CHICAGO — Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had his unbeaten regular-season winning streak ended at 42 starts, allowing a career-high four runs in six innings, as the Chicago Cubs beat New York Yankees 6-1 on May 20.The Cubs honored the retiring Derek Jeter before the game, then handed Tanaka his first loss in nine major league starts.It was a surprising turn, considering Chicago came in with the majors’ worst record and the right-hander from Japan had been sensational.Tanaka (6-1) had been 34-0 in Japan and North America the last two seasons. He did drop Game 6 of the Japan Series last year before earning the save in Game 7. But postseason aside, he hadn’t lost since the Seibu Lions beat the Rakuten Golden Eagles on Aug. 19, 2012. And yes, he was definitely proud of that streak.“I think I was able to get the streak going because I had support from my teammates,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I’m a little bit disappointed because I think a lot of the fans were looking for me to keep on winning. Next time out, I’ll try to get a win again and get it going again.”Luis Valbuena had three hits with two doubles and scored two runs for Chicago. John Baker had two hits, scored a run and drove in one.Mike Olt drove in three. Jason Hammel (5-2) pitched solid ball into the sixth and Hector Rondon retired Jeter on a grounder with the bases loaded in the ninth, preserving the win on a hot and rainy night with thunder and lightning.Tanaka had his worst outing, allowing eight hits to match a career high. He struck out seven and walked one but didn’t really have his usual command.Manager Joe Girardi noticed some splitters up in the zone. Tanaka said there were issues with all his pitches, and Chicago’s Starlin Castro thought there was a dip in velocity from last month’s meeting in New York, when he threw eight scoreless innings.Some Cubs players thought familiarity this time around helped, although Girardi dismissed that idea.“If he has his good splitter tonight I think he gives a much better performance,” he said. “Since it’s the first time that he saw a team twice and they scored four runs, people are probably going to make a big deal out of it, but I think he’s given up four runs before in a start. So I wouldn’t make too much of it.”Coming off his first major-league shutout against the Mets last week, Tanaka gave up RBI singles to Emilio Bonifacio in the third and to Olt in the fourth to make it 2-0. The Cubs added to their lead with two in the sixth on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Olt and Baker after Mark Teixeira singled in a run in the top half for New York.That was enough for Hammel, who allowed one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings while striking out six and walking one.(ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Novak Djokovic clawed his way to a two sets to one lead over great rival Rafael Nadal under the Centre Court roof before their scintillating Wimbledon semi-final was paused with the contest balanced on a knife-edge on Friday.With the clock slipping past 11pm the official curfew time for action at the All England Club to end for the day Djokovic survived three set points in a gripping tiebreak before outlasting Nadal in a 17-stroke rally to edge ahead in the match.Battle will resume at 1200GMT on Saturday with the Serbian three-time champion 6-4 3-6 7-6(9) ahead and needing one more set to book a Sunday showdown with South African Kevin Anderson.The eighth seed earlier won the longest-ever Wimbledon semi-final in a test of endurance with American John Isner that finished 26-24 in the fifth set after six hours and 36 minutes.South Africa’s Kevin Anderson wins longest Wimbledon semifinal in historyFollowing a three-year wait for Djokovic and Nadal to continue their Grand Slam rivalry and then an afternoon caged in the locker room while the Anderson and Isner marathon unfolded, they were finally let loose at gone 8pm with the roof closed.With David Attenborough, the doyen of countless BBC nature documentaries, a guest in the Royal Box, the two players tore into each other from the start like hungry lions.Nearly three punishing hours later they both left Centre Court with their title hopes still intact.The exhausted Anderson can only hope that another two sets of equal ferocity are required on Saturday. Then he might stand half a chance of a first Grand Slam title on Sunday.advertisementPROLIFIC RIVALRYDjokovic and Nadal had met 51 times before Saturdays semi-final the most prolific rivalry in mens tennis.But they had not shared a Grand Slam stage since Djokovic inflicted a bitter defeat on Nadal at Roland Garros in 2015.The 31-year-old Serb, who leads their head-to-head series 26-25 but trails 12-17 in Grand Slam titles, has been in the doldrums for a year but in the past fortnight has rekindled the inner fire that once enabled him to barge Roger Federer and Nadal aside at the top of mens tennis.There was no easing into Saturday’s 15th Grand Slam meeting between the pair. It was full tilt from the first point.When the opening three games lasted 16 minutes it was clear the three-hour window to finish the match was insufficient.Striking the ball clean and true, Djokovic pressurised Nadal and broke in the seventh game when the Spaniard netted a forehand. Djokovic sealed a sensational first set in 47 minutes.Second seed Nadal saved a break point at the start of the second set and celebrated holding serve with a trademark upper-cut fist pump.With Djokovic hitting the lines with relentless regularity, Nadal saved two more break points at 1-1 then seized the initiative to punish Djokovic for his first lapse.The 12th-seeded Serb broke back immediately with a dipping forehand but Nadal replied with another break which proved decisive as he levelled the match.If anything the quality went up another notch under the lights in a third set that went with serve to the tiebreak.Djokovic led 5-3 but Nadal won a 23-stroke exchange with a dropshot to lead 6-5. Djokovic saved that set point but Nadal earned another with a whipped forehand winner.Again Djokovic resisted, and again at 8-7 down. Nadal saved one set point himself but Djokovic earned one more and forced an error after another long rally to grab the overnight lead.
Ravindra Jadeja had a perfect day in Rajkot. He scored his maiden international hundred on the second day of the first Test against West Indies. His home crowd stood up to applaud and his teammates were happy for him.Jadeja is a team man and the players love him. He had returned to the Test side at The Oval after Hardik Pandya’s average run in England. Again in the Asia Cup, Jadeja showed plenty of spark and cemented his place in a team which has relied heavily on its two spinners.Rajkot was a culmination of all the hard work Jadeja has put in since he stopped being a regular in the limited-overs sides and since he lost out on a permanent spot in Test cricket outside the sub-continent. The hundred was well-deserved and a fair bit of it came in the company of the tail.Later, he even took a wicket off the first ball he bowled in the match. Perfect day.Also read – Ravindra Jadeja takes an eternity to run out Hetmyer. Virat Kohli not amusedHowever, the day might not have ended that perfectly for Jadeja had he missed an easy run out.It was the 12th over of the West Indies innings and they had already lost three wickets. Shimron Hetmyer had just whipped a delivery from R Ashwin to mid-on. Sunil Ambris ran down to the striker’s end even as Hetmyer stood rooted to his end.India vs West Indies: Day 2 Report | HighlightsAmbris did not budge and Hetmyer was left to cover the distance to the non-striker’s end. Both batsmen were at the same end. By then, Jadeja had collected the ball but instead of throwing it to Ashwin, he chose to tease the batsmen. He finally broke the stumps with Hetmyer only a few yard from the crease.advertisementKohli was not impressed and Ashwin looked like had his heart in his mouth for a minute.But all’s well that ends well and Jadeja was all smiles. Not log after, he removed Ambris.Read – Ravindra Jadeja entertains home crowd with maiden international hundredAt the end of the day, Jadeja, speaking to the host broadcasters explained why he took so long to effect the run out.”Both batsmen were at the same end, so I thought I could easily hit the stumps. I was just walking at the stumps, and I didn’t think he (Hetmyer) will start running.”I can’t think what would have happened if I hadn’t hit the stumps, but then I threw it and luckily it hit the stumps,” he said.Also read – Virat Kohli overtakes Virender Sehwag with 24th Test hundredJadeja said he was happy to finally end the wait for his maiden international hundred and admitted he realised he threw his wicket away every time he got near a triple figure mark in the past.”Obviously after 9 years of international cricket I am scoring a hundred, so it is a special moment.”Whenever I reached 70-80 in the past I thought about my hundred, but threw my wicket away. I have made big hundreds in the domestic circuit, so I thought I can get hundreds in the international level too.”Today I told myself that I need to reach the mark,” he said.(Written by Rajarshi Gupta)