MLB

Dodgers snap MLB skid with onslaught, Reds in epic 13-12 walk-off win

By Sports Desk May 02, 2021

MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers broke their slump with a 16-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers arrested a three-game skid and avoided a series sweep at the hands of the Brewers thanks to Sunday's onslaught.

A.J. Pollock and Matt Beaty fuelled the Dodgers with grand slams off Brewers rookie Alec Bettinger in each of the first two innings.

Pollock had two home runs and eight RBI, while Beaty contributed four hits and seven RBI against the Brewers as they became the first Dodger duo in history to record seven-plus RBI in the same game.

Elsewhere, the Cincinnati Reds topped the Chicago Cubs 13-12 in a wild walk-off win.

Nick Castellanos – who also clubbed two home runs – hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning to lead the Reds past the Cubs in an epic encounter.

"It felt like a playoff game, to be honest with you," Cubs manager David Ross said. "Back and forth. Heavyweight fight. Wind blowing out in Cincinnati. And we just came up on the short end."

 

Scherzer sizzles as Kluber celebrates 100th win

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer dominated in a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins. Scherzer – who carried a shutout into the ninth inning – pitched a five-hitter, finishing with nine strikeouts, five hits and no walks before hurrying to the hospital for the birth of his third child.

Corey Kluber earned his 100th career victory as the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0. A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Kluber gave up two hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out 10 batters – his first 10-strikeout game since September 2018. He became the 17th active pitcher in the majors to reach 100 wins.

Andrelton Simmons and Mitch Garver homered in a seven-run third inning to inspire the Minnesota Twins' 13-4 rout of the Kansas City Royals.

Marcus Semien homered and drove in four runs as the Toronto Blue Jays swept the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 triumph. Toronto's Bo Bichette carried an historic start into the game, with a franchise record 124 hits, 69 runs, 32 doubles, 23 homers and 56 extra-base hits through his first 100 career games.

 

Bettinger schooled on debut

It was a forgettable first MLB appearance for Milwaukee's Bettinger. Having never pitched above Double-A previously, debutant Bettinger gave up 11 runs against the Dodgers. He allowed 11 hits and two walks in four innings, while hitting a batter and striking out none.

 

Tatis homer!

The San Diego Padres lost 7-1 to rivals the San Francisco Giants but Fernando Tatis Jr. stayed hot. Tatis homered for the eighth time this season as he became the first player to record 40-plus home runs and 30-plus stolen bases in his first 162 career games.

 

Sunday's results

New York Yankees 2-0 Detroit Tigers
Washington Nationals 3-1 Miami Marlins
St Louis Cardinals 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds 13-12 Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Houston Astros
Cleveland Indians 5-0 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 13-4 Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Dodgers 16-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 5-3 Boston Red Sox
Oakland Athletics 7-5 Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners 2-0 Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants 7-1 San Diego Padres
New York Mets 8-7 Philadelphia Phillies

 

Rays at Angels

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani will take to the mound for the Angels (13-13), who host the Rays (14-15) on Monday.

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    The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) has described the league lockout as a move designed by team owners "to pressure players into relinquishing rights and benefits".

    MLB has entered a lockout situation after it could not find agreement on new labour terms with the MLBPA.

    This had long been anticipated after months of fruitless negotiations regarding a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) – the deal that governs the working relationship between players and teams.

    It means that from Thursday, employees will not be able to work until a new deal is struck, with team officials and players unable to communicate in any way.

    A previous strike led by players forced the 1994 World Series to be scrapped and it lasted into 1995, but MLB chiefs are optimistic there will be no such disruption this time.

    MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he hoped the development would serve to "jump-start the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time". The 2022 season is due to begin on March 31.

    On its part, the MLBPA declared a determination to strike a deal.

    The MLBPA said in a statement: "Major League Baseball has announced a lockout of players, shutting down our industry.

    "This shutdown is a dramatic measure, regardless of timing. It is not required by law or for any other reason. It was the owners' choice, plain and simple, specifically calculated to pressure players into relinquishing rights and benefits and abandoning good faith bargaining proposals that will benefit not just players, but the game and industry as a whole.

    "These tactics are not news. We have been here before, and players have risen to the occasion time and again – guided by solidarity that has been forged over generations. We will do so again here.

    "We remain determined to return to the field under the terms of a negotiated collective bargaining agreement that is fair to all parties, and provides fans with the best version of the game we all love."

    The shutdown confirmation followed a flurry of high-profile free-agency deals.

    Manfred, speaking for MLB, said the players had been inflexible in negotiations, claiming the MLBPA "came to the bargaining table with a strategy of confrontation over compromise". He described the MLBPA's demands as "the most extreme set of proposals in their history".

  • Cy Young winner Ray ready to bring World Series to Mariners Cy Young winner Ray ready to bring World Series to Mariners

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    After capping a career year with the American League (AL) Cy Young Award, Ray opted to leave the Toronto Blue Jays for the Mariners in free agency.

    Ray signed a five-year, $115million contract in Seattle, where the 2017 All-Star will headline their rotation after his breakout year in Toronto.

    "This team, the city is hungry for a World Series," Ray said during his introductory news conference midweek – the Mariners have never won the World Series or an AL pennant.

    "To be a part of it and bring it back right here, I just wanted to be here."

    Ray enjoyed a stellar campaign for the Blue Jays, who narrowly missed out on the MLB playoffs despite a 91-win season.

    The 30-year-old boasted a 2.84 ERA – the best among qualifiers in the AL, having come off a 6.62 ERA last year.

    Ray – acquired by the Blue Jays in 2020 – led the AL in ERA-plus (154) and WHIP (1.045), while striking out an MLB-best 248 batters in 32 starts.

    "It just seemed like a really good fit and we were ready to move forward," Ray said of joining the Mariners. "I mean, it happened really quickly, but we're glad that it did."

    "I've always had the mindset of going out and attacking. But it didn't necessarily match up with the delivery," Ray said. "This year, I feel like I really nailed that down and I feel really good about the consistency of the delivery. That consistency, matched with that mindset, I feel like is what allowed me to succeed this year."

    Seattle's president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto added: "I think that's one of the main attractions for us is we want to be the team where, when other teams are coming to Seattle to play us, they look at the three pitchers or the four pitchers that are lined up for that series and they say, 'Oh man'".

  • MLB shut down as league enters lockout for first time since 1990 MLB shut down as league enters lockout for first time since 1990

    MLB has entered a lockout for the first time since 1990 after the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) failed to reach a new labour agreement.

    A lockout had long been anticipated after months of fruitless negotiations regarding a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    After a flurry of high-profile free-agency deals, MLB confirmed a lockout following the expiry of the collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday.

    From Thursday, employees will not be able to work until a new deal is struck, with team officials and players unable to communicate in any way.

    A players strike forced the 1994 World Series to be scrapped and it lasted into 1995 but that 26-year agreement has now come to an end.

    In a letter addressed to fans, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wrote midweek: "This past season, we were reminded of how the national pastime can bring us together and restore our hope despite the difficult challenges of a global pandemic. As we began to emerge from one of the darkest periods in our history, our ballparks were filled with fans; the games were filled with excitement; and millions of families felt the joy of watching baseball together.

    "That is why I am so disappointed about the situation in which our game finds itself today. Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26 year-long history of labour peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired. Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players, effective at 12:01am ET on December 2.

    "I want to explain to you how we got here and why we have to take this action today. Simply put, we believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season. We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association's vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It's simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions.

    "When we began negotiations over a new agreement, the Players Association already had a contract that they wouldn't trade for any other in sports. Baseball's players have no salary cap and are not subjected to a maximum length or dollar amount on contracts. In fact, only MLB has guaranteed contracts that run 10 or more years, and in excess of $300million. We have not proposed anything that would change these fundamentals. While we have heard repeatedly that free agency is 'broken' – in the month of November $1.7billion was committed to free agents, smashing the prior record by nearly 4x. By the end of the offseason, Clubs will have committed more money to players than in any offseason in MLB history.

    "We worked hard to find compromise while making the system even better for players, by addressing concerns raised by the Players Association. We offered to establish a minimum payroll for all clubs to meet for the first time in baseball history; to allow the majority of players to reach free agency earlier through an age-based system that would eliminate any claims of service time manipulation; and to increase compensation for all young players, including increases in the minimum salary. When negotiations lacked momentum, we tried to create some by offering to accept the universal Designated Hitter, to create a new draft system using a lottery similar to other leagues, and to increase the Competitive Balance Tax threshold that affects only a small number of teams.

    "We have had challenges before with respect to making labour agreements and have overcome those challenges every single time during my tenure. Regrettably, it appears the Players Association came to the bargaining table with a strategy of confrontation over compromise. They never wavered from collectively the most extreme set of proposals in their history, including significant cuts to the revenue-sharing system, a weakening of the competitive balance tax, and shortening the period of time that players play for their teams. All of these changes would make our game less competitive, not more.

    "To be clear: this hard but important step does not necessarily mean games will be cancelled. In fact, we are taking this step now because it accelerates the urgency for an agreement with as much runway as possible to avoid doing damage to the 2022 season. Delaying this process further would only put Spring Training, Opening Day, and the rest of the season further at risk – and we cannot allow an expired agreement to again cause an in-season strike and a missed World Series, like we experienced in 1994. We all owe you, our fans, better than that.

    "Today is a difficult day for baseball, but as I have said all year, there is a path to a fair agreement, and we will find it. I do not doubt the League and the Players share a fundamental appreciation for this game and a commitment to its fans. I remain optimistic that both sides will seize the opportunity to work together to grow, protect, and strengthen the game we love. MLB is ready to work around the clock to meet that goal. I urge the Players Association to join us at the table."

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