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Video: Howie Kendrick clanks one off the foul pole to give Nats the lead

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Howie Kendrick turned Game 7 of the World Series on its head in the seventh inning. The game felt like it was all Astros as Zack Greinke was pitching a gem and Max Scherzer kept having to pitch out of jams.

With the Astros up 2-0, Greinke returned to the mound to start the seventh. After getting Adam Eaton to ground out, Greinke served up a solo homer to Anthony Rendon, finally putting the Nationals on the board. Greinke then walked Juan Soto, which prompted manager A.J. Hinch to take him out of the game.

Will Harris entered to face Kendrick. He made an altogether not terrible 0-1 pitch, throwing a cutter low and on the outer-third of the plate. Kendrick put a good swing on it, though, driving it down the right field line. With everyone holding their breath, the ball loudly clanked off the foul pole for a two-run homer, giving the Nationals a 3-2 lead.

The Nationals continued to rally against the Astros’ bullpen. Asdrúbal Cabrera singled to end Harris’s night. Hinch brought in Roberto Osuna to put out the fire, but he walked the first batter he faced in Ryan Zimmerman. He saw his way through the seventh by getting Yan Gomes to pop up and Victor Robles to fly out.

According to FanGraphs, the Nationals’ win probability was 15 percent after Eaton’s ground out. They enter the bottom of the seventh with a 68 percent chance to win. Life comes at you fast.

A’s players, staff support coach after gesture, no penalty

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Major League Baseball has been in touch with the Oakland Athletics about their bench coach making a gesture that appeared to be a Nazi salute following a win over the Texas Rangers.

No discipline has been announced against coach Ryan Christenson, who has apologized for the gesture.

“Ryan Christenson is fully supported by everybody in our clubhouse and they know who he is. So do I. Obviously it didn’t look great but that was not his intent at all. I know that for a fact,” manager Bob Melvin said Friday before a game against Houston.

“He’s just not that guy. I’d say he’s progressive, very progressive as a person. Everybody feels bad for him right now `cause they know who he is,” Melvin added.

A short team meeting was all that the A’s needed because Christenson had full support, Melvin said.

Christenson apologized late Thursday for raising his arm during the postgame celebration. He made the gesture while greeting closer Liam Hendriks following a 6-4 win over the Rangers.

Hendriks immediately pushed Christenson’s arm down. Cameras showed Christenson laughing and briefly raising his arm a second time.

Christenson faced criticism after video of the gesture circulated on social media.

“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” Christenson said in a statement issued through the team. “Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today of COVID, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players. My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did is unacceptable and I deeply apologize.”

The A’s called the gesture “offensive” and apologized for it.

“We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it,” the team said in a statement. “This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a club and so many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country. We are deeply sorry that this happened on our playing field.”

The 46-year-old Christenson played six years in the majors from 1998-2003. He later spent several years coaching in the minors before becoming bench coach for the A’s in 2018.