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WAMC Sports Report 6/21/24: Orioles rout Yankees 17-5, win 22nd straight series vs. AL East

Baltimore Orioles' Cedric Mullins (31) celebrates with Austin Hays (21) after they scored on a home run by Hays against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 20, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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AP
Baltimore Orioles' Cedric Mullins (31) celebrates with Austin Hays (21) after they scored on a home run by Hays against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 20, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

MLB

Cedric Mullins hit a two-run homer to spark a six-run second inning, Gunnar Henderson reached base four times and the Baltimore Orioles knocked out rookie pitcher Luis Gil early in a 17-5 rout of the New York Yankees. The Orioles improved to 5-2 against the Yankees and set a major league record by winning their 22nd straight series against an AL East opponent. Henderson extended the majors’ longest active on-base streak to 27 games and his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. Anthony Santander hit a three-run homer as the Orioles moved to within a half-game of first-place New York. Austin Hays also homered for Baltimore. New York's Gleyber Torres hit a solo homer before exiting with a groin injury. Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 27th homer.

Andrés Giménez hit a two-run homer and Will Brennan had a pair of solo shots, lifting the American League Central-leading Cleveland Guardians to a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Gimenez’s blast to right-center off Luis Castillo provided the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, when Cleveland scored three times to take a 5-3 lead. Josh Naylor added an RBI double as the Guardians took two of three in the series. Logan Allen pitched six innings, giving up three runs, in winning his second straight start. Dylan Moore hit a two-run homer in the first and Ryan Bliss had an RBI double in the fourth for AL West leader Seattle.

Jonny DeLuca’s line-drive single to center field in the 10th inning and a strong throw from center fielder Jose Siri to complete a double play in the bottom half of the inning helped Tampa Bay overcome a squandered four-run lead in a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Ninth-inning home runs by Jose Miranda and Carlos Santana had erased a 6-2 deficit before DeLuca connected on reliever Griffin Jax’s sinker to score the automatic runner and give the Rays the lead for good. Tampa Bay improved to a Major League-best 26-11 in games decided by two runs or fewer.

Yordan Alvarez homered in the first inning and drove in a run during a four-run seventh as the Houston Astros rallied past the Chicago White Sox 5-3. Alvarez made it 1-0 with a 439-foot drive to right against Chris Flexen for his 15th homer, and his single in the seventh tied the game at 3-all. The two-time All-Star finished with three hits after missing the previous two games for a family matter. Alex Bregman added three hits and scored a run for the Astros, who won their second straight after dropping the opener of a three-game series against the team with the worst record in the majors.

Freddy Fermin homered twice and Bobby Witt Jr. hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 to avoid a three-game sweep. Fermin also singled for his first three-hit game of the season. Witt homered off Oakland reliever Vinny Nittoli to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth. Zack Gelof homered for the third straight game, but Oakland failed to sweep Kansas City for the first time since 2016. The Royals haven’t been swept this year.

Ryne Nelson pitched seven efficient innings, Christian Walker hit his team-high 17th home run in the ninth inning, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Washington Nationals 5-2. Randal Grichuk drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks, who took two of three at Washington and have won seven of 10 overall. Lane Thomas and Jesse Winker homered for Washington, which was denied its second chance in three days to get back to .500 for the first time since it was 20-20 after the first game of a doubleheader May 14. The Nationals are 36-38.

Shohei Ohtani led off the game with his 21st homer of the season, Will Smith and Freddie Freeman hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3. Ohtani's homer was his fourth in five games. Smith and Freeman each hit their 11th this season to help the Dodgers take three of four from the Rockies. Ohtani is 8 for 18 with two homers, three doubles and six RBIs in four games as the leadoff hitter. Ryan McMahon homered for Colorado. Evan Phillips pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save in as many chances.

Brendan Donovan hit a two-run homer and a double and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in the Negro Leagues tribute game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The 114-year-old Rickwood Field is the oldest professional ballpark in the U.S. and former home to late baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays and the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues. Andre Pallante pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs in the win. He walked three and struck out five. Ryan Helsley got the final three outs for his 24th save.

Jake Cronenworth homered with two outs in the ninth inning, San Diego’s fourth homer, and the Padres beat the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 7-6. Cronenworth’s homer, deep down the right field line off Joel Payamps, came after Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jurickson Profar struck out. Tatis hit a 446-foot homer and added an emphatic bat flip in the fifth inning and Manny Machado and rookie Jackson Merrill also homered for the Padres.

Fans came out to celebrate Willie Mays and other Negro Leaguers in several events and festivities around the historic Rickwood Field. Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, hosted its first Major League Baseball game between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. The game, which MLB called “A Tribute to the Negro Leagues,” was meant to honor the legacy of Mays and other Black baseball greats who left an enduring mark on the sport. The celebration started hours before the game and continued into the pregame ceremony.

The Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies were off last night. Boston starts a 3-game set against the Reds at 7:10 tonight in Cincinnati, the Mets play the first of a 3-game set against the Cubs at 2:20 this afternoon, and the Diamondbacks take on the Phillies in the first of a three-game series at 6:40 tonight in Philadelphia.

WNBA

Sabrina Ionescu scored 31 points and Jonquel Jones added 22 to help the New York Liberty beat the Los Angeles Sparks 93-80. The Sparks were playing their first game since they lost star rookie Cameron Brink to an ACL tear in her left knee. The Liberty (13-3) led 60-54 with 2:58 left in the third quarter before Ionescu and Jones combined to score the first 11 points of a 13-0 run to give New York a double-digit cushion. Aari McDonald scored 15 points and Zia Cooke added 13 to lead the Sparks (4-12).

Chennedy Carter and Marina Mabrey scored 19 points each, Angel Reese recorded her seventh consecutive double-double to set a WNBA rookie record and the Chicago Sky eased by the Dallas Wings 83-72 to snap a four-game losing streak. Reese finished with 16 points and a season-high 18 rebounds to pass Tina Charles and Cindy Brown for the most consecutive games with a double-double by a WNBA rookie. The overall record is 12 in a row, set by Candace Parker during the 2009-10 seasons. Reese’s steal and fast-break layup extended Chicago’s lead to 55-35 in the third quarter. The Wings didn’t reach the 40-point mark until there was 9:38 left in the fourth.

NBA

JJ Redick is being hired as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, a person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Lakers hadn’t yet publicly announced the decision to hire the former NBA shooting guard for his first coaching job. The 39-year-old Redick is an extraordinary choice by the Lakers, who hired a 15-year veteran with absolutely no coaching experience to lead a franchise with 17 NBA titles, one of the biggest brand names in world sports — and LeBron James, the top scorer in league history.

NHL

Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final is tonight at 8 in Edmonton. The Panthers lead the Oilers 3 games to 2.

Connor McDavid put the Edmonton Oilers on his back to keep the Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers going by doing something no other player in NHL history has at this stage of the season. McDavid became the first player to have back-to-back four-point games in the final. Wayne Gretzky is the only other player to have two four-point games at any point in the same final. McDavid with his heroics has emerged as the front-runner to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, even if the Oilers lose Game 6 on home ice tonight.

SWIMMING

On a night for doubling up at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Lilly King left with another big prize. An engagement ring. Ryan Murphy, Regan Smith, Kate Douglass and King all claimed a second individual event at the Paris Games with their performances in the temporary pool at Lucas Oil Stadium. But the most dramatic moment came just off the deck. King’s boyfriend, former Indiana University swimmer James Wells, pulled out a ring, dropped to a knee and asked her to marry him. She said yes with a kiss and a big hug. Murphy won the 200-meter backstroke, Regan Smith touched first in the 200 butterfly and Douglass claimed the top spot in the 200 breaststroke. King finished second to Douglass to earn another race in Paris after winning the 100 breast.

SOCCER

Lionel Messi’s through ball led to Julián Álvarez’s goal in the 49th minute, then he assisted on Lautaro Martínez’s goal in the 88th as Argentina began the defense of its Copa America title with a 2-0 victory over Canada. Argentina is seeking its third straight major title after winning the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup. With South America’s championship moved to the United States for the second time, Messi set a Copa America record with his 35th match, one more than Chile’s Sergio Livingstone from 1941-53. Messi extended his own record with his 18th assist.

Spain has advanced to the round of 16 at Euro 2024 after a 1-0 win against defending champion Italy. A 55th-minute own goal by Italy’s Riccardo Calafiori handed victory to Spain in the first clash of international heavyweights at this European Championship. Three-time winner Spain totally dominated the game at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, with 16-year-old winger Lamine Yamal further enhancing his reputation as one of soccer’s most exciting young stars with an outstanding performance.

NCAA

The NCAA has presented a plan to Division I conference commissioners that would expand the lucrative men’s and women’s basketball tournaments by four or eight teams alongside an option to leave each field at 68 teams. If approved, the NCAA would keep its 64-team bracket but would add play-in games involving the 10 through 12 seeds. The earliest the NCAA Tournament could expand would be the 2025-26 season and more meetings are scheduled. The men’s tournament last expanded in 2011 when it went from 64 to 68 teams. The women’s tournament matched that in 2022.

GOLF

Lexi Thompson made six birdies on her way to a 4-under 68 and a one-shot lead over Nelly Korda and Patty Tavatanakit after the first round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Teeing off in the afternoon as temperatures climbed into the 80s and dried out Sahalee Country Club, Thompson started hot with three straight birdies to open her round and built on last week when she lost in a playoff at the Meijer LPGA Classic. The top-ranked Korda missed the cuts in the U.S. Women’s Open and the Meijer LPGA Classic in her last two starts after winning six of seven events, a run that started with a record-tying five straight victories.

— Scottie Scheffler and Tom Kim share a birthday and they will be fighting for the lead in the second round at the Travelers Championship. Kim shot an 8-under-par 62 on Thursday in the first round at the TPC River Highlands. That gave him a two-stroke lead in the final limited field, no-cut signature event on the PGA Tour schedule. Scheffler is the world's No. 1 ranked player. He was tied for sixth, three shots back. Kim turns 22 on Friday and Scheffler is exactly six years older. They marked the occasion for the second year in a row by heading about 30 miles south to New Haven for pizza.

© 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.