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Mitch's Sports Report: Video Replay Denies E-Rod Shot At History In Loss to A's; Nadal Out At Open

Video replay got it right, and it cost Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez a shot at history.

E-Rod was brilliant in Oakland yesterday, allowing not a single hit until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Oakland's Marcus Semien hit a comebacker to the mound that Rodriguez blocked with his foot. But the young lefty had trouble locating the ball in the dirt of the mound and when he finally got the ball he fired to first on a bang-bang play and Semien was called out, the no-hitter still intact. Or, in the old days, it would have been. But the A's challenged the call and it took less than twenty seconds to reveal with the advantage of video hindsight that Semien had beaten the throw and the A's had their first hit of the game and the no-no was a no-go. E-Rod would get out of the inning with no further damage but the problem for the Red Sox was that up til that point, they had a few hits, but no runs of their own either.

After winning the first two games 16-2 and 11-2, you kind of knew the offensive barrage wouldn't last, and the Sox got little done other than a few scattered hits against Oakland's Kendall Graveman, who struck out seven pitching into the seventh. Would have been nice for the Red Sox to save some of those superfluous runs from the first two games for this one, but that's not how baseball works. And baseball can also be a pretty cruel game, and not only did E-Rod not get the no-hitter, he didn't even get the win as the Red Sox faltered in the bottom of the ninth when Craig Kimbrel, the closer, was brought in by manager John Farrell to maintain a tie. Regular listeners to the sports report will know how fond I am of that strategy.

First, Kimbrel gave up a lead-off walk to Danny Valencia, then, Khris Davis drove a ball to left-center field that was misplayed by Brock Holt for an error, allowing Valencia to score all the way from first with the game-winning run and the Red Sox lost 1-0, missing out on a chance for the team's first no-hitter since 2008, falling short of a three-game sweep to open their nine-game road trip, and losing ground to the Toronto Blue Jays, who beat Tampa Bay to move one game up on the Red Sox for first place in the A.L. east.

But since there's no crying in baseball, the Red Sox will buck up and hope that Drew Pomeranz can beat his old team in a Labor Day matinee today against the San Diego Padres, the first time Pomeranz will be facing the team he pitched for until being acquired by Boston just after the all-star game.

The NY Yankees were in danger of being swept by the Baltimore Orioles but avoided that fate with a 5-2 win at Camden Yards yesterday. Chase Headley and Austin Romine each knocked in two runs, and the Yanks used a revolving door of relievers including starter Luis Severino, to nail down the win. The Orioles left nine men on base and were 0-10 with runners in scoring position in a loss that drops them three games out of first place in the A.L. east. And the Yankees are pulling a Monty Python (they're not dead yet), trailing Detroit and Baltimore by just three and a half games for the second and final wild card spot in the east.

Meanwhile Red Sox fans will be in that odd and off-puttin' position of having to kinda sorta root for the Yankees over the next three games because the Bronx Bombers host Toronto at the Stadium, beginning tonight with Masahiro Tanaka taking the hill for New York, and with the Sox trying to catch and pass the Blue Jays for first place in the division, the Yankees can play a role in that happening.

The NY Mets beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 yesterday behind rookie Seth Lugo, who's been amazin' for the Mets, now winners of eleven of their last fifteen and while they won't be catching the Nats for first place in the division, the wild card is still very much within their reach, now just one game separating them from the St. Louis Cardinals who currently own that second and final wild card berth. Lugo gave up just one run and six hits over seven innings, the rookie also showing excellent control in issuing not a single free pass. Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce each hit two-run blasts to power the offense in the win.

In NY Penn League action the Vermont Lake Monsters lost to the Lowell Spinners 8-3 at Centennial Field yesterday but there was reason to celebrate as the Monsters' Miguel Mercedes hit home run number twelve for the season, which sets a Lake Monsters single season home run record.

Rafael Nadal is out. The biggest upset so far at the U.S. Open tennis tournament occurred yesterday when the fourteen-time grand slam champion fell to 22-year old Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a five-set thriller at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal came in as the number four seed and despite losing in the first round of the Australian Open this year and having to pull out of the French with a wrist injury, he'd looked very good leading up to his quarterfinal loss yesterday. Nadal had lost just twenty games in his matches up until yesterday's four-hour marathon match but he couldn't get past Pouille, losing 7-6 in the final set. France, by the way, now has three of its countrymen still alive in the tournament, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils the others, the most France has had this deep in the tournament since 1927.

On the womens' side, if sisters Venus and Serena Williams are to meet in a match they'll both have to win today. Older sister Venus faces a big challenge from number ten seed Karolina Pilskova of the Czech Republic at 1:30 this afternoon, while top seed Serena faces Zhang Shuai at 3:30.

Locally, the UVM mens' soccer team is off to a 4-0 start to their season after a 3-0 win over LIU Brooklyn Sunday. Brian Wright had two goals and two helpers and the other half of the dynamic duo Bernard Yeboah also scored for the Catamounts.

In womens' soccer Rhode Island beat UVM 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Emily Wakeford.

UVM had a better result in Field Hockey, topping Northeastern 3-2 yesterday, coming back from a 2-0 deficit with Tess O'Brien and Rachael Picchi scoring in a span of three minutes to tie it. Landon Warren got the game winner for UVM

Elsewhere Shippensburg beat St. Michael's 2-0.  

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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