Smith’s shot lifts Mets over Yanks

Chicago Sun-Times - - OUTDOORS -

Do­minic Smith hit the go-ahead home run in his first game since tear­fully plead­ing for help com­bat­ing racial in­equal­ity, Pete Alonso also con­nected and the Mets beat the crosstown Yan­kees 6-4 in the opener of a dou­ble­header Fri­day. The Mets com­pleted the sweep with a 4-3 win in Game 2 thanks to Amed Rosario’s walk-off home run.

“With what he’s lived in the last two days emo­tion­ally, and what we lived, too, sup­port­ing him as well, it was pretty special for sure,” Mets man­ager Luis Ro­jas said.

Smith’s drive fol­lowed a ty­ing three-run shot by the strug­gling Alonso, and Jake Maris­nick also con­nected in the sixth in­ning against Chad Green (2-2), who had been the Yan­kees’ most re­li­able re­liever.

“He got a cou­ple pitches where he wanted, they just put bet­ter swings on it,” said Yan­kees man­ager Aaron Boone, whose team has lost six in a row.

The Astros and Ath­let­ics jointly walked off the field fol­low­ing a mo­ment of si­lence, drap­ing a Black Lives Mat­ter Tshirt across home plate as they chose not to play Fri­day night.

The Ath­let­ics re­port­edly ac­quired 2019 All-Star in­fielder Tommy La Stella from the An­gels for in­fielder Franklin Bar­reto.

The Yan­kees placed right fielder

Aaron Judge on the 10-day in­jured with a strained left calf days af­ter the star slug­ger re­turned. He was ac­ti­vated Wed­nes­day but ag­gra­vated the in­jury in a game at Atlanta.

Max Scherzer struck out 11 in six in­nings and Juan Soto and Howie Ken­drick whacked back-to-back homers in a five-run third, lead­ing the Na­tion­als to a 10-2 victory against the host Red Sox.

Scott Kingery hit a three-run homer off Mark Me­lan­con with two outs in the 11th and the host Phillies beat the Braves 7-4 for their fourth con­sec­u­tive win.

A di­ver­sity report re­leased on MLB showed a mod­est in­crease in its over­all di­ver­sity hir­ing prac­tices, spurred by its im­proved gen­der di­ver­sity. The In­sti­tute for Di­ver­sity and Ethics and Sport at Cen­tral Florida gave MLB an over­all score of 80.7, which was a let­ter grade of B. That’s up from a 79.5 in 2019. The grade for racial hir­ing dropped slightly from 89.4 to an 88.7 for a B-plus while gen­der hir­ing in­creased from 69.6 to 72.7 for a C.

Turner re­jects Jones’ idea

Pack­ers of­fen­sive line­man Billy Turner be­lieves Cow­boys owner Jerry Jones’ sug­gested al­ter­na­tive to kneel­ing dur­ing the na­tional an­them would de­feat the pur­pose of the mes­sage play­ers want to send.

Jones spoke about how dur­ing a 2017 game he and his play­ers knelt be­fore the an­them but then stood dur­ing the an­them. Jones added that he “thought that was good” and “that’s the kind of thing we’ll be look­ing to see if we can im­ple­ment.”

“That’s not what protest­ing is about,” Turner said. “Protest­ing [dur­ing] the na­tional an­them is to get a point across that so­ci­ety and ev­ery­one watch­ing foot­ball games ev­ery Sun­day has a chance to see so you get your point across.”

The Pack­ers re­turned to the field a day af­ter can­cel­ing prac­tice along with eight other teams to dis­cuss so­cial-jus­tice is­sues.

Osaka moves into fi­nal

Two-time Grand Slam cham­pion Naomi Osaka re­turned to the court in New York af­ter bring­ing the push for racial jus­tice to the fore­front on the ten­nis tour, and she ad­vanced to the fi­nals of the Western & South­ern Open with a straight-set victory.

“Of course I feel ex­tra pres­sure now that there’s more eyes watch­ing me,” she said.

Af­ter a one-day break in the tour­na­ment prompted by her de­ci­sion to speak out, Osaka, 22, reached the ti­tle match by grit­ting out a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Elise Mertens.

No. 1-ranked No­vak Djokovic and for­mer top-30 mem­ber Vasek Pospisil would be the co-pres­i­dents of a new group they ares try­ing to set up to rep­re­sent men’s pro­fes­sional ten­nis play­ers. A let­ter emailed to play­ers pushes the for­ma­tion of a Pro­fes­sional Ten­nis Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, ab­bre­vi­ated PTPA. Ten­nis play­ers never have had a union the way North Amer­i­can team sports do.

Justin Ha­ley won the NASCAR Xfin­ity Se­ries race at Day­tona In­ter­na­tional Speed­way in Florida af­ter his Kaulig Rac­ing team­mates wrecked on the fi­nal lap. ✶

Do­minic Smith socked a solo homer in the sixth that gave the Mets the lead in the opener against the Yan­kees.

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