Roaring 20: Indians equal AL record with 20th straight victory

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber delivers against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning in a baseball game, Tuesday in Cleveland. (AP)
Updated 13 September 2017
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Roaring 20: Indians equal AL record with 20th straight victory

CLEVELAND: The Cleveland Indians share a record with a team celebrated by Hollywood.
“Moneyball” has its sequel.
Following a familiar script of scoring first, playing strong defense and riding dominant pitching, the Indians extended their winning streak to 20 games and matched the AL mark held by the 2002 Oakland Athletics, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Cleveland’s streak, which began on Aug. 24 in Boston, is tied for the majors’ second-longest in 82 years — and the Indians show no signs of stopping.
Corey Kluber (16-4) strengthened his Cy Young Award case with a four-hitter as Cleveland joined the 2002 A’s, 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and 1916 New York Giants (26) as the only teams since 1900 to win at least 20 in a row.
Francisco Lindor homered leading off the first inning against Matthew Boyd (5-10), and Kluber sealed win No. 20 — and Cleveland’s seventh shutout during the streak — by getting Miguel Cabrera on an easy grounder to third.
Dodgers 5 Giants 3: In San Francisco, Clayton Kershaw pitched Los Angeles to its first win in nearly two weeks, helping the Dodgers clinch a playoff berth by beating San Francisco to snap an 11-game losing streak that was the club’s worst since moving to the West Coast in 1958.
The Dodgers’ slide was their longest in 25 years, topping 10-game skids in Los Angeles during the 1961 and 1992 seasons. The 1944 Brooklyn team lost 16 straight games.
Despite the recent tailspin, Los Angeles still owns the best record in the majors at 93-52. The NL West leaders won for only the second time in 18 games and secured at least the second NL wild card, joining the NL East champion Washington Nationals as the only teams to punch their postseason tickets so far.
Kershaw (17-3) went six innings and tied Milwaukee’s Zach Davies for the major league lead in wins.
Kenley Jansen got four outs for his 37th save but allowed three straight singles with one out in the ninth to face a bases-loaded jam. He struck out Buster Posey and Nick Hundley to end it.
Justin Turner hit a key RBI double in the eighth and Chase Utley homered leading off the fourth, splashing into the water of McCovey Cove beyond the right-field wall for the first time in his career.
Brewers 5 Pirates 2: In Milwaukee, Eric Thames hit his 29th home run, Domingo Santana went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh.
The Brewers pulled within two games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs who were playing the New York Mets.
Gerrit Cole (11-10) took his first loss in 10 road starts since the Atlanta Braves beat him 5-2 on May 22. He slipped to 8-1 away from PNC Park over that stretch after allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings. He tied his season-high with 10 strikeouts in his fifth start against Milwaukee this season.
Manager Craig Counsell turned to the bullpen to protect the 5-2 lead. Jeremy Jeffress, Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes, Anthony Swarzak and Josh Hader each turned in a scoreless inning. Jeffress (3-0) was the pitcher of record. Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 40 chances.
Red Sox 11 Athletics 1: In Boston, Mookie Betts hit two home runs and a two-run triple, and Boston rolled past Oakland.
The Red Sox, winners of five of their last six, pushed their American League East lead back to four games over the Yankees following New York’s loss to 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay.
Betts went 3 for 5 with six RBIs. He’s driven in three runs or more in a team-high 11 games.
The loss snaps a five-game win streak for the A’s. They managed just one run and one hit off Eduardo Rodriguez (5-5), who struck out nine over six innings.
Braves 8 Nationals 0: In Washington, Freddie Freeman hit a three-run home run off Gio Gonzalez and Julio Teheran threw seven shutout innings as Atlanta cruised past Washington.
Gonzalez (14-7) allowed five earned runs and seven hits in five innings and struck out eight. The left-hander did guarantee his $12 million option for next season with his first out of the game as he reached 180 innings this season.
The Nationals, who clinched the division Sunday when the Braves came back to beat the Miami in extra innings, lost for just the second time in eight games. This loss kept them from closing the gap on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in baseball and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Blue Jays 3 Orioles 2: In Toronto, Richard Urena singled home the winning run in the ninth inning and Toronto handed slumping Baltimore its sixth straight loss.
Facing Orioles closer Zach Britton (2-1), who had recorded the final out of the eighth, Kevin Pillar drew a leadoff walk in the ninth and went to third on Teoscar Hernandez’s single. One out later, Pillar scored when Luke Maile singled off the glove of third baseman Manny Machado.
Urena followed with a single to center. Darwin Barney raced around from second and slid home safely ahead of the throw from Adam Jones.
Blue Jays left-hander Tim Mayza (1-0) got one out for his first career win.


Australia get crucial 1-1 draw with Denmark at World Cup

Updated 21 June 2018
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Australia get crucial 1-1 draw with Denmark at World Cup

  • 38th-minute penalty was set up after Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen was penalized for a handball
  • Going into the tournament, world No. 36 Australia were the lowest-ranked team in Group C with the others all in the top 12

SAMARA, Russia: Mile Jedinak’s penalty kick gave Australia a 1-1 draw against Denmark and new life at the World Cup on Thursday.
The 38th-minute penalty was set up after Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen was penalized for a handball following a video review.
Poulsen was also given a yellow card and will be suspended for the team’s final group match against France because of accumulation.
The goal was Jedinak’s second from the spot at this year’s World Cup, and it stopped Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s five-match streak of clean sheets for the Danes.
Christian Eriksen scored in the opening minutes for Denmark, which have gone unbeaten in 17 straight international matches.
Going into the tournament, world No. 36 Australia were the lowest-ranked team in Group C with the others all in the top 12.
With a loss to France in the opener, a defeat on Thursday would have made it nearly impossible for the Socceroos to advance to the next stage. Denmark, meanwhile, won their first match against Peru.
Australia lost to 1998 World Cup champions France 2-1 on Saturday in Kazan, with both French goals coming as the result of video technology. But the score did not reflect the Socceroos’ gritty defensive performance.
Australia again took a defensive stand against Denmark, which were back at the World Cup after missing out on the tournament in Brazil.
The Danes were coming off a 1-0 victory over Peru on Saturday in Saransk.
Poulsen, who plays for German club RB Leipzig, scored the lone goal.
It is the fifth World Cup appearance for the Danes, who reached the quarterfinals in 1998.
Australia were also making a fifth trip to the World Cup. The team’s best showing was in the 2006 quarterfinals.
Moments after Mathew Leckie’s header for Australia sailed over the goal, Eriksen sent a left-footed shot over goalkeeper Mathew Ryan’s outstretched arms.
Pione Sisto nearly gave the Danes the advantage just after the halftime break, but his shot went to the right of the goal. Australia added some firepower in the 68th, bringing on 19-year-old Daniel Arzani as both teams scrambled for a winning goal.
Australia lost Andrew Nabbout in the 74th minute with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder. He was replaced by Tomi Juric.
Denmark’s opening victory over Peru was marred by the loss of starting midfielder William Kvist, who fractured two ribs and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament. He was replaced in the starting lineup against Australia by Lasse Schone.
Denmark’s last loss was in October 2016 against Montenegro, 1-0 in Copenhagen.

GROUP DYNAMICS
The highlight of Group C will be the match between France and Denmark on Tuesday in Moscow. The top finishers in the group will go on to play opponents from Group D, which includes Croatia, Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria.

KEYS TO SUCCESS
Eriksen, who plays for Tottenham in England, has scored in 17 of the national team’s last 20 matches.
During World Cup qualifying, he scored 11 goals for the Danes, third-best in Europe behind Poland striker Robert Lewandowski with 16 and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo with 15.
Now 26, Eriksen was the youngest player at the World Cup in South Africa. He has 79 appearances for the national team and 23 goals.
He was named man of the match on Thursday.