Smith, Dodgers take down Mets as Braves regain share of first

By Sports Desk August 14, 2021

Will Smith played a significant part in the Los Angeles Dodgers blowing a four-run seventh-inning lead Friday, but the catcher made up for it in the end. 

Smith's two-run homer in the 10th inning gave the visitors a 6-5 victory over the New York Mets, lifting the Dodgers to their fifth win in six games. 

Los Angeles had scratched out a 4-0 edge through the first six innings at Citi Field, scoring runs on a ground-rule double and three sacrifice flies. 

But the Mets came to life in the seventh, drawing within a run on RBI singles from Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil. 

A passed ball by Smith allowed Pete Alonso to score the equaliser and that is how the game would remain heading into extra innings. 

With Max Muncy on second to start the 10th, Smith homered to left for a 6-4 lead, and that was enough for the Dodgers after Kenley Jansen escaped the bottom of the ninth with one run allowed. 

 

Braves back in first place

The Atlanta Braves waited out a three-hour, 12-minute rain delay before starting their game against the Washington Nationals, and it was well worth it as the visitors moved back into a tie for first place with a 4-2 win. After falling behind 2-0 in the first, Atlanta got solo home runs from Travis d'Arnaud, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson to regain a share of the top spot in the National League East with the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Phillies also fell victim to the longball in a 6-1 home defeat to Cincinnati as the Reds got a three-run homer from Joey Votto, a two-run drive by Eugenio Suarez and a solo shot from Nick Castellanos. 

Rookie Jarred Kelenic drew a bases-loaded walk from Brad Hand in the bottom of the ninth to score the winning run as the Seattle Mariners downed the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 – Seattle's 10th successive game decided by two runs or fewer.  

Zack Greinke dominated the Los Angeles Angels, allowing two hits in seven shutout innings as the Houston Astros won 4-1 thanks to a Kyle Tucker grand slam in the fourth inning. 

Jack Flaherty was brilliant for the St Louis Cardinals in his first start since May 31 after recovering from a strained oblique muscle. The right-hander allowed just two hits and did not walk a batter while striking out five in a 6-0 defeat of the Kansas City Royals. 

Daulton Varsho's walk-off homer in the ninth gave the Arizona Diamondbacks a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres. 

 

Cubs implode against Marlins

The Chicago Cubs needed three pitchers to get through an ugly 11-run second inning in a 14-10 loss to the Miami Marlins. Reliever Dan Winkler had the worst of it, facing seven batters and failing to retire any of them as he walked a batter, hit two others, and allowed four hits including a three-run homer by Alex Jackson. 

 

Run, Kevin, run!

The Tampa Bay Rays hit three balls over the fence in Minnesota on Friday, but Kevin Kiermaier provided the most exciting home run of the night in a 10-4 defeat of the Twins. 

 

Friday's results 

Cleveland Indians 7-4 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 6-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox 8-1 Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 New York Mets
Miami Marlins 14-10 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 8-6 Oakland Athletics
St Louis Cardinals 6-0 Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 10-4 Minnesota Twins
Houston Astros 4-1 Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants 5-4 Colorado Rockies 
Seattle Mariners 3-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Atlanta Braves 4-2 Washington Nationals
Milwauke Brewers-Pittsburgh Pirates (postponed)
 

Orioles at Red Sox

Two years and two days after his last MLB start, seven-time All-Star Chris Sale will return from elbow surgery to start for the Boston Red Sox (67-51) against the Baltimore Orioles (38-76) at Fenway Park.

Related items

  • Bryce Harper out indefinitely after fracturing thumb Bryce Harper out indefinitely after fracturing thumb

    Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper was ruled out indefinitely by the Philadelphia Phillies after fracturing his left thumb during Saturday's win over the San Diego Padres.

    Harper sustained the injury in the fourth inning when he was hit by a 97mph fastball from Padres pitcher Blake Snell.

    Set to undergo further evaluation in the coming days, Harper said: "I've never had a hand injury like this.

    "Never broken anything in my life. This is new to me, so I'm just gonna go day by day, see kind of where we're at, and see the specialist in Philly. And if I do need to see another specialist somewhere, then I will."

    Harper joked: "I kind of wish it would've hit me in the face. I don't break bones in my face. I can take 98 to the face, but I can't take 97 to the thumb."

    General manager Dave Dombrowski was unsure in the immediate aftermath whether Harper would require surgery.

    "We will put him on the injured list [on Sunday]," Dombrowski said. "I was concerned at first he got hit in the face. I was concerned right off the bat because he is a tough guy and he walked off the field immediately."

    Harper is fifth in the NL with a batting average of .318. He has 15 home runs this season and is tied sixth in the NL with 48 RBIs.

    "He is a guy who really isn't replaceable on an individual basis, but we are going to have to be in a position that other people are going to have to step up," Dombrowski said.

    "We will make a move to try and get someone here [on Sunday]."

  • Wimbledon: Djokovic, Nadal and Williams lead charge of the old guard Wimbledon: Djokovic, Nadal and Williams lead charge of the old guard

    When Wimbledon ended last year, there were two great takeaways from the tournament: Novak Djokovic would soon be pulling away in the grand slam title race and Ash Barty was beginning a new era of dominance.

    Both seemed to be knock-ins, and yet neither has come to pass. Djokovic missed out on a calendar Grand Slam in New York before being banished from Australia, and despite drawing level with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 grand slams with his Centre Court triumph, he now finds himself two adrift of the Spaniard again.

    Barty, meanwhile, has left her own party. The then world number one stunned the tennis world by retiring in March, having added the Australian Open she so craved to her trophy cabinet.

    Djokovic and Iga Swiatek head into Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, as the top seeds.

    Stats Perform has used Opta facts to consider what the men's and women's singles might deliver.

    KING ROGER'S REIGN IS OVER, BUT DJOKOVIC AND NADAL KEEP GOING STRONG

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

    Djokovic is the man most likely, as he targets his fourth straight Wimbledon title and seventh overall; since 2011, when he beat Nadal in the final, the Serbian has only been absent from the trophy match three times (in 2012, 2016 and 2017).

    His winning run of 21 matches at Wimbledon is the fifth-longest in the men's singles. Bjorn Borg holds the record (41 between 1976 and 1981).

    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.

    Nadal has won Wimbledon twice, in 2008 and 2010. He won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010, the only season of his career when he has won three slams. This year, at the age of 36, he has the Australian and French Open trophies already locked away, potentially halfway to a calendar Grand Slam, last achieved in men's singles in 1969 by Rod Laver.

    Should Nadal pull off another major coup, it would make him only the second man in the Open Era (from 1968) to win the season's first three singles slams, after Laver in 1969 and Djokovic last year.

    Can the rest hope to compete?

    What of Murray? Well, only Federer (19), Sampras (10), Laver and Jimmy Connors (both nine) have won more ATP titles on grass than the Scot in the Open Era. If he recovers from an abdominal strain, he has a shot at reaching the second week. He will of course have the full backing of the Wimbledon crowd.

    Last year's runner-up Matteo Berrettini is fancied more than Nadal by many, having won Stuttgart and Queen's Club titles in the build-up.

    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.

    Third seed Casper Ruud has never won a singles match at Wimbledon, while fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has not had a win since reaching the fourth round in 2018. Daniil Medvedev, the world number one, cannot compete at The All England Club after their contentious decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    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.

    Could Gauff be best of the rest?

    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.

  • Astros pitchers combine for no-hitter as Bryce Harper breaks thumb Astros pitchers combine for no-hitter as Bryce Harper breaks thumb

    Houston Astros pitchers Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for a stunning no-hitter in their 3-0 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday.

    Javier set career highs for pitches (115) and strikeouts (13) after walking Josh Donaldson on a full count in the first at-bat, before Astros manager Dusty Baker brought Neris in to start the eighth inning.

    Pressly, who gave up the game-tying three-run home run to Aaron Hicks in Thursday's loss to the Yankees, retired three-straight in the ninth for his 15th save out of 18.

    Astros rookie JJ Matijevic gave the Astros the lead in the seventh inning with his second homer in the major leagues, sending Gerrit Cole deep over right-field.

    Jose Altuve followed that up with a home run of his own in the eighth but Yuli Gurriel added an RBI single in the ninth, as the Astros took their second game of three in the high-profile four-game series.

    Harper breaks thumb as Appel makes Phillies roster

    While Mark Appel's promotion to the Philadelphia Phillies' roster was the main topic pre-game, nine years after he was selected in 2013 MLB Draft, it was overshadowed by Bryce Harper's broken thumb in their 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

    The reigning National League MVP will be out indefinitely after a wild fast-ball from Padres starter Blake Snell tagged him on the left hand.

    Alec Bohm and JT Realmuto led the way in Harper's absence, with Bohm claiming two hits and RBI from four at-bats and Realmuto's home run off Snell setting up a three-run fifth inning.

    Archer and Twins combine for one-hitter

    Chris Archer was instrumental as the Minnesota Twins claimed top spot in the American League Central, as they secured a 6-0 victory against the Colorado Rockies.

    On a limited pitch count, Archer gave up just one hit and struck out five over 78 pitches in five innings, before Jharrel Cotton, Griffin Jax and Tyler Thornberg shut the Rockies out.

    Leading the major leagues in batting average (.347) and OBP (.426), Luis Arraez claimed two hits and an RBI from five at-bats to help secure the win, moving the Twins to 40-33 for the year.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.