MLB

Fried delivers eight strikeouts as Braves down Dodgers, young gun Franco stars

By Sports Desk April 20, 2022

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

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  • Benches clear in clash between Angels and Mariners after seemingly intentional hit-by-pitch Benches clear in clash between Angels and Mariners after seemingly intentional hit-by-pitch

    Six players and both managers received ejections following a benches-clearing brawl during the second inning of Sunday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels.

    The nasty incident occurred after Angels pitcher Andrew Wantz hit Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker in the hip with a pitch to begin the second inning, after throwing behind rookie star Julio Rodriguez in the opening frame.

    After exchanging words with Wantz and briefly moving towards first base, Winker then charged the Angels’ dugout on the third-base side as both teams’ benches and bullpens emptied.

    Numerous punches were thrown in the resulting fracas, which delayed the Angels’ eventual 2-1 win for more than 15 minutes. When order was restored, both Winker and Wantz were ejected along with Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez and shortstop J.P. Crawford, Angels pitchers Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Tepera and each team’s manager – the Mariners’ Scott Servais and the Angels’ Phil Nevin.

    Tensions between the American League West rivals were already running high after Seattle pitcher Erik Swanson’s errant pitch sailed over Angels star Mike Trout’s head in the Mariners’ 5-3 victory on Saturday night.

    Wantz was not originally scheduled to start the game, with the change coming in the hours leading up to start time, prompting those on the Mariners' side to believe he was brought in with the intent to hit batters.

    "It’s classless," Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales said afterward. “To throw at Julio, who’s a kid, over something that happened last night when we were trying to win a ballgame in the ninth inning, (not) put the tying run on base. It’s just classless to come out and change your pitcher before the game.

    "It’s clear. The intention is clear."

    Wantz, who was making his first career major league start, denied intentionally throwing at either Rodriguez or Winker.

    "I was pretty amped up for my first start and the first one just got away from me," he said. "It was sweaty. I was sweating.

    "First day game I’ve pitched (in the majors), and that’s that. Second one to Winker was a cut fastball inside and just yanked it. That’s all I’ve got to say."

    Nevin also downplayed the incident afterward.

    "You play eight games in a matter of a week against the same team, things like this happen," he said. "The scheduling, tensions, that’s baseball sometimes – unfortunately there’s some ugly incidents once in a while. I think that’s just what happened today."

    Winker later directed obscene gestures towards several Angels fans as he left the field, actions he expressed remorse for during his postgame interview.

    "The only thing I’m going to apologise for is flipping the fans off. That’s it," he said. "As fans, they’re spending their hard-earned money to come watch us play a game, and they didn’t deserve that. So, I apologise to the fans, especially the women and children."

    The two teams are scheduled to face one another 11 more times this season, including a four-game series in Seattle from August 5-7. The Mariners will visit Anaheim twice more in 2022, a three-game series in August and a four-game set in September.

  • Aaron Judge hits walk-off home run in extra innings, Cease and McClanahan put on a pitching show Aaron Judge hits walk-off home run in extra innings, Cease and McClanahan put on a pitching show

    New York Yankees star Aaron Judge continued to mount his case for AL MVP on Sunday as he crushed a three-run, walk-off home run to complete a 6-3 comeback win against the Houston Astros.

    All the momentum was with the Astros early coming off Saturday's meeting where they became the first team in 19 years to hold the Yankees hit-less, and they added to that history to begin this contest.

    Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a first-inning home run, before the road team jumped ahead 3-0 with a two-RBI single to Maurcio Dubon in the fourth frame.

    The Yankees did not have a hit through six-and-a-third innings – making it a streak of 52 at-bats without a hit, the longest dry spell by any team since 1974.

    Giancarlo Stanton finally broke the seal with a 436-foot solo homer in the seventh frame, before D.J. LeMahieu tied things up with a two-run shot an inning later.

    Neither team was able to find a run in the ninth, forcing extra innings, where Michael King was able to keep the Astros from scoring, setting up Judge to connect on the walk-off winner in the bottom of the 10th.

    Judge is the current favourite for AL MVP, and the home run was his 28th of the season – six more than any other player.

    Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes put in a solid performance, striking out seven batters in five innings while conceding three earned runs from five hits and two walks.

    Astros starter Jose Urquidy was even better, allowing just one run from one hit through seven complete innings.

    With the win, the Yankees move their league-best record to 53-20, leading the second-placed New York Mets by six-and-a-half games.

    McClanahan shows Cy Young quality

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan has emerged as the top choice for the AL Cy Young Award as the league's most outstanding pitcher, and he dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in his side's 4-2 win.

    McClanahan struck out 10 batters, holding the Pirates to one run from four hits and no walks through his seven full innings.

    His dominance was rewarded, keeping the Rays tied at 1-1 until the seventh inning when they would finally find their rhythm and string together three consecutive two-out hits to make sure McClanahan had the lead before he was withdrawn, and was thus credited with the win.

    White Sox issue Cease and desist to Orioles offense

    Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was at the top of his game on what turned out to be a great Sunday for star pitchers, striking out a career-high 13 batters in a 4-3 home win against the Baltimore Orioles.

    His 13 strikeouts in seven complete innings was one shy of this season's most strikeouts in a game, set by Miami Marlins star Sandy Alcantara when he sat down 14 batters against the Atlanta Braves last month.

    With the bat, the White Sox jumped ahead in the second inning courtesy of a two-run Gavin Sheets homer, and they held that lead throughout.

  • Wimbledon: Djokovic hoping for Nadal clash as he seeks revenge for Roland Garros defeat Wimbledon: Djokovic hoping for Nadal clash as he seeks revenge for Roland Garros defeat

    Novak Djokovic would be delighted by the prospect of facing Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon final, as he targets revenge for his French Open loss to the Spaniard.

    Nadal remains on course for a calendar Grand Slam after following up January's Australian Open victory with his 14th French Open title earlier this month, having overcome Djokovic in a quarter-final classic on the clay in Paris.

    The Spaniard's Roland Garros triumph moved him two clear of Djokovic's tally of 20 grand slam titles, while his last-eight win over the Serbian was his 29th in the pair's head-to-head rivalry (Djokovic has 30 wins).

    With 59 career meetings, the duo have met one another more often than any other men's pairing in the Open Era, and they could be set for a final showdown at Wimbledon after landing on opposite sides of the draw.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, defending Wimbledon champion Djokovic said he would relish such a contest and insisted Nadal, who has not triumphed on the grass in London since 2010, is among the favourites to take home the title.

     

    "If we get to face each other it means we're both in the finals, which I think we both want," Djokovic said.

    "It's a very long way [away], but of course you have to put him as one of the favourites, even though he hasn't played at Wimbledon for the last three years [including the cancelled 2020 edition], I think.

    "But still, he's Nadal, he has achieved what he has achieved throughout his career and also this year, of course, which gives you a lot of confidence in his case.

    "I'm sure there's going to be a lot of great matches ahead for both of us, and if we get to face [each other] in the final… I'd love to face him in the final and get revenge for Paris!"

    Nadal has beaten Djokovic in 11 of the duo's 18 grand slam meetings, although the Serbian holds a 2-1 advantage over their three Wimbledon contests, triumphing in the 2011 final and the 2018 semi-finals.

    Djokovic begins his Wimbledon campaign by facing Kwon Soon-woo on Centre Court on Monday, with Nadal taking on Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo the following day.

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