Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports headlines from Saturday, highlighted by the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox taking their storied rivalry across seas to London where they put on an offensive show in the first game ever on European soil.
We also take a look back on Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker set to make big splashes as the NBA free agency period officially kicks off and Yasiel Puig involved in another bench-clearing incident.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this final day of June!
MLB Introduces Baseball to Londoners in Big Way: Yankees Outslug Red Sox 17-13
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have been playing against each other since 1903 and it’s safe to say they’ve never played a game like they did on Saturday.
The first place Yankees faced off against the defending world champion Red Sox in MLB’s first-ever game in Europe, a part of the two-game London Series.
The two teams did not wait long to supply fireworks for the capacity crowd of 59,659, scoring a total of 12 runs in a 58-minute long first inning. The Yankees jumped on the board first with six in the top half of the first, capped by a 386-foot home run by Aaron Hicks (the first MLB home run on European soil). The Red Sox would respond right back with six of their own in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a three-run, game-tying bomb to straightaway center field by Michael Chavis.
Both starting pitchers, Masahiro Tanaka and Rick Porcello, hit the showers early after combining to get only three outs in the first inning.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau research, Saturday was the first time in the history of the storied rivalry that both the Yankees and Red Sox scored six in the first inning of a game.
The Yankees continued the slugfest, with two 2-run shots by Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge and would balloon their lead to 17-6. The Red Sox fought back to make the game competitive, with a solo homer from Jackie Bradley Jr. and another three-run blast from Chavin.
Yankee relievers Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman would shut the door on the Sox comeback, putting a bow on the Yanks’ 17-13 win.
Saturday’s game lasted 4 hours and 42 minutes, making it the third-longest nine-inning game in MLB history.
As a part of the festivities at London Stadium, the same venue that hosted the 2012 Olympics, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, met players and staff prior to the pre-game introductions.
The two teams will meet again in London on Sunday for the final game of the series. The game is scheduled to start at 10:10am ET and can be seen on ESPN.
For those on the east coast back in the U.S., you may be able to get through both breakfast and lunch during the game!
With the NBA’s Free Agency Period Set to Officially Kick-Off Sunday, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker Appear Close to Finding New Teams
The upcoming week promises to be one of the wildest in NBA offseason history, with the NBA free agency period set to begin tonight at 6pm ET.
Two of the league’s biggest free agents could be making an immediate splash.
Six-time All-Star Kyrie Irving is scheduled to meet with the Brooklyn Nets today, and “both sides are motivated to reach a deal on a four-year, $141 million maximum contract,” league sources have told ESPN. Sources have also told the network that Irving is a part of a two-part plan to add both him and superstar Kevin Durant. The Nets appear to be on Durant’s short list of teams and he’s expected to speak with them this week, sources said.
Meanwhile, three-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker looks like he will end up with the Boston Celtics. League sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Walker “plans to be in Boston on Sunday to finalize a formal agreement for a four-year, $141 million deal with the Celtics.” Walker played all 82 regular-season games this past season while averaging 25.6 points per game. The 29-year-old All-Star would be joining a lineup that includes Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown.
Free agents can begin negotiating with teams tonight at 6pm ET, but contracts can’t be officially signed until July 6th.
With major question marks remaining around the future of some of the game’s best players, this free agency period is shaping up to be as entertaining as the amazing NBA Finals we just got done watching a few weeks ago.
For a comprehensive rundown of updated NBA Free Agency News and Reports, follow Heavy.com’s sports coverage.
Cincinnati Reds’ Yasiel Puig Involved in Another Bench-Clearing Incident
As temperatures continue to heat up across the country, so do the emotions on the baseball diamonds.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig became enraged after being hit by a pitch by Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop in the bottom of the eighth of Saturday night’s game. Puig slammed his helmet to the ground and began walking towards Strop but was held back by a few players, while the benches and bullpens cleared. There were no punches thrown or ejections from the incident.
Strop would end up calling Puig ‘stupid’ following the game while he met with the media. “I told him, ‘Why are you talking? You had a chance to just come and do whatever you need to do on the mound,'” Strop said. “‘Now you’re just screaming.’ I mean, it’s not a secret he’s stupid. He’s stupid as [heck]. I have nothing against him, but he’s stupid. There’s no doubt about it.”
Puig was involved in a prior bench-clearing incident back in April with the Pittsburgh Pirates, in which he ended up being suspended for two games.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
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- MMA main event declared no contest due to too much blood on canvas
- Free agent Nikola Mirotic leaving the NBA to sign with EuroLeague team
- Kamala Harris, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez extend invites to U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to tour Senate, House
WHAT’S ON TAP FOR SUNDAY
NBA Free Agency Period Begins
The NBA free agency period officially kicks off tonight at 6pm ET. Free agents will be able to negotiate with teams but won’t be able to sign a contract until July 6th. The NBA landscape will be significantly changed with the game’s biggest stars potentially being on the move.
MLB London Series: Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
The defending MLB champion Boston Red Sox and the first-place, red hot New York Yankees finish up their special two-game series on Sunday in London with a game that will be seen in the morning back on the East Coast of the U.S.
Time: 10:10am ET (ESPN)
NASCAR: Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway
Only ten races remain in the regular season to determine this year’s playoff field of 16 drivers. Last year’s Chicagoland race featured a wild finish with Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson making contact several times down the stretch before Busch finally won the race.
Time: 3pm ET
TV: NBC Sports Network