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Ninth inning 2-run homer is all A's need to beat Yankees 2-0 after 1st-inning ejection of Boone

Sport

Ninth inning 2-run homer is all A's need to beat Yankees 2-0 after 1st-inning ejection of Boone
Sport

Sport

Ninth inning 2-run homer is all A's need to beat Yankees 2-0 after 1st-inning ejection of Boone

2024-04-23 12:54 Last Updated At:13:01

NEW YORK (AP) — Zack Gelof hit a two-run homer off Victor González in the ninth inning, and the Oakland Athletics stopped an eight-game losing streak in the Bronx by beating the Yankees 2-0 Monday following the ejection of New York manager Aaron Boone just five pitches in.

After New York’s Carlos Rodón and Oakland’s JP Sears matched each other with shutout ball, Abraham Toro reached off González (1-1) leading off the ninth when the pitcher slipped while trying to pick up his dribbler between the mound and the third-base line.

Gelof hit an opposite-field drive into the right-field seats on a flat sinker for his third home run this season.

Lucas Erceg (1-1) pitched two innings and Mason Miller struck out Anthony Volpe, Juan Soto and Aaron Judge to remain perfect in five save chances, finishing a three-hitter and the fourth shutout against the Yankees in 23 games this season.

Oakland, which arrived after getting swept in a three-game series at Cleveland, had not won at the Yankees since 2021.

Judge was 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts and a double-play grounder, dropping his average to .174.

Ian Hamilton had gotten Shea Langeliers to swing under a high 96.1 mph fastball on a full count to strand the bases loaded in the eighth.

TIGERS 7, RAYS 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tarik Skubal struck out nine over six scoreless innings, Mark Canha and Parker Meadows homered, and Detroit beat Tampa Bay.

The Tigers improved to 9-3 on the road this season.

Skubal (3-0) scattered three hits in winning his seventh consecutive decision, dating to last September. The left-hander is 2-0 in four starts against the Rays. allowing two earned runs over 17 1/3 innings.

José Caballero homered in the eighth inning off Shelby Miller as the Rays have lost three of four and six of 10. Tampa Bay had one runner reach second base against Skubal.

PHILLIES 7, RAYS 1

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ranger Suárez allowed two hits in seven innings and Kody Clemens hit a three-run homer as Philadelphia extended their winning streak to seven games with a victory over Cincinnati.

Suárez (4-0) ran his scoreless streak to 25 innings. He’s won his last four starts, including a 112-pitch shutout against Colorado last Tuesday. This time, he yielded two singles, struck out five and walked one.

Gregory Soto and Jeff Hoffman completed the two-hitter for Philadelphia’s fourth shutout this season, tying Cleveland for most in the majors.

Cincinnati was blanked for the first time this season.

PIRATES 4, BREWERS 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Oneil Cruz broke out of a slump with three hits, Jared Jones allowed one run in six innings and Pittsburgh ended their skid at six games, beating Milwaukee to stop the Brewers’ four-game win streak.

Cruz capped a three-run sixth with a two-out, two-run single. He also singled in the second and dropped a double into right-center in the fourth. The 6-foot-7 shortstop was 4 for 44 in his previous 12 games.

Jones (2-2) gave up four hits and two walks. The 22-year-old rookie struck out seven and has 39 strikeouts through five starts, with at least seven in each.

The Pirates, following an 11-5 start, were outscored 36-9 in back-to-back three-game sweeps by the Mets and Red Sox. The Brewers were coming off a three-game sweep at St. Louis.

David Bednar picked up his third save, allowing only an infield hit by Jackson Chourio in the ninth.

Joe Ross (1-2) gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Milwaukee.

Andrew McCutchen led off the first for Pittsburgh with a 414-foot homer to center, his first of three hits. He hit his 1,000th single in the majors in the third.

Rhys Hoskins homered off Jones leading off the fifth, then walked to load the bases with two outs in the sixth. Jones retired Blake Perkins on a comebacker to end that threat.

BRAVES 3, MARLINS 0

ATLANTA (AP) — Travis d’Arnaud hit his fifth home run in four games and Bryce Elder pitched 6 2/3 spotless innings in his return from the minors as Atlanta beat Miami.

David Fletcher capped a three-run fourth with an RBI single to help the Braves win for the seventh time in eight games.

Recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier in the day, Elder (1-0) scattered eight hits in his first major league start this season. The right-hander struck out four and walked none.

Pierce Johnson got one out and A.J. Minter pitched the eighth. Raisel Iglesias worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save in seven chances, finishing an eight-hitter that marked Atlanta’s first shutout of the season.

Ryan Weathers (2-2) gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out one and walked three.

TWINS 7, WHITE SOX 0

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Max Kepler had two hits and three RBIs in his return from the injured list and the Minnesota beat the Chicago White Sox.

Chris Paddack struck out 10 in seven innings to win as a starter for the first time in nearly two years. Edouard Julien homered among his three hits for Minnesota.

Blanked for the eighth time this season and once in each series, Chicago has lost 10 of 11. Danny Mendick had two hits, and Gavin Sheets and manager Pedro Grifol were ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the eighth inning.

Paddack (1-1) scattered just six hits and walked none for his first win as a starter since May 2, 2022. The right-hander underwent his second Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter and did not return until late last season, getting a win in relief Sept. 30.

BLUE JAYS 5, ROYALS 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bo Bichette had a bases-clearing triple, Daulton Varsho hit a two-run homer and Toronto beat the Kansas City.

Yusei Kikuchi (2-1) was efficient early, allowing one baserunner on 48 pitches in the first five innings.

He ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing a two-run home run by Maikel Garcia. With two outs, Vinnie Pasquantino hit an infield single and Salvador Perez followed with a double. But Kikuchi retired Nelson Velázquez on a grounder to end the threat.

Right-hander Tyler Duffey, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Omaha earlier Monday, worked two scoreless innings in relief, striking out three. Jordan Romano surrendered a homer by Kyle Isbel in the ninth but finished for his third save.

Brady Singer (2-1) allowed five runs on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three, all of whom scored.

Singer struck out the first two Toronto batters in the second inning, becoming the 19th Royals pitcher to reach 500 career strikeouts. He tied Steve Busby as the fastest Royals pitcher to achieve the milestone, getting there in his 100th appearance.

PADRES 3, ROCKIES 1

DENVER (AP) — Dylan Cease permitted one hit in seven dominant innings and pinch-hitter Tyler Wade singled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth, sending San Diego to a victory over the struggling Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

Cease (3-1) struck out eight and walked none, allowing only one baserunner in a 90-pitch outing. Acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a March 13 trade, the right-hander lowered his ERA to 1.82 — his best mark through five outings in six major league seasons.

Luis Campusano had two hits for the Padres and scored the go-ahead run. San Diego has won 10 of the past 12 meetings between the NL West rivals dating to last April.

CARDINALS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nolan Gorman snapped an 0-for-19 slump with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave St. Louis Cardinals a victory over Arizona.

It was the fourth home run this season for Gorman, who entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth. Paul Goldschmidt, who homered earlier, reached on an infield single before Gorman hit left-hander Kyle Nelson’s only pitch into the right-field seats.

Ryan Helsley (2-2) worked a scoreless inning to help the Cardinals halt a four-game losing streak.

Ryan Thompson (0-1) took the loss.

Eugenio Suárez sparked Arizona with three hits and two RBIs.

GIANTS 5, METS 2

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Michael Conforto homered against the team that drafted him in the first round a decade ago, helping to back rookie Keaton Winn’s latest stellar outing as San Francisco beat the New York Mets.

Nick Ahmed hit a two-run single in the second and Matt Chapman added a two-run double the next inning to support Winn (2-3). He struck out six while allowing four hits in six-plus innings, receiving a standing ovation when Ryan Walker relieved in the seventh after a leadoff walk to Francisco Lindor that was Winn’s lone free pass.

Pete Alonso homered leading off the fifth for New York — its first run in two days following a 10-0 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday. Camilo Doval’s wild pitch with one out in the ninth allowed another run before he retired Alonso on a grounder, walked Brett Baty then got DJ Stewart on a groundout to end it.

ORIOLES 4, ANGELS 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Craig Kimbrel struck out Mike Trout looking with the bases loaded for the final out, and Baltimore beat the Los Angeles Angels for their seventh win in eight games.

James McCann and Colton Cowser homered and Adley Rutschman drove in two runs for the Orioles, who moved into first place in the AL East. They improved to 3-1 on their road trip while winning the 10,000th regular-season game in Angels history.

Albert Suárez (1-0) pitched four-hit ball into the sixth inning to earn his first major league victory since 2016 for Baltimore, but Kimbrel barely hung on in a tumultuous ninth inning to secure his sixth save.

Baltimore’s veteran closer hit Jo Adell with a pitch and allowed Logan O’Hoppe’s third hit of the night to start the ninth. Pinch-hitter Luis Rengifo drew a one-out walk to load the bases, but Nolan Schanuel popped up before Trout didn’t swing at two consecutive high fastballs.

Adell homered for the Angels, who opened a nine-game homestand with their fifth straight loss. Adell’s shot off Mike Baumann in the seventh ended the Angels’ streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings, but Los Angeles has lost eight of 10.

Oakland Athletics' Zack Gelof (20), left, is greeted by teammates Nick Allen (10), right, and Max Schuemann (12), center, after Gelof hit a two-run homer during the ninth inning of the baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Oakland Athletics' Zack Gelof (20), left, is greeted by teammates Nick Allen (10), right, and Max Schuemann (12), center, after Gelof hit a two-run homer during the ninth inning of the baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — If truth has the power to set one free, then Rapsody’s new album, “Please Don’t Cry,” has removed her from emotional imprisonment and gifted her immeasurable liberation.

“People put up a mirror for me. I sat in the mirror myself…it was the beginning of healing. Heart-broke: Why do you feel like you can’t fill the void of whatever that was? Internally, why do you feel underappreciated?” questioned the three-time Grammy nominee. "And really allow myself, again, to just sit in a fire and burn. To forgive myself for some things. To accept some things. To learn to love myself."

Rapsody's not only frequently lauded by critics as the best female lyricist, but also as one of the best in the genre. After 2019’s critically-acclaimed “Eve” album, discussions by hip-hop purists erupted on social media and in barbershops near and far debating her potentially rivaling Kendrick Lamar for the lyrical throne. But the recognition hasn’t translated into the commercial success of some female peers — veterans like Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, or recent newcomers like Megan Thee Stallion, Latto or Ice Spice. But her plight isn’t unusual for rappers labeled as “continuous” or extremely lyrical, regardless of gender.

“I was looking at what everybody else was doing instead of worrying about myself,” she said, soft-spoken throughout the interview. “I’d see comments (saying), ‘She makes great music, but she’ll never make it because she’s not half-naked or she don’t have a No. 1 hit.’ And I had to realize that those are really false measurements.”

“Please Don’t Cry,” released in May, is by far the most personal of her four studio albums. Dwindling more than 350 potential songs down to the final 22 tracks, the bulk of the production comes from HIT-BOY, BLK ODYSSY and S1, and boasts star-powered features including Erykah Badu and Lil Wayne. The regal voice of Phylicia Rashad is also sprinkled throughout.

The North Carolina native began constructing the album several years ago after a painful breakup and toward the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic. Personal tales have always lived within her music, but the foundation of her catalogue is anchored by expert lyricism and musicality.

“I’ve always thought that I was authentic. But at the same time, I realized there was a level of fear there — a fear of allowing myself to be seen completely. But at that time, I don’t even think I completely even knew who I was,” said the 41-year-old Marlanna Evans who kept Lauryn Hill’s “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0” project in heavy rotation while creating, along with an evolving Pinterest board filled with pictures and words for inspiration.

“Please Don't Cry” has a weightier R&B influence than past projects. Standout tracks include the Badu-assisted “3:AM,” the lead single “Asteroids,” “Stand Tall,” “Faith” and “God’s Light.” While her razor-sharp bars still slice on songs like “Raw” with Lil Wayne and Niko Brim, the album makes its mark by entering a new territory of unapologetic vulnerability. Rapsody touches on insecurities, not having a stronger female fanbase, family members battling dementia and speculation surrounding her sexuality.

On the surprisingly transparent “That One Time,” the past Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole collaborator provides a rare glimpse into her love life and past transgressions.

“One time, I had an experience with a woman. But I also bring up that I was with somebody that wasn’t available,” said the Jehovah’s Witness-raised artist of her relationship with a married person, while suggesting her partner wasn't fully honest. “I make mistakes, too — things I say I would never do, and then I find myself in a situation that I’m not proud of. But in my life and the conversations I have, I know I’m not the only one.”

Bianca Edwards, vice president of marketing for Roc Nation, says the vulnerability displayed showcases Rapsody’s security in her music and herself.

“You have to be extremely confident to bare your soul and not care what people think,” said Edwards. “And on this project, I think that she bared a lot.”

Always advocating for female rappers, Rapsody has consistently rejected praise meant to criticize her peers. But while there are songs like “Look What You’ve Done” in which she rhymes, “Don’t lift me up throwin’ shade/At my sisters that made it out wit’ a-- and bass,” she also raps, “Everything look cookie cutter/We seen enough a—, that sh-- ain’t special no more” on “Diary of a Mad Bitch.”

“I see my name brought up a lot of times used to put other women down for how they choose to show up in this art and in their life, and I’m not here for that. I’m not trying to make myself the standard. I’m just trying to make myself another example of what women in hip-hop look like to bring harmony,” said Rapsody. “With ‘Diary,’ it was me making an observation of everybody looks the same…I know we’re not clones.”

But despite a profession where cosmetic enhancements are common among female rappers – along with sexually-charged lyrics that contribute to their pop stardom – the “Complexion (A Zulu Love)” artist says she's never considered altering her body.

“My question is why isn’t there space for me or others who are different from what we see on a mainstream level…why don’t we get those same opportunities?” asked the self-described tomboy who also suffers from Graves’ disease which can change physical appearance. “I never wanted to be anything other than who I was.”

Rapsody says while every artist dreams of creating a hit record, she’s not willing to compromise her musical integrity or chase songs that don’t feel natural to attract more fans.

“I think she already found her place,” said Edwards. “I work with a lot of artists, and I’ve met artists that are still trying to find themselves. That’s not Rap.”

A tour will launch in September with five European dates and a North American leg that will run through October.

“Please Don’t Cry” has fortified Rapsody's healing journey, and she’s better for it.

“Everybody asks me about this album, like ‘How you feeling?’ I say I feel really happy and I’m at peace. And this is the most free I’ve ever felt,” she said. “I’m not putting pressure on myself to be defined as success through other people’s measurements of what that looks like.”

Follow Associated Press entertainment journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton at: @GaryGHamilton on all his social media platforms.

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

Rapsody poses for a portrait on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

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