MLB

Cubs shut down Padres again as Nationals outlast Rays

By Sports Desk June 09, 2021

Chicago Cubs pitching smothered the San Diego Padres' batters for the second consecutive night, giving the Cubs a 3-1 victory and another series win against the National League (NL) West contenders. 

A week after sweeping the Padres at Wrigley Field, the Cubs limited San Diego to just seven hits over the final two games of their latest series while getting just enough offence to prevail. 

Chicago starter Jake Arrieta fell behind in the third inning Wednesday on a run-scoring single by Manny Machado, but that was the extent of the damage surrendered by the visitors. 

Cubs relievers Rex Brothers, Ryan Tepera and Craig Kimbrel did not allow a San Diego batter to reach base in the final four innings and the Cubs scratched out two runs against Padres starter Yu Darvish to provide the margin they needed. 

 

Nationals outlast Rays in 11

The Washington Nationals scored two in the 10th inning and two more in the 11th to fend off yet another Tampa Bay Rays rally and hold on for a 9-7 victory as club icon Ryan Zimmerman hit a pair of home runs. 

Alex Bregman had three hits including his seventh home run of the season and Cristian Javier turned in a spectacular four-inning, one-hit relief performance as the Houston Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox 8-3.

Solo home runs from Justin Turner in the first and third innings provided the winning margin for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A day after collecting a pinch-hit single in his MLB debut for the Philadelphia Phillies, Luke Williams made an even bigger splash with a walk-off two-run homer against the Atlanta Braves. According to Stats Perform, Williams is the first player in MLB history to hit a walk-off home run with his team trailing in his first career start. 

 

Slumping Orioles, Diamondbacks struggle again

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey allowed eight hits and seven runs in just three innings in a 14-1 loss to the New York Mets, boosting his ERA to an unsightly 7.41. 

The Arizona Diamondbacks (20-43) showed why they have the worst record in MLB, managing only two singles in a 4-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. 

 

Non-traditional double play

Seattle Mariners left fielder Jake Fraley robbed the Detroit Tigers' Isaac Paredes of a walk-off home run and doubled Eric Haase off first base on the same play, sending the game to extra innings in what became a 9-6 Seattle win. 

 

Wednesday's results

Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets 14-1 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds 7-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Colorado Rockies 4-3 Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals 9-7 Tampa Bay Rays
Houston Astros 8-3 Boston Red Sox
Seattle Mariners 9-6 Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers 4-3 San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 9-6 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 8-2 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Angels 6-1 Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics 4-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Chicago Cubs 3-1 San Diego Padres

 

Astros at Red Sox

Coming off a complete game in his last start, Zack Greinke heads to the mound for Houston (35-26) as the Astros try to complete a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox (37-25) at Fenway Park. 

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  • Individual feats 'secondary' to wins for Wembanyama Individual feats 'secondary' to wins for Wembanyama

    Victor Wembanyama wants victories, not individual feats, after he joined Michael Jordan in the NBA record books.

    Wembanyama became just the second NBA rookie, after Jamaal Tinsley in 2001, to post at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals and five blocks in a single game. He is just the second player to have five blocks and as many steals in successive games, after the great Jordan.

    However, his efforts proved fruitless for the San Antonio Spurs, who lost 113-108 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

    Wembanyama finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks. He is just the 15th player in the NBA to record a 5x5.

    But for the overall number one draft pick, wins are the priority.

    "To me, it's secondary," Wembanyama said. "Hopefully in the future, and think this is a good performance, but as of today, I can't be satisfied with a loss."

    LeBron James returned from injury to score 30 points for the Lakers, while Anthony Davis had 28 points and 13 rebounds.

    "Of course it was challenging [going against] one of the best duos in the league," Wembanyama said of facing two of the NBA's star players.

    "But still, I think it's a lot of teams we beat if we play this way.

    "But I think it came down to maturity at the end because each and every one of us was making a mistake each of the times.

    "Little mistakes, missing a layup, turning the ball over. We went down, we went back to down four, down seven multiple times and that's when we did mistakes. So yeah, it's maturity."

    Even though the Spurs have lost 10 of their last 11 games, James believes the sky truly is the limit for Wembanyama.

    "He doesn't have a ceiling," James said.

    "He can do whatever he wants to do with his career. It seems like he enjoys the game. It seems like he puts in the work. Just from the outside looking in, I'm not with him on a day-to-day basis, but I said a long time ago how special he was, and it's literally that simple.

    "There are guys in our league that you have to account for any time you get around the rim or around the perimeter in our league history, and he sits right at the top of it, [if not] around the top, with all the greats.

    "He's one of them to have like a stellar rookie season. Guys that have come in and [dominated]. But, it's, can you sustain it? We've had guys that have come in and [have] just been really damn [good]."

    The Lakers returned to winning ways following their loss to the Golden State Warriors, but coach Darvin Ham was not entirely satisfied with the performance.

    "You want your team to constantly look within and try to make plays and force the other team to put you in uncomfortable positions," Ham said.

    "Not you put yourself in those uncomfortable positions, whether it's not sprinting back in transition or allowing teams to get two or three offensive rebounds. Or, you know, fouling because we're not in position because we're not doing our work early. And then going down the other end and not trusting the execution.

    "We've got a bunch of weapons, but they're useless if we don't do the little things, sprinting hard when we get the ball in transition, not turning it over, maintaining spacing, making sure we get hits on screens to create an advantage and making the simple, easy play."

  • Atletico Madrid 5-0 Las Palmas: Llorente and Correa get hosts back on track Atletico Madrid 5-0 Las Palmas: Llorente and Correa get hosts back on track

    Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa both scored twice as Atletico Madrid thrashed Las Palmas in a huge 5-0 home win to get back on track in LaLiga.

    Javi Munoz hit the woodwork for the visitors early on, but Diego Simeone's men soon assumed full control when Llorente scored twice in a five-minute span to put them two goals up inside 20 minutes.

    Atletico ensured they warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Inter in style when Correa struck 73 seconds into the second half, before doubling his tally from the penalty spot just after the hour mark. Substitute Memphis Depay then put the icing on the cake with a late long-range strike.

    The hosts were beaten by Sevilla in their last league match and had suffered an away loss to Las Palmas in November's reverse fixture, but they have now won four in a row at home and sit five points clear of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao and level with Barcelona, who face Celta Vigo later on Saturday.

    Data Debrief: Home dominance continues

    Atletico are unbeaten at home in La Liga this season, with 12 wins and one draw from their 13 league matches in front of their own fans. Looking further back, they have now gone 24 such games without defeat dating back to January 2023.

    Llorente's double was his first since scoring twice in a match against Eibar in April 2021, while Correa – who also registered an assist – had not scored in more than two months prior to this fixture. Atleti were worthy winners, accumulating 2.29 xG to Las Palmas' 0.59.

  • Teams need to get to grips with Wembanyama, says Raptors coach Rajakovic Teams need to get to grips with Wembanyama, says Raptors coach Rajakovic

    Toronto Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said teams must learn how to get to grips with Victor Wembanyama after the number one draft pick excelled in a win for the San Antonio Spurs.

    The Spurs ran out 122-99 winners over the Raptors on Monday.

    Wembanyama starred with a triple-double, entering the NBA record books in the process.

    With a triple-double of 27 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks and five assists.

    The 20-year-old became just the fifth player to record a triple-double that includes 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks and five assists since 1973-74, when blocks became an official statistic.

    Wembanyama joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson and Ralph Sampson on that exclusive list, and Raptors boss Rajakovic believes teams will have to adapt to the rookie's stature in skill in the years to come.

    "Wembanyama is the player who's going to play in this league for the next 15 years. We need to figure out how to attack and how to play against him," Rajakovic said.

    "Definitely a player who's unique with his size and shot-blocking ability. We've got to do a much better job of figuring out how to play against that."

    "I felt great today," Wembanyama said after becoming the fourth San Antonio player to record 10 blocks in a game. 

    "Great rhythm, started the game strong. I guess it's just the NBA, you know. We've got ups and downs in terms of shape, and today was an up day."

    "He did a little bit of everything," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Wembanyama, who leads the league in blocked shots, and is now the first rookie with 150 blocks, 150 assists and 50 steals in a season since Tim Duncan in 1997-98.

    "Obviously he's an all-around, talented player. He's got a great feel for the game and it shows in a variety of ways, whether it's passing or making decisions, blocking shots."

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