MLB

Ohtani achieves another feat as Angels sink slumping Yankees, Padres' Snell allows no hits

By Sports Desk September 01, 2021

Shohei Ohtani produced something he had never done before to help the Los Angeles Angels past the New York Yankees 6-4 in MLB on Tuesday.

Favourite to win the American League (AL) MVP this season, two-way Angels star Ohtani stole home for the first time in his four-year career.

Ohtani stole home as part of a double steal in the fifth inning, which saw the Angels produce a three-run rally against the slumping Yankees, who have lost four straight games.

The Japanese sensation leads the majors with 42 homers, while he also has 22 stolen bases.

Ohtani is only the fourth player in AL history with at least 42 home runs and 22 stolen bases in a season, joining Jose Canseco (1988, 1991 and 1998), Alex Rodriguez (1998 and 2007) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1999).

 

Snell sizzles against D-Backs

Blake Snell was dominant as the San Diego Padres blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0. Snell delivered seven no-hit innings, but San Diego's no-hit bid was ended when the Padres turned to the bullpen. According to Stats Perform, Padres ace Snell is the second starter in the modern era to be removed from the game after throwing 7.0-plus no-hit innings with 10-plus shutouts, following Francisco Cordova in 1997.

The Philadelphia Phillies tallied 18 hits in a rallying 12-6 victory over the Washington Nationals to extend their winning streak to five games. According to Stats Perform, the win marked the sixth occasion this season the Phillies had trailed by three-plus runs against the Nationals and came back to win – tied for the most such victories by any team against any single opponent in a season I the modern era.

The American League (AL) East-leading Tampa Bay Rays celebrated their ninth straight win by downing the Boston Red Sox 8-5.

 

Bogaerts tests positive for COVID-19

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts had to be pulled from the game after testing positive for coronavirus. After hitting an RBI single in the first inning, the Boston star was withdrawn in the second.

The Milwaukee Brewers got on top of San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto in a 6-2 win. Cueto allowed six runs and 10 hits in 3.2 innings.

 

Rosario makes history

Amed Rosario hit an inside-the-park homer to fuel the Cleveland Indians' 7-2 victory at the Kansas City Royals. Rosario became the first player to go five-for-five with five-plus RBIS, an inside-the-park homer and an over-the-fence home run in the same game, per Stats Perform.

 

 

Tuesday's results 

Los Angeles Angels 6-4 New York Yankees
San Diego Padres 3-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Atlanta Braves
Seattle Mariners 4-0 Houston Astros
New York Mets 6-5 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 3-1 Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies 12-6 Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles 4-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays 8-5 Boston Red Sox
Oakland Athletics 9-3 Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers 4-3 Colorado Rockies
Chicago Cubs 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 7-2 Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
St Louis Cardinals-Cincinnati Reds (postponed)

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Rays (84-48) will put their winning run on the line when they face the Red Sox (75-59) again on Wednesday. Chris Sale starts for the Red Sox as the high-flying Rays counter with Drew Rasmussen.

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    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

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    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.

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