MLB

Pivetta pitches a gem for the Red Sox, Hiura and Lowe blast walk-offs for Brewers and Rangers

By Sports Desk May 18, 2022

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta rebounded from a disappointing start to throw a complete game, beating the Houston Astros 5-1.

Pivetta was put on the back foot straight away, as Houston's lead-off hitter, Jose Altuve, forced him to throw nine pitches before sending the 10th over the 'Green Monster' for a home run to left-field.

The Astros would only register one more hit in the entire game as Pivetta found his footing, though, retiring 18 consecutive batters until a double in the seventh inning, and then another nine consecutive batters to close out the contest.

Despite conceding so early, the Red Sox reclaimed the lead later in the first frame, as Rafael Devers was brought home after his triple, before Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run to make it 2-1.

Another extra-base hit from Devers in the third inning brought home Boston's third run, and the home side then manufactured another two tallies in the fourth, never allowing the Astros back into the contest.

The win moves the struggling Red Sox to 15-22 for the season, while the Astros are in a much stronger position, tied for the third-best record in the majors at 24-14.

Hiura the hero for Brewers

Keston Hiura crushed a massive walk-off home run to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 7-6 win against the Atlanta Braves in extra innings.

The Braves led 4-0 after three innings, but the Brewers were able to fight back, tying the game with a two-out triple in the bottom of the ninth and final frame to keep the game alive.

After both teams scored a run each in the 10th, the Braves added another in the top of the 11th, before Hiura's two-run, 447-foot blast to center-field closed the show.

Lowe sends one high for the win

After Jared Walsh tied things up for the Los Angeles Angels at 4-4 with a ninth-inning home run, Nathaniel Lowe came back to bomb a two-run walk-off to give the Texas Rangers a 6-5 win in extra innings.

It was a solid start on the mound for Angels star Shohei Ohtani, pitching six full innings for two earned runs and seven strikeouts, but the Rangers capitalised once he exited with solo home runs in the seventh and eighth frames.

Walsh's two-run homer sent the game to extra innings, and the Angels scored first at the top of the 10th, but Lowe wasted no time ending things, leading off the bottom of the 10th and blasting the first pitch over the wall to win it.

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    Six players and both managers received ejections following a benches-clearing brawl during the second inning of Sunday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels.

    The nasty incident occurred after Angels pitcher Andrew Wantz hit Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker in the hip with a pitch to begin the second inning, after throwing behind rookie star Julio Rodriguez in the opening frame.

    After exchanging words with Wantz and briefly moving towards first base, Winker then charged the Angels’ dugout on the third-base side as both teams’ benches and bullpens emptied.

    Numerous punches were thrown in the resulting fracas, which delayed the Angels’ eventual 2-1 win for more than 15 minutes. When order was restored, both Winker and Wantz were ejected along with Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez and shortstop J.P. Crawford, Angels pitchers Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Tepera and each team’s manager – the Mariners’ Scott Servais and the Angels’ Phil Nevin.

    Tensions between the American League West rivals were already running high after Seattle pitcher Erik Swanson’s errant pitch sailed over Angels star Mike Trout’s head in the Mariners’ 5-3 victory on Saturday night.

    Wantz was not originally scheduled to start the game, with the change coming in the hours leading up to start time, prompting those on the Mariners' side to believe he was brought in with the intent to hit batters.

    "It’s classless," Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales said afterward. “To throw at Julio, who’s a kid, over something that happened last night when we were trying to win a ballgame in the ninth inning, (not) put the tying run on base. It’s just classless to come out and change your pitcher before the game.

    "It’s clear. The intention is clear."

    Wantz, who was making his first career major league start, denied intentionally throwing at either Rodriguez or Winker.

    "I was pretty amped up for my first start and the first one just got away from me," he said. "It was sweaty. I was sweating.

    "First day game I’ve pitched (in the majors), and that’s that. Second one to Winker was a cut fastball inside and just yanked it. That’s all I’ve got to say."

    Nevin also downplayed the incident afterward.

    "You play eight games in a matter of a week against the same team, things like this happen," he said. "The scheduling, tensions, that’s baseball sometimes – unfortunately there’s some ugly incidents once in a while. I think that’s just what happened today."

    Winker later directed obscene gestures towards several Angels fans as he left the field, actions he expressed remorse for during his postgame interview.

    "The only thing I’m going to apologise for is flipping the fans off. That’s it," he said. "As fans, they’re spending their hard-earned money to come watch us play a game, and they didn’t deserve that. So, I apologise to the fans, especially the women and children."

    The two teams are scheduled to face one another 11 more times this season, including a four-game series in Seattle from August 5-7. The Mariners will visit Anaheim twice more in 2022, a three-game series in August and a four-game set in September.

  • Aaron Judge hits walk-off home run in extra innings, Cease and McClanahan put on a pitching show Aaron Judge hits walk-off home run in extra innings, Cease and McClanahan put on a pitching show

    New York Yankees star Aaron Judge continued to mount his case for AL MVP on Sunday as he crushed a three-run, walk-off home run to complete a 6-3 comeback win against the Houston Astros.

    All the momentum was with the Astros early coming off Saturday's meeting where they became the first team in 19 years to hold the Yankees hit-less, and they added to that history to begin this contest.

    Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a first-inning home run, before the road team jumped ahead 3-0 with a two-RBI single to Maurcio Dubon in the fourth frame.

    The Yankees did not have a hit through six-and-a-third innings – making it a streak of 52 at-bats without a hit, the longest dry spell by any team since 1974.

    Giancarlo Stanton finally broke the seal with a 436-foot solo homer in the seventh frame, before D.J. LeMahieu tied things up with a two-run shot an inning later.

    Neither team was able to find a run in the ninth, forcing extra innings, where Michael King was able to keep the Astros from scoring, setting up Judge to connect on the walk-off winner in the bottom of the 10th.

    Judge is the current favourite for AL MVP, and the home run was his 28th of the season – six more than any other player.

    Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes put in a solid performance, striking out seven batters in five innings while conceding three earned runs from five hits and two walks.

    Astros starter Jose Urquidy was even better, allowing just one run from one hit through seven complete innings.

    With the win, the Yankees move their league-best record to 53-20, leading the second-placed New York Mets by six-and-a-half games.

    McClanahan shows Cy Young quality

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan has emerged as the top choice for the AL Cy Young Award as the league's most outstanding pitcher, and he dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in his side's 4-2 win.

    McClanahan struck out 10 batters, holding the Pirates to one run from four hits and no walks through his seven full innings.

    His dominance was rewarded, keeping the Rays tied at 1-1 until the seventh inning when they would finally find their rhythm and string together three consecutive two-out hits to make sure McClanahan had the lead before he was withdrawn, and was thus credited with the win.

    White Sox issue Cease and desist to Orioles offense

    Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was at the top of his game on what turned out to be a great Sunday for star pitchers, striking out a career-high 13 batters in a 4-3 home win against the Baltimore Orioles.

    His 13 strikeouts in seven complete innings was one shy of this season's most strikeouts in a game, set by Miami Marlins star Sandy Alcantara when he sat down 14 batters against the Atlanta Braves last month.

    With the bat, the White Sox jumped ahead in the second inning courtesy of a two-run Gavin Sheets homer, and they held that lead throughout.

  • Stanton homer ends Yankees' historic no-hit streak against Astros Stanton homer ends Yankees' historic no-hit streak against Astros

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    The Yankees, who boast the best record in the major leagues in 2022, had been held to a combined no-hitter by the Houston Astros in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium.

    But rather than come out firing in the teams' next meeting the following day, the Yankees threatened to suffer the ignominy of a stunning second consecutive no-no.

    Jose Urquidy frustrated the home team for 6.1 innings before Giancarlo Stanton finally made good contact and homered 436 feet to center field.

    That was the Yankees' first hit since the eighth inning of Friday's 3-1 home loss to the Astros, a streak of 52 consecutive at-bats – the longest run by a batting team without a hit since at least 1974.

    It also tied the record for the most at-bats without a pitching team allowing a hit over the same period.

    The Astros matched the feats of the 2012 Los Angeles Angels against the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays and the 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.

    Houston own the only two no-hitters against the Yankees this century, with Saturday's hitless game following a 2003 no-no at Yankee Stadium.

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