The Sports Report: Dodgers head into All-Star break with a victory
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: The Arizona Diamondbacks were stuck in a predicament in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
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Do you throw to Mookie Betts in a 3-1 count with the winning run at second base? Do you have right-hander J.B. Bukauskas walk him with first base open to bring up Max Muncy, a left-handed slugger, and set up a double play? Or do you walk Betts and pitch around Muncy with Justin Turner, a right-handed hitter, on deck? Betts was rolling in recent days, but Muncy has been one of the big leagues’ elite hitters for three months and Turner is one the few hitters in the majors with a batting average above .300.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo chose to walk Betts and pitch to Muncy. The result was predictable for clubs residing on opposite ends of the standings. Muncy whacked the fourth pitch he saw into the right-field pavilion for a walk-off, three-run home run, sending the Dodgers (56-35) to the All-Star break with a 7-4 win.
“Thankfully,” Muncy said, “I made them pay for it.”
It was Muncy’s club-leading 19th home run of the season. He has three career walk-off homers, including the postseason. He then hopped on a flight to Denver with the Dodgers’ contingent — close to 50 people in all — as one of the team’s five All-Stars.
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Ethan Sears on the Angels: The first half of the Angels’ season has been marked by Shohei Ohtani’s ascendance, injuries to their three next best hitters and an otherwise unremarkable team that has hovered around .500.
Heading into the All-Star break, it was David Fletcher who provided something to hang their playoff hopes on.
Fletcher, who through mid-June had a .581 OPS, extended his hitting streak to 24 games, hitting just his second home run of the season and adding three more RBIs later in the game, enough to lead the Angels to a 7-1 win over the Mariners (48-43) and prevent a sweep heading into the All-Star break.
“I don’t wish anybody ill,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said, “but I’d love to see him sneak into that [All-Star] game on Tuesday somehow.”
For the first eight innings, the only runs the Angels scored came courtesy of Fletcher.
He took a third-inning changeup from Hector Santiago into the right-field seats to tie the score at one. Two innings later, Fletcher singled home Taylor Ward and Juan Lagares after Mariners reliever Yohan Ramirez started the inning by hitting Ward and walking Lagares.
Fletcher later added his third hit and fourth RBI of the afternoon, singling home Lagares to make it 4-1. Fletcher added an infield single in the ninth and scored on an RBI single from Jared Walsh.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen on the Sparks: The Sparks hobble into the Olympic break on a six-game losing streak after an 86-61 loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but have hopes for relief on the other side of the month-long break.
Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver are expected to return from injuries after the layoff. The Ogwumike sisters, both nursing knee injuries, may appear in the Olympics where they hope to represent Nigeria if they are given FIBA approval. Toliver, who suffered a laceration above her eye June 24, missed six games.
All three watched from the bench Sunday as the Lynx (12-7) made nine straight shots to start the game and raced out to a 16-point lead in the first quarter. After a halftime buzzer beater from Brittney Sykes injected some life into the listless home team, the Sparks (6-13) scored the first six points of the third quarter to trim the deficit to six points.
Guard Erica Wheeler spurred the run with an assist on the first basket, a steal and a layup. The former All-Star had 14 points and six assists to lead the team.
Italy won the European Championship for the second time by beating England 3-2 on penalties on Sunday. The match finished 1-1 after extra time at Wembley Stadium, which was filled mostly with English fans hoping to celebrate the team’s first international trophy since the 1966 World Cup.
“It’s coming to Rome. It’s coming to Rome,” Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci shouted into a TV camera amid the celebrations, mocking the famous lyric “it’s coming home” from the England team’s anthem.
For England, it was utter dejection again — they know the feeling so well when it comes to penalties — after Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy’s imposing goalkeeper, dived to his left and saved the decisive spot kick by 19-year-old Londoner Bukayo Saka, one of the youngest players in England’s squad.
That was England’s third straight failure from the penalty spot in the shootout, with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho — players brought on late in extra time seemingly as specialist penalty-takers — also missing.
As Saka and Sancho cried, Donnarumma was mobbed by his teammates as they sprinted toward him from the halfway line at the end of the second penalty shootout in a European Championship final.
Novak Djokovic tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal by claiming his 20th Grand Slam title Sunday, coming back to beat Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final.
The No. 1-ranked Djokovic earned a third consecutive championship at the All England Club and sixth overall.
He adds that to nine titles at the Australian Open, three at the U.S. Open and two at the French Open to equal his two rivals for the most majors won by a man in tennis history.
“I have to pay a great tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends. Legends of our sport. They are the two most important players that I ever faced in my career,“ said Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia. “They are, I think, the reason that I am where I am today. They’ve helped me realize what I need to do in order to improve, to get stronger mentally, physically, tactically.”
NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, and the Bucks pounded Phoenix 120-100 on Sunday night, cutting the Suns’ lead to 2-1.
The first NBA Finals game in Milwaukee since 1974 went to the home team in a romp, with Antetokounmpo and the bigger Bucks overwhelming the smallish Suns to the tune of a 20-2 advantage in second-chance points.
“We knew what type of game it was going to be,” Antetokounmpo said. “We knew we had to come here, play good basketball and compete as hard as possible.”
Antetokounmpo, who missed the last two games of the Eastern Conference finals because of a hyperextended left knee and was no sure thing to even be ready to start this series, followed up his 42-point, 12-rebound performance in Game 2 by doing it all again — even making his free throws this time.
Back in front of his own fans and free of the loud counts he’s been hearing on the road, Antetokounmpo went 13 of 17 at the free-throw line.
Chris Paul had 19 points and nine assists, but the Suns got next to nothing from his star backcourt mate. Devin Booker shot 3 for 14, scoring just 10 points.
All times Pacific
Phoenix vs. Milwaukee
Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 105
Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 108
Milwaukee 120, Phoenix 100
Wednesday: at Milwaukee, 6 p.m., ABC
Saturday: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ABC
*Tuesday, July 20: at Milwaukee, 6 p.m., ABC
*Thursday, July 22: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ABC
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1901 — Cy Young of the Boston Red Sox wins his 300th game with a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia A’s.
1930 — Bobby Jones wins the U.S. Open. Jones, who also won the British Open, the American Amateur and the British Amateur, becomes the only golfer to take all four events in the same year.
1954 — The Major League Baseball Players Assn. is founded.
1964 — Mickey Wright wins the U.S. Women’s Open for the fourth time by defeating Ruth Jessen by two strokes in a playoff.
1970 — Jack Nicklaus wins his second British Open, beating Doug Sanders by one stroke in an 18-hole playoff at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. It’s the first playoff at The Open since 1963 and the first at 18 holes.
1975 — Tom Watson wins an 18-hole playoff by one stroke over Jack Newton to win the British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland.
1980 — Mary Decker has her fourth record-setting performance of the year, setting an American mark in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:01.17 at an international meet at Stuttgart.
1995 — Noureddine Morceli of Algeria shatters his world record for 1,500 meters at the Nikaia Grand Prix in Nice, France, with a time of 3:27.37. It is the second world record for Morceli in 10 days.
1998 — France wins soccer’s World Cup, beating heavily favored Brazil 3-0 in the championship match.
1999 — The U.S. men’s basketball team wins its sixth straight World University Games gold medal and 40th straight game — both records — by routing Yugoslavia 79-65 in the final.
2012 — Every country competing at the London Games includes female athletes for the first time in Olympic history after Saudi Arabia agreed to send two women to compete in judo and track and field.
2014 — Mario Goetze volleys in the winning goal in extra time to give Germany its fourth World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over Argentina. The win is Germany’s first as a united country. West Germany won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990.
2015 — Novak Djokovic gets the better of Roger Federer at Wimbledon, beating him in four sets to win his third Wimbledon title and ninth Grand Slam championship.
2015 — South Korea’s In Gee Chun birdies four of the last seven holes to rally for a one-stroke victory at the U.S. Women’s Open. The 20-year old Chun shoots a 4-under 66 in the final round and finished at 8 under, becoming the first player to win her U.S. Open debut since Birdie Kim in 2005.
2017 — Sam Querrey stuns top-seeded Andy Murray in five sets in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Querrey, an American seeded 24th, is dominating down the stretch for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1 victory. Querrey becomes the first U.S. man to reach the semifinals at any Grand Slam tournament since Andy Roddick lost in the 2009 Wimbledon final. Another quarterfinal surprise arrives later when Novak Djokovic stops playing because of a right elbow injury while trailing 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 7-6 (2), 2-0. Roger Federer gets a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory over Milos Raonic. The 35-year-old Federer, who has won seven of his record 18 Grand Slam championships at the All England Club, is the grass-court tournament’s oldest semifinalist since Ken Rosewall in 1974 at age 39.
Mario Goetze scores the winning goal at the 2014 World Cup. Watch it here.
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