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The Sports Report: Kenley Jansen ready to play ball after positive coronavirus test

Kenley Jansen pitches in March.
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell and we turn our attention to how the coronavirus pandemic has infiltrated the Dodgers.

Jack Harris tells us more: Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen revealed Sunday he tested positive for the coronavirus but has recovered and is participating in training camp.

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Jansen had been one of the most notable missing players during the first weeks of camp, and the reason for his absence wasn’t disclosed.

Jansen said his young son was the first member of his family to test positive, but everyone in his household has recovered.

“It is real,” Jansen, who experienced symptoms, said of the virus. “Everyone in the world, take it serious. Wear your mask at all times, if you can. Because, trust me, it happens so fast. Once my son got it, I’ve seen how fast it can spread. We tried to do everything, but we all got it in the house.”

Jansen said he has resumed throwing and believes he will be ready to pitch when the delayed MLB season begins July 23. Last year, the closer recorded 33 saves and a 3.71 ERA. He missed the All-Star game for the first time since 2015.

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Though he underwent heart surgery in 2018, Jansen said he never considered opting out this season.

“I love this game,” he said. “I want to do it for the fans. We’re all going through a tough time right now in the world together. I think this is a good thing for not only the Dodgers’ fans but all baseball fans around the world to have something to watch on TV. Glad that I’m back and can do what we do best, which is give the game to all the fans.”

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LAKERS

Tania Ganguli is in Orlando with the Lakers. Here’s a report: Dwight Howard roamed around the Mayan-themed pool of a resort at Walt Disney World, while the sound system thumped around him in the dark. It was Saturday night in the NBA bubble and the league had arranged a bit of a party for its players on their first weekend there.

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“Welcome back to Orlando,” said one woman, a hotel employee. Howard, who started his career as a top draft pick by the Orlando Magic, thanked her, broadcasting the interaction on Instagram.

He walked over to the bar, where bartenders clad with face masks waited to serve. After some thought, Howard ordered a drink called a Cancun Colada then said he’d return once it was ready. No need. The drink was ready immediately.

“Dwight told me he was the only one there,” Lakers star Anthony Davis said, chuckling when asked about the event’s low turnout. “I think, quite frankly, a lot of guys just didn’t know about it. I know the NBA’s trying to make this as comfortable as possible and as relaxing as possible for us so they’re going to always try to do different things to try to make everyone feel as [at] home as possible.”

Life inside the NBA bubble has been unusual for players and they’re all finding different ways to enjoy themselves as the league restarts. It’s not an altogether unfamiliar feeling — like a grown-up summer camp almost. The Lakers were among the last of the 22 teams to arrive in Orlando and are just beginning to explore what bubble life will mean.

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NASCAR

Cole Custer became the first rookie winner in the NASCAR Cup Series in nearly four years, surging to the lead in a four-wide, final-lap scramble Sunday at Kentucky Speedway.

Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. were dueling side by side for the lead on the final restart when Custer — with a push from Matt DiBenedetto on the outside in the backstretch — made his move in the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. As the leaders bunched in Turn 1, Custer slid ahead and outlasted Truex’s Toyota.

The victory was the first by a series rookie since Chris Buescher at Pocono on Aug. 1, 2016. Making his 20th series start, the 22-year-old Custer, a native of Ladera Ranch in Orange County, celebrated with a frontstretch burnout as his crew happily ran to greet him.

“I knew I just had to get to the top,” said Custer, who led twice for five laps — the first of his young career. “The top rolled pretty good and once I got past and I was like in third I was like, `I’ve just got to take a shot and do whatever I can here.’

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HORSE RACING

Southern California’s leading jockey, Flavien Prat, has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the fifth jockey who raced at Los Alamitos on the Fourth of July weekend to contract the virus.

Prat, who raced Saturday at Keeneland in Kentucky, returned to Del Mar and underwent a test Sunday morning to confirm his eligibility to ride. He failed.

“We went to get tested at the request of Del Mar to follow protocols,” said Derek Lawson, Prat’s agent. “We went to a facility in La Jolla and stayed in the car with the throat and nose culture. Then they called and said he tested positive.

“They told him to lay low for a while and see if the symptoms get worse, but now he feels fine. He’s on a 10-day quarantine.”

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Lawson believes Prat possibly picked up the virus at Los Alamitos.

“There is no way it happened at Keeneland,” Lawson said. “It was likely something that transpired at Los Al from the last time he was riding over there. It could be some kind of hot spot, but we don’t know.”

LOCAL TEAMS ON TV

LAFC vs. Houston, 5 p.m. PT, FS1

Galaxy vs. Portland, 7:30 p.m. PT, FS1

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THIS DAY IN SPORTS

A new feature for this newsletter, compiled by John Scheibe:

Carroll Rosenbloom, the owner of the Baltimore Colts, trades his team for the Rams on this date in 1972 after Robert Irsay and Bud Keland buy the NFL’s Los Angeles franchise from the estate of late owner Dan Reeves for a record $19 million.

Rosenbloom promises to honor the contracts of coach Tommy Prothro and all Rams executives and players. He brings one aide from Baltimore, Don Klosterman, who serves as assistant to the owner.

“I want to make the horns on the Rams’ helmets as famous as the [New York] Yankees pinstripes,” Rosenbloom said.

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Reminded that all good Rams seats at the Coliseum belong to season ticket holders, Klosterman is asked at a news conference where Rosenbloom plans to sit. “He’s like the 500-pound gorilla,” Klosterman said. “Anywhere he wants.”

Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1943 — The first night game in All-Star history is played at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, home to both of the city’s teams — the Athletics and the Phillies. Bobby Doerr of the Boston Red Sox provides the big hit, a three-run home run off Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals to lead the host American League to a 5-3 win. Vince DiMaggio of the Pittsburgh Pirates gets three hits for the NL, including a home run and a triple.

1971 — Reggie Jackson of the Oakland A’s hits a mammoth home run off a generator at the base of the right-field light tower at Tiger Stadium in Detroit that gets the American League All-Stars back in the game after the National League takes a 3-0 lead. Jackson, pinch-hitting for pitcher and A’s teammate Vida Blue in the third inning, connects off of Pittsburgh’s Dock Ellis. The game features six home runs — three by each side — as the AL wins 6-4.

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1980 — Amy Alcott of Santa Monica shoots a record four-under par total of 280 to win the U.S. Women’s Open by a comfortable nine shots over Hollis Stacy at Richland Country Club in Nashville. It is Alcott’s only Open victory and the second of her five major championships.

1996 — Cigar, with jockey Jerry Bailey in the irons, ties Citation’s modern North American record of 16 straight wins when he pulls away from Dramatic Gold in the stretch to take the $1.05 million Arlington Citation Challenge by 3 1/2 lengths at Arlington Heights, Ill. The six-year old Cigar, who begins winning in 1994 when he makes the switch from grass to the main track, runs the 1 1/8 mile in 1:48 1/5.

2003 — Beth Daniel is the oldest winner in LPGA Tour history when she makes birdies on the final two holes to beat Juli Inkster by a shot at the Canadian Women’s Open at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver Canada. At 46 years, 8 months and 29 days, Daniel breaks the age record set by JoAnne Carner in 1985. Daniel finishes with a 72-hole total of 13 under-par 276.

2010 — Atlanta catcher Brian McCann clears the bases with a three-run double in the seventh inning that provides the National League with all the offense it needs to win its first All-Star Game in 13 years, a 3-1 victory at Angel Stadium. McCann’s double comes off Chicago White Sox pitcher Matt Thornton, who is charged with a blown save. Phil Hughes of the New York Yankees takes the loss.

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2011 — Abby Wambach breaks a tie with a thunderous header in the 79th minute off a corner kick from Lauren Cheney, and the United States is awarded its first trip to the Women’s World Cup final since it won the championship in 1999 with a 3-1 victory over France at Monchengladbach, West Germany. Japan upsets Sweden 3-1 in the other semifinal, and would go on to beat Team USA in the final at Frankfurt on penalty kicks.

2013 — Tim Lincecum throws a no-hitter, a gem saved by a spectacular diving catch by right fielder Hunter Pence on a sinking liner by Alexi Amarista in the San Francisco Giants’ 9-0 win against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. It is the two-time Cy Young winner’s first no-hitter and he gets it after he throws 148 pitches, strikes out 13, walks four and hits a batter.

2014 — Mo Martin hits a shot that makes her a major champion in the Women’s British Open. Martin smashes a three-wood that hits the pin on the par-five closing hole at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England, and it settles six feet away for an eagle. Martin, a 2005 graduate of UCLA who played on the Bruins’ 2004 national championship team, closes with an even-par 72 and finishes at one-under 287 for a one-shot win over Inbee Park and Shanshan Feng.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press

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AND FINALLY

Reggie Jackson hits a mammoth homer at the 1971 All-Star game. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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