The Sports Report: Dodgers force a decisive Game 5

Mookie Betts circles the bases after homering in Game 4.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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

Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: The announcement surfaced at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday: Walker Buehler would start Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants on three days’ rest for the first time in his major-league career.


It was the obvious choice with the Dodgers on the brink of elimination. And yet it wasn’t a given for an organization that handles pitchers with deliberate caution, assessing risk at every turn down to the most minuscule details.

Another relatively out-of-character move arose a few hours later: Gavin Lux would start in center field. Lux has been an outfielder for all of five weeks. The last time the former top prospect was seen in center field, he was crashing face first into the wall during the season’s final week. He is still learning the basics and manager Dave Roberts had indicated Lux wouldn’t start in the outfield in the playoffs.

But the Dodgers craved more offense after getting shut out twice in four playoff games without Max Muncy available, and Lux supplied another dangerous offensive talent. The possible reward was too great. Desperation surmounted the gamble.

The two calculations summarized the Dodgers’ state of mind Tuesday. It was time to put the best talent on the field to beat the rival Giants. Their World Series dreams depended on them surviving. In the end, the decisions took center stage in their 7-2 victory at Dodger Stadium, setting up a winner-take-all Game 5 for the fabled foes.

A night after Giants pitching and stiff winds combined to keep them scoreless, the Dodgers awoke from their slumber in more tranquil conditions. Lux went two for two with two walks and a run scored in his seventh start in center field as the Dodgers chased Anthony DeSclafani after 1-2/3 innings, forcing the Giants to use seven relievers to cover the remainder of the game. Mookie Betts hit a two-run home run. Cody Bellinger recorded his first multiple-hit game since Aug. 25. Trea Turner collected two hits.

Buehler didn’t last long, but he held the Giants to one run on three hits over 4-1/3 innings, and the bullpen shut the door to move the series back to Oracle Park for Game 5.


Plaschke: Never-give-up Dodgers show longtime rival Giants they’re built for elimination games

Gavin Lux helps power Dodgers’ offensive resurgence in Game 4 victory

Dodgers fans, MLB’s best, deserved Game 4 win and deserve more home games

Photos: Dodgers vs. Giants in NLDS Game 4

Freddie Freeman’s homer sends Braves to NLCS with win over Brewers

Jose Altuve, Astros going back to ALCS after topping White Sox

The most gut-wrenching game in Angels history: 35 years later, it still haunts them

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Dan Woike on the Lakers: Steve Kerr saw it as a broadcaster for TNT, sitting courtside on Thursday nights in Miami or other NBA cities as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh tried to make their all-world talents translate to championships. He saw it with an even better seat on the bench, watching Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant run through the league.

And on Tuesday night, he got another in-person look at a superstar trio — James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook — making their debut together, albeit in a preseason game, for the Lakers against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.

“Generally speaking, this stuff takes time,” Kerr, Golden State’s coach, said. “The good thing is, you know, if you have guys who want to be together, they’re going to commit to each other. And that seems to be the case here. I think these guys all want to play together. And so they’re going to figure it out. They’re all great players and smart players.

“But it’ll take time. It’s going to look much different by the end of the year than it does now.”


Andrew Greif on the Clippers: Terance Mann’s breakout second season with the Clippers has earned the former second-round draft pick a significant raise.

On top of exercising their $1.9-million team option for the 2022-23 season on Mann, the Clippers on Tuesday reached an agreement with the wing on a two-year contract extension, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The extension is worth $22 million overall, one of the people said. It begins in 2023-24, when Mann will receive $10.5 million; the following season, his salary rises to $11.4 million.

Negotiations had been ongoing since the summer, Mann said at the team’s Tuesday practice.


Ryan Kartje on the Trojans: It’d been almost a month since his dynamic debut as Jaxson Dart stood alone in the center of USC’s practice field on Tuesday, dropping back against air, testing his surgically repaired right knee with each step.

His knee was still sore. It was still protected by a massive brace that encompassed almost his entire leg. But with each passing practice, the Trojans’ electric freshman quarterback has continued to make progress, begging the question of whether he might be healthy enough to return after USC’s bye week, when the Trojans take on Notre Dame.

Neither Dart, nor USC interim coach Donte Williams would provide clear answers to that question on Tuesday. But both seemed to hint at the possibility that his return could be on the horizon.

“I would say as soon as possible,” Dart said. “I’m just trying to stay on top of everything, like I said, doing a ton of therapy, ton of rehab. I picture myself coming back sooner than later.”


Bill Dwyre on tennis: She lost the match and won the day.

The BNP Paribas Open, mostly a yawn so far in this October makeup edition, was roused from its slumber of mostly routine and indifferent performances Tuesday by a player from Canada who might weigh 110 pounds if you put lead in her sneakers.

Leylah Fernandez was defeated by American Shelby Rogers, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4). The match went 2½ hours on the main show court here, the 16,100-seat Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Midweek afternoon tennis in the desert heat is far from a destination stop, especially when it is held in October rather than its established March dates. Even if you are a diehard tennis fan, getting off the air-conditioned couch takes something special.

There she was, Little Leylah.

By the end of the match, when the mostly unheralded Rogers completed one of the best performances of her career, the stadium was rocking and rolling. It wasn’t anywhere near full. That happens with upcoming weekend semifinals and finals. Yet it was noisy, vibrant, engaged. Ushers had to hold back large groups in the stadium entrance wells until there was a break in the match. That was a first for a day match this year.

It was simple. These fans knew tennis and had learned the back story. They had come to see this little woman for themselves, and by the time the match was well into the second set, there were several thousand of them.


Jack Harris on the Ducks: Ahead of the Ducks’ season opener on Wednesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, here are 10 things to know about their 2021-22 campaign.

1. Last year … the Ducks struggled mightily, finishing a distant last in the West Division with a 17-30-9 record and franchise-worst .384 points percentage. It was also the club’s third straight season missing the playoffs, matching a franchise-long drought that hadn’t last happened since 2000-2002.

2. Player to watch … Max Comtois, the 22-year-old forward who led the team in scoring last year with 16 goals and 33 points (he was also one of only four players who had a positive plus/minus rating). While such veterans as Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell will help anchor the forward lines too, it’s youngsters such as Comtois, Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and Max Jones, plus defenseman Jamie Drysdale, who will likely dictate the direction of the club’s future.

Click here for the rest of the list.


1893 — The U.S. yacht Vigilant wins the America’s Cup with a three-race sweep over the British challenger Valkyrie II.

1903 — The Boston Pilgrims win the first World Series, 5 games to 3, with a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1947 — The NHL holds its first All-Star game with the All-Stars beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Toronto’s Harry Watson scores the game’s first goal and assists on the other two goals. Trailing 3-2 after two periods, Montreal’s Maurice Richard and Chicago’s Doug Bentley each score to give the All-Stars the win.

1960 — Bill Mazeroski opens the bottom of the ninth with a home run off Ralph Terry of the New York Yankees to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 10-9 victory and the World Series championship.

1961 — Jacky Lee of the Houston Oilers passes for 457 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-31 tie with the Boston Patriots. Charley Hennigan of the Oilers catches 13 passes for 272 yards.

1963 — Mickey Wright wins her fourth LPGA championship in six years by beating Mary Lena Faulk, Mary Mills and Louise Suggs by two strokes.

1985 — Phil Simms of the New York Giants passes for 513 yards with an NFL-record 62 pass attempts in a 35-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Simms completes 40 passes with 29 for first downs, also an NFL record.

1998 — For the first time in NBA history, the league cancels regular season games after labor talks break off.

2001 — DeShaun Foster of UCLA runs for a school-record 301 yards and four touchdowns as the Bruins beat Washington 35-13.

2001 — Georgia Southern fullback Adrian Peterson is held to 71 yards rushing, snapping his NCAA-record streak of 36 straight regular-season games with at least 100 yards.

2011 — American Jordyn Wieber wins another gold medal, beating Russia’s Viktoria Komova for the all-around title at the world gymnastics championships in Tokyo. Wieber, who led the Americans to the team title two days earlier, finishes with 59.382 points, just 0.033 ahead of the Russian.

2013 — Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto, six weeks removed from a bout of malaria, breaks the course mark in capturing the Chicago Marathon. Kimetto finishes in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds, leading a 1-2-3 finish for Kenyan men. He beats the mark of 2:04:38 set by Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede last year.

2017 — Gustav Nyquist scores twice and Detroit has four goals in the third period to beat Vegas 6-3, handing the NHL’s newest franchise its first loss. Vegas is the first NHL expansion team to win its first three games.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Bill Mazeroski homers to win the 1960 World Series. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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