x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

MLB: Mickelson backs bid to buy San Diego Padres

Golf star Phil Mickelson and former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley are closing in on a Dh2.9bn deal to buy the team.

San Diego Padres' Eric Stults pitches during the third innings against Chicago Cubs
San Diego Padres' Eric Stults pitches during the third innings against Chicago Cubs

A consortium which includes golf star Phil Mickelson looks set to buy the San Diego Padres in an $800 million (Dh2.9bn) deal.

The bid is being by Peter O'Malley, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the son of Walter O'Malley, who bought the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 and moved them to Los Angeles before the 1958 season.

"An agreement has been confirmed but is not yet finalised. It has to be voted on," Padres' Sarah Farnsworth said the team's 2-0 victory over Chicago Cubs last night.

Major League Baseball owners must approve the agreement. They are scheduled to meet later this month.

Mickelson, who is from San Diego, admitted earlier this year the opportunity to be involved in the bid to buy the team was a good investment and a chance for him to be involved in the community.

Fans will be hoping a change in owners can turn around the Padres, who are 47-64 this season and have largely struggled since reaching the 1998 World Series.

On the field, Eric Stults allowed five hits as he pitched 5 1-3 innings in his first start since June 3. He struck out five, walked two and had a wild pitch.

Yonder Alonso and Everth Cabrera each drove in a run and the Padres won for just the fourth time in 10 games. Chicago lost its sixth straight.

Brad Brach, Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson and Huston Street combined for 3 2-3 innings of no-hit relief, finished San Diego's seventh shutout.

Street pitched the ninth for his 19th save.

Justin Verlander tied a career high with 14 strikeouts as the Detroit Tigers secured their fifth straight win with a 7-2 success against the American League East-leading New York Yankees.

Verlander (12-7) threw 132 pitches, his most in a regular-season game, and sent the Tigers to their fifth straight win.

Verlander gave up two unearned runs after his fielding error extended the fifth inning. The AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner wound up going eight innings, and got a huge roar when he left the mound.

Detroit has won 19 of its last 23 home games. The AL East-leading Yankees have lost 11 of 17 overall.

Ivan Nova (10-6) was roughed up for seven runs and 11 hits - matching a career high - in 5 1-3 innings. Gordon Beckham's tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning lifted the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 triumph over the Kansas City Royals, Chris Sale throwing eight solid innings for the AL Central leaders.

Two homers from Justin Morneau helped the Minnesota Twins post an emphatic 14-3 victory over Cleveland - extending the Indians' losing streak to 10 games - while Dustin Pedroia had three doubles and Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury two apiece as the Boston Red Sox trounced the Texas Rangers 9-2 at Fenway Park.

In other American League action, Jered Weaver pitched a four-hit shutout in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-0 triumph over the Oakland Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles edged past the Seattle Mariners 3-1.

The NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds slumped to their second straight loss, going down 6-3 against Milwaukee. Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart and Martin Maldonado all homered in the sixth inning for the Brewers.

Jon Jay had four hits and two RBI in St Louis' 8-2 win against San Francisco - stretching the Cardinals' winning streak to four and snapping the Giants' own run at three.

Roger Bernadina singled in the 11th inning to spur the NL East-leading Washington Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros.

Pittsburgh overcame the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0, Erik Bedard allowing two hits over seven scoreless innings for the Pirates.

Elsewhere in the National League, the Atlanta Braves saw off the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1, and the Colorado Rockies prevailed 2-0 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.