MLB

Seiya Suzuki stars for Cubs, Heaney and Darvish dominate

By Sports Desk April 18, 2022

National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki registered a hit in the eighth consecutive start of his career after a home run in the Chicago Cubs' 6-4 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

The 27-year-old, who arrived from the Hiroshima Carp this off-season on a five-year, $85million deal made more history with his home run, becoming the second Japanese player to ever start his career with an eight-game hitting streak, and the third Cubs player in the past 100 years to start a season that way,

With a hit in his next game, Suzuki will tie Akinori Iwamura for the record for longest hitting streak to start a MLB career for a player coming from Japan, which happened in 2007 for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki's home run was his fourth of the season – trailing only C.J. Kron and Vladimir Guerrero Jr (five each) for most home runs in the entire MLB.

It came at an important time on Sunday, after the Rockies had cut the Cubs' 5-0 lead back to 5-3 going into the seventh inning, before Suzuki tacked on the extra insurance run.

Nick Madrigal was also terrific for the Cubs, going three-for-five at the plate, including a double, while the biggest hit of the game was Ryan McMahon's 447-foot two-run blast for the Rockies in the sixth inning.

Freeman and Heaney fit right in as Dodgers sweep Reds

Freddie Freeman had four hits and three RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, claiming a 9-1 win on Sunday.

Andrew Heaney struck out 11 over six innings in a scoreless home debut, while Max Muncy, Will Smith and Chris Taylor.

Heaney was dominant, posting his 15th career start with at least 10 strikeouts, while walking three and only allowing a double from Kyle Farmer in the third inning.

Darvish bounces back against Braves

Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning as the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 with only three hits.

Following the shortest outing of his career, not even covering two innings against the San Francisco Giants on the prior Tuesday, the 35-year-old allowed his only run against the reigning World Series champions via Marcell Ozuna's home run in the seventh.

Taylor Rogers closed out the four-hitter for San Diego, to save what was an otherwise off day at the plate for the Padres, with Jake Cronenworth particularly going zero-for-three.

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    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.

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    "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.

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    Soto returns to D.C. to rousing reception

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    The San Diego Padres hoped to get injured star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the lineup soon for a push to the postseason.

    Those hopes were dashed Friday when Tatis received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

    With the suspension effective immediately, Tatis will not play in the majors this season and will then miss the first 32 games next season.

    MLB said Tatis tested positive for Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance.

    "I've been informed by Major League Baseball that a test sample I submitted returned a positive result for Clostebol, a banned substance," Tatis said in a statement through the MLBPA.

    "It turns out that I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol. I should have used the resources available to me in order to ensure that no banned substances were in what I took. I failed to do so.

    "I want to apologise to Peter, AJ, the entire Padres organisation, my teammates, Major League Baseball, and fans everywhere for my mistake. I have no excuse for my error, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect the game I love."

    Tatis has yet to play this season after breaking his left wrist, reportedly in a December motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic. He had surgery in mid-March and began a minor league rehabilitation assignment on Aug. 6.

    "Obviously, everybody's very disappointed. Somebody that from the organization's standpoint we invested time and money into," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said.

    Tatis was an All-Star last season when he hit .282 with a NL-leading 42 home runs and 97 RBIs.

    He becomes one of the most prominent players penalized for PEDs, joining the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Robinson Cano and Miguel Tejada.

    The Padres entered Friday 63-51 and hold the final of three NL wild-card spots. They recently acquired superstar Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals and hoped to have Tatis join a formidable lineup with Soto and All-Star Manny Machado.

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