MLB

Dodgers draw even with Giants, Cole dominates for Yankees

By Sports Desk May 23, 2021

Seven strong innings from Walker Buehler lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-3 victory at San Francisco, pulling the defending World Series champions level with the Giants in the National League West. 

Buehler allowed one run while scattering six hits in seven innings of work, improving to 3-0 while lowering his ERA to 2.78. 

The Dodgers spoiled the first MLB appearance since September 2016 for Giants starter Scott Kazmir, who allowed only a first-inning solo home run to Max Muncy in four strong innings after being recalled from the minor leagues. 

Austin Barnes added a solo homer of his own in the fifth for the Dodgers, who put the game away with four runs in the seventh and eighth innings. 

The Dodgers' sixth consecutive win and second in a row against their northern rivals left Los Angeles a game behind the first-place San Diego Padres in the top-heavy division. 

 

Cole silences White Sox

Gerrit Cole was all but untouchable once again, allowing four hits in seven innings as the New York Yankees blanked the Chicago White Sox 7-0 for their fifth win in succession. Gleyber Torres had another big game at the plate for New York, driving in four runs. 

A day after hitting a walk-off home run against the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers sensation Adolis Garcia hit two more bombs to help the Rangers to an 8-4 triumph. The second shot tied the game and sparked a five-run seventh inning that provided the winning margin for Texas.

Garrett Cooper hit a game-winning two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth as the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 3-1. 

Xander Bogaerts and Danny Santana had back-to-back homers to lead off the sixth inning for the Boston Red Sox in a 4-3 victory ove the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Tampa Bay Rays rallied with runs in the eighth and ninth to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 for their ninth consecutive victory. 

 

Mariners' three errors boost Padres

The Seattle Mariners committed three errors in the fifth inning -- two of them by catcher Tom Murphy -- to help the Padres break open what had been a 1-1 game on the way to a 6-4 San Diego win. The first run of the inning scored when Murphy's throw to third on a Jorge Mateo steal attempt sailed into left field. Later, a bases-loaded single by Eric Hosmer brought home two runs, and a throw home by outfielder Jarred Kelenic went through Murphy's legs, allowing Fernando Tatis Jr to score from first base on the play. 

 

Hernandez gives Cleveland walk-off win

Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to give the Cleveland Indians a bounce-back 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. 

 

Saturday's results

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

 

Rays at Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays (23-21) send ace Hyun Jin Ryu to the mound as they try to avoid a sweep and stop the Tampa Bay Rays' nine-game winning streak. Michael Wacha will come off the injured list to start for the Rays (28-19). 

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    Jurgen Klopp does not understand why anybody would focus only on Trent Alexander-Arnold's defending when he has "world-class talent" on the ball.

    Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold has been the subject of much debate this week after being left out of England's matchday squad to face Germany on Monday.

    Reece James started the match and Kyle Walker came off the bench, while Kieran Trippier was among the substitutes.

    James appears to be Gareth Southgate's preferred option in that position, but Walker has made 50 appearances under the Three Lions manager. Trippier has turned out 37 times for Southgate, starting in both the 2018 World Cup semi-final and Euro 2020 final.

    That leaves Alexander-Arnold – often outstanding for Liverpool – as fourth-choice and looking highly unlikely to feature at the World Cup, even if selected in the 26-man squad.

    Southgate handed Alexander-Arnold his international debut in 2018, but he has since earned just 17 caps for his country.

    While the 23-year-old's creative abilities are unquestioned – he leads the England quartet in chances created (2.4) and expected assists (0.32) per 90 minutes in the Premier League in 2022 – there are doubts around his defending.

    Klopp has accepted Alexander-Arnold has room for improvement, but ahead of Saturday's game against Brighton and Hove Albion, he also suggested "nobody mentions" when the Liverpool man defends well.

    "It's like you have a list, bad defending and good defending, and bad defending [is] massive, and the good defending [list] is like you can't even see," he said.

    "That's what I see, because I'm not dumb."

    Klopp was also keen to point out some of Alexander-Arnold's shortcomings are due to Liverpool's approach, as they are "extremely brave" in their pressing and "the pitch is too big to be everywhere".

    Yet even when Alexander-Arnold is directly at fault, his club manager believes there is too much focus on those shortcomings.

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    "With him, you pick it out, analyse so easy. All the experts sitting there, 'in this situation, you see it's a weakness'.

    "Honestly, I just don't get it, I just don't get that part of it – that we just accept that a world-class talent gets judged by the one thing he's not as world-class as in other things."

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  • Walk-off win to end drought 'better than you can even dream', say Mariners Walk-off win to end drought 'better than you can even dream', say Mariners

    Cal Raleigh made MLB history to end the Seattle Mariners' 21-year playoff drought in fitting fashion – circumstances scarcely believable to manager Scott Servais.

    The Mariners entered Friday knowing either defeat for the Baltimore Orioles or a victory of their own at home to the Oakland Athletics would clinch a Wild Card place.

    Seattle were enduring the longest active postseason absence in any of the four major American sports.

    And a surprise win for the Orioles at the New York Yankees kept Mariners fans waiting just a little longer, with their team very rarely doing things the easy way even in this hugely successful season.

    But Raleigh, pinch-hitting for Luis Torrens, homered on a 3-2 pitch from Domingo Acevedo at the bottom of the ninth to clinch a sensational 2-1 walk-off win and a playoff series next weekend.

    Raleigh became the first player in MLB history to secure a postseason berth with a pinch-hit, walk-off home run.

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    That it happened at T-Mobile Park put the icing on the cake for Servais, who had already been talking up his team's World Series chances after beating the Texas Rangers the previous night. 

    "The fact that we're in our ballpark and there's 40,000 people here tonight, it's better than maybe what you can even dream it could be," Servais said.

    "We have a lot of baseball yet ahead of us. We did end the drought tonight, which is a very special feeling.

    "There's so many kids that grew up in the Pacific Northwest that don't know anything about the Mariners being in the playoffs, and now we get to show them."

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    "It wasn’t fluid. It wasn't a linear road for us," he said. "We stumbled, and we fell, and I think that made us stronger.

    "And along the way, we found stars, we found leaders, and we found we found a team that came together.

    "I think what you see out there right now is a group of guys who believe that they can beat anybody."

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    The wait is finally over: the Seattle Mariners are returning to the MLB playoffs after 21 years in the wilderness.

    The Mariners had been enduring the worst active postseason drought not just in baseball, but in any of the four major sports in the United States.

    So desperate had this sequence of failure been, all but one of Seattle's MLB rivals – the Cincinnati Reds – had also won a playoff series since the Mariners' 2001 run.

    It would have been difficult to imagine at the end of that 2001 season the Mariners would not be back in the postseason until 2022; Seattle finished with a 116-46 record, setting a new American League benchmark for wins in a single season and matching the all-time MLB high.

    But now, after a late-season wobble prompted fears of a repeat of last year's agony when the M's finished two games back in the Wild Card race, the drought is over.

    Seattle had lost eight of their previous 11 games before beating the Texas Rangers on both Wednesday and Thursday – results that, combined with back-to-back defeats for the Baltimore Orioles, left the Mariners only one game away heading into Friday.

    Either defeat for the Orioles at the New York Yankees or victory for the Mariners over the Oakland Athletics would do, and after the Orioles briefly kept their season alive, the Mariners got the job done in the most storybook fashion imaginable.

    With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cal Raleigh hit a walk-off home run to win 2-1 and send the Seattle fans into raptures as a 21-year weight was lifted off their shoulders.

    Seattle happily fell well short of the all-time record for most consecutive seasons missing the playoffs, held by the St Louis Browns between 1903 and 1943 – but there are still several miserable streaks for the Mariners to snap.

    They remain the only team in the major leagues never to have been to a World Series, with this their 45th season, while the Houston Astros' dominance in the AL West means Seattle's wait for a first division title since 2001 will go on.

    That is the worst run in the AL, but three NL teams – the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates – will this year see their division droughts reach 29 years.

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