MLB

Bauer jeered as Astros end Dodgers' winning run, Rays in walk-off victory

By Sports Desk May 27, 2021

Trevor Bauer was centre of attention as the Los Angeles Dodgers' eight-game winning streak came to an end with a 5-2 defeat to the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

Bauer publicly labelled the Astros as "hypocrites" and "cheaters" in February last year in light of the MLB sign-stealing scandal.

There was no love lost for Dodgers ace Bauer, who was silenced by the Astros in Houston midweek

The Astros were led by Jose Altuve's lead-off solo home run, his sixth of the season.

With both sides tied at 1-1 at the bottom of the sixth inning, Carlos Correa homered for the Astros.

Bauer managed only three strikeouts across six innings, with four hits but he walked a season-high four, before the Astros brought in three runs in the seventh inning from Nate Jones.

Albert Pujols came in late for World Series champions the Dodgers but could not produce any heroics as their winning run was halted.

 

Rays back among winners with walkoff

The Tampa Bay Rays – World Series participants during last season's coronavirus-shortened campaign – returned to winning ways. After their 11-game winning streak was snapped on Tuesday, the Rays recorded a 2-1 walk-off triumph over the Kansas City Royals. Tyler Glasnow starred on the mound for the Rays with 11 strikeouts across eight shut-out innings. It was the sixth game this season that Glasnow has had 10 or more strikeouts, surpassing Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber. Glasnow has tallied 10-plus strikeouts and allowed five hits or fewer in all five home starts this season. According to Stats Perform, the only other pitcher in the modern era to do so was Johan Santana in 2004.

The in-form San Diego Padres made it 11 wins from their past 12 games with a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in the 10th inning. While the Brewers lost, they now have three home runs by pitchers in a season for the first time since 2011.

Miguel Sano's three-run homer guided the Minnesota Twins past the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 for a three-game sweep.

A pair of Tommy Edman home runs fuelled the St Louis Cardinals, who upstaged the high-flying Chicago White Sox 4-0 to avoid a three-game sweep.

 

Shildt ejected after hat-swap request

There was an ugly incident between the Cardinals and White Sox when St Louis manager Mike Shildt was ejected. Shildt was sent from the dugout after pitcher Giovanny Gallegos was told by umpire Joe West to swap his hat as it allegedly had a foreign substance on it. Shildt was incensed and came out arguing, leading to his ejection.

 

Homer history in Angels-Rangers

Justin Upton hit his first-ever lead-off home run on Tuesday and he backed that up with another in the Los Angeles Angels' 9-8 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. It was Upton's 10th home run of the season. Adolis Garcia also homered for Texas, scoring the most in a month by a rookie in Rangers history.

 

Wednesday's results

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

 

Blue Jays at Yankees

The New York Yankees (28-20) will look to resume their series against the Toronto Blue Jays (24-23) following Wednesday's postponement with an American League (AL) East doubleheader, weather permitting on Thursday. Top Blue Jays prospect Alek Manoah will make his debut in the opening game, with the Yankees countering with Domingo German.

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    The San Francisco 49ers prevailed in the Wild Card round as they renewed a storied rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys. Now, they will be underdogs again as they lock horns with a postseason foe more familiar to them in recent years.

    While the Niners' 23-17 upset win over the Cowboys was the first postseason meeting between the two teams since the 1994 campaign, playoff clashes between San Francisco and the Green Bay Packers have been more habitual of late.

    Green Bay and the 49ers have faced off in the postseason in every decade since their first playoff meeting in the 1995 campaign, last doing so on January 19, 2020 when San Francisco won a 37-20 rout in the NFC Championship Game.

    That scoreline carried on a trend in this matchup. The 49ers and Packers have split their eight all-time meetings in the postseason, but the Niners have won each of the last three. In those three games, they have outscored Green Bay by an average of 11.3 points (35.0-23.7). 

    Saturday's game at Lambeau Field is expected to be much closer, with most backing the top-seeded Packers to turn the tide.

    Green Bay won the Week 3 matchup at Levi's Stadium, though the Packers needed a last-gasp field goal from Mason Crosby, following some vintage Aaron Rodgers heroics, to avoid defeat.

    Rodgers is the favourite to retain the NFL's MVP award and enters this game in blistering form. 

    He has thrown for multiple touchdowns and no interceptions in each of his last seven games, the second-longest such streak in NFL history (Tom Brady, nine straight in 2010).

    The three-time MVP threw 37 touchdowns and just four picks this season, the most passing touchdowns with four interceptions or fewer in a single season all-time. 

    Yet Rodgers is going against a Niners defense playing its best football of the season. San Francisco held the Cowboys' number one-ranked offense (407 yards per game) to 307 total yards, with Dak Prescott completing only 53.5 per cent of his passes as he was pressured more than any other quarterback in the Wild Card round, coming under duress 25 times.

    San Francisco's deep defensive front would appear to have the edge this weekend, too. The 49ers' finished the regular season ranked first in Stats Perform's pass rush win rate metric - boasting a win rate of 32.6 per cent - while the Packers were 23rd with a pass protection win rate of 72.6 per cent.

    The Packers will hope the potential return of left tackle David Bakhtiari can redress the balance but if it does not then the contest could tilt in the favour of San Francisco. When under pressure this season, Rodgers completed 49.6 per cent of his passes. Among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts under duress, the only two to fare worse were rookies Zach Wilson (41.7 per cent) and Trevor Lawrence (45.7 per cent).

    If the Niners pressure Rodgers and get the Packers behind the chains and playing catchup on the scoreboard, then they will look to control the clock by keeping the ball on the ground with All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel and rookie running back Elijah Mitchell.

    Samuel scored the first rushing touchdown by a 49ers receiver in postseason history to put San Francisco 23-7 ahead against the Cowboys, while his 72 yards on the ground were the most in the playoffs by any wideout in the Super Bowl era.

    Mitchell rushed for 96 yards last weekend, a 49ers rookie playoff record. The Niners are 7-1 when Mitchell rushes for at least 75 yards this season and 1-3 when he plays and does not.

    A long night may be in store for the 49ers and their secondary should Rodgers stay on schedule, and that could mean history for his favourite target, Davante Adams.

    Adams has had exactly nine receptions in each of his last three playoff games. That is tied for the longest streak of postseason games with nine-plus catches in NFL history (Julian Edelman, 2015-2016).

    With at least nine catches in four of his five games against San Francisco (regular and postseason), he is a strong bet to break that record. Adams failing to do so would be a major indicator of Green Bay suffering another nightmare against a team that has continually haunted them in the playoffs.

  • Man Utd 'destroyed' by Brentford in first half and only deserved a draw - Frank Man Utd 'destroyed' by Brentford in first half and only deserved a draw - Frank

    Manchester United were "destroyed" in the first half of their 3-1 win over Brentford, with Thomas Frank claiming they only deserved a draw at most. 

    United failed to register a single shot on target in the opening period in west London on Wednesday, while David de Gea was forced into three saves from Mathias Jensen and Ethan Pinnock. 

    After Cristiano Ronaldo sent a header against the crossbar at the start of the second half, Anthony Elanga put the Red Devils ahead with their first shot on target. 

    Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford put United out of sight and secured a 300th Premier League away victory for the club, with Ivan Toney netting a late consolation for Brentford. 

    "Unbelievably proud of my team. I think we are the smallest club in the Premier League, Manchester United are probably the biggest. The way we played in the first half, I think we destroyed them," Frank told BT Sport. 

    "We should have been up at least 2-0, they didn't have a sniff, nothing. We created five, six chances and three huge chances. Man United deserved a maximum of a draw. I think they are unbelievably lucky. 

    "Of course you need to take your chances, I know all that c**p. But the performance, I'm proud of that. They changed the system against little Brentford. I'm so, so proud of my team. 

    "[It was] one of those nights, it's football. Fair play to De Gea, a very good performance. If we get those chances again one will go in the back of the net. 

    "Our intensity killed them, we showed that in the first half. We pressed them, when we had to we defended low, we won the second balls, we played behind and ran behind them. We played the Brentford way in the first half. 

    "The game opened up. They hadn't had a chance before their goal. Of course, I know that's why they pay 72 million [pounds] for [Jadon] Sancho, who's not even included in the team. That's why, that little bit of brilliance created the first goal. 

    "Of the three goals, the second is most disappointing and difficult to come back from. There were huge positives. I think the way we smashed them in the first half was fantastic, so proud of my team." 

  • Inzaghi delighted with Inter fightback in Coppa Italia triumph Inzaghi delighted with Inter fightback in Coppa Italia triumph

    Simone Inzaghi expressed his delight with Inter's reaction as his side came from behind to beat Empoli in the Coppa Italia last 16.

    Empoli stunned the Serie A leaders in the second half as substitute Nedim Bajrami cancelled out Alexis Sanchez's opener before the visitors fortuitously took the lead at San Siro when Ionut Radu deflected into his own net.

    Andrea Ranocchia levelled things up with a stunning, acrobatic stoppage-time equaliser to send Inter into extra-time in the last 16 of the competition for the fourth time in their last eight outings.

    Substitute Stefano Sensi stepped up to deliver the decisive strike after 104 minutes, Inzaghi's side now boasting 20 different scorers this season – more than any other team in Europe's top-five leagues in all competitions.

    Despite squandering an initial one-goal lead, Inzaghi was pleased with what he saw from his side as they made the quarter-finals for the 18th time in their last 19 seasons.

    "I think we had an excellent first half, where we found the goalkeeper who should be congratulated for two, or three, difficult saves," Inzaghi told Inter TV post-match. 

    "In my opinion, we deserved a few more goals, then in the second half we lost clarity, we stretched out. In the spaces, they showed the qualities they have. 

    "We went down, we changed players, we changed formation, but the boys gave everything on the pitch, they didn't give up and we go to the quarters with a lot of confidence.

    "We suffered, we went under, but I take the big reaction."

    Inter return to Serie A action on Saturday when they host Venezia.

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