MLB

Cole surpasses 1,500 strikeouts as Yankees stay hot, Cabrera makes history

By Sports Desk May 13, 2021

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole starred in the team's 1-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays in MLB action on Wednesday.

Cole put on a show in St Petersburg, where the Yankees pitcher struck out 12 batters over eight innings against the team's American League (AL) East rivals midweek.

The three-time All-Star surpassed 1,500 career strikeouts as a result of his performance for the streaking Yankees, who have won four successive games.

Cole (212 games) is the second fastest pitcher to reach the mark, behind Randy Johnson (206 games).

It was Cole's fifth game this season with 10-plus strikeouts and 0 walks, already the most in a single season in Yankees history, per Stats Perform. The most by any player in a season in the modern era is seven by Cole in 2019.

 

White Sox roll on, Cabrera makes history

World Series hopefuls the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 13-8 for their fifth straight victory. Jose Abreu drove in three runs as he became the sixth Cuban-born player to have 200-plus home runs and 700-plus RBI. White Sox rookie Andrew Vaughn hit the first home run of his career.

Miguel Cabrera became the Venezuelan hit king after the Detroit Tigers defeated the slumping Kansas City Royals 4-2. Cabrera drove in two runs as he surpassed Omar Vizquel for the most major league hits by a Venezuelan player.

The Los Angeles Angels were routed 9-1 by the Houston Astros but it was a memorable day for two-way star Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese sensation became the first player to start as a pitcher and then hit leadoff the following game since 1916.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers eased past the Seattle Mariners 7-1. Max Muncy homered for the second straight game, while Julio Urias retired Seattle's first 13 batters and gave up only two singles and a walk as he struck out six.

 

Kansas City's woes continue

The Royals cannot buy a win at the moment. Kansas City are in the midst of a 10-game losing streak – the franchise's longest skid since dropping 10 in succession in 2019.

 

Contreras clubs Ryu

William Contreras hit a moon shot, a 463-foot home run of Toronto Blue Jays ace Ryu Hyun-jin in the fifth inning. The Atlanta Braves still lost 4-1.

 

Wednesday's results

New York Mets 7-1 Baltimore Orioles
Cincinnati Reds 5-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians 2-1 Chicago Cubs
San Diego Padres 5-3 Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies 3-2 San Diego Padres
Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 Washington Nationals
Detroit Tigers 4-2 Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees 1-0 Tampa Bay Rays
Oakland Athletics 4-1 Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Atlanta Braves
Milwaukee Brewers 4-1 St Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros 9-1 Los Angeles Angels
Chicago White Sox 13-8 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1 Seattle Mariners

 

Yankees at Rays

The in-form Yankees (20-16) can claim a series sweep of the Rays (19-19) on Thursday. Jameson Taillon starts for the Yankees, while the Rays counter with Rich Hill on the mound.

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    Karim Benzema will be extra motivated to win the 2022 Ballon d'Or after finishing fourth in this year's voting, according to Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti.

    The 33-year-old has scored 34 goals for Madrid this calendar year and was recalled to the France squad in May after a six-year exile.

    Benzema's combined 46 goals and assists in 2021 has been bettered only by Erling Haaland (48), Kylian Mbappe (51) and Robert Lewandowski (59) from Europe's top five leagues when taking all club competitions into account.

    The Madrid striker finished behind Euro 2020 winner Jorginho, Lewandowski and record seven-time winner Lionel Messi at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony, with N'Golo Kante completing the top five.

    Benzema's Madrid team-mate Toni Kroos has argued the Frenchman did more than Paris Saint-Germain star Messi this year to win the award.

    But Ancelotti accepts the decision, determined by journalists from across the world, and insists Benzema will not be fazed by finishing outside the top three.

    "We have to give fair value to the classification," he said at a news conference previewing Wednesday's LaLiga contest with Athletic Bilbao.

    "Messi has won and we must congratulate him. The individual awards are important but if they do not win it is not a catastrophe. I hope next year a Madrid player will win it.

    "Benzema has had a great season and finished fourth. He will continue to be motivated to try to be first next time.

    "If I had a vote, I would not choose any player outside of my own team. I'd have voted Benzema first, Vinicius [Junior] second, [Thibaut] Courtois third, Casemiro fourth.

    "But you have to respect and congratulate Messi on winning."

    Madrid-linked forward Kylian Mbappe finished ninth, but Ancelotti does not believe leaving Paris Saint-Germain will necessarily enhance his chances of winning the coveted crown.

    "Playing for a great club can help you, but it is still an individual prize," Ancelotti said when asked specifically about Mbappe.

    "These players will not cry because they have not won the award. The likes of Benzema and Courtois will accept it without a problem."

    Benzema and Vinicius are in contention to start Wednesday's clash with Athletic as Madrid aim to make it five league wins in a row and maintain a four-point lead at the top.

    Madrid are unbeaten in their last 12 LaLiga games against Athletic (W8 D4), one short of their best unbeaten run against the Basque club in the top flight.

    Ancelotti, who has lost only one of his four LaLiga games against Athletic, is prepared to make changes to Madrid's line-up three days on from their 2-1 win against Sevilla.

    "It's an evaluation I make every day," he said. "The dynamics of the team right now are very good. I won't rotate for the sake of it, but if we have any risks then of course we will do it.

    "We are facing a well organised team at the back. Marcelino trains all his teams very well, especially in a defensive sense.

    "This game will demand a lot from us and we need some offensive clarity. They are also a team that attacks vertically, so we must show good balance."

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    "You have the summer to improve the squad," he said. "I don't like using January to adjust as that means something must have gone wrong in the summer.

    "If players are not happy then we'll think about it, but we are not looking to sign. The squad is fine and will compete until the end."

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    Last season's Merseyside derby at Everton saw Van Dijk clattered early on by Jordan Pickford and hobble out of the game, suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury that ended his season in October.

    The Dutch defender was sorely missed as Liverpool's Premier League title defence collapsed amid a drastic set of injuries that left Klopp struggling to piece together a backline at times.

    Now he has Van Dijk back and close to as good as ever, with Liverpool in great shape as they prepare to face Everton, who are under the instruction of former Reds boss Rafael Benitez.

    When asked about Van Dijk ahead of Wednesday's tussle with their struggling neighbours, Klopp suggested it would be naive to expect no reaction.

    "We're all human beings, so it's probably difficult to ignore something like that," Klopp said.

    "It was a situation that should not happen in football and doesn't happen very often. I can't remember one since then in any other game.

    "Virgil is very experienced, and he has these situations constantly since he's been back where he's in challenges and has to be completely free of all things he could have in his mind because of one issue in his past.

    "So slightly more different [against Everton] because it's in the same place, but apart from that it's just a football game again."

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    "He came back brilliant. People are really quick if something's not exactly like it was before to say 'he's not the same anymore' and stuff like this, and this is of course not right," Klopp said. "These kind of judgements make absolutely no sense because everybody needs time to get back.

    "He had a full pre-season which is absolutely helpful. His comeback was absolutely brilliant since he came back, it's been really good.

    "If some things are not exactly as they have been, it's only a matter of time because of his quality, there's no doubt about that."

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    Everton won 2-0 at Anfield in their last Premier League game against Liverpool, ending a 20-game winless run against them in the competition. Wednesday's hosts have not won back-to-back league Merseyside derbies since beating Liverpool in both meetings in the 1984-85 campaign, with Everton then on their way to winning the First Division title.

    Eight of the last nine Premier League derbies at Everton have finished level, including each of the last four in a row.

    Liverpool can break a long-standing record on Wednesday, which is one of numerous incentives. Klopp's team have scored at least twice in each of their last 17 games in all competitions, the joint-longest such run in history by an English top-flight side, level with Sunderland in 1927.

    Benitez will be out to prevent that happening, but his Everton side are in free-fall having lost five of their last six games.

    Former Liverpool managers have lost 13 of their last 14 Premier League games against the Reds, with Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City the exception, winning 3-1 in February, with Van Dijk by then on the injured list.

    Klopp does not entertain the theory that form goes out of the window for a derby.

    "I think previous form matters," he said. "Especially when it's good."

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    "Michael has communicated this to players and staff at Carrington in a busy week for the club."

    United announced on Monday an agreement had been reached with Rangnick over a relationship that is set to span two and a half years.

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    Rangnick has previously shaped German clubs such as Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig from top to bottom, with his future advisory position at Old Trafford suggesting United are planning an overhaul of their football operations, which have long appeared outdated compared to their rivals.

    He has been working most recently at Lokomotiv Moscow, but the 63-year-old is now set to step into the highest-profile position of his career.

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    United are at home again on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace, seemingly a more realistic target for Rangnick's first game.

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