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WAMC Sports Report 6/5/24: Padres' Marcano banned for life for betting on baseball

FILE - This combination of 2024 file photo shows baseball players, from left, Tucupita Marcano, Jay Groome, Michael Kelly, Jose Rodríguez and Andrew Saalfrank. Major League Baseball has permanently banned Marcano Tuesday, June 4, 2024, for betting on baseball and suspended the four other players for one year after finding the players placed unrelated bets with a legal sportsbook. None of the players punished played in any games on which they wagered, and all players denied to MLB they had inside information relevant to their bets or the games they bet on – testimonies that MLB says align with the data received from the sportsbook. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - This combination of 2024 file photo shows baseball players, from left, Tucupita Marcano, Jay Groome, Michael Kelly, Jose Rodríguez and Andrew Saalfrank. Major League Baseball has permanently banned Marcano Tuesday, June 4, 2024, for betting on baseball and suspended the four other players for one year after finding the players placed unrelated bets with a legal sportsbook. None of the players punished played in any games on which they wagered, and all players denied to MLB they had inside information relevant to their bets or the games they bet on – testimonies that MLB says align with the data received from the sportsbook. (AP Photo/File)


San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano has been banned from baseball for life for betting on the sport and four others were suspended for one year by Major League Baseball in the game’s biggest gambling scandal in decades. MLB said Marcano placed 387 baseball bets totaling more than $150,000 in October 2022 and from last July through November with a legal sportsbook. He became the first active player in a century banned for life because of gambling. Oakland Athletics pitcher Michael Kelly was suspended for one year for betting on baseball while in the minor leagues and a three minor leaguers also were banned for one year for betting on big league games: pitchers Jay Groome of San Diego and Andrew Saalfrank of Arizona, and infielder José Rodríguez of Philadelphia.

Luis Gil pitched six shutout innings of one-hit ball to win his seventh consecutive start, Giancarlo Stanton launched a two-run homer and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 for their sixth straight victory. Aaron Judge flared a two-run double and Gleyber Torres homered early on a 349-foot drive that glanced off the glove of a leaping Max Kepler at the right-field fence. Returning home from a 7-2 trip to three California cities, the AL East-leading Yankees won for the 17th time in 21 games overall and improved to 105-42 against the Twins since 2002. New York outscored the Twins 14-1 last month in Minnesota, throwing consecutive shutouts to complete a three-game sweep.

Pete Alonso hit a 446-foot homer, Harrison Bader launched a two-run shot and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 on Tuesday night. David Peterson worked efficiently into the seventh inning in his second start this season for the Mets, who have won four of six since a 7-19 stumble. Alonso went deep in the ninth inning off Nationals closer Kyle Finnegan, who came in with Washington trailing 5-2. Left-hander DJ Herz (0-1) made his major league debut for Washington, replacing injured starter Trevor Williams. He was charged with four runs on seven hits in four-plus innings.

Nick Castellanos won the game with an RBI double in the 10th inning after Alec Bohm tied the score with a solo homer in the eighth to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on Tuesday night. Castellanos lined a double to right off Brewers reliever Joel Payamps (1-2) that scored automatic runner Whit Merrifield. The Phillies mobbed Castellanos at second base as another packed crowd went wild in celebration of the team’s 43rd win, tops in the National League. Seranthony Domínguez tossed a scoreless 10th for the win.

Max Fried struck out a career-high 13 batters in seven strong innings, Ozzie Albies hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves beat the Boston Red Sox 8-3. Orlando Arcia added a solo shot in the seventh for the Braves, who improved to 3-0 this season against Boston. Fried allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits while working seven innings or more for sixth time in his past eight starts. He topped his previous best of 11 strikeouts, which he had done twice, more recently on Sept. 30, 2019 against the Chicago White Sox.

Andrew Heaney threw six scoreless innings, Adolis García homered and singled and the Texas Rangers beat the Miami Marlins 6-0. Jacob Latz, David Robertson and Grant Anderson pitched an inning each to finish the Rangers’ second consecutive shutout win. It is the first time since September 2016 that the Rangers have back-to-back shutout wins. Rangers shortstop Corey Seager singled in five at-bats to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Seager also has a 25-game on-base streak.

Ian Happ’s second double of the night drove in two runs to put the Chicago Cubs ahead in the eighth inning, and the North Siders came back twice to beat the crosstown White Sox 7-6 at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night. Happ’s third hit of the game, lined to the right-field corner off Jordan Leasure, drove in Cody Bellinger and Christopher Morel to erase a one-run White Sox lead and deal them a 12th straight loss. Luis Robert Jr. launched a 438-foot solo shot to the left-center bleachers in his return to the lineup to break a tie in the seventh and put the White Sox ahead 6-5.

Yainer Diaz homered for a second straight game to lead the Houston Astros to an 8-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Playing without star right fielder Kyle Tucker, the Astros got a three-run homer from Diaz in the third inning as they took the first two games of a three-game set with the Cardinals. Diaz hit a go-ahead two-run homer in Monday’s 7-4 win. Houston scored six runs off Cardinals starter Andre Pallante. He allowed six hits and walked three in three innings. Tucker, who left Monday’s game after hitting a foul ball off his right shin, was diagnosed with a contusion and sat out Tuesday night.

Zach Neto had a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning, and the Los Angeles Angels won their first home series of the season with a 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres. Luis Rengifo drove in an early run for the Angels, who will win a series for the first time in 10 tries this season after back-to-back victories over the Padres. Los Angeles improved the majors’ worst home record to 9-21. Adam Mazur pitched six innings of one-run ball in a strong major league debut for the Padres, who have lost three straight.

Bobby Witt’s Jr.’s throwing error led to Cleveland scoring three runs on an infield grounder in the seventh inning, sending the Guardians to an 8-5 win over the Royals in a matchup of the AL Central’s top two teams. The Guardians trailed 5-0 in the fourth before storming back to win the series opener and open their division over the Royals to five. Witt clobbered a pair of two-run homers, but his errant throw in the seventh that wound up in the photographer's pit was more than costly. Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer for Cleveland. Emmanuel Clase worked the ninth for his AL-leading 19th save.

Ryan Mountcastle homered twice and drove in five runs, Corbin Burnes allowed one run in seven innings for his third straight winning decision and the Baltimore Orioles routed the Toronto Blue Jays 10-1. The Orioles have won won 10 of their last 12. Orioles rookie infielder Connor Norby homered for his first major league hit, a two-run blast off Nate Pearson in the eighth inning. Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman reached base three times each and Rutschman drove in a pair for the Orioles. Burnes gave up four hits and matched his longest outing of the season to improve to 6-2.

Jack Flaherty pitched five shutout innings before leaving the game with back tightness, Zach McKinstry and Riley Greene homered and the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Tuesday night. Flaherty allowed two hits and no walks through five innings, throwing a season-low 60 pitches, including 44 strikes. Texas broke up the shutout against Tyler Holton in the ninth on Ezequiel Duran’s single. Jason Foley came in to retire Wyatt Langford on a groundout for his 12th save in 14 opportunities.

George Kirby had nine strikeouts in five innings for his first win in nearly a month, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Tuesday night. Josh Rojas had three hits, Luke Raley added two hits and an RBI, and Ty France drove in a pair of runs to keep the AL West-leading Mariners rolling on manager Scott Servais’ 57th birthday. Coming off a 6-1 homestand, Seattle has won four straight and eight of nine. Abraham Toro had an RBI single and JJ Bleday singled twice for Oakland. The A’s have lost five of six.

Rookie Jared Jones pitched six shutout innings and Jack Suwinski homered after being called up from the minor leagues as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0. Jones (4-5) allowed three hits to the NL West-leading Dodgers while striking out six and walking three. Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani went 1 for 4, striking out twice and grounding into a double play. Hours before the game, Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud in a Santa Ana, California, courtroom and admitted to stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani to pay off sports betting debts. The Dodgers lost for the second time in seven games. The Pirates had dropped four of their previous six games.

Frankie Montas took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Elly De La Cruz hit a 448-foot homer and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1. Elias Diaz broke up Montas’ no-hit bid with a double to center field to open the seventh, but Montas retired the next three batters to conclude his outing and win for the first time since April 3. Montas became the first visiting pitcher in the history of hitter-friendly Coors Field to throw at least seven innings with nine or more strikeouts while allowing no more than one hit, according to OptaSTATS.

Kevin Newman and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. each hit two-run doubles and the Arizona Diamondbacks stretched their winning streak to four games with an 8-5 victory over the slumping San Francisco Giants. Arizona received some shocking news earlier in the day, learning reliever Andrew Saalfrank was among five players sanctioned by Major League Baseball for betting on games. Newman hit a two-run double off Kyle Harrison in the third inning and Gurriel hit his in Arizona’s four-run seventh. Gabriel Moreno also finished with two RBIs and Blaze Alexander had three of Arizona’s 13 hits. Mike Yastrzemski hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning for the Giants.

Baseball star Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter has pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud in a gambling case that stunned the sports community. Ippei Mizuhara entered his guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in Santa Ana, California. Prosecutors say he exploited the Japanese-English language barrier to isolate Ohtani and profit from his proximity to the two-way player’s power. He admitted to stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani's Arizona bank account to cover his growing gambling bets and debts with an illegal bookmaker, plus $325,000 worth of baseball cards and his own medical bills. Ohtani says the plea has given him closure.


A New York man has been charged in a sports betting scandal that spurred the NBA to ban Jontay Porter for life. The charges Tuesday against Long Phi Pham mark the first known criminal fallout from the matter. Pham is accused of conspiring to defraud a sports betting company. He is being detained after an initial court appearance. A message seeking comment was left for his attorney. Porter is not named in the court complaint, but its specifics about “Player 1” match the details of the former Toronto Raptors player’s downfall this spring. Federal prosecutors declined to comment on whether Porter is under investigation. Contact information for him could not immediately be found.


Breanna Stewart scored a season-high 33 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the New York Liberty to an 88-75 victory Tuesday night over the Chicago Sky, who lost rookie Angel Reese to an ejection in the fourth quarter. Reese was thrown out with 2:31 remaining after receiving two technical fouls following a brief interaction with an official. Sabrina Ionescu added 24 points for the Liberty, who won their fourth straight. Betnijah Laney-Hamilton added 14 points for New York (8-2), which avenged a 90-81 loss to Chicago on May 23. Chennedy Carter scored 16 points and Reese had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago.

DeWanna Bonner had 20 points and eight rebounds, Brionna Jones added 15 points and the Connecticut Sun beat the winless Washington Mystics 76-59 on Tuesday night to become the seventh team in WNBA history to start a season with nine straight wins. All of the previous six teams to begin 9-0 reached the WNBA finals. Connecticut (9-0) hosts New York on Saturday, looking to become the fourth team to start 10-0. The Minnesota Lynx hold the WNBA record with 13 straight wins to begin the 2016 season. Washington (0-9) set a franchise record with nine consecutive losses to start a season. The Mystics return home to play Chicago on Thursday.

Ezi Magbegor scored 13 of her 21 points in the first quarter, Skylar Diggins-Smith added 17 points and the Seattle Storm won their fifth straight game with an 80-62 victory over the Phoenix Mercury. Seattle announced a contract extension for Magbegor that will keep her with the team through the 2025 season earlier in the day. Then the forward from Australia sparked the Storm to a fast start. The 13 points in the first quarter were the most Magbegor has scored in any quarter of her career, as she hit her first six shots before a miss. Kahleah Copper led Phoenix with 19 points, but the Mercury lost for the fifth time in six games.

Caitlin Clark has been involved in several physical plays to start her WNBA career and Indiana Fever coach Christie Sides believes some of the fouls against the high-profile rookie have crossed the line. There are no shortage of opinions about what's happening, ranging from Clark is being targeted because of all the attention accompanying her transition into the league to race being a factor in the physical play. The conversations exploded following the latest non-basketball foul involving Clark. Chicago’s Chennedy Carter sent the top-pick to the floor with a shoulder hit on Saturday. Clark says she now expects to be on the receiving end of a couple of hard fouls a game.


Top Kansas legislators have intensified efforts to woo the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs by offering to let the professional football franchise shape a plan for using state bonds to finance a new stadium in Kansas. State House Speaker Dan Hawkins and Senate President Ty Masterson said Tuesday that the Legislature would consider the proposal during a special session set to convene June 18. The two leaders invited the Chiefs to weigh in on the plan in a May 23 letter to the team's chairman and CEO. Meanwhile, a new nonprofit group called Scoop and Score has launched a campaign for the proposal and registered 20 lobbyists.


Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the French Open with an injured knee. The withdrawal ends Djokovic's title defense and means he will relinquish the No. 1 ranking next week. Djokovic has a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. The extent of the injury was found during an MRI exam on Tuesday, a day after Djokovic was hurt during a fourth-round victory. The 24-time Grand Slam champion was supposed to face two-time French Open runner-up Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Instead, Ruud gets a walkover into the semifinals. No. 2 Jannik Sinner is assured of replacing Djokovic atop the ATP rankings.

Coco Gauff and defending champion Iga Swiatek have set up a showdown in the French Open semifinals. Gauff came back to defeat Ons Jabeur 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in Tuesday's first quarterfinal. Swiatek followed with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova to stretch her Roland Garros winning streak to 19 matches as she seeks a fourth title in five years in Paris. Swiatek is ranked No. 1 and Gauff is No. 3. Gauff is the reigning U.S. Open champion and made it to the final four at the Australian Open in January. Swiatek has won 10 of their 11 previous meetings.


One year after the PGA Tour announced a proposed deal with the backers of LIV Golf, there still aren't many answers about where golf is headed and how to repair the fractured landscape with great players on two tours. It remains one of the most stunning developments in golf. Not just making the deal with the Saudis, but keeping the entire membership in the dark. Perhaps the biggest change from a year ago is players now have a majority voice on the board. But what exactly do they want? Where is golf headed, and how does it get put back together?

Grayson Murray is on players' minds at the start of the Memorial. The PGA Tour held a celebration of his life in a garden area at Muirfield Village on Tuesday. Dozens of players in the 72-man field stood solemnly for a series of remembrances. Scottie Scheffler referred to Murray as a sweet man and spoke of the joy Murray had playing a practice round at The Players Championship. Commissioner Jay Monahan says Murray leaves a legacy of being kind to others. Murray died by suicide on May 25 after withdrawing at Colonial. He had struggled with alcohol and mental health issues.

© 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.