MLB

Birthday boy Buehler boosts Dodgers, Judge lifts Yankees past Rays

By Sports Desk July 29, 2021

Walker Buehler celebrated his 27th birthday with a dominant performance as the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the San Francisco Giants 8-0 in MLB action Wednesday. 

Buehler improved to 11-1 as he allowed only three hits and two walks in seven shutout innings while striking out eight. 

In the meantime, the Dodgers knocked San Francisco starter Anthony DeSclafani out of the game in the third inning, scoring four times in that frame on RBI singles by Justin Turner and AJ Pollock and a two-run triple by Will Smith. 

Cody Bellinger capped off the rout for LA with a solo homer in the eighth one night after his throwing error cost the Dodgers the game. He had been one-for-35 agains the Giants this season before that hit.

Making matters worst for the first-place Giants, catcher Buster Posey left the game following the third inning after taking a foul ball of his mask. 

Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after the game that Posey had some dizziness but was not immediately diagnosed with a concussion. 

The rivals wrap up their three-game series Thursday in their seventh meeting in a 10-day span.

 

Judge, Yankees down Rays in 10th

Aaron Judge's 10th-inning single drove in the go-ahead run as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1. Yankees pitchers held the Rays hitless for the final six innings after Tampa Bay scored their only run on a Brandon Lowe double in the fourth. 

The Atlanta Braves could not back up a solid seven-inning start from Max Fried, falling 2-1 to the New York Mets on Brandon Drury's solo home run in the seventh after Austin Riley had tied the game with a solo shot of his own in the sixth.

Shohei Ohtani homered for the third time in four games, with his 37th of the season keying a five-run fourth inning as the Los Angeles Angels took an early lead and held on to beat the Colorado Rockies 8-7. 

Not to be outdone, Joey Votto hit a pair of home runs for the second consecutive game as the Cincinnati Reds topped the Chicago Cubs 8-2. 

 

Tigers allow seven homers, still beat Twins

Detroit pitchers allowed seven home runs while Tigers batters hit none of their own, but the visitors still managed to beat the Minnesota Twins in an NFL-worthy final score of 17-14. Every player in the Detroit lineup scored and drove in at least one run as the Tigers became the first team in MLB history to win despite being out-homered by seven or more. According to Stats Perform, teams on the wrong side of that equation had been 0-41 before Wednesday's game. 

 

Perez stuns White Sox

Salvador Perez hit a monster 438-foot home run off All-Star Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks to tie the game in the ninth inning and the Kansas City Royals would go on to defeat the division-leading Sox 3-2 on Michael A. Taylor's run-scoring single in the 10th. 

 

Wednesday's results

Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox 4-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 8-7 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 2-1 Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees 3-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Cleveland Indians 7-2 St Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 Texas Rangers
Cincinnati Reds 8-2 Chicago Cubs
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers 17-14 Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Angels 8-7 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-0 San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics 10-4 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 11-4 Seattle Mariners
Washington Nationals-Philadelphia Phillies (postponed)

 

Braves at Mets

The Atlanta Braves (50-52) send Drew Smyly to the mound as they wrap up a rare five-game series with the New York Mets (54-46), who will start Taijuan Walker in the game at Citi Field. 

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  • Detroit rookie Cunningham denies ejection gesture: I was acknowledging my people Detroit rookie Cunningham denies ejection gesture: I was acknowledging my people

    Cade Cunningham insisted he was acknowledging his "people" and not taunting the opposition after he was ejected during the Detroit Pistons' loss to the Phoenix Suns.

    The Pistons fell to a 135-108 reverse against the NBA-leading Suns on Sunday as they saw two of their players ejected in the second half.

    Cunningham was the first to be dismissed in the third quarter, ending an enthralling battle with Devon Booker, for what referee Kevin Cutler later described as "a physical taunt for pointing at the defender".

    Cutler was referring to Cunningham's gesture after he slammed past Jalen Smith and immediately pointed in the 21-year-old's direction, leading to his second technical foul.

    But Cunningham – who had 21 points, one rebound and four assists before his ejection – provided a different view after the game as he justified his celebration.

    "I had my people right behind the bench," said Cunningham, who finished on 9-for-15 shooting in 24 minutes. 

    "I went baseline to dunk the ball, and he's right in between me and my people. I probably should've read that situation better. I don't really get into taunting too much. 

    "Usually I'm chilling after a play. I realised the situation after he tech'ed me [technical fouled] up, but I didn't think I was going to get a tech. 

    "I let coach Monty [Williams of the Suns] over there, let him know, 'Good game,' and stuff like that."

    Detroit trailed by 20 at the time of Cunningham's removal, and that increased to 27 by the end of the game after Josh Jackson was also ejected with 41 seconds remaining.

    Pistons coach Dwane Casey – whose side are 10-32, the second-worst record in the league – believes his team must manage their reputation by maintaining strong disciplinary levels.

    "He [the referee] said Cade pointed at the guy that he dunked on," Casey said after the game. "I didn't see that part. I thought he was pointing towards his teammate. 

    "That's why he said he got a technical for and got ejected for, he already had one. I've seen a lot worse things to get ejected for than that. 

    "The Josh one, I haven't looked at it yet. He said Josh hit, or pushed, or whatever at [Ish] Wainright. I didn't see that part either, I have to look at that.

    "We're not in a position as a team to complain. Let me be the bad guy to fight for us.

    "As a young team, we shouldn't get that reputation of complaining to officials. Until we get to that level, we have to button up and zip up and play our butts off."

    Despite Cunningham's dismissal, the 20-year-old has been in fine form recently – averaging 17.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds since November 30 (a span of 18 games).

    With the Pistons looking to bounce back with a trip to the Golden States Warriors on Tuesday, Cunningham insisted that his team are heading in the right direction.

    "We're still locked in," Cunningham added. "We feel ourselves getting better and growing together. 

    "This is a big road trip that we got to go into. We're going to play some good teams. We're excited to take that challenge on and see what we got." 

  • Australian Open: Nadal disappointed by Djokovic absence but 'will never be against what justice says' Australian Open: Nadal disappointed by Djokovic absence but 'will never be against what justice says'

    Rafael Nadal believes it would be "better for everybody" if Novak Djokovic was competing at the Australian Open, while declaring the situation a "mess".

    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

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