The Sports Report: Big day for Dodgers, small day for Angels

Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson hit two homers Thursday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy everyone, my name is Houston Mitchell, proprietor of this here newsletter. Let’s get right to the news.

Opening Day

That went as well as could be expected if you are a Dodgers fan, but not as well as hoped if you are an Angels fan.

The Dodgers set a major league record with eight home runs on opening day in a 12-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez each hit two homers, and Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Austin Barnes and Cody Bellinger also homered for the team. Hyun-Jin Ryu went six innings, giving up one run and four hits while striking out eight.


Now watch them score no runs today.

Check out all our coverage:

Jorge Castillo’s game story.

Bill Plaschke: Dodgers show no sign of World Series hangover despite empty seats.


Andy McCullough: Corey Seager’s long-awaited return to Dodgers lineup makes immediate impact.

Bill Shaikin: Former Dodger Zack Greinke of Diamondbacks hit hard and booed on opening day.

Family of woman killed by foul ball at Dodger Stadium doesn’t want moment of silence

Relive our live coverage by clicking here.


Meanwhile, many miles north, the Angels lost to the A’s, 4-0, in Oakland. They struggled to put together any semblance of a threat. Albert Pujols reached base when he was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat. Mike Trout drew a walk to lead off the fourth. The Angels didn’t log another baserunner until Tommy La Stella lofted a one-out double over the head of center fielder Ramon Laureano in the fifth inning for the Angels’ first hit.

Check out out Angels coverage:

Maria Torresgame story


Dylan Hernandez: Mike Trout‘s injury scare is a reminder that Angels’ roster isn’t deep.

Andrew Heaney suffers setback with elbow injury, will undergo reevaluation Monday

March Madness

The UCLA women’s team continues its quest for a title when the Bruins take on UConn today. Blake Richardson has the preview here. An excerpt:

“Even as she jogged off the court and planted her feet on the blue strip of sideline under the basket, Japreece Dean was anything but quiet.

“Dean shouted advice to her UCLA women’s basketball teammates during a drill at the start of practice Thursday, punctuating her words by clapping her hands. When it was her turn, Dean shuffled across the court on the balls of her feet. She communicated her position, called for the pass, then swished another jumper.

“Get big,” coach Cori Close, wearing a playful grin, called to the 5-foot-6 Dean.

“Once Dean finished, Close tapped her with a folded sheet of paper. “Great job, Japreece,” she said. “Great talk.”


“Dean smiled back. Earlier in the day, Close said communication contributed to the consistency of No. 2-seeded Connecticut, the Bruins’ opponent Friday in the Sweet 16. It is also an essential aspect of Dean’s role as point guard — to direct plays, to lead. She is averaging 14.1 points and 4.9 assists per game, but Close deemed leadership one of Dean’s greatest areas of growth this season.

The Bruins reached the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year after losing their top two scorers, point guard Jordin Canada and forward Monique Billings. UCLA started the season 3-5 but eventually found a new identity — one that relies on team cohesion — bolstered by leaders such as Dean, a junior.”

Read more here.


A look at the Sweet 16 schedule for the men’s tournament:

Today’s Sweet 16 TV schedule

All Times Pacific

West Regional

No. 1 Gonzaga 72, No. 4 Florida State 58 (read game story here)

No. 3 Texas Tech 63, No. 2 Michigan 44 (read game story here)

South Regional (read game stories here)

No. 3 Purdue 99, No. 2 Tennessee 94 (OT)

No. 1 Virginia 53, No. 12 Oregon 49

Today’s Sweet 16 TV schedule

All Times Pacific

East Regional

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 3 LSU, 4 p.m., CBS

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech, 6:30 p.m., CBS

Midwest Regional

No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 Auburn, 4:30 p.m., TBS

No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Houston, 7 p.m., TBS

Saturday’s Elite Eight TV schedule

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 3 Texas Tech, 3 p.m., TBS

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 3 Purdue, 5:45 p.m., TBS


The Clippers’ six-game winning streak came to an end, though perhaps not a surprising end, when they lost to the team with the best record in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks, 128-118.

The Clippers won three of four on the road and return home with a 45-31 record.

“Oh, it was a great trip,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I would have taken 3-1 before we left. But we were greedy and would have loved to have gotten them all. But, a 3-1 road trip out East…We go home (and) we have one road game left (at Golden State on April 7) for the rest of the season, which is nice. We get our legs under us. It’ll be great.”

The Clippers were without Lou Williams, who was given the game off, and Patrick Beverley, who has a sore right hip.

“The whole team misses Lou when he doesn’t play,” Rivers said. “The whole team missed Pat. Like in a game like tonight, we really needed Pat’s toughness. I thought we missed him the most tonight over anybody.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 21 points and six rebounds and Landry Shamet finished with 13 points for L.A.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 39 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Bucks.

Meanwhile, Dan Woike takes a look at what’s next for the Clippers now that they have made the playoffs.

Horse Racing

After being closed for nearly a month while the deaths of 22 horses was being investigated, Santa Anita reopens today. And Thursday, the California Horse Racing Board passed a rule that would restrict jockeys from using a riding crop — often called the whip — except in cases when the safety of jockeys or horses is in question.

Also at Santa Anita and Golden Gate, today ushers in the eventual elimination of race-day medication, including Lasix, a drug given to horses to aid breathing.

Will it help? Time will tell. But the Jockeys Guild was caught off guard by the riding crop ruling. John Cherwa has all the details here. He also has a Q&A with Belinda Stronach, the CEO of the Stronach Group, which owns the track. You can read that here.

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Our Dodgers newsletter, written by me. Subscribe here.

Lakers newsletter, written by Tania Ganguli. Subscribe here.

Horse racing newsletter, written by John Cherwa. Subscribe here.

Boxing/MMA newsletter, written by Lance Pugmire. Subscribe here.

Soccer newsletter, written by Kevin Baxter. Subscribe here.

Odds and Ends

Paying college athletes gaining a bipartisan consensus as new report slams NCAA…. Stephanie Meadow has solid first-round 67 at LPGA’s Kia Classic…. Lakers’ Josh Hart to miss rest of season after procedure on right knee…. Russian official offers $16 million to save Olympic boxing…. The Kings lost to the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout, 3-2.

Today’s local major sports schedule (all times Pacific)

Charlotte at Lakers, 7:30 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, 710 ESPN

Arizona at Dodgers, 7 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Angels at Oakland, 7 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Ducks at Calgary, 6 p.m., PRIME

UCLA women’s basketball vs. Connecticut, 4 p.m., ESPN

Born on this date

1867: Baseball Hall of Famer Cy Young

1917: Race horse Man O’ War

1944: Baseball player Denny McLain

1945: NBA player Walt Clyde Frazier

1952: Olympic boxing champion Teofilo Stevenson

1955: NFL player Earl Campbell

1956: Gymnast (and “Gymkata” star) Kurt Thomas

1976: Tennis player Jennifer Capriati

And finally

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me here. If you want to subscribe, click here.

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