MLB

Yankees beaten again and Royals' Perez stays hot as Baez ignites controversy amid boo boys

By Sports Desk August 29, 2021

After winning 13 consecutive games, the New York Yankees suffered back-to-back MLB losses following Tony Kemp's late home run as the Oakland Athletics triumphed 3-1.

With the next pitch after Mark Canha's double, Kemp produced the decisive hit in the eighth – his tie-breaking two-run homer lifting the A's on Sunday.

In 16 at-bats against the Yankees this season, Kemp slugged 1.124 and did not strike out once. According to Stats Perform, no other player in history has had a 1.100-plus slugging percentage with zero strikeouts against the Yankees in a season with at least as many at-bats.

Paul Blackburn had earlier tossed down five shut-out innings for the Athletics, before Andrew Chafin closed out the win.

Yan Gomes' fourth-inning run had put the A's ahead before Gary Sanchez scored following fielding errors from Gomes and Mark Chapman on Anthony Rizzo's nine-pitch at-bat.

The result – which completes a split of the four-game series – helped the A's (72-59) move closer in the American League (AL) Wild Card standings, two and a half games adrift as the Yankees (76-54) lead the race.

 

Franco joins exclusive group as Rays crush Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays topped the Baltimore Orioles 12-8 to become only the third team in MLB's divisional era to win 18 games against one opponent in a single season. Joey Wendle delivered a two-homer and six-RBI performance, including a seventh-inning grand slam. Rays rookie Wander Franco, meanwhile, extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a sixth-inning single. Franco's run is the longest active streak in the majors, the sixth longest in American League/National League history and second longest in AL history. It is the longest streak by any player under the age of 21 since Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (43) in 1956.

Javier Baez hammered a two-run home run into the second deck before igniting controversy with a thumbs down gesture to his own fans after receiving boos earlier in the game as the New York Mets won 9-4 against the Washington Nationals.

The Chicago White Sox belted five home runs in their 13-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, including a pair from Luis Robert. Jose Abreu joined Paul Konerko (six) and Frank Thomas (10) as the only White Sox players with six-plus 100-RBI seasons. He became the first White Sox to reach 100 RBI in 125 games or fewer since Jermaine Dye in 2006.

Austin Riley drilled a two-run homer to help the Atlanta Braves to a commanding 9-0 shut-out victory over the high-flying San Francisco Giants.

Yoshi Tsutsugo crushed a walk-off three-run homer to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates past the St Louis Cardinals 4-3.

 

Abreu and Astros suffer blowout

Houston Astros reliever Bryan Abreu had a nightmare as the Texas Rangers powered an eight-run fifth inning in their 13-2 win. Astros pitcher Zack Greinke allowed six runs with nine hits, before Abreu stepped up in the fifth, only to allow seven runs from five hits including an Adolis Garcia grand slam, the Rangers' first since 2019. It was a blowout for the AL West-leading Astros against the Rangers, who are last in the AL West.

 

Salvy hits hot streak

Kansas City Royals star Salvador Perez homered for the fifth consecutive game in his side's 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, tying Mike Sweeney's franchise record from 2002. Perez has also moved into second for home runs in the majors this season, behind only two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani (42) and he has scored eight home runs and 15 RBIs on the Royals' current 10-game trip.

 

Sunday's results 

Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 St Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays 12-8 Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets 9-4 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians 7-5 Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves 9-0 San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 13-1 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 13-2 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 5-0 Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics 3-1 New York Yankees

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Red Sox (75-57) make the trip to Tampa to take on leaders the Rays (82-48) in a crucial clash in the AL East on Monday. Nick Pivetta starts for Boston as Tampa Bay counter with Luis Patino.

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    Edmundo Sosa hit a three-run homer and Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto had solo shots as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Texas Rangers 11-4 for the best 50-game start in franchise history on Wednesday.

    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.

    The Mets got home runs from Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Harrison Bader but have lost eight of 10 to fall to a season-high seven games under .500 (21-28).

    Royals’ Ragans dominates Tigers

    Cole Ragans pitched one-hit ball over six innings and struck out a career-high 12 to lead the Kansas City Royals to their sixth straight win, 8-3 over the Detroit Tigers.

    Ragans walked three but held the Tigers hitless until Riley Greene’s two-out single in the sixth to win for the fourth time in five decisions.

    Freddy Fermin drove in three runs, Bobby Witt Jr. added two hits and two RBIs and Nelson Velazquez homered as the Royals won their first series against the Tigers since September 2002. It was Kansas City’s first sweep of Detroit since July 2021.

    Tarik Skubal allowed four runs on six hits over five innings to end his 14-game unbeaten streak dating to Aug. 29.

    Detroit has lost four straight to fall a season-worst three games under .500.

  • Europa League misery will not taint Alonso's Leverkusen pride Europa League misery will not taint Alonso's Leverkusen pride

    Xabi Alonso will not allow Bayer Leverkusen's Europa League final defeat against Atalanta to alter his pride, after their historic 51-game unbeaten run ended on Wednesday.

    The Bundesliga champions were eyeing an unlikely treble, with the DFB-Pokal final to come this weekend, but those plans came crashing down in a 3-0 loss to Atalanta.

    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.

    European heartbreak marked Leverkusen's first loss this season, with their last defeat coming to Bochum on the last day of the 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign, as Alonso's side were finally stopped.

    Yet the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder says nothing can take away from Leverkusen's memorable campaign.

    "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).

    Alonso was unsurprised by the excellence of Gasperini and his Atalanta side, however.

    "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.

    "They are a special team. Normally we get in better positions ourselves but today we could not.

    "We were not able to come back and get that back. It was not meant to be.

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

  • 'We wrote history' – Gasperini and Lookman cherish Atalanta's Europa League glory 'We wrote history' – Gasperini and Lookman cherish Atalanta's Europa League glory

    Gian Piero Gasperini and Ademola Lookman both cherished creating Atalanta history after ending Bayer Leverkusen's unbeaten run and securing Europa League glory.

    Lookman produced a performance worthy of the most important European moment in Atalanta's history, securing the club's first-ever major trophy on the continent after his dazzling hat-trick.

    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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