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The Sports Report: Chris Taylor’s grand slam lifts Dodgers past Orioles

Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor follows through on a swing against the Baltimore Orioles.
Chris Taylor follows through on a swing against the Baltimore Orioles.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Jack Harris: Bryan Baker threw fastball after fastball after fastball.

Each time, Chris Taylor fouled his upper-90s heaters out of play.

With the bases loaded and two out in the sixth inning, Taylor’s swing was on time against the Baltimore Orioles right-hander. But, getting fastballs on three of the at-bat’s first four pitches, he sent each one backward, just a little off from connecting with his swing.

On pitch No. 5, Baker stuck with his plan. In an 0-and-2 count, he fired another fastball at the upper outside corner.

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This time, Taylor caught it on the barrel, launching a no-doubt rocket to left-center.

In the Dodgers’ 6-4 win Monday at Camden Yards, it was Taylor’s go-ahead grand slam that made all the difference, turning a two-run deficit into a two-run lead.

That was enough for the Dodgers bullpen, which followed Emmet Sheehan’s five-inning, four-run start with four scoreless innings of relief — even though key right-handers Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol were unavailable after pitching the previous two days. Ryan Brasier got the save.

Freddie Freeman had three hits, finishing just a home run short of the cycle. Will Smith had two hits and an RBI. The Dodgers have won three of four since the All-Star break, and 15 of their last 21 overall.

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Dodgers box score

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NL WEST STANDINGS

Dodgers, 54-39
San Francisco, 52-41, 2 GB
Arizona, 52-42, 2.5 GB
San Diego, 44-50, 10.5 GB
Colorado, 36-58, 18.5 GB

WILD-CARD STANDINGS
top three teams qualify

San Francisco, 52-41
Arizona, 52-42
Miami, 53-43
Philadelphia, 51-42, 0.5 GB
Cincinnati, 50-44, 2 GB
San Diego, 44-50, 8 GB
Chicago, 43-50, 8.5 GB
New York, 43-50, 8.5 GB

ANGELS

From Sarah Valenzuela: The Angels needed to turn the page after Sunday. They gave it their best effort, winning in walk-off fashion on Michael Stefanic’s RBI single in a 4-3 extra-inning win over the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium.

Starter Griffin Canning struck out a career-high 12 batters, going 5 ⅔ innings while throwing a career-most 120 pitches. Mix in Shohei Ohtani’s not so subtle reminder why he’s the most talked about player this month and the Angels never stopped fighting all game.

Canning came out for the sixth inning having already thrown 101 pitches. Manager Phil Nevin removed him during that sixth inning after Canning walked Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but Canning remained, determined to get the last out. He was finally pulled after loading the bases.

It was a length and strength the Angels needed to avoid the same snowball effect that happened with the rest of their pitching on Sunday.

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Reliever Jimmy Herget came in to replace Canning for the final out of the sixth, but two runs scored after Yankees’ right fielder Oswaldo Cabrera hit a two-run ground-rule double.

Matt Thaiss cut the Angels’ deficit to one run after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, though the Yankees got that run back the next inning on sacrifice fly.

Ohtani, who went three for four on the night, got the Angels up to pace in the bottom of the seventh when he hit a two-run home run, bringing him just a triple shy of the cycle. He struck out in his last at-bat.

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Angels box score

AL WEST STANDINGS

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Texas, 56-39
Houston, 52-42, 3.5 GB
Seattle, 47-46, 8 GB
Angels, 47-48, 9 GB
Oakland, 25-71, 31.5 GB

WILD-CARD STANDINGS
top three teams qualify

Baltimore, 57-36
Toronto, 53-41
Houston, 52-42
Boston, 51-44, 1.5 GB
New York, 50-45, 2.5 GB
Seattle, 47-46, 4.5 GB
Angels, 47-48, 5.5 GB
Cleveland, 46-48, 6 GB

LAKERS

From Dan Woike: Walking around the folks buzzing with excitement on their way inside the Forum in Inglewood, Robert Lewis was amazed.

He was just a kid, maybe 11, maybe 12, living a mile away from the Lakers arena in the early 1970s when he met a man who offered him and his brother, Michael, a job slinging programs to fans on their way inside to watch Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich.

“And with two minutes before the game was over, they’d always let us in. And then we’d walk in and get real close,” Lewis remembered during an interview in his Las Vegas home. “... It was amazing, seeing all the players.”

And then they’d go home with a couple of bucks in their pocket.

Never, Lewis thought, would he actually get close to a Lakers player. He was just a practical L.A. kid whose dreams extended to things like driving alongside the ocean on Pacific Coast Highway.

Never, he figured later in life, would his youngest son, Maxwell, a player for Pepperdine, land a job with his favorite team. He still felt that way during the NBA draft last month, and then a torturous night somehow ended with a call from Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka in the second round.

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Will Lakers give LeBron James the Kobe treatment and retire both numbers when he hangs it up?

CLIPPERS

From Andrew Greif: As Mason Plumlee arrived at the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center on Friday afternoon and made his way toward the contingent of Clippers executives and coaches seated courtside to watch a Summer League game featuring the Clippers, coach Tyronn Lue was among those to bellow “Welcome back!” to the 6-foot-11 center.

Only days earlier, Plumee’s one-year, $5-million free-agent contract to return to the team that had acquired him from Charlotte at February’s trade deadline had become official. Plumlee returns to a team at a tipping point, still harboring championship ambitions but playing in a Western Conference where they are no longer in the discussion as favorites.

Plumlee spoke with The Times and other media Friday about his free agency, how the Clippers can be more competitive during the regular season and the team’s roster moves. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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KINGS

From Helene Elliott: New Kings center Pierre-Luc Dubois moved around a lot as a kid. He spent the first year of his life in England, then lived in Germany, Montreal, and in the Quebec cities of Baie-Comeau and Rimouski while his father, Eric, pursued a hockey career that crested short of the NHL. Pierre-Luc was 15 when he moved again, leaving Rimouski to advance his hockey prospects.

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“A lot of places,” he said, “but I think it helped me and prepared me for this life of hockey, where you can potentially always be on the move.”

Good thing the 25-year-old has had practice at adapting to new situations. When he wears a Kings jersey in September he will be playing for his third team in seven seasons, a lot of movement in a short time for a power forward who’s near or at his projected prime.

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ANGEL CITY

From Annika Johnson: Angel City FC championed forward Christen Press as an experienced, versatile player when the team made her its first signee in 2021. Now, one year after tearing her right anterior cruciate ligament, Press’ return to the pitch has been postponed by a fourth surgery.

Press announced Sunday on social media she’ll be undergoing knee surgery again. Her announcement comes days before the U.S. women’s national team begins World Cup play in New Zealand against Vietnam.

Up until the U.S. World Cup roster was announced last month, Press said “there wasn’t a day that passed over the last year that I didn’t believe I could be there. Even after three surgeries.”

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This is the most transparent Press, 34, has been about her injury — though she did not indicate when she would have her latest surgery.

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SPORTS ON TV

Local teams on TV today:
All times Pacific

4 p.m., Dodgers at Baltimore, Sportsnet LA

6:30 p.m., NY Yankees at Angels, Bally Sports West

Women’s World Cup schedule: Start times for every match and how to watch

The rest of today’s sports on TV listings can be found here.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1896 — James Foulis wins the U.S. Men’s Open golf championship at Shinnecock Hills, Southampton, N.Y.

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1921 — Babe Ruth achieves 139 home runs and becomes the all-time home run leader in Major League Baseball, taking the title from Roger Connor.

1927 — Ty Cobb of the Philadelphia Athletics doubles off the glove of Harry Heilmann for his 4,000th hit.

1951 — Jersey Joe Walcott, at 37, becomes the oldest fighter to win the world heavyweight title with a seventh-round knockout of Ezzard Charles at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

1970 — San Francisco’s Willie Mays gets career hit number 3,000 off Montreal’s Mike Wegener in the second inning.

1975 — The trial of Dave Forbes, the first pro athlete to be indicted for a crime committed during play, ends in a hung jury. Forbes, of the Boston Bruins, was indicted for excessive force used on an opponent. Forbes’ victim was Henry Boucha in a game on Jan. 4 against the North Stars at Minnesota. The prosecution decides not to seek a retrial.

1987 — New York’s Don Mattingly ties Dale Long’s 31-year-old major league record when he homers for the eighth consecutive game in the Yankees’ 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.

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1993 — Greg Norman shoots a 64 on the final day to set a record with a 13-under 267 and wins the British Open. Norman wins by two strokes over defending champion Nick Faldo.

1999 — Jean Van de Velde’s triple bogey on the 72nd hole sets the stage for Paul Lawrie to become the first Scotsman to win the British Open in his native land since Tommy Armour in 1931. Lawrie, 10 strokes behind when the final round began, wins the four-hole playoff over Van de Velde and Justin Leonard, making birdies on the last two holes to complete the biggest comeback in a major.

1999 — David Cone dazzles the Montreal Expos, throwing the 14th perfect game in modern history to lead the New York Yankees to a 6-0 victory.

2005 — In Oklahoma City, the United States loses a tournament title game for the first time since 1997, falling 3-1 to Japan in the championship of the inaugural World Cup of Softball. The Americans, which lost to Canada earlier in this tournament, lost to Australia 1-0 in the championship game of the 1997 Superball, held in Ohio.

2010 — Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa shoots a 1-under 71 for a seven-stroke victory at 16-under 272 in the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Lee Westwood of England finishes second.

2021 — Colin Morikawa wins the Open Championship 15-under par at Royal St. George’s by two strokes over Jordan Speith. It was Morikawa’s second major championship win.

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—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally...

Willie Mays gets his 3,000th hit. Watch and listen here. David Cone pitches a perfect game. 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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