MLB

Smith hits walk-off homer for Dodgers, Altuve doubles up, Cubs come back

By Sports Desk July 21, 2021

Will Smith hit a walk-off home run as the world champion Los Angeles Dodgers claimed a come-from-behind 8-6 win over the San Francisco Giants in MLB on Tuesday.

With the Dodgers trailing 6-5 at the bottom of the ninth inning with two runners on base, Smith homered off Tyler Rogers.

Smith's three-run home run was his third career walk-off homer and first since 2019.

It capped a thrilling game where the Giants had led 6-1 after their fifth inning at bat, before the Dodgers stormed back with three runs in the sixth.

Dodgers pitcher Josiah Gray had seven strikeouts on the mound across four innings.

But there were a few concerns for the Dodgers, too, with Max Muncy and Justin Turner leaving the game with shoulder and knee issues respectively.

Altuve doubles up

Jose Altuve homered twice as the Houston Astros won 9-3 against the Cleveland Indians. Leading off, Altuve hit a solo home run, with his second homer marking his sixth career multi-home run game and second of the 2021 season.

Freddie Freeman hit a solo go-ahead home run in the sixth inning, his 22nd homer of the season, to help the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Estevan Florial homered in his third career game as the New York Yankees won 6-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Reyes and Cardinals let it slip

Alex Reyes normally has a good record closing games out, but he walked two batters after the St Louis Cardinals had held a 6-1 lead heading into the ninth inning. The Chicago Cubs got going and Ian Happ drove in two as they produced a six-run ninth to win 7-6.

Abreu crushed a mammoth

Jose Abreu produced something special for the Chicago White Sox with his three-run home run sealing a 9-5 triumph over the Minnesota Twins. Abreu has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, with five doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI.

Tuesday's results

Oakland Athletics 6-0 Los Angeles Angels
Kansas City Royals 5-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Washington Nationals 6-3 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 6-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds 4-3 New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays 9-3 Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers 4-1 Texas Rangers
Atlanta Braves 2-1 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 9-3 Cleveland Indians
Chicago White Sox 9-5 Minnesota Twins
Chicago Cubs 7-6 St Louis Cardinals
Seattle Mariners 6-4 Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-6 San Francisco Giants

Giants at Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers' series against the San Francisco Giants has been captivating with Tuesday's walk-off win, and they will meet for the third time on Wednesday.

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    Mykhailo Mudryk is "the most talented and unique player in the world", and patient work on the training ground will see Chelsea get the best out of the winger.

    That is the view of Serhiy Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive who struck the £89million deal which took Mudryk from Ukraine to Stamford Bridge last January.

    Like many of the big-money recruits of the Todd Boehly era, Mudryk has struggled for consistency since arriving in west London, after emerging as one of Europe's hottest prospects at Shakhtar.

    Between the start of 2021-22 and his move to the Premier League, Mudryk averaged a goal involvement every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian top flight, scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists in just 23 appearances during that spell.

    However, Mudryk has just three goals and four assists to his name in 34 Premier League appearances, and he attracted more criticism for an ineffective substitute appearance in Sunday's EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

    Palkin, however, remains convinced of the 23-year-old's talent and feels he simply needs close attention from Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff. 

    "I can tell you that for me, Mudryk is the most talented and unique player in the world," Palkin told Stats Perform.

    "I believe that in order to get from Mudryk the maximum, as they anticipate, you need to invest in him. These investments are not money. 

    "It's time for the coaching staff to communicate with him and to work closely with him. He is a young boy, he changed from the Ukrainian Championship to the Premier League. 

    "It's a completely different world, with completely different levels, completely different football. 

    "Therefore, I believe that if the coaching staff dedicates him some time, he will return three, four, or five times more."

    One former Shakhtar man who made a far more immediate impact in the Premier League is Roberto De Zerbi, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to Europa League qualification last term while implementing a daring style of play. 

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    After overseeing Brighton's dramatic rise, De Zerbi has been tipped to move on to pastures new, with both Barcelona and Liverpool suggested as possible landing spots for the Italian.

    Palkin has no doubt De Zerbi is destined for the top, saying: "I can tell you that he did a lot for Brighton, he did brilliant work for Brighton. 

    "I believe 100 per cent that he can jump into a top club tomorrow, even today, 100 per cent. The most important thing is he must accept the proposition.

    "I believe he has a lot of propositions, including in Italian football and English football. Therefore, everything, everything, everything depends on him."

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    "He can do whatever he wants to do with his career. It seems like he enjoys the game. It seems like he puts in the work. Just from the outside looking in, I'm not with him on a day-to-day basis, but I said a long time ago how special he was, and it's literally that simple.

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    Atletico ensured they warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Inter in style when Correa struck 73 seconds into the second half, before doubling his tally from the penalty spot just after the hour mark. Substitute Memphis Depay then put the icing on the cake with a late long-range strike.

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    Data Debrief: Home dominance continues

    Atletico are unbeaten at home in La Liga this season, with 12 wins and one draw from their 13 league matches in front of their own fans. Looking further back, they have now gone 24 such games without defeat dating back to January 2023.

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