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The Sports Report: Dodgers complete sweep of Angels

Los Angeles Dodgers Keibert Ruiz hits a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game.
Keibert Ruiz hits a solo home run.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Jack Harris on Dodgers vs. Angels: The Dodgers completed a three-game Freeway Series sweep of the Angels on Sunday, riding home runs from Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Matt Beaty and debuting rookie Keibert Ruiz to an 8-3 win at Angel Stadium.

It was the first time in the history of the regular-season interleague matchup that the Dodgers (16-7) swept a three-game series in Anaheim and extended their season-best winning streak to five games. The Dodgers have the best record in the National League.

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The Angels (7-15) struck first on a bloop RBI single by Max Stassi in the second before Ruiz leveled the score a half-inning later. In his first MLB at-bat, the 22-year-old catcher hammered a fastball into the right-field seats, becoming the seventh player in Dodgers franchise history to homer in his first career at-bat.

Three batters later, Muncy launched a two-run shot to deep right center to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

“Right now, they’re better than us, there’s no question,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “We have to get better. They primarily beat us with pitching. They have a nice group on the field, but I like our group on the field, too. We’ll play them again this year and see where we’re at at the end of the season.”

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CLIPPERS

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: By the time Dallas’ Luka Doncic turned 21 in February, he’d already recorded 21 triple-doubles — more than Magic Johnson (seven) and LeBron James (five) combined at the same age — to tie Jason Kidd’s Dallas record in more than 300 fewer games.

Doncic now has 25 triple-doubles, including a 36-point, 19-assist, 14-rebound performance one week ago against Milwaukee that Doncic sealed with a between-the-legs assist to a cutting Maxi Kleber for a dunk.

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“He has the passing of Jason Kidd, but has the scoring ability of Larry Bird,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s what makes him such a difficult cover. ”

But if few players compare to Doncic, few opponents have covered him as well as the Clippers, whose first-round postseason series against seventh-seeded Dallas begins Monday.

In three losses to the Clippers this season, the Slovenian guard has averaged 29.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists but shot 27% on three-pointers and turned the ball over five times per game against physical, long-armed defenders. After a November defeat in which he missed all eight of his three-pointers and was harassed by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, Doncic was frustrated enough to leave the arena in Dallas without speaking to reporters.

“We’ve got to play defense to win games, can’t just let guys score every possession down the court,” Leonard said. “So I guess it’s just a collective mindset of wanting to win.”

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Even with Kristaps Porzingis relieving pressure on Doncic — the 7-3 center scored 30 points with five assists against the Clippers on Aug. 6 — the Mavericks’ offense has dipped when facing L.A. Generating a more consistent attack has led Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to consider playing Doncic — who has used the third-highest percentage of possessions in the NBA this season — away from the ball.

“We just have to sometimes initiate with other people and keep the game flowing,” Carlisle said. “And sometimes you get a great player like Luka, even when they don’t have the ball they can have a great impact on the game with off-ball screening and cutting.”

Clippers-Mavericks schedule

Game 1, Monday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket, ESPN, KEIB 1150

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Game 2, Wednesday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports PT, TNT, KEIB 1150

Game 3, Friday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports PT, TNT, KEIB 1150

Game 4, Sunday, 12:30 p.m., ABC, KEIB 1150

Game 5*, Tuesday Aug. 25, TBD, Fox Sports PT

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Game 6*, Thursday Aug. 27, TBD, Fox Sports PT, ESPN

Game 7*, Saturday Aug. 29, TBD, Fox Sports PT, TNT

*-if necessary

LAKERS

Tania Ganguli on the Lakers: Back when he was a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis made the playoffs twice and advanced past the first round just once. His team was always the underdog. In 2018 they shocked the league by sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers, a six seed sweeping a three seed, in the first round.

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Now Davis will face Portland again, only this time his team isn’t even close to being the underdog. That comes with pressure. A pressure that’s more acute here in the bubble as the Lakers face the league’s hottest team.

“They were playing well,” Davis said. “They’ve been playing extremely well. They did everything in their power to make the playoffs. They’re a good team. They’re hot right now. It’s definitely going to be a test for us but a good test. We’re going to be ready to go out there and compete.”

On Sunday the Lakers held their first practice since learning the identity of their first-round opponent. Portland secured the eight seed Saturday by beating the Memphis Grizzlies, then the Trail Blazers held a light day on Sunday. The Lakers, meanwhile, spent Saturday focusing mostly on their own issues. On Sunday they turned their attention to the Trail Blazers as they prepared for the start of the playoffs. In subtle ways, coach Frank Vogel could see a shift.

“Seriousness and the level of detail attentiveness,” Vogel said. “The communication in our film session — it’s not just the coaches presenting a plan. There’s a lot of questions, there’s a lot of ‘let’s get clear and on the same page,’ pointing out different aspects of what we’re showing. Those types of things.”

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———

Lakers plan to wear Black Mamba jersey if they advance in playoffs

Lakers-Trail Blazers schedule

Game 1, Tuesday, 6 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, TNT, 710 ESPN

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Game 2, Thursday, 6 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, ESPN, 710 ESPN

Game 3, Saturday, 5:30 p.m., ABC, 710 ESPN

Game 4, Monday Aug. 24, 6 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, TNT, 710 ESPN

Game 5*, Wednesday Aug. 26, TBD

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Game 6*, Friday Aug. 28, TBD

Game 7*, Sunday Aug. 30, TBD

*-if necessary

NASCAR

Chase Elliott won the NASCAR Cup Series road course race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, holding off hard-charging Denny Hamlin following a late restart and notching his third consecutive victory away from ovals.

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“I had a phenomenal car. I don’t think I did anything special today,” Elliott said.

The 24-year-old Elliott also won on road courses at Charlotte and at Watkins Glen last year. He got a tougher challenge than many expected down the stretch in his latest roadie.

Elliott had a 10-second lead with 10 laps to go and was pulling away when Kyle Busch caused a caution that gave his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., a chance.

But Elliott stayed out front on the final restart. Hamlin got to his bumper on the last lap, but couldn’t do enough to mount any real pressure.

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GOLF

Jim Herman rallied to win the Wyndham Championship on Sunday for his third PGA Tour title and a spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs, shooting a 7-under 63 for a one-stroke victory over Billy Horschel.

Known for his friendship with President Donald Trump, Herman overcame a four-stroke deficit in the final round at Sedgefield Country Club. He overtook Horschel with a birdie on the 71st hole.

The 42-year-old Herman finished at 21-under 259.

Horschel closed with a 65. He had a final chance to tie on the 72nd hole, but his 8-foot birdie putt slid left of the cup.

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Herman got into the playoffs, jumping from 192nd to 54th in the race for the 125 spots. He hoisted a trophy for the second straight season and third time since 2017.

Si Woo Kim, the third-round leader, had a 70 to tie for third at 18 under with Kevin Kisner (64), Webb Simpson (65) and Doc Redman (68).

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

Seattle at Dodgers, 6:30 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

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San Francisco at Angels, 6:30 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Clippers vs. Dallas, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket, ESPN, KEIB 1150

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

It was a royal day for Kansas City’s George Brett when raised his batting average to .401 on this date in 1980 after going four-for-four in the Royals’ 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brett, who had been on a hitting tear for nearly three months, drove in five runs and extended his batting streak to 29 games in a row.

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The hit that put the third baseman above .400 was a two-out double in the eighth inning that sailed over left fielder Garth Iorg’s head.

“When I got to .399 today, the adrenaline was flowing,” said Brett. “I knew if I got a hit I’d go over .400 and put the game out of reach. I’ve never hit this well for this long in my life.”

Over the last two weeks of the season, Brett hit .304 and finished at .390. Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox was the last player to hit .400 for a season when he batted .406 in 1941.

More memorable games and outstanding sports performances on Aug. 17, through the years:

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1933 — First baseman Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees played in his 1,308th straight game and broke former Yankee Everett Scott’s record of 1,307. Gehrig singled and tripled in the game but it didn’t stop the last-place St. Louis Browns from beating the Yankees 7-6 in 10 innings at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. Gehrig would go on to play in 2,130 straight games, a record that stood until it was broken by Cal Ripken Jr. on Sept. 6, 1995.

1938 — Henry Armstrong won the lightweight championship with a 15-round decision over Lou Ambers before 19,216 at Madison Square Garden, and became the only boxer to hold world championship titles in three weight divisions simultaneously. Armstrong won the featherweight title when he KO’d Petey Sarron in the sixth round on Oct. 29, 1937. On May 31, 1938, he won the welterweight championship from Barney Ross by a decision that was so convincing that Ross announced his retirement after the fight in the locker room.

1992 — The Dodgers’ Kevin Gross pitched a no-hitter in a 2-0 shutout of the San Francisco Giants at Dodgers Stadium. The 31-year-old right-hander struck out six and walked two for only his sixth win of the season. It was the 18th no-hitter in Dodger history and the franchise’s sixth against the Giants.

1997 — Playing the last four holes in a driving rain, Davis Love III fired a 66 in the final round at Winged Foot Golf Club at Mamaroneck, N.Y., and won the PGA Championship by five strokes over Justin Leonard. The victory was Love’s first major title and he clinched it with a 72-hole total of 11-under par 269. Leonard had just won his first major tournament too, at the U.S. Open by five strokes.

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2008 — Jesus Sauceda of Matamoros, Mexico, pitched the fifth perfect game in Little League World Series history and the first in 29 years when he beat Emilia, Italy, 12-0 at South Williamsport, Pa. Sauceda struck out 12 batters and also starred at the plate when he went three-for-three with six runs batted-in, that included a grand slam in the third inning. The game was stopped after the fourth inning instead of the usual six because of Little League’s 10-run mercy rule.

2014 — Inbee Park of South Korea successfully defended her crown at the LPGA Championship when she beat Brittany Lincicome with a par on the first playoff hole in sudden-death at the Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, N.Y., near Rochester.

2014 — The Phoenix Mercury set a WNBA record with its 29th win when it toppled the Seattle Storm 78-65 in the season finale. Phoenix (29-5) beat the previous mark set by the Sparks (28-4 in 2000 and 2001) and Seattle (28-6 in 2010). The Mercury’s home record was 16-1 and its road mark was 13-4, and the team did not have a losing streak the entire season.

2015 — The National Labor Relations Board dismissed a petition that Northwestern University football players were school employees who were entitled to form what would be the nation’s first union of college athletes. In a unanimous decision that was a clear victory for the college sports establishment, the five-member board declined to exert its jurisdiction in the case and preserved, at the time, one of the NCAA’s core principals: that college athletes are primarily students.

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2016 — Elaine Thompson of Jamaica completed the first 100-200 women’s Olympic double since 1988 when she won the 200-meter dash in 21.78 seconds at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Thompson was the first woman since Marion Jones in 2000 to win both Olympic sprints. Jones’ records, though, were stripped after she admitted using steroids, so Thompson joined in the record book Florence Griffith-Joyner, who starred in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press

And finally

Kevin Gross no-hits the Giants. 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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