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The Sports Report: Dodgers rebound nicely against Cardinals

Max Scherzer pitches during the fourth inning.
(Associated Press)

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

Mike DiGiovanna on the Dodgers: The chants were faint in the seventh inning but grew louder in the ninth: “We want Albert!” Clap-clap, clap-clap-clap. “We want Albert!”

Many fans among a season-high crowd of 43,575 in Busch Stadium wanted to see Dodgers slugger Albert Pujols, the former Cardinals star who built much of his Hall-of-Fame resume in St. Louis from 2001-2011, make a pinch-hit appearance in what could be his final series here.

Max Scherzer wouldn’t allow it.

The Dodgers right-hander went eight innings in another dominant performance for his new club, giving up one unearned run and six hits, striking out 13 and walking none in a 5-1 victory that kept the Dodgers one game behind San Francisco in the National League West and eliminated any need for a pinch-hitter.

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Cardinals fans will get a chance to salute Pujols when the 41-year-old first baseman starts Tuesday night’s game.

On Monday, they witnessed a Labor Day masterpiece by another hometown product as Scherzer, a graduate of Parkway Central High School in nearby Chesterfield, Mo., improved to 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA in seven starts since his July 30 trade from Washington.

“He’s been better than advertised,” manager Dave Roberts said of Scherzer, who is 13-4 with a major league-leading 2.28 ERA on the season. “We knew what we were gonna get as far as the player. He’s exceeded that.”

————

Tío Albert Pujols embraces role with the Dodgers, and his new family returns the love

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ANGELS

Jack Harris on the Angels: On Saturday, the Angels matched a club record by being exactly .500 for the 26th time this year.

On Sunday, they set another franchise high-mark reflective of an injury-plagued, roster-churning campaign in which they couldn’t stay in contention.

With pitchers Janson Junk and Kyle Tyler making their major league debuts in a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers, the Angels (68-69) have now used a club-record 61 different players this season.

“It’s always nice when you set a record, isn’t it?” manager Joe Maddon rhetorically joked after the game. “It’s just part of what’s going on right now in the game. … The combination of [a shortened schedule] last year and some unfortunate moments for us this year has opened up this audition for a lot of guys.”

RAMS

A look at who must step up for the Rams this season if they want to win the Super Bowl

CHARGERS

A look at who must step up for the Chargers this season if they want to win the Super Bowl

TENNIS

Helene Elliott on the U.S. Open: British teenager Emma Raducanu, who had to compete in a qualifying tournament to earn a spot in the main draw of the U.S. Open, continued her impressive march through the field with a 6-2, 6-1 flattening of American Shelby Rogers on Monday at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Raducanu, 18, will make her first appearance in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament.

Raducanu couldn’t hold serve in the opening game of the first set but quickly righted herself. After Rogers held serve for a 2-0 lead, Raducanu won six straight games to finish out the set.

Raducanu, who was born in Toronto to a Romanian father and Chinese mother but moved to England with her family when she was 2 years old, also won the first five games of the second set before Rogers held serve. Raducanu needed four match point opportunities to eliminate Rogers, a 28-year-old from Charleston, S.C., but Raducanu won when Rogers hit a return into the net. The two women embraced at the net at the end, a classy display of sportsmanship.

Rogers had upset No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty on Saturday in three sets but followed that by playing a three-set doubles match on Sunday. Fatigue might have been a factor on Monday, a warm and humid day.

UCLA FOOTBALL

Ben Bolch on the Bruins: Max Johnson eyed the seven UCLA defenders crowding the line of scrimmage before his team’s first big play of the game.

The Louisiana State quarterback shifted his gaze to the sideline, seeking guidance prior to the third down, before he repeated the sequence — scanning the defenders and looking back toward the sideline. He took a few steps toward his offensive linemen and shared some instructions before backing into a shotgun formation.

Johnson’s movements were tentative, his expression uneasy. The Tigers needed to snap the ball quickly or take a delay-of-game penalty. Finally, with the play clock about to expire, LSU coach Ed Orgeron called a timeout to regroup.

There would be no salvaging what came next.

After Johnson took the snap and a bevy of defenders converged around him, Bruins edge rusher Mitchell Agude clobbered the quarterback, forcing a fumble. The Tigers recovered but were stopped well short of the first down.

It was the start of an evening’s worth of frustration for Johnson and LSU during their 38-27 loss to the Bruins on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

“We can be complicated on the defensive side for the other team to look at,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said after his team sacked Johnson twice, broke up five passes, intercepted another and hurried him five times. “I think it’s actually really simple for our players to understand and they do a great job of that.”

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1892 — Jim Corbett knocks out John L. Sullivan in the 21st round in New Orleans to win the first world heavyweight title fought with gloves under the Marquis of Queensberry rules.

1941 — Bobby Riggs wins his second U.S. men’s national title by beating Frank Kovacs, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

1952 — Australia’s Frank Sedgman wins the men’s title in the U.S. Lawn Tennis Assn. championships for the second year with a three-set victory over Gardnar Mulloy. Maureen Connolly wins the women’s title.

1953 — Maureen Connolly becomes the first woman to complete the Grand Slam when she beats Doris Hart, 6-2, 6-4, in the U.S. Open women’s singles final.

1958 — Australia’s Ashley Cooper beats countryman Malcolm Anderson in five sets to win the men’s title in the U.S. Lawn Tennis Assn. championships. Althea Gibson comes back to beat Darlene Hard for the women’s title. Cooper beats Anderson, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 10-8, 8-6. Gibson beats Darlene Hard, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.

1969 — Margaret Court beats Nancy Richey, 6-2, 6-2 to capture the U.S. Open women’s singles title.

1970 — Jockey Willie Shoemaker rides Dares J to a 1½-length victory at Del Mar to become the winningest jockey. Shoemaker’s win breaks the all-time record of 6,033 set by Johnny Longden four years earlier.

1980 —John McEnroe beats Bjorn Borg of Sweden 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4 to win his second straight U.S. Open men’s title.

1991 — Seventeen-year-old Monica Seles beats 34-year-old Martina Navratilova, 7-6 (1), 6-1, to win her first U.S. Open women’s singles title.

1993 — Mark Whiten of the St. Louis Cardinals has the greatest game at the plate in major league history in the nightcap of a doubleheader against Cincinnati. In the 15-2 win, Whiten hits four home runs and drives in 12 runs, becoming the only player to accomplish both feats in one game.

1997 — In the new Arthur Ashe Stadium court, 16-year-old Martina Hingis and 17-year-old Venus Williams play the youngest Grand Slam final in the Open Era. Hingis wins her first U.S. Open title 6-0, 6-4. Patrick Rafter beats Greg Rusedski, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, to win the men’s crown.

2001 — Venus Williams and Serena Williams reach the finals of the U.S. Open and become the first sisters to play for a Grand Slam championship in more than 100 years. Venus defeats Jennifer Capriati 6-4, 6-2, after Serena powers her way past top-seeded Martina Hingis 6-3, 6-2 in 51 minutes.

2002 — Venus and Serena Williams meet in a prime-time U.S. Open women’s singles final for the second straight year. Younger sister Serena comes out on top, defeating the two-time defending champion, 6-4, 6-3, for her second U.S. Open women’s singles title.

2003 — In the closest 1-2-3 finish in IRL history, Sam Hornish Jr. edges Scott Dixon and Bryan Herta at the finish line to win his second straight Delphi Indy 300. His margin of victory is .0099 seconds, and just .0100 separates first and third place.

2003 — Andy Roddick wins his first Grand Slam tournament title, defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3, in the U.S. Open men’s singles final.

2012 — Aries Merritt of the U.S. sets a world record of 12.80 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels. He cuts 0.07 seconds off the mark of Cuba’s Dayron Robles from four years ago.

2012 — Bob and Mike Bryan beat Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 to win the U.S. Open men’s doubles title for a record 12th Grand Slam championship. The American twins break a tie with Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde for the most in the Open era, which started in 1968.

2014 — Serena Williams wins her third consecutive U.S. Open championship and 18th major title overall. Williams takes 75 minutes to beat good friend Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 and matches Chris Evert’s total of six championships at the U.S. Open. Bob and Mike Bryan win a record-tying fifth U.S. Open doubles championship for their 100th tournament title.

And finally

Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams in the 2002 U.S. Open final. Watch and listen 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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