Tagged in: win

Yankees ride Cole’s arm, quick start to 3-2 win over Orioles

On a night when their bats were held in check, the New York Yankees found another way to win.

Gerrit Cole pitched seven efficient innings, the defense backed him up with several strong plays and New York defeated the skidding Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Wednesday night.

Cole (4-0) permitted two runs and six hits with five strikeouts. Behind him, right fielder Marwin Gonzalez made two clutch grabs and Josh Donaldson flagged down several sharp grounders. Then, in the eighth, first baseman Anthony Rizzo grabbed a scorching liner to start an unassisted double play.

New York managed only six hits, but a three-run first inning that featured a sprint from second to home on a wild pitch proved enough to squeeze out a triumph.

And that, to a large degree, explains why New York is off to an amazing 28-9 start. “Tonight we won on baserunning and defense,” Cole noted, “and we’re the Bronx Bombers.”

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No home runs required. The Yankees could muster only a pair of doubles, but they still secured their 21st victory in 24 games.

“It’s been a great start, no question,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Just really pleased with how they’re doing it — in a lot of different ways. Tonight we leaned on the pitching and great baserunning.”

New York broke on top in the first when Gleyber Torres followed two-out singles by Rizzo and Donaldson with an RBI double. Then, on a wild pitch by Jordan Lyles, Donaldson scored and Torres came home on catcher Anthony Bemboom’s errant throw to the plate.

That was enough to propel the Yankees to their ninth win in the last 10 matches.

New York’s 28-9 start is tied for second-best in the majors since 1948, trailing only the 1984 Detroit Tigers at 32-5.

The Yankees will attempt to complete a four-game sweep of last-place Baltimore on Thursday afternoon. The Orioles, who have lost six consecutive, are the only team to take a series from the Yankees this season, winning two of three in mid-April.

After Cole’s impressive outing was done, Clay Holmes worked the final two innings for the third save of his career, all this season and all against the Orioles.

Making his 190th career start and 297th appearance, Lyles (2-4) gave up three runs — two earned — and five hits over seven innings. He struck out eight, including Joey Gallo three times — Gallo’s eighth game this year with three or four strikeouts.

Baltimore closed to 3-2 sixth when Austin Hays hit an RBI double and scored on an infield grounder.

“We’re just a hit or two from breaking out a little bit,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought we took really good at-bats off (Cole) the first time in the order, and like an ace does, he settled in and got better as the game went on.”

Boone filled out a starting lineup without stars Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu, who were healthy but rested for a team in the midst of playing 23 games in 22 days.

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Torres HR in 9th lifts Yanks over Rangers 2-1 in DH opener

Gleyber Torres hit a game-ending homer to lead off the ninth inning and the New York Yankees defeated the Texas Rangers 2-1 Sunday in the opener of a doubleheader.

Torres gave the Yankees their third walk-off triumph of the season when he lifted a 3-1 sinker from John King (1-1) into the short porch in right field. His fourth homer this year propelled New York to its 12th win in 13 matches.

Torres also had a game-ending single April 23 against Cleveland and now has seven career walk-off hits, including two homers.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth after Rangers starter Dane Dunning lost his no-hit bid on an infield single by Aaron Judge to open the inning. Kole Calhoun homered on Yankees starter Gerrit Cole’s final pitch, but the Rangers committed three errors and ended a four-game winning streak.

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Cole allowed a run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

He struck out 10, walked one and threw a season-high 114 pitches, reaching 100.6 mph on the radar gun.

Cole allowed three of his hits in the first two innings, when he threw 47 pitches. After allowing his only walk, Cole retired 14 of 15 hitters before Calhoun connected.

Dunning allowed one run and two hits in six innings. He struck out five, walked three and did not throw any of his 100 pitches over 90.8 mph.

Calhoun ended Cole’s bid for a third consecutive scoreless start when he lined a full count 97.6 mph fastball to the right field seats and just inside the foul line with one out in the seventh. It was the only fastball Cole threw in the seventh.

Dunning lost his no-bid on his 86th pitch when Judge hit an infield single to third baseman Brad Miller and easily beat the throw. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single that moved Judge to third, and Stanton’s fly ball to left gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

Jonathan Loáisiga followed Cole with 1 2/3 innings. Clay Holmes (3-0) worked around Mitch Garver’s double in the ninth.

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Andrey Rublev beats Novak Djokovic to win Serbia Open title

Andrey Rublev defeated Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-0 to collect the Serbia Open on Sunday for his third title of the season.

The second-seeded Russian player dug deep to stop Djokovic from mounting another comeback as he prevented the top-ranked Serb from claiming his first title of 2022.

The 24-year-old Rublev looked fitter in their third set as he closed out the win in 2 hours, 24 minutes.

Djokovic — who is 10 years older than Rublev — appeared affected by the effort he put in to level the match in the second-set tiebreaker.

Djokovic had already come back from a set down in each of his three matches at his hometown tournament, defeating Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic and Karen Khachanov on his way to the final in what were only his fifth, sixth and seventh matches of the year.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion opened his clay-court season with a surprising loss to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the Monte Carlo Masters the previous week, his first match since being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships in February.

Dubai was his first tournament of the year after he was barred from playing at the Australian Open because of his unvaccinated status, which also prevented him from playing tournaments in the United States last month.

Rublev, who dropped only one set as he eliminated Jiri Lehecka, Taro Daniel and Fabio Fognini on his way to the final, has now equaled Rafael Nadal’s mark of three tour-level titles in 2022, after victories in Marseille and Dubai in February.

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Jayson Tatum’s layup at buzzer gives Boston Celtics win over Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of first-round playoff series

Jayson Tatum has been adamant he didn’t view the Boston Celtics’ matchup with the Brooklyn Nets as a chance to prove anything opposite two of the league’s elite scorers.

His finish in Game 1 said otherwise.

Tatum made a layup at the buzzer on a pass from Marcus Smart to give Boston a dramatic 115-114 victory on Sunday in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.

“When he took that dribble, we just kind of made eye contact,” Tatum said of Smart. “He made a great pass. It doesn’t get any better than that. A buzzer-beater in a playoff game at home.”

Tatum scored 31 points, the last two on the first buzzer-beater of his career. It was Boston’s first in the postseason since Paul Pierce’s in 2010 against the Miami Heat.

Tatum’s bucket came during a poised Boston possession in the frantic final seconds. After Kevin Durant missed on the other end, the Celtics rebounded and raced up the court, electing not to call a timeout.

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Jaylen Brown dribbled toward the middle and swung the ball out to Smart. He then fired it into a cutting Tatum, who spun around and dropped in his layup just before time expired.

“I’ve always been told you have more time than you realize you have,” Smart said. “I was about to throw it to Al [Horford] off the dribble, and I saw JT cut at the last minute.”

All five Celtics touched the ball on the possession.

“I think that’s kind of a microcosm for our season, guys moving the ball being unselfish,” Boston coach Ime Udoka stated.

Dating back to last postseason, Tatum has four consecutive 30-point games in the playoffs, matching Larry Bird in 1987 for the longest such streak in Celtics history.

Brown added 23 points. Horford had 20 points and 15 rebounds. And Smart finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving put up 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. But the Celtics forced the ball out of his hands the last time Brooklyn had it, and Durant missed a jumper with a one-point lead that set up the Celtics’ final possession.

Durant added 23 points but shot just 9-of-24.

“They did a good job of forcing me away, then helping in the paint,” Durant said. “I just got to be more fundamental in my moves. I feel like some shots went in and out for me.”

Boston charged out of halftime with a 23-8 run to open a 82-69 lead, sparked by Smart’s deadeye shooting from beyond the arc.

The Celtics also seemed to tweak their approach to guarding Durant in the half court, fronting him and sending help over the top to limit his driving ability.

Durant and Irving still found ways to score, but they had to exert increased energy to get off their attempts.

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Taylor Fritz ends Rafael Nadal’s 20-match win streak with win at Indian Wells

Hours from playing in the biggest final of his young career, Taylor Fritz was in severe pain. The prospect of having to withdraw versus Rafael Nadal nearly had him in tears.

His coach urged him not to risk potentially damaging his sore ankle further. Fritz stubbornly refused to bow out.

His faith in himself paid off. Fritz upset Nadal 6-3, 7-6 (5) Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open and snap the 21-time major champion’s 20-match winning streak this year.

“It was a complete nonissue, didn’t feel it at all, didn’t hinder me at all,” said Fritz, who tweaked his ankle late in his semifinal victory over No. 7 seed Andrey Rublev.

Blue medical tape could be seen above his high sock and he had it numbed before the final. Nadal had his own health issue. He came into the match bothered by painful breathing that he first experienced in a three-set semifinal win.

He took two medical timeouts during the final. The first one came after he lost the first set. Nadal went inside with a trainer after tapping his upper left chest. He received treatment on court after falling behind 5-4 in the second set.

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“When I try to breathe, it’s painful and it’s very uncomfortable. It’s like a needle all the time inside. I get dizzy a little bit because it’s painful. It’s a kind of pain that limit me a lot,” said Nadal, who turns 36 in June.

“The thing that worries me now, it’s about what’s going on there, what I have to do now to recover and how long it’s going to take.”

Nadal’s 20-0 start to the year included the Australian Open, his 21st major championship that broke a tie with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. He also won titles in Melbourne and Acapulco.

“Of course, the last two months have been amazing, unforgettable, very emotional,” Nadal said. “I enjoy things that I never thought I could live again a few months ago.”

Fritz didn’t waste any time in attacking Nadal, racing to a 5-1 lead in the first set with two breaks. Nadal got a break back in closing to 5-3, but his backhand error gave Fritz another break and the set.

“It’s an honor to even be on the same court as this guy,” Fritz told the crowd. “I grew up watching this guy win everything.”

Nadal fought off a match point on his serve with a forehand winner to tie the second set 5-all. He had two break points on Fritz’s serve in the next game, but the American held for a 6-5 lead. Nadal held to force the tiebreaker.

Nadal sent two straight forehands well wide to set up Fritz’s second match point.

Another Nadal error sent Fritz to the biggest victory of his career not far from where he grew up near San Diego. Fritz’s parents, Guy Fritz and Kathy May, are former tour players.

“He told me that I was going to win this tournament one day when I was a little kid,” Fritz said. “It was pretty tough not being emotional with my parents, especially my dad. He was just really, really proud of me. It’s really tough to get a compliment out of him.”

Fritz dropped his racket and collapsed on his back after clinching the title on his second match point. He got up smiling with a look of disbelief on his face. He became the first American man to win Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001.

“I just kept telling myself there’s no reason why I can’t win this,” Fritz said.

Fritz is projected to rise from No. 20 to a career-high 13th in Monday’s ATP Tour rankings and will become the top-ranked American player. Nadal moves up to No. 3.

Nadal had already decided to skip next week’s tournament in Miami and head home to Spain to prepare for the French Open, which starts May 22.

Fritz is scheduled for a MRI on his ankle Monday and isn’t sure whether he’ll be able to play in Miami.

The Miami Open started on Monday. Daniil Medvedev is among the notables who are playing on the men’s side, as well as Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini. Hubert Hurkacz won the event last year.

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Daniil Medvedev rolls to win at Indian Wells in his first match since reaching No. 1 in men’s tennis rankings; Rafael Nadal survives

Daniil Medvedev defeated Tomas Machac 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, the Russian’s first tournament since ascending to No. 1 in the world.

Medvedev made quick work of his Czech adversary, finishing Machac off in just over an hour. The Russian won 80% of his first-serve points and saved the lone break point he faced.

Rafael Nadal didn’t have it as easy in opening his pursuit of a fourth title at Indian Wells. He got pushed to the limit by practice partner Sebastian Korda before winning 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (3), giving Nadal a 16-0 record this year.

“I started to play a little bit more crosscourt with my forehand and with having a little bit more of calm,” Nadal said. “He made a couple mistakes and I was able to save myself.”

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Nadal won the Australian Open in January for his record 21st major championship, breaking a tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. He gained other titles in Melbourne and in Mexico.

Nadal trailed 5-2 in the third set before winning four straight games with two breaks of Korda to take a 6-5 lead. Korda held at 6-all to force the tiebreaker. The 38th-ranked Korda led 3-2 and then Nadal reeled off five straight points to close out the 2 1/2-hour match.

“He’s one of the greatest players of all time. He’s super hot. Hasn’t lost a match this year,” Korda said. “To kind of push him to the edge was awesome. Shows a lot of my game, how dangerous it can be against tough opponents.”

Before the match, Nadal withdrew from the Miami Open, which starts March 21. He is managing a chronic condition in his left foot.

Earlier this week, Medvedev received a trophy commemorating his status atop the ATP Tour rankings.

He displaced Djokovic, who wasn’t allowed to enter the U.S. to play because he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Medvedev has to reach the quarterfinals in the desert to stay in the top spot.

“If I’m going to lose it because I’m either going to play a bad match or my opponent is going to play an amazing one, there is the next tournament in Miami,” he said. “That’s how tennis is, every week is a new story. Right now it’s Indian Wells week and I want to make it a good story.”

Medvedev is among players from Russia and Belarus competing at Indian Wells without flags, symbols or anthems as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision to eliminate their national identity was made by the International Tennis Federation and both tours. “It’s definitely not for me to decide,” Medvedev said. “I follow the rules. I want to play my favorite sport.”

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Novak Djokovic beats Karen Khachanov in Dubai for second win of year

Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal had comfortable victories on Wednesday at the Mexican Open, and a rematch of their epic five-set final at the Australian Open appears to be on the horizon.

Medvedev took another step toward the top spot in the ATP rankings with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 second-round triumph over Pablo Andujar, while Nadal cruised past Stefan Kozlov 6-0, 6-3.

If Medvedev defeats either Taylor Fritz or Yoshihito Nishioka in the quarterfinals and Nadal does the same versus Tommy Paul, the two players will meet again in the semifinals less than a month after the Spaniard rallied to win the final at Melbourne for his record 21st Grand Slam singles title.

Paul advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (6), 2-6, 7-5 win over Dusan Lajovic.

Medvedev, 26, is trying to replace Novak Djokovic atop the rankings and could achieve that goal if he wins the title in Acapulco.

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He needed just over an hour to beat Andujar the morning after defending champion Alexander Zverev was kicked out of the Mexican Open for violently smashing his racket on the umpire’s chair moments after losing a doubles match.

“If I do (reach No. 1), it is going to mean a lot, there would be a lot of statistics mentioned, since when this or since when that. … It’s going to be fun, but first I have to achieve it, it’s my main goal to win as many matches as possible in the next few weeks,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev beat Djokovic in the US Open final last September to win his first major title and, at his next Grand Slam event, reached the final at the Australian Open on Jan. 30 before losing to Nadal.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, who has acquired three times in Acapulco — 2005, 2013 and 2020 — has a 12-0 record in 2022 and needed 1 hour, 16 minutes to beat Kozlov, who entered the draw as a lucky loser.

Also on Wednesday, Marcos Giron beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4) and is waiting for the outcome of the late match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and J.J. Wolf.

Also, Cameron Norrie beast John Isner 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4 and will next play Peter Gojowczyk, who entered the draw as a lucky loser and qualified for the quarterfinals without playing after Zverev was thrown out of the tournament. The Mexican Open is played on the hard courts of the Arena GNP in Acapulco.

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Reilly Opelka beats Jenson Brooksby to win inaugural Dallas Open

Reilly Opelka earned his third ATP Tour title, beating Jenson Brooksby in consecutive sets in an all-American final at the inaugural Dallas Open on Sunday.

The second-seeded Opelka won all 46 service games during the tournament and faced just one break point, which came in the second set of his 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) triumph over Brooksby.

Opelka, ranked 23rd, added to his titles in New York in 2019 and Delray Beach a year later. The 24-year-old is the first American to win a third ATP Tour title since Jack Sock won his third at Delray Beach in 2017.

“It’s always nice to lift a trophy,” Opelka said. “It doesn’t happen so often, at least for me, so I’m going to enjoy it.”

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Brooksby, a 21-year-old trying to build on a breakout 2021 season that included a run to the fourth round at the US Open, was seeking his first title in his second final. He was the fourth seed.

The 6-foot-11 Opelka’s powerful serve produced 16 aces to two for Brooksby, putting Opelka at 100 aces for the tournament.

“It was a tight match,” Brooksby said. “Couple of breakers, I think that one could have gone either way as well.”

Opelka’s triumph in the second meeting between the young Americans could put him back in the top 20. His career-best ranking is 19.

Brooksby, who missed all of 2020 with a toe injury, has reached the final in two of his 10 ATP Tour events and went 47-12 with three titles at the Challenger level last year.

At the US Open last year, Brooksby became the youngest American to reach the fourth round since Andy Roddick in 2002 before losing to Novak Djokovic.

Brooksby, playing with a career-best No. 54 ranking, is on track to get into the top 50 for the first time.

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Bulls hold off Magic’s 4th quarter rally for 126-115 win

DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 29 points, and Zach LaVine added 24, and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Orlando Magic 126-115 on Tuesday night.

DeRozan scored 20 of his points in the first half, and then the Bulls survived a frantic rally by the Magic midway through the fourth quarter.

Wendell Carter Jr. scored 24 points to lead the Magic, including 11 in the first quarter.

The Bulls, who were up 113-103 with 7:38 left in the game, failed to score a field goal in the next four minutes. The Magic tied the game, but LaVine’s baseline shot with 3:35 left snapped the Bulls’ drought and enabled them to regain a 117-115 lead.

Ayo Dosunmu made two shots to highlight an 11-0 run to finish the match. The Bulls have won four of their last five. The Magic have dropped four of their last six.

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DeRozan has scored 70 points in his last two games versus the Magic.

The Bulls led the Magic by nine on three occasions in the third quarter, highlighted by a fadeaway shot by DeRozan with seven-seconds left for a 103-94 lead.

Baskets by Coby White and DeRozan enabled the Bulls to lead for the first time in double figures to open the fourth quarter.

Orlando shot 60.9% in the first quarter and made 28-of-50 field-goal attempts in the first half. But the Magic didn’t shoot their first free throw until 3:17 left in the second quarter, when Cole Anthony sank a shot to complete a three-point play.

The Bulls went on a 7-2 run in the final 1:09 to take a 70-63 halftime lead. Anthony was assessed a technical foul after hanging on the rim too long following his dunk of a missed shot.

DeRozan added two baskets, including a three-point play with 36.6 left, and Carter. Jr. was called for a technical after throwing the ball against the stanchion. The Bulls avenged a 114-95 loss to the Magic on Jan. 23 and won the season series 3-1.

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Bucs beat Panthers 41-17, earn No. 2 playoff seeding in NFC

Once the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took care of their own business, the defending Super Bowl champions permitted themselves to become scoreboard watchers.

Sunday’s 41-17 rout of the Carolina Panthers set a franchise record for regular-season victories, and the win — coupled with the Rams losing to the 49ers in overtime — also gave the Bucs (13-4) the No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC.

Tampa Bay will host Philadelphia in the wild-card round next week. Earning the No. 2 seed ensures a second home game in two weeks if the Bucs beat the Eagles.

Tom Brady’s not looking ahead, though.

“It just felt good to win today. Whatever happened with other teams, you can’t ever control any of those things. Even for the next game. … you’re worrying about two games from now. I’m not worried about two games from now, I’m worried about one game from now, which is the Eagles,” Brady said.

“I don’t care if the Rams would’ve won … that’s alright, we’ve still got the Eagles and that’s going to be the biggest game of our season,” Brady added.

“If we win, whoever we play, wherever we play, we’re still going, and that’s what we want to do.” Brady topped 5,000 yards passing for the second time in his career, joining Drew Brees as the only players in NFL history with multiple 5,000-yard seasons.

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“We had to do what we had to do,” said tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had seven receptions for 137 yards.

“That’s what really matters,” Gronkowski added. “We did what we had to do, and the rest took care of itself.”

Brady completed 29 of 37 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns before taking the last half of the fourth quarter off, finishing with a career-best 5,316 yards passing and a Bucs single-season record 43 TD passes for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Mike Evans caught two of Brady’s TD passes, giving him a club-record 14 scoring receptions this year.

He also became the first player in NFL history to start a career with eight consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving.

Tampa Bay broke the club record for victories in a regular season set in 2002, when the Bucs went on to win the Super Bowl for the first time.

Carolina (5-12) finished on a seven-game losing streak that leaves coach Matt Rhule’s future in question. The Panthers are 10-23 in two seasons under the former Temple and Baylor coach, who signed a seven-year contract to move to the NFL in 2020.

The Panthers wasted a chance to go up by double digits, turning the ball over on downs at the Tampa Bay 1 before the Brady turned the game around with an eight-play, 92-yard touchdown drive in the final minute of the first half.

Completions of 37 yards to Evans, 19 yards to Gronkowski and 24 yards to Breshad Perriman helped Brady move into position to give his team a 10-7 halftime lead with a 1-yard TD pass to Le’Veon Bell.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s 2-yard TD run early in the third quarter built the lead to 17-7. Evans caught TD passes of 3 and 20 yards, and receiver Scotty Miller scored on a 33-yard run in the fourth quarter for the Bucs.

Darnold completed 29 of 42 passes for 219 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Panthers, who fell to 0-4 against Tampa Bay under Rhule and have been outscored 150-63 by their NFC South rival in those matches.

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