MLB

Padres go deep early to rout Cardinals, Bauer and Dodgers dominate Marlins

By Sports Desk May 15, 2021

The San Diego Padres jumped on the St Louis Cardinals early on Saturday and never let up, hitting home runs in each of the first three innings on the way to a 13-3 rout. 

Despite top slugger Fernando Tatis Jr's absence due to a positive COVID-19 test, the Padres pounded three-time All-Star Adam Wainwright for those six early runs, then piled on the St Louis bullpen. 

Austin Nola drove in a career-high six runs, including a three-run homer off Wainwright in the third inning. Tommy Pham and Kim Ha-seong also homered for San Diego.

Things got so bad for St Louis that veteran infielder Matt Carpenter came on to pitch in the seventh inning, then remained in the game to work the eighth. He surrendered two hits to the six batters he faced but did not allow any more runs. 

The Padres and Cardinals entered Saturday with two of the three best records in the National League, but St Louis will need to bounce back Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep. 

 

Dodgers' Bauer dominates Marlins

Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer was spectacular for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 7-0 win over the Miami Marlins.

Bauer allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings while striking out 10 Miami batters to lower his ERA to 2.20. All of Bauer's strikeouts came in the first four innings.

There was one concerning note for the Dodgers in victory, though, as Corey Seager left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch in the right hand. 

The New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-2 thanks in part to a two-run homer by Aaron Judge. It was Judge's 23rd career home run against the Orioles, his most against any team.

Ian Anderson limited the Milwaukee Brewers to two hits in his six innings of work as the Atlanta Braves cruised to a 5-1 victory.  

Eduardo Escobar hit a pair of homers and drove in seven runs to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Washington Nationals 11-4. 

Harold Castro's 10th-inning single lifted the Tigers past the Chicago Cubs 9-8 for Detroit's fifth win in six games. 

 

Phillies' stars fall in loss

The Philadelphia Phillies' two best hitters left a 4-0 defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays with injuries, adding longer-term concern to Saturday's setback. Bryce Harper departed in the fourth inning with what the team called right shoulder soreness, and J.T. Realmuto followed in the eighth with a left wrist problem. Manager Joe Girardi told reporters both players are day-to-day. 

 

Bogaerts clears the Monster

Xander Bogaerts launched a rocket over the Green Monster in Boston, with his 446-foot home run helping the Red Sox to a 9-0 rout of the Los Angeles Angels.

 

Saturday's results

Detroit Tigers 9-8 Chicago Cubs
Boston Red Sox 9-0 Los Angeles Angels
Minnesota Twins 5-4 Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays 12-5 New York Mets
Pittsburgh Pirates 8-6 San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees 8-2 Baltimore Orioles
Houston Astros 6-5 Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals 5-1 Chicago White Sox
Atlanta Braves 5-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-4 Washington Nationals
San Diego Padres 13-3 St Louis Cardinals
Seattle Mariners 7-3 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-0 Miami Marlins

 

Mets at Rays

Marcus Stroman (3-3, 2.01 ERA) will try to prevent the Tampa Bay Rays (22-19) from sweeping the New York Mets (18-15) at Tropicana Field. Josh Fleming (2-3, 2.73) gets the start for the Rays. 

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  • Wolves v Arsenal: ‘What we still have to play for is beautiful’ – Arteta Wolves v Arsenal: ‘What we still have to play for is beautiful’ – Arteta

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta set out to remind his team that they still have something “beautiful” to play for despite their Champions League exit.

    The Gunners slipped out of UEFA’s flagship club competition in midweek when they went down 1-0 to Bayern Munich, losing 3-2 on aggregate.

    That defeat followed on from a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa last Sunday – a reverse that significantly dented Arsenal’s title hopes, with the Gunners now two points behind Manchester City who, after this weekend, will have a game in hand.

    Arsenal face Wolves on Saturday and, with City in FA Cup action, a win would see them move back to the top of the table, at least temporarily, so Arteta offered a reminder that all is not lost.

    “I can guarantee you we are fully focused on Wolves and everybody's lifted,” he said following the loss in Munich.

    “What we still have to play is beautiful and I said before, it's time to be next to our players and in this moment, not when you win 10 in a row and a draw, that's easy to prize our players and to be behind them and to say really nice things. The moment is now to be next to them.”

    On Friday, in his pre-match press conference, Arteta added: “As an experience, [the Champions League was] the best one.

    “I am now fully focused on the times ahead of us. We are now behind Manchester City and will give it a good go. The context is clear. If we win we are top of the league.”

    Wolves sit 11th, though they could do with snapping a four-game winless streak in order to get their European hopes back on track.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Wolves – Matheus Cunha

    Cunha has been involved in nine goals in his last nine Premier League games, scoring six and assisting three. His 11 goals overall this season is the fourth most by a Wolves player in a single Premier League campaign after Raul Jimenez (17 in 2019-20, 13 in 2018-19) and Steven Fletcher (12 in 2011-12).

    Arsenal – Bukayo Saka

    Saka has been involved in eight goals in his last seven Premier League away games, scoring seven and assisting one. His 13 away goal involvements overall this term (eight goals, five assists) is the most by an Arsenal player in a single Premier League campaign since Alexis Sanchez’s 20 in 2016-17.

    MATCH PREDICTION: ARSENAL WIN

    Arsenal lost a Premier League game for the first time in 2024 against Villa last time out. Since the start of last season, only twice have the Gunners suffered consecutive league defeats, doing so in May 2023 (v Brighton and Nottingham Forest) and December this season (v West Ham and Fulham).

    Wolves are winless in their last four Premier League games (D2 L2), though they have won their last two at Molineux against sides starting the day in the top two of the table, beating Man City 2-1 in September and Spurs by the same score in November.

    Arsenal have scored in their last 32 meetings with Wolves in all competitions.

    Wolves have now lost each of their last five against the Gunners, failing to score in both home defeats in that run.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Wolves – 21.5%

    Arsenal – 51.2%

    Draw – 27.3%

  • Fulham v Liverpool: Klopp unconcerned by Salah's scoring form Fulham v Liverpool: Klopp unconcerned by Salah's scoring form

    Jurgen Klopp is not overly worried by Mohamed Salah’s slight dip in form, as the Liverpool manager turned full focus to the Reds’ Premier League title challenge.

    A bad week for Liverpool was capped off on Thursday when, despite a 1-0 win over Atalanta, they slumped out of the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate following a heavy defeat at Anfield in the first leg.

    That loss on April 11 came three days before a 1-0 home reverse to Crystal Palace, which saw Liverpool’s league title hopes take a dent – they are now two points behind Manchester City with six games remaining.

    What has not helped their course is that talisman Salah – who netted an early penalty against Atalanta but squandered a big chance later in the match – has scored just three times in the league since returning from a hamstring injury he sustained while playing for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

    Klopp, though, is confident Salah will soon be back at his best.

    “I am not particularly concerned,” he said ahead of facing Fulham.

    “That’s what strikers do, that’s what happens to strikers, that’s how it is. We have to go through this, he has to go through that. He is one of the most experienced players we have in the squad.

    “We will go through that but that’s pretty much all. It’s not that Mo didn’t miss chances before in his life, that’s a part of the game. I am not particularly concerned.”

    Reflecting on the task at hand now for his side, Klopp added: “Disappointed that we did not go through [in Europe] but not frustrated or angry.

    “Now we can focus on the league and that’s what we will do. We have a few days to recover, we will do that, and then will travel the day after tomorrow to London and will play Fulham, which will be tricky but we will give our absolute all.

    “That’s our competition now. I saw a good reaction from my side, we had not a great week last week obviously. This, if we want, was the start for the rest of the season with a good result and a good performance and that’s how we see it.”

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Fulham – Andreas Pereira

    Pereira has been involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances (two goals, two assists), with his brace against West Ham more than he had netted in his previous 34 games combined (one).

    Indeed, Pereira has more goal involvements than any other Fulham player since the start of last season (seven goals, 13 assists).

    Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

    Salah may not be firing on all cylinders from a goalscoring perspective, but he is proving to be Liverpool’s creative hub.

    Only Martin Odegaard (68) and Bruno Fernandes (59) have created more chances from open play in the Premier League this season than Salah (58). He has created at least four open-play chances in five different games this season, with Roberto Firmino the last Liverpool player to do so more times in one season (10 in 2016-17).

    MATCH PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL WIN

    The Reds might have had a bad week, but Opta’s model still fancies their chances of returning to winning ways.

    Liverpool have scored in each of their last 19 away Premier League matches, the longest current run of any side. That being said, since losing 3-0 to Brentford in their first home Premier League game this season, Fulham have conceded just 13 goals in their last 15 games at Craven Cottage (0.9 per game). With six clean sheets at home so far, the Cottagers last had more in a Premier League campaign in 2010-11 (nine).

    Marco Silva’s team have scored 49 Premier League goals this season, having netted 55 last season. The last time the Cottagers scored 50+ goals in consecutive Premier League seasons was in 2003-04 (52) and 2004-05 (52).

    However, Fulham have won just one of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D2 L8), winning 1-0 at Anfield in March 2021.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Fulham – 20.85%

    Liverpool – 53.1%

    Draw – 26.1%

  • Inter Miami v Nashville SC: Smith not looking forward to Messi reunion Inter Miami v Nashville SC: Smith not looking forward to Messi reunion

    Nashville SC coach Gary Smith is not looking forward to his team facing Lionel Messi for the third time this year, with the Inter Miami star fit and firing ahead of Saturday's MLS clash in Fort Lauderdale.

    A hamstring issue caused Messi to spend almost a month on the sidelines before he returned with a goal in Miami's 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids earlier this month.

    The Argentina great was then on the scoresheet again last weekend, as Miami ended a five-game winless run with an entertaining 3-2 success against Sporting Kansas City.

    With Messi also scoring in both legs of a CONCACAF Champions Cup triumph over Nashville in March, Smith is sick of the sight of the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner.

    "I'm a little bit disappointed that Lionel Messi has gotten himself back into tip-top sharp form as we come back into town again!" Smith said.

    "I think that what we can safely say is when he's in the group, there's a very, very different feel and look and inspiration about that team."

    Nashville are winless in three games since beating Charlotte FC 2-1 last month, with Daniel Gazdag's last-gasp strike condemning them to a 2-1 defeat against the Philadelphia Union last time out.

    Smith believes his team are at least giving themselves a chance of picking up results, adding: "When we've got our best group on the field — and we need to have our best group on the field — we're very competitive."

    Miami's win over Kansas City ensured they will enter the weekend top of the Eastern Conference standings, and boss Gerardo Martino is pleased to see them setting the pace.

    "Being first in the standings is comforting, especially with a long week ahead," Martino said. "It was very important for us to get out of that rut of getting ties, losses, and making mistakes."

     

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Inter Miami – Lionel Messi

    Messi has been involved in at least one goal in each of his first five league games of the season, the second time he's done so in his career, having achieved the feat in six straight matches with Barcelona to begin 2013-14 in LaLiga.

    The Argentine has also managed at least one goal involvement in each of his eight appearances for Miami across all competitions in 2024, including two goals and one assist in two matches against Nashville.

    Nashville SC – Jacob Shaffelburg

    Shaffelburg has assisted each of Nashville's last two MLS goals, one in each of their last two matches.

    Previously, he had only recorded one assist in his first 40 regular-season matches with Nashville. Will his purple patch continue in Florida?

    MATCH PREDICTION – INTER MIAMI WIN

    Nashville have only managed one win in their last 15 away games against MLS opponents across all competitions (six draws, eight defeats).

    That run, which stretches back to June 2023, includes a draw and a loss against Miami, who are also unbeaten in five straight head-to-head meetings between the teams (two wins, three draws).

    Last week's 3-2 win over Sporting KC was the 11th time Miami have scored three or more goals in their 22 games with Messi making an appearance, across all competitions. They have only scored three or more goals on 15 occasions in their 134 all-time games without the Argentine. He should be involved on Saturday, and that makes them favourites. 

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Inter Miami – 36.6%

    Nashville SC – 33.8%

    Draw – 29.6%

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