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The Sports Report: Dodgers defeat Giants in dramatic fashion

Will Smith celebrates as he rounds first after hitting a three-run walkoff home run.
(Associated Press)

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

Steve Henson on the Dodgers: The Dodgers overcame a five-run deficit with a walk-off pinch-hit three-run home run by Will Smith on Tuesday night to beat the Giants, 8-6, Dodger Stadium. The rally was triggered by the control problems of Giants submarine reliever Tyler Rogers, who opened the ninth by walking Chris Taylor and Matt Beaty. Both scored on Smith’s blast into the left-field seats.

The turnabout absolved two young Dodgers pitchers. Making his first major league start was left-hander Darien Nuñez, followed by top prospect Josiah Gray, making his first major league appearance.

Taylor homered twice and doubled in the first six innings to keep the Dodgers in the game while batting leadoff because a sore hip sidelined Mookie Betts for a third game in a row.

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The win pulled the Dodgers within one game of the Giants in the National League West and evened the four-games series at a win apiece.

The Dodgers struck first, with Max Muncy continuing to torment the Giants — he’s batting .375 against them with 10 RBIs this season — with a run-scoring single in the first inning.

But then the second rolled around and the Giants abruptly changed the narrative, blasting one home run off Nuñez and three off Gray to take a five-run lead.

Left-handed hitting Alex Dickerson launched an 81 mph changeup by Nuñez into the right-field seats for a two-run home run in the second. And an inning later, the first position player Gray faced, left-handed hitting LaMonte Wade Jr., turned on a 96 mph four-seam fastball and deposited it deep in the Giants bullpen.

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RAMS

Gary Klein on the Rams: Running back Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles tendon while training for the upcoming season, a Rams official said Tuesday, a major blow for a team set to open training camp in less than two weeks.

Akers was on track to be the featured back in an offense that was projected to be rejuvenated by the arrival of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, but now he’s expected to miss the season.

Akers, 22, tweeted Tuesday afternoon: “I just want to thank any and every person sending prayers my way and wishing me well. I hate this happened but I’m in great spirits and I understand God makes no mistakes. I’ll be back better than ever in no time.”

Akers, a second-round draft pick in 2020, was the Rams’ leading rusher last season and helped them advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers. Akers rushed for 846 yards and scored five touchdowns in 15 games, including the playoffs. He sat out two regular-season games because of a rib injury and played through a late-season ankle injury.

Third-year pro Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais and rookie Jake Funk are other running backs on the roster.

Henderson, a 2019 third-round draft pick, could step in for Akers, though Henderson’s first two NFL seasons ended because of ankle injuries. Last season, Henderson started 11 games and rushed for 624 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass.

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Nsimba Webster, an undrafted free-agent wide receiver who returned kicks for the Rams the last two seasons, was released Tuesday, the team announced.

Webster, 25, signed with the Rams after playing in college at Eastern Washington. Last season, he returned 25 punts and averaged 7.4 yards per return. He averaged 21.7 yards on 16 kickoff returns.

ANGELS

Jack Harris on the Angels: During Joe Maddon’s past managerial jobs with the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs, some of his club’s most important moments happened in the home ballparks of their division rivals.

“Nothing better than to walk out on the mound at Yankee Stadium, shaking hands at the end of the game; or Fenway,” Maddon said last month. “I had the same experience in St. Louis with the Cubbies.”

The Angels’ second-year manager was trying to make a point.

“I want the same thing to happen in Houston, and it needs to happen in Oakland, where you walk out there after the game, on their field, shaking hands on the mound,” he said. “That’s what we need to get done.”

This week in Oakland, however, his club failed to do so. On Tuesday, they didn’t even come close.

With a 6-0 defeat to the Oakland Athletics, the Angels were swept in a two-game series and suffered their fourth loss in five coming out of the All-Star break — all against division foes above them in the standings.

At 46-48, the Angels are now more than 10 games adrift in the American League West standings and 7 ½ games behind the A’s (55-42) for the second AL wild-card spot.

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Oakland City Council approves terms for Athletics stadium deal against team’s wishes

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

J. Brady McCollough on CS Northridge: Cal State Northridge’s internal review into potential NCAA rules violations within its men’s basketball program is ongoing, but the school has moved forward in naming its next head coach.

Former Stanford coach Trent Johnson will come out of retirement to lead the Matadors on an interim basis for the 2021-22 season, the school announced Tuesday. Head coach Mark Gottfried and his staff remain on paid administrative leave pending the completion of the school’s investigation.

Northridge placed Gottfried and his assistant coaches on leave April 29. The nature of the potential rules violations remains unclear.

Gottfried already has one NCAA infractions case pending from his time at North Carolina State, and it’s a big one. The NCAA in July 2019 accused N.C. State of two Level I violations involving Gottfried, assistant coach Orlando Early and star point guard Dennis Smith Jr. for an allegation that was part of the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption.

OLYMPICS

Where’s the Olympics coverage? You will be receiving a special Olympics edition of the Sports Report, which should hit your inbox around 7 a.m. PT each day, and will run daily during the Games. You can also check out all of our Olympics coverage by clicking here.

NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/RESULTS

Giannis Antetokounmpo ended one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points — and a championship Milwaukee waited 50 years to win again.

Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Tuesday night to win the series 4-2.

It was the third game this series with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds for Antetokounmpo, a dominant, debut finals performance that takes its place among some of the game’s greatest.

He shot 16 for 25 from the field and made an unbelievable 17-of-19 free throws — a spectacular performance for any shooter, let alone one who was hitting just 55.6% in the postseason and was ridiculed for it at times.

All times Pacific

NBA FINALS

Phoenix vs. Milwaukee
Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 105
Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 108
Milwaukee 120, Phoenix 100
Milwaukee 109, Phoenix 103
Milwaukee 123, Phoenix 119
Milwaukee 105, Phoenix 98

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1876 — Princeton takes the team championship in the first IC4A (Intercollegiate Assn. of Amateur Athletes Assn.) track and field meet.

1957 — Lionel Herbert wins the PGA championship with a 2-1 final round victory over Dow Finsterwald.

1963 — Jack Nicklaus wins the PGA championship by two strokes over Dave Ragan to become the fourth golfer to win the three major United States titles.

1968 — Arnold Palmer becomes the first PGA golfer to earn $1 million over his career despite losing by one stroke to Julius Boros in the PGA championship.

1974 — Sandra Haynie edges Carol Mann and Beth Stone by one stroke to win the U.S. Women’s Open championship.

1979 — Spain’s Seve Ballesteros captures the British Open by three strokes over Ben Crenshaw and Jack Nicklaus.

1985 — John Henry, the greatest money winner in horse racing history, is retired. The 10-year-old won 39 races in 83 starts and earned $6,597,947 in total purses.

1985 — Sandy Lyle wins the British Open by one stroke over Payne Stewart.

1989 — Mike Tyson knocks down Carl “The Truth” Williams with a left hook and stops him 93 seconds into the first round of his heavyweight title defense. It is the fifth shortest heavyweight title fight in history.

1996 — Tom Lehman shoots a final-round 73 for a 72-hole total of 13-under 271 to win the British Open, two strokes better than Ernie Els and Mark McCumber.

2002 — Ernie Els squanders a three-stroke lead but outlasts Thomas Levet of France to win a four-man playoff that produces the first sudden-death finish in the 142-year history of the British Open.

2007 — Bernard Hopkins, in the twilight of his fighting days, ends Winky Wright’s 7 1/2-year unbeaten streak with a unanimous decision in their 170-pound bout in Las Vegas.

2009 — China’s Guo Jingjing easily wins her fifth straight world championship in 3-meter springboard. She captured her first springboard world title in 2001, and hasn’t lost since in the every-other-year competition.

2013 — Phil Mickelson wins his first British Open title with a spectacular finish. He birdies four of the last six holes for a 5-under 66 to match the best round of the tournament.

2013 — Britain’s Chris Froome wins the 100th Tour de France, having dominated rivals over three weeks. He rides into Paris wearing the yellow jersey he took in Stage 8 in the Pyrenees and never relinquished.

And finally

Mike Tyson defeats Carl “The Truth” Williams. 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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