National LeagueJosh Beckett and the Florida Marlins put history on hold -- at least for a couple of days. With the Chicago Cubs set to clinch their first World Series trip in 58 years, Beckett buzzed Sammy Sosa in pitching a two-hitter and leading the Marlins to a 4-0 win in Game 5 of the NL championship series. \nIvan Rodriguez, Mike Lowell and Jeff Conine homered and the Marlins played the role of ultimate spoiler -- at least to thousands of Cubs fans at Pro Player Stadium and millions nationwide -- in closing their gap Sunday to 3-2 and sending the series back to Wrigley Field. \n"We needed a good outing from a starter. I knew that going in. They had roughed us up pretty good," Beckett said. "We needed to pitch better." \nOnly three times in LCS history and five times in World Series play have teams come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven matchup. \nThe Marlins began their comeback behind Beckett, who struck out 11 in the first complete game of his 51 starts in the majors. He also tied the NLCS record for fewest hits allowed in a complete game. \nEven more notable: He became the first pitcher to throw a postseason shutout against the Cubs since Babe Ruth did it for Boston in the 1918 World Series opener. \nBut Beckett's signature moment came in the fourth, when he came close to Sosa. The tension wasn't nearly as high as it was between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park in the ALCS a day earlier, but it got the ballpark buzzing. \n"He overreacted a lot. I don't know if he was trying to pull a Boston Red Sox-Yankee thing," Beckett said. "It was pretty ignorant. I'm not trying to hit him." \nEven with nearly a century of failure in their past, the Cubs aren't about to panic. At least not yet. \nMark Prior is set to start in Game 6 Tuesday night against Florida's Carl Pavano. If he's needed, fellow ace Kerry Wood would pitch Game 7 the next day as Chicago tries to reach the Series for the first time since 1945. \n"We feel confident with those guys on the mound," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. \nAt 23, Beckett pitched the best game of his young career, allowing only two singles and a walk. He shut down a Cubs team that had totaled 33 runs in the first four games of the series. \nHowever, Beckett's first pitch in the fourth was a head-high heater to Sosa that caused the slugger to duck and stumble backward. Sosa immediately sprang to his feet and took a couple of steps toward the mound, shouting at Beckett. \nPlate umpire Larry Poncino and Rodriguez, the Marlins catcher, quickly sealed off Sosa to prevent big trouble as a few Cubs rushed to the top step of the dugout. \nRodriguez patted Sosa on the back, trying to calm down his fellow All-Star while they stood several feet up the third-base line. While Rodriguez, Sosa and Poncino were sorting it out, Beckett calmly walked in from the mound and took a new ball from the umpire's bag. \nWhen play resumed, Beckett threw a pair of 158kph fastballs and eventually struck out Sosa looking at a changeup.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick said that the prospect of Lewis Hamilton equaling the Ferrari great’s all-time record of 91 wins has given him something to aim for when he gets to Formula One. Hamilton, who replaced Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, can take his 91st victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi — a race he has won four times previously. “One sentence my dad always used to say was: ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that,” Formula Two championship leader Mick Schumacher said on Friday. “I think Lewis had a very, very