Judge remains on track for HR record after 56th and 57th blasts in Yankees win, Trout falls short

By Sports Desk September 14, 2022

Aaron Judge blasted two home runs to move another few steps closer to history as the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 7-6 on Tuesday.

The Yankees outfielder delivered his 56th blast in the sixth inning, taking another over the Green Monster in the eighth inning for his 57th of the season.

Judge remains on pace for 65 home runs this season, which would break Roger Maris' American League (AL) and Yankees single-season record of 61 set in 1961. The pair of solo blasts comes after Judge went without a homer across five games.

The 30-year-old also has 10 multi-homer games this season which is one short of the AL record held by Hank Greenberg from 1938.

"I'm out of adjectives," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "Just really impressive what he did."

Gerrit Cole, who came into the game with a 7.13 career ERA as a Yankee at Fenway Park, had 10 strikeouts across six innings.

Xander Bogaerts blasted Cole for a game-tying solo home run in sixth inning, before the game went to extras where Gleyber Torres had a go-ahead three-run double.

Trout misses out on eight-game HR streak

Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout fell one game short of tying the majors record for homering in consecutive games, going 0-for-3 in the Los Angeles Angels' 3-1 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

Trout, who walked on four pitches in his second at-bat, lined out to center on a 3-2 cutter from left-hander reliever Kirk McCarty.

The 10-time All-Star's streak ends at seven games, falling one shy of the record of eight held by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr (1993).

Twins pair fall agonisingly short in no-no-bid

Minnesota Twins' pair Joe Ryan and Jovani Moran doubled up but fell agonisingly two outs short in their no-hitter bid in a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Rookie Ryan was pulled after seven innings and 106 pitches, with the Twins crowd booing that call, before Moran got through the eighth and attempted to close it out, only to lose the no-no bid with Bobby Witt's RBI double.

The failed bid means there have five no-hit bids lost in the ninth inning this season, which is the most since 2017.

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    Belgium were eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage after drawing 0-0 with Croatia at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Thursday.

    Morocco's 2-1 victory over Canada elsewhere in Group F meant Belgium had to win to advance to the last 16, while Croatia needed to avoid defeat.

    A low-quality first half, in which the only talking point was an overturned Croatia penalty, made way for a far more gripping second period.

    Romelu Lukaku was brought on at half-time and squandered a few big chances, though ultimately the match finished goalless as Belgium suffered a shock early exit. 

    Belgium were given an early reprieve when a penalty awarded for Yannick Carrasco's challenge on Andrej Kramaric was overturned for offside against Dejan Lovren in the build-up as Luka Modric was lining up to take it.

    The arrival of Lukaku coincided with the game finally coming to life, the Inter striker forcing Dominik Livakovic into the first save of the contest a little over three minutes after coming on.

    That in turn sparked Croatia into life and Thibaut Courtois – on his 100th cap – made three saves in the space of four minutes to deny midfield trio Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric.

    Lukaku then hit the post with plenty of the net to aim for after Carrasco's blocked shot fell nicely in his path, before heading over from close range with the goal again gaping – though VAR may have intervened even if he had scored.

    The biggest miss was still to come as Lukaku failed to help the ball over the line from a couple of yards when Thorgan Hazard's cross was missed by Lovren, meaning elimination for Belgium and a second-place finish behind Morocco for Croatia.

  • 'You only get one career' – Rice says England experience has whetted Champions League appetite 'You only get one career' – Rice says England experience has whetted Champions League appetite

    Declan Rice says performing on the biggest stage for England has only increased his desire to feature in the Champions League in the future, declaring: "you only get one career".

    Rice has started all three of England's games at the World Cup in Qatar, helping the Three Lions top their group at the tournament for the first time since the 2006 edition in Germany. 

    The West Ham midfielder has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea in recent years, and his solid international displays will have done little to reduce interest in his services. 

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    "You only get one career, and at the end of your career you want to look back at what you have won and the biggest games you have played in. I am really ambitious."

    Rice has made seven interceptions at the World Cup so far – at least five more than any of his England team-mates, while only Jude Bellingham (18) and Luke Shaw (17) have recovered possession more often than he has for the Three Lions (14).

    England take on Senegal for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday, having progressed through five of their previous seven last-16 ties at the World Cup (failing to do so against Argentina in 1998 and Germany in 2010).

  • South Korea v Portugal: Sense of revenge could be enough motivation for A Selecao South Korea v Portugal: Sense of revenge could be enough motivation for A Selecao

    It often feels like football works in cycles.

    A few months beyond 20 years since a crunch group tie at the World Cup, South Korea and Portugal are ready to do it all again.

    The Selecao are already through after two wins from two against Ghana and Uruguay, and barring a three-goal turnaround, their progression will come as group winners.

    Head coach Fernando Santos could decide to rotate, but then again, perhaps the smell of revenge will be enough for him to go full strength once more.

    The only previous meeting between South Korea and Portugal came at the 2002 World Cup, which South Korea won 1-0 on home soil in the final game of the group stage, a result that eliminated Portugal from the tournament.

    This time it will be all or nothing for South Korea with only a win being enough, while also needing Uruguay to narrowly beat Ghana.

    Paulo Bento's men have lost five of their last seven World Cup matches (W1 D1), as many as they had in their previous 16 (W5 D6), and are looking to win their third group game for just the third time at the tournament, previously doing so against Portugal in 2002, as mentioned, and in 2018 against Germany.

    The first goal will be especially important as Portugal are yet to lose a match at the World Cup when they have scored first (P18 W15 D3), doing so without losing more than any other nation in tournament history.

     

    Bento will not be present for the game after receiving a red card at the end of the 3-2 defeat to Ghana, furiously reacting to referee Anthony Taylor's decision to blow the full-time whistle after his team had won a corner.

    "We shall continue to prepare in same way as other matches – our strategy will not fail," his assistant Sergio Costa said after that game. "He won't be present on the matchday, which is a loss because Paulo is obviously a great manager, but I think it will bring us together."

    The irony being that Bento played for Portugal in that 2002 humiliation against South Korea. In fact it turned out to be his final game for the national side, before returning as head coach between 2010 and 2014.

    Portugal, meanwhile, are looking to win all three group-stage matches for just a third time, also doing so in 1966 and 2006.

    If Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. can do so while also ending South Korea's tournament, there will likely be a sense of payback to go with it.
     

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    South Korea – Son Heung-min

    Son was always going to be the main man for his country, but so far the Tottenham attacker has been unable to show his true worth in Qatar.

    He has been a generational talent for his country, though. Since the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Son has scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues than any other South Korea player (137).

    Son also had the most shots (40), shots on target (19), scored the most goals (5) and created the most chances (27) of any player for South Korea during qualifying.

    Portugal – Bruno Fernandes

    While most eyes have been on Ronaldo, as ever, his former Manchester United team-mate has been the real MVP of the World Cup for his country so far.

    Fernandes has been involved in four of Portugal's five goals (two goals, two assists), and is only the second player this century to have registered multiple goals and assists in a team's first two group-stage matches, after Karim Benzema for France in 2014.

    He also created 21 chances in qualifying, more than any other Portuguese player.

    PREDICTION

    Portugal lack a desperate need for a result in terms of winning the group, and the Opta prediction model does not have them as overwhelming favourites, though Santos' men are still expected to win with a victory chance percentage of 58.4.

    The draw, which like a Portugal win is of no use either to South Korea's hopes, is rated at 22.3 per cent, while that all important victory for the Taegeuk Warriors is given a 19.3 per cent chance.

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