MLB

Ohtani hits 43rd home run to set up Angels win, Verdugo walk-off for Red Sox

By Sports Desk September 04, 2021

Shohei Ohtani hammered his 43rd home run of the 2021 MLB season to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

The Japanese two-way star delivered the homer with the Angels leading 1-0 and runners on first and second at the bottom of the sixth inning.

Ohtani skied his three-run shot over center field from his first Kolby Allard pitch to set up with the win.

The homer was crushed with 107.2 mph exit velocity and travelled a projected 426 feet, per Statcast.

Ohtani now leads the MLB for home runs with 43, three ahead of in-form Kansas City Royals slugger Salvador Perez, with Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr third on 39.

The 27-year-old is homing in on history, with no Angels player ever ending a season top of the HR charts, while he may eclipse Troy Glaus' franchise record of 47 from 2000.

The win improves the Angels record to 67-68 but they are well back in fourth in the American League (AL) West and Wild Card race.

 

Perez hits homers 39 and 40

Ohtani may have padded his MLB home run lead, but Perez moved into second spot with his 39th and 40th blasts in the Royals' 10-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Perez produced the home-run double despite a neck contusion which prevented him from catching.

Alex Verdugo walked it off for the depleted Boston Red Sox with a hit to deep right-field as they won 4-3 over the Cleveland Indians, with Rafael Devers homering earlier. The Red Sox are 79-59 and second in the AL Wild Card race.

Adrian Houser sent down the Milwaukee Brewers' first shut-out in seven years as they defeated the St Louis Cardinals 4-0. Houser had seven strikeouts and allowing only three hits.

Trea Turner and Corey Seager hit homers as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 6-1 over the San Francisco Giants to improve their Wild Card hopes, while Kyle Seager blasted the Seattle Mariners to a 8-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks to stay in the hunt.

The Toronto Blue Jays survived a late scare as the Oakland Athletics piled on five ninth-inning run to win 10-8 and boost their Wild Card aspirations.

 

Yankees almost held hitless

The New York Yankees had not been held hitless in a game since June 11 2003 but they appeared destined to end that run near the end of the seventh inning against the lowly Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. Gleyber Torres delivered a seventh-inning RBI single after 25 Yankees were held hitless. Joey Gallo then had an eighth-inning two-run homer but the Orioles won on Pedro Severino's sacrifice fly in a blow to the Yankees' Wild Card hopes.

 

Rays' rookie Wander keeps streak going

It seems like there is no stopping Tampa Bay Rays' rookie Wander Franco, after he extended his historic on-base streak to 34 games with an RBI single in his side's 11-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. Franco, who was absent on Friday due to a headache, had two runs with an RBI double on Saturday.

 

Saturday's results 

New York Mets 11-9 Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles 4-3 New York Yankees
Chicago Cubs 7-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays 11-4 Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox 4-3 Cleveland Indians
Washington Nationals 4-3 New York Mets
Miami Marlins 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 St Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox 10-7 Kansas City Royals
Seattle Mariners 8-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies 7-6 Atlanta Braves
San Diego Padres 10-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Angels 4-1 Texas Rangers

 

Dodgers at Giants

It is hard to look past the Giants and Dodgers meeting again in the third and final game of their series.

Related items

  • Fati: Inheriting Messi's number 10 shirt does not bring added pressure at Barca Fati: Inheriting Messi's number 10 shirt does not bring added pressure at Barca

    Ansu Fati dismissed suggestions that inheriting Lionel Messi's number 10 shirt at Barcelona has brought additional expectations after committing his long-term future to the Catalan club.

    Fati signed a new six-year contract to keep him at the club until 2027, with a release clause of €1billion included - a week after Pedri had penned a similar extension with the Blaugrana.

    The Spain international burst onto the scene after making his debut in August 2019, becoming the club's youngest ever LaLiga goalscorer at the age of 16 years and 304 days.

    He is also the youngest scorer in Champions League history, after netting against Inter in December 2019 a minute after his introduction from the bench.

    The 18-year-old inherited the number 10 shirt after the departure of Barca great Messi, who left on a free transfer for Paris Saint-Germain amid salary cap issues with LaLiga in August.

    However, Fati insisted that no pressure comes with the famous shirt as he expressed his desire to succeed with his boyhood club after coming up through the La Masia academy.

    "My dream has always been to succeed here and continue growing here, luckily I will continue to do so," Fati told reporters on Thursday.

    "I'm going to work every day to improve as a person and as a player. I have not done anything yet, I must continue working, mark my path.

    "I am very grateful to the club for having trusted me, along with the captains. It could have been worn by another player, but I'm grateful.

    "I was ready because they are at Barca and at Barca you must be prepared for everything. Wearing the '10' is not a pressure, it is one more motivation, I will do the best I can."

     

    An almost year-long injury lay-off could have stunted the youngster's development, but he has managed two goals in five appearances since returning in September.

    He has registered 15 goals in 48 games for the LaLiga giants in total, a tally that is bettered only by Luis Suarez (21), Antoine Griezmann (35) and Messi (69) – none of whom are still at the club – since his senior debut.

    But Fati explained his ambition to keep improving at Barca, who are preparing for a Clasico showdown against Real Madrid on Sunday.

    "I have a lot of room for improvement, especially listening to people who can help you," he continued. "I would like to improve everything, I have not done anything yet, with work.

    "Playing a Clasico is a motivation, Madrid is our great rival. I know that the team is going to give everything for the victory.

    "I trust the team, it is true that we have to improve as always. We are going to go out and compete and play at home, which is a factor in our favour."

  • Solskjaer acknowledges van de Beek's frustrations while joking about Villarreal incident Solskjaer acknowledges van de Beek's frustrations while joking about Villarreal incident

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows Donny van de Beek is "not happy" and "frustrated" with a lack of opportunities at Manchester United.

    The Netherlands international arrived from Ajax for a reported £40million last season but chances have been few and far between for the 24-year-old at Old Trafford.

    Van de Beek has been afforded just 140 minutes of action across in competitions this term – 90 of those coming against West Ham in the EFL Cup – and the midfielder's frustrations were picked up by television cameras in a win over Villarreal last month.

    The former Ajax man was spotted throwing his chewing gum in the direction of the United bench after Jesse Lingard was brought on from the bench.

    However, asked about the incident after the Atalanta win – in which the Red Devils overturned a two-goal deficit to triumph 3-2 – Solskjaer joked to deflect any conflict, while admitting Van de Beek's frustrations.

    "It’s wiser to throw away your chewing gum and not to swallow it," Solskjaer said to Dutch outlet RTL7. "We learned that as children.

    "And giving your chewing gum to someone else is not possible in these Corona times either. Sensible, so I could see he was throwing it away.

    "Donny is still working hard, of course, and at the moment it’s hard. I understand Donny is frustrated, he’s disappointed but he keeps on working every day with a big smile.

    "I know he’s not happy, but he works hard and he’s a top professional. He knows that that’s the way that sometimes it works in football. At the moment he’s not playing but he doesn’t let himself down."

    United came from two goals down in the Champions League to win for the third time on Wednesday – the joint-most in the competition.

    Marcus Rashford's strike, which was the 300th goal of Solskjaer's tenure, started the comeback before Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo completed a remarkable turnaround.

    Bruno Fernandes also created eight chances – the most by a United player in Europe since the 2003-04 season – and Solskjaer insisted Van de Beek, who was once again an unused substitute again, must remain patient in waiting for a chance.

    "I can’t go into every single player," the head coach continued. "But if you see our team I thought our performance was really good. He’s got some good players that he plays with.

    "He keeps training well and I enjoy having him there and I hope for him that he gets his chances."

  • Anything is possible - Arteta offers update on extension for 'important' Lacazette Anything is possible - Arteta offers update on extension for 'important' Lacazette

    Mikel Arteta has refused to rule out a new contract for Alexandre Lacazette and says he has no concerns about the striker's motivation amid uncertainty over his future.

    Lacazette came off the bench to score a late equaliser in the Gunners' 2-2 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace on Monday.

    The 30-year-old forward's contract expires at the end of this season and he will be able to speak to clubs outside of England about a pre-contract agreement in January.

    However, Arteta insisted the Frenchman remains a key member of the squad, praising his display against Palace and leaving the door open for fresh terms to be offered.

    In all competitions at Arsenal, Lacazette has scored three goals (behind only Aubameyang) and registered one assist in just 185 minutes of football, recording the best minutes-per-goal ratio at the club with 61.67.

    "[I want Lacazette to] keep doing what he’s doing, he had a good impact as well against Brighton," Arteta said ahead of the Gunners' match with Aston Villa on Friday. 

    "Since I've been here he’s played a lot and been important and he will continue to be important.

    "I think he was able to transmit that energy [against Palace] and that was contagious for the rest of the team and for the stadium.

    "He created a different atmosphere straight away with his energy, with his quality as well and the determination that he showed to change the result. [He had] that belief in himself that he could do it.

    "I had no doubts about [his motivation] and if I did I would probably have decided to do something different in the summer if the motivation was just his financial future. It's not the case with Laca and he's a really important player for us.

    "Anything is possible [regarding a contract extension]."

    The Arsenal boss bemoaned the fact his side dropped off after going ahead instead of attempting to extend their advantage and believes that is a mentality the Gunners need to change.

    "After scoring the goal and after hitting the level of performance that we were hitting in the first part of the game, we just need to make sure that we go for the second [goal] and we continue to play with the same fluidity, with the same intention and we don't start to defend something that we have because the game is really long," Arteta added.

    Bukayo Saka was forced off at half-time after being kicked in the calf by Palace midfielder James McArthur and Arteta says he has not trained ahead of the upcoming Premier League fixture.

    The Gunners boss believes the offending player should have been sent off instead of being shown a yellow card and does not understand why the VAR did not step in.

    "We had communication with the referees and the associations to try to explain why they didn't intervene [when McArthur kicked Saka] when the explanation at the start of the season is that they would when there's an obvious error," Arteta continued. 

    "They had to take action and they didn't and there are actions that determine a football match and the result. For me, it's not acceptable."

    Arsenal face Villa at the Emirates Stadium on October 22 as they look to close the three-point gap between themselves and the top six.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.