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The Sports Report: Shohei Ohtani has a historic day

Shohei Ohtani watches his two-run home run in the second inning.
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Sarah Valenzuela: Within a 24-hour period the Angels declared they wouldn’t trade Shohei Ohtani, then their two-way star threw the first complete game of his MLB career before hitting two home runs in a doubleheader sweep against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday.

In the Angels’ 6-0 win in Game 1, Ohtani took a perfect game into the fifth inning en route to complete game, one-hit shutout in a 6-0 win. He then hit his 37th and 38th home runs of the season in an 11-4 win in the second game.

It almost seemed too easy a day for Ohtani, who dominated the Tigers all afternoon. But the excitement over his heroics dampened slightly when he started grabbing at his side and lower back while running the bases after hitting his second home run. He was pulled before his at-bat in the sixth inning for what the team initially called cramping. Michael Stefanic pinch-hit for Ohtani with the Angels leading by six runs.

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The team said after the game that Ohtani is fine and they’re expecting him back at designated hitter Friday against Toronto.

“He just cramped up. I mean really a lot of volume today for him,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “As I’ve said many times, certainly something I’ve never seen. I’m not sure at any level what he did in the first game, obviously with the complete game, and then two home runs in the second game but important two wins for us.”

Ohtani pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his MLB career. He had pitched eight innings five times before Thursday. The last time Ohtani had pitched more than eight innings in a game was when he was still playing professionally in Japan, his last start for the Nippon-Ham Fighters on Oct. 4, 2017, which was also a shutout.

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Plaschke: By keeping Shohei Ohtani, Angels once again failing to invest in their future

Angels box score, Game 1

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Angels box score, Game 2

All MLB box scores

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AL WEST STANDINGS

Texas, 60-43
Houston, 58-45, 2 GB
Angels, 54-49, 6 GB
Seattle, 52-50, 7.5 GB
Oakland, 28-76, 32.5 GB

WILD-CARD STANDINGS
top three teams qualify

Tampa Bay, 62-43
Houston, 58-45
Toronto, 57-46

Boston, 55-47, 1.5 GB
New York, 54-48, 2.5 GB
Angels, 54-49, 3 GB
Seattle, 52-50, 4.5 GB
Cleveland, 51-51, 5 GB

For full standings, go here

DODGERS

From Jorge Castillo: For weeks, the Dodgers have hinted they would not remain idle before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Team officials acknowledged the roster had holes and they acknowledged they would attempt to fill them. Manager Dave Roberts predicted at least adding “floor raisers.”

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This week, in the span of two days, the effort has produced Kiké Hernández and Amed Rosario. But the Dodgers might not be done altering their position player group. There’s someone else out there they covet, someone who wouldn’t just raise the floor. His name is Nolan Arenado.

The Dodgers have engaged in talks with the St. Louis Cardinals to acquire the eight-time All-Star third baseman, according to people with knowledge of the situation but who are not authorized to speak publicly. The Cardinals could also send a starting pitcher — Jack Flaherty or Jordan Montgomery — to Los Angeles for a package of major leaguers and prospects.

The Cardinals would want young pitching in a deal; they have eyed Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Ryan Pepiot, and Emmet Sheehan in talks, according to people with knowledge of the situation. A trade would also likely include the Dodgers sending Max Muncy or Chris Taylor, if not both, to St. Louis.

Arenado has a full no-trade clause — meaning he could block a trade to any team — but he is willing to waive the clause to play for the Dodgers, and only the Dodgers, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The Southern California native is said to have always wanted to play for the Dodgers.

The admiration goes both ways. The Dodgers have coveted Arenado for years. They planned to pursue him in free agency after the 2019 season until he signed an eight-year extension with the Colorado Rockies. Then they wanted to trade for Arenado when the Rockies made him available before the 2021 season, but Rockies owner Dick Monfort refused to entertain the division opponent’s offers. The Rockies instead shipped him to St. Louis in a trade that immediately went down as one of the worst in recent history.

This third quest has its obstacles.

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Will Dodgers rotation woes force them to be more aggressive at trade deadline?

All MLB box scores

NL WEST STANDINGS

Dodgers, 58-43
San Francisco, 56-47, 3 GB
Arizona, 55-48, 4 GB
San Diego, 49-54, 10 GB
Colorado, 40-62, 18.5 GB

WILD-CARD STANDINGS
top three teams qualify

San Francisco, 56-47
Philadelphia, 55-47
Cincinnati, 56-48

Miami, 55-48, 0.5 GB
Arizona, 55-48, 0.5 GB
Chicago, 51-51, 4 GB
San Diego, 49-54, 6.5 GB
New York, 48-54, 7 GB

For full standings, go here

BRONNY JAMES

From Dan Woike: Bronny James has been released from the hospital after successful treatment for a sudden cardiac arrest, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced in a statement Thursday.

“Thanks to the swift and effective response by the USC athletics’ medical staff, Bronny James was successfully treated for a sudden cardiac arrest. He arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center fully conscious, neurologically intact and stable,” Dr. Merije Chukumerije, the cardiologist treating James, said in a statement. “Mr. James was cared for promptly by highly-trained staff and has been discharged home, where he is resting. Although his workup will be ongoing, we are hopeful for his continued progress and are encouraged by his response, resilience, and his family and community support.”

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In his first public statement since his son collapsed and lost consciousness during a USC basketball workout at the Galen Center Monday, LeBron James also offered a positive update.

“I want to thank the countless people sending my family love and prayers. We feel you and I’m so grateful. Everyone doing great,” James tweeted Thursday. “We have our family together, safe and healthy, and we feel your love. Will have more to say when we’re ready but I wanted to tell everyone how much your support has meant to all of us!”

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RAMS

From Gary Klein: Matthew Stafford is preparing for his 15th NFL season, his third with the Rams.

But during an offseason in which several big names departed and the roster was not restocked with stars, even his name came up.

Stafford acknowledged Wednesday that teams inquired about trading for him, and that the Rams approached him about restructuring his contract.

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After the Rams won Super Bowl LVI at the end of the 2021 season, they rewarded Stafford with a four-year extension that included $120 million in guarantees and could be worth as much as $160 million. Stafford, 35, will carry a salary-cap number of $20 million this season, $49.5 million in 2024 and $50.5 million in 2025, according to overthecap.com.

That deal remains in place.

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CHARGERS

From Jeff Miller: Joey Bosa said Thursday that he is about to lose his hair, before adding that he has gained weight.

One of these developments could be significant for the Chargers in 2023. The other can be summed up by Bosa — in reference to his soon-to-be shaven head — predicting: “I’ll be like a little tennis ball.”

The Chargers’ goals for this season include improvement in running the ball and stopping the run. Bosa said his additional weight should lead to him being a better defender overall.

“Obviously, pass rushing is a big part of my game,” he said. “But I’m super focused on having more of an impact in the run game. I hope that trickles down to everybody else.”

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Joey Bosa, shown greeting Chargers coach Brandon Staley last season, typically had long hair but cut it short this summer. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Bosa said he played at 250 pounds last year and is closer to 265-270 now. After transitioning to Brandon Staley’s defense before the 2021 season, Bosa said he trimmed down.

He also said his run defense “has kind of gone down in the last couple years.” He played at closer to 265 early in his NFL career.

“I just think I’ll be a much more effective player in pass rush with my power,” he said, “and be able to play the run a little more dirty.”

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COLLEGE SPORTS

Colorado is leaving the Pac-12, and the Big 12 is ready to welcome the Buffaloes back to the conference they left a dozen years ago.

Colorado’s board of regents voted 9-0 in a special remote meeting Thursday to approve the conference switch in 2024.

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“The landscape of collegiate sports is ever-evolving, and the University of Colorado Boulder has determined the Big 12 is the best future fit for our athletic teams,” school President Todd Saliman said.

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SPARKS

Nneka Ogwumike had 25 points and nine rebounds, Jordin Canada added 21 points and seven assists, and the Sparks beat the Indiana Fever 81-68 on Thursday for their second series victory in two days.

Ogwumike made two free throws with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter for a 58-46 lead and the Sparks led by double figures the rest of the way. Jasmine Thomas sank a wide open three-pointer from the corner for a 73-60 lead and Canada added a jumper from the free-throw line on their next possession for a 15-point lead.

Thomas finished with eight points off the bench for Los Angeles (9-15). Dearica Hamby grabbed seven rebounds to reach 1,500 for her career. The Sparks made 20 of 23 free throws compared to Indiana’s three attempts.

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WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

From Helene Elliott: Six big-screen TVs were positioned around the room of a light-filled restaurant in Monrovia, every screen tuned in to the U.S. women’s World Cup team’s preparations for a stern test against the Netherlands in preliminary-round play in New Zealand.

Julie Sanchez didn’t have to go far to find a spot to watch the team’s pregame routines and try to catch a glimpse of her daughter, Ashley, a former UCLA standout and NWSL rookie of the year who made the U.S. World Cup roster in a stacked midfield. But for most of the buildup and parts of the game itself, Julie Sanchez and her husband, Ralph, weren’t gazing up at those screens at all.

Instead, they were busy embracing and catching up with the friends, neighbors and family members they had invited to join them at a watch party Wednesday, their thanks for the many ways their guests had supported Ashley as she pursued her unlikely dreams. Ashley didn’t get into the Americans’ first game or their 1-1 tie against the Dutch, but she was in the minds and hearts of everyone at the joyful party.

“It’s incredible,” Julie Sanchez said, looking around a room filled with laughter, love and pride that a young woman from what feels like a charming small town had made it to the World Cup stage.

Texas-based Siete Foods, owned by a Mexican-American family, sponsored watch parties for the U.S. team’s three Mexican-American players — Sanchez; Naomi Girma, in San Jose and Sofia Huerta, in Seattle. Julie Sanchez drew up the list for the party at Basin 141 in Monrovia, where the Sanchez family is in its fourth generation of residence.

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Thursday’s Results

Group B
Nigeria 3, Australia 2

Group E
Portugal 2, Vietnam 0

Group G
Argentina 2, South Africa 2

Standings
Top two in each group qualify for Round of 16
x-qualified for Round of 16
All times Pacific

Group A
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts
Switzerland, 1-1-0, +2, 4
New Zealand, 1-0-1, 0, 3
Philippines, 1-0-1, -2, 3
Norway, 0-1-1, -1, 1

July 20
New Zealand 1, Norway 0
Switzerland 2, Philippines 0

July 24
Philippines 1, New Zealand 0

July 25
Switzerland 0, Norway 0

Sunday
Norway vs. Philippines, 12 a.m. FS1, Universo
Switzerland vs. New Zealand 12 a.m. Fox, Telemundo

Group B
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts

Nigeria, 1-1-0, +2, 4
Canada, 1-1-0, +1, 4
Australia, 1-0-1, 0, 3
Ireland, 0-0-2, -2, 0

July 20
Australia 1 Ireland 0
Nigeria 0, Canada 0

July 26
Canada 2, Ireland 1

July 27
Nigeria 3, Australia 2

Monday
Canada vs. Australia 3 a.m. FS1, Universo
Ireland vs. Nigeria 3 a.m. Fox, Telemundo

Group C
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts

x-Spain, 2-0-0, +8, 6
x-Japan, 2-0-0, +7, 6
Costa Rica, 0-0-2, -5, 0
Zambia, 0-0-2, -10, 0

July 21
Spain 3, Costa Rica 0

July 22
Japan 5, Zambia 0

July 25
Japan 2, Costa Rica 0

July 26
Spain 5, Zambia 0

Monday
Japan vs. Spain 12 a.m. Fox, Telemundo
Costa Rica vs. Zambia 12 a.m. FS1, Universo

Group D
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts

Denmark, 1-0-0, +1, 3
England, 1-0-0, +1, 3
China, 0-0-1, -1, 0
Haiti, 0-0-1, -1, 0

July 22
England 1, Haiti 0
Denmark 1, China 0

Friday
England vs. Denmark 1:30 a.m. FS1, Telemundo
China vs. Haiti 4 a.m. FS1, Universo

Tuesday
China vs. England 4 a.m. Fox, Telemundo
Haiti vs. Denmark 4 a.m. FS1, Universo

Group E
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts

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USA, 1-1-0, +3, 4
Netherlands, 1-1-0, +1, 4
Portugal, 1-0-1, +1, 3
Vietnam, 0-0-2, -5, 0

July 21
U.S. 3, Vietnam 0

July 23
Netherlands 1, Portugal 0

July 26
U.S. 1, Netherlands 1

Thursday
Portugal 2, Vietnam 0

Tuesday
Vietnam vs. Netherlands 12 a.m. FS1, Universo
Portugal vs. U.S. 12 a.m. Fox, Telemundo

Group F
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts

Brazil, 1-0-0, +4, 3
France, 0-1-0, 0, 1
Jamaica, 0-1-0, 0, 1
Panama, 0-0-1, -4, 0

July 23
France 0, Jamaica 0

July 24
Brazil 4, Panama 0

Saturday
France vs. Brazil 3 a.m. Fox, Telemundo
Panama vs. Jamaica 5:30 a.m. Fox, Telemundo

Wednesday
Panama vs. France 3 a.m. Fox, Universo
Jamaica vs. Brazil 3 a.m. FS1, Telemundo

Group G
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts

Sweden, 1-0-0, +1, 3
Italy, 1-0-0, +1, 3
Argentina, 0-1-1, -1, 1
South Africa, 0-1-1, -1, 1

July 22
Sweden 2, South Africa 1

July 23
Italy 1, Argentina 0

Thursday
Argentina 2, South Africa 2

Saturday
Sweden vs. Italy 12:30 a.m. FS1, Telemundo

Wednesday
Argentina vs. Sweden 12 a.m. Fox, Telemundo
South Africa vs. Italy 12 a.m. FS1, Universo

Group H
Team, W-D-L, GD, Pts

Germany, 1-0-0, +6, 3
Colombia, 1-0-0, +2, 3
South Korea, 0-0-1, -2, 0
Morocco, 0-0-1, -6, 0

July 24
Germany 6, Morocco 0
Colombia 2, South Korea 0

Saturday
South Korea vs. Morocco 9:30 p.m. Fox, Universo

Sunday
Germany vs. Colombia 2:30 a.m. FS1, Telemundo

Thursday, Aug. 3
Morocco vs. Colombia 3 a.m. FS1, Telemundo
South Korea vs. Germany 3 a.m. Fox, Universo

SPORTS ON TV

Local teams on TV today:
All times Pacific

4 p.m. Angels at Toronto, Bally Sports West

7 p.m. Cincinnati at Dodgers, SportsNet LA

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

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1972 — The American Basketball Association announces that San Diego will receive a franchise and the NBA’s Buffalo Braves relocate to San Diego and are renamed the San Diego Clippers.

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1984 — The Summer Olympics open in Los Angeles with a record 140 nations competing. The Soviet Union and 13 Communist allies, including Cuba and East Germany, boycott the games.

1987 — Laura Davies shoots a 1-under 71 to defeat Ayako Okamoto and JoAnne Carner in an 18-hole playoff to win the U.S. Women’s Open.

1987 — Angel Cordero Jr. becomes the fourth U.S. jockey to win 6,000 races when he rides Lost Kitty to victory at Monmouth Park, N.J.

1991 — Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game for the Montreal Expos, who beat the Dodgers 2-0.

1992 — American Mike Barrowman sets a world record in winning the 200-meter breaststroke, and Russian Evgueni Sadovyi becomes the Summer Olympics’ first triple gold medalist, also smashing a world record in the men’s 400-meter freestyle.

1994 — On the night baseball players set an Aug. 12 strike date, Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers pitches a perfect game for a 4-0 victory over the Angels.

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2000 — Blaine Wilson, America’s pre-eminent gymnast, wins his fifth straight championship in St. Louis. He becomes the first gymnast to win five straight national titles since George Wheeler did it from 1937-41.

2009 — Germany’s Paul Biedermann hands Michael Phelps his first major individual loss in four years, setting a world record in the 200-meter freestyle at the world championships in Rome. Phelps, a body length behind, loses for the first time in a major international meet since Ian Crocker beat him in the 100 butterfly final at the 2005 worlds.

2011 — Ryan Lochte celebrates the first world record set since high-tech bodysuits were banned 1 1/2 years ago. Lochte edges Michael Phelps in 200-meter individual medley at the world championships at Shanghai.

—Compiled by the Associated Press

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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