Padres rally to snap Dodgers' winning streak, Yankees' woes continue after sweep

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

The San Diego Padres rallied for a 5-2 victory as MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers had their eight-game winning streak ended.

In the blockbuster National League (NL) West showdown, the Dodgers had won the opening two games away to the Padres.

But the Padres – who had lost seven straight games against the Dodgers – avoided a series sweep on Sunday, Eric Hosmer starring to help the hosts recover from a two-run deficit in the final game.

Hosmer hit a tying double in the seventh inning before adding the go-ahead single in the eighth to sink the Dodgers at Petco Park in San Diego.

"It certainly has created a rivalry," Hosmer said after the Padres were eliminated by the Dodgers en route to their World Series victory in 2020. "I don't know if I could have said that my first couple years here, but there certainly is a rivalry now. … It's just the start of it.

"It's going to be fun all year getting to play those guys, and if we get to where we want to go, we understand it's going to go through them. We welcome the challenge."

 

Bieber makes history

Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber is enjoying another stellar season. He became the first pitcher with 10-plus strikeouts in each of his first four starts of a season since 1983 in Cleveland's 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. The reigning American League (AL) Cy Young winner had 13 strikeouts across eight innings to become the first pitcher in franchise history to record six consecutive double-digit-strikeout performances. He also tied Nolan Ryan for the most strikeouts (48) through four appearances in a season since at least 1906.

Guillermo Heredia became the first Atlanta Braves player to have six-plus RBI in a game from the number eight spot in the line-up since RBI became an official stat in 1920, per Stats Perform. The Braves crushed the Chicago Cubs 13-4 after the latter won by the same scoreline on Saturday. It is the second time in MLB history that back-to-back games in a series ended with the same 13-4 scoreline. The other came in 1936, when the Phillies and Cardinals traded 13-4 victories in a doubleheader.

 

Yankees lose fifth straight

The New York Yankees are in a rut. The storied franchise were swept by AL East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays following a 4-2 loss in New York. The Yankees suffered a fifth consecutive defeat as they fell to an AL-worst 5-10, their poorest start since 1997.

 

The Stro-show!

Marcus Stroman showed why he is a former Gold Glove Award winner with a stunning behind-the-back play on the mount in the eighth inning – the New York Mets ace combining with Pete Alonso in ridiculous fashion to beat Josh Fuentes at first base. The Mets edged the Colorado Rockies 2-1.

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Dodgers at Mariners

The Dodgers (13-3) will look to return to winning ways when they visit the Mariners (10-6) on Monday. Dustin May starts for the Dodgers as the Mariners counter with Justus Sheffield.

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    Shaheen Afridi and Joe Root have been named the ICC men's Player of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year for 2021.

    Pakistan fast bowler Afridi took 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20, including a career-best of 6-51 against West Indies in August.

    It was during Pakistan's run to the semi-finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup that the 21-year-old particularly impressed, taking seven wickets in six matches.

    Mohammad Rizwan, England captain Root and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson were also nominated for the prestigious award.

    While Root missed out on that accolade, he was voted the top Test cricketer for 2021.

    Root scored 1,708 runs in 15 matches, including two double centuries and a further four tons, in what was otherwise a disappointing year for England.

    Only Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have scored more in a single calendar year.

    The 31-year-old saw off competition from New Zealand bowler Kyle Jamieson, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

    "I am incredibly proud to receive this award," Root said. 

    "I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award."

    Root scored more than three times as many runs as any of his team-mates last year, with Rory Burns (530) and Jonny Bairstow (391) next on the list.

    He is only the second Englishman to claim the accolade after Alastair Cook in 2011. 

    The award had been won by an Australian player on five of the last seven occasions it has been handed out, with Pat Cummins the most recent winner in 2019.

    Elsewhere, Afridi's team-mate Babar Azam was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year on Monday after scoring 405 runs in six games at an average of 67.50.

    And fellow Pakistan star Rizwan was crowned men's T20I Cricketer of the Year on Sunday, with England's Tammy Beaumont claiming the women's equivalent.

    Rizwan, Babar and Afridi were also included in the ICC T20I Team of 2021, alongside the likes of Jos Butler, Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood.

    ICC Teams of the Year

    Men's T20I Team of 2021: Jos Butler (ENG), Mohammad Rizwan (PAK, WK), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Aiden Markram (SA), Mitchell Marsh (AUS), David Miller (SA), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Tabraiz Shamsi (SA), Josh Hazlewood (AUS), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

    Men's ODI Team of 2021: Paul Stirling (IRE), Janneman Malan (SA), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Fakhar Zaman (PAK), Rassie van der Dussen (SA), Shakib Al-Hasan (BANG), Mushfiqur Rahim (BANG, WK), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Simi Singh (IRE), Dushmantha Chameera (SL)

    Men's Test Team of 2021: Dimuth Karunaratne (SL), Rohit Sharma (India), Marnus Labuschagne (AUS), Joe Root (ENG), Kane Williamson (NZ), Fawad Alam (PAK), Rishabh Pant (IND, WK), Ravichandran Ashwin (IND), Kyle Jamison (NZ), Hasan Ali (PAK), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

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    Daniil Medvedev's temper threatened to boil over during his match against Maxime Cressy, as the world number two reflected on a "crazy" final set.

    Medvedev beat Cressy 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 on Monday to ensure his place in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

    The second seed is the fifth Russian man in the Open Era to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne on multiple occasions, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov (five), Nikolay Davydenko (four), Aleksandar Metreveli and Marat Safin (both three).

    Medvedev had it far from easy against the world number 70, who reached the final of the Melbourne Summer Set earlier this month, losing to Rafael Nadal, and the match lasted three hours and 30 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

    Indeed, Medvedev was extremely tense in the fourth and what proved to be final set, as he squandered eight chances to break before finally doing so to nudge himself into a 6-5 lead. 

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    Medvedev eventually served out the win, taking the first match point on offer, but the US Open champion knew he had been in a battle.

    "He really did [serve and volley] well," Medvedev said. "First set I had control, but the second set I didn't manage to break him but won the tie-break and just wanted to continue this way.

    "When I lost the third [set] and when I had eight break points in the fourth set, I was like, come on. Some of them I could have won, but he played well, but on the last one I played well.

    "It was not easy. If I didn't win the fourth [set] I'd have probably been in a difficult mental shape because I had so many breakpoints. Hell of a match. The fourth set was crazy."

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    Another annoyance for Medvedev was that he was again scheduled to play on Margaret Court Arena, rather than the crown jewel at Melbourne Park, Rod Laver Arena.

    "I really don't know what I should do to play on centre court here," he told reporters.

    Next up for Medvedev is a quarter-final tie against ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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    LeBron James does not plan on halting his scoring run after he finished with 25 points or more for a 17th straight game.

    James had a double-double but it was not enough for the fast-finishing Los Angeles Lakers to overcome his former side the Miami Heat on Sunday.

    Miami turned up the heat on Lakers coach Frank Vogel, with Los Angeles having now lost five of their last seven games after the 113-107 reverse.

    There was at least one bright note for the Lakers, who charged home with 37-24 points down the stretch to reduce the deficit.

    James finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. The veteran is averaging 29.0 points per game this season for the Lakers, who sit eighth in the Western Conference with a 23-24 record. That ranks him second in the NBA, behind Kevin Durant (29.3).

    A knee injury for Anthony Davis earlier in the season meant James has had to deliver, and he has certainly held up his end of the bargain. Indeed, across the last 17 games, only Joel Embiid (33.9) has averaged more than the 37-year-old's 32.5 points.

    "I don't need to score 30 a night, but I'm in one of the best zones offensively I've been in, in my career," James told reporters. 

    "And I don't plan on stopping. That's just how I feel. I feel fantastic. Shooting the ball extremely well. I didn't shoot the three-ball well tonight, but all eight of them felt great.

    "I'm shooting efficiently from the free-throw line, shooting efficiently from the field. I was very efficient at the rim. So I don't go into the game saying you got to score 30 or you guys don't have a chance to win the game. I just play the game. The scoring has been happening organically."

    Russell Westbrook provided able support on Sunday with 24 points and nine rebounds, but Vogel is looking forward to welcoming Davis back from injury, having said before the game that it will help share the workload.

    For his part, however, James has his eye on another milestone. The big one, in fact – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time points record of 38,387.

    "As I've continued to climb the ranks, it's natural, human to look at it and see where you are and see if it's even possible. See if you're capable," added James, who is 2,006 points behind the record.

    "Obviously health plays the most important part and then just continuing to give your everything to the game. I've never cheated the game. I've never wanted to feel like I was content.

    "I wanted to continue to get better and like you said, I will be within 2,000 points, when did you say? Soon? Well, listen, we'll see what happens. I've never chased a record in my life."

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