Mookie Betts pulled off a spectacular outfield catch to seal victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 2-0 win over the San Diego Padres in MLB on Saturday night.

The 28-year-old center fielder dived to his left for Tommy Pham's curving hit, getting it inch-perfect for a walk-off catch in the ninth.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said: "Mookie has played a lot of innings in center field, but with that said, it takes an elite defender in center to make that play."

In a blockbuster tussle, Clayton Kershaw was crucial for the Dodgers with eight strikeouts across six innings, while Padres pitcher Yu Darvish had nine.

Earlier, Justin Turner hit a ninth inning home run to open up the 2-0 buffer, following Zach McKinstry's fifth inning run.

The result improves the Dodgers' 2021 record to 13-2, while the Padres are 9-7.

 

De Grom within a whisker of record

New York Mets right-hander Jacob de Grom came within one of Tom Seaver's 51-year-old record for consecutive strikeouts in their 4-3 win over the Colorado Rapids in the first game of their double-header.

De Grom finished the game with 14 strikeouts although the Mets lost the second of their double-header, going down 7-2.

Jorge Alfaro was the hero as the Miami Marlins scored twice at the bottom of the 10th to claim a dramatic 7-6 win over the San Francisco Giants.

Salvatore Perez came up trumps with a monster home-run at the bottom of the seventh to secure the Kansas City Royals a 3-2 walk-off win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the second of their double-header.

The win lifts the Royals to a 8-5 record, while the Blue Jays are 7-8.

The Oakland Athletics won their seventh straight, knocking off the Detroit Tigers 7-0, while the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 7-4.

The Tampa Bay Rays won 6-3 over the New York Yankees despite a bizarre moment when Tyer Glasnow's right leg and left hand suddenly cramped up.

 

Braves cop six home-runs

The Atlanta Braves saw six home-runs sail over their heads in their 13-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs, struggling on the mound, trying five different pitches on a rough night.

 

Greinke's double play

Houston Astros pitcher Zach Greinke pulled off an unusual 1-5-6 double play in their 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners after dropping a red hot drive.

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 New York Yankees
Washington Nationals 6-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 13-4 Atlanta Braves
St Louis Cardinals 9-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Boston White Sox 7-4 Chicago Red Sox
Oakland Athletics 7-0 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 3-2 Cleveland Indians
New York Mets 4-3 Colorado Rockies
Miami Marlins 7-6 San Francisco Giants
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies 7-2 New York Mets
Houston Astros 1-0 Seattle Mariners

 

Dodgers in San Diego

The rivalry resumes between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, with tempers spilling over at times during their series already.

The NBA ladder leading-Utah Jazz felt the absence of Donovan Mitchell as they lost 127-115 in over-time to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

Mitchell hurt his ankle during the week and was unavailable for the clash against the Lakers who were missing injured pair LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Lakers center Andre Drummond dominated with 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Dennis Schroder had 25 points, six rebounds and eight assists too.

The Jazz could have won the match in normal time when Jordan Clarkson's buzzer beater missed with scores locked at 110-110.

The Lakers ran away with it in over-time, but had a late injury scare with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who also had 25 points, clutching his right ankle.

The result improves the Lakers to 35-22, while the Jazz remain top of the West with a 42-15 record.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks stumbled to a 128-115 home loss to the surging Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies kept the Bucks at arm's length the whole match led by Grayson Allen who shot 26 points including seven-from-10 beyond the arc.

A fired-up Dillon Brooks had 21 points, six rebounds and four assists for Memphis, while Giannis had 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in a losing side.

 

Celtics edge shootout with Curry

Jayson Tatum won an All-Star shootout against Stephen Curry as the Boston Celtics edged the in-form Golden State Warriors 119-114.

Boston forward Tatum had 44 points and 10 rebounds, while Curry played a leading role for GSW with 47 points, including 11 three-pointers as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Tatum had outstanding assistance from Kemba Walker, particularly in a tight final quarter, with 26 points and eight rebounds as the Celtics won their sixth straight.

Russell Westbrook had another triple-double with 15 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists while Bradley Beal made 37 points in the Washington Wizards' 121-100 win over the Detroit Pistons.

The Phoenix Suns were well beaten by the San Antonio Spurs 111-85, while Nikola Vucevic had 25 points in the Chicago Bulls' 106-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Scary sideline spell

There was a scary incident late in the Warriors' loss to Boston when youngster Juan Toscano-Anderson threw himself at a loose ball, with his momentum seeing him bundling over the scorers' fence across tables and monitors. He lay injured for several minutes before eventually walking to the locker room aided, with a towel on his head.

 

Russell makes triple-double history

In-form Wizards guard Westbrook's triple-double made history as he became the first player in NBA history to have 15 in a 20-game span. 

 

Saturday's results

Los Angeles Lakers 127-115 Utah Jazz
Washington Wizards 121-100 Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls 106-96 Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics 119-114 Golden State Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies 128-115 Milwaukee Bucks
San Antonio Spurs 111-85 Phoenix Suns 

 

Nets in Miami

With Kevin Durant back, the Brooklyn Nets (38-18) make the trip to face the Miami Heat (28-28), although they will likely still be without the injured James Harden.

Stewart Cink broke another record as he maintained his five-shot lead at the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage to remain on track for his third title at Harbour Town Golf Links.

The 47-year-old 2000 and 2004 RBC Heritage champion carded a two-under 69 to set another record for lowest 54 holes with an 18-under 195.

Cink had broken Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson's 36-hole 129 mark after back-to-back 63s on the opening two days.

The American held a five-shot lead after day two but bogeyed on the third on Saturday before successive birdies on a steady round where he preserved his advantage.

Cink has a two for 12 record in closing out final day leads on the PGA Tour but said he would embrace the challenge.

“I've certainly been nervous and thrown up on myself and I've also played great in that situation," Cink said.

"You know, I think it's a lot better to embrace it and enjoy it and feel the tingle as opposed to trying to act like it's not there.”

World number four Collin Morikawa moved into second with a four-under 67 to be 13-under, one shot ahead of Argentine Emiliano Grillo.

Canadian Corey Conners had been second but slipped to equal sixth after carding a one-over round of 72.

Day one leader Cameron Smith continued to slide with a three-over 74, while last week's Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris shot 71 to be off the pace.

Englishman Matt Wallace and American Webb Simpson were the movers, with rounds of 65 and 64 seeing them both climb up to equal fourth and sixth respectively.

Ons Jabeur earned revenge on Danka Kovinic with a 6-3 6-0 hammering in the semi-finals of the MUSC Health Women's Open.

It was only a week ago the top seed was defeated by the same opponent on the same Charleston court at the same stage in the Volvo Car Open.

But a day on from needing just 45 minutes to hammer Nao Hibino 6-1 6-0, Jabeur required a little over 90 minutes to progress to Sunday's showpiece.

Jabeur is now 18-7 for the year, with only Garbine Muguruza holding more wins on the WTA Tour in 2021.

On the other side of the draw, Astra Sharma overcame Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

It marks Sharma's second WTA final and her first in two years.

Marc Marquez will start from sixth on his MotoGP return, but there was drama and controversy at the front of the grid in Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

Six-time champion Marquez will race this week for the first time since the 2020 season opener.

The Repsol Honda superstar broke the humerus in his right arm in that event in Jerez and failed in his bid to make a swift comeback, instead watching the remainder of the campaign from the sidelines as Joan Mir claimed his crown.

Marquez has taken precautions at the start of the new MotoGP year, too, missing the first two races, but he is back in action at the Algarve International Circuit.

His previous appearance in Portugal, at Estoril in Moto2, ended in victory in 2012.

Still recovering his fitness, Marquez said: "Tomorrow I'll suffer. But then next week I can recover, then Jerez be a little bit stronger."

A solid Q2 time of one minute and 39.121 seconds was sixth-fastest to ensure a competitive Sunday start, although Marquez would have only made seventh had Francesco Bagnaia's sensational time not been struck off.

Bagnaia, who claimed a first career pole at the season opener, believed he was set to start from the front of the grid again after shattering the track record. The Italian already has three fastest laps over the past two seasons.

But the factory Ducati rider passed through a yellow flag zone following Miguel Oliveira's crash in completing a 1:38.494 lap.

Fabio Quartararo was the beneficiary when that effort was cancelled, promoted to pole as Bagnaia fumed.

"For sure [the flag position is a problem], because you are coming from the downhill and the yellow flag was on the right side," said Bagnaia, whose strong start to the season has included 26 points from two races. He had 47 from 11 in 2020.

"I was already leaning for the corner and preparing for the corner, so it was impossible to see my side.

"[Luca] Marini, who was behind me, said to me the same. He also didn't see the yellow flags, so it was impossible."

Quartararo will be looking to protect his new position, having only finished on the podium in four of his past 16 races but won on all four occasions.


Provisional classification

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha) 1:38.862
2. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.089s
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.129s
4. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.199s
5. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) +0.241s
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.259s
7. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.307s
8. Luca Marini (Esponsorama) +0.524s
9. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.536s
10. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +0.583s
11. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.620s
12. Maverick Viñales (Monster Yamaha) +0.945s

Lewis Hamilton acknowledged he will likely have his work cut out if he is to start the 2021 Formula One season with a second straight win.

Reigning F1 champion Hamilton qualified on pole for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix but will not have the support of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who was only good enough for eighth.

Instead, it is Sergio Perez who will start alongside him on the front row at Imola on Sunday, with the Mexican's Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen in third.

Hamilton accepted Red Bull's pace and positioning means they will have a significant advantage in trying to stop him from winning the opening two races of a calendar year for the first time in 15 seasons.

"It's much different from obviously past experiences. I can't remember the last time I saw the Red Bulls so close, so I think tomorrow, of course … if we're able to get off in order then they obviously have a bit of a better set of cards in terms of strategy," said Hamilton.

"But that doesn't mean we can't pull out something unique and do something different.

"I'm not really sure what happened with Valtteri. It's very hard to overtake here so obviously we probably won't have the support of him early on.

"Maybe he will make it through but otherwise we've just got to focus on our job and try and do absolutely everything and more to keep these lads behind."

Unlike Hamilton and Verstappen, Perez will start the race on soft tyres.

Explaining the strategy decision, Perez said: "We felt as a team that the soft is nowhere near where it was last year, so it's a good race tyre. It's just different to the medium when it’s important… it was very important and crucial for me to get that learning, that consistency and that progression.

"Whether or not it is the right or wrong strategy I think there's not much between them so we are definitely in the game for tomorrow."

Verstappen added: "Of course, we have to wait and see what is going to happen tomorrow but yeah, it's going to be interesting what can be done.

"But not only with that but also what the weather is going to do, if there is a bit of rain or not. I guess we just have to wait and see what's going to happen but hopefully in the race it will be close again."

Andrey Rublev reflected on an "amazing feeling" as he booked a Monte Carlo Masters final appearance against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Russian has had a remarkable week at the Masters 1000 event that included a stunning win over 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Rublev continued his fine run with a 6-3 7-5 win over Casper Ruud on Saturday to ensure he will do battle against Tsitsipas in his first final at this level.

Tsitsipas comfortably saw off Dan Evans – who had beaten Novak Djokovic earlier in the tournament – winning his semi-final 6-2 6-1.

Rublev had 21 winners in his 80-minute victory over Ruud and has a record of 24-4 this season, the ATP Tour's best.

"It is an amazing feeling - it is my first [Masters] final, so I am really happy," said Rublev. 

"We will see what is going to happen [in the final]. I will try to do my best.

"Casper is a really amazing player, especially on clay. Since the beginning he put a really high intensity [on the court] and was really tough. 

"I knew that I needed to raise my level if I wanted to fight against him, because if I [did] not raise the level I [would] lose for sure."

Rublev defeated Tsitsipas in straight sets on his way to winning an ATP 500 title in Rotterdam last month.

Six of his eight ATP titles have come since the start of last year.

It took Tsitsipas, who has not won a tournament for 14 months, only one hour and nine minutes to see off the challenge of Evans, forcing 11 break points to the Briton's one.

"I am indeed pleased with the performance," Tsitsipas said, with the Greek yet to drop a set in Monte Carlo.

"I found ways to play at my best. It was really difficult to maintain my level of consistency and I am really happy I managed to deal with all the different moments during the match.

"I'm feeling good. I'm feeling energised. I still have plenty of gas and energy left in me. I was able to have all of my matches done in two sets, so that is a big plus. 

"I am happy to be able to play that way, just take it match by match, approach each individual match with the same intensity and energy - I'm really focused for Sunday."

Rublev has won three of his six career meetings with Tsitsipas and one of their two battles on clay.

Tsitsipas will be competing in his third Masters final, having lost to Nadal and Djokovic in his two previous appearances, the last of which came two years ago in Madrid.

Overall, Tsitsipas has won just five of his 13 ATP finals.

Lewis Hamilton was shocked to claim his first Formula One pole position in four races as both Red Bull drivers rued missing out by the narrowest of margins.

Mercedes driver Hamilton took pole in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix by just 0.035 seconds over Sergio Perez, with Max Verstappen just 0.087s back in third.

Charles Leclerc was fourth for Ferrari at Imola, with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas struggling to eighth place.

That may give Red Bull a strategic advantage for the race, especially with their cars on split strategies as Perez will start on soft tyres while Hamilton and Verstappen will be on mediums.

Still, Hamilton was thrilled to emerge on pole, which came as a surprise to him after Red Bull's pace this weekend and the fact he did not improve on his first flying lap on Q3.

"It has been great," said Hamilton, who impressively won the first race of 2021 in Bahrain despite Red Bull appearing to have a pace advantage.

"I definitely didn't expect us to be ahead of two Red Bulls.

"They have been so quick this weekend, six tenths ahead at times, but the car was already feeling better from the beginning this weekend.

"Respect to the team for their hard work to narrow down the window [to Red Bull].

"I'm so happy because the first lap was really nice, really clean. The second had some improvements but overall wasn't as good as the first.

"I came around the last corner and heard that I got the pole and was super grateful."

The first qualifying session was halted with a red flag after a crash for Yuki Tsunoda, a session Bottas topped as both Williams cars progressed.

Perez – on his soft tyres – emerged at the top of the timesheets in a Q2 session that saw Carlos Sainz, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso among the eliminated drivers.

A dramatic Q3 then saw Hamilton just hold on to his lead set after the first runs. 

Lando Norris thought he had put his McLaren on the front row, only to discover he had exceeded track limits, meaning he settled for seventh behind Pierre Gasly and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Perez thanked his team after claiming second but felt he should have had pole.

The Mexican said: "Well done to the team. I made a mistake on Friday and made them the team work hard so it is a good recovery.

"The most important thing is we showed progress. I never expected to be here after where we were on Friday but we have been improving.

"It is P2, but I should've been on pole – I made a mistake on the final corner.

"Everything is positive and we have to make sure we keep progressing and Sunday is when it matters.

"Anything can happen – a different [tyre] strategy to Lewis and Max. It will be interesting to see what we can do. The important thing is we get those points and that learning which is the priority."

Verstappen had claimed the last pole of 2020 and the first pole of this season, while Bottas had started at the front in the penultimate race of last year. 

World champion Hamilton ended his wait for pole here, but Verstappen is eager to make life difficult to him.

The Dutchman said: "Not so good in Q3. I went off at turn three, so a bit messy, just not a good lap.

"You can't be good every time, so we'll see what went wrong – but it was definitely not the easiest in Q3. 

"It's still P3, which is a good starting position. It's going to be interesting. We have the two cars on the different tyres and we will try to make it difficult for them."

A 99th career pole position for Hamilton saw him make Imola the 30th circuit where he has topped the qualifying timesheet.
 

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:14.411
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.035s
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.087s
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.329s
5. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +0.379s
6. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +0.415s
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) +0.464s
8. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.487s
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +0.799s
10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) no time set

Domingo Miotti was the hero for Western Force as the Waratahs were denied a first win of the Super Rugby Australia season, with the home side snatching a 31-30 success.

Miotti converted Jordan Olowofela's try in the closing stages, but it still appeared the excellent kicking of Ben Donaldson – making his first start – would be enough to guide the Waratahs to victory.

Yet presented with a line-out and the opportunity to kick the ball into touch to mark full time, the Waratahs turned the ball over, giving the Force one last chance.

It was an opportunity they seized on, with 20 phases of play resulting in a penalty which Miotti sent through the posts and completed the turnaround for the Force, who were 30-21 down with 10 minutes remaining.

While the Waratahs stay bottom on three points, the Force are in third place, three points ahead of the Rebels in the hunt for a semi-final play-off.

Anthony Joshua has declared Wembley would be an "ideal" venue for the first of his two fights against fellow heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury.

Promoter Eddie Hearn this week said the location of the upcoming fight had been agreed by both fighters, but he did not disclose where it would take place.

A deal is in place for the pair to fight twice before the end of the year, with Fury invited to sign off the arrangements after talks with Hearn in Las Vegas.

Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, while the unbeaten Fury is the WBC champion after dethroning Deontay Wilder last year.

Saudi Arabia has been mooted as a potential location for the fight and may still stage the first clash, even if Joshua would love to tackle Fury in London. He has previously fought both at Wembley Stadium and in the adjacent SSE Arena.

"I've signed my side of the deal," Joshua told ITV's Jonathan Ross show.

"We've sent him a good offer, one I'm sure he won't refuse. He wants the fight, no doubt about it, so do I and more than me and him, the whole public want it. I put my crystal ball out there and I say it's going to happen this year 100 per cent."

Joshua added, according to several UK newspapers: "I'm pretty sure it'll be this year. End of July, early August.

"Where? That's what's the delay, because of this pandemic. We want to have people coming to the venue. It's just finding the right location. For me, Wembley would be ideal."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said last week that the English capital is ready to host the lucrative fight, despite the restrictions in the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A number of pilot events are taking place with spectators, in the hope crowds can return to normal capacity levels in the near future.

Snooker's 17-day World Championship began in Sheffield on Saturday with indoor crowds limited initially to one-third capacity, but there are plans for a full house come the final in May. Hearn's father, Barry Hearn, is the chairman of World Snooker.

Fury's most recent three bouts have all been staged in Las Vegas while Joshua reclaimed his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch held in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.

The 2012 Olympic gold medal winner fought once in 2020, with Joshua beating Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena in front of a restricted number of fans.

Damian McKenzie scored a last-gasp penalty as the Chiefs came from behind to edge out the Crusaders 26-25 and move second in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

McKenzie was on supreme form with the boot throughout Saturday's contest in Hamilton, and he proved decisive from 35 metres with three minutes remaining.

It was a different story for Richie Mo'unga, who missed what should have been an easy conversion from a Codie Taylor try early in the second half.

Mo'unga's mistake enabled the Chiefs to capitalise – Jonah Lowe crossing over in the corner to set the stage for McKenzie's winning penalty.

Lachlan Boshier also went over for the hosts, with McKenzie having kicked all nine of their points in the first half. 

Tries from Leicester Fainga'anuku and Will Jordan had propelled the top-of-the-table Crusaders to a 17-9 half-time lead, but indiscipline in the closing stages cost them. With four straight wins under their belts, the Chiefs are second on 16 points, ahead of the Blues and the Highlanders.

Joel Embiid was backed for MVP honours by teammate Ben Simmons after a stellar display led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 106-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Embiid posted 36 points and 14 rebounds as the 76ers extended their winning streak to four games, while ending the Clippers' seven-game run.

It made him the first 76ers player with at least 36 points and seven rebounds in three consecutive games since Charles Barkley in 1990, while Embiid is also the first Philadelphia player with at least 35 points in three straight games since Allen Iverson in 2006.

According to Simmons, rival players are becoming clueless about how to handle the 76ers star.

"I don't think teams really know what to do when guarding him," Simmons said. "I think he's clearly the MVP this season.

"He's been so dominant and consistent this whole year and he's been healthy which has been great for us. So I don't know how to stop him!"

With Philadelphia (39-17) leading the way in the Eastern Conference, the admiration is mutual between Embiid and Simmons.

Embiid, who spoke about having two or three men on his case each time he had the ball, suggested Simmons also merits award consideration.

"We've got someone in Ben who should be defensive player of the year," Embiid said in his post-game news conference.

"He's been dominant all season on that end of the floor. That's something he wants so much and he deserves it.

"That's an award, when I got to the league, that I always wanted to win. At some point in my career that's something I want to win, but this year he's been a master, he deserves it.

"The way he guards every player on the floor. He's been bringing it, so I really do think he should be the defensive player of the year."

The Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the San Diego Padres 11-6 after 12 innings in an enthralling MLB showdown between the National League West rivals.

Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr returned from a shoulder injury to face World Series champions the Dodgers in the series opener and he hit a home run in the fifth inning – a 410-foot bomb – to mark his comeback on Friday.

The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the ninth after Eric Hosmer's single allowed Manny Machado to score in San Diego.

Tensions threatened to boil over after benches cleared in the 10th when Dodgers pitcher Dennis Santana struck Jorge Mateo.

San Diego and Los Angeles could not be separated until Corey Seager's two-run homer sparked a Dodgers onslaught in the top of the 12th inning, which finished with five runs.

The red-hot Dodgers extended their winning streak to seven games, while improving to an MLB-best 12-2.

 

Reds stay hot

The Cincinnati Reds eased past the Cleveland Indians 10-3. Cincinnati are now 6-1 at home this season with 67 runs scored (9.6 per game). Per Stats Perform, it is the most runs by a team in their first seven home games of a season since the 1900 Boston Beaneaters (Braves franchise) had 71. The Reds' plus-38 run differential (67-29) at Great American Ball Park is the highest by any National League squad through seven home games since the 1894 Cleveland Spiders (plus-44).

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer surpassed Cy Young for the 22nd most strikeouts (2,807) of all-time. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer struck out the side in the seventh inning, finishing with 10 and 2,808 for his career. The Nationals edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0.

Justin Upton smashed a grand slam as the Los Angeles Angels crushed the Minnesota Twins 10-3.

 

Yankees continue to underwhelm

The star-studded New York Yankees dropped to an American League (AL) East-worst 5-8 following an 8-2 loss to rivals the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees walked seven Rays batters, had just three hits, struck out 14 times and tallied three errors that led to three unearned runs. Yankees fans made their feelings known after throwing balls onto the field, which led to a stoppage.

 

Schwarber lifts Nationals

Kyle Schwarber's walk-off homer saw the Nationals beat the Diamondbacks. His 463-foot shot was Schwarber's first home run for Washington.

 

Friday's results

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

 

Blue Jays at Royals

After Friday's game was postponed, the Toronto Blue Jays (6-7) and Kansas City Royals (7-4) will contest a doubleheader on Saturday. Steven Matz will start game one for the Blue Jays as the Royals counter with Mike Minor. Toronto's Tommy Milone will take to the mound in the game two, with Ervin Santana handed a Kansas City start.

Joel Embiid dominated as the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers held off the Los Angeles Clippers 106-03 in a blockbuster NBA showdown.

Embiid posted 36 points and 14 rebounds as the 76ers extended their winning streak to four games, while snapping the Clippers' seven-game run on Friday.

After being outscored 20-3 early in the opening quarter, the Kawhi Leonard-less Clippers rallied to take the lead during the closing stages of the final period in Philadelphia.

But the 76ers (39-17) scored seven straight points to move clear 99-94 and they never relinquished the lead, despite the Clippers' efforts.

MVP hopeful Embiid – averaging 34.5 points and 11.0 rebounds over his last four games – became the first 76ers player with at least 36 points and seven rebounds in three consecutive games since Charles Barkley in 1990, while he is the first Philadelphia player with at least 35 points in three straight games since Allen Iverson in 2006.

Having topped Eastern Conference rivals the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, it is just the third time in franchise history the 76ers have claimed back-to-back wins against teams 20-plus over .500 after 1966 and 1983.

Paul George put up 37 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers (39-19), who also had a season-high 18 points from Patrick Patterson.

George joined Bob McAdoo, World B. Free and Leonard as the only players in Clippers history to have five straight games with 30-plus points.

The NBA-leading Utah Jazz (42-14) rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 119-111 after All-Star Donovan Mitchell exited due to an ankle injury.

Mitchell suffered a sprained ankle in the second half, having scored 22 points before leaving in the third quarter.

All-Star team-mates Rudy Gobert (13 points and 23 rebounds) and Mike Conley (10 points and 10 assists) both had double-doubles, while Bojan Bogdanovic put up 24 points.

 

Randle dazzles to fuel Knicks

Julius Randle's 44 points and 10 rebounds led the New York Knicks past former team the Dallas Mavericks 117-109. Randle became the first Knicks player since Bernard King in 1985 to record 40-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and five-plus assists in a regular-season game. He also became the first Knicks player since Carmelo Anthony in 2013-14 to register multiple 40-point games in a single season.

The San Antonio Spurs lost 107-106 to the Portland Trail Blazers but Dejounte Murray starred with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season. The last Spurs player with that many triple-doubles in a season was David Robinson in 1993-94.

MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic finished with 29 points and 16 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets crushed the lowly Houston Rockets 128-99.

Russell Westbrook inspired the Washington Wizards' 117-115 overtime victory against the New Orleans Pelicans after scoring 10 of their 12 points in the additional period. Former MVP Westbrook tallied 36 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists – finishing just short of a seventh consecutive triple-double. The league's leading scorer Bradley Beal added 30 points.

A Kevin Durant double-double of 25 points and 11 assists guided the Nets to a 130-115 win at home to the Charlotte Hornets. Miles Bridges put up a career-high 33 points for the Hornets.

Jimmy Butler's 30 points and 10 rebounds were not enough after the Miami Heat were upstaged 119-111 by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

Houston humbled

It was a tough outing for the Rockets in Houston. Kevin Porter Jr. headlined their woes after he finished one-for-nine shooting for four points in 32 minutes. He missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.

The Orlando Magic lost again, beaten 113-102 by the Toronto Raptors. Orlando's Gary Harris was scoreless from the field. He was 0-for-seven from the field, while failing to make both of his three-point shots.

 

No-el!

New York's Nerlens Noel made an emphatic block to deny Dorian Finney-Smith.

 

Friday's results

Utah Jazz 119-111 Indiana Pacers
Detroit Pistons 110-104 Oklahoma City Thunder
Philadelphia 76ers 106-103 Los Angeles Clippers
Washington Wizards 117-115 New Orleans Pelicans (OT)
Brooklyn Nets 130-115 Charlotte Hornets
Toronto Raptors 113-102 Orlando Magic
Memphis Grizzlies 126-115 Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets 128-99 Houston Rockets
Minnesota Timberwolves 119-111 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 107-106 San Antonio Spurs
New York Knicks 117-109 Dallas Mavericks

 

Jazz at Lakers

Defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (34-22) will host the high-flying Jazz in a Western Conference showdown at Staples Center on Saturday.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his left fibula.

World Series champions the Dodgers have been without 2019 National League (NL) MVP Bellinger since April 5 with what was initially described as a bruised calf.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts provided an update on two-time All-Star Bellinger before Friday's blockbuster against NL rivals the San Diego Padres.

"At least we know what Cody is dealing with," Roberts told reporters.

"Certain players heal differently, so I just don't know where Cody is going to be at.

"But I can say comfortably that it's not a day-to-day thing, and we can just put it on the back burner, let Cody do his rehab and join us hopefully soon."

Bellinger is hitting .211 (four-for-19) with two RBIs in four games this season.

The high-flying Dodgers are 6-1 since Bellinger went down with the injury.

Roberts added: "Now, it's just more of getting that thing healed up, and when he's ready to go, he'll be back with us.

"He's just rehabbing and doing everything he can to join us as soon as possible."

The Dodgers' 11-2 record is the best in the majors and tied for the best in team history through 13 games in a season (four other times, most recently 2005).

Roberts' Dodgers won the season series with San Diego last season, 6-4 – their 10th consecutive year doing so.

Their .659 winning percentage against the Padres since 2011 (118-61) is the best by any team against a current divisional opponent over that span, per Stats Perform.

The high-flying Utah Jazz have some extra star power off the court after NBA great Dwyane Wade purchased an ownership stake in the franchise.

Wade – a three-time champion and 13-time All-Star – joins majority owner Ryan Smith in Utah, where the Jazz lead the NBA with a 42-14 record this season.

The 39-year-old Wade won three titles with the Miami Heat, having also played for the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers before retiring in 2019.

"When you're able to get an opportunity to meet someone like Ryan that has been very successful in business, that can educate you, that can teach you — I'm all about I want mentors, and Ryan became a mentor to me," Wade said after joining a shortlist of former players with ownership stakes in NBA franchises, alongside Hall of Famer Michael Jordan (Charlotte Hornets), Los Angeles Lakers great Shaquille O'Neale (Sacramento Kings) and Grant Hill (Atlanta Hawks).

"Did I ever think that this would be a part of our conversations? No, I did not. But this was always a goal of mine, to one day hopefully be a part of something bigger than I, and that's what the Utah Jazz is — something bigger than myself."

"The respect I that I have for that [Heat] organisation will not go anywhere, the love that I have for the [Heat] fans -- that goes nowhere," Wade told ESPN.

"But this is about the next phase of my life as an investor, a businessman, an entrepreneur. For me, this is an opportunity to grow."

The Jazz – spearheaded by All-Stars Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley – are eyeing their maiden NBA championship.

Utah have suffered back-to-back first-round exits in the playoffs, having last reached the NBA Finals in 1998 – beaten by Jordan's Bulls.

"Dwyane is not only a basketball legend, he is also a great leader, businessman, and human being," said Smith. "As we continue to build on the incredible legacy of the Utah Jazz franchise, we are excited to add Dwyane's experience and expertise to the equation.

"Utah is an amazing place and I couldn't be more thrilled about the future of the franchise and the future of this state. Dwyane's influence will be important to both."

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said former NBA MVP James Harden is "progressing well" from a hamstring strain.

Harden has missed five consecutive games since exiting Brooklyn's win over the New York Knicks on April 5.

The All-Star guard – one of the frontrunners for MVP honours this season having been averaging 25.2 points, 10.9 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game – sat out Friday's 130-115 victory against the Charlotte Hornets.

Marks provided an update on Harden, telling reporters: "I can tell you that James is progressing well. He's looking forward to having at least one or two more play days -- which means he'll play four on four, five on five with the group in practice.

"And hopefully, if things go smoothly like that, he'll be out and joining the guys in a game. But he's progressed well, he's met his markers up to this point and we'll just continue to progress him along.

"Hopefully, it's not too much longer. But at this point, I can't put a timetable on if it's two days, five days or so forth."

Nets head coach Steve Nash was also asked about Harden after star-studded Brooklyn improved to 38-18 behind Kevin Durant's 25 points and 11 assists.

Steve Nash added: "I haven't seen James. So he worked out [Thursday]. We had an off day. He worked out when we were on the road.

"But I think he was going to work out this evening. So I haven't seen him. all I can go off is what I heard and I know, speaking to James and speaking to people who were on the court with him -- he is improving and he is on the right track and hopefully won't be long before he's back.

"But there are still markers. And you know there's James -- he wants to play tonight -- and there's performance that wants to lean on science and be safe.

"There are two kind of despaired opinions and that's what we're here for is to try to find the middle ground and make sure he returns safely but also as soon as he possibly can."

The Nets are set for a three-game road trip against the Miami Heat (Sunday), New Orleans Pelicans (Tuesday) and Toronto Raptors (Wednesday).

"I mean, again, I hope I'm not speaking out of term," Nash said. "But I think typically, at this stage of the rehab, it's about high-intensity play. So can get out there and play one on one, three on three, four on four, five on five and can he do it consistently over two or three times in a row?

"Not necessarily back-to-back days, but two or three bouts of high-intensity play in a row and you recover, do it again and prove that he can meet the demands and intensity and have no ill effects the next day or the next performance. So that's kind of the way it works, in a very general way."

Stewart Cink made history after moving five shots clear in his pursuit of a third RBC Heritage title.

Two-time champion Cink carded a second successive 63 to set the 36-hole record at Harbour Town on Friday.

Cink sits at 16-under 126, five strokes ahead of Corey Conners – eclipsing the previous best midway score of 129 set by Phil Mickelson (2002) and Jack Nicklaus (1975).

The 47-year-old Cink also became the oldest player to hole the 36-hole lead at the RBC Heritage – his last 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour was at the 2008 Travelers Championship.

Cink has catapulted himself to the top of the leaderboard alongside his son and caddie, Reagan.

"He's not just my son caddying, he's a professional caddie doing an excellent job," he said. "He could caddie for any player in the world right now."

Canadian Conners posted a seven-under-par 64 to be outright second, a stroke ahead of Emiliano Grillo (64) heading into the weekend, while overnight leader Cameron Smith (71) fell seven shots behind.

"I think the golfing gods got a few back on me today," Australian Smith said.

Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris shot a four-under-par 67 to be tied for 11th position, nine strokes adrift of Cink.

World number one Dustin Johnson climbed 27th spots following a second-round 67 as he sits 11 shots back.

Defending champion Webb Simpson, meanwhile, is three under at the half-way stage after his 68.

Top seed Ons Jabeur moved through to the MUSC Health Women's Open semi-finals after easing past Nao Hibino.

Jabeur – eyeing her first WTA Tour title – made light work of Hibino 6-0 6-1 in Charleston on Friday.

Next up for the Tunisian is high-flying Danka Kovinic at the WTA 250 tournament.

For the second week in a row, Kovinic reached the semi-finals in Charleston after taking down hometown favourite and third seed Shelby Rogers 7-5 6-1.

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, who claimed her maiden singles title at the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota last week, was leading 6-4 1-0 when Clara Tauson retired.

Meanwhile, Astra Sharma defeated 15-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova 6-4 6-3.

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