MLB

Bichette matches career high and Ray fans 13 for Jays, Giants streak snapped

By Sports Desk September 16, 2021

Bo Bichette and Robbie Ray led the way as the playoff-chasing Toronto Blue Jays took down the American League (AL) East-leading Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 in MLB.

Bichette homered and matched his career high with five RBIs, becoming the second Blue Jays shortstop to hit 25-plus home runs in a season after Tony Batista in 1999 on Wednesday.

Blue Jays ace Ray struck out 13 batters over seven innings in a dominant display to claim the strike-out lead in MLB.

Ray allowed one run and four hits for his fourth successive decision – the starting pitcher is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 91 strikeouts since July 21.

He is also just the second Blue Jays pitcher to have double-digit 10-plus strike-out games in a season after Roger Clemens in 1997 and 1998.

Ray leads AL starters in ERA (2.64), strikeouts (223), innings (177.2) and quality starts (22).

The Blue Jays (82-64) – who have won six straight series, New York Yankees (82-64) and Boston Red Sox (83-65) are in a three-team tie in the AL Wild Card race.

 

Yankees win… again

The Yankees topped the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 to clinch their 29th consecutive winning season – the second longest streak in MLB history, behind their own 39-year run from 1926-64.

Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds became the first rookie in MLB history with at least 20 homers, 20 hits by pitch and 10 stolen bases in a season, according to Stats Perform. The Reds lost 5-4 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Kansas City Royals lost a wild clash with the Oakland Athletics 12-10, but it was a memorable outing for Andrew Benintendi. Over his last seven games, Benintendi has 19 hits and 17 RBI. According to Stats Perform, he is the first MLB player to reach both of those numbers over a seven-game span since Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr in 1950.

 

Megill struggles in Mets sweep

It was a rough outing for rookie Tylor Megill as his New York Mets were crushed 11-4 by the St Louis Cardinals in a series sweep. In three innings, Megill gave up six runs, a homer and two walks on nine hits.

The Minnesota Twins suffered a 12-3 defeat to the Cleveland Indians as Jovani Moran allowed four hits and four runs in just 1.2 innings of work. Twins team-mate Andrew Albers gave up three runs, two homers and two walks on three hits in 2.2 innings. It came after starter Griffin Jax pitched 4.2 innings, which included seven hits, five runs, a home run and a walk.

The high-flying San Francisco Giants had their nine-game winning streak snapped following a 9-6 defeat to Wild Card hopefuls the San Diego Padres.

 

Perez extends homer rally in milestone appearance

While the Royals lost, star Salvador Perez hit his 44th home run of the season in the fifth inning, moving into a tie with Shohei Ohtani and within one of MLB leader Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Perez's 196th career home run came in his 1,000th start behind the plate.

 

Wednesday's results 

Miami Marlins 8-6 Washington Nationals
Detroit Tigers 4-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox 9-4 Seattle Mariners
Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Chicago Cubs
New York Yankees 4-3 Baltimore Orioles
St Louis Cardinals 11-4 New York Mets
Colorado Rockies 3-2 Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Indians 12-3 Minnesota Twins
Houston Astros 7-2 Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Chicago White Sox
Oakland Athletics 12-10 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 9-6 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Arizona Diamondbacks

 

Yankees at Orioles

The Yankees (82-64) will be out to extend their winning streak when they lock horns against with the Orioles (46-99) on Thursday. Jordan Montgomery is set to start for the Yankees, while the Orioles counter with Chris Ellis.

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  • MLB: Guardians, Cardinals extend streaks MLB: Guardians, Cardinals extend streaks

    Jose Ramirez broke a tie with a solo home run in the sixth inning to help the Cleveland Guardians record a sixth consecutive win with Monday's 3-2 victory over the suddenly slumping Baltimore Orioles.

    Ramirez had a run-scoring single earlier in the game in support of Tanner Bibee, who tossed six solid innings before three Cleveland relievers protected the one-run lead and send the Orioles to a season-high fourth straight loss.

    Bibee (6-2) struck out seven while allowing two runs - one earned - on five hits to win his second straight start.

    After Ramirez's 431-foot blast off Cade Povich gave the Guardians a 3-2 edge, Tim Herrin and Hunter Gaddis threw a scoreless inning each before Scott Barlow struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth for his second save of the season.

    The Guardians grabbed an early 1-0 edge as their first three hitters reached base off Povich. Steven Kwan led off the game with a single and Andres Gimenez drew a walk before Ramirez brought in the first run with a base hit.

    Baltimore countered in its half of the first when Gunnar Henderson stroked a lead-off double and crossed the plate on Ryan O'Hearn's one-out single.

    Back-to-back doubles by Gabriel Arias and Bo Naylor in the top of the second put Cleveland back ahead, but the Orioles tied it in the third with an unearned run.

    After Adley Rutschman reached base with a double, the standout catcher advanced to third on a fielding error by Guardians' first baseman Josh Naylor before scoring on Anthony Santander's sacrifice fly.

    Povich (0-2) took the loss after surrendering three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

     

    Lynn, Donovan help Cardinals stay hot

    Lance Lynn yielded one run over 6 2/3 strong innings and Brendan Donovan collected three hits as the surging St. Louis Cardinals ran their winning streak to four games with a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

    The Cardinals have now won nine of 12 after taking the opener of this three-game series, though they had to hang on after Atlanta scored twice off star closer Ryan Helsley in the ninth inning.

    St. Louis had built a seemingly comfortable lead by scoring four runs off Atlanta starter Spencer Schwellenbach in the third inning, all coming with two out. 

    Alec Burleson began the rally with a double that brought in Michael Siani with the game's first run. Willson Contreras, activated from the injured list prior to the game, then plated Burleson with a single in front of another base hit by Nolan Gorman. Donovan then singled to right to score Contreras for a 3-0 advantage.

    Donovan was later thrown out trying to steal second, though Gorman would cross the plate before the tag was made for the Cardinals' fourth run.

    That was enough for Lynn (3-3), who gave up a solo homer to Austin Riley in the fifth inning but just three other hits over his outing. The veteran right-hander struck out five without a walk.

    Helsley converted his 27th straight save opportunity to begin the season, though it didn't come easy as he walked Marcell Ozuna to begin the ninth before allowing a single to Matt Olson. Another walk would load the bases with one out to set up Ramon Laureano's run-scoring single that cut the lead to 4-2.

    Olson scored on a sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter Travis d'Arnaud to get the Braves within a run, though Hesley would strike out Zack Short to end the game.

    Schwellenbach (1-3) struck out six over five innings but permitted all four St. Louis runs on eight hits.

     

    Phillies turn rare triple play in rout of Tigers

    Bryce Harper went 3 for 5 with a homer and five RBIs and was part of a rare triple play turned by the Philadelphia Phillies in an 8-1 rout of the Detroit Tigers.

    The Phillies also got a very good start from Aaron Nola (9-3) en route to their third straight win. The right-hander held the Tigers to one run and six hits while striking out six without a walk over seven innings.

    Nola also snared a line drive off the bat of Matt Vierling with the Tigers threatening in the third inning, then threw the ball to Harper at first base to double off a runner for another out. Detroit's Zach McKinstry was also running from third on the play and was thrown out as well when Harper relayed the ball to third baseman Alec Bohm to complete the triple play.

    According to Major League Baseball, it was the first 1-3-5 triple-play (pitcher-to-first base-to-third base) in an MLB game since 1929.

    The Phillies had a 4-0 lead at that point thanks to a big first inning that began when Kyle Schwarber reached on a fielding error by shortstop McKinstry. Trea Turner then doubled before Harper sent both runners home with a double of his own to open the scoring.

    Bohm then drilled a pitch from Casey Mize over the left field wall for his first of four hits on the night, with the two-run homer giving Philadelphia a 4-0 advantage.

    Detroit got on the board in the fifth when McKinstry doubled and scored on Carson Kelly's single, but Harper's three-run homer off Tyler Holton in the sixth increased the Phillies' lead to 7-1.

    Harper also scored Philadelphia's final run in the eighth by coming home on a double from Bohm, who finished 4 for 5 with three runs batted in.

    Mize (1-6) registered a career-high 10 strikeouts in just 4 1/3 innings, but was tagged for nine hits while surrendering four runs - three earned.

     

     

  • Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica: Wasteful Selecao frustrated in Copa America opener Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica: Wasteful Selecao frustrated in Copa America opener

    Brazil began their Copa America campaign with a frustrating goalless draw against Costa Rica at the SoFi Stadium.

    The Selecao dominated large periods of the Group D clash. Marquinhos saw a goal ruled out following a VAR review, while Lucas Paqueta rattled the woodwork from distance.

    Yet despite enjoying just under three-quarters of the possession and registering 19 shots to their opponents' two, they could not find the breakthrough and failed to win their opening match in the competition for the first time since 2016.

    Dorival Junior's side subsequently lost early ground on Group D leaders Colombia, who beat Paraguay 2-1 earlier in the day.

    Brazil quickly asserted their authority on proceedings in California as they sought the game's opening goal.

    Rodrygo steered a shot wide following a jinking run into the penalty area, while Raphinha was denied by Patrick Sequeira after latching onto a diagonal ball over the top of the Costa Rica defence.

    The Selecao thought they had broken the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Marquinhos applied the finishing touch after Rodrygo glanced Raphinha's free-kick towards the far post, only for the strike to be ruled out for offside following a VAR review. 

    Rodrygo fired narrowly over in first-half stoppage time and, then on 63 minutes, Lucas Paqueta saw his ferocious 25-yard drive crash against Sequeira's left upright.

    Dorival withdrew the quiet Vinicius Junior in favour of Endrick and Savinho for the final 20 minutes, and both looked dangerous upon their introductions.

    The latter's cross almost saw Costa Rica defender Haxzel Quiros head into his own net with his blushes spared by Sequeira, who then beat away Guilherme Arana's fierce volley.

    Savinho was involved again in stoppage time as he teed up one final opportunity for Bruno Guimaraes, who bent his first-time shot narrowly wide to compound a frustrating start to the tournament for the nine-time winners.

    Selecao stutter on return to States

    It is fair to say Brazil do not boost particularly fond recent memories of playing in the United States in recent years.

    After all, the Selecao crashed out in the group stages when the Copa America was last held in this nation eight years ago.

    Neymar, who was part of that side, watched on from the stands having been ruled out of this tournament through injury.

    Try as they may, his team-mates just could not break down their opponents and turn their dominance into the elusive goal, with just three of their 19 attempts on target.

    Fresh from playing a starring role in Real Madrid’s LaLiga and Champions League double, Vinicius Junior was unable to inspire his nation – his tallies of 45 touches and 23 passes were the lowest recorded by any of Brazil’s outfield starters.

    On a brighter note, Marquinhos made his 16th Copa America appearance – with only Dani Alves (19) and Thiago Silva (18) playing more times for the Selecao in the competition since 2000 – though a VAR review prevented him from marking the occasion with a goal.

    Another clean sheet for repellent Costa Rica

    Costa Rica were heavy underdogs on their return to the Copa America for the first time in eight years.

    Not since 2004 have Los Ticos progressed from the group stages of this competition, but they certainly know what it takes to claim a scalp on the big stage.

    Exactly 10 years ago, they beat Uruguay and Italy to top Group D, which also featured England, on the way to reaching the World Cup quarter-finals.

    Fast forward a decade and Joel Campbell, who was part of that side, came off the bench for his 140th cap as his nation halted a run of nine successive defeats by Brazil. 

    More impressively, Costa Rica have kept clean sheets in each of their last four competitive games.

    Their failure to record a single shot on target for the first time in a Copa America match since 2011 will be a slight concern, but that defensive stubbornness will stand them in good stead as they look to progress in this tournament.

  • France secure landmark qualification to Euro 2024 knockout stages France secure landmark qualification to Euro 2024 knockout stages

    France's progression to the Euro 2024 knockout stages was confirmed on Monday, without Didier Deschamps' side kicking a ball.

    Les Bleus sit second in Group B - behind the Netherlands having scored a goal less - with four points from their opening two matches, ahead of facing Poland in Dortmund on Tuesday.

    However, the two-time European champions will approach the game safe in the knowledge they are assured of a place in the last 16.

    With Hungary and Croatia finishing third in Group A and Group B with three and two points respectively, even a defeat against Poland would see France advance as one of the four best third-placed teams.

    Deschamps' side are the only European nation to qualify from the group stage of all seven major international tournaments (World Cup and European Championship) since 2012.

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