MLB

Schwarber stars as Nationals edge slugfest, Astros win 10 straight

By Sports Desk June 24, 2021

The tension continued as the Washington Nationals edged a high-scoring 13-12 thriller over the Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB on Wednesday.

The slugfest included both sides scoring grand slams, along with a three-run homer for the first time in MLB history.

It also came after things got heated on Tuesday when Phillies manager Joe Gerardi got ejected after a dispute with Nats pitcher Max Scherzer.

Scherzer did not play this time around, with Kyle Schwarber taking center stage for the Nats, with a three-run homer, his 19th home run of the season. It was also his 10th in 12 games.

Andrew McCutchen had hit a grand slam for the Phillies but Josh Bell responded with one of his own to put the Nats up 11-9.

"We had leads and we gave them away by issuing so many bases on balls and you can’t do that," Girardi said. "We have to be better."

 

Lucky 13 for Giants

The San Francisco Giants piled on seven runs in an incredible 13th inning as they won 9-3 over the Los Angeles Angels.

Shohei Ohtani, who went 0-3 with the bat, sent down nine strikeouts across six innings, only allowing one run, before the late drama.

Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman also yielded four hits with nine strikeouts over seven innings.

The Angels were not helped by injuries, with left-fielder Taylor Ward drafted in as catcher and pitcher Griffin Canning required at left field.

Steven Duggar helped the Giants blow it open in the 13th inning after an RBI double in the 12th, as Angels pitcher Alex Claudio walked three straight.

Brandon Lowe, Mike Zunino and Austin Meadows hit homers as the Tampa Bay Rays got back to winning ways, ending their seven-game losing run with an 8-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Trevor Bauer had 10 strikeouts across six innings but the San Diego Padres got up over the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 with Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado homering in the first inning.

 

No respite for struggling Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks ended their franchise-worst 17-game losing run earlier this week against the Milwaukee Brewers but that has not fixed their issues. The Diamondbacks succumbed to a 3-2 loss to the Brewers, meaning they have lost 19 of their past 20 games.

 

Skyrocketing Astros

The Houston Astros claimed their 10th straight win, crushing the Baltimore Orioles 13-0. Houston has the second best differential across a 10-game span since 2000, behind the 2019 Astros. The Astros have scored 21 home runs in that streak, allowing only 21 runs at the same time and are now 17-4 for June.

 

Wednesday's results

Chicago White Sox 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 13-12 Philadelphia Phillies
Detroit Tigers 6-2 St Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 9-3 Los Angeles Angels
Colorado Rockies 5-2 Seattle Mariners
New York Yankees 6-5 Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros 13-0 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 7-3 Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 Boston Red Sox
Texas Rangers 5-3 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 5-3 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays (44-31) have snapped their losing run and will round out their series against the Boston Red Sox (44-30).

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    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.

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    "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."

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    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.

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    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.

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    "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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