MLB

Yankees fight back to win, Giants lock in playoff spot, Guerrero overtakes Ohtani

By Sports Desk September 14, 2021

The New York Yankees produced their biggest comeback of the season fueled by Aaron Judge's three-run homer as they eclipsed the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in extra innings in MLB on Monday.

The Yankees trailed 5-0 in the sixth before a rally capped by Judge crushing a game-tying home run, which was his 33rd homer of the season.

The win came with an ounce of luck in the eighth inning with Brett Gardner fortunate to be walked on a close call with two strikes, two outs and the Yankees 5-2 down before Judge stepped up to the plate.

In the 10th inning, Gary Sanchez ripped a single down the line to get Gleyber Torres home for the walk-off win.

Earlier, Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer for the Twins, who led 4-0 after the first inning, while Max Kepler made a super catch on DJ LeMahieu in the sixth.

The win improves the Yankees to 80-64 and they are hanging on for the second Wild Card spot in the American League (AL) despite having lost eight of their last 10 games.

 

Giants book playoff spot, Guerrero tops charts

The San Francisco Giants locked in their first playoff spot since 2016 with an impressive 9-1 win over the San Diego Padres, set up after a five-run opening inning.

Home runs by Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt highlighted the Giants win as Yu Darvish struggled again on the mound for the Padres, conceding eight earned runs, three walks and six hits in four innings.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr leapfrogged Shohei Ohtani into top spot on the MLB home run charts as the in-form Toronto Blue Jays won 8-1 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Guerrero laced his 45th homer of the season with a liner into the left-field corner as the Jays won their 12th game from their past 13 in their battle for a Wild Card spot in the American League.

Clayton Kershaw returned to the hill for the first time since July 3 due to forearm tightness, tossing down five strikeouts in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mitch Haniger hit a home run for the third consecutive game to help the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 and keep alive their Wild Card aspirations.

 

Rangers hammered as Siri makes history

It has been a tough season for the Texas Rangers and a 15-1 hammering from the Houston Astros added to that as Jose Siri made history in his first start with five RBIs and two homers. The Rangers allowed 16 hits, trailing 9-0 after three innings. Spencer Howard surrendered six hits and six runs early, while AJ Alexy conceded four walks, four hits and six earned runs.

 

Wainwright proves age no barrier

Adam Wainwright may be 40 years old but the St Louis Cardinals right-hander is not slowing up, pitching six shutout innings in their 7-0 win over the New York Mets. The veteran only allowed four hits while recording four strikeouts, helping the Cardinals stay firmly in the National League Wild Card race. Wainwright improved to 16-7 and lowered his ERA to 2.88.

 

Monday's results 

New York Yankees 6-5 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-0 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 Tampa Bay Rays
St Louis Cardinals 7-0 New York Mets
Houston Astros 15-1 Texas Rangers
San Francisco Giants 9-1 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Boston Red Sox

 

Rays at Blue Jays

The in-form Blue Jays (81-63) have piled on 42 runs in their past four games and take on the Rays (89-55) for the second time in their three-game series in a crunch AL East clash.

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  • Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: Jesus stars on home Gunners debut Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: Jesus stars on home Gunners debut

    Gabriel Jesus scored twice and set up another two goals as Arsenal made it two wins to start the Premier League season by beating Leicester City 4-2.

    Jesus impressed without getting on the scoresheet in his competitive Gunners debut against Crystal Palace, but the former Manchester City striker delivered the goods on Saturday to make up for some questionable Arsenal defending.

    The Brazil international's double put Arsenal into a commanding first-half lead, and he capped off a brilliant display with two second-half assists after Arsenal twice gifted Leicester some hope.

    Granit Xhaka netted Arsenal's third following William Saliba's own goal, and after James Maddison struck through Aaron Ramsdale's legs to make it 3-2, Jesus set up Gabriel Martinelli to complete the scoring.

    The post came to Leicester's rescue in the 20th minute when Xhaka headed against the upright, but their good fortune ran out when Jesus’ deflected effort curled in over Danny Ward.

    Ir was 2-0 in the 35th minute, Jesus doubling his tally by nodding in unmarked from a corner.

    With Jesus having twice come close to a third, Leicester thought they had a lifeline when Jamie Vardy went down under pressure from Ramsdale, yet referee Darren England overturned his decision to award a spot-kick after a VAR check showed there was little contact.

    Saliba's blunder – an inadvertent header beyond Ramsdale – gave Leicester a route back into the match, but they conceded again just 106 seconds later.

    Ward spilled what should have been a simple catch, and Xhaka was on hand to sweep home from Jesus' lay-off.

    Maddison's crisp shot and poor goalkeeping from Ramsdale dragged Leicester back into it with 16 minutes remaining, yet Arsenal hit back swiftly again – Martinelli drilling in from the edge of the box.

    Jesus struck the post with the goal gaping as a hat-trick chance went begging, but his key contribution on his home Premier League debut for the Gunners sealed all three points.

  • Mbappe desperate for first Ballon d'Or win, names Benzema and Mane as main rivals Mbappe desperate for first Ballon d'Or win, names Benzema and Mane as main rivals

    Kylian Mbappe claimed it is a "big lie" to say players do not care about winning the Ballon d'Or as he named Karim Benzema and Sadio Mane as his main rivals for this year's award.

    Mbappe was named on a 30-man shortlist to be named the best player in the world on Friday, having scored 39 goals in all competitions as Paris Saint-Germain won the Ligue 1 title last season.

    No player across the top five European leagues matched Mbappe's total of 60 goal contributions across the 2021-22 campaign, although his France team-mate Benzema is the clear favourite after helping Real Madrid to the Champions League and LaLiga trophies. 

    In an interview with France Football, Mbappe, who has previously backed Benzema to win the award, acknowledged he was desperate to be named the world's best.

    "I've always wanted to do it early, without limiting my dreams. I want to win it and I don't mind admitting it," he said.

    "I am convinced that lifting the first one is the most complicated. Once you have officially entered that select group, it will be easier to revalidate it.

    "It is a big lie that a footballer is not interested in the Ballon d'Or. It is hypocritical to say that. 

    "We all think about that. We talk about a team, and a collective, because in some way it serves to camouflage our ambition, but it is honest to admit that we care. 

    "For two years I have been a more real candidate for the award. Before, I was content to be in the top 10. Now, on the other hand, I am among the four or five most regular.

    "We don't talk about the Ballon d'Or in January, but we make comments when the lists appear. Later, as the ceremony draws near, it's obviously a topic of conversation in the group. We make our bets, we debate our opinions."

    Asked for his own top three, the striker said: "I think Benzema, Mane and me."

     

    Mbappe's first Ballon d'Or nomination came in 2017, when then-Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat Lionel Messi and Neymar to the award.

    And the 23-year-old said being among the hopefuls early on in his career gave him confidence that he would make it at an elite level.

    "Frankly, it was an honour," he recalled. "I was barely of legal age and I was already associated with those great names. It may seem trivial, but it was something important. A real step forward in my career. 

    "Somehow it was a message that served to say that I was among the best. I accredited myself as an elite footballer in the eyes of the world, and it was significant to belong to that list at only 18 years old."

    Meanwhile, the headline omission from 2022's list of nominees is seven-time winner and current holder Lionel Messi, who last failed to be nominated in 2005 – when Ronaldinho edged out Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in the voting.

    As Mbappe recalled his PSG team-mate's victory last year, he said the Argentina star's nervousness on the eve of the gala demonstrated that his desire to be the best remains strong.

    "The morning of the last gala he was nervous because a few hours later he was going to collect a seventh Ballon d'Or. Maybe he was thinking about what he was going to say, how he was going to lift the trophy," Mbappe said.

    "I told him it is not possible to be restless after having been there six other times. I would have gone with a cigarette in my mouth! 

    "But that shows that he retains the soul of a child and that he is still excited to choose to be the best. He has not tired."

     

  • Padres still targeting World Series without suspended Tatis Padres still targeting World Series without suspended Tatis

    Fernando Tatis Jr.'s suspension for a drug violation represents "a blow" to the San Diego Padres, but the team are still confident they can make the World Series.

    Tatis was banned for 80 games on Friday after testing positive for Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance.

    The star shortstop said he had taken a medicine containing Clostebol to treat ringworm.

    It means the Padres will not see Tatis for the rest of this year or for the first 32 games of the 2023 season.

    San Diego had been eagerly awaiting the return of the two-time Silver Slugger Award winner following a broken wrist sustained during the MLB lockout.

    Manager Bob Melvin had revealed prior to Friday's news that Tatis could have made his season debut as soon as next week.

    Now, the team – who occupy the third NL wild-card berth – will have to make do without him, meaning Melvin is relieved they went all out at the trade deadline with a blockbuster move for Juan Soto among a number of signings.

    "This is a blow for us. We'll have to move on," Melvin said.

    "I'm glad we made the moves we did at the deadline. We feel like we have a really good team still, and sometimes you have to deal with some adversity as a team."

    Indeed, Tatis' team-mate Manny Machado sees no reason why the Padres should adjust their aims in light of the suspension.

    "He hasn’t been part of the team all year," the third baseman said. "We've gotten to this point so far without him.

    "We were waiting for him to get back and hopefully for him to be a spark plug for the team.

    "We have the guys to get where we want to be. Obviously, with the trade deadline, what we did there, we reinforced the team and made the team a lot better.

    "We still have the same goal, which is to try and make a World Series and bring a championship to San Diego. That's what we're going to try to do."

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