MLB

Cole tosses down 12 strikeouts in Astros' shutout, Acuna tears ACL

By Sports Desk July 11, 2021

Gerrit Cole returned to Houston with venom as he tossed down 11 strikeouts to lead the New York Yankees to a 1-0 win over the Astros in the MLB on Saturday.

It was a star match-up between Cole, who was with the Astros from 2018 to 2019, and Zack Greinke at Minute Maid Park.

Cole, who came into the game with a 6.46 ERA across his last three starts, starred early before Aaron Judge homered in the third from Greinke.

The Yankees pitcher kept the Astros scoreless across seven innings, the first time he had achieved that since May 27.

But he completed a shutout, tossing down 129 pitches, the most by any pitcher in a single game over the past two seasons.

 

Double grand slam in Dodgers rout

The Los Angeles Dodgers piled on the runs with a 22-1 thrashing of the Arizona Diamondbacks highlighted by grand slams from Mookie Betts and Justin Turner. The Dodgers finished with eight home runs, while Walker Buehler starred on the mound with seven strikeouts.

The 22 runs scored by the Dodgers tied an LA record and are the most runs ever scored in a game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers also become the first team in MLB history to hit two grand slams in a game twice in the same season.

The Cincinnati Reds won 4-3 over the Milwaukee Brewers buoyed by Nicholas Castellanos' three-run home run, a Eugenio Suarez solo shot in the ninth inning secured the victory.

The St Louis Cardinals scored five runs in one innings, with home runs from Paul Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman and Paul DeJong as they won 6-0 at the Chicago Cubs.

 

Cruel blow for Braves slugger

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr will undergo season-ending knee surgery after he tore his right ACL jumping for an outfield catch during Saturday's 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins. Acuna had hit 24 home runs in the 2021 MLB season, with a majors-high 72 runs.

 

Brown creams 472-foot homer

Seth Brown hit a monster 472-foot home run in the fourth inning off Mike Foltynewicz as the Oakland Athletics won 8-4 over the Texas Rangers in extras. It was a game of homers, with Rangers pair Adolis Garcia and Joey Gallo striking home runs, along with the A's Stephen Piscotty with a two-run homer in the 11th inning.

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Minnesota Twins 9-4 Detroit Tigers
San Francisco Giants 10-4 Washington Nationals
Chicago White Sox 8-3 Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics 8-4 Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 New York Mets
Atlanta Braves 5-4 Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies 11-2 Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Indians 14-6 Kansas City Royals
Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers
St Louis Cardinals 6-0 Chicago Cubs
New York Yankees 1-0 Houston Astros
New York Mets 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners 2-0 Los Angeles Angels
Colorado Rockies 3-0 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 22-1 Arizona Diamondbacks

 

Reds at Brewers

The in-form Reds (47-42) will aim to continue their impressive run against National League Central leaders, the Brewers (53-38), in the final game in their series, before the All Star break.

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  • 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors

    Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

    Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

    He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

    Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

    When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

    Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

    "Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

    "He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

    Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

    "Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

    Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

    "My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

    "I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

  • Chelsea must invest time in 'world's most unique player' Mudryk, says Shakhtar CEO Chelsea must invest time in 'world's most unique player' Mudryk, says Shakhtar CEO

    Mykhailo Mudryk is "the most talented and unique player in the world", and patient work on the training ground will see Chelsea get the best out of the winger.

    That is the view of Serhiy Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive who struck the £89million deal which took Mudryk from Ukraine to Stamford Bridge last January.

    Like many of the big-money recruits of the Todd Boehly era, Mudryk has struggled for consistency since arriving in west London, after emerging as one of Europe's hottest prospects at Shakhtar.

    Between the start of 2021-22 and his move to the Premier League, Mudryk averaged a goal involvement every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian top flight, scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists in just 23 appearances during that spell.

    However, Mudryk has just three goals and four assists to his name in 34 Premier League appearances, and he attracted more criticism for an ineffective substitute appearance in Sunday's EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

    Palkin, however, remains convinced of the 23-year-old's talent and feels he simply needs close attention from Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff. 

    "I can tell you that for me, Mudryk is the most talented and unique player in the world," Palkin told Stats Perform.

    "I believe that in order to get from Mudryk the maximum, as they anticipate, you need to invest in him. These investments are not money. 

    "It's time for the coaching staff to communicate with him and to work closely with him. He is a young boy, he changed from the Ukrainian Championship to the Premier League. 

    "It's a completely different world, with completely different levels, completely different football. 

    "Therefore, I believe that if the coaching staff dedicates him some time, he will return three, four, or five times more."

    One former Shakhtar man who made a far more immediate impact in the Premier League is Roberto De Zerbi, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to Europa League qualification last term while implementing a daring style of play. 

    The Seagulls are in the hunt for European qualification again this season, and they rank second in the Premier League for average passes per sequence (5.01), third for build-up attacks (127) and joint-first for high turnovers resulting in goals (seven).

    After overseeing Brighton's dramatic rise, De Zerbi has been tipped to move on to pastures new, with both Barcelona and Liverpool suggested as possible landing spots for the Italian.

    Palkin has no doubt De Zerbi is destined for the top, saying: "I can tell you that he did a lot for Brighton, he did brilliant work for Brighton. 

    "I believe 100 per cent that he can jump into a top club tomorrow, even today, 100 per cent. The most important thing is he must accept the proposition.

    "I believe he has a lot of propositions, including in Italian football and English football. Therefore, everything, everything, everything depends on him."

  • 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."

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