Andrew McCutchen hit a towering, three-run homer, Mac Williamson hit a two-run homer in his first big league game this season and Nick Hundley also connected to back Jeff Samardzija in the San Francisco Giants’ 8-1 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
The Angels had only five hits, including a homer by Mike Trout, a double by Albert Pujols for his 2,991st career hit and two singles by Shohei Ohtani.
Samardzija (1-0) just made it through five innings to qualify for the win. He walked the bases loaded with two outs before manager Bruce Bochy came out for a mound visit. Justin Upton drove Samardzija’s next pitch to the warning track in left field, where Williamson caught it. Samardzija flinched at first, thinking it was gone, and then smiled as he walked toward the dugout. Bochy smiled and clapped his hands.
Samardzija opened the season on the disabled list with a pectoral strain suffered during spring training. He allowed two hits in five innings, struck out four and walked four.
Ohtani had the Angels’ first hit off Samardzija, a single to center field with two outs in the second. Ohtani had gone 0 for 4 with three strikeouts the night before as the Boston Red Sox completed a sweep. The designated hitter singled again in the ninth.
McCutchen, the designated hitter, drove a 1-2 pitch from Andrew Heaney into the Giants’ bullpen beyond the left-field fence with one out in the fifth to chase the left-hander.
Heaney (0-1) allowed the first five batters hits in the fifth. He allowed Williamson’s homer to right field and an RBI single by Austin Jackson.
Hundley hit an opposite-field shot to right field in the second, his first. He added an RBI double in the eighth.
Trout homered to left-center field off Pierce Johnson in the eighth, his seventh. Two batters later, Pujols drove a ball to the base of the fence in center field before being replaced by pinch-runner Jefry Marte.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia is not sure if the seams on big league baseballs are what caused the blister on the middle finger of Ohtani’s right hand, which forced the Japanese two-way sensation out after just two innings on Tuesday night against Boston in his third major league pitching start.
“He worked very hard getting used to our baseball starting last winter,” Scioscia said. “Blisters ... come and go with pitchers occasionally at some point. Exactly when they crop up with some guys is a mystery. There are probably a lot of things that came into play for Shohei to have his [blister] become significant to where it affected some of his pitches, but I don’t know if there’s any one reason that you could pin down right now. He feels much better. We got him out in time during the last start where it didn’t get any worse and hopefully he’ll be able to make his next start.”
Some pitchers blamed slicker balls for blisters last season.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first