After a pair of frustrating seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani was finally healthy in 2021, and he answered every challenge put before him on the way to an MVP season. 

The two-way sensation was a unanimous choice as the American League's Most Valuable Player on Thursday – early Friday in Japan – on the heels of a season that saw him perform feats that left fans and peers alike in awe. 

Ohtani easily led MLB players in WAR (wins above replacement) at 9.1 as he finished third in the majors with 46 home runs while also striking out 156 batters in 130.1 innings in 23 starts as a pitcher. 

The latter was especially impressive considering Ohtani pitched only 1.2 innings the previous two seasons combined as he recovered from elbow surgery, but the 27-year-old handled the workload with relative ease this season. 

"It was definitely challenging, but at the same time I had a lot of fun with it,” Ohtani told reporters through an interpreter on a conference call.

"I felt like the expectations from the team were very high and I wanted to do my best to try to answer those expectations."

He added: "I’ve always dealt with a lot of doubters, especially from my days in Japan. I tried to not let that pressure get to me. I just wanted to have fun and see what kind of numbers I could put up, and what kind of performance I could put up." 

After the voting results were announced Thursday, with Ohtani easily outdistancing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien to win, former MLB pitcher CC Sabathia tweeted that the two-way star is the "BEST PLAYER I'VE EVER SEEN". 

Ohtani's Angels team-mate Mike Trout, the last unanimous AL MVP in 2014, also lauded his friend's performance. 

"Shohei’s season was nothing short of electric," Trout said in a statement released by the team. "At times, I felt like I was back in Little League. To watch a player throw eight innings, hit a home run, steal a base and then go play right field was incredible.

"What impresses me the most about him though, is the way he carries himself both on and off the field. With so much on his plate daily, he still manages to do it with a smile. Congratulations Shohei!"

Angels manager Joe Maddon added in a statement: "Shohei came to the States to play among the best on both sides of the ball and he accomplished that mission on the highest level

"Knowing him, this award is going to serve as motivation to exceed his previous accomplishments. I cannot wait to watch how his game helps push us to our goal of playing in the last game of the season and winning it. Congratulations to Shohei and his entire family on this special honour."

The best news for Maddon and the Angels is that Ohtani is under team control for the next two seasons, and is set to play 2022 on a team-friendly salary of $5.5million. 

Ohtani brushed off a question from reporters about a possible contract extension Thursday but made it clear how he feels about his team. 

"This is not the time to talk about contract stuff, but I want to make it clear that I love the Angels organisation and am looking forward to being a big part of the team for a long time," he said. "Right now I want to focus on winning next season with the Angels."

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani was a unanimous choice as the American League's Most Valuable Player for 2021, while Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies took home the National League award. 

It was the first time since 1987 neither league's MVP appeared in the postseason, but Ohtani and Harper were rewarded for their overall dominance. 

The 27-year-old Ohtani electrified baseball with an all-round game not seen in the 100 years since Babe Ruth gave up pitching to focus on hitting full-time and was the runaway winner in voting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. 

Ohtani received all 30 first-place votes for a total of 420 points. Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. received all but one second-place vote as he compiled 269 points, and Marcus Semien of the Toronto Blue Jays was third with 232 points. Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees (171 points) and Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros (163) were next in the voting. 

Ohtani hit .257 with 46 home runs and an MLB-leading eight triples and also stole 26 bases while posting a .865 on base plus slugging percentage (OPS).

He was also dominant at times as a pitcher, going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts while striking out 156 in 130.1 innings. 

Harper received 348 points, taking 17 of the 30 first-place votes. Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals was second with 274 points and six first-place votes, while Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres was third with 244 points and two first-place votes.

Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants (213, four) and Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers (185, one) rounded out the top five. 

Harper, 29, led the majors with a 1.044 OPS as he hit .309 with 35 home runs and an MLB-best 42 doubles.

He also won the NL MVP award in 2015 while playing for the Washington Nationals. 

 

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is "very open" to a new contract with the MLB franchise.

Ohtani will become a free agent after the 2023 season and he sparked question marks over his future, having insisted his top priority is winning following another losing campaign in Los Angeles.

An American League (AL) MVP frontrunner with 46 homers at the plate and a 3.18 ERA on the mound, Ohtani was unable to prevent the Angels from a sixth successive losing season and a seventh consecutive campaign without playoff baseball.

Prior to Sunday's season finale – a 7-3 win over the Seattle Mariners – Ohtani was asked about his future in Los Angeles.

"Of course, I'll be very open to negotiation. The team is supporting me for this whole four years, and I'm really appreciative of that," Ohtani said before hitting another home run.

"Whether or not there's any contract extensions I just want to, like I said earlier, be ready and be ready for next season."

Japanese sensation Ohtani, 27, added: "I was really happy to get through the season without any injuries.

"And honestly, I wish I could have done a season like this a little earlier. This is my fourth year, so I think it took a little too long."

"I think the biggest thing is the guys that we have right now, we need to have an offseason so we can stay healthy the whole next year so we could compete," Ohtani said.

"Any addition during the offseason, I'll be looking forward to seeing all the additions that they're going to make."

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon said two-way star Shohei Ohtani did not mean he wants to leave the MLB franchise.

Ohtani will become a free agent after the 2023 season and he sparked question marks over his future, having insisted his top priority is winning following another losing campaign in Los Angeles.

An American League (AL) MVP frontrunner with 45 homers and a 3.18 ERA, Ohtani was unable to prevent the Angels from a sixth successive losing season and a seventh consecutive campaign without playoff baseball.

Maddon, however, played down the Japanese sensation's comments prior to Tuesday's clash with the Texas Rangers.

"We all feel the same way, we all want to win," Maddon told reporters.

"If anybody misconstrues that as though he wants to leave, that's trying to connect some dots that weren't necessarily what he, not at all what he said.

"He also mentioned how much he loves it here. The inner sanctum of the clubhouse, the guys, the coaching staff, everything about it. The area. The fans. He loves them all.

"We all want to get to the next level, and we see it as an absolute possibility it's going to happen here in the very near future."

Prior to Tuesday, Ohtani had just three home runs in 22 September games – his lowest in any month this season.

Ohtani's 45 home runs are tied for second-most by an Angel in a single season, two behind Troy Glaus' 47 in 2000.

"Don't forget all the platitudes that he mentioned regarding everything else because I think that overrides just saying that he wants to win and somehow connect that to he wants to leave," Maddon added.

 

The New York Yankees are in pole position in the American League (AL) Wild Card race thanks to a sweep of rivals the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

An eighth-inning rally fuelled the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox and a sixth consecutive win in MLB.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer, while Aaron Judge doubled home two runs as the Yankees seized control from the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card chase.

Stanton became the first Yankees player with 10-plus RBI in a three-game series at Fenway Park, according to Stats Perform. The previous record for a Yankee was held by Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui (nine).

With the three-game sweep, the Yankees (89-67) now lead the Red Sox (88-68) by one game for the top AL Wild Card berth with six games remaining, while the Toronto Blue Jays (87-69) are two games adrift following their 5-2 success against the Minnesota Twins.

 

Brewers crowned NL Central champs

The Milwaukee Brewers secured their second National League (NL) Central title in four years following an 8-4 win at home to the New York Mets. Willy Adames led the way with a two-run homer and three RBI.

Shohei Ohtani boosted his MVP credentials with a dominant display, despite the Los Angeles Angels losing 5-1 to the Seattle Mariners. After two triples on Saturday, two-way star Ohtani struck out 10 batters, while giving up just one run and five hits in seven innings without a walk. He is the first player to combine for multiple triples and 10-plus strikeouts in back-to-back team games since Chief Bender in 1905, per Stats Perform.

The St Louis Cardinals celebrated their 16th straight win by topping the Chicago Cubs 4-2. St Louis' franchise-record streak is the longest in MLB since the Cleveland Indians won 22 games in a row in 2017. The Cardinals are the first NL team to win 16 successive games since the New York Giants in 1951.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers have won 100 games in a season for the eighth time in franchise history. The Dodgers blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0.

 

Phillies' streak ends

The Philadelphia Phillies had their five-game winning streak snapped in a 6-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In a blow to their playoff hopes, Phillies starter Hans Crouse gave up a home run on his first major league pitch. The 23-year-old allowed two hits and walked four batters in three innings.

 

A's walk it off

Mark Canha's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning saw the Oakland Athletics edge the AL West-leading Houston Astros 4-3 in a walk-off success.

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Athletics at Mariners

Monday is a battle between two teams still chasing a Wild Card spot in the AL. The Mariners (86-70) are two games behind the Red Sox, who occupy the second and final berth, while the Athletics (85-71) are three games off the pace. Chris Flexen will toe the mound for the Mariners, with A's pitcher Cole Irvin set to start.

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa insisted there was no intent after he and Mike Wright Jr were ejected after the reliever hit Shohei Ohtani with a wayward pitch.

The White Sox were beaten 9-3 by the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday and they were already trailing by that scoreline when the incident occurred at the top of the ninth inning.

Wright sent down to two consecutive errant pitches before a third, a 90.4 mph fastball, struck Ohtani on the calf.

The umpires convened and ejected Wright, before La Russa's protestations prompted him also to be tossed out of the game.

The incident came with context after White Sox trio Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Jose Abreu were by pitches in Tuesday's 9-3 win over the Angels in the first game of the series.

"It was not intentional. The reasoning did not make sense," La Russa said.

“[Second-base umpire Bill Welke] felt that there was stuff lying on that first game. It was all us getting hit. And he noticed all that, but they didn’t do anything.

"But he ruled that that was intentional, and he made a mistake."

He added: “I'm not gonna belabor this. It wasn’t intentional, he read it wrong, and it wasn’t consistent with the way that number one, they treated the three hit batsmen, and secondly, where was our retaliation? First the game yesterday, and today he made a mistake.

"It’s upsetting. It looks bad for our pitcher, our team, me. It disappoints me."

Angels manager Joe Maddon disagreed with La Russa, calling it "retaliatory".

"We had hit two hitters for them, inadvertently, so it was retaliatory," Maddon said. "We knew that."

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.

Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader teamed up for the Milwaukee Brewers' first no-hitter since 1987 in a 3-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in MLB on Saturday.

The no-hitter was only the second in Brewers' franchise history, led by Burnes with 14 strikeouts across eight innings, before Hader closed it out.

It was also the ninth no-no of the 2021 majors season, topping the previous mark for most in a year in MLB history dating back to 1884.

Burnes, who took a perfect game into the seventh inning, tossed down a career-high 115 pitches before handing the reins over the Hader to finish the job.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell was full of praise for 26-year-old Burnes who looms as a top candidate for the National League (NL) Cy Young Award.

"He’s having a season that’s bigger than just Brewer records," Counsell said. "He’s having a season that’s historical in Major League Baseball."

Burnes has an MLB-best 2.25 ERA, 1.49 FIP, 35.4% strikeout rate (tied with Dodger Max Scherzer) and a NL best 4.9% walk rate.

 

Judge hits two HRs in New York

Aaron Judge homered twice to help the New York Yankees snap their seven-game skid with an 8-7 victory over the New York Mets in an emotional night in the Big Apple.

With the Yankees leading 4-0 in the second inning, Judge crushed a solo home run taking his season tally to 31 HRs.

But the Mets rallied to lead 7-5 in the eighth inning when Judge tied it up a two-run homer to left-field and his 32nd of the season.

Andrew Velazquez scored the go-ahead run before Judge made a diving catch in the ninth on a night where a stirring pre-game ceremony marked the 20-year anniversary of 9/11.

In the Wild Card race, Mookie Betts delivered a three-run homer in the Los Angeles Dodgers' hard-fought 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres.

Nolan Arenado two-run blast in the eighth inning lifted the St Louis Cardinals to a crucial 6-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Seattle Mariners' Wild Card hopes copped a blow in a shock 7-3 loss to the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks as Daulton Varsho turned on the power hitting.

 

A's Wild Card blow as Rangers pile on five

The Oakland Athletics are chasing a Wild Card spot and appeared destined for another win, leading 6-2 heading into the eighth inning before allowing a five-run Texas Rangers rally. The Rangers won 8-6, with DJ Peters crushing a two-run home run and Yohel Pozo hitting in an RBI double from Sergio Romo before Jonah Heim hammered Andrew Chafin for a two-run go-ahead homer.

 

Blue Jays launch all 11 runs in 7th

The Toronto Blue Jays were hitless after six innings before piling on 11 runs in the seventh inning of their 11-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the second game of their double-header. The in-form Jays hit four homers in the seventh, while their 11 runs and 11 hits for the inning tied two franchise records for a single inning.

 

 

Saturday's results 

San Francisco Giants 15-4 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 8-6 Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays 11-10 Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 Colorado Rockies
Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 Cleveland Indians
Pittsburgh Pirates 10-7 Washington Nationals
Boston Red Sox 9-8 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 9-2 Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels 4-2 Houston Astros
St Louis Cardinals 6-4 Cincinnati Reds
Miami Marlins 6-4 Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees 8-7 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 11-2 Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 San Diego Padres

 

Padres at Dodgers

All eyes will be on the Los Angeles Dodgers' meeting with the San Diego Padres with Max Scherzer six strikeouts away from becoming only the 19th pitcher to reach 3,000 career Ks.

The New York Mets opened the Subway Series with a 10-3 defeat of the Yankees at Citi Field on Friday. 

Though an Aaron Judge RBI groundout in the first inning gave the visitors their first lead of any kind since Sunday, the Yankees soon fell apart on the way their their seventh loss in a row and 11th in their last 13 games. 

Tylor Megill was dominant for the Mets, allowing four hits and two runs in seven innings while striking out 10.

His opposite number, Jordan Montgomery, had a miserable outing, walking in the tying run in the third inning on the way to allowing seven hits and as many runs (five earned) in 3.1 innings of work. 

Francisco Lindor homered for the Mets, while Javier Baez had three hits and drove in two. 

 

Urias, Dodgers shut out Padres

Julio Urias allowed three hits and walked one in seven innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the San Diego Padres 3-0. Max Muncy's two-run homer off Joe Musgrove in the third inning provided all the offence Urias needed as the pitcher improved to 17-3. 

The Dodgers could not gain any ground on San Francisco, though, as the Giants defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-1 for their fifth win in a row. After Kyle Hendricks held the Giants to one run through six innings, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt each smashed two-run homers off the Chicago bullpen in the seventh to put the game away. 

The Atlanta Braves extended their division lead over the Philadelphia Phillies to 4.5 games with a 6-2 victory over the Miami Marlins as Ian Anderson allowed only a two-run first-inning homer to Jesus Sanchez. Anderson and four Braves relievers combined to strike out 17 batters. 

Jose Abreu hit a three-run homer for the Chicago White Sox as Carlos Rodon and six relievers held the Boston Red Sox in check on the way to a 4-3 victory. 

Lorenzo Cain's grand slam capped a six-run fifth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers rolled past the Cleveland Indians 10-3. The win moved the Brewers to a franchise-record 32 games over .500 at 87-55. 

 

Strong start, ugly finish for Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani the hitter did his job Friday, smashing his MLB-leading 44th home run in the first inning. Shohei Ohtani the pitcher had a tougher night, allowing nine hits and six runs in 3.1 innings in his second-worst start of the season as the Los Angeles Angels fell to the Houston Astros 10-5. According to Stats Perform, he is the first player in the modern era to hit a homer in the first inning and be the losing pitcher in the same game. 

 

Schoop, Tigers blast past Rays

The Detroit Tigers trailed the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh before Jonathan Schoop put the home team on top with a grand slam. Victor Reyes would follow with a three-run homer in the eighth to put the game out of reach as the Tigers won 10-4. 

Friday's results 

San Francisco Giants 6-1 Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Washington Nationals
Detroit Tigers 10-4 Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles 6-3 Toronto Blue Jays
Colorado Rockies 11-2 Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets 10-3 New York Yankees
Milwaukee Brewers 10-3 Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves 6-2 Miami Marlins
Houston Astros 10-5 Los Angeles Angels
Kansas City Royals 6-4 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 4-3 Boston Red Sox
Cincinnati Reds 4-2 St Louis Cardinals
Oakland Athletics 10-5 Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Arizona Diamondbacks

 

Yankees at Mets

Expect an emotional scene at Citi Field as the Mets (71-71) host the Yankees (78-63) on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. 

The Toronto Blue Jays continued their red-hot form with an eighth consecutive win after taking down the slumping New York Yankees 6-4 in MLB.

The Blue Jays (77-62) boosted their Wild Card chances with another victory, sweeping American League (AL) East rivals the Yankees (78-62) on Thursday.

Toronto are now within a half-game of the Yankees – who have lost six straight games – for the final AL Wild Card spot.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. landed a solo home run in the ninth inning, bringing up his 100th RBI for the season.

The Blue Jays All-Star finished the four-game series with three homers, marking the eighth time this year he has hit three or more homers in a series. According to Stats Perform, it is the most by any player in a season in AL history and second most in MLB history, behind Giancarlo Stanton (nine times in 2017).

Guerrero Jr.'s run of homers has seen him close within one of two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, who tops the list for most home runs this season.

Toronto's Bo Bichette starred with three hits including two RBI, while he homered from the ninth pitch of the game when leading off.

Blue Jays ace Jose Berrios had eight strikeouts, with his game only blemished by Anthony Rizzo's moon shot.

 

Pederson walks it off for Braves

Joc Pederson's single completed a 7-6 walk-off win for the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals. With bases loaded, Pederson hit a single to left field to get Ozzie Albies home in a game where five homers were scored.

Nicky Lopez starred for the Kansas City Royals as they won 6-0 against the Baltimore Orioles, hitting an early home run and driving in Hunter Dozier in the eighth, going three-for-five.

The St Louis Cardinals made up ground in the Wild Card race with a 2-1 win over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, where Tyler O'Neill hit a tie-breaking home run.

 

Phillies let it slip late

The Philadelphia Phillies led 2-1 heading into the ninth inning but allowed three Colorado Rockies runs to lose 4-3, denting their Wild Card aspirations. With two out, closer Ian Kennedy's breaking ball was clubbed for a two-run homer by Ryan McMahon. Sam Hilliard backed that up with a towering moon shot off Kennedy and the Phillies could not reel that in.

 

Manaea fans nine for A's

Oakland Athletics left-handed Sean Manaea struck out nine over seven innings of one-run ball as the A's beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1. Manaea may be deputy to Frankie Montas but he looms as a capable co-anchor. The A's are now 76-64 and second in the AL West.

 

Thursday's results 

St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-1 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-2 New York Mets
Colorado Rockies 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Kansas City Royals 6-0 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves 7-6 Washington Nationals

 

Yankees at Mets

A crucial Subway Series between the Yankees and New York Mets (70-71) gets underway on Friday. Jordan Montgomery starts for the Yankees, while city rivals the Mets send Tylor Megill to the mound.

Shohei Ohtani hammered his 43rd home run of the 2021 MLB season to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

The Japanese two-way star delivered the homer with the Angels leading 1-0 and runners on first and second at the bottom of the sixth inning.

Ohtani skied his three-run shot over center field from his first Kolby Allard pitch to set up with the win.

The homer was crushed with 107.2 mph exit velocity and travelled a projected 426 feet, per Statcast.

Ohtani now leads the MLB for home runs with 43, three ahead of in-form Kansas City Royals slugger Salvador Perez, with Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr third on 39.

The 27-year-old is homing in on history, with no Angels player ever ending a season top of the HR charts, while he may eclipse Troy Glaus' franchise record of 47 from 2000.

The win improves the Angels record to 67-68 but they are well back in fourth in the American League (AL) West and Wild Card race.

 

Perez hits homers 39 and 40

Ohtani may have padded his MLB home run lead, but Perez moved into second spot with his 39th and 40th blasts in the Royals' 10-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Perez produced the home-run double despite a neck contusion which prevented him from catching.

Alex Verdugo walked it off for the depleted Boston Red Sox with a hit to deep right-field as they won 4-3 over the Cleveland Indians, with Rafael Devers homering earlier. The Red Sox are 79-59 and second in the AL Wild Card race.

Adrian Houser sent down the Milwaukee Brewers' first shut-out in seven years as they defeated the St Louis Cardinals 4-0. Houser had seven strikeouts and allowing only three hits.

Trea Turner and Corey Seager hit homers as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 6-1 over the San Francisco Giants to improve their Wild Card hopes, while Kyle Seager blasted the Seattle Mariners to a 8-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks to stay in the hunt.

The Toronto Blue Jays survived a late scare as the Oakland Athletics piled on five ninth-inning run to win 10-8 and boost their Wild Card aspirations.

 

Yankees almost held hitless

The New York Yankees had not been held hitless in a game since June 11 2003 but they appeared destined to end that run near the end of the seventh inning against the lowly Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. Gleyber Torres delivered a seventh-inning RBI single after 25 Yankees were held hitless. Joey Gallo then had an eighth-inning two-run homer but the Orioles won on Pedro Severino's sacrifice fly in a blow to the Yankees' Wild Card hopes.

 

Rays' rookie Wander keeps streak going

It seems like there is no stopping Tampa Bay Rays' rookie Wander Franco, after he extended his historic on-base streak to 34 games with an RBI single in his side's 11-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. Franco, who was absent on Friday due to a headache, had two runs with an RBI double on Saturday.

 

Saturday's results 

New York Mets 11-9 Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles 4-3 New York Yankees
Chicago Cubs 7-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays 11-4 Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox 4-3 Cleveland Indians
Washington Nationals 4-3 New York Mets
Miami Marlins 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 St Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox 10-7 Kansas City Royals
Seattle Mariners 8-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies 7-6 Atlanta Braves
San Diego Padres 10-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Angels 4-1 Texas Rangers

 

Dodgers at Giants

It is hard to look past the Giants and Dodgers meeting again in the third and final game of their series.

Gerrit Cole helped end the New York Yankees' four-game skid with 15 strikeouts in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in the MLB on Wednesday.

Cole struck out Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani three times in a commanding display across seven innings on the hill, allowing only four hits.

The Yankees pitcher's 15 strikeouts are tied for the second most in a game without a walk in Yankees history. It was Cole's fifth game with 12 or more strikeouts this season.

Cole becomes only the third player this season to have 15 Ks in a game after Corbin Burnes on August 11 against the Chicago Cubs and Jacob de Grom on April 23 against the Washington Nationals.

The 30-year-old right-hander's starring display came at a crucial time for the Yankees who had won 13 straight before their four-game skid, which he ended in the final game of their nine-game road trip.

Leading 3-1 in the eighth inning, Aaron Judge homered for the 30th time this season to seal the win.

Yankees general manager Aaron Boone said: "He’s obviously had some really good ones in his career and certainly with us the last two seasons. That for me was up there. That was a guy in control, I felt like a step ahead of those guys all day."

 

Rays' hot streak halted by Red Sox

The Tampa Bay Rays' nine-game winning streak was halted by the Boston Red Sox 3-2 despite rookie Wander Franco continuing his on-base run, with the result having implications in the wildcard race.

Franco delivered a two-run homer from Chris Sale to put the Rays 2-1 up at the top of the third inning but the Red Sox replied with a Christian Vasquez's solo shot in the seventh to tie it up.

With Boston at bat in the ninth inning with two on, Jarren Duran hit into right field and Rafael Devers touched down to clinch the Red Sox win.

The win keeps the Red Sox (76-59) hot on the heels of the Yankees (77-56) but it also opens a gap on the Oakland Athletics (73-60) who lost 8-6 to the Detroit Tigers.

Miguel Cabrera homered for the Tigers before a crucial RBI when scores were tied at 6-6.

The Los Angeles Dodgers moved into top spot in the National League (NL) West for the first time in months as they secured a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Max Scherzer tossed six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts before the Braves squared it 3-3, with AJ Pollock's low single allowing Justin Turner to get home for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.

The San Francisco Giants suffered their fourth straight defeat, going down 5-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers, with the Dodgers jumping above them in the NL West.

The Seattle Mariners completed a shut-out of the Houston Astros to stay in the wildcard hunt with a 1-0 win.

 

Darvish's woes continue

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish had a tough time on the mound in his side's 8-3 loss to the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks piled on six runs in the third inning as Darvish was pulled. The Padres pitcher allowed eight hits, one walk and five earned runs.

 

Edman's flying catch

St Louis Cardinals second baseman Tommy Edman went flying beyond the netting and into the front row of the stands as he took an amazing catch from Tyler Stephenson in his side's 12-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Edman hustled 120 feet, leaping over the tarp, to make the catch.

 

Wednesday's results 

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

 

A's at Tigers

The wildcard permutations will continue to evolve when the Athletics take on the Tigers again to round out their three-game series.

Shohei Ohtani produced something he had never done before to help the Los Angeles Angels past the New York Yankees 6-4 in MLB on Tuesday.

Favourite to win the American League (AL) MVP this season, two-way Angels star Ohtani stole home for the first time in his four-year career.

Ohtani stole home as part of a double steal in the fifth inning, which saw the Angels produce a three-run rally against the slumping Yankees, who have lost four straight games.

The Japanese sensation leads the majors with 42 homers, while he also has 22 stolen bases.

Ohtani is only the fourth player in AL history with at least 42 home runs and 22 stolen bases in a season, joining Jose Canseco (1988, 1991 and 1998), Alex Rodriguez (1998 and 2007) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1999).

 

Snell sizzles against D-Backs

Blake Snell was dominant as the San Diego Padres blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0. Snell delivered seven no-hit innings, but San Diego's no-hit bid was ended when the Padres turned to the bullpen. According to Stats Perform, Padres ace Snell is the second starter in the modern era to be removed from the game after throwing 7.0-plus no-hit innings with 10-plus shutouts, following Francisco Cordova in 1997.

The Philadelphia Phillies tallied 18 hits in a rallying 12-6 victory over the Washington Nationals to extend their winning streak to five games. According to Stats Perform, the win marked the sixth occasion this season the Phillies had trailed by three-plus runs against the Nationals and came back to win – tied for the most such victories by any team against any single opponent in a season I the modern era.

The American League (AL) East-leading Tampa Bay Rays celebrated their ninth straight win by downing the Boston Red Sox 8-5.

 

Bogaerts tests positive for COVID-19

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts had to be pulled from the game after testing positive for coronavirus. After hitting an RBI single in the first inning, the Boston star was withdrawn in the second.

The Milwaukee Brewers got on top of San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto in a 6-2 win. Cueto allowed six runs and 10 hits in 3.2 innings.

 

Rosario makes history

Amed Rosario hit an inside-the-park homer to fuel the Cleveland Indians' 7-2 victory at the Kansas City Royals. Rosario became the first player to go five-for-five with five-plus RBIS, an inside-the-park homer and an over-the-fence home run in the same game, per Stats Perform.

 

 

Tuesday's results 

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

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Rays (84-48) will put their winning run on the line when they face the Red Sox (75-59) again on Wednesday. Chris Sale starts for the Red Sox as the high-flying Rays counter with Drew Rasmussen.

The Los Angeles Angels are pushing back Shohei Ohtani's next outing on the mound and Mike Trout may be running out of time for a return to the field this MLB season. 

Ohtani had been scheduled to pitch against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, but Angels manager Joe Maddon said his two-way star's hand is still sore after being hit by a pitch on Saturday. 

X-rays came back negative and Ohtani was in Monday's line-up as the designated hitter, however, the Angels will keep him off the pitching mound for the time being and give Jaime Barria the start against the Yankees. 

"Pitching is problematic, so we'll just have him hit until he's ready to pitch," Maddon told reporters. 

Maddon compared the issue to when Ohtani was hit in the thumb by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout last month, which led to the team moving his next pitching start back a few days. 

The Angels have no plans to shut Ohtani down from either pitching or hitting, Maddon said as the likely MVP is "in the running for some pretty big personal awards right now and I don't ever want to get in the way of anybody’s greatness."

Ohtani entered Monday's game with an MLB-leading 41 home runs and an American League (AL)-best .623 slugging percentage at the plate – not to mention 20 stolen bases – and is 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 19 starts on the mound, striking out 127 in 105 innings. 

Trout – a three-time AL MVP himself – appeared to be nearing a return from a calf injury that has sidelined him since May 17 after running the bases at full speed before Saturday's outing. 

While he felt fine at the time, Trout has experienced soreness since then and Maddon said the time is approaching that the Angels (64-67) might need to talk to him about shutting it down for the season. 

The Angels are fourth in the AL West and 10 games adrift in the Wild Card race.

"It's a possibility, and probably getting closer to having to say something like that," Maddon said. "But he still wants to continue the fight and we're going to honour his wishes. However Mike sees this, we're going to go that way."

The 30-year-old is hitting .333 with a 1.090 OPS and eight home runs in 36 games this season. 

The New York Yankees' 13-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Oakland Athletics in MLB, beaten 3-2.

The Yankees were riding their best winning streak since a 13-game run in 1961, having reached 15 in a row in 1960 and 19 in succession in 1947.

But the Yankees crashed back down to earth on Saturday as the A's snapped their six-game skid in the process, despite Aaron Judge's two-run homer in the ninth.

Frankie Montas fuelled the A's with seven shut-out innings, while Matt Chapman homered for the hosts in Oakland.

 

Ohtani celebrates another feat

Shohei Ohtani became the first Los Angeles Angels and Japanese-born player with a 40-home run and 20-stolen base season after helping his team rout the San Diego Padres 10-2. Ohtani – who already leads the majors with 41 homers – reached the mark with his 20th stolen base in 2021. According to Stats Perform, he is the third American League (AL) player with 40-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases before September, joining Alex Rodriguez (2007) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1999).

The Chicago Cubs blanked city rivals the Chicago White Sox 7-0 behind home runs from Patrick Wisdom and Alec Mills, and a Rafael Ortega grand slam.

The Kansas City Royals prevailed 4-2 against the Seattle Mariners after Salvador Perez homered for the fourth straight game.

 

Brault battered by Cardinals

The less said about Steven Brault's performance, the better after the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher was put to the sword by the St Louis Cardinals in a 13-0 humbling. Brault was crushed by the Cardinals, giving up eight hits, seven runs and two walks in three innings. He fell apart in the third inning after allowing five runs on six hits.

 

Clutch Martinez

J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning to lift the Boston Red Sox past the Cleveland Indians 5-3.

 

Saturday's results 

Boston Red Sox 5-3 Cleveland Indians
Oakland Athletics 3-2 New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals 4-2 Seattle Mariners
Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Miami Marlins 6-1 Cincinnati Reds
Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 5-2 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 13-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago Cubs 7-0 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 6-4 Milwaukee Brewers
New York Mets 5-3 Washington Nationals
San Francisco Giants 5-0 Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels 10-2 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 Colorado Rockies

 

Rays at Orioles

Now the hottest team in baseball after the Yankees' defeat, the AL East-leading Rays (81-48) visit the Orioles (40-88) riding a six-game winning streak. Chris Archer is set to start for the Rays, while Baltimore's Spenser Watkins toes the mound.

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