MLB

Ohtani follows in Babe Ruth's footsteps, Mariners' Santiago first player ejected amid MLB crackdown

By Sports Desk June 27, 2021

Shohei Ohtani dazzled again as the two-way star fuelled the Los Angeles Angels' 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in MLB action on Sunday.

Ohtani led the way with a double, triple, a home run and three RBIs as the Angels topped the Rays in the series finale at Tropicana Field.

The Japanese sensation improved his season tally to 25 homers and 11 stolen bases for the Angels in 2021, while he has also recorded 82 strikeouts as a pitcher.

According to Stats Perform, only two players in American League (AL) history have had 25-plus home runs, 10-plus stolen bases and 75-pitching strikeouts in their careers – Hall of Famer and all-time great Babe Ruth and Ohtani (reached all three already this season).

Ohtani is also the fastest Angels hitter ever to reach 25 home runs in a season after 77 games.

 

Red Sox sweep Yankees

New day and same story for the Boston Red Sox, who made light work of bitter rivals the New York Yankees 9-2. The Red Sox swept the Yankees in a three-game series for the second time in a span of three weeks.

Max Kranick enjoyed a perfect debut as he helped the Pittsburgh Pirates take down the slumping St Louis Cardinals 7-2. Kranick retired the side in the fifth inning, pitching five perfect innings in his major league debut before a rain delay forced him from the game. The 23-year-old struck out three on a memorable day.

Cole Irvin remains unbeaten after striking out eight batters in eight innings as the Oakland Athletics avoided a sweep by upstaging the San Francisco Giants 6-2.

The Toronto Blue Jays took down the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 for their seventh victory in eight games. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. improved his league-leading RBI total to 66 after driving in two runs.

 

Santiago MLB's first victim

Seattle Mariners pitcher Hector Santiago was ejected in the fifth inning of the team's 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox as part of MLB's crackdown in foreign substances. Since June 21, MLB has enhanced its enforcement of the rules that prohibit applying foreign substances to baseballs, with pitchers subjected to random checks and could face ejections, fines and suspensions of 10 games. Santiago had his glove inspected and confiscated in the opening game of the doubleheader, though the veteran insisted he only used rosin.

"[Umpire Phil Cuzzi] said he felt some sticky stuff on the inside of the glove," Santiago said after becoming the first pitcher to be ejected as part of the crackdown. "All I used was rosin. I used it on both sides, trying to keep that sweat from dripping down to the hands."

 

Kershaw at this best

It was a vintage Clayton Kershaw performance as World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers crushed the Chicago Cubs 7-1. The Dodgers ace struck out a season-high 13 batters over eight dominant innings.

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Giants at Dodgers

It will be a clash of the titans when the Giants (50-27) visit the Dodgers (47-31) in an all-National League (NL) West showdown on Monday. Anthony DeSclafani starts for the Giants – who own the best record in baseball – as the Dodgers send Trevor Bauer to the mound.

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    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.

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    Royals’ Ragans dominates Tigers

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    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.

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    "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).

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

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    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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