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This day in sports: New York Giants reach low point of magical 1951 season

Bobby Thomson celebrates with his New York Giants teammates.
Bobby Thomson celebrates with his New York Giants teammates after hitting a three-run home run to win the 1951 National League pennant.
(Associated Press)

The New York Giants reached the low point of their season on this date in 1951 when they trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers by 13½ games after Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies shut them out 4-0 at the Polo Grounds.

Roberts, who struck out three and didn’t walk a batter, posted his 16th win of the season.

The next day the Giants began a 16-game winning streak when they swept the Phillies in a doubleheader. After losing to Pittsburgh on Aug. 28, New York won 21 of its 27 remaining games, and finished the 154-game season in a tie for first place with Brooklyn, even though the Dodgers played over .500 baseball for the same period.

After splitting the first two of a three-game playoff, the Dodgers had a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning at the Polo Grounds, but Bobby Thomson hit a three-run home run off Ralph Branca that gave the Giants a 5-4 win and the National League pennant.

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More memorable games and outstanding sports performances on Aug. 11, through the years:

1970 — Jim Bunning of the Phillies beat the Houston Astros 6-5 and became the first pitcher to win 100 games in both the American and National leagues since Cy Young. Bunning went 8 2/3 innings, gave up 11 hits and struck out five. In nine seasons with the Detroit Tigers, he won 118 games. In the NL, he won 106 including 89 with the Phillies, 14 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and three with the Dodgers.

1974 — Lee Trevino beat Jack Nicklaus by a stroke to win the PGA Championship at Tanglewood Golf Club in Clemmons, N.C. The victory was Trevino’s first PGA Championship title and his fifth major overall. Trevino led Nicklaus, who finished second for the third time in this Championship, by a stroke after three rounds, and he kept the advantage when both shot a 69 in the final round.

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1984 — Sebastian Coe, 27, of Great Britain edged countryman Steve Cramm when he set an Olympic record in the 1,500-meter run in a time of 3 minutes 32.53 seconds before a Coliseum sellout crowd at the Summer Games in Los Angeles. Coe took the lead with 200 meters to go and held off Cramm by seven yards to win his second gold medal in the 1,500.

1985 — Hubert Green beat defending champion Trevino by two strokes to win the PGA Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club in suburban Denver. Green started the final round with a three-stroke lead, but he and Trevino were tied after 14 holes. Then Trevino bogeyed Nos. 15 and 17 while Green made pars to take a two-shot advantage. The victory was Green’s second major title — he won the U.S. Open in 1977 — and also his last win on the PGA Tour.

2002 — Karrie Webb of Australia shot a six-under-par 66 in the wind and rain at Turnberry Golf Club in Scotland, to rally from three strokes down and win the Women’s British Open for the third time.

2010 — The Arizona Diamondbacks tied a major league baseball record when they hit four straight home runs in an 8-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Adam LaRoche, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew all hit drives over the fence against starter Dave Bush with one out in the fourth inning.

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2012 — Allyson Felix gave the the United States a 20-meter lead after running the second leg of the women’s 1,600-meter relay, and the team of DeeDee Trotter, Felix, Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross breezed to a gold medal in a time of 3 minutes 16.87 seconds at the London Summer Games. It was the U.S.’s fifth-straight Olympic win in the event, dating to 1996, and it was Felix’s third gold medal in London — one for the 400-meter relay and the other for her win in the 200-meter dash.

2012 — The versatile Candace Parker, who could play guard, forward and center, scored 21 points to lead the favored U.S. women’s basketball team to its fifth-straight Olympic gold medal with an 86-50 rout of France. The win was the latest in an unmatched run over a 16-year period for the Americans, who had won 41 consecutive games in Olympic competition since taking the bronze medal in 1992.

2016 — Simone Biles soared to the all-around title in women’s gymnastics at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro when she scored 62.198 points, well ahead of silver medalist and teammate Aly Raisman and bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina of Russia. Biles was the fourth-consecutive American woman to win the all-around, and the fifth overall.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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