3) struck out six over five innings but permitted all four St. Louis runs on eight hits.

     

    Phillies turn rare triple play in rout of Tigers

    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.

    Mize (1-6) registered a career-high 10 strikeouts in just 4 1/3 innings, but was tagged for nine hits while surrendering four runs - three earned.

     

     

  • Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica: Wasteful Selecao frustrated in Copa America opener Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica: Wasteful Selecao frustrated in Copa America opener

    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.

    Brazil quickly asserted their authority on proceedings in California as they sought the game's opening goal.

    Rodrygo steered a shot wide following a jinking run into the penalty area, while Raphinha was denied by Patrick Sequeira after latching onto a diagonal ball over the top of the Costa Rica defence.

    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. 

    Rodrygo fired narrowly over in first-half stoppage time and, then on 63 minutes, Lucas Paqueta saw his ferocious 25-yard drive crash against Sequeira's left upright.

    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.

    Selecao stutter on return to States

    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.

    Another clean sheet for repellent Costa Rica

    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.

    Their failure to record a single shot on target for the first time in a Copa America match since 2011 will be a slight concern, but that defensive stubbornness will stand them in good stead as they look to progress in this tournament.

  • France secure landmark qualification to Euro 2024 knockout stages France secure landmark qualification to Euro 2024 knockout stages

    France's progression to the Euro 2024 knockout stages was confirmed on Monday, without Didier Deschamps' side kicking a ball.

    Les Bleus sit second in Group B - behind the Netherlands having scored a goal less - with four points from their opening two matches, ahead of facing Poland in Dortmund on Tuesday.

    However, the two-time European champions will approach the game safe in the knowledge they are assured of a place in the last 16.

    With Hungary and Croatia finishing third in Group A and Group B with three and two points respectively, even a defeat against Poland would see France advance as one of the four best third-placed teams.

    Deschamps' side are the only European nation to qualify from the group stage of all seven major international tournaments (World Cup and European Championship) since 2012.

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