MLB

Haniger leads Mariners in rout of A's, Reds keep faint hopes alive

By Sports Desk September 28, 2021

Mitch Haniger hit two home runs and drove in six as the Seattle Mariners rallied from an early deficit to rout the Oakland Athletics 13-4 Monday. 

Seattle's eighth win in their last nine brought the Mariners (87-70) within 1.5 games of the Boston Red Sox for the second American League (AL) wild-card spot, with the Toronto Blue Jays in between. 

The evening started off poorly for the Mariners as Oakland's Seth Brown hit a three-run homer in the first inning, but Seattle ran away with the game in the fourth. 

The Mariners put up five in that frame, capped by Haniger's three-run homer off Deolis Guerra, to take an 8-4 lead. 

Two innings later, Haniger did it again, hitting his 37th of the year to put the game out of reach. 

According to Stats Perform, Haniger is the third player to hit at least that many home runs a year after missing an entire season, following Ted Williams (38 in 1946) and Willie Mays (41 in 1954). 

The Athletics (85-72) still have a chance at the postseason, but they now sit 3.5 games back of the Red Sox. Monday's defeat officially eliminated Oakland from contention in the AL West, where the Houston Astros can wrap up the title Tuesday with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays and a Mariners loss. 

 

Votto homers twice as Reds stay alive

The Cincinnati Reds kept their miniscule postseason hopes alive for one more day, crushing the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-1 as Joey Votto hit two home runs to give him 35 on the season. Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suarez and Jonathan India also homered for the Reds (82-75), who will be eliminated with their next loss or the St Louis Cardinals' next win. 

Yasmani Grandal and Eloy Jimenez homered for the Chicago White Sox, who nearly blew a six-run lead late but held on to defeat the Detroit Tigers 8-7. 

 

Another tough outing for Marquez

Colorado Rockies pitcher German Marquez headed to the All-Star Game in July with a 3.36 ERA, but has seen that number inflate throughout a difficult second half to sit at 4.40 after he allowed four runs in five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. 

 

Sibling rivalry heats up in Cleveland

Cleveland Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer got the better of his older brother Kyle, smashing a solo homer off the Kansas City Royals pitcher in the eighth inning of an 8-3 Cleveland victory. It was the fourth time in MLB's modern era that one brother has homered off another. Joe Niekro was the last to do it, hitting one against brother Phil on May 29, 1975. 

 

Monday's results

Chicago White Sox 8-7 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 13-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians 8-3 Kansas City Royals
Washington Nationals 5-4 Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners 13-4 Oakland Athletics

 

Yankees at Blue Jays

The hottest remaining postseason race will be in the spotlight as the New York Yankees (89-67) look to continue the momentum from their sweep of the Red Sox as they open a three-game series at the Toronto Blue Jays (87-69).

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    LeBron James cannot discount another player going on to reach 40,000 NBA points, as he celebrated reaching the milestone despite a Los Angeles Lakers loss.

    The Lakers lost 124-114 to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, though with a haul of 26 points, James reached 40,017 points.

    When James reached nine points, he was presented with the game ball and received an ovation from the crowd at the Crypto.com arena.

    Coincidentally, James surpassed the 40,000 mark on the 62nd anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks.

    While teammate Anthony Davis believes no other player will come close to matching James' points haul, James himself warned records are there to be broken, even though no other active player has yet reached 30,000 career points.

    "Obviously we have a lot of great guys in our league that can score the ball, and if they were to stay healthy and they would play a long time, then they can eclipse it," James said.

    "And then, records are always meant to be broken. You can never say never for any record. At one point we said that Big O's [Oscar Robertson's] triple-double record would never be broken and Russ [Westbrook] did it, and now looks like Joker [Nikola Jokic] and Luka [Doncic], they're doing it every night.

    "I feel like I'm still that threat out on the floor and I am still able to do the things that I was doing 10 years ago. And some things I was doing 20 years ago, which is weird to say."

    Davis did joke, though, that James' record-setting games usually come in defeats for the Lakers.

    "I was just telling him in the locker room he might have to stop breaking records because we always lose any time he breaks a record," Davis said. "And he said the same thing."

    Indeed, that streak is quite something. James was on the losing side when he reached his 30,000th and 35,000th career points. When he became the all-time leading NBA points scorer last year, the Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    "For me, the main thing is always the main thing, and that's the win," James said.

    "I hated that it had to happen in the defeat, especially versus the team that plays extremely well. We played some good basketball tonight, but weren't able to close it out. So, bittersweet but enjoyed every moment tonight on the floor."

  • Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 46 points as he became the player with the most wins in the Milwaukee Bucks' history on Friday, with the Chicago Bulls beaten 113-97 at United Center.

    For Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, however, the focus is squarely on preparing for the postseason as the Bucks eye their third NBA Championship.

    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

    The win was the 489th of Antetokounmpo's Bucks career including both regular-season and playoff games, taking the two-time NBA MVP clear of Sidney Moncrief as the winningest player in franchise history.

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    "Hopefully, we can keep it up. Right now, it's just about trust. We've just got to trust one another. That's it, win or lose, we have to have the same trust."

    For coach Rivers, who has led the team to an 8-7 run since replacing Adrian Griffin in January, all that matters is ensuring Milwaukee are ready for the postseason.

    "We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

    "We still have work to do, we're still pushing, we've got to get better. It's nicer to get wins than to lose, but we're not where we want to be yet."

    Milwaukee, who sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 record, are back in action against the 38-20 Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. 

    They then embark on a four-game California road stretch on Wednesday, when they face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. 

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    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."

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