Mitch's Sports Report: Red Sox Tied For First After Win Over Astros; Yankees On Six-Game Slide
For the seventh time in a row, the U.S. Open golf tournament has produced a winner who had never won it before. The latest to join the first-timers club is Brooks Koepka, who not only won the Open, but did so with a final round 16-under par, which matches Rory McIlroy for the lowest single day score under par in U.S. Open history.
To Major League Baseball, and last night in Houston Xander Bogaerts doubled his season-so-far home run output, going deep twice to power the Boston Red Sox to a 6-5 win over the Astros, the team with the best record in baseball. The power surge by Bogaerts was needed on a night when David Price was not especially good, giving up eight hits and three runs while walking three over five innings. But the Red Sox also needed great defense in this one and they got it in the 8th inning. Leading 6-4 after Bogaert's second homer, the Astros loaded the bases and made it 6-5 when Carlos Beltran singled off Robby Scott and would have tied the game if not for a laser beam throw from the outfield by Andrew Benintendi, who air mailed a perfect strike to catcher Christian Vazquez just in time to tag out Jose Altuve, who'd been trying to score from second in the hit. Vazquez provided more great defense when he threw out Derek Fisher in the bottom of the 9th when he tried to steal second. Craig Kimbrel got the save, his 20th of the year.
It wasn't all good news for the Red Sox, though. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia got drilled in the ribs by Houston pitcher James Hoyt, after Hoyt had plunked Mookie Betts. Pedroia, who normally just puts down his head and runs to first when getting hit by a pitch, took umbrage and started barking at Hoyt, as well he had a right to. Pedroia came out of the game in the 9th and will have X-Rays on his ribs to see if anything is broken and Red Sox fans will have to hold their collective breath and hope it's only a bad bruise.
But when the Red Sox take on the Royals in Kansas City tonight, with Hector Velazquez hoping for his 2nd career win after pitching 3 and a third scoreless innings of relief last week to pick up his first, they'll do so tied for first place in the American League east with the NY Yankees, who've had a rough road trip out west so far, getting swept by the A's in Oakland after a 4-3 loss yesterday.
Khris Davis had the big blow for Oakland, a two-run blast in the third inning that held up as the winning runs for rookie starter Jharel Cotton, who went six innings and struck out six along the way, and six is the length of the losing streak the Yankees are now on as they limp home from a 1-7 road trip. But they do get today off and have Michael Pineda at 7-3 on the season going for them in the Bronx Tuesday when they look for some payback against the L.A. Angels. The Yankees also got their closer Aroldis Chapman back from the disabled list and are still sporting the second most prolific offense in the American League, so they will likely be just fine.
The NY Mets were hoping to avoid a four-game sweep against the Washington Nationals on Father's Day, and they did so with starter Jacob de Grom dominating on the mound and at the plate. De Grom gave the Mets 8 sparkling innings against one of the best offenses in the National League, giving up just three hits, all singles, while also hitting a home run in the Mets 5-1 victory. He had his young son and his Dad at Citi Field to watch the heroics, so a pretty epic Father's Day for the De Groms, and Mets fans, who were in pretty bad need of a W.
The Toronto Blue Jays got a game-tying home run in the 6th from Russell Martin, and then tacked on more long ball runs when Kendrys Morales sent one into the fourth deck of the Rogers Centre in Toronto's 7-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. J.A. Happ got his second win of the year for the Jays, and his first at home.
In the NECBL, Zachary Schultz gave up just one run on three hits in five innings of work, leading the Vermont Mountaineers to a 5-1 victory over the Danbury Westerners at Recreational Field yesterday. Jeffrey Scott had two runs batted in to lead the Mountaineers offense, as they took game one of a four game homestand.
And Vermont's single A pro baseball team is ready to say play ball starting today. The Lake Monsters begin their 2017 season tonight against the Lowell Sopinners in Massachusetts.
Keep an eye on the NBA trade tracker today, because multiple media outlets are reporting that the Boston Celtics are all set to swap draft picks with the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that would send the number one overall pick to Philly for the third pick and future first-rounders in 2018 and 2019 for Boston. The Sixers would likely scoop up Washington point Guard Markelle Fultz with the number one pick while the Celtics are hoping Kansas swingman Josh Jackson. If you're wondering why Boston would cede the number one pick to another team it's likely because Fultz is a point guard and the Celtics are already three deep at that position with all-star Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart, and they'd get even more high level draft picks which could be floated for a potential trade for an established star, which is what Celtics fans have been waiting for GM Danny Ainge to do for some time. Blake Griffin of the Clippers, Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz, or Chicago forward Jimmy Butler are all big name players who would vastly improve a Celtics team that made it to the eastern conference finals last season.