MLB

Tatis headlines Padres rout with 454-foot blast, Yankees walk off again

By Sports Desk May 09, 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr. flexed his muscles as the San Diego Padres crushed rivals the San Francisco Giants 11-1 in MLB action on Sunday.

Tatis launched a 454-foot homer – his ninth of the season – to lead the Padres past the Giants in San Francisco, where San Diego avoided a series sweep in the battle of the National League (NL) West franchises.

Padres star Tatis went deep off Johnny Cueto in the second inning, while team-mate Jake Cronenworth also sent a 445-foot shot to right field in the same frame.

Cronenworth became the fourth Padres player to hit a home run in San Francisco, following in the footsteps of Ryan Klesko (2003), Brian Giles (2008) and Yasmani Grandal (2014).

Chris Paddack pitched three scoreless innings for the visiting Padres before leaving with a 5-0 lead, while Ryan Weather had three shut-out innings.

Elsewhere, the New York Yankees celebrated back-to-back walk-off victories following their 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

Giancarlo Stanton was the hero for the Yankees, delivering a game-ending single off Brad Hand in the ninth inning.

 

Ynoa powers Braves past Phillies

Huascar Ynoa won his fourth successive start while also having six hits and six RBI in those games as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1. Ynoa gave up one run, four hits and one walk while striking out six in six innings. According to Stats Perform, he is the first pitcher to go 4-0 with six-plus hits and six-plus RBI over a four-start span since the New York Mets' Dwight Gooden in 1985.

Jared Walsh hit a two-run double in the third inning to fuel the Los Angeles Angels' 2-1 victory against World Series champions and city rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

Pearson endures nightmare return

The Toronto Blue Jays finally got to see their top prospect back in action but the rookie pitcher struggled badly in a 7-4 loss to the Houston Astros. Pearson allowed four hits and a career-high five walks in his first start of the season and fifth of his career. He gave up three runs in 2.1 innings of work.

The Mets topped the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2, however the win was overshadowed by ace Jacob deGrom. In his return to the mound following lat inflammation, DeGrom was pulled after throwing two warm-up pitches before the sixth inning in New York, where the two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner allowed one run while striking out six and giving up one hit over five innings prior to exiting with the trainer.

 

Tucker helps tame Jays

Kyle Tucker hit a three-run homer and tied a career high with four RBI in Houston's success against Toronto. Tucker gave the Astros a 7-0 lead in the fourth inning.

 

 

Sunday's results

Boston Red Sox 4-3 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 3-2 Washington Nationals
New York Mets 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Miami Marlins
Chicago White Sox 9-3 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 7-4 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 2-0 Colorado Rockies
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 10-2 Seattle Mariners
San Diego Padres 11-1 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves 6-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds-Cleveland Indians (postponed)
Minnesota Twins-Detroit Tigers (postponed)

 

Red Sox at Orioles

The high-flying Red Sox (22-13), who top the American League (AL) East, will put their four-game winning streak on the line against the lowly Orioles (15-19) on Monday. Boston can seal a four-game sweep as they start with Martin Perez, while Baltimore send Jorge Lopez to the mound.

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  • Salah delighted with Golden Foot award, credits Drogba for motivation to break top-flight record Salah delighted with Golden Foot award, credits Drogba for motivation to break top-flight record

    Mohamed Salah was thrilled to emulate "legends in football" by winning the Golden Foot award, as he credited Didier Drogba for motivating him to break Premier League records.

    Salah ranked seventh for the Ballon d'Or on Tuesday as Lionel Messi collected his record-extending seventh accolade.

    However, the Egypt forward was named the Golden Foot winner on the same day, an award given to standout performers for their athletic achievements – both as individuals and team players – and personality.

    The trophy, which was won by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2020 and Luka Modric the year before, is only given to active players aged 28 and above, while players can only claim the title once. The victor also leaves a permanent mould of their footprints on the 'Champions Promenade' on the Monaco seafront.

    After triumphing among 10 nominees, which are chosen by a panel of international journalists before an online poll decides the winner, Salah expressed his delight following more individual success.

    "It's great to win any award, but this one is special because a lot of legends in football have won it, so it's something special to win," Salah said after winning the award in Monte Carlo.

     

    Salah sits top of the English top-flight scoring charts this term with 11 goals to his name, having also become the third-fastest player to 150 Premier League goal involvements with his assist for Diogo Jota in Saturday's 4-0 win over Southampton.

    The Liverpool forward achieved the feat in just 171 games, with only Alan Shearer (148) and Thierry Henry (163) reaching the milestone in fewer appearances.

    Salah, who now has 108 goals along with 42 assists, also previously surpassed Didier Drogba (104 goals) as the Premier League's top African goalscorer in the competition's history with his hat-trick in the 5-0 rout of Manchester United in October.

    Asked about breaking yet another record and overtaking African legend Drogba, the 29-year-old responded: "Well, I'm always trying to find the motivation inside me, just to drive me to give my best. 

    "I don't know exactly, but that was one of the motivations to break his record. He of course is a legend. We know each other, he is my friend. So, it was a motivation for me to break his record, which I did."

    Liverpool cruised through their Champions League group after just four games and are third in the league, two points behind leaders Chelsea after 13 games.

    Having already achieved Premier League success with the Reds in 2019-20 and continental joy with Jurgen Klopp's side the season before, Salah refused to pick which trophy he would prefer to win this term. 

    Instead, he wants both.

    "Well, I always say that I love always to win the Champions League," he added. The Premier League… I would pick both. I think hopefully we can do both again this season."

    While the 29-year-old now dominates English and European football, he initially struggled during his time at Chelsea between 2014-16.

    A subsequent move to Fiorentina on loan and then a permanent switch to Roma, following another season on loan there, shaped Salah's career and he appreciates the influence Serie A has had on his career.

    "I think it's helped me a lot," he continued when asked about his experiences in Italy.

    "When I was in Chelsea, I had to change my football, I had to change to the culture. I felt that I needed to change my football, so I went to Italy. I played good and that helped me to be where I am at the moment."

  • Guardiola hails Grealish's 'perfect start' ahead of possible Villa reunion Guardiola hails Grealish's 'perfect start' ahead of possible Villa reunion

    Pep Guardiola praised Jack Grealish for "starting perfectly" at Manchester City but is unsure if the playmaker will be fit to feature against former club Aston Villa on Wednesday,

    Grealish has featured in 15 of City's 21 matches since joining the club from Villa in a £100m British record transfer from Aston Villa in August, starting 13 of those.

    The 26-year-old was an unused substitute for the derby win over Manchester United on November 6 and has not played since due to a knock sustained on England duty.

    He returned to training on Monday and will be monitored ahead of Wednesday's clash at Villa Park, where he spent 20 years – seven as a first-team regular – prior to joining City.

    Grealish has a lot of work to do in order to repay his hefty price tag, but Guardiola has been pleased with the attacking midfielder's impact thus far when fit and available.

    "He has started perfectly," Guardiola said of Grealish at Tuesday's pre-match news conference. 

    "It's easy because of our English players and the other guys here are nice people. He's played good but needs more time to settle." 

    Grealish has scored two goals and assisted three more this term, while his tally of seven big chances created is the joint-most of any City player alongside Joao Cancelo.

    However, the 3.15 chances Grealish has created per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season is down on the 3.34 managed in his final campaign with Villa.

    He is also attempting fewer dribbles (3.39 compared to 4.53) for City and is being fouled less frequently (down from 4.53 to 2.66), a sign that he is getting at opponents less.

    Guardiola puts down that down to the contrasting styles of City and next opponents Villa.

    "If you analyse games, he hasn't played badly. The way we play and our expectations are different to Villa," Guardiola said.

    "He did incredibly well at Villa. His commitment to the club to stay and get promoted was amazing. 

    "Now he has come back from the international break injured. Hopefully he comes back and step by step finds his form. 

    "We have six, seven months ahead of us. I don't think we will have to wait until next season to see the best Jack Grealish – I'm thinking this season."

    Providing an update on City's other recent absentees, Guardiola confirmed Kevin De Bruyne has returned a negative coronavirus test but has yet to train.

    Phil Foden remains doubtful having trained only once, while Ferran Torres is a long-term absentee and Aymeric Laporte is suspended.

    "All the people who have had coronavirus say it drains them and Kevin needs time to show his form," Guardiola said. 

    "Phil and Jack are still in the same situation. Maybe tomorrow they can play but not a lot of minutes – we're going to see after they train today.

    "The rest, we have just 14 or 15 players. But I trust this squad a lot. If one is out, another comes in.

    "December is the toughest month of the year for us and we are in trouble because we have so few players available."

    Wednesday's match at Villa Park will be the first managerial encounter between Guardiola and new Villa boss Steven Gerrard.

    Guardiola has lost just three of his 64 Premier League games against English managers, coming against Roy Hodgson (December 2018), Frank Lampard (June 2020) and Graham Potter (May 2021).

    Gerrard has won his first two Villa games since arriving from Rangers – no manager in the club's history has won their first three matches – and Guardiola is expecting a tough test in the Midlands.

    "He's managing in the Premier League, so he is already a good manager," Guardiola said. "I don't believe there's a manager in the Premier League, even the Championship, who isn't good. 

    "They can train good players in good clubs to punch for the titles. There are incredible managers in all aspects and maybe they win titles because they are lucky to train a good team.

    "I can imagine with a new manager everybody steps forward for training sessions and methodology to convince the manager. 

    "They have had two good results against tough teams like Brighton and Crystal Palace. It will be the toughest game possible tomorrow."

  • Ballon d'Or: Messi deserved the crown – Pochettino Ballon d'Or: Messi deserved the crown – Pochettino

    Lionel Messi "completely deserved" his record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or, according to Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

    The PSG star has endured something of a slow start to the Ligue 1 season, scoring just once in seven games, but his prior exploits with Barcelona and Argentina were enough to secure another accolade.

    The 34-year-old's performances for Argentina at the Copa America, helping his country to a first major trophy in 28 years, were likely what gave him the edge over Robert Lewandowski.

    Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski, who Messi claimed should have been awarded the cancelled 2020 Ballon d'Or, was once again in the running after breaking Gerd Muller's long-standing record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season.

    But Pochettino insists his Argentinian compatriot was the most deserving of the award for yet another outstanding year in which he has also managed 32 goals and 12 assists across 40 club appearances.

    "Firstly, I want to publicly congratulate Leo and his family," Pochettino told reporters at Tuesday's pre-match news conference ahead of the visit of Nice. 

    "Winning seven Ballons d'Or is an extraordinary achievement. I hope he takes advantage of it and that it's the first day to work on getting the eighth.

    "To have players with six and seven Ballon d'Or is something extraordinary and we are delighted to have him here every day. 

    "We hope at the end of the year to also have collective trophies beyond the individual trophies."

    Asked about the criticism of the Argentina international's victory, Pochettino responded: "Messi completely deserved it and there is no debate. 

    "Of course, in other countries there may be criticism, but he completely deserved it."

    Ahead of Wednesday's clash with Nice, PSG lead Ligue 1 by 12 points after winning 13 of their opening 15 games, a total surpassed only once at this stage in the competition by PSG themselves in 2018-19 (14/15).

    The league leaders may be without Messi for the clash at Parc des Princes, though, after the former Barcelona forward, along with Leandro Paredes, did not train on Tuesday due to a stomach bug.

    PSG will decide on the fitness of the pair on the morning of the Nice game, while they will definitely be without Neymar, who is expected to be out for six to eight weeks due to an ankle injury sustained against Saint-Etienne.

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