MLB

Tatis homers as Padres use seven-run 11th to top Astros, Giants rob Dodgers

By Sports Desk May 29, 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a home run as the San Diego Padres used a monster 11th inning to power past the Houston Astros 10-3.

A seven-run 11th helped the high-flying Padres outlast the Astros in MLB action in Houston on Friday.

Tatis's solo homer in the eighth inning tied the game at 2-2 after Padres team-mate Tommy Pham hit a home run in the third.

The pair then both contributed RBIs in the seventh as the National League (NL) West-leading Padres improved to an MLB-best 7-0 in interleague play this season.

 

Giants deny rallying Dodgers thanks to Tauchman

The San Francisco Giants came within a whisker of losing to World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, instead prevailing 8-5 after 10 innings. At 5-5, San Francisco's Mike Tauchman robbed Albert Pujols of a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth. The Giants replied by scoring three unanswered runs in the 10th of the all-NL West showdown.

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Miami Marlins 5-2 behind Alex Verdugo's three-run homer in a clash that was called after less than six innings due to rain.

The Los Angeles Angels lost 3-1 to the Oakland Athletics. While Shohei Ohtani lost his way late, the two-way star matched his own feat set in 2018 as the only player with 15-plus home runs and 50 or more strikeouts in the same season. Ohtani allowed three hits, three runs and four walks while striking out five batters.

 

 

Blue Jays pound Morgan and Reds in wild weather

The Toronto Blue Jays weathered wet and windy conditions at Progressive Field, where they won 11-2 against the Cincinnati Reds after the game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning. On a difficult night for all players, Eli Morgan was put to the sword by the Blue Jays. The Reds pitcher was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 2.2 innings. He also allowed a home run.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the midst of a 12-game losing streak following their 8-6 defeat at home to the St Louis Cardinals. Arizona have lost 21 of their past 24 games. Diamondbacks ace Madison Bumgarner gave up seven runs – including six earned – on five this and four walks.

 

Tigers tame Yankees in walkoff

Robbie Grossman stepped up to the plate and delivered for the Detroit Tigers, who claimed a stunning 3-2 walk-off victory over the New York Yankees after 10 innings. Trailing 2-1 and with two outs, Grossman hit a two-run homer.

 

Friday's results

Chicago Cubs 1-0 Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox 5-2 Miami Marlins
Detroit Tigers 3-2 New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays 11-2 Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals 8-3 Minnesota Twins
San Diego Padres 10-3 Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Los Angeles Angels
St Louis Cardinals 8-6 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 3-2 Texas Rangers
San Francisco Giants 8-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies-Pittsburgh Pirates (postponed)
Milwaukee Brewers-Washington Nationals (postponed)
Atlanta Braves-New York Mets (postponed)
Baltimore Orioles-Chicago White Sox (postponed)

 

Reds at Cubs

Can the Cubs extend their winning streak to six games when they host the Reds on Saturday? Zach Davies gets the start for the Cubs, while the Reds counter with Luis Castillo at Wrigley Field.

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  • 'World-class' Alexander-Arnold 'judged by the one thing he's not as world class in' – Klopp 'World-class' Alexander-Arnold 'judged by the one thing he's not as world class in' – Klopp

    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.

    "There are other situations where he was not aware of the situation, where they pass the ball through him, where it was a challenge he should've won – true," Klopp said. "Every player in the league has these challenges.

    "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."

    And Klopp added: "If he would not be a good defender, he wouldn't play."

  • 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.

    After only two as a rookie in 2021, this was also Raleigh's 26th homer of the year – a new single-season record for Mariners catchers.

    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."

    Servais is not alone in outlining title ambitions in Seattle, where the Mariners remain the only MLB team never to have been to a World Series, let alone won one.

    But president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto believes the adversity has only made the franchise stronger.

    "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."

  • Mariners hit walk-off home run to finally end longest playoff drought in American sports Mariners hit walk-off home run to finally end longest playoff drought in American sports

    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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