Mitch's Sports Report: Two Rapinoe Penalty Kicks Launch U.S. Women Into World Cup Quarterfinals
Megan Rapinoe went twice to the area for penalty kicks, and the veteran forward for the U.S. women's national soccer team did not miss on either chance, both goals accounting for all the scoring the Americans would need in their 2-1 win over Spain at the World Cup yesterday.
The victory in the first elimination game for the U.S. launches them into the quarterfinals against host country France on Friday.
Team Canada was not as fortunate, knocked out of the tournament in a 1-0 loss to Sweden. Stina Blackstenius scored for the Swedes midway through the second half and Canada had a golden opportunity to tie but missed on a penalty kick, opening the door for Sweden to make the quarterfinals where they'll take on Germany, a two-time World Cup winner, on Saturday.
To Major League Baseball now, and he easily could have been an afterthought, a utility infielder who had some bad luck with injuries, unable to stay in the majors. But Marco Hernandez stuck with it through two years of post-shoulder surgery rehab, and both he and the Boston Red Sox are reaping the benefits now.
Last night in the bottom of the 9th at Fenway Park, Hernandez legged out an infield single with the bases loaded, beating a throw to first by half a step for a walk-off hit and a Gatorade shower as the Red Sox got a much needed 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.
The win went to Brandon Workman after a not great outing by starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who pitched into the seventh but gave up five runs on six hits, two of those home runs. But Hernandez made sure the Red Sox comeback from a 2-1 and then a 3-2 deficit as late as the sixth inning would not be wasted. Mookie Betts went yard for the Red Sox in the seventh, his 13th homer of the season.
The win didn't help the Red Sox get any closer to the division leading NY Yankees, though, as the Yanks won a back and forth slugfest 10-8 against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Stadium. Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton each hit three-run homers for the Yankees, who are about to re-write the record books for consecutive home runs. The Yanks have now left the yard in 27 straight games, and that ties them with the 2002 Texas Rangers for most games in a row launching baseballs beyond the fences. With both Aaron Judge and Stanton back in the line-up, not to mention Hicks and Gary Sanchez and the league's home run leader Edward Encarnacion in the line-up, they could have that record to themselves after tonight when they take on the Jays again.
CC Sabathia picked up the win, going six innings while giving up just two runs, most of the Blue Jays damage coming against reliever Jonathan Holder, including Loudres Gurriel Jr.'s tenth home run of the year.
Two teams trending badly got together in Philadelphia last night and something had to give for one of them. In the end, it was the home team Phillies breaking their seven game losing streak with a 13-7 win over the struggling NY Mets.
Maikel Franco, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura and Jay Bruce all went yard against Mets pitching, and starter Steven Matz took the brunt of most of that barrage, giving up seven runs on ten hits. Phillies starter Zach Elfin wasn't much better, yielding home runs to Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos, Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith, but they were all solo blasts, which limited the damage.
The Vermont Lake Monsters were idle yesterday. They take on the Connecticut Tigers at Centennial Field in Burlington tonight.
The Vermont Mountaineers got a great pitching performance by Christian Scafidi and the offense exploded for twelve runs in 12-1 road rout of the Sanford Mainers, Vermont's third win in a row. Scafidi gave up just four hits in five innings of work, striking out eight, and the Mountaineers after a slow start to the season are now just one game under .500.