MLB

Pujols hits first Dodgers homer as Giants light up Reds with 19 runs

By Sports Desk May 21, 2021

Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols hit his first home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers as the World Series champions extended their winning streak in MLB.

Pujols – acquired on a one-year deal on Monday, having been designated for assignment by city rivals the Los Angeles Angels – launched a two-run homer in the second inning of the Dodgers' 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

It was Pujols' 668th career home run as the Dodgers celebrated their fourth consecutive victory.

Pujols – a two-time World Series champion, three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star – now has 3,256 hits, 13th on the all-time list.

According to Stats Perform, the 41-year-old Pujols became the first player in MLB history to homer for two different teams in the same metro area before the end of May.

Elsewhere, the San Francisco Giants showed no mercy in a 19-4 demolition of the Cincinnati Reds, who suffered a four-game sweep.

Steven Duggar hit his first career grand slam in a nine-run third inning, while Brandon Crawford drove in six runs for the Giants.

The Giants, who had season highs of 19 runs and 16 hits, now own the best record in the majors amid a five-game winning streak.

 

Cubs roar as Happ homers

A pair of Ian Happ home runs helped the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 5-2. Happ also drove in three runs at Wrigley Field.

The Tampa Bay Rays routed the Baltimore Orioles 10-1, extending their winning streak to seven games, thanks to Joey Wendle's two homers.

Sandy Alcantara produced a two-hit performance of six innings as the Miami Marlins shut out the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0.

 

Mahle struggles

It was a game to forget for Tyler Mahle and the Reds. Cincinnati pitcher Mahle allowed seven runs, seven hits and two walks in just two innings. His ERA rose from 2.93 to 4.20.

 

Martinez the hero in Dunedin

J.D. Martinez hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in a three-run ninth inning as the Boston Red Sox rallied past the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7. Martinez's 250th career home run snapped a 12-game streak without a homer as the Red Sox held onto the American League (AL) East lead.

 

Thursday's results

San Francisco Giants 19-4 Cincinnati Reds
Tampa Bay Rays 10-1 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 2-0 Texas Rangers
Chicago Cubs 5-2 Washington Nationals
Houston Astros 8-4 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angles 7-1 Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins 6-3 Los Angeles Angels
Miami Marlins 6-0 Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 8-7 Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Arizona Diamondbacks

 

White Sox at Yankees

AL Central leaders the Chicago White Sox (26-16) will visit the streaking Yankees (25-19) on Friday. The Yankees have won three straight games following a slow start to the season. White Sox ace Carlos Rodon takes to the mound at Yankee Stadium, where the hosts counter with Jordan Montgomery.

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    Nadal sits level on 20 grand slam titles with Djokovic and Roger Federer but is the only one of tennis' 'Big Three' featuring in Melbourne.

    Federer was ruled out due to ongoing knee injury problems, while Djokovic saw his visa cancelled for a second time on Sunday as he appealed Australia's refusal to let him into the country.

    That ruling owed to Djokovic's unvaccinated status and Australia's coronavirus guidelines, leaving the Serbian unable to defend his Melbourne Park crown and seek a record-extending 21st grand slam.

    Nadal has previously said he was "tired" of talking about the Djokovic saga, but the Spaniard again offered his thoughts after defeating Marcos Giron in the first round on Monday.

    "Almost one week ago when he won in the first instance, the case, he was able to get back his visa and practising. I said the justice has spoken," Nadal told reporters.

    "If the justice says his visa is valid and he's able to play here, the justice has spoken, so that's the fairest thing, that he deserves to play here. Yesterday the justice said another thing. I will never be against what the justice says.

    "Another thing is what I believe personally and what I believe is the ideal situation personally, no?

    "The ideal situation in the world of sport is that the best players are on court and playing the most important events. That's better for the sport without a doubt.

    "If Novak Djokovic is playing here, it's better for everybody, no doubt about that. Another thing is what happened. As I said in the beginning, I can't say another thing because I believe that the situation is very clear now."

    Pressed for an answer on his relationship with the 34-year-old world number one, Nadal wished his fellow competitor all the best.

    "He's not the only one that did bad things in that case," Nadal added.

    "Of course, there are more responsibilities on all for this terrible situation that we faced for the last two weeks. But of course, he is one of those responsible, too.

    "So on a personal level, yes, I would like to see him playing here. If it is fair or not that he's playing here is another discussion that I don't want to talk anymore about that."

    Nadal advanced to the second round in Melbourne with a cruising 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over American Giron, who is ranked 66th in the world.

    That was Nadal's fourth win of the year after triumphing at the Melbourne Summer Set and he appears to have battled through his foot injury, though he still expressed concerns over his fitness.

    "It's been a very challenging few months… tough moments with a lot of doubts – there still are doubts," he said.

    "But I am here and I can't be happier to be back in Australia in this amazing stadium.

    "You never know when you come back from injury, which unfortunately I have a lot of experience with, how things will be, so you have to take it day by day. You have to forgive yourself if things aren't going the proper way."

    Awaiting Nadal in the second round of the tournament will be either Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis or Yannick Hanfmann of Germany.

  • Australian Open: Impressive Nadal outclasses Giron in first round Australian Open: Impressive Nadal outclasses Giron in first round

    Rafael Nadal made a strong start to his Australian Open campaign, brushing past Marcos Giron in the opening round on Monday.

    The Spanish superstar outclassed American Giron in a resounding 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

    Nadal, who can claim the outright lead for most grand slams won by a man if he clinches his 21st in Melbourne, was in good form.

    Playing his first major since last year's French Open, Nadal – the only former champion in the draw following Novak Djokovic's deportation from the country – was never troubled by Giron.

    Nadal reeled off five consecutive games to take the opening set in 24 minutes.

    His excellent first set was highlighted by two brilliant winners to break for 5-1 as he completely dominated Giron.

    Nadal capitalised on his momentum by breaking in the opening game of the second set, Giron finally stopping the run by holding for 1-2.

    The Spaniard maintained his lead and was forced to serve out the set, doing so to 15 to take complete control.

    A backhand pass saw Nadal break again in the opening game of the third set on his way to a comprehensive win, with Thanasi Kokkinakis or Yannick Hanfmann awaiting him in the second round.

     

    DATA SLAM: Nadal makes no mistake in opener

    Only twice in his illustrious career has Nadal lost in the opening round of a grand slam – at Wimbledon in 2013 and the 2016 Australian Open.

    But since his defeat to Fernando Verdasco in Melbourne six years ago, Nadal has not lost a set in the Australian Open first round, continuing that record against Giron.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Nadal – 34/26
    Giron – 10/23

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Nadal – 7/2
    Giron – 2/2

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Nadal – 5/9
    Giron – 0/2

  • Curry-less Warriors lose to Timberwolves, Gobert stars on Jazz return Curry-less Warriors lose to Timberwolves, Gobert stars on Jazz return

    The Golden State Warriors felt the absence of Steph Curry and Draymond Green as they fell to a 119-99 loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

    Curry was ruled out with a hand injury and Green missed a fourth straight game with a calf issue as the Warriors lost for a fifth time in their last seven outings.

    Jaylen Nowell scored 17 points for the Timberwolves and Malik Beasley added 16, which included five second-half 3-pointers in a one-sided conclusion to the game.

    The travel-weary Warriors, playing on the road for a fourth successive time, are now 31-12 for the season and remain second in the Western Conference.


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    Gobert has now recorded 15 straight double-doubles either side of his spell on the sidelines, while Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 21 points.

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    Suns win again, Rockets looking up

    The NBA-leading Phoenix Suns won for a sixth time in seven games with a 135-108 victory over the Detroit Pistons, with Devin Booker scoring 30 points.

    JaVale McGee added 20 as the Pistons, who had Josh Jackson ejected in the fourth quarter, fell to a fourth defeat since New Year's Day, each of those by at least 27 points.

    Elsewhere on Sunday, the Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 118-112 to exact some revenge two days on from losing to the same opponents.

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