The Sports Report: Good pitching, timely hitting leads Dodgers past Giants

Chris Taylor is moments away from lacing a two-run single in the second inning.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

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

From Jack Harris: Last year, one game separated them in the regular season. Their playoff series wasn’t decided until the ninth inning of a winner-take-all Game 5.

It was as intense, dramatic and competitive as almost any season in their more than a century old rivalry.

And if Tuesday night was any indication, the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants might do it all over again in 2022.

In their first meeting of the season, the Dodgers won 3-1 in front of 43,370 at Dodger Stadium, prevailing in a pitchers duel between Julio Urías (who pitched six scoreless innings) and Carlos Rodón (who gave up two runs on only three hits over six innings).


Like many of their matchups last year — when the 106-win Dodgers were edged out by the 107-win Giants for the NL West title, before knocking the Giants out of the playoffs in a classic five-game division series -- the contest remained in the balance until the very end.

After Chris Taylor gave the Dodgers an early lead with a two-run single in the second inning, the Giants had chances to come back. They scored on a sacrifice fly in the seventh. They had the go-ahead run at the plate in the eighth. And even after the Dodgers tacked on an insurance run, they again had the tying runs on base in the ninth, before Craig Kimbrel ended the game by picking up his fifth save.

“Both teams have shown relevance in the National League that there’s higher stakes,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said pregame. “You can forecast looking later into September and October that these two teams could be facing each other again for high stakes. I think it’s great for the rivalry, I think it’s great for baseball.”

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From Helene Elliott: Alex Iafallo’s goal production halted as abruptly and completely as if someone had twisted a faucet and jammed it in the “off” position.

He had enjoyed a solid start on the left side on the Kings’ top line, scoring six goals and 13 points in his first 13 games, but his success didn’t last. He went seven games without a goal, scored three goals in two games, and then went scoreless in eight games. He had 13 goals at the halfway point of the season and scored another three games later, leaving him primed to easily surpass the career-best 17 goals he had scored in the 2019-20 season.

And then ... nothing. Zero. Zilch. He couldn’t put the puck in the ocean if he were standing at the end of the Santa Monica pier.


Iafallo went an unfathomable 23 games without scoring a goal, eventually dropping off the No. 1 line while trying to rediscover his game. Coach Todd McLellan offered help and encouragement and remained patient because he appreciated that Iafallo wasn’t allowing his scoring woes to drag down his defensive game.

“There’s some scorers in the league that when they’re not scoring, sometimes there’s not much else going on. We believe that when Al wasn’t scoring there was still other things going on that we valued and that his teammates valued,” McLellan said. “He hung on to those traits and eventually found his scoring again.”

Transplanted to the third line with Phillip Danault and Thousand Oaks native Trevor Moore for the Kings’ playoff opener against Edmonton on Monday after winger Viktor Arvidsson sat out for undisclosed reasons, Iafallo recorded his first multipoint game since Jan. 13. He contributed a goal and an assist to the Kings’ 4-3 victory at Rogers Place and made the winning goal by Danault possible by intercepting an intended stretch pass by goaltender Mike Smith that triggered a chaotic and decisive sequence in the Oilers’ zone.

NHL playoffs
schedule and results
All times Pacific
First round
Western Conference

No. 2 Edmonton vs. No. 3 Kings
Kings 4, Edmonton 3
Tonight, at Edmonton, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Friday, at Kings, 7 p.m., TBS
Sunday, at Kings, 7 p.m., TBS
*Tuesday, at Edmonton, TBD
*Thursday, May 12, at Kings, TBD
*Saturday, May 14, at Edmonton, TBD

No. 1 Colorado vs. WC#2 Nashville
Colorado 7, Nashville 2
Thursday at Colorado, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Saturday at Nashville, 1:30 p.m., TNT
Monday, at Nashville, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
*Wednesday, May 11, at Colorado, TBD
*Friday, May 13, at Nashville, TBD
*Sunday, May 15, at Colorado, TBD

No. 2 Minnesota vs. No. 3 St. Louis
St. Louis 4, Minnesota 0
Tonight at Minnesota, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Friday, at St. Louis, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Sunday, at St. Louis, 1:30 p.m., TBS
*Tuesday, at Minnesota, TBD
*Thursday, May 12, at St. Louis, TBD
*Saturday, May 14, at Minnesota, TBD

No. 1 Calgary vs. WC#1 Dallas
Calgary 1, Dallas 0
Thursday at Calgary, 7 p.m., TBS
Saturday at Dallas, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Monday, at Dallas, 6:30 p.m., TBS
*Wednesday, May 11, at Calgary, TBD
*Friday, May 13, at Dallas, TBD
*Sunday, May 15, at Calgary, TBD

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Florida vs. WC#2 Washington
Washington 4, Florida 2
Thursday at Florida, 4:30 p.m., TBS
Saturday at Washington, 10 a.m., ESPN
Monday, at Washington, 4 p.m., TBS
*Wednesday, May 11, at Florida, TBD
*Friday, May 13, at Washington, TBD
*Sunday, May 15, at Florida, TBD

No. 2 Toronto vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay
Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 0
Today at Toronto, 4:30 p.m., ESPN2
Friday, at Tampa Bay, 4:30 p.m., TBS
Sunday, at Tampa Bay, 4 p.m., TBS
*Tuesday, at Toronto, TBD
*Thursday, May 12, at Tampa Bay, TBD
*Saturday, May 14, at Toronto, TBD

No. 1 Carolina at WC#1 Boston
Carolina 5, Boston 1
Today at Carolina, 4 p.m., ESPN
Friday, at Boston, 4 p.m., TNT
Sunday, at Boston, 9:30 a.m., ESPN
*Tuesday, at Carolina, TBD
*Thursday, May 12, at Boston, TBD
*Saturday, May 14, at Carolina, TBD

No. 2 New York Rangers vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh 4, New York 3 (3 OT)
Thursday at New York, 4 p.m., TNT
Saturday at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m., TNT
Monday, at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m., ESPN
*Wednesday, May 11, at New York, TBD
*Friday, May 13, at Pittsburgh, TBD
*Sunday, May 15, at New York, TBD

*-if necessary


Rafael Devers homered, Michael Wacha pitched into the sixth inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Angels 4-0 on Tuesday night.


J.D. Martinez added a solo homer in the eighth to help seal it for Boston, which held the Angels to three hits in its second shutout of the season.

Noah Syndergaard (2-1) had a solid start for Los Angeles, throwing 100 pitches on a chilly night and holding the Red Sox to three runs and eight hits over seven innings. But the Angels didn’t give him any run support, squandering the few chances they had by grounding into three double plays.

Wacha (3-0) gave up only three hits — singles by Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Max Stassi. Jake Diekman and Ryan Brasier preserved the shutout until Hirokazu Sawamura took over in the ninth, striking out Ohtani to end it.

Devers broke the scoreless tie with a leadoff homer in the fourth, driving the first pitch from Syndergaard deep into the seats in center field. It was the fourth of the season for Devers, who has at least one hit in 21 of Boston’s 24 games.


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: John Speraw has a former high school basketball star, first-team All-Americans and gritty reserves on his roster. Attacking players rotate in and out for the UCLA coach, but one player never wavers.

No matter who joined Miles Partain on the court Tuesday night, the UCLA sophomore setter remained consistent and composed as No. 3 UCLA flexed its depth in a 25-23, 22-25, 26-24, 25-19 victory over No. 5 Pepperdine at Pauley Pavilion.


Partain, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation player of the year, had 43 assists and five kills as UCLA (22-4) advanced to face No. 1 Long Beach State in Thursday’s NCAA semifinal. Showing experience beyond his years, Partain has UCLA two wins away from the program’s first national title since 2006.

“It is really hard to be a first-year setter and get this far,” Speraw said. “I’m really confident in his ability to grow and develop. This is just the beginning for him, and we’re a good team when he’s playing well.”


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Long Beach State’s national championship trophies greet everyone who enters the school’s volleyball offices in Walter Pyramid. Alan Knipe, who has helped the men’s volleyball team put three gleaming prizes on the table a few feet away from his office door, may soon need to clear some more space.

Three years removed from back-to-back national championships, Long Beach State is on the cusp of another successful chapter. The top seed in the NCAA tournament at Pauley Pavilion this week, the Beach (20-5) begins the quest for its third national title in five years Thursday in the semifinals against UCLA.

After winning one NCAA championship in the first 47 years of its program, Long Beach State is now a perennial power. Beach won back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019, ending a 27-year NCAA title drought for the program on the back of a vaunted senior class that included All-Americans TJ DeFalco, Kyle Ensing and Josh Tuaniga.

In the COVID-19 pandemic’s twisted reality, Long Beach State’s coronation as a men’s volleyball powerhouse feels like a lifetime ago. Two pandemic-interrupted seasons following the last title make it feel like the roster changed over in an instant, Knipe said. But changing from a veteran-laden team to a squad with just one senior hasn’t dampened expectations for the Beach.


“People don’t come here to play for second, right?” junior middle blocker Shane Holdaway said.


The Biden administration has determined that WNBA star Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia, meaning the U.S. will more aggressively work to secure her release even as the legal case against her plays out, two U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Griner was detained at an airport in February after Russian authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing traces of cannabis oil. Since then, U.S. officials had stopped short of classifying the Phoenix Mercury player as wrongfully detained and said instead that their focus was on ensuring that she had access in jail to American consular affairs officials.

Now, though, U.S. officials have shifted supervision of her case to a State Department office focused on negotiating for the release of hostages and other Americans deemed wrongfully detained.


From Sam Farmer: Phil Mickelson stunned the sports world last May by winning the PGA Championship at age 50, becoming the oldest player to win a major championship.

Since then, he has been steeped in controversy because of derisive comments he made to Golf Digest and the Fire Pit Collective about the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian regime bankrolling a rival golf league.


Mickelson skipped the Masters in April, and, although he’s officially registered to play in the PGA Championship on May 19-22 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., there’s no guarantee he’ll be there.

Three questions with Bob Harig, author of the just-published “Tiger & Phil: Golf’s Most Fascinating Rivalry”:

Q: Do you think Phil will show up and play at Southern Hills?

Harig: I hope he plays. But how does he go to a tournament and avoid the crush? Maybe he’ll do some sort of a sit-down interview with somebody, then not take any media questions. I didn’t think there was any way he would skip the Masters. Now I think anything’s possible. Missing the PGA which would really be a shame given how big of a deal that was a year ago.

I find it sad in the sense that, forget about how we got to this point. That’s another story. We can debate whether he deserves this or not. But the guy won the PGA last year, became the oldest major champion. The record had stood for 53 years. He won on a U.S. Open-style course, against a guy in Brooks Koepka who’s won four majors. And he should be reveling in that right now. He should be able to live with that forever, no matter what he did

Read the rest of the Q&A by clicking here.


Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Conference semifinals
Western Conference


No. 1 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 4 Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix 121, Dallas 114
Tonight, at Phoenix, 7 p.m., TNT
Friday, at Dallas, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, at Dallas, 12:30 p.m., ESPN
*Tuesday, at Phoenix, TBD, TBT
*Thursday, May 12, TBD, ESPN
*Sunday, May 15, TBD

No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies vs. No. 3 Golden State Warriors
Golden State 117, Memphis 116
Memphis 106, Golden State 101
Saturday, at Golden State, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Monday, at Golden State, 7 p.m., TNT
Wed., May 11, at Memphis, TBD, TNT
*Friday, May 13, at Golden State, TBD, ESPN
*Monday, May 16, at Memphis, TBD, TNT

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Miami Heat vs. No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers
Miami 106, Philadelphia 92
Tonight, at Miami, 4:30 p.m., TNT
Friday, at Philadelphia, 4 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, at Philadelphia, 5 p.m., TNT
*Tuesday, at Miami, TBD, TNT
*Thursday, May 12, at Philadelphia, TBD, ESPN
*Sunday, May 15, at Miami, TBD

No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee 101, Boston 89
Boston 109, Milwaukee 86
Saturday, at Milwaukee, 12:30 p.m., ABC
Monday, at Milwaukee, 4:30 p.m., TNT
Wed., May 11, at Boston, TBD, TNT
*Friday, May 13, at Milwaukee, TBD, ESPN
*Sunday, May 15, at Boston, TBD

*-if necessary


1905 — Belmont Park in New York opens for its first thoroughbred meet.

1935 — Omaha, ridden by Willis Saunders, wins the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths over Roman Soldier. Omaha goes on to win the Triple Crown.

1946 — Assault, ridden by Warren Mehrtens, wins the Kentucky Derby by eight lengths over Spy Song on his way to the Triple Crown.

1957 — Iron Liege, ridden by Bill Hartack, wins the Kentucky Derby by a nose when jockey Willie Shoemaker, aboard Gallant Man, misjudges the finish line. Shoemaker is in front but stands the saddle before the finish.

1968 — Dancer’s Image, ridden by Bob Ussery, wins the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths over Forward Pass. Three days later, Dancer’s Image is disqualified when traces of a painkiller are found in tests. Forward Pass, ridden by Ismael Valenzuela, is declared the winner.

1968 — The Pittsburgh Pipers beat New Orleans Buccaneers 122-113 in Game 7 to win the first ABA championship.


1969 — The Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup with a four-game sweep, beating the St. Louis Blues 2-1.

1994 — Charles Barkley scores 56 points, including a playoff-record 38 in the first half, to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 140-133 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

1999 — The New Jersey Devils become the first top-seeded team to lose in the first round of the playoffs in consecutive years when they are beaten 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7.

2000 — Keith Primeau ends the third-longest game in NHL history by scoring at 12:01 of the fifth overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, tying their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

2003 — Detroit becomes the seventh NBA team to advance after falling behind 3-1 in a series, beating Orlando 108-93.

2008 — In the eighth longest game in NHL history, Dallas eliminates San Jose in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals. In a game that lasts 5 hours, 17 minutes, the Stars beat the Sharks 2-1 after Brenden Morrow scores a power play goal 9:03 into the fourth overtime.


2009 — Cleveland’s LeBron James, unstoppable at both ends of the floor this season, is named the NBA’s MVP. James, who easily outdistanced Kobe Bryant of the Lakers in the voting, averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists.

2009 — Alex Ovechkin records his first NHL playoff hat trick and scores the winning goal in Washington’s 4-3 win over Pittsburgh in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference series. Sidney Crosby of the Penguins also scores three goals.

2013 — Floyd Mayweather comes back from a year’s absence to win a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero in their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas. All three judges score the bout 117-111 and Mayweather remains unbeaten in 44 fights.

2016 — J.R. Smith makes seven 3-pointers and the Cleveland Cavaliers drain an NBA-record 25 3s in a 123-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of the second round. Cleveland finishes 25 of 45 behind the arc, with 10 players making at least one 3. Cleveland’s 25 3s are the most in any game — regular or postseason.

2018 — Albert Pujols of the Angels collects his 3,000 hit.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Albert Pujols gets his 3,000th hit. Watch and listen here.


Until next time...

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