Marlins Stop Mets’ Streak, 9-3

first_imgNEW YORK — For the first time in more than a week, the Mets’ march through September was stopped.Jacob deGrom was hit hard during a rare dud at home against one of his favorite opponents, and the Miami Marlins halted New York’s eight-game winning streak with a 9-3 victory Sept. 15.Mets nemesis Dee Gordon homered and had four hits to back Tom Koehler, who plunked Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning and then helped silence the streaking slugger the rest of the way.“I think it bothered us a little bit,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “So we’ll answer in our own due time.”New York’s commanding lead in the NL East was trimmed to 8 1-2 games over Washington, which beat Philadelphia 4-0. The magic number remained 10 for the Mets to clinch their sixth division crown.Christian Yelich had three hits and two RBIs following a surprise meeting with his Saturday Night Live doppelganger, and Justin Bour had three hits and two RBIs.Pitching close to his suburban New York hometown, Koehler (10-13) gave up a run in the first inning but no more after the Mets loaded the bases with one out. He was lifted after walking the first two batters in the seventh.Lefty reliever Mike Dunn struck out Curtis Granderson, Cespedes and Daniel Murphy in succession as the Mets were thwarted in their attempt to put together yet another late comeback.“With this team, you give them a crack, they’ve shown this year that they can kick the door in,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. “To go get three punchouts in that situation was huge. I thought he stifled any momentum swing that was possibly taking place there.”Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom (13-8) got the ball on the anniversary of a striking performance. The right-hander whiffed the first eight Marlins at Citi Field on Sept. 15, 2014, matching the major league record to start a game since 1900.He entered with a 1.63 ERA in 23 career starts at home — and 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA against Miami overall. But the Marlins pounded him for six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings.“He’s got great stuff and he’s taken it to us a few times before,” Yelich said. “It was really just a combination of good at-bats.”It was the first time deGrom allowed more than three earned runs in a start at Citi Field. New York might skip his next turn in the rotation to give him a rest.“I’d like to keep pitching. I’ve had bad starts before. It’s kind of how you react after them. I’d like to get back out there,” deGrom said.The crowd chanted “MVP! MVP!” as Cespedes stepped to the plate in the first inning, and he was hit near the left hip on the first pitch he saw from Koehler, a 92 mph fastball. Cespedes stared out toward the mound before taking his base.It appeared to be retaliation for Sept. 14, when Cespedes held his bat aloft and admired a 442-foot drive off Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino for his ninth home run this month.Koehler disputed that notion. “I was trying to pitch him inside,” he said. “It got away a little bit.”In the seventh, Mets reliever Erik Goeddel threw behind Koehler as the pitcher squared to bunt. Plate umpire Dale Scott warned both benches immediately after the wild pitch, and there was no further trouble.Koehler scored in the fifth after driving a double to right field for his first extra-base hit in 134 major league at-bats.Gordon is batting .464 during a 16-game hitting streak against the Mets.(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Ajax Beats AEK, Rejoins Champions League Elite

first_imgATHENS (AP) — Dusan Tadic scored twice in the second half Tuesday to take Ajax to the last 16 in the Champions League for the first time in 12 years with a 2-0 win over 10-man AEK Athens, in a match marred by fan violence in and around the stadium.The Serb defender scored from the penalty spot in the 68th minute after Marko Livaja received a second yellow card for handling the ball. He struck again four minutes later, tapping in an unselfish pass from substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar.AEK had managed to keep Ajax at bay thanks to the unyielding center-back duo of Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Marios Oikonomou, but struggled after losing Livaja.AEK fell to its fifth straight loss in the competition. The host’s best chance came four minutes before the end of the match when a powerful shot on target from Lucas Boye forced an athletic save from Andre Onana.The game was preceded by violence inside Athens’ Olympic Stadium and in parts of central Athens, mostly involving Greek fans who clashed with local rivals and riot police. Moments before the match started, riot police charged into the stands to break up AEK fans who hurled flares and smoke canisters. Police reported no injuries or arrests, although images seemed to show one fiery explosion going off near a section of supporters.Smoke raises from the stand of Ajax fans after flares are thrown during a Group E Champions League soccer match between AEK Athens and Ajax at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Four-time European champion Ajax returned to the Champions League group stage this season for the first time in four years. The team’s 19-year-old captain, Matthijs de Ligt, was only 6 the last time Ajax made it out of the group stage.“That was so long ago, so it’s really tremendous for this to be happening again,” he said. “We were happy to make it to the Champions League, but sometimes we surprise ourselves and exceed our own expectations.”The center-back said Ajax is now hoping to overtake Bayern Munich at the top of Group E.“It would be great for us to come out of the winter break in the top spot,” he said. “Now that’s what we will fight for.”—By DEREK GATOPOULOS , Associated PressAjax’s Matthijs de Ligt flies in the air after a challenge with AEK’s Alef during a Group E Champions League soccer match between AEK Athens and Ajax at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt flies in the air after a challenge with AEK’s Alef during a Group E Champions League soccer match between AEK Athens and Ajax at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana saves an attempt on goal by AEK’s Ezequiel Ponce, on the ground, during a Group E Champions League soccer match between AEK Athens and Ajax at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)A fan throws a flare towards Ajax supporters during a Group E Champions League soccer match between AEK Athens and Ajax at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Ajax’s Dusan Tadic celebrates his goal gainst AEK during a Group E Champions League soccer match between AEK Athens and Ajax at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more