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Mountcastle HR, Orioles keep winning in June, beat Indians

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Ryan Mountcastle hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning that was upheld by video review and the Baltimore Orioles kept up their June winning streak, defeating the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Friday night.

The Orioles have won their first three games this month after dropping 14 in a row to end May. Baltimore’s winning string matches its longest of the season.

Cleveland had won three of four and fell to 20-2 when leading after six innings.

Baltimore had mustered just one hit in 6 1/3 innings against four Indians pitchers before Mountcastle stepped in with a runner on base against Bryan Shaw (1-1).

Mountcastle lofted a fly to left-center that bounced off a fan just beyond the reach of leaping left fielder Eddie Rosario. An umpire review ruled Mountcastle’s seventh homer of the year — and the Orioles’ 2-1 lead — stood.

It was Mouncastle’s third homer in four games. He had four in his first 48 games this season.

Baltimore added an insurance run on Anthony Santander’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Cole Sulser (2-0) worked the seventh, Tanner Scott struck out the side in the eighth and Paul Fry handled the ninth for his second save.

Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the sixth against reliever Hunter Harvey, who was making his season debut after being activated from the 60-day injured list earlier in the day. José Ramírez singled with one out and then scored on Harold Ramirez’s triple off the base of the fence in right-center.

Baltimore lefty Keegan Akin went a season-high five innings, striking out four while not surrendering a run.

Cleveland’s J.C. Mejía went three shutout innings in his first major league start, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore placed INF Pat Valaika on the bereavement list. … The Orioles designated RHP Shawn Armstrong and LHP Brandon Waddell for assignment, recalled RHP Travis Lakins Sr. and INF Ramón Urías from Triple-A Norfolk and claimed INF Domingo Leyba on outright waivers from Arizona and optioned him to Norfolk. Armstrong was 0-0 with an 8.55 ERA in 20 games, while Waddell pitched one scoreless inning for the Orioles.

STAFF CHAT

Manager Terry Francona said he planned to talk to the Indians’ staff before Friday’s game after the Chicago White Sox’s TV broadcast crew pointed out video of RHP James Karinchak reaching into his glove during Tuesday’s game.

“Just to make sure we stay ahead of what we need to stay ahead of,” Francona said. “James has so many gyrations out there that he reaches in without even knowing it. We did talk to him and kind of alerted him, ‘Hey, this was out there and we wanted you to know it,’ because we don’t want our guys to get in trouble. We want to play the game the right way.”

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Aaron Civale (7-2, 3.28 ERA), who shares the American League’s victories lead with Chicago’s Lance Lynn and Oakland’s Yusmeiro Petit, faces Baltimore for the first time in his career.

Orioles: LHP John Means (4-1, 2.05) is winless in four starts since no-hitting Seattle on May 5 but has a 3.33 ERA in that span.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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From skateboarding for fun, Margielyn Didal relishes being an Olympian

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PH skater Margielyn Didal is headed to the Tokyo Olympics. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/RED BULL

MANILA, Philippines—Margielyn Didal is stepping into the biggest stage of her career when she represents the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But Didal never expected to be an Olympian when she started skateboarding.

Skateboarding had not been a part of the Olympics until Tokyo with the sport making its first appearance in the Summer Games.

“I mean not like till three years ago because skateboarding before was a lifestyle that I do for fun or I can do until I can earn money,” said Didal Friday in a virtual press conference.

It was only in 2016 that skateboarding was approved to be part of the 2020 Olympic program along with baseball, softball, karate, surfing, and sport climbing.

Two years later when skateboarding became an approved Olympic discipline, Didal made history after winning the gold medal in the street event of the Asian Games in Indonesia.

“I’m really happy and excited that this is happening and it’s less than a month away,” said Didal. “We’re preparing for the past three years and I’m just really excited that this is the first time that skateboarding will be in the Olympics.”

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WTC Final: “Don’t change Rishabh Pant” – Graeme Swann’s passionate plea to Indian fans

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Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann has requested Indian fans to not be too critical of Rishabh Pant in the wake of his failure in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

Rishabh Pant was dismissed for 4 and 41 in his two innings in Southampton against the Black Caps. Both times he perished trying to take on the bowling. He was particularly criticized for his wild hoick against Trent Boult on the last day of the Test.

According to Swann though, Rishabh Pant is a match-winner because of his aggressive stroke play and India will do a disservice to themselves if they ask the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman to tone himself down.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Swann opined:

“India have got an absolute superstar in Rishabh Pant going in at 6 or 7. Just go back one Test mach in India’s history. That magnificent century he scored against England (in Ahmedabad) that won them that series. Never forget that. It was a counter-attacking innings, played against the grind, playing against the spin a lot of times. It was a brilliant hundred. Had he got in there and “played the situation” and tried to block it, India would not have won that game. It is as simple as that.”

“He is a match-winner. All I want to say to cricket fans in India – don’t fix what isn’t broken. You have some absolute goldmine ready to be unearthed and used well for 10 years. Don’t change Rishabh Pant. Let him fail. Let him be. He is absolutely worth it,” Swann further added.

Virat Kohli had backed Rishabh Pant after WTC loss

Rishabh Pant had come under fire over his failure to adapt to the challenging conditions in England during the WTC final. Like Swann though, Indian captain Virat Kohli too had thrown his weight behind the young cricketer after India’s defeat to New Zealand.

Speaking at a virtual press conference post the WTC final, Kohli had said about Rishabh Pant:

“Rishabh Pant is definitely going to be a very expressive player, whenever he gets an opportunity. Whenever there is a situation that needs to be understood, he assesses it really well. When things don’t come off, you can say that it was an error of judgment. That’s acceptable; it’s sport. But, we don’t want him to lose his positivity or his optimism in changing the situation for the team. That’s where his USP lies ,and we will definitely continue to back him to play that way, find ways to put pressure on the opposition and score runs, which is his natural game.”

Just 23, Rishabh Pant has featured in 21 Tests and has 1403 runs to his name at an average of 43.84 with three hundreds. He was one of India’s chief heroes in the Test triumph Down Under earlier this year. He took on the Aussie bowlers and came out on top.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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Georginio Wijnaldum: Netherlands captain prepared to lead players in walk-off if racially abused in Euro 2020 match

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Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum has called on UEFA to take stronger action against racism and says players subjected to abuse should not have to make a decision on whether to walk off the field in protest.

Wijnaldum said he had thought long and hard about leaving the pitch if subjected to racism when the Netherlands face the Czech Republic in Sunday’s Euro 2020 last-16 tie in Budapest.

UEFA are currently investigating allegations of racist and homophobic behaviour by supporters following incidents in Hungary’s opening two Group F games at the Puskas Arena.

“I’ve thought about it very carefully,” said Wijnaldum, who will wear an armband bearing the words ‘One Love’ and a rainbow motif in a stand for diversity in Budapest.

“I previously indicated that I would walk off but that was easier to say back then because I had never really run into that problem.

“After that, I started to think very hard about it. Gini, you will play in Hungary later in the tournament, what will you do if it happens? What if you play against a weaker team and those fans know that and they antagonise you to get you to walk off the field so that you lose the match?”

Image:
Wijnaldum scored three goals as the Netherlands won all three group matches

Wijnaldum said the responsibility for action lay with the match officials and UEFA.

“I think I will go to the referee but, to be honest, I’m not sure what my reaction is going to be in the heat of the moment,” he said.

“I’ve never experienced it myself and I hope never to. But if it happens, UEFA must act. They need to realise that if they don’t, they are putting a big responsibility on the players.

“UEFA must protect the players. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the players.

“Some players have walked off in the past but if you ask them if they felt supported, I think they’ll say they weren’t.

“If the referee, or maybe the opponents, jump in, then the signal is stronger. That’s what I’m thinking right now but I’m not ruling out walking off the field if something like that happens on Sunday.”

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