MLB

Adell hits grand slam at perfect time for Angels, Cruz two-homer game

By Sports Desk August 18, 2021

Youngster Jo Adell crushed a go-ahead grand slam to guide the Los Angeles Angels to a stunning 8-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers in MLB on Tuesday.

With the scores locked at 2-2 and bases loaded at the top of the ninth inning, the 22-year-old stepped up to deliver his first home run of the season at the perfect time for the Angels.

Adell hit a Gregory Soto fastball high over left-field, which came after he was seen receiving advice from Mike Trout in the batting cage pre-game following a poor recent run.

"He pulled me aside and told me I've been having really good at-bats and spitting on the pitches I can't handle but to stay on the fastball," Adell said. "Something was in the zone hard, and I was ready to attack.

"It was electric. When I hit it, I just turned and Trout was at the stairwell at the dugout so I just looked over and just went crazy. The whole experience was great."

Cruz's two-homer game, Webb stars

Nelson Cruz plated five runs with a two-homer game in the Tampa Bay Rays' 10-0 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. He hit a three-run shot in the fifth inning, before adding another two with a sixth-inning homer. Mike Zunino also homered for the fifth straight game.

Emerging right-hander Logan Webb starred on the hill allowing only two runs over a career-high seven and one-third innings as the San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets 3-2. Pete Alonso spoiled his shut-out bid after seven scoreless innings.

Giancarlo Stanton smashed his 19th home run of the season as the New York Yankees won 2-0 over the Boston Red Sox in the second game of their double, after winning the opener 5-3.

Jose Abreu slugged a three-run homer just beyond Josh Harrison's reach and over the left-field wall in the Chicago White Sox's 9-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

 

Sickening head injury for Bassitt

There was a major concern from the White Sox win after A's starting pitcher Chris Bassitt was hit in the face by a line drive. Blood appeared to spill from the right side of Bassitt's head, before he was taken from the field on a cart. The A's have since released a statement confirming he is conscious and on his way to hospital.

 

Pham's 486-foot home run

Tommy Pham hit the longest home run of the season, his 13th of the campaign, making it 4-3 in the San Diego Padres' 7-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Pham's solo shot measured a monstrous 486 feet. Fernando Tatis Jr crushed his 34th home run of the season in the same inning.

 

Tuesday's results 

New York Yankees 5-3 Boston Red Sox
Washington Nationals 12-6 Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees 2-0 Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
Atlanta Braves 2-0 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 10-0 Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Angels 8-2 Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 St Louis Cardinals
Seattle Mariners 3-1 Texas Rangers
Chicago White Sox 9-0 Oakland Athletics
Kansas City Royals 3-1 Houston Astros
Cleveland Indians 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Colorado Rockies 7-3 San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants 3-2 New York Mets
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Mets at Giants

The San Francisco Giants (78-42) have a good lead atop the National League West although they will be tested by the New York Mets (59-60) in the third and final game of their series.

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    New Zealand retained the Rugby Championship title after South Africa could only beat Argentina 38-21 in the final match of the tournament on Saturday.

    The All Blacks' dominant 40-14 defeat of Australia had set the Springboks the sizeable task of securing a bonus-point win by at least 39 points to be crowned champions in Durban.

    And Ian Foster's side could ultimately watch on with some degree of comfort early on Sunday morning back home, as the world champions could not prevent them from claiming a fifth title in six championships and had to settle for second place.

    An 11th-minute Springboks try was ruled out as Eben Etzebeth had stripped the ball from team-mate Siya Kolisi in an offside position, although their pressure soon told with a yellow card for Marcos Kremer.

    South Africa made the most of their numerical advantage when Jasper Wiese scored the first and surely easiest try of his international career, walking the ball over at the back of a scrum.

    No sooner had Kremer returned than Juan Martin Gonzalez headed for the sin bin, and it was captain Kolisi's turn to capitalise as he powered through for the second, before Frans Steyn dispatched a long-range penalty.

    But Gonzalo Bertranou lunged for the line on the stroke of half-time to silence the Kings Park crown, then Gonzalez raced down the left for the first try of the second period.

    Argentina had designs on winning the match, yet they conceded pivotal penalty tries either side of Matias Moroni's score in a half that saw two yellow cards for each side, with the Springboks forced to scrap for their victory as Etzebeth and Faf de Klerk were off the field at the same time.

    Kurt-Lee Arendse's last-gasp try at least allowed South Africa to finish with a flourish, with the Pumas consigned to finishing bottom of the table.

    First-half frustrations again

    If South Africa were to hold any hope of stealing the championship from New Zealand, they needed a strong start. However, three of their previous six home Tests against Argentina – despite all ending in victory – had seen the Springboks fail to take a lead into half-time.

    They had to stay patient again in this encounter, frustrated in front of the posts against 15 men, but two tries with men in the sin bin looked to have kept South Africa just about on course until Bertranou dealt the home crowd a blow shortly before the interval.

    Seven-try repeat a step too far

    South Africa had not scored 39 points, let alone won by that margin, since a 40-9 defeat of Georgia in July 2021.

    The last victory the Springboks celebrated that would have been enough to take the title in these circumstances was a 66-7 success against Canada at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, while the last against Argentina was a 73-13 win in 2013.

    There were seven second-half South Africa tries in that thrashing of the Pumas, but a repeat never appeared likely this time.

  • Pujols not 'chasing numbers' but will cherish 'pretty special' 700th homer Pujols not 'chasing numbers' but will cherish 'pretty special' 700th homer

    Albert Pujols said reaching 700 home runs will be something he looks back on with pride at the end of his career after becoming the fourth man to reach the landmark against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

    The St. Louis Cardinals great announced in March the 2022 season would be his last in baseball, but he appears set to go out with a bang after enjoying an incredible second half of the season.

    Pujols entered Friday's game against the Dodgers, his former team, with 698 career homers to his name and brought up number 699 with a crashing 434-foot blast in the third inning. 

    The 42-year-old soon had his milestone, picking out a similar spot in left-field to put the Cardinals 5-0 up.

    Speaking after a big 11-0 win, Pujols said: "It's pretty special. When it's really going to hit me is when I'm done, at the end of the season, when I'm retired, and probably a moment or two after that I can look at the numbers.

    "Look, don't get me wrong, I know what my place is in this game. But since day one, when I made my debut, it was never about numbers, it was never about chasing numbers.

    "It was always about winning championships and trying to get better in this game. And I had so many people that taught me the right way early in my career, and that's how I've carried myself for 22 years that I've been in the big leagues. 

    "That's why I really don't focus on the numbers. I will, one day, but not right now."

    Only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) have now hit more MLB homers than Pujols, who felt no desire to try to reclaim the historic ball from the lucky fan who caught it. 

    "Souvenirs are for the fans," Pujols said. "If they want to keep it, they can. At the end of the day, I don't focus on material stuff. I think I have the bat, the uniform, helmet, things that are special to me. 

    "At the end of the day, I think that's why the fans come here – to have a special moment of history. So, if they want to keep that baseball I don't have any problem with that."

  • New Zealand 40-14 Australia: All Blacks on brink of Rugby Championship title after emphatic win New Zealand 40-14 Australia: All Blacks on brink of Rugby Championship title after emphatic win

    New Zealand put one hand on the Rugby Championship trophy with a dominant 40-14 victory over Australia in Auckland, leaving South Africa requiring a 40-point win later on Saturday to take the title.

    The All Blacks never looked likely to give South Africa hope after Will Jordan raced home for the first try 23 minutes in, with Australia's ill-discipline costing them as the hosts went in search of a bonus-point victory.

    New Zealand added a penalty try and then three second-half tries to wrap up an emphatic win over their Bledisloe Cup rivals, and simply require Argentina to avoid a mammoth defeat to the Springboks to retain their crown.

    Australia were temporarily reduced to 14 men through Jed Holloway's yellow card just two minutes in, but New Zealand did not get off the mark until the Wallabies were back at full strength, with Richie Mo'unga kicking a 20th-minute penalty.

    The All Blacks finally clinched the first try of the contest shortly afterwards when Jordan powered home after the ball was worked to the right, before Mo'unga added the extras.

    Things quickly went from bad to worse for the disjointed Wallabies, with the All Blacks handed a penalty try and Dave Porecki being yellow carded after a collapsed maul 27 minutes in.

    Although the Wallabies avoided further concessions to go into half-time 17-0 down, the All Blacks stretched their lead when Sam Whitelock went over three minutes after the interval, with a video review sticking with the on-field decision to award the try.

    Mo'unga then added another penalty and, as the All Blacks looked to wrap up the all-important bonus point, a well-worked maul then saw Codie Taylor fall over the line as the hosts went 32-0 ahead.

    Australia added two consolation scores through Folau Fainga'a and Jordan Petaia either side of Samisoni Taukei'aho going over, but the All Blacks richly deserved their margin of victory, which makes them favourites to lift the trophy.

    Resurgent New Zealand on the brink

    New Zealand are on the brink of another Rugby Championship title, which would represent a remarkable turnaround for an All Blacks team which came under huge pressure at the start of the campaign.

    Ian Foster's men have now won four of their last five Tests after winning just one of their previous six.

    If they clinch the title, this would be their sixth success in the last seven years - only South Africa in 2019 have denied them in that span.

    Home comforts reign for All Blacks

    Australia struggled from the off, producing a flat display, and have now lost three Tests in a row in the Rugby Championship for the first time since September 2013.

    Meanwhile, New Zealand have posted five consecutive wins over Australia and have won each of the last 23 Tests between the teams in Auckland. The last time Australia got the better of their neighbours in that city was in 1986.

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