MLB

Pujols hits first Dodgers homer as Giants light up Reds with 19 runs

By Sports Desk May 21, 2021

Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols hit his first home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers as the World Series champions extended their winning streak in MLB.

Pujols – acquired on a one-year deal on Monday, having been designated for assignment by city rivals the Los Angeles Angels – launched a two-run homer in the second inning of the Dodgers' 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

It was Pujols' 668th career home run as the Dodgers celebrated their fourth consecutive victory.

Pujols – a two-time World Series champion, three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star – now has 3,256 hits, 13th on the all-time list.

According to Stats Perform, the 41-year-old Pujols became the first player in MLB history to homer for two different teams in the same metro area before the end of May.

Elsewhere, the San Francisco Giants showed no mercy in a 19-4 demolition of the Cincinnati Reds, who suffered a four-game sweep.

Steven Duggar hit his first career grand slam in a nine-run third inning, while Brandon Crawford drove in six runs for the Giants.

The Giants, who had season highs of 19 runs and 16 hits, now own the best record in the majors amid a five-game winning streak.

 

Cubs roar as Happ homers

A pair of Ian Happ home runs helped the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 5-2. Happ also drove in three runs at Wrigley Field.

The Tampa Bay Rays routed the Baltimore Orioles 10-1, extending their winning streak to seven games, thanks to Joey Wendle's two homers.

Sandy Alcantara produced a two-hit performance of six innings as the Miami Marlins shut out the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0.

 

Mahle struggles

It was a game to forget for Tyler Mahle and the Reds. Cincinnati pitcher Mahle allowed seven runs, seven hits and two walks in just two innings. His ERA rose from 2.93 to 4.20.

 

Martinez the hero in Dunedin

J.D. Martinez hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in a three-run ninth inning as the Boston Red Sox rallied past the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7. Martinez's 250th career home run snapped a 12-game streak without a homer as the Red Sox held onto the American League (AL) East lead.

 

Thursday's results

San Francisco Giants 19-4 Cincinnati Reds
Tampa Bay Rays 10-1 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 2-0 Texas Rangers
Chicago Cubs 5-2 Washington Nationals
Houston Astros 8-4 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angles 7-1 Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins 6-3 Los Angeles Angels
Miami Marlins 6-0 Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 8-7 Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Arizona Diamondbacks

 

White Sox at Yankees

AL Central leaders the Chicago White Sox (26-16) will visit the streaking Yankees (25-19) on Friday. The Yankees have won three straight games following a slow start to the season. White Sox ace Carlos Rodon takes to the mound at Yankee Stadium, where the hosts counter with Jordan Montgomery.

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    Australia are in command of the series-opener in Brisbane after closing on 343-7 in reply to England's 147 all out, leading by 196 runs.

    Travis Head (112 not out) smashed the third-fastest Ashes century off only 85 balls after David Warner made 94 and Marnus Labuschagne crafted 74 on day two.

    Ollie Robinson was the pick of the England bowlers, taking 3-48, but had to leave the field with a hamstring injury, although the paceman later revealed he had not done serious damage.

    Stokes also sustained a knee injury on a tough day for Joe Root's side in the heat, with spinner Jack Leach's 11 overs going for 95.

    But Lewis says the selectors did not feel they ought to have played an extra seamer.

    "We looked at the pitch on the day before the game and the morning of the game and decided to go with the make-up of the team that we have," he told reporters.

    "That's what we felt was the right decision at the time, and I think if we'd have all bowled to the best of our ability, we would have put Australia under a bit more pressure than we did today.

    "We still took several Australian wickets. We are a bit behind in the game; however, like I said to the lads before, I know the guys will come back fighting in the next few days."

    Lewis was unable to shed any light on the extent of the damage Stokes has done.

    Asked about the all-rounder's injury, he replied: "I don't know, I don't assess players, I'm not part of the medical team. We'll see how he pulls up in the morning."

    Stokes bowled Warner for 17, but the opener was reprieved as England's vice-captain had over-stepped.

    Warner was also dropped by Rory Burns on 48 and should have been run out when he had 60 to his name on a bad day for the tourists in the field.

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    Former Schalke boss Tedesco comes in less than a week after Marsch left the club following a third successive Bundesliga defeat.

    Marsch joined Leipzig from sister club Salzburg in the off-season, but the task of replacing Julian Nagelsmann proved too great for the American.

    A defeat to Union Berlin on Saturday has left them 11th in the table, though Leipzig responded under Achim Beierlorzer by beating Manchester City 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    That victory ensured Leipzig drop into a two-legged play-off for a place in the Europa League last 16.

    Tedesco has now been handed the reins, signing a contract until June 2023. Leipzig also confirmed assistant coach Beierlorzer has left the club.

    The 36-year-old was last in charge of Spartak Moscow, spending two seasons in Russia after he was dismissed by Schalke in 2019.

    Tedesco, who graduated from the DFB coaching school in the same class as Nagelsmann, finished second in the Bundesliga in his first season with Schalke in 2017-18 but was unable to maintain that form the following season.

    Despite Tedesco's dismissal, Schalke's slide continued and they were relegated from the top flight last term. 

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    Leipzig have let in 18 goals in the top flight but have an expected goals (xG) against of 23.6. Their xG against in the 2020-21 top-flight campaign was 29.6.

    Tedesco's first game in charge will come against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

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    Mercedes, meanwhile, are bidding to win their eighth constructors' title. The gap between themselves and Red Bull is 28 points, though Wolff's team could still lose the crown to their rivals.

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    "We're grateful to still be in this fight. The fact that both championships will be decided at the season finale proves just how hard both sides have been challenging each other and pushing each other forward.

    "It's all or nothing for the season finale and that's amazing for the sport, amazing for the fans and amazing for all of us, too.

    "We're also relishing the challenges of racing in Abu Dhabi this weekend, at a circuit that has gone through quite a few changes since we last raced there.

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    Verstappen won the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and in the unlikely event both he and Hamilton finish outside of the points, it will be the Dutchman who wins the title courtesy of his nine race victories for the season.

    Mercedes had won the previous six races in Abu Dhabi prior to Verstappen's victory last year. The Red Bull star is aiming to become the first F1 champion from the Netherlands, and he would be the fourth-youngest champion at the age of 24 years, two months and 12 days.

    Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni, in 1974, are the only other F1 title rivals to have gone into the last race of a season level on points. Never in the history of the championship has a season ended with two drivers tied at the top of the standings.

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