MLB

Rays sweep Red Sox, Bryant homers in Giants debut

By Sports Desk August 01, 2021

Though there is plenty of baseball still to be played before October, the Tampa Bay Rays made a statement over the weekend with their three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox. 

The Rays held on for a 3-2 victory Sunday to increase their lead in the American League (AL) East division to a game and a half after entering the series trailing Boston by the same margin. 

Brandon Lowe started the Rays off in the third inning with a two-run homer but former Ray Hunter Renfroe answered for Boston with a solo shot in the fourth. 

Manuel Margot singled in what proved to be the winning run in the fifth and Boston could get no closer than the seventh-inning wild pitch by Drew Rasmussen that allowed Alex Verdugo to score. 

The Rays had some nervous moments late as the Red Sox put two batters on with two out in the ninth but Randy Wisler got J.D. Martinez to fly out to end the game. 

 

Bryant, Giants down Astros

Kris Bryant hit a home run in his first game since joining San Francisco and Darin Ruf drove in three runs as the Giants defeated Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 to win the series between teams with the two best records in MLB. Bryant joined his former Chicago Cubs team-mates Anthony Rizzo (Yankees) and Javy Baez (Mets) in hitting a homer in their first games with their new teams after being traded this week. According to Stats Perform, they are the first trio in the modern era to homer in their debuts after playing for the same team earlier in the season. 

Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts returned from the injured list to start at second base for only the second time since 2014 before capping the scoring with a ninth-inning home run in a 13-0 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Chicago White Sox bounced back from an agonising loss to the Cleveland Indians with a 2-1 victory on Brian Goodwin's ninth-inning home run punctuated by an epic bat flip. 

Kyle Gibson got plenty of run support in his Philadelphia Phillies debut after coming over from the Texas Rangers in a trade, picking up the win with 6.2 solid innings in a 15-4 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

The Milwaukee Brewers managed only three hits off Charlie Morton and the Atlanta Braves' bullpen but held on for a 2-1 road victory. 

 

Cubs waste Ortega's big day

A day after Chicago White Sox catcher Seby Zavala hit the first three home runs of his career only to see his team lose, Chicago Cubs outfielder Rafael Ortega hit three in a 6-5 loss to the Washington Nationals. The 30-year-old journeyman, who made his MLB debut in 2012, had six homers in 192 career games entering Sunday. He drove in all of Chicago's runs with a solo homer in the first inning and two-run shots in the sixth and eighth, but it was not enough as Yadiel Hernandez led off the ninth with a homer to give Washington the walk-off win. 

 

Heim the homer hero again

Jonah Heim hit a walk-off home run to beat the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, and he enjoyed it so much he did it again Sunday in a 4-3 Texas Rangers win. Heim became the first Rangers player ever to hit walk-off homers in consecutive games and the first player for any MLB team to do so since Albert Pujols of the St Louis Cardinals did it in June 2011. 

 

Sunday's results 

Philadelphia Phillies 15-4 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 6-5 Chicago Cubs
Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 Kansas City Royals
Cincinnati Reds 7-1 New York Mets
New York Yankees 3-1 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers 6-2 Baltimore Orioles
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Atlanta Braves
Texas Rangers 4-3 Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox 2-1 Cleveland Indians
St Louis Cardinals 7-3 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 8-3 Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers 13-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 5-3 Houston Astros
San Diego Padres 8-1 Colorado Rockies

 

Indians at Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays (54-48) are riding a four-game winning streak as the Cleveland Indians (51-51) cross the border to visit Rogers Centre. 

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  • MLB: Red Sox's Devers extends home run streak MLB: Red Sox's Devers extends home run streak

    Rafael Devers set a Red Sox record by homering in his sixth consecutive game, and Tanner Houck threw seven dominant innings as Boston cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Monday's opener of a three-game series between American League East rivals.

    Devers cracked a two-run shot off Taj Bradley in the fourth inning to become the first player in franchise history to put together six straight games with at least one home run. The star third baseman had shared the record with six other players, including Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx. 

    Houck (4-5) lowered his season ERA to 1.94 by limiting the Rays to two hits and a walk. The right-hander halted a personal three-start losing streak in which he received a combined three runs of support.

    He got more help in this one as the Red Sox broke out for three runs in the fourth, which Jarren Duran opened with a triple in front of Wilyer Abreu's double that staked Boston to a 1-0 lead.

    Two batters later, Devers launched an 0-1 pitch into the seats in left field for his historic homer.

    Boston extended the margin on Ceddanne Rafaela's two-run homer in the fifth.

    Bradley (1-2) fanned eight of the first nine Red Sox hitters and finished with 10 strikeouts in seven innings, but allowed all five runs to take the loss.

    The Rays mustered just three hits for the game and were dealt a second straight loss following a four-game winning streak.

    Mariners score four in ninth inning to end Yankees' streak

    Ty France knocked in the go-ahead run with a single as the Seattle Mariners scored four times in the ninth inning to halt the New York Yankees' seven-game winning streak with a stunning 5-4 win.

    Seattle's offence managed just three hits through eight innings before coming to life against New York closer Clay Holmes while down 4-1 in the ninth. 

    Julio Rodriguez began the rally with a one-out single and Cal Raleigh drew a walk before Luke Raley reached on an infield hit, in which Yankees' second baseman Gleyber Torres threw wildly to first to allow Rodriguez to score on the error.

    After Mitch Haniger followed with a single that plated Raleigh, Raley crossed the plate on Dominic Canzone's sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4. France then shot a single to right that brought home Haniger to put Seattle ahead.

    Andres Munoz then struck out two in the bottom of the ninth to earn his ninth save as the Mariners took the opener of this four-game series.

    Holmes' struggles ruined a terrific outing from New York starter Marcus Stroman, who yielded just one run on three hits while striking out six over 7 1/3 innings.

    Alex Verdugo went 3 for 5 for the Yankees and had three RBIs, two of which came on a first-inning double that opened the scoring. New York had put two aboard on a hit batter and Aaron Judge's one-out double. 

    Verdugo struck again in the fifth by following back-to-back singles from Juan Soto and Judge with a base hit of his own that increased the lead to 3-0. 

    Stroman took a shutout into the eighth that was broken up by Canzone's solo homer with one out. The Yankees countered in their half of the inning, however, when Torres drew a walk and later scored on Jon Berti's single.

    Seattle starter Logan Gilbert worked six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits.

    Guardians down Mets in Lindor's return to Cleveland

    Ben Lively allowed one run over 5 2/3 sharp innings as the Cleveland Guardians remained hot with a 3-1 win over the New York Mets in Francisco Lindor's return to Progressive Field.

    Lindor was playing in Cleveland for the first time since the Guardians traded the four-time All-Star shortstop to New York in January 2021. Lindor spent his first six MLB seasons with the Guardians and was an integral part of four play-off teams during his tenure.

    The former fan favourite went 0 for 4 in his return as the Mets got little going against Lively (3-2), who struck out seven and scattered six hits to help the AL Central leaders win for the seventh time in eight games. 

    Lively got all the support he would need via David Fry's two-run single in the first inning off Tylor Megill. The hit brought in Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor, both of whom singled and advanced a base on a fielding error by New York left fielder Brandon Nimmo.

    Tomas Nido brought the Mets within 2-1 with a solo homer off Lively in the third inning, though Cleveland restored its two-run advantage in the fourth when Fry drew a walk and later scored on Kyle Manzardo's double.

    Lively and the Cleveland bullpen successfully protected the lead as four relievers combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Emmanuel Clase retired the side in order in the ninth to register his 14th save, tied with St. Louis' Ryan Helsley for the major league lead.

    Megill (0-2), activated from the injured list prior to the game, struck out seven over five innings while giving up three runs, two of which were earned. 

    Pete Alonso had two of the Mets' six hits as New York lost for the eighth time in 11 games. 

     

     

  • MLB: Henderson, Tucker add to home run totals MLB: Henderson, Tucker add to home run totals

    Gunnar Henderson hit his 15th home run of the season to back an 11-strikeout effort from Corbin Burnes as the Baltimore Orioles posted a 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners in Sunday's finale of a three-game series between early American League contenders.

    Ryan O'Hearn also homered while Cedric Mullins went 2 for 4 with two RBIs to help the Orioles take the series with their third win in four games. Colton Cowser added three hits, including a run-scoring single, and scored twice.

    Burnes (4-2) scattered seven hits while holding AL West-leading Seattle to one run over six innings to end a run of four consecutive win-less starts. 

    Henderson, the co-MLB leader in home runs along with Houston's Kyle Tucker, quickly put the Orioles ahead with a lead-off blast off Seattle starter George Kirby in the bottom of the first inning. Jordan Westburg followed with a single and later scored on Cowser's infield hit for a 2-0 advantage.

    Luke Raley doubled off Burnes in the second and crossed the plate on a Luis Urias single to get the Mariners on the board, though the Orioles answered in their half of the inning when James McCann brought home Jorge Mateo with a double.

    O'Hearn's homer to begin the bottom of the third extended Baltimore's lead to 4-1, and Cowser later doubled during the inning and scored on a Mullins single.

    Kirby (4-4) escaped further trouble but was stuck with the loss after allowing five runs and nine hits through six innings.

    Urias' RBI double in the seventh pulled the Mariners within 5-2, and the third baseman was later brought in by Julio Rodriguez's single to close the gap further.

    The Orioles got some insurance in the eighth, however, when consecutive singles by Cowser, Austin Hays and Mullins accounted for their final run. Craig Kimbrel then retired the Mariners in order in the ninth to record his ninth save of the season and first since May 3.

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    Tucker's two homers power resurgent Astros past Brewers

    Kyle Tucker tied Henderson for the majors' home run lead by going deep twice in the red-hot Houston Astros' 9-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Tucker had a solo homer in the sixth inning and a three-run shot in the seventh to power Houston to a ninth victory in 11 games following a 12-24 start. The Astros took two of the three meetings in the weekend series with the National League Central-leading Brewers.

    Houston also received a solo homer from Jose Altuve, while Jon Singleton and Jake Meyers each knocked in two runs in the win. Meyers finished 3 for 5.

    Spencer Arrighetti (2-4) earned his second major league win after pitching a career-long 6 1/3 innings while allowing four runs and striking out six.

    Arrighetti was touched for an early run when Brice Turang opened the game with a double and scored on Christian Yelich's single, but the Astros responded with four runs off Colin Rea in the bottom of the first inning.

    Altuve got it started with a lead-off homer before Houston loaded the bases on a Yordan Alvarez double and a pair of walks issued by Rea. After Singleton plated Alvarez with a groundout, Meyers doubled to right to bring in two more for a 4-1 Astros' lead.

    Singleton again brought home Alvarez with a single in the fifth to stretch the margin, and Tucker's first homer of the day put Houston up 6-1 in the sixth.

    Arrighetti cruised along until the seventh, when Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a walk. Turang then greeted reliever Bryan Abreu with a two-run single and Yelich later tacked on another RBI single to cut the lead to 6-4.

    Tucker would put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh, however, with a blast to right field off Mitch White with two aboard.

    Turang ended 3 for 5 for Milwaukee, while Rea (3-2) lasted just 4 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on eight hits.

     

    Judge's homer sparks Yankees to seventh straight win

    Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer and Jon Berti delivered a tie-breaking three-run shot to lift the New York Yankees to their seventh consecutive win, a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

    Jose Trevino added a two-run single and Carlos Rodon tossed six solid innings as the Yankees finished off a three-game sweep of a White Sox team that owns the majors' worst record at 14-33.

    Rodon (5-2), who spent seven seasons with the White Sox from 2015-21, held his former team to two runs on four hits to win his third straight start.

    Berti snapped a 2-2 tie with a drive into the bleachers in right center field off Chris Flexen in the fourth inning. The infielder's first home run as a Yankee came with Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres on base after each reached on singles.

    Judge made it a 7-2 lead an inning later with his 13th home run of the season, an opposite-field shot off Flexen that followed a walk to Juan Soto.

    Rodon's lone trouble came in the second inning, when Corey Julks homered to open the scoring and Korey Lee followed with a walk before coming home on Zach Remillard's triple to left.

    New York quickly drew even in the bottom of the inning, however. Rizzo legged out an infield single and Torres doubled to put two on for Trevino, who laced a single up the middle to score both runners and tie the contest at 2-2.

    Flexen (2-4) surrendered all seven New York runs on eight hits before being removed with none out in the fifth.

    Julks had two of the six hits for Chicago, which had entered the series having won six of eight.

     

     

  • Howe taking plenty of positives despite frustrating Newcastle campaign Howe taking plenty of positives despite frustrating Newcastle campaign

    Eddie Howe was keen to look at the positives after Newcastle United secured seventh place in the Premier League on Sunday.

    Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes were among the goalscorers as Newcastle won 4-2 at Brentford to finish their Premier League campaign.

    The victory ensured a seventh-place finish, and a Manchester City victory over Manchester United in next Saturday's FA Cup final will confirm Newcastle's place in next season's Europa Conference League.

    While this season did not quite live up to the heroics of last term, which saw the Magpies finish in the Champions League spots, Howe still feels it has been a successful campaign.

    "It summed up our season," Howe told BBC Sport. "We weren't totally secure at the back, but great credit to the players. They've done their job - now we wait and see.

    "We anticipated after losing against Manchester United that our control of the [European] situation had gone. It's never a nice situation, but whatever happens, happens.

    "We have issues to solve defensively. If we can do that, next season could be another season of really strong performances. This was a season that could have been better, but a good season overall.

    "We're a really united club. I think we're still moving forward, so there's a lot to be positive about."

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