Tagged in: beat

Abreu hits pair of 2-run homers, White Sox beat Tigers 9-5

Jose Abreu hit a pair of two-run homers and Luis Robert singled home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning to help the Chicago White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 9-5 on Monday night.

Abreu sent a soaring shot over the left-center fence in the first to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. He hit a line drive in the ninth over a row of hedges beyond the wall in center to give Chicago a four-run cushion.

“He put on a heck of an exhibition,” manager Tony La Russa said.

White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn made his season debut, coming back from surgery on his right knee, and gave up three runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings.

“It felt good to be back,” he said. “Early on, you’re trying to feel things out and they jumped on me.”

Lynn had a heated exchange with Chicago third base coach Joe McEwing in the dugout after the second inning.

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“(Lynn) was mad at himself,” La Russa insisted.

Bennett Sousa (3-0) was credited with the victory after throwing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Rony Garcia (0-2) permitted four runs on five hits and two walks over four-plus innings.

Willi Castro hit a leadoff homer for the Tigers and scored twice. Miguel Cabrera had two hits, including an RBI single. Harold Castro added three hits and two RBI.

After Will Vest threw an inning of scoreless relief, Andrew Chafin entered for the Tigers and made a costly throwing error in the sixth.

Chafin fielded Reese McGuire’s sacrifice bunt and threw wide of third base, permitting two runs to score that gave Chicago a 6-3 lead.

“Terrible throw,” Chafin said.

The defending AL Central champion White Sox had lost four of five.

“There’s no turbulence in this clubhouse,” La Russa said. Detroit has dropped six of nine.

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Jansen, Guerrero homer, Blue Jays beat Cardinals 8-1

Danny Jansen hit a three-run homer and a solo shot, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also went deep and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 8-1 on Tuesday night.

“It was my first time to be in the stadium here and obviously it’s a really cool stadium,” Jansen said. “It was fun. It was nice for us to get some breathing room. Guys were putting great swings on the ball and getting hits. Hitting is contagious. It always is.”

Kevin Gausman (4-3) threw six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. He allowed four hits and beat the Cardinals for the first time in eight appearances.

“For us to get our mojo back and have that high energy and everybody talking in the dugout, that was nice to see,” Gausman said. “Any one of these guys can hit a home run at any given moment.”

Toronto split the two-game series and ended the Cardinals’ winning streak at four.

“It was a great day,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo stated. “We needed this day. Gausman gave us what we needed. We rest the bullpen. It was great to see the offense come alive.”

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Jordan Hicks (1-4) pitched three-plus innings in his first career start versus the Blue Jays. He permitted four runs on four hits with five walks.

“The whole game I felt like I didn’t have command of my fastball,” Hicks said. “The fastball is the game changer for me. I can’t be out there throwing slider or curveball every pitch. It’s frustrating.”

Alejandro Kirk led off the fourth with a single and Matt Chapman walked before Jansen hit a 3-2 slider from Hicks off the foul pole in left to make it 4-0.

“I was just hoping it wouldn’t hook too much,” Jansen said. “That was really cool. I’ve talked about getting out of my own way. I’m good at pulling the ball.”

Jansen led off the seventh with a blast estimated at 427 feet for his fifth homer this season and third multi-homer game of his career.

The Blue Jays added three runs in the sixth. 

George Springer hit a sinking line drive to right field for a triple to score Raimel Tapia and chase reliever Nick Wittgren. A sacrifice fly drove home Springer.

Guerrero then greeted reliever Drew VerHagen with a homer to left. He had singled in the first inning to snap an 0-for-14 drought.

“Obviously if I tell you that I didn’t enjoy it, I would be lying to you guys,” Guerrero said through a translator. “When you hit a homer, you’ve got to enjoy it.”

It was Guerrero’s second homer of the month and his first in 15 games.

“Before he did that, he was talking in the dugout that for the first time he feels locked in,” Montoyo. “Like he can see the ball right. That bomb he hit, that was good to hear.”

Rookie Brendan Donovan had an RBI single in the seventh for the Cardinals.

“Game got away from us,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “Gave up some extra outs. Not our best baseball.”

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Hampson, Rodgers, Grichuk hit HRs, Rockies beat Nats 9-7

Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers each hit their first home runs of the campaign — both three-run shots — for the Colorado Rockies in a 9-7 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday.

Randal Grichuk also homered for the Rockies, who took two of three in the series. Daniel Bard got three outs for his eighth save in nine opportunities. He has had six consecutive scoreless outings.

Washington outhit the Rockies 15-10, and Juan Soto and Keibert Ruiz had solo home runs. Maikel Franko added three hits, including an RBI double.

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Down 2-0, the Rockies went off on Aaron Sanchez (1-2) for a four-run second inning, ignited by successive doubles from Ryan McMahon and Rodgers. 

Sam Hilliard reached on a fielding error by shortstop Alcides Escobar, his third error in two days, and Hampson followed with a drive into the left-field bleachers.

Washington had the makings of a big inning in the top of the fifth when César Hernández singled, Soto walked and Josh Bell doubled in a run. But catcher Dom Nunez picked Soto off at third for the first out and after a single by Yadiel Hernandez, Jhoulys Chacin (3-1) come on and got Maikel Franco to ground into an inning-ending double play.

C.J. Cron’s one-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth chased Sanchez. One out later, Rodgers drove a 1-2 offering from Josh Rogers over the center field fence to boost Colorado’s lead 8-3.

Ruiz homered to lead off the sixth and Franco and Ruiz had RBI doubles in the seventh as Washington closed to within two runs before Grichuk’s solo shot off Kyle Finnegan in the bottom of the seventh.

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Mavericks beat Jazz 126-118 to take 2-1 series lead

Jalen Brunson scored 31 points playing with a bruised back and the Dallas Mavericks — without the injured Luka Doncic — defeated the Utah Jazz 126-118 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for Dallas, Maxi Kleber had 17 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 points, hitting a 3-pointer with 1:56 left for a 10-point lead.

Doncic has missed all three of the matches in the series with a strained calf, with signs pointing to his return for Game 4 on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

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Donovan Mitchell scored 28 of his 32 points in the second half for Utah. Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 and Mike Conley had 21. The Jazz had won 11 in a row at home versus Dallas.

Conley got the Jazz to 103-102, but Dinwiddie made two baskets and Brunson scored six points on three consecutive possessions to make it 113-104.

Brunson appeared to hurt his back midway through the second quarter when Royce O’Neale hit him full-speed from behind.

He moved gingerly, rubbed his lower back and earned a technical on his way off the court complaining about a cheap shot.

But he shook it off and toyed with Jazz on a variety of drives to the baskets against several different defenders. Brunson now has 96 points in the three games of the series.

Once the Jazz finally matched the Mavericks and played without a center, the court opened up for Utah. Mitchell (18) and Bogdanovic (12) scored at will in the third quarter against a leaky Dallas zone.

The Jazz made 14 of 18 shots and trimmed the lead to 97-91 entering the final period. The game was physical and chippy at times, featuring 60 fouls.

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Ian Happ gets 3 hits as Cubs beat Brewers 5-4 on opening day

Ian Happ offered Nico Hoerner some friendly advice after he hit the majors’ first homer of 2022.

“Keep hitting more,” Happ cracked. “Yeah, try not to get cold after that.”

It was that type of opening day for the Chicago Cubs.

Happ had three hits, including a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning, and the Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 on Thursday.

Hoerner hit a two-run homer and Kyle Hendricks pitched neatly into the sixth, leading Chicago to the triumph on a chilly, overcast afternoon at Wrigley Field. Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki reached three times and scored in his first big league game.

“Who had Nico in the first homer pool?” Cubs manager David Ross joked after the win.

On a day stuffed full of firsts and debuts, Milwaukee ace Corbin Burnes and catcher Omar Narváez became the first battery to use baseball’s new electronic pitch-calling system in a regular-season game. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner permitted three runs and four hits in five innings.

“Never really actually found the command of the cutter,” Burnes said. “Kind of one of those things, I found it a little bit in the third, but then I just kind of lost it.”

Suzuki singled in the fifth for his first big league hit and walked twice. The 27-year-old finalized an $85 million, five-year contract with Chicago in March in the Cubs’ biggest move of the offseason.

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“In all my at-bats I was able to be myself,” Suzuki said through a translator, “so just enjoyed the game today.”

Andrew McCutchen, Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez each had two hits for Milwaukee, and Lorenzo Cain drove in two runs. McCutchen served as the designated hitter in his first game with his new team after agreeing to a one-year deal last month.

The Brewers erased a 3-1 deficit with two runs in the seventh, but the Cubs went ahead to stay in the bottom half.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Happ hit a drive off Jake Cousins that caromed off the wall in center. Clint Frazier and Willson Contreras scored on Happ’s second double of the day.

Happ, who homered on baseball’s first pitch of the 2018 season, had elbow surgery in February, but he is feeling pretty good now — about himself and his team.

“Burnes starting Game 1, to be able to kind of put up some runs there and then get a few more and tack on, that says a lot for where we’re at as a team,” Happ said.

The reigning NL Central champions got one back on Cain’s sacrifice fly in the eighth, but David Robertson worked the ninth for his first save since 2018 and No. 138 for his career.

Milwaukee went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

“It felt like a game, we didn’t time our hits very well,” manager Craig Counsell said.

Aaron Ashby (0-1) got the loss. He was charged with one run and three hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Making his third consecutive opening-day start, Hendricks permitted one run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who had a career-high 4.77 ERA last year, struck out seven and walked three.

Chris Martin (1-0) got two outs for the win in his Cubs debut.

The Brewers jumped in front when McCutchen singled and scored the majors’ first run on Cain’s groundout in the fourth. But the Cubs responded with three in the fifth.

Patrick Wisdom hit a sacrifice fly before Hoerner drove a 1-1 pitch from Burnes into the bleachers in left for a tiebreaking two-run shot. It was Hoerner’s first big league homer since Sept. 21, 2019, against St. Louis.

“Sometimes it just lines up,” a smiling Hoerner said.

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Grizzlies beat Warriors 123-95, tighten hold on 2nd in West

Desmond Bane scored 22 points, De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks added 21 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies solidified their hold on second place in the Western Conference with a 123-95 triumph over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Kyle Anderson added 13 points for Memphis, which holds a five-game lead over the third-place Warriors in the conference. The Grizzlies won their fifth consecutive and for the ninth time in 10 games.

Jordan Poole led Golden State with 25 points, and Moses Moody finished with 18. Jonathan Kuminga scored 14 points as Golden State dropped its third straight and lost for the sixth time in seven matches.

Golden State played without leading scorer Stephen Curry, who has missed six games with a left foot sprain. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Otto Porter Jr. also sat out under various injury management situations, and facing the second game of a back-to-back.

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That put the Warriors in an unfavorable position facing the Grizzlies.

Meanwhile, Memphis was without leading scorer Ja Morant, who missed his fifth consecutive game with right knee soreness, and Jaren Jackson Jr., who sat with right thigh soreness.

But Memphis has played well in Morant’s absence, winning the previous four after Morant was injured.

Neither team was shooting well to start, and Memphis was a step slow to 50-50 balls. The teams combined to make only 13 of 45 shots in the first quarter. Both were still mired at 25% each early in the second quarter before scoring started picking up — for Memphis.

Not Golden State.

The Grizzlies shot 59% in the second, including making 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. With the Warriors still stuck at 25% shooting, Memphis outscored the Warriors 48-21 in the second and held a 63-37 lead at the break.

By the end of the half, Warriors coach Steve Kerr vehemently argued a no-call on the final play and was assessed two quick technicals, getting ejected for the second half.

Poole helped the Warriors cut into the Memphis’ lead slightly with 13 points in the third, but Golden State never got within less than 18 points. Memphis carried a 95-67 lead into the final quarter.

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Mitchell scores 25 of 37 points in 3rd, Jazz beat Bulls

Donovan Mitchell scored a Utah-record 25 of his 37 points in the third quarter, Jordan Clarkson added 26 and the Utah Jazz defeated the Chicago Bulls 125-110 on Wednesday night.

Mitchell made a franchise-record seven 3-pointers in the third period on nine attempts. He broke Karl Malone’s team mark of 22 points in a quarter.

Mitchell finished with nine 3-pointers, besting his previous career best of seven.Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.

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Alexander-Walker, who came to Utah in a Feb. 9 trade from New Orleans, had only nine total points in his first seven matches with the Jazz.

Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who has been affected by a sore left knee, made five 3s and had 33 points in tying his highest scoring output in four months. DeMar DeRozan added 25 points.

The Bulls have dropped seven of nine.

Ayo Dosunmu’s layup trimmed Utah’s lead to 103-99 before the Jazz responded with a clinching run.

Alexander-Walker had two 3-pointers from the corner in a 14-0 run that featured suffocating defense and floor-spacing offense. Rudy Gobert’s free throws capped the run and lifted the Jazz to a 117-99 lead with 4:38 to play.

Mitchell’s huge third quarter pushed the Jazz ahead 89-81 entering the fourth quarter.

Rudy Gobert had 14 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks while Mike Conley had in 14 points and seven assists.

The Jazz played without second-leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf strain), along with key reserves Trent Forrest (right wrist sprain), Danuel House (left knee bone bruise) and Udoka Azubuike (right ankle sprain).

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Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving drops 38 to beat Milwaukee Bucks, can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving stated he can finally see “light at the end of the tunnel” after playing the best game of his truncated season in Saturday’s surprising 126-123 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Irving scored a season-high 38 points to lead his undermanned team down the stretch versus the defending NBA champions. Afterward, he acknowledged the possibility of New York City ending the vaccination mandate that has kept him off Brooklyn’s Barclays Center floor all season, saying he is looking forward to “turning the page.”

“I’m glad that things are kind of settling down and there’s light at the end of the tunnel here,” Irving said. “Hopefully, I can get back on that home floor playing in the Barclays and now we can finally have that conversation that you’ve been dying to have just about turning the page and moving forward beyond this.

“But like I said, I’m not the only one. I feel for everybody that’s either in my boat or a similar boat or have dealt with some type of trauma from this. And just wishing everybody well-wishes, always.”

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Irving’s comments are his first since New York City Mayor Eric Adams told reporters earlier in the week that he “can’t wait to get it done” while discussing phasing out vaccination restrictions like other cities across the country.

“I’m following it as much as you guys are,” Irving said. “So just remaining patient and just seeing where things end up in this next week or so, next two weeks, I’m not too sure, but I know as much as you do. And I want to say this — is that I’m very appreciative of all those that are pushing behind the scenes to make our world a better place.

“And with everything calming down with the COVID cases, the most important thing for me was just making sure everyone’s OK. I’ve been on record saying this that it’s not about me, that I don’t want to feel like it’s all on me, but the circumstances this year have not been ideal.”

Irving also stated he appreciated NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recent comments on ESPN’s Get Up, where Silver defended Irving while noting that the mandate “doesn’t quite make sense to me,” given that unvaccinated players from opposing teams could still play in New York City.

“I know his job is not easy,” Irving said. “Standing in the fire, sometimes, on behalf of our league. So my respect level went to a whole new one for him, and I’m just grateful that he did that, and he really took one for the team. And I’m grateful for that. But like I said, we want to set a great example for the world in what we’re doing, and we try to stand for what’s right and respect everyone else’s decisions and their personal beliefs.”

On top of Irving’s status, what makes the Nets so hopeful with just 21 regular-season games left to play is that star forward Kevin Durant is expected to return this week from a sprained left MCL after missing a month and a half. New addition Ben Simmons also is expected to be available in the near future as he ramps up his conditioning after waiting to be traded from the Philadelphia 76ers, although Nets coach Steve Nash stated Saturday that Simmons was dealing with “a little soreness in his back.”

For Irving, he said the victory in Milwaukee was even more special given that he injured his right ankle in Game 4 of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals versus the Bucks, prematurely ending his season.

“It was definitely emotional for me to prepare for this game,” Irving said.

“Just because — I haven’t been back in this building since then. I try my best not to wear my emotions on my face or on my shoulders, but sometimes, they can get the best of me. But it definitely felt like there was a weight lifted just being back here, being healthy, getting a win and knowing that there’s a possibility we could see them down the line again … there was nothing personal about this game, just about the team.”

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Siakam scores 25 points as Raptors beat Bulls 127-120 in OT

Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Chris Boucher added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors defeated the Chicago Bulls 127-120 in overtime on Thursday night.

Scottie Barnes scored 21 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:44 left in OT, and Gary Trent Jr. added a decisive 3-pointer with 16 seconds left.

Trent scored 16 points, ending his career-best streak of 30-point games at five.

Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby each scored 21 as Toronto won its fourth straight overall and snapped a five-game losing streak versus the Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic matched his season high with 30 points and had 18 rebounds for the Bulls, his ninth double-double in 10 games. DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points.

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The Chargers have struggled on special teams for several years.

Ficken will be tasked with trying to improve an inconsistent Chargers special teams unit. Los Angeles improved as the season went along because of the midseason signings of returner Andre Roberts and kicker Dustin Hopkins. Roberts led the league with a 32.8-yard kick return average while Hopkins was 18 of 20 on field goals after joining the Chargers.

A short time later, then-head coach Anthony Lynn took over special teams to finish the season.

In 2021, the Chargers added returner Andre Roberts and kicker Dustin Hopkins — both veterans — in October. Their arrivals boosted a unit that steadily improved but still concluded near the bottom in the NFL’s overall rankings.

Last month, coach Brandon Staley decided to make a change, dismissing Swinton and special teams assistant Mayur Chaudhari.

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Cousins throws for 2 touchdowns as Vikings beat Bears 17-9

The Minnesota Vikings have little margin for error and plenty of room to improve as they try to secure a playoff spot.

Not that Kirk Cousins needed a reminder. Or, for that matter, coach Mike Zimmer.

Cousins threw two touchdown passes, and Minnesota defeated the struggling and short-handed Chicago Bears 17-9 on Monday night.

The Vikings (7-7), part of a tight pack of teams vying for one of the NFC’s seven playoff spots, were in line for their most lopsided victory before Justin Fields threw a touchdown pass to Jesper Horsted on the game’s final play.

That score aside, Minnesota withstood several scoring threats by Chicago down the stretch coming off a win over Pittsburgh in which the Vikings nearly blew a 29-0 lead.

“I think we have work,” Cousins said. “I think there is a lot to improve upon. We’re playing three really good opponents up ahead. We’re probably going to need everyone, so there is not a lot of room for error and we have to tighten the screws here and play our best football down the stretch.”

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The Vikings’ final three matches are at home versus the Los Angeles Rams and at NFC North champion Green Bay before they host Chicago in the finale. The result in this one was hardly a surprise given the state of the Bears (4-10).

Chicago lost for the eighth time in nine games, and with 14 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, that seemed inevitable. Receiver Allen Robinson was on it, as was the starting secondary.

The health issues also hit the coaching staff, with all three coordinators testing positive for the coronavirus during the week.

Defensive coordinator Sean Desai was cleared to return hours before kickoff. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was not cleared, so Nagy called plays. And special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was out.

Cousins, who struggled last week, didn’t exactly dominate in this one. He was 12 of 24 for 87 yards with an interception and got sacked four times. The two-time Pro Bowler also connected with Justin Jefferson for a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and threw a 7-yarder to Ihmir Smith-Marsette in the third.

Dalvin Cook ran for 89 yards, after going for 205 versus Pittsburgh in a sooner-than-expected return from a dislocated shoulder.

D.J. Wonnum had a career-high three sacks and the Vikings recovered three fumbles on the way to their second straight win after back-to-back losses.

“It’s not just playing better, it’s getting better,” Zimmer said. “It’s getting better in the run defense, getting better in the pass coverage, it’s getting better in protection. It’s getting better in running the ball. It’s all those things. We’re trying to get better so we can get to that spot where we’ve got to get to.”

For the Bears and their fans, it was another frustrating outing.

Fields threw for 285 yards and ran for 35 in his second game back after missing two with broken ribs. The rookie completed 26 of 39 passes playing behind a line missing both starting tackles, with right tackle Larry Borom on the COVID list and left tackle Jason Peters out with an ankle injury.

Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks each had two sacks. Quinn has 16 this year, leaving him just shy of Hall of Famer Richard Dent’s franchise record of 17 1/2 in 1984. But Chicago committed nine penalties for 91 yards in a sloppy performance that had fans again booing at times and making their feelings about coach Matt Nagy known, chanting “Fire Nagy!”

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