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Blue Jays spoil opportunity for great series as Rays rally to avoid sweep –



TORONTO – More often than not it takes a clean, crisp game to beat the Tampa Bay Rays. And after a couple of days with relative breathing room against their longtime nemesis, the Toronto Blue Jays once again found an all-too-familiar frustration when things got tight in the margins.

The chance to make a good series a great one with a sweep disappeared in the sixth inning of a 5-1 loss, when Teoscar Hernandez misjudged an Austin Meadows line drive that allowed the go-ahead run to score. That came two batters after wunderkind Wander Franco got just enough of a down-and-away slider to send it over the right-centre-field wall and tie things up, marring yet another brilliant-but-hard-luck outing for Robbie Ray against the Rays.

In three starts against Tampa Bay, the left-hander has allowed just six runs in 20 innings with 22 strikeouts, but the Blue Jays have lost all three times. Sunday, he gave up just the two runs over seven dominant innings in which he erased a pair of early jams to position his team for a sweep.

“Against any team you have to play clean and we didn’t do that today,” lamented manager Charlie Montoyo. “Robbie Ray was outstanding, of course, he gave us a chance. It’s been fun to watch because even after 100 pitches he’s still throwing 96-97. That’s not easy to do. It seems like he gets stronger the longer he’s in the game. But you have to play clean games against good teams and we didn’t do that.”

Instead, the Blue Jays couldn’t overcome their costly hiccup as Collin McHugh took over from the always crafty Ryan Yarbrough in the sixth and retired eight straight after a Bo Bichette leadoff single, promptly erased on a pickoff by the right-hander.

He kept the game at 2-1 until the ninth, when Bichette threw the ball away after ranging left to scoop up Yandy Diaz’s infield single and Meadows followed with a run-scoring double off Rafael Dolis. The right-hander, just activated off the injured list, couldn’t keep the inning from unravelling after that, as Taylor Walls added an RBI double to end his afternoon and Tayler Saucedo gave up a Mike Brousseau sacrifice fly before escaping the frame.

The close-‘til-end finale came after the Blue Jays took the opener 11-1 on Friday and clinched the series with a 6-3 victory on Saturday, a solid rebound after the Rays swept four games in Dunedin, Fla., during their last meeting from May 21-24. Three of those games were decided in the last at-bat and the Blue Jays blew leads in two of them.

A win Sunday would have pushed them back to a season-high six games for the first time since May 18, before a series of bullpen implosions sent them all the way down to 33-35. They’ve still won 10 of 14 since to undo that damage, and have three games at Baltimore starting Tuesday and then three more at Tampa Bay to gain further ground before the all-star break.

“We’ve done what we’ve done this year and we haven’t clicked on the same cylinder all at once yet,” Bichette said. “We had some moments this series and this homestand, but we can definitely be better. We’re really confident. We know we’re better and we’ll just continue to work hard and play hard and see what happens.”

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Yarbrough gave them precious little to work with on Sunday, as aside from Randal Grichuk’s solo shot in the second inning, only one batter reached second base in his five innings – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., on a two-out double.

George Springer then struck out to end the inning and Yarbrough allowed just two singles after the Grichuk homer — the Blue Jays never got the chance to build a big inning.

In 11 career starts against the Blue Jays, Yarbrough has a 2.25 ERA over 52 innings.

“He not only does it to us, he does it to a lot of teams,” Montoyo said. “And you would say, ‘Well, you’ve got pretty good hitters, you should make an adjustment.’ But he deserves credit because… he keeps you off-balance and you don’t know what’s coming. He deserves credit for that.”

Ray, on the other hand, just keeps shoving the ball down opponents’ throats, feeding steady 95 m.p.h. fastballs to Rays hitters. Of his 104 pitches, 81 were heaters and it was just the one slider to Franco that was really costly.

Home runs have been his bane this season, as Franco’s drive was the 20th he’s surrendered thus far. Of those, nine have been when he’s facing an order for the third time through, and his stats coming in before the game in that realm stood at .349/.360/.723.

Ray described the homers as “baffling,” apt given how consistently well he’s pitched all year.

“I feel like I made a decent pitch, I could probably execute it a little bit better than I did,” Ray said of the slider to Franco. “But other than that, I feel like I was in the zone, keeping them off-balance, able to go into the seventh inning, finish the seventh inning strong and give the team a chance to win. I mean, that’s all I can really do. Go out every time and try to put up zeros and keep us in it.”

He certainly deserved a better fate in this one and any chances of a late game comeback disappeared when Dolis couldn’t hold the deficit at one. His return is important and Montoyo intends to give him more run because they need him to be a leverage option, but his command needs to be reined in first.

That left the Blue Jays happy for a series win, greedily wishing for more.

“Coming into this series I was thinking, the whole team was thinking we have to take at least two or three. And we did, so I’m really pleased because that’s one of the best teams in baseball,” Montoyo said. “For us to get to where we want to get, we’ve got to beat them. Today wasn’t our best game but I’m pleased with the two out of three we took from the Rays, for sure.”

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Andreescu's 3-year title drought extended at Wimbledon tune-up in Germany – CBC Sports



Caroline Garcia won her first tour title in three years after coming back from a set and a break down to beat 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany.

Andreescu was looking for her first title since beating Serena Williams in the 2019 final at Flushing Meadows before injuries forced her to miss the entire 2020 season.

“I’m very happy. It’s been a couple of rough years but, you know, I’m putting in the work and on to the next. I’m excited for Wimbledon,” said Andreescu, who became visibly emotional while thanking her team. “You guys stuck with me through the toughest moments and that’s all anyone could ever ask for.”

She has drawn American qualifier Emina Bektas in the first round of Wimbledon next week. Garcia has Yuriko Miyazaki of Britain for her opener.

WATCH | Andreescu falls to Garcia in Bad Homburg final:

Andreescu falls to Garcia in Bad Homburg final

1 day ago

Duration 2:40

France’s Caroline Garcia battled past Canadian Bianca Andreescu to win 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Germany on Saturday.

Garcia took a medical timeout for what seemed to be a shoulder problem early in the second set. She then went 4-2 down before winning 10 of the next 14 games to seal the match ahead of the start of Wimbledon on Monday.

“It was a fight [for] every point from the first to the last one,” Garcia said.

Garcia is 8-3 in career finals but her last title was almost exactly three years ago in Nottingham in the build-up to the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.

WATCH | Canadian tennis star Andreescu answers questions from kids: 

Bianca Andreescu answers questions from kids

2 days ago

Duration 4:02

Canadian tennis champ Bianca Andreescu answers questions and offers a few words of advice to young athletes from the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga.

Kvitova captures Eastbourne title

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova tuned up for the Grand Slam tournament by overpowering Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2 to win the Eastbourne title on Saturday in England.

The 14th-seeded Kvitova earned her first grass-court title in four years — and 29th trophy of her singles career overall – after breaking Ostapenko, the defending champion, early in both sets and feasting on the Latvian’s second serve.

Kvitova saved five break points in the fourth game of the second set to stay in control of the match at 3-1.

“Playing on the grass is very special for me every time,” the 32-year-old Czech player said in her on-court interview. “It’s the best preparation for Wimbledon, as well.”

Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, plays Tuesday at the All England Club in a first-round match against Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

She is now 5-1 in grass-court finals in her career. Her most recent title on grass had been Birmingham in 2018.

Injured Keys, Coric out of Wimbledon

Madison Keys, the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up, and Borna Coric withdrew from Wimbledon on Saturday because of injuries.

The tournament begins Monday.

Keys, an American who was seeded 19th at the All England Club, pulled out because of a hurt abdominal muscle.

She was replaced in the field by Coco Vandeweghe, twice a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon and twice a semifinalist at other Grand Slam tournaments, who lost in qualifying this week. Vandeweghe’s first-round opponent will be No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina.

“This isn’t what I was hoping to say a few days before @Wimbledon, but unfortunately I have to withdraw due to an abdominal injury,” world number 24 Keys tweeted.

“I’m so disappointed, but my health comes first and my body needs time to get back to 100%. Lots of love London fans. See you next year.”

Former world No. 7 Keys won her first title since 2019 at the Adelaide WTA tournament in January before reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open.

She was defeated in the French Open fourth round by Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova.

Coric is a Croatian who got into the field thanks to a protected ranking because he has been injured. He cited a shoulder problem for his withdrawal.

He was drawn to face No. 12 seed Diego Schwartzman and that spot will be filled by an as-yet-unannounced player who lost in qualifying.

Jaeger: Sexually harassed ‘at least 30 times’

Former teenage tennis phenom Andrea Jaeger said she was sexually harassed “at least 30 times” by a female Women’s Tennis Association staff member during the 1980s.

Jaeger, now 57, also told The Independent she also was unknowingly served alcohol when she was 16 by a different staff member, who drove her home and tried to kiss her.

The two-time Grand Slam finalist was on the tour from ages 14 to 19 and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in 1981. Despite her success, she said she made it a habit to avoid WTA officials at tournaments during her five years on tour. Jaeger said much of the harassment occurred in locker rooms.

“I’d change in portable toilets or a bathroom stall because I didn’t want to deal with the comments, the interest or actions of people,” Jaeger said, according to The Independent. “I had at least 30 incidents with one specific non-playing staff member, physical attempts all in the locker room very, very early in my career. That particular non-playing staff employee had a major issue keeping her hands to herself.

“I avoided being in training rooms alone because an approach was made on me there as well.”

Jaeger said she was served multiple alcoholic drinks following the 1982 WTA Championships and began to get fuzzy. An official drove her home.

“When we got to my condo, she walked me to the door and tried something on with me,” Jaeger said. “She was trying to kiss me. I was so sickened that I was crawling up the stairs inside trying not to throw up so my dad wouldn’t see me.”

Jaeger said she complained to WTA officials after the incident and was threatened with reprisals.

She won 10 career titles before retiring at age 19 due to a shoulder injury.

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Lightning’s Brayden Point remains out of lineup for Game 6 –



Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is not anticipating any lineup changes Sunday night for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final as forward Brayden Point continues to deal with an undisclosed “severe injury.”

Point sustained a leg injury during Game 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He returned for the start of the Stanley Cup Final and recorded one assist in two games before leaving the lineup again.

“It’s tricky too because players are used to playing at, I guess, a certain way or how they feel they can play,” Cooper told reporters. “If they don’t feel confident in playing at the calibre they’re used to, it almost works against them.

“It’s unfortunate because it was a severe injury and at this time of the year, everybody’s trying to get back into the lineup and there are just some things you can’t do. When you can’t do what you’re used to doing, it’s tough on the player.”

The 26-year-old Point, who has 78 points in 76 career postseason games, skated with the Lightning during Sunday morning’s practice, and Cooper did not completely rule him out for a potential Game 7.

“He’s still plugging along here and rehabbing and trying to get better. Who knows? If the series goes one more game, you never know,” Cooper said. “It’s tough on these guys because they’re such competitors.”

The Colorado Avalanche hold a 3-2 series lead looking to secure their first Stanley Cup since 2001 while the double defending champion Lightning are aiming to keep their hopes of a three-peat alive. Watch Game 6 live on Sportsnet or Sportsnet NOW starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

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In Gee Chun perseveres, holds off Lexi Thompson to win Women's PGA – Golf Channel



BETHESDA, Md. — In Gee Chun rallied after losing her once-sizeable lead, overcoming a bogey-filled front nine to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday when Lexi Thompson faltered with the putter.

Chun shot a 3-over 75 for the second consecutive day at Congressional, but that was enough to win her third major title by a stroke over Thompson and Minjee Lee. Chun, after leading by six at the tournament’s midway point, lost a three-shot advantage in the first three holes of the final round. Thompson was two strokes ahead of her after the front nine, but her putting problems were just beginning.

Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Open

The 27-year-old Floridian botched a par putt from a couple feet on No. 14, but a birdie on 15 restored her lead to two. Then she bogeyed the par-5 16th while Chun made birdie, leaving the two players tied with two holes remaining.

Thompson three-putted for bogey on 17, and after an impressive approach from the rough on 18, her birdie putt wasn’t hit firmly enough.

Chun’s approach on the par-4 18th bounced past the hole and just off the back of the green, but she putted to within 5 feet and sank her par attempt to win the tournament.

Chun earns long-awaited major win at Women’s PGA

Chun, a 27-year-old from South Korea, led by seven strokes after finishing her first round in wet conditions Thursday. The lead was down to five at the end of that day — still equaling the largest 18-hole advantage in the history of women’s majors.

She was six strokes ahead at the halfway point and had a three-stroke advantage coming into Sunday. She finished at 5-under 283.

Chun won her first major at the U.S. Women’s Open in 2015 and added the Evian Championship in France the following year.

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