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The Sports Report: Dodgers win a thrilling game against the Padres

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts slides into third behind Padres' Manny Machado as part of a double steal
Mookie Betts steals third base in the seventh inning, part of a crucial double steal by the Dodgers.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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

Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: The match that set Southern California’s newest rivalry ablaze was lit in the seventh inning at Globe Life Field, 1500 miles away, in the Dodgers’ 6-5 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

The Padres had the mighty Dodgers on the ropes in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. They emerged down just one run after Clayton Kershaw’s strong six-inning performance. And with a runner on base and two outs, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emerged to take the ball from Blake Treinen and give it to rookie Brusdar Graterol to face Fernando Tatis Jr., baseball’s brightest young star.

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Graterol’s first pitch was a 99-mph sinker. Tatis Jr. crushed it 413 feet to straightaway center field. At the other end, Cody Bellinger, after twisting and turning his way to the warning track, leaped at the wall to rob what would’ve been the go-ahead, two-run home run.

As Bellinger jumped with joy over his series-changing athletic feat, Graterol threw his glove in celebration. He took off his hat and pointed to the heavens. On the other side, Padres third baseman and former Dodger Manny Machado looked on with disgust. He shouted obscenities at Graterol. In response, Graterol waved and blew a kiss as a few of his teammates screamed at Machado to keep it moving.

“I’ll be waiting for you,” Machado said.

Needing three outs to move within a win of the National League Championship Series, manager Dave Roberts did what he’s almost always done since he started manning the top step in 2016: He gave the ball to Kenley Jansen.

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But this isn’t the Kenley Jansen of old. This is a deteriorated version, one that Roberts recently said is essentially the Dodgers’ closer in title only. The Dodgers have decided Jansen won’t pitch in every save situation in these playoffs. He wasn’t given the assignment in Game 2 of the wild-card series last week. But there he was, on the mound at Globe Life Park with a three-run led in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres.

He walked off that mound without getting the job done. The Padres scored two runs before he was replaced by Joe Kelly with two outs. Kelly walked Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado to load the bases for Eric Hosmer, who grounded out to end the game and calm the nerves.

The Dodgers have a chance to sweep the best-of-five series in Game 3 on Thursday.

If you missed seeing the catch, you can watch it here.

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————

Dylan Hernández: Did Cody Bellinger make greatest Dodgers catch? Only time will tell

Dodgers showed their win in Game 2 of NLDS was built on smarts and riches

Walker Buehler lauds Dodgers bullpen rather than explain his command issues

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Padres reliever Ryan Weathers, 20, goes from Class A to first-class debut against Dodgers

Dodgers-Padres schedule
All times Pacific
All game at Arlington, Texas
Dodgers are home team for Games 1, 2 and 5

Game 1: Dodgers 5, San Diego 1
Game 2: Dodgers 6, San Diego 5
Game 3: Tonight, 6 p.m., MLB Network
Game 4*: Friday, 6 p.m., FS1
Game 5*: Saturday, 5 p.m., FS1

*-if necessary

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LAKERS

Dan Woike on the Lakers: After Frank Vogel had been introduced as the Lakers coach, it took 84 seconds before he mentioned the single biggest tentpole of his coaching philosophy.

“The focus for our group has got to be to remain in the moment,” Vogel said.

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It was May 20, 2019, when everything was different.

The Lakers were in disarray. Hours earlier, Magic Johnson appeared on ESPN and was critical of general manager Rob Pelinka. The roster still had Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball. Anthony Davis was still a New Orleans Pelican.

But the Lakers had a plan and, most importantly, Vogel had a message.

“There’s obviously a lot of outside noise like there is with every NBA team. But there’s going to be a lot of outside noise that we’re going to be tasked with blocking out,” he said during that news conference. “There’s going to be a lot of talk about our team getting back into the playoffs and what the Lakers represent in terms of a tradition of competing for championships. Those are end-result things.

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“We’re going to be focused on the work. The day-to-day. Stay in the moment.”

It would have been impossible for Vogel to know all the moments that would come his team’s way. They were caught in the middle of a geopolitical scandal during the preseason. The franchise lost a legend at the midway point, then had to deal with a pandemic shutdown and a quarantined restart to get to here, to the edge of the biggest “end-result thing.”

As they lived through and processed the turmoil generated by their trip to China, Kobe Bryant’s death and COVID-19, they did so with a commitment to deal with what was directly in front of them.

After the Lakers took a 1-0 lead over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, Vogel said it again, this time from a position of trust and experience. When he said it in his opening news conference, it was a plan. When he said it last Friday, it was a trait of his team.

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Lakers’ Markieff Morris makes no apologies for old-school tactics

NBA FINALS
All times Pacific
Lakers vs. Miami

Game 1: Lakers 116, Miami 98
Game 2: Lakers 124, Miami 114
Game 3: Miami 115, Lakers 104
Game 4: Lakers 102, Miami 96
Game 5: Friday, 6 p.m., ABC
Game 6*: Sunday, 4:30 p.m., ABC
Game 7*: Tuesday, 6 p.m., ABC

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*-if necessary

GALAXY

Kevin Baxter on the Galaxy: If the Galaxy hope to qualify for next month’s Major League Soccer playoffs, they’re going to have to pick up the pace. Because with a month left in the regular season the team is stuck in the Western Conference cellar, four points out of the eighth and final postseason spot.

And they did nothing to close that gap Wednesday, with Felipe Mora and Jeremy Ebobisse each scoring twice to lift the Portland Timbers to a wild 6-3 win at Dignity Health Sports Park, extending the Galaxy’s winless streak to six.

Diego Valeri and Larry Mabiala also scored for Portland while Julian Araujo, Ethan Zubak and Cristian Pavón scored for the Galaxy, who have lost five straight games.

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Although the three goals the Galaxy scored Wednesday totaled one more than they had scored in their previous five games combined, they also gave up six goals for the second time this season. They are winless in their last six games.

LAFC

Kevin Baxter on LAFC: LAFC’s scheduled match with the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday in Commerce City, Colo., was postponed after a member of the Rapids’ staff tested positive for COVID-19.

It’s the third straight COVID-related postponement for Colorado, which has seen three players and 12 staff members test positive in the last two weeks, according to MLS.

The postponement was announced before LAFC (6-6-3) left for Denver. No makeup date for Wednesday’s game has been set.

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The Galaxy are scheduled to travel to Colorado to play the Rapids on Saturday. That game is now in doubt.

MLB PLAYOFFS

All times Pacific
NL Division Series

Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins
all games at Houston
Atlanta is home team in Games 1, 2, and 5

Game 1: Atlanta 9, Miami 5
Game 2: Atlanta 2, Miami 0
Game 3: Today, 11 a.m., FS1
Game 4*: Friday, 11 a.m., FS1
Game 5*: Saturday, 1 p.m., FS1

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AL Division Series

Houston Astros vs. Oakland A’s
all games at Los Angeles
Oakland is home team in Games 1, 2, and 5

Game 1: Houston 10, Oakland 5
Game 2: Houston 5, Oakland 2
Game 3: Oakland 9, Houston 7
Game 4: Today, 12:30 p.m., TBS
Game 5*: Friday, 12:30 p.m., TBS

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
all games at San Diego
Tampa Bay is home team in Games 1, 2, and 5

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Game 1: New York 9, Tampa Bay 3
Game 2: Tampa Bay 7, New York 5
Game 3: Tampa Bay 8, New York 4
Game 4: Today, 4 p.m., TBS
Game 5*: Friday, 4 p.m., TBS

*-if necessary

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

Dodgers vs. San Diego, 6 p.m., MLB Network

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THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1933 — Cliff Battles of the Boston Redskins becomes the first NFL player to gain more than 200 yards rushing with 215 yards in a 21-20 win over the New York Giants.

1949 — Walt Pastuszak has five of Brown’s 11 interceptions in a 46-0 rout of Rhode Island.

1950 — Bill Grimes of the Green Bay Packers gains 167 yards on 10 carries in a 44-31 loss to the New York Yankees.

1956 — Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitches the only perfect game in World Series history, a 2-0 triumph over Brooklyn.

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1966 — Jerry DePoyster of Wyoming becomes the first player in college football history to hit three field goals of 50 yards or more in a single game. DePoyster connects on two 54-yard tries and a 52-yard attempt as the Cowboys beat Utah 40-7.

1961 — Green Bay’s Paul Hornung scores 33 points, with four touchdowns, six extra points and a field goal, to lead the Packers to a 45-7 rout of the Baltimore Colts.

1977 — Seventh-ranked No. 7 Alabama beats No. 1 Southern Cal 21-20 in Los Angeles. USC fullback Lynn Cain scores with 38 seconds remaining but the two-point attempt fails.

1992 — Doug Smail scores a pair of goals as the expansion Ottawa Senators rock the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 — the first regular-season NHL game by an Ottawa franchise in 58 years.

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1993 — The Anaheim Mighty Ducks, before 17,174 at the Arrowhead Pond, lose 7-2 to the Detroit Red Wings in their first NHL game.

1997 — Adam Oates reaches the 1,000-point mark with three goals and two assists as the Washington Capitals post a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders.

2005 — Baylor wins a Big 12 road game for the first time in the league’s 10-year history, beating Iowa State 23-13. The Bears had been 0-37 on the road in the Big 12 Conference.

2006 — Randy Moss’ 22-yard TD catch between two defenders 51 seconds before halftime is the Oakland receiver’s 100th touchdown reception. He’s becomes the seventh receiver in NFL history with 100 TD catches.

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2011 — Howard scores all its points in the fourth quarter, including 16 in the final 1:27 to beat 29-28 Florida A&M. Parker Munoz caps the improbable comeback by hitting a 21-yard field goal with 4 seconds left following FAMU’s Damien Fleming fumble on the 28-yard line.

2015 — Tampa Bay’s Jason Garrison scores his second goal of the game at 2:17 of the extra period to lead the Lightning past the Philadelphia Flyers in the first 3-on-3 overtime game in NHL history. Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop denies a pair of penalty shot attempts — by Claude Giroux in the first period and Scott Laughton in overtime. Bishop is the fifth goaltender in history to face multiple penalty shots in the same game as well as the first to face a penalty shot in overtime.

2016 — Will Worth and Navy stuns No. 6 Houston, romping to a 46-40 victory. Worth runs for 115 yards and throws two scoring passes for the Midshipmen. Navy hadn’t beaten a Top 10 team since 1984, when it topped then-No. 2 South Carolina in Annapolis.

2017 — Aaron Rodgers throws a 12-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining, lifting Green Bay over the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 in another thriller nine months after the Packers’ divisional playoff victory on the same field. Rodgers caps a 75-yard drive in just 1:02, going toward the same end zone as in the playoff game.

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2018 — Drew Brees’ 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie Tre’Quan Smith makes him the NFL’s all-time leader in yards passing and sends the New Orleans Saints well on their way to a lopsided 43-19 victory over the Washington Redskins. Brees enters the game needing 201 yards to eclipse Peyton Manning’s previous mark of 71,940 yards. He finishes 26 of 29 for 363 yards and three touchdowns.

And finally

Vin Scully with the call on Don Larsen’s perfect 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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