MLB

Fried does it all for Braves, White Sox dominate Astros

By Sports Desk July 18, 2021

Max Fried did it all for the Atlanta Braves, pitching seven scoreless innings and collecting three hits in a 9-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Proving Shohei Ohtani is not the only multi-talented pitcher in the majors, Fried allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out seven on the mound and going 3-for-3 with a two-run double at the plate

Fried, who had a pinch-hit, walk-off single on July 4, boosted his batting average to .333 with his offensive effort Saturday. 

In addition to their pitcher's heroics, the Braves also got home runs from new addition Joc Pederson and reigning National League MVP Freddie Freeman as they pulled to within a win of .500 at 45-46. 

 

Giolito, White Sox dominate Astros

Chicago starter Lucas Giolito held the Houston Astros to just three hits and the White Sox pounded five home runs in a 10-1 victory over the Houston Astros. 

Sixth-inning homers by Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres were the difference for the New York Yankees in a rain-shortened 3-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. 

The Milwaukee Brewers scored three times in the 11th inning against Sean Doolittle to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 and extend their division lead to six games. 

Robbie Grossman had a leadoff home run in Game 1 and Miguel Cabrera a walk-off bloop single in Game 2 as the Detroit Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Minnesota Twins 1-0 and 5-4. 

 

Ohtani runs out of gas

After a busy week as the center of attention at the All-Star Game, Ohtani turned in his worst batting performance of the year, going 0-for-5 with a season-high four strikeouts in the Los Angeles Angels' 9-4 win over the Seattle Mariners. It was only the second time in 340 MLB games Ohtani has struck out four times at the plate. The other, on Aug. 30, 2019 against the Boston Red Sox, was a 15-inning game in which he made eight plate appearances. 

 

Pirates slam Mets 

Trailing 6-0 to the New York Mets, the Pittsburgh Pirates scored five runs in the eighth inning before Jacob Stallings' walk-off grand slam in the ninth gave them a 9-7 victory.

 

Saturday's results

Detroit Tigers 1-0 Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers 5-4 Minnesota Twins
New York Yankees 3-1 Boston Red Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates 9-7 New York Mets
Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 Cincinnati Reds
Atlanta Braves 9-0 Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox 10-1 Houston Astros
Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Kansas City Royals
St Louis Cardinals 3-1 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 9-4 Seattle Mariners
Chicago Cubs 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Cleveland Indians 3-2 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 8-4 Washington Nationals (suspended)
Philadelphia Phillies 2-2 Miami Marlins (suspended)
Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers (postponed)


Astros at White Sox

After splitting their first two games, division leaders the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox will square off again in Chicago with the series on the line. 

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  • Insigne: Toronto move motivated by need for fresh challenge Insigne: Toronto move motivated by need for fresh challenge

    Lorenzo Insigne says his move to Major League Soccer side Toronto FC came about due to his need for a new challenge after spending his entire career with Napoli.

    The Italy international agreed to join Toronto in January, going on to finish the 2021-22 Serie A season with 11 goals in 32 appearances for Luciano Spalletti's Napoli before heading to Canada.

    Insigne scored 122 goals in 434 appearances for his hometown club, a tally which is only bettered by Dries Mertens (148) and represents seven goals more than the late, great Diego Maradona netted for the Partenopei (115).

    Speaking at his first news conference in Toronto, Insigne refuted the suggestion that MLS represented a step down for a player of his quality.

    Asked whether he had been presented with other options, Insigne said: "I didn't receive any [other] offers at that time. It was very early when I first met the president, and I still had my contract with Napoli. I could have stayed in Europe. 

    "I'm 31, so I still have many years in front of me, but I wanted to choose happiness and the wellbeing of my family. 

    "As I mentioned before, I won a lot with Napoli, and I lost as well. But I wanted a change and more importantly, a challenge, either in another European club or here in North America. 

    "I've heard people saying that soccer in North America is not real soccer, but I've seen it and it's not true. 

    "It is a challenge because of the move, but I'm really grateful to the opportunity the president gave me and the whole organisation has given me, and the love and the effort that everybody is putting into this. I'm very thankful, and I want to repay the love with my performances during the season."

    Insigne joins a team that sits 11th in the Eastern Conference, but he is already targeting silverware.

    "I am very happy to be here. This is a big and new adventure for me and my family, this is the first time we have been away from Napoli," he said.

    "But it was a great choice, because when I first met the president, he talked to me about Toronto as a city and especially about the team. 

    "He struck me as a really great person, and the project that he explained to me about the team stuck with me.

    "I made the decision, not for the money, but for a new life for my family and my kids, and for their wellbeing. The project is certainly a challenge, and I would like to be part of winning the championship.

    "I played for Napoli for 10 years and for the Italian national team, winning the Euros. So, I don't have any problem with being under pressure, and I'd rather have my actions speak for me on the pitch."

  • Wimbledon: Swiatek makes it 36 wins on the bounce despite topsy-turvy second set Wimbledon: Swiatek makes it 36 wins on the bounce despite topsy-turvy second set

    Iga Swiatek is through to the second round at Wimbledon thanks to a straight-sets defeat of Jana Fett on Tuesday.

    While the top seed did not have it all her own way in the second set, she ultimately had more than enough to see off Fett 6-0 6-3.

    All early signs pointed to a comfortable win for Swiatek as world number 252 Fett looked nervous, committing 14 unforced errors to her opponent's four in the first set.

    As such, Swiatek's first-set bagel arrived with the Pole barely breaking a sweat, but her level dropped in the second and allowed Fett a foothold.

    Fett broke to love in the first game of the second set, and although Swiatek instantly hit back, the Croatian then broke again before managing to consolidate and go 3-1 up.

    But she passed up five break points as Swiatek began to build her way back, and the world number one was soon a break to the good, with Fett's 23 unforced errors, which included nine double faults, proving her downfall.

    A sloppy return from Fett gave Swiatek match point, and the former put her next shot straight into the net as the favourite became the first female player since Martina Hingis in 1997 to win 36 successive matches.

    Data slam: Swiatek bagels again

    Remarkably, Swiatek's first-set bagel was her 17th of the season. This century, only Serena Williams (25 in 2013) and Kim Clijsters (18 in 2003) have managed more in a single year.

    While Fett made life a little trickier in the second, the nature of Swiatek's first-set performance almost made victory a formality and few would bet against her repeating her bagel feat in the second round.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Swiatek – 10/15
    Fett – 7/23

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Swiatek – 0/3
    Fett – 1/9

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Swiatek – 6/10
    Fett – 2/8

  • England white-ball captain Morgan retires from international cricket England white-ball captain Morgan retires from international cricket

    England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan has announced his retirement from international cricket and Jos Buttler is expected to replace him as skipper.

    Morgan has become one of England's greatest leaders after being appointed in 2014, leading the side to a first World Cup triumph in the 50-over format with a dramatic victory over New Zealand in the 2019 final at Lord's.

    The 35-year-old also took England to the T20 World Cup final in 2016 and the semi-finals five years later.

    However, Morgan has struggled with the bat in recent months, twice falling without scoring in a 3-0 ODI series whitewash of the Netherlands last week before missing the final match of the series due to injury.

    The left-handed batter has passed 50 just once in his past eight ODIs since scoring 106 against his country of birth Ireland in February 2020.

    Morgan repeatedly suggested he would step down from his role if he felt he was not contributing with the bat and he confirmed on Tuesday that his international career is over.

    "After careful deliberation and consideration, I am here to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect," Morgan said in a statement issued on the England and Wales Cricket Board's website.

    "To call time on what has been without doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding chapter of my career hasn't been an easy decision, but I believe now is the right time to do so, both for me, personally, and for both England white-ball sides I have led to this point.

    "I am hugely proud of what I have achieved as a player and captain, but the things I will cherish and remember the most are the memories I made with some of the greatest people I know along the way.

    "I have been lucky enough to play in two World Cup winning teams, but I believe the future for England's white-ball teams is brighter than ever. We have more experience, more strength and more depth than ever before. I look forward to watching on with a huge level of excitement."

    Rob Key, managing director of England men's cricket, added: "On behalf of the ECB and everyone involved in cricket, I'd like to thank Eoin Morgan for his outstanding contribution to the game.

    "It will be wrong to think Eoin's legacy was just winning the World Cup in 2019; it is far greater than that.

    "As with all great players and leaders, he has changed the way the game has been played, and he has changed the way an entire generation and generations to come will play this form of the game. His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come.

    "He is, without question, the best leader I have seen. I wish him well in the next chapter of his career."

    Buttler stepped up in the absence of Morgan for the final ODI against Netherlands and is now expected to take the job on a permanent basis.

    Wicketkeeper-batter faces a busy start to his reign, with Matthew Mott's side facing South Africa and India three-match T20I and ODI series during the next month.

    England head to Australia for three T20Is in October before the T20 World Cup starts later in the month Down Under.

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