MLB

Red Sox surge into first place, Padres win despite Tatis injury

By Sports Desk June 20, 2021

The Boston Red Sox have returned to the top of the American League (AL) East division. 

Boston defeated Kansas City 7-1 Saturday as Martin Perez and three relievers shut down the Royals' hitters while J.D. Martinez and Bobby Dalbec each hit two-run homers for the Red Sox. 

That win on the road coupled with the Tampa Bay Rays' 6-5 extra-inning loss at the Seattle Mariners later in the evening put the Red Sox alone atop the division for the first time since May 22. 

The loss was Tampa Bay's season-high fifth in a row, and the third in that stretch to come via a walk-off win by their opponent, as Mitch Haniger's 10th-inning single scored J.P. Crawford for the victory. 

Crawford had hit a grand slam in the second inning to give Seattle a 5-2 lead but Tampa Bay came back to tie it on solo homers from Mike Zunino, Manuel Margot and Brandon Lowe. 

 

Tatis' replacement lifts Padres

After replacing the injured Fernando Tatis Jr. in the fifth inning, Kim Ha-seong hit a two-run homer in the eight to give the San Diego Padres a 7-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Tatis is day-to-day after hurting his left shoulder while diving for a ball hit by Tyler Naquin. 

Walker Buehler struck out 11 and had a no-hitter through seven innings in a 9-3 Los Angeles Dodgers win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

 

Orioles collapse despite long-ball heroics

The Baltimore Orioles' first six hits of Saturday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays were home runs -- a franchise first, according to Stats Perform -- but the O's still managed to lose 10-7 after the Blue Jays scored six in the ninth inning. 

The Chicago Cubs managed only three hits in an 11-1 loss to the Miami Marlins as they fell into a share of the National League (NL) Central lead with the Milwaukee Brewers. 

 

Adames lights up Rockies

The Brewers prevailed over the Colorado Rockies thanks in large part to Willy Adames, whose two-run homer in the ninth provided the winning margin in a 6-5 victory. Adames also had three doubles, becoming just the fifth player in club history to record at least four extra-base hits in a game. 

 

Saturday's results

Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Cleveland Indians
New York Mets 5-1 Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals 6-2 New York Mets
New York Yankees 7-5 Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays 10-7 Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins 11-1 Chicago Cubs
Minnesota Twins 3-2 Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox 7-1 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 7-3 Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 8-3 Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Philadelphia Phillies 13-6 San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres 7-5 Cincinnati Reds
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves-St Louis Cardinals (postponed)

 

White Sox at Astros

The Houston Astros (42-28) look for a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox (43-28) and their seventh win in a row as they send Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound against former team-mate Dallas Keuchel. 

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    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand declared "we haven't seen" a player like Jude Bellingham at his age after the Borussia Dortmund teenager helped guide his team to a 4-1 Champions League win at Sevilla.

    Bellingham scored one and assisted one as Dortmund eased to victory in Spain on Wednesday, with other goals coming from Raphael Guerreiro, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt, while Youssef En-Nesyri pulled one back for the hosts.

    Bellingham, 19, who captained the Bundesliga side, became just the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign.

    The only other player to achieve that feat is his former BVB team-mate Erling Haaland, who did so with Salzburg in the 2019-20 season.

    Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, back in 2004-05.

    "What he's doing in his position at his age, we haven't seen," Ferdinand said, working as a pundit for BT Sport.

    "The best of our generation, [Frank] Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard, [Paul] Scholes, [Patrick] Vieira, Roy Keane, they weren't doing this.

    "He's still got to go on and prove it over a long period of time, but they weren't doing what he is doing right now [at the same age].

    "Influencing games at this level, captaining teams at this level, and mentally this kid's a beast."

    Fellow pundit and former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole added: "Along with Erling Haaland, he's the best young player in the world, that's for sure.

    "I watched him play for England over the two [Nations League] games [against Italy and Germany] and he was our best player.

    "His dad I believe was a semi-pro footballer so he's obviously been guided right... When we grew up with Frank [Lampard] and his dad was a footballer obviously, a top footballer, and Frank had this maturity about him... Bellingham's got that as well, coupled with his undoubted God-given talent and his drive, he's unstoppable."

    Bellingham has long been linked with a move back to England, having joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020, with Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Chelsea all reportedly keeping an eye on developments, along with LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

    "One thing that's for sure – whoever gets him – is [his] temperament," Ferdinand said.

    "When you're making big transfers and big moves like that in the spotlight, temperament is a key element you need to get right. This kid has already proved that it isn't a question mark."

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    Adrien Rabiot scored a brace either side of Vlahovic's cool second-half finish as Juventus triumphed 3-1 to boost their hopes of progressing from Group H on Wednesday, but Di Maria was the star of the show.

    At 34 years and 233 days old, Di Maria became the oldest player to record a hat-trick of assists in the Champions League since data began in 2003-04, as well as the first player to do so for an Italian club.

    Since Di Maria made his first Champions League appearance in the 2007-08 season, meanwhile, only Lionel Messi can match his tally of 35 assists in the competition.

    Asked about Di Maria's influence by Sky Sports, Vlahovic said: "I don't know what to say. I am honoured to have the opportunity to play with him, to see him every day, to learn from him. I would like to make the most of my moments with him on the pitch."

    Vlahovic was pleased to see Juventus end a three-match losing streak in the Champions League, but saw room for improvement in his own performance.

    "I could do better and do more," he added. "I had to make better use of the assists of my team-mates, but we won. We have to improve and work with our heads down in silence.

    "Attackers live on goals. I am always focused on the team, then the goals come as a consequence. 

    "If I think I have to do something, I just put weight on myself and I don't do things with clarity. I have to be more calm and focused."

    Meanwhile, under-pressure Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Di Maria's display, but was concerned by his team's lack of control in the final 15 minutes.

    "Di Maria is good, the important thing is to get the ball to him, the first and second assists were of excellent craftsmanship," he said in his post-match news conference.

    "The boys immediately realised that you cannot not play for a quarter of an hour. The games must be closed earlier, this does not mean to stop playing, but to play less and be more bad.

    "We were too light, then the games are about psychology, and we risked 2-2. This doesn't have to happen.

    "The defensive phase is a mental issue. Everything seemed easy, we gave up as a team. We didn't foul [ahead of] their goal, that's not good. Goal difference will also be important."

    Looking ahead to next week's return fixture in Israel, two-goal hero Rabiot said: "We will have to be concentrated, but with this attitude, I am convinced that we will win. We must continue like this.

    "I'm happy to have scored, but it's more important to win, and tonight we did it well. We played well - a little less in the second half - but we're on the right path."

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    The holders maintained their 100 per cent start in Group F with first-half goals from Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior sealing a 2-1 win at Santiago Bernabeu.

    Despite converting just two of their 36 shots on goal, Madrid moved five points clear at the group summit after winning their opening three games in the competition for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign.

    Los Blancos could book their place in the last 16 with victory over Shakhtar in the return fixture in Warsaw next week, which would be the ideal scenario for Kroos.

    "The idea is to finish the group as soon as possible," the midfielder told Movistar+. "We have nine points out of nine, we have played three very good games, and we want another victory in Warsaw. 

    "There are days when the ball does not want to enter, it has been a game to win 7-1 or something. But in the end, it is three points, and it has been a deserved victory.

    "In the end, it's hard to believe we won only 2-1, but there are days like that. The ball will go in over the next few games."

    Head coach Carlo Ancelotti warned his players against complacency after they were pegged back against the run of play by Oleksandr Zubkov's spectacular strike.

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    "[I am] satisfied because I think we played very well; the front three combined very well in front, pressing more," Ancelotti added. "We have had many opportunities, but we have not succeeded. The important thing was to have opportunities.

    "We have lowered the intensity [at 2-0 up]; we thought we were comfortable. I gave a call for attention at half-time because the game was not over.

    "It's pretty normal that it can happen. We were playing very well, it seemed easy, but these were the dangerous matches. You get ahead of yourself. 

    "I think it's important to leave this group behind next week, so we can focus on the league."

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