The Cleveland Indians’ Shane Bieber tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a pitcher’s first two starts of the season, punching out 13 Minnesota Twins over eight innings in the Indians’ 2-0 victory on Thursday.
Bieber (2-0) fanned 14 over six scoreless innings on Friday last week against the Kansas City Royals. His 27 strikeouts in the two games matched the record set by Karl Spooner of the Brooklyn Dodgers in September 1954 during the first two starts of his short career.
Facing a Twins team who came in with the second-best run differential in the MLB this season, Bieber allowed three singles in his eight innings.
Francisco Lindor supplied all the offense Cleveland needed with a two-run homer in the third inning off Jose Berrios (0-1). After Jose Ramirez singled with two outs, Berrios left an 0-2 pitch up over the plate and Lindor drove it over the fence for his second homer of the season.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, DODGERS 6
In Phoenix, Arizona, the Dodgers beat the the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field fresh off an emotional two-game sweep over the sign-stealing Houston Astros.
Three homers and another solid Ross Stripling start later, Los Angeles kept right on rolling in the desert.
A.J. Pollock hit a two-run homer, while Corey Seager and Max Muncy added solo shots as the Dodgers rolled to their third straight win.
Even without the added motivation of facing the Astros — who beat Los Angeles in the 2017 World Series before the sign-stealing scandal was revealed — the Dodgers were impressively efficient.
“We prepare every night to win a game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The preparation never wavers.”
Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, largely thanks to a two-run homer by Pollock that landed deep in the left-field seats. They probably would have had an even bigger lead if not for Kole Calhoun’s spectacular diving catch in right field that robbed Justin Turner of an extra-base hit.
“All the stuff I had to go through to be able to play, now that we’re playing, I’m having fun being here,” said Pollock, who played for the D-backs earlier in his career.
Los Angeles stretched their lead to 4-0 after Seager’s homer to right field. Ketel Marte pulled the D-backs within a 4-1 margin in the third with his first homer of the season, but the Dodgers responded with runs in the fifth and sixth inning to build a comfortable lead.
Stripling (2-0) won his second game in two starts, pitching 5-1/3 innings while giving up three runs. Pedro Baez earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
“I don’t feel like I hit that lull today,” said Stripling, who has bounced between the rotation and bullpen during his five years with the Dodgers. “I was able to keep my energy and strength throughout the outing.”
YANKEES 8, ORIOLES 6
In Baltimore, Maryland, Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning after New York blew an early five-run lead as the Yankees swept an impromptu two-game series.
Luke Voit hit his first career grand slam for the Yankees, who stretched their winning streak against Baltimore to 18 games and notched their 17th consecutive victory at Camden Yards.
New York have swept six straight series from the Orioles dating to early last year.
In other games on Thursday, it was:
‧ Red Sox 4, Mets 2
‧ Royals 5, Tigers 3
‧ Braves 2, Rays 1
‧ Nationals 6, Blue Jays 4
‧ Mariners 8, Angels 5
‧ Padres 12, Giants 7, 10i
‧ Reds-Cubs postponed
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two