MLB

Rays sweep Red Sox, Bryant homers in Giants debut

By Sports Desk August 01, 2021

Though there is plenty of baseball still to be played before October, the Tampa Bay Rays made a statement over the weekend with their three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox. 

The Rays held on for a 3-2 victory Sunday to increase their lead in the American League (AL) East division to a game and a half after entering the series trailing Boston by the same margin. 

Brandon Lowe started the Rays off in the third inning with a two-run homer but former Ray Hunter Renfroe answered for Boston with a solo shot in the fourth. 

Manuel Margot singled in what proved to be the winning run in the fifth and Boston could get no closer than the seventh-inning wild pitch by Drew Rasmussen that allowed Alex Verdugo to score. 

The Rays had some nervous moments late as the Red Sox put two batters on with two out in the ninth but Randy Wisler got J.D. Martinez to fly out to end the game. 

 

Bryant, Giants down Astros

Kris Bryant hit a home run in his first game since joining San Francisco and Darin Ruf drove in three runs as the Giants defeated Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 to win the series between teams with the two best records in MLB. Bryant joined his former Chicago Cubs team-mates Anthony Rizzo (Yankees) and Javy Baez (Mets) in hitting a homer in their first games with their new teams after being traded this week. According to Stats Perform, they are the first trio in the modern era to homer in their debuts after playing for the same team earlier in the season. 

Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts returned from the injured list to start at second base for only the second time since 2014 before capping the scoring with a ninth-inning home run in a 13-0 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Chicago White Sox bounced back from an agonising loss to the Cleveland Indians with a 2-1 victory on Brian Goodwin's ninth-inning home run punctuated by an epic bat flip. 

Kyle Gibson got plenty of run support in his Philadelphia Phillies debut after coming over from the Texas Rangers in a trade, picking up the win with 6.2 solid innings in a 15-4 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

The Milwaukee Brewers managed only three hits off Charlie Morton and the Atlanta Braves' bullpen but held on for a 2-1 road victory. 

 

Cubs waste Ortega's big day

A day after Chicago White Sox catcher Seby Zavala hit the first three home runs of his career only to see his team lose, Chicago Cubs outfielder Rafael Ortega hit three in a 6-5 loss to the Washington Nationals. The 30-year-old journeyman, who made his MLB debut in 2012, had six homers in 192 career games entering Sunday. He drove in all of Chicago's runs with a solo homer in the first inning and two-run shots in the sixth and eighth, but it was not enough as Yadiel Hernandez led off the ninth with a homer to give Washington the walk-off win. 

 

Heim the homer hero again

Jonah Heim hit a walk-off home run to beat the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, and he enjoyed it so much he did it again Sunday in a 4-3 Texas Rangers win. Heim became the first Rangers player ever to hit walk-off homers in consecutive games and the first player for any MLB team to do so since Albert Pujols of the St Louis Cardinals did it in June 2011. 

 

Sunday's results 

Philadelphia Phillies 15-4 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 6-5 Chicago Cubs
Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 Kansas City Royals
Cincinnati Reds 7-1 New York Mets
New York Yankees 3-1 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers 6-2 Baltimore Orioles
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Atlanta Braves
Texas Rangers 4-3 Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox 2-1 Cleveland Indians
St Louis Cardinals 7-3 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 8-3 Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers 13-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 5-3 Houston Astros
San Diego Padres 8-1 Colorado Rockies

 

Indians at Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays (54-48) are riding a four-game winning streak as the Cleveland Indians (51-51) cross the border to visit Rogers Centre. 

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    Professional sports are usually cyclical with teams rising and falling at one point or another. Some franchises, however, seem to be stuck in a never-ending loop of nothingness.

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