#SportsReport: Kluber Throws No-Hitter Against Rangers; Bruins Beat Capitals In Double OT
Corey Kluber threw the major leagues' sixth no-hitter this season and second in two nights, leading the New York Yankees over the Texas Rangers 2-0. The 35-year-old right-hander, a two-time American League Cy Young Award winner, came within a third-inning walk to Charlie Culberson of throwing a perfect game. Kluber pitched his gem a night after Detroit Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull threw one against the Seattle Mariners, marking the first no-hitters on consecutive days since 1969. Kluber struck out nine and and threw 71 of 101 pitches for strikes.
Elsewhere around the majors:
Ronald Acuña Jr. homered on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-4 after blowing an early two-run lead. Acuña drilled the first pitch from Jacob Barnes to center field for his NL-leading 13th homer. The Mets were denied a sweep of the three-game series. Tomás Nido gave New York a 4-3 lead with a pinch-hit, two-run single in the seventh. The Braves pulled even in the eighth. Jonathan Villar's leadoff homer in the fourth gave the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back homers during a five-run first inning, Garrett Richards won his fourth straight decision and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3. Kiké Hernández and Christian Vázquez also went deep for the Red Sox, who are 13-6 on the road. Boston has outhomered its opponents 57-32. Toronto, which lost for only the second time in eight games, got a two-run homer from Marcus Semien. A victory would have moved the Blue Jays past Boston into first place in the AL East. Verdugo hit a two-run drive and Martinez then ended a 12-game homerless drought with an opposite-field shot as the first five batters reached safely against Ross Stripling.
Brain Anderson homered on his 28th birthday to back Trevor Rogers, who pitched five-hit ball for 7 2/3 innings and led the Miami Marlins over the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1. Adam Duvall and Jazz Chisholm Jr. also drove in runs for the Marlins, who won for just the second time in five games. Rogers gave up five hits, including Andrew McCutchen's sixth-inning homer. The 23-year-old rookie left-hander struck out eight and walked two. Yimi Garcia finished with two-hit relief for his eighth save. Zach Eflin allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.
Juan Soto homered off Wrigley Field's right-field scoreboard, helping Max Scherzer win his third straight decision in the Washington Nationals' 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs. Soto became the 16th player to hit the scoreboard that was installed in 2012, hitting a 421-foot drive on a 3-2 slider in the fifth from Jake Arrieta (4-4) that gave Washington a 4-1 lead. Soto also singled twice. Scherzer allowed two runs and five hits in five innings with eight strikeouts and four walks. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has given up just four runs over his last four starts.
José Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, Yuli Gurriel drove in four runs to back Zack Greinke, and the Houston Astros won for the seventh time in eight games by beating the Oakland Athletics 8-1. Greinke struck out eight and didn't walk a batter, allowing one run on four hits over eight impressive innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season. Gurriel had a pair of two-run doubles among his four hits, Carlos Correa contributed two RBI singles and Michael Brantley also singled home a late run for Houston.
Tarik Skubal struck out a career-high nine in his first win of the season, Harold Castro drove in three runs and the Detroit Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 6-2. Skubal (1-6) scattered four hits over five innings, helping Detroit earn its first series sweep in Seattle since April 2006. With the sweep, which included Spencer Turnbull's no-hitter on Tuesday night, Detroit has won four of its last five and eight of 10. The Mariners had nine hits against Tigers pitchers in the three-game series with 29 strikeouts.
Will Smith's pinch-hit sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the seventh inning scored the tying and go-ahead runs when Josh Rojas dropped the ball in right field, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2. Mookie Betts followed with a ground-rule double as the Dodgers capitalized on two walks and a glaring miscue to take a 4-2 lead. Arizona has been outscored 16-4 in losing the first three games of the series. The Diamondbacks lost their fourth in a row overall and ninth straight on the road after manager Torey Lovullo was ejected in the fifth for arguing an interference call. Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Lucas Giolito gave up two hits over eight innings with a season-high 11 strikeouts, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1. Giolito threw 111 pitches in his longest start of the year. Nelson Cruz's home run in the third accounted for the only Minnesota runner past second base. Cruz had the only other hit, a single in the first inning. Liam Hendricks pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save. Chicago won for the 20th time in 28 games.
Fernando Tatis Jr. homered and went 4 for 4 in his first game back after testing positive for COVID-19, and the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 3-0 for a three-game sweep. Tatis, who had been out since May 11, finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle in helping the Padres win their sixth straight game and for the ninth time in 10 games. Tatis came up in the eighth and got his third extra-base hit of the game, an RBI double.
Randy Arozarena hit two home runs, stole another with his glove and knocked in four runs, Ji-Man Choi drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-7. Mike Brosseau also homered for Tampa Bay, which has won a season-high six consecutive games. At 25-19, the Rays are six games above .500 for the first time this year. Baltimore fell to a majors-worst 6-17 at home.
Jack Flaherty earned his major league-leading eight win of the season as the St. Louis Cardinals scored five runs in the second inning to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5. Flaherty allowed two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out seven in six innings of work. He is the first Cardinals pitcher to win eight straight starts since John Tudor and Joaquín Andújar each accomplished the feat in 1985. Pirates starter Trevor Cahill allowed four runs.
Josh Naylor drove in the tiebreaking run in the sixth, Aaron Civale pitched seven strong innings and the Cleveland Indians overcame Shohei Ohtani's latest do-everything performance for a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Jake Bauers homered and Franmil Reyes had an RBI double as Cleveland snapped a four-game skid by taking the final two games of the series in Anaheim. Ohtani pitched five-hit ball into the fifth with five strikeouts for the Angels, and he subsequently moved from the mound to right field for 1 1/3 more innings. The majors' home run leader went 1 for 3 at the plate.
Jorge Soler hit a slump-busting homer to tie the game, Nicky Lopez bunted home the go-ahead run and Kansas City beat Milwaukee 6-4. The Royals swept the two-game set for their first series win over Milwaukee since June 2015. Their two-run rally in the seventh rendered moot six dazzling innings by Brewers ace Corbin Burnes. Scott Barlow got the win in relief while Josh Staumont earned his fifth save. Michael Taylor hit a two-run homer for the Royals and robbed Jackie Bradley Jr. of a home run. Bradley homered earlier in the game to end a 0-for-22 skid for Milwaukee.
Kevin Gausman gave up one hit over six strong innings, Buster Posey drove in three runs and the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-0. Gausman didn't allow a hit until until Tucker Barnhart led off the fifth with a double, and Cincinnati managed just two more hits the rest of the way against San Francisco relievers. The Giants got a great outing from a starter in beating the Reds for the third straight night. Mike Tauchman had an RBI single in the fifth for NL West-leading San Francisco.
In MLB news:
The New York Mets place right hander Taijuan Walker on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Tuesday after he lasted only three innings in this week's start against the Braves due to tightness in his left side. The Mets selected the contract of outfielder Cameron Maybin from Triple-A Syracuse and started him in left field against the Atlanta Braves. Left-hander Stephen Tarpley and right-hander Sam McWilliams also were placed on the injured list.
An unidentified Washington Nationals player who is vaccinated and asymptomatic has tested positive for COVID-19 and might have been in close contact with an unvaccinated player. Manager Dave Martinez said neither player would have been in the starting lineup against the Chicago Cubs and neither was available off the bench. The unvaccinated player might need to quarantine.
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis will miss the rest of the season after surgery to repair the labrum in his left hip. The 35-year-old has not played since Baltimore's spring training opener in February. General manager Mike Elias said Davis should be able to make a full return for spring training in 2022, the final season of Davis' $161 million, seven-year contract.
Craig Smith scored 5:48 into the second overtime Wednesday night to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals and a 2-1 lead in the East Division first-round playoff series. Smith outraced defenseman Justin Schultz to a puck behind the Capitals net and swept it around into the goal to end the third straight overtime game in the series. It was the 11th straight one-goal playoff game between them since 1998. Alex Ovechkin scored his 800th combined regular-season and postseason goal, and Nic Dowd returned from a slap shot off the knee to add a goal for Washington. Ilya Samsonov returned from the COVID-19 list to make his playoff debut, stopping 40 shots for Washington, which lost the home-ice advantage after splitting the first two games at home. Game 4 is Friday night in Boston.
Elsewhere in playoff action:
Connor Helleybuyck made 32 saves on his 28th birthday, Dominic Toninato broke a tie midway through the third period and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 Wednesday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series. Playing just his third game for Winnipeg, Toninato tipped in Logan Stanley's blast from the blue line, but the puck flew out so quickly it wasn't immediately signaled a goal. Tucker Poolman tied it midway through the second, and Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler added empty-netters for Winnipeg in its first playoff meeting with Edmonton since 1990. Edmonton's Jesse Puljujarvi scored his first playoff goal in his NHL post-season debut. Game 2 is Friday night in Edmonton.
Nathan MacKinnon finished his first career playoff hat trick with an empty-net goal to help the Colorado Avalanche pull away late for a 6-3 win over St. Louis in Game 2 after the Blues avoided a pregame virus scare that nearly sidelined several players. Joonas Donskoi scored twice and Brandon Saad added an empty-netter as the Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series. Since moving to Denver, Colorado is 13-1 all-time in best-of-seven postseason series when capturing the first two games. Sammy Blais, Brayden Schenn and Mike Hoffman had goals for St. Louis.
Sebastian Aho scored twice and Alex Nedeljkovic was sharp in net to lead a perfect showing for Carolina's penalty kill, helping the Hurricanes beat the Nashville Predators 3-0 on Wednesday night in Game 2 of the first-round playoff series. That lifted Carolina to a 2-0 lead as the best-of-seven series shifts to Nashville for Game 3 on Friday night. Nedeljkovic finished with 32 saves for the shutout in his second playoff start. Carolina turned away all seven power plays for the Predators. Juuse Saros finished with 28 saves to lead Nashville, which lost 5-2 in Game 1.
In the league's last regular-season game, Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and the Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-2. At 26-27-3, they ended up four points behind Montreal for the final playoff spot. The Canucks finished last in the seven-team North, a point behind Ottawa.
LeBron James made a long, go-ahead 3-pointer with 58.2 seconds remaining, rallying the Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors in a Western Conference play-in tournament game. James finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his sixth triple-double of the season, Anthony Davis scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers overcame 37 points from league scoring champ Stephen Curry. The Lakers earned the seventh seed for the playoffs and a first-round matchup with second-seeded Phoenix. Golden State hosts Memphis for the eighth seed Friday - the Grizzlies eliminated the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night, 100-96.
The Patriots have signed running back and fourth-round draft pick Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson, out of Oklahoma, is the fifth member of the Patriots' 2021 draft class to sign. The 23-year-old Stevenson played in 19 games over two seasons for the Sooners, rushing for 1,180 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Also, the Indianapolis Colts have signed two more draft picks — tight end Kylen Granson and quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Financial terms were not immediately available though both deals will be for four seasons. The Colts have now signed all seven selections from this year's draft as the first week of voluntary workouts nears its conclusion.
The NCAA Division I Council plans to act on legislative proposals next month that would allow athletes to be paid to be sponsors, social media influencers and product endorsers. That word from the governing body for college sports. The council will take up the issue at its meeting June 22-23 with the goal of having legislation in place by July 1. That would provide greater consistency in the name, image and likeness opportunities available to student-athletes nationally as state laws become effective on or around that date.
Lee Evans, the record-setting sprinter who wore a black beret in a sign of protest at the 1968 Olympics, died Wednesday. He was 74. Evans became the first man to crack 44 seconds in the 400 meters, winning the gold medal at the Mexico City Games in 43.86. His victory came shortly after his teammates, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, were sent home from the Olympics for raising their fists on the medals stand. In later interviews, Evans said an official warned him not do anything similar. He took a different approach, wearing a black beret to show support for the Black Panther Party and other civil rights organizations.
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