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The Sports Report: Looks like Mike Trout won’t be back this season

Mike Trout
Mike Trout
(Associated Press)

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

Jack Harris on the Angels: The Angels haven’t officially ruled out Mike Trout for the rest of the season, but manager Joe Maddon said before Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox that he “would be very surprised” if the center fielder is able to return before the end of the year.

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Trout has been out since mid-May because of a right calf strain. While he was originally expected to return after six to eight weeks, the rehabilitation process has dragged on far longer because of lingering soreness in the leg.

“I’m not anticipating anything to change in regards to him playing,” Maddon told reporters during a video call before the Angels’ game against the Chicago White Sox.

Trout originally got hurt while running the bases in a game on May 17. He was diagnosed the next day with a Grade 2 strain in his calf, a slightly more severe designation but not bad enough to require surgery.

“I knew it was bad when it happened,” Trout said the day he went on the injured list, describing feeling a pop in his leg that felt like he’d been hit by a line drive. “I got to the bag and said, ‘Man, something’s not right.’ ... It was a freak thing.”

There was initially hope that Trout would return sometime before or shortly after the All-Star break in July. After wearing a walking boot and using crutches in the early weeks of his recovery, he gradually increased his workload in late June and early July, eventually resuming on-field activities such as baserunning and outfield drills.

However, Trout continued to feel soreness in his calf throughout the process, lingering discomfort that slowed his progress toward returning. Even though follow-up doctor visits revealed no setbacks, according to the team, Trout hasn’t been able to fully ramp up activities again in the last couple months.

Outfielder Jo Adell could also miss the remainder of the season after he was put on the injured list Wednesday because of a left abdominal strain.

Adell, 22, was injured Saturday after running into an outfield fence while trying to make a catch.

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DODGERS

Mike DiGiovanna on the Dodgers: Their pursuit of the San Francisco Giants was beginning to feel like a Sisyphean task for the Dodgers, who couldn’t seem to gain ground on the National League West leaders no matter how well they played.

The Dodgers won the first five games of their six-game homestand and couldn’t cut into San Francisco’s lead. They won seven of nine entering Wednesday and actually lost ground because the Giants won nine straight.

But the Giants finally slipped Wednesday night, and the Dodgers took advantage, pushing that huge stone closer to the top of the hill with a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks before a crowd of 46,520 in Chavez Ravine.

The Dodgers’ sixth straight win, combined with San Francisco’s 9-6 loss to San Diego, moved the Dodgers to within 1 ½ games of the Giants with 15 games left and marked the first time since Sept. 4 that the Dodgers had gained ground on their division rivals.

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GALAXY

Kevin Baxter on the Galaxy: Want to know how the Galaxy are going to do in any given game? Well don’t bother with the oddmakers or exotic stats such as expected goals or power ratings. Just check the lineup and if Javier Hernández is playing, chances are it’s going to be a good night for the team.

It happened again Wednesday, when Hernández scored early in the second half to rescue the underperforming Galaxy in a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo before a sparse midweek crowd announced at 15,341.

Although the tie was a disappointing result against a team that hasn’t won on the road this season, it ended a two-game home losing streak while solidifying the Galaxy’s hold on fourth place in the Western Conference.

More importantly, the team is 7-3-2 this season when Hernández plays and 4-5-3 when he doesn’t, making the right calf injury that sidelined him for nearly three months this summer the most intractable opponent the Galaxy has faced this season.

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LAFC

Danny Musovski scored moments after entering the game, Cristian Arango scored on a penalty kick and LAFC beat Austin FC 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Musovski, who subbed on in the 76th minute, slipped behind the defense, ran onto a through ball by Jose Cifuentes and beat goalkeeper Brad Stuver to give LAFC (9-9-6) a 2-1 lead in the 81st.

Arango converted from the spot — his fifth goal in the last four games — to open the scoring in the 59th minute. Diego Fagundez, whose hand ball in the area set up Arango’s goal, put away the rebound of Cecilio Dominguez’s shot off the post by to tie it in the 67th.

LAFC snapped a four-game road losing streak.

CHARGERS

Jeff Miller on the Chargers: Safety Derwin James Jr. did not practice Wednesday because of a toe problem, according to the team’s injury report.

Coach Brandon Staley spoke to reporters before practice and did not mention James’ injury. Staley won’t address reporters again until Friday.

James was limited to five games over the last two years because of foot and knee issues. He missed the 2020 season.

He returned Sunday and played all 55 defensive snaps in the Chargers’ 20-16 victory at Washington.

NASCAR

John Cherwa on NASCAR: NASCAR racing will return to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on Feb. 27, 2022, for the first time in almost two years as the second official race in the circuit’s 10-month season. The announcement Wednesday comes a day after it was revealed that the first event of the season, the Clash, an exhibition of top drivers, will be held inside the Coliseum on Feb. 6. It’s the first time in four decades that the first event will not be held in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Last year the Fontana race was scheduled to be second on the schedule, but because of the pandemic, racing was kept in Florida and the race was run on the Daytona International Speedway road course. The last time Cup racing was at Auto Club Speedway was March 1, 2020.

“Our fans have waited a long time for this and we’re ready to celebrate with them,” said Dave Allen, the track’s president. This will be the track’s 25th anniversary.

GYMNASTICS

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles told Congress on Wednesday that “enough is enough” in emotional testimony along with other young gymnasts about her sexual abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

Biles blamed not only the gymnastics organization but also federal law enforcement that “turned a blind eye” to the crimes as hundreds of young athletes were abused.

“I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles said through tears in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee “knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge.”

McKayla Maroney, another gold medal-winning gymnast, told senators that one night when she was 15 years old, she found the doctor on top of her while she was naked — one of many times she was abused. She said she thought she was going to die that evening.

Maroney said the FBI “minimized and disregarded” her after she reported Nassar and said the agency delayed the investigation as others were abused. “If they’re not going to protect me, I want to know who are they trying to protect,” she said.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1885 — The America’s Cup is successfully defended by U.S. yacht Puritan as it beats Britain’s Genesta in two heats.

1926 — Henri Cochet ends Bill Tilden’s six-year reign as the U.S. Lawn Tennis Assn .champion as he beats Tilden in the quarterfinals.

1927 — Rene Lacoste wins the U.S. Lawn Tennis Assn. championship, beating Bill Tilden in three sets.

1951 — Betsy Rawls wins the U.S. Women’s Open golf title by edging Louise Suggs.

1955 — The formation of the United States Auto Club is completed and will oversee four major categories of auto races.

1973 — O.J. Simpson rushes for 250 yards to lead the Buffalo Bills to a 31-13 victory over the New England Patriots.

1989 — No. 1 Notre Dame beats No. 2 Michigan 24-19 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Fighting Irish wide receiver Raghib Ismail steals the show by returning kickoffs 88 and 92 yards for touchdowns. It’s the second time Ismail has two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same game, accomplishing the feat against Rice in 1988.

1993 — Dave Winfield of the Minnesota Twins becomes the 19th player in major league history to get 3,000 hits, with a single off Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley.

1996 — Paul Molitor gets his 3,000th career hit, becoming the 21st major leaguer to reach the mark and the first to do it with a triple.

2000 — Zippy Chippy, a 9-year-old gelding, finishes third in the eighth race at the Three-County Fair in Northampton, Mass., extending his record as the losingest horse in American thoroughbred history to 88 races.

2001 — Jason Bohn shoots a 13-under 58 at Huron Oaks Country Club to win the Canadian Tour’s Bayer Championship by two strokes and go one below the best round ever shot in PGA Tour-sanctioned competition.

2007 — Jim Thome is the 23rd player — and third this season — to reach 500 home runs. The slugger hits a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning off reliever Dustin Moseley to give the Chicago White Sox a 9-7 victory over the Angels.

2007 — Bengals QB Carson Palmer passes for six TDs and the Browns’ Derek Anderson has five in Cleveland’s 51-45 win over Cincinnati, making it just the third time in NFL history that two QBs threw five TD passes apiece in the same game.

2010 — The Seattle Storm complete their undefeated march through the postseason, beating the Atlanta Dream 87-84 for a three-game sweep in the WNBA finals.

2012 — Eli Manning completes 31 of 51 passes for 510 yards — the second-best passing day in team history — with three touchdown passes and three interceptions as the New York Giants rally for a 41-34 win over Tampa Bay.

2017 — In front of the largest crowd to attend a stand-alone MLS match, Josef Martinez gets his second hat trick in a row and his third of the season to help Atlanta United hold on for a 3-3 draw against Orlando City. Atlanta United sets the record with 70,425 on hand at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

2018 — Scott Dixon has a steady drive to win his fifth IndyCar championship with ease. Dixon, needing an uneventful finale at Sonoma Raceway, finishes second behind winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. His fifth title moves him into second in IndyCar history, two behind A.J. Foyt.

2018 — Patrick Mahomes is 23 for 28 for 326 yards and six touchdown passes in Kansas City’s 42-37 win over Pittsburgh. His 10 touchdown passes through two weeks are the most by a quarterback through two games in NFL history.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Dave Winfield gets his 3,000th hit. Watch and listen here. Paul Molitor gets his 3,000th hit. 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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