MLB

Ohtani dominates for Angels, streaking Dodgers crush Pirates

By Sports Desk August 19, 2021

Two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani produced another masterclass in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Ohtani hit his 40th home run of the MLB season and dominated across eight innings on the mound midweek.

The Japanese sensation allowed six hits, while striking out eight batters and walking none.

Ohtani became the first MLB player to register 40 homers in a season that he pitched at least 15 games. The previous record was Babe Ruth's 29 in 1919.

He also has 18 steals in 122 games for the Angels this season. According to Stats Perform, the only player in major history to reach 40 homers and 15 stolen bases in fewer team games was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 (117th game).

 

Dodgers roll on

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-0 for their sixth consecutive victory. Max Muncy had two home runs to fuel the Dodgers, who moved within three games of the National League (NL) West-leading San Francisco Giants. San Francisco lost 6-2 to the New York Mets. Mitch White became the first Dodgers reliever to go 7.1 scoreless innings pitched since Ed Roebuck in 1960.

The Atlanta Braves edged the Miami Marlins 11-9. Freddie Freeman hit for the cycle for the second time in his career. According to Stats Perform, Freeman is the first NL first baseman in history to hit for the cycle more than once.

 

Red Sox swept by Yankees

The Boston Red Sox left New York emptyhanded after being swept by American League (AL) East rivals the Yankees following a 5-2 victory. Nick Pivetta gave up four runs in the second inning.

 

Polanco does it again

Jorge Polanco delivered another walk-off win for the Minnesota Twins, this time an 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians after 11 innings. Polanco hit a game-ending based-loaded single. Each of the last three Minnesota victories have ended with a Polanco walk off. He is the first player with a walk-off RBI in three consecutive team wins since David Ortiz in the 2004 playoffs and first in the regular season since Tony Pena in 1982, per Stats Perform.

 

 

Wednesday's results 

Chicago Cubs 7-1 Cincinnati Reds
Minnesota Twins 8-7 Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies 7-5 San Diego Padres
New York Mets 6-2 San Francisco Giants
Washington Nationals 8-5 Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees 5-2 Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Angels 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Atlanta Braves 11-9 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 Baltimore Orioles
Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 St Louis Cardinals
Seattle Mariners 3-1 Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Houston Astros
Chicago White Sox 3-2 Oakland Athletics
Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Mets at Dodgers

The Dodgers (75-46) will put their winning streak on the line when they host the Mets (60-60) on Thursday. Max Scherzer toes the mound for the Dodgers, while the Mets will counter with Rich Hill.

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    Dusan Vlahovic said he was "honoured" to play alongside Angel Di Maria after the Argentina international claimed three assists in Juventus' Champions League win over Maccabi Haifa.

    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."

  • 'Madrid want to finish the group as soon as possible' – Kroos targets early last-16 qualification 'Madrid want to finish the group as soon as possible' – Kroos targets early last-16 qualification

    Toni Kroos insists Real Madrid want to secure qualification for the Champions League knockout stages "as soon as possible" following victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

    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.

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    Lopetegui led Sevilla to just one win in their first seven games of the season in LaLiga, and widespread reports had suggested he would be relieved of his duties after Wednesday's match.

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    Speaking to Movistar after the defeat, Lopetegui revealed: "Right now I'm still coach of Sevilla but... I've already said goodbye to the team.

    "I don't get a negative feeling right now. The first thing I feel is gratitude to a club like Sevilla, the fans, the people of the city and my players, who have given me three wonderful seasons. 

    "I arrived with doubts and it was possible to turn it around with many successful seasons."

    A statement released by Sevilla less than 30 minutes after full-time then formally confirmed his departure, saying.

    "Sevilla have dismissed Julen Lopetegui as coach of the first team after the clash [with] Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday," the statement read.

    "Lopetegui closes a successful stage with three magnificent campaigns in which the objectives were more than achieved, and a fourth season in which the results have not been on track, with Sevilla [taking] five points out of a possible 21 in LaLiga."

    Jorge Sampaoli – who coached Sevilla in the 2016-17 season – is reportedly being targeted to replace him, while Lopetegui has been linked with the vacant position at Wolves.

    Dortmund's rampant performance owed much to the display of Bellingham, who became the first English teenager to start a Champions League match as captain.

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    The only other player to achieve that feat is Bellingham's 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.

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