MLB

Tatis returns to fire Padres past Mets, Meadows stars as Rays down Yankees

By Sports Desk June 04, 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr moved into the joint lead for the most home runs this season as he led the San Diego Padres to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets in MLB on Thursday.

Tatis returned from a minor injury, described as "tightness around his midsection", to hit his 17th home run of the 2021 season when his long shot to center field was spilled over the fence by Mason Williams to make it 2-0 in the third inning.

Jurickson Profar drove in another in the fourth inning, before Tatis added their fourth run in the fifth inning, fearlessly racing home from third to home base after catcher James McCann's fumble.

Tatis touched the plate in the nick of time as McCann threw to pitcher Taijuan Walker to leave the Padres 4-0 up and despite a late Mets rally, they held on for another win.

The Padres improve to 35-23, while the Mets are 27-22 as they continue their seven-game road trip.

 

Table toppers face off, Meadows empties the bases

Joc Pederson homered into the bay as the National Central leaders, the Chicago Cubs, went down 7-2 to the frontrunners in the National West, the San Francisco Giants.

Leading off for the Cubs, Pederson was spectacularly caught on the fence by Giants center fielder Steven Duggar.

Pederson had more success later when he hit a moon shot out of Oracle Park and into the neighbouring bay for the kayakers to collect.

Brandon Crawford turned the game around for the Giants, finishing with two runs, two hits and four runs batted in (RBI).

Gerrit Cole had a tough day at the office as Austin Meadows starred for the Tampa Bay Rays in a 9-2 win over the New York Yankees.

Meadows emptied the bases at the top of the seventh inning, to finish with two runs, two hits and five RBI. Meadows has now hit 14 home runs this season.

Cole conceded five hits from his five innings before being withdrawn, while Ryan Yarbrough snapped the Rays streak of 731 games without a pitcher throwing a complete game, sending down nine innings with six strikeouts.

There were no Shohei Ohtani heroics as the Los Angeles Angels lost 6-2 to the Seattle Mariners, while the Milwaukee Brewers made it six wins from their past seven with a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

Rangers' horror road stretch

The Texas Rangers allowed 11 runs as their losing streak extended to nine games with an 11-6 defeat to the Colorado Rockies. The Rangers have conceded 55 runs across those nine games, all on the road.

 

White Sox whacking homers

Jake Lamb, Yasmani Grandal and Tim Anderson all homered for the Chicago White Sox in a fine display of hitting in their 4-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

 

Thursday's results

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

 

Cubs at Giants

The San Francisco Giants (35-21) and the Chicago Cubs (32-24) meet again the second game of their compelling six-game series.

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    There will come a time when the Wimbledon favourite is not one of the 'Big Three'. That time is not now.

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    The last player other than Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray to win the Wimbledon men's title was Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. Federer is absent this year and may have played his last Wimbledon.

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    There has not been an American men's singles champion since 2000, and although the United States has six players seeded, more than any other nation, it seems a safe enough assumption we will be saying a similar thing again in 12 months' time.

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    IF SERENA CAN'T CHALLENGE SWIATEK, WHO CAN?

    From the jaws of retirement, Serena Williams is back. Silence from the 40-year-old about her intentions had become almost deafening, and yet here she is, back at Wimbledon on a wildcard, hoping to rekindle the old magic.

    Because she has pushed back against the doubters for over two decades now, you have to take this seriously. Her haul of 23 grand slams is one short of Margaret Court's all-time record and Williams would dearly love to at least match it.

    Three years ago, Williams became the oldest player to reach Wimbledon's women's singles final when she lost to Simona Halep. Six years ago, she was the oldest champion when she beat Angelique Kerber.

    Only four women in the draw this year besides Williams have been champion before: Petra Kvitova (in 2011 and 2014), Garbine Muguruza (in 2017), Kerber (in 2018) and Halep (in 2019).

    World number one Iga Swiatek starts as favourite. Junior Wimbledon champion four years ago, she has scooped two women's French Open titles since then and is on a 35-match winning streak.

    After triumphing at Roland Garros in early June, Swiatek will hope to become the first woman since Kerber in 2016 (Australian Open and US Open) to win two singles slams in the same season.

    The only competitive warm-up for Williams came in two doubles matches at Eastbourne, having not played since sustaining a hamstring injury at Wimbledon last year. The seven-time champion might consider it a challenge that there has never been an unseeded Wimbledon women's singles finalist during the Open Era.

    The women's top two seeds have not met in the final since Serena faced her sister Venus in the 2002 title match, so don't hold your breath for a Swiatek versus Anett Kontaveit showpiece on July 9.

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    Coco Gauff made a breakthrough with her run to the French Open final. Although she was blown away by Swiatek, for the 18-year-old American it was another mark of progress. Gauff reached the fourth round in Wimbledon in 2019 (lost to Halep) and 2021 (lost to Kerber).

    Fitness is likely to be the key factor in how US Open champion Emma Raducanu fares at her home grand slam, given her injury problems. Raducanu reached the fourth round on a wildcard last year and the 19-year-old will attempt to become the first British woman to reach that stage in back-to-back seasons since Jo Durie (1984, 1985).

    Ons Jabeur, meanwhile, should not be discounted. The world number three reached the quarter-finals at SW19 last year and heads to Wimbledon having won on grass at the Berlin Open, albeit Belinda Bencic had retired hurt in the final.

    The likes of Gauff, Raducanu and 21-year-old Swiatek will attempt to become the youngest woman to lift the trophy since 17-year-old Maria Sharapova triumphed in 2004.

    A first-round exit for Swiatek would leave the event wide open, but don't count on it. In the Open Era, only three times has the top-seeded woman lost in round one: Steffi Graf in 1994 and Martina Hingis in 1999 and 2001.

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