New Zealand take command of second Test on landmark day for Anderson

By Sports Desk June 11, 2021

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  • Blue Jays crush eight homers in 18-4 rout of Red Sox, Tatis' grand slam lifts Padres Blue Jays crush eight homers in 18-4 rout of Red Sox, Tatis' grand slam lifts Padres

    The Toronto Blue Jays produced an offensive avalanche as they humbled American League (AL) East rivals the Boston Red Sox 18-4.

    Toronto lit up Boston with eight homers on 20 hits in Sunday's devastating MLB victory at Fenway Park.

    Teoscar Hernandez hit a pair of three-run homers, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, Rowdy Tellez and Marcus Semien also went deep.

    It was a devastating display as the Blue Jays pounded the Red Sox, who allowed the most home runs in their history on home soil.

    Bichette became the third player in Blue Jays history with a four-hit, five-run game as Guerrero continued his stellar season – the Toronto star now leads in MLB in home runs, RBI, OBP, SLG, OPS and total bases.

     

    Slam Diego!

    The San Diego Padres defeated the New York Mets 7-3 thanks to Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the seventh inning to help snap a four-game skid. Padres team-mate Manny Machado followed with a home run.

    Walker Buehler pitched six scoreless innings as World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Texas Rangers 5-3. Buehler allowed just five hits to remain unbeaten since 2019. The Dodgers ace has now recorded a loss in 22 consecutive starts, the second longest streak in franchise history – behind Kirby Higbe's 23 straight starts.

    Craig Kimbrel closed out the Chicago Cubs' 2-0 win over the St Louis Cardinals. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep for their fifth consecutive victory to move level atop the National League (NL) Central. Kimbrel struck out three in the ninth inning. In each of his last seven appearances, he has posted a save without allowing a hit. According to Stats Perform, it is the third time in Kimbrel's career he has achieved the feat in seven-plus consecutive games. No other pitcher has had more than one such streak since saves became an official stat in 1969.

     

    Yankees reeling after latest loss

    The slumping New York Yankees were shut out 7-0 by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees have now lost seven of nine games and 13 of 18.

     

    Randy slam

    Randy Arozarena hit his first career grand slam in the Tampa Bay Rays' 7-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles. Arozarena homered in the seventh inning.

     

     

    Sunday's results

    Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 New York Yankees
    Washington Nationals 5-0 San Francisco Giants
    Atlanta Braves 6-4 Miami Marlins
    Tampa Bay Rays 7-1 Baltimore Orioles
    Chicago White Sox 4-1 Detroit Tigers
    Cincinnati Reds 6-2 Colorado Rockies
    San Diego Padres 7-3 New York Mets
    Seattle Mariners 6-2 Cleveland Indians
    Toronto Blue Jays 18-4 Boston Red Sox
    Houston Astros 14-3 Minnesota Twins
    Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
    Oakland Athletics 6-3 Kansas City Royals
    Los Angeles Angels 10-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
    Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Texas Rangers
    Chicago Cubs 2-0 St Louis Cardinals

     

    Rays at White Sox

    It will be a blockbuster showdown as the two best teams in the AL clash on Monday. AL East pacesetters the Rays (42-24), who own the best record in the American League, travel to Central leaders the White Sox (41-24). Tyler Glasnow takes to the mound for Tampa Bay, while the White Sox counter with Lance Lynn.

  • NBA playoffs 2021: Jokic's ejection leaves MVP and both teams 'shocked' as Nuggets suffer sweep NBA playoffs 2021: Jokic's ejection leaves MVP and both teams 'shocked' as Nuggets suffer sweep

    NBA MVP Nikola Jokic did not expect to be ejected as the Denver Nuggets were swept from the playoffs in a controversial decision that surprised head coach Michael Malone and Phoenix Suns counterpart Monty Williams.

    Jokic was tossed in the third quarter of Denver's 125-118 defeat to the second-seeded Suns, who sealed a 4-0 series victory in the Western Conference semi-finals on Sunday.

    Crowned MVP on Tuesday, Jokic was assessed a flagrant two foul following a lengthy review after taking a swing at Suns guard Cameron Payne in Game 4.

    Jokic became the first MVP swept in a postseason series since Magic Johnson in 1989 and the Serbian star discussed the incident post-game.

    "I wanted to change the rhythm of the game, I wanted to give us some energy, maybe change the whistle a little bit, so I wanted to make a hard foul," Jokic said.

    "Did I hit him [Payne], did I not hit him? We don't know. So I say sorry if I did because I did not want to injure him or hit him in the head on purpose. I thought honestly they would not eject me."

    "I shouldn't do that. Of course it was my bad. I'm sorry," Jokic said. "But I cannot change it now. It happens."

    Already facing an uphill task to avoid elimination, Jokic's absence made life even tougher for the third-seeded Nuggets as Suns duo Chris Paul and Devin Booker dominated.

    "I just didn't feel like it warranted a flagrant two ejection because he's making a play on the ball," said Malone.

    "There's marginal contact to Cameron Payne's nose I believe. So I was shocked, I'm still a little bit shocked that they called a flagrant two and ejected the MVP on such a play."

    "From my vantage point and watching the replay, I did not think it was a non-basketball play with malicious intent," Malone said.

    "I think it was a frustration foul, Nikola probably felt the last couple plays when he had the ball he had not received a foul call. And he went over there to take a foul. Which he has done plenty of times. A lot of players do that."

    "I didn't really think it was anything malicious," said Williams. "In those moments you have to regulate your emotions. That's what we've been talking about all season long.''

    Jokic and Suns All-Star Booker were involved in a confrontation following the incident as a scuffle briefly broke out.

    But Booker – whose Suns reached the Conference Finals for the first time since 2009-10 – said: "That's all I said, just 'What are you doing?' It's just an emotional play. I don't think he meant harm by it. Just a frustration foul. It's tough, just defending my team-mate, that was it.

    "I've played against the Joker multiple times. I know he's not a malicious player."

  • Messi has Copa concerns amid 'biggest dream' of Argentina glory Messi has Copa concerns amid 'biggest dream' of Argentina glory

    Lionel Messi admitted he is concerned about the coronavirus situation as the superstar captain targets a long-awaited title with Argentina at the Copa America.

    Messi's Argentina will open their Copa America campaign against rivals Chile in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday.

    Brazil is hosting the Copa after CONMEBOL controversially removed Argentina and Colombia as co-hosts due to respective political and COVID-19 issues.

    Despite being one of the country's worst hit by the coronavirus health crisis, Brazil was awarded hosting duties for this year's showpiece event, which was already pushed back a year because of COVID-19.

    Defending champions Brazil won 3-0 on Sunday against a Venezuela side that had reported 12 positive coronavirus tests amongst their ranks earlier in the week.

    Speaking on the eve of Argentina's first match, Messi told reporters: "We are concerned about the situation because it is a risk for all of us to catch COVID-19.

    "Although we try to take care of ourselves and do everything they tell us is not easy, because then these things happen and we face other national teams where there is a risk of contagion.

    "We will try to do our best so that it does not happen to us, but this does not depend only on us and anything can happen."

    Despite his remarkable Barcelona success, Messi is yet to win a senior trophy with Argentina following back-to-back runners-up performances at the Copa America 2015 and 2016, having also fallen short in the 2007 final against Brazil.

    La Albiceleste and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi also lost in the 2014 World Cup decider – beaten by Germany.

    "I always said that I am available to try to be with the national team and give my best," the 33-year-old Messi said.

    "My biggest dream is to achieve something with the Argentina, I was close many times and unfortunately it was not given to me, but I will try to keep looking for it until it is given to me.

    "If the coach who is there thinks that I can continue contributing to the team, I will always want to be there and fight for that dream. I was lucky to win everything with my club and individually, and it would be very nice to win something with the national team."

    Messi was directly involved in 50 goals (38 scored, 12 assisted) in 47 games for Barca in 2020-21. Only three players in Europe's top-five leagues managed more.

    He has now recorded 25-plus goals in each his past 12 league seasons, while the veteran scored 11 LaLiga goals direct following a ball carry last season – the most of any player in Europe's top-five leagues.

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