<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Sports - [LA FEATURE] SoCal Sports 4 You]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sportsen-usFri, 28 Jul 2017 08:02:46 -0700Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:02:46 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[LA Galaxy Fire Coach Curt Onalfo, Re-Hire Sigi Schmid]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:02:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/198*120/LA+Galaxy+Fire+Curt+Onalfo.png

You knew it was coming. 

The LA Galaxy are running out of time to save their season, so they've brought back a familiar face to lead their playoff charge.

The Galaxy fired coach Curt Onalfo on Thursday just 20 games into his first season and re-hired veteran coach Sigi Schmid to run the struggling MLS powerhouse.

A few hours after their coaching change, the Galaxy also signed Mexican midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos as their third designated player. Dos Santos leaves Villarreal of Spain's La Liga to join his brother, Galaxy star Giovani Dos Santos.

The moves indicate President Chris Klein's desire for urgent improvement by the Galaxy (6-10-4), who sit ninth in the 11-team Western Conference after losing six consecutive games across all competitions in July, including an embarrassing 4-3 loss to New England last weekend.

With just 14 league games left and mounting pressure to avoid missing the playoffs with a high-priced roster of international talent, Klein scuttled his preseason plan with Onalfo. He quickly brought back Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history and a two-time league champion who spent the previous nine seasons with the Seattle Sounders.

"It didn't take me long to think about it, because this is a club that's always been dear to my heart," said Schmid, who first coached the Galaxy in 1999. "Coming back is certainly a great situation. It's a matter right now of just getting to know the players, establishing our trust and our relationship, and getting them to understand the passion that I have."

The German-born coach grew up in the Los Angeles area and spent 28 years at UCLA as a player and coach, winning three national championships. Schmid's largely successful first tenure with the Galaxy included the franchise's first MLS Cup title in 2002.

After leaving the Galaxy in 2004, Schmid went on to coach Columbus and Seattle, where he became the expansion franchise's first coach in 2009.

The Galaxy host Seattle on Saturday night in a timely reunion for the 64-year-old Schmid, the only coach in Sounders history before the club fired him last summer. The Sounders went on to win the MLS Cup after dropping Schmid last year, but he holds fond feelings for his tenure in Seattle.

"The way things ended (with the Sounders), it just reminded me I've got to stay consistent and true to what I feel are my strengths as a coach, and that's something I'm really excited to have the opportunity to do here," Schmid said. "I'm looking forward to it. It's a unique challenge, and I feel very blessed to be able to coach in my home city."

Onalfo was promoted from the Galaxy's developmental squad last winter when longtime coach Bruce Arena went back to the U.S. national team. The Galaxy had an offseason of major franchise upheaval that also included the departures of Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Landon Donovan.

But Onalfo, a veteran MLS coach and former assistant to Arena, never got consistent results from a group including Ashley Cole, Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, Jermaine Jones and Gyasi Zardes.

"This is not a change in club direction," Klein said. "This is a new leader coming in that can lead us to where we want to go. Sigi's record speaks for itself, so when we took a step back and evaluated everything, he was the right man for the job. He understands our club. Certainly no one has a better understanding of the league. It became an easy decision."

While newcomer Alessandrini and team leader Dos Santos have had outstanding moments in attack, the Galaxy's defense has been particularly porous, and Schmid cited its improvement as his first priority.

Despite injuries that have sidelined Robbie Rogers for the season and limited other players on the back line, Schmid believes the Galaxy can defend better.

"I think it's more than personnel," Schmid said. "It's a question of how we're defending, so we need to alter a little bit how we're defending to fully take advantage of the skill sets of the players we have back there. At times the team defended in a way that made it difficult for those guys."

Jonathan Dos Santos won't be available to play Saturday against the Sounders, but Schmid and Klein expect an immediate impact from the talented 27-year-old member of the Mexican national team.

"He can fit into our lineup at a number of different positions and improve our team in multiple ways," Schmid said. "He still has his best years of playing in front of him, and we are excited to add him to our team."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LAFC Name Bob Bradley as Head Coach]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:04:29 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/Bob+Bradley+new+coach+LAFC+.png

It's official. Major League Soccer's newest franchise has a head coach.

Bob Bradley has been named the first coach of the Los Angeles Football Club, the MLS expansion franchise due to begin play next year.

Bradley is the former coach of the U.S. men's national team and the most accomplished American coach in international club soccer history. He had long been rumored to be a target of the deep-pocketed LAFC ownership group, which hopes to make an immediate MLS splash when it enters the nation's second-largest market to compete with the LA Galaxy, the five-time MLS Cup champions.

LAFC will formally introduce Bradley on Friday at the Natural History Museum in downtown Los Angeles, next door to the site of the club's under-construction new stadium.

The 59-year-old Bradley has no players just yet on his new team, but he has a lengthy list of coaching accomplishments. He became the first American coach to lead a Premiership team last season, although his tenure in charge of Swansea City lasted just 11 games.

Bradley coached the U.S. team from 2006-11, winning a CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 before becoming the only coach in 80 years to win a World Cup group and reach the knockout rounds in South Africa in 2010.

After leaving the U.S. team, Bradley eschewed MLS jobs and embarked on an international career. He successfully coached the Egyptian national team and club teams in Norway and France before landing with Swansea late last year.

He went 2-7-2 with the Swans, who replaced him with Paul Clement in January.

Bradley also has ample MLS experience, including previous experience with a new club. He coached the Chicago Fire during the team's inaugural season and immediately won the MLS Cup championship in 1998.

Bradley also has coached the MetroStars and Chivas USA, the defunct club that once shared a stadium with the Galaxy. He left Chivas and MLS in 2006 to take over the U.S. team.

He is the father of U.S. captain Michael Bradley, now with Toronto FC.

LAFC still has no players, but general manager John Thorrington has been active in his pursuit of big-name players from Europe and South America. The club is expected to start announcing signings later this year, perhaps in August.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Turner Delivers in Ninth as Dodgers Sweep Twins]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:28:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*124/GettyImages-823298150.jpg

Just call them the Twin killers. 

Justin Turner knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth and the Los Angeles Dodgers came from behind for their eighth walk-off victory, as they swept the Minnesota Twins, 6-5, on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers won their fifth game in a row as they erased a five-run deficit against a Twins team that was just the latest L.A. opponent to witness the magic from the best team in baseball. 

"It's pick your poison against this team," said Minnesota manager Paul Molitor of the Dodgers. "In three days, losing a couple ball games they way we have is something we haven't had to deal with too much this year."

The five-run comeback victory matches the largest deficit the Dodgers have overcome as Los Angeles scored four runs in the final three innings to wash away the reeling Twins with their 13th sweep of the season, the most in the Majors.

"We knew there was still a lot of game left," Turner said of the comeback. "You knew something was going to happen, you just don't know who it is with this bunch. It's been really fun to be a part of."

Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer combined for four RBI for the Twins, and starting pitcher Ervin Santana gave the Dodgers fits on the mound, and at the plate, as he reached base safely because of an error in each of his first two plate appearances.

With Jason Castro on first base and one-out in the top of the third inning, Santana sacrifice bunted to catcher Yasmani Grandal who opted to throw to second base to try and get the lead runner.

Unfortunately, Grandal's throw was off target and the ball went into center field, allowing both runners to reach base safely.

Three batters later, Mauer hit a two-run single up the middle to give the Twins an early 3-0 lead.

"We got off to a good start, and got a couple big hits by Joe [Mauer] and Doz [Dozier]," said Molitor. "Ervin threw the ball really well, but they put together a rally. It's tough, we had a chance to win the game."

The 34-year-old Mauer owns the highest batting average (.529) against the Dodgers among all active players with a minimum of 45 at-bats. 

It was nearly déjà vu for the Dodgers in the top of the fourth, when again Santana came to the plate with Castro on first. This time, Santana hit a routine ground ball to second base that went through the legs of Logan Forsythe for the error.

One batter later, Dozier doubled to right field and the Twins led 5-0 without scoring an earned run in the game.

"We got behind the eight-ball a little bit early," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "It was uncharacteristic early with the defense."

Dodgers' pitcher Brock Stewart was unlucky in his first start of the season, originally leaving the game as the losing pitcher of record, after allowing five unearned runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts in just three and 2/3 innings.

Fortunately for Stewart, he would not get the loss in his first start since Sept. 17, 2016 as Los Angeles began to chip away at the lead with solo home runs by Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

"You can't really put it into words," said Stewart of his team after the game. "It's like we know we're going to win every game."

Pederson got the Dodgers on the board when he sent a four-seam fastball from Santana into the seats in right-center.

An inning later, it was Puig, who watched his 395-foot shot fly into the bullpen after yet another four-seam fastball from Santana.

"It's really a lot of preparation," said Puig through a translator of his home run and the team's record overall. "We put a lot of work in before every game and it's paying off the on the field."

Two innings later, the Dodgers got within a run when pinch-hitter Chase Utley hit a clutch two-out double to the left-center gap that scored Forsythe and Grandal.

The Dodgers got the equalizer on a bizarre play in the bottom of the eighth. With runners on 1st and 3rd and one out, Forsythe hit a shallow pop fly to centerfielder Zach Granite.

Rather than throw home to get Justin Turner (who is not fleet of foo) at the plate, Granite threw to first to try and pick off Enrique Hernandez who was running on the play.

However, Mauer was not on first and the ball bounced into the stands, allowing Turner to score and Hernandez to head to third.

"It looks bad because we had nobody there," Molitor said of the play. "He [Granite] committed to the throw before he realized we had nobody there."

Despite all his efforts, Santana did not factor in the decision, allowing four runs on seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in 6 and 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers picked the perfect time to win the game as they used their final position player when pinch-hitter Austin Barnes singled up the middle with one-out in the bottom of the ninth.

Chris Taylor followed with a single and Corey Seager moved the runners over for Turner who hit an RBI single to right-field to walk-off the Boys in Blue.

"I was just trying to battle and stay in the strike zone," said Turner of his fina at-bat. "I got a sinker up and tried to pull it and luckily it found a hole."

The game-winning single was Turner's first walk-off hit of the season, and third of his career. At Dodger Stadium, Turner is batting .363 with 23 runs, 12 doubles, seven home runs and 26 RBI this season.

"Any time the game is on the line, I'll take my chances with J.T. [Turner]," added Dave Roberts. "This is who we are. We play 27 outs and play til the end."

All-star closer Kenley Jansen earned the win by pitching a scoreless ninth, despite allowing a leadoff double to Max Kepler. 

Los Angeles is 71-31, and are 40 games over .500 for the first time since 1974. They are 36-6 in their last 42 games and 12-4 against the American League this season, the most wins in MLB during interleague play.

The Dodgers have an MLB-best 29 comeback victories this season and for all the cause for concern, with the latest injury to Clayton Kershaw, are 51-31 in games the three-time Cy Young Award winner doesn't pitch, including 4-0, since he went on the disabled list with a lower back strain.

Speaking of Kershaw, it was Clayton Kershaw bobblehead night at the Ravine as his daughter, Cali Ann, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.

Up Next: 

The Dodgers are off on Thursday and will compete in a charity ping-pong tournament hosted by Clayton Kershaw. The rival San Francisco Giants come to town for a three-game weekend series on Friday night.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man City, Real Madrid Draw Record 93,098 at LA Coliseum]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:53:52 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Man-City-vs-Real-Madrid-7-26-17.JPG

On a Wednesday night, for a match that had no real meaning, the LA Memorial Coliseum was packed to the brim in record fashion.

European and Spanish champion Real Madrid took on a Manchester City team that is considered one of the favorites to win the Premier League in a preseason exhibition match in Los Angeles, and 93,098 fans officially turned up to witness the star power on the pitch.

That incredible figure, which was a sellout, set a new record for the largest ever soccer crowd at the LA Memorial Coliseum and made a statement about the state of the sport in California's largest city.

Only months ahead of Los Angeles launching its second Major League Soccer team, the City of Angeles displayed its love for the sport in spectacular fashion. From the cell phone lights lighting up the arena ahead of the starting lineups to the Mexican wave taking hold in the first half, fans of the beautiful game played their part into turning the weekday sporting event into a memorable occasion.

In terms of game play, both Real Madrid and Manchester City did not look at all rusty or like they were taking part in an exhibition match. The skill level on display explained why over 90,000 fans had ponied up the funds to witness the game live. The pace of play was lightning fast, and the tackles were rough and rugged.

Before the halftime intermission, the match referee had already handed out three yellow cards. Calling the match a "friendly" did not do the level of competition justice.

The only thing lacking in the first half was the finished product, i.e. goals.

Well, seven minutes after the intermission, Manchester City defender John Stones rose high to head a set piece at backup Real Madrid goal keeper Kiko Casilla. Casilla did well to make the save, but Citizens defender Nicolas Otamendi followed up and made it a 1-0 lead for the Sky Blues, who were actually wearing a magenta colored kit.

A minute short of the hour mark, substitute Raheem Sterling made it 2-0 for Manchester City after Kevin De Bruyne played a perfect through ball to the former Liverpool winger. Sterling did a mini fake like he was about to pass across goal before slotting past Casilla.

With 30 minutes remaining in the match, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane made mass substitutions and brought in what amounted to the youth team with a couple squad players like Marco Asensio and Lucas Vasquez mixed in.

Manchester City had already been the better side for the first hour, and the changes to a younger team did not bode well for Real Madrid salvaging the scoreline and making a game of it. At the stroke of 66 minutes, Stones stroked in the Premier League side's third goal of the night, and Real Madrid's chance of even getting a draw effectively evaporated.

The young Spaniards did put together a couple of chances that should have been good enough to break their duck, but point blank misses kept Manchester City's clean sheet in tact.

In the 81st minutes, Manchester City added yet another goal when Brahim Diaz hit a beautiful strike from just outside the area to beat Casilla again: 4-0. As the scoreline suggested, the Premier League side had thoroughly outplayed its La Liga counterpart.

In the 90th minute, however, Real Madrid finally broke through with a well taken long range swerving shot by Oscar that trumped Diaz's effort from moments earlier. Seconds later, the final whistle sounded to finalize the 4-1 victory for Manchester City.

However, preseason is not about the results, and the biggest takeaway of the night was the largest soccer crowd in LA Memorial Coliseum history. It bears repeating that 93,098 fans filled up the LA Coliseum on a weeknight for a meaningless match.

Add in that arguably the biggest star in the sport, Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, was still on holiday and was not even present, and the fan support for the sport was incredibly impressive.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Manchester City, Real Madrid Take Over LA Coliseum]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:52:28 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Real-Madrid-vs-Man-City-7-26-17.jpg

On Wednesday, football will be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum once again, but it won't be the Rams, Trojans or even the Chargers playing the brand of football best associated with the famous central LA venue.

Champions League winner Real Madrid takes on Premier League heavy weight Manchester City in a preseason exhibition match that expects to draw big crowds to a stadium that can hold over 90,000 warm bodies.

While Cristiano Ronaldo was last seen touring China after competing in the Confederations Cup with Portugal earlier in the summer and earning a late start to preseason, Real Madrid expects to feature top talents like Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

Manchester City recently signed a trio of high-priced defenders, but the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne expect to attract most of the attention on Wednesday night. Also, fans should get their first peek of newcomer Bernardo Silva, who joined from AS Monaco earlier in the summer.

Preseason friendlies have become a fixture in the United States in recent years, as big time European football clubs spend a few weeks playing in major American cities in hopes of expanding the reach of the clubs' billion dollar brands.

U.S. fans continue to pay for tickets and seemingly enjoy watching top talent from across the globe converting NFL and MLB stadiums into soccer stadiums for the summer. And on Wednesday, one should expect another strong showing as two of the top teams on the planet prepare for the start of a season that is less than a month away.

Kick-off at the LA Coliseum for Manchester City versus Real Madrid is at 8:35 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Take Advantage of Illegal Double Switch]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 05:18:24 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/194*120/Kershaw+cant+hear+you.png

The Dodgers coaching staff deserves a raise.

The Boys in Blue have the best record in baseball, but it was some wizardry by Dodgers' bench coach Bob Geren on Tuesday night that assisted in Los Angeles earning their MLB-best 70th win.

The hullabaloo began in the bottom of the sixth inning when Minnesota Twins' manager Paul Molitor opted to go to the bullpen for relief pitcher Ryan Pressly with one out, a runner on second, and Yasiel Puig at the plate.

As every National League manager knows, the double-switch is a valuable asset late in the game when you're at the bottom of the lineup, because it allows a position player to come off the bench and replace the pitcher's spot in the lineup while entering the game as a defensive substitution. 

This allows the relief pitcher to avoid having to immediately come to the plate in case the team wants him to throw more than one inning, eventually using a pinch-hitter in his place when his spot ultimately does come in the lineup.

For Molitor, maybe the infrequency of the move in the American League where pitchers don't bat, and there is a designated hitter in every lineup was the cause for confusion, or it could be as simple as Molitor having a momentary lapse of judgment when he spoke to home plate umpire Lance Barrett, but regardless he said the wrong name and confusion ensued.

Molitor reportedly told Barrett that he wanted to insert Ehire Adrianza into the game in the ninth spot in the lineup and move Pressly to the fifth spot in the lineup. So that's what Barrett put on his official lineup card.

However, Molitor did not want Pressly in the fifth spot in the lineup, he wanted him in the seventh spot, in place of Jorge Polanco, and for Adrianza to move to shortstop. That's the physical switch that happened on the field and that's what was reflected on the Dodgers in-stadium scoreboard.


"There was obvious miscommunication when I went out there to make the double-switch," Molitor told reporters after the game. "What I think I said and what he [Barrett] thought he heard were two different things, so after the first pitch was thrown, Dave [Roberts] came out and was obviously told something different than what we were doing and that is when all hell broke loose."

Meanwhile, Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts knew something was amiss immediately as Geren, rule book in hand, pointed out to Roberts that Eddie Rosario, who was batting fifth in the Minnesota lineup, did not come out of the game, but that Polanco, who was batting seventh, did.

Roberts wisely waited for Pressly to throw a pitch before confronting the home plate umpire with the error.

Why did he wait a pitch?

Because he knew once a pitch was thrown, the switch would become official, and if the scorecard held by the home plate umpire was correct, then Rosario, a .296 hitter and the man who was a triple shy of the cycle on Monday night against the Dodgers, would have to come out of the game.

"Bob and I had never heard of this before," said Roberts. "Just to cover ourselves, I wanted to wait for a pitch to be thrown. Once the player [Rosario] who was supposed to be out of the game was still in the game, I wanted to get clarity that the right players were out there.

"In the sense where the pitcher was in a couple places higher then they would have liked, I think that was an advantage, and obviously to lose Rosario I think was an advantage too. The umpires did a good job. It took a little bit longer, but the important thing is they got it right."

The delay took approximately 18 minutes as the umpires decided to discuss the rules with replay officials in New York.

After another 10 minutes with MLB officials, the umpires were told there was no precedent for something like this before, and the best course of action was to restore the field defensively (and in the lineup) to how it was on the umpires' scorecard.

For the few fans in the Los Angeles area watching the game on Spectrum SportsNet LA, as well as the 47,000+ in attendance at Chavez Ravine, the nearly 20-minute delay in the bottom of the sixth inning had everyone scratching their heads, if not headed straight for the bathroom for a break.

After not knowing the reason behind the delay, fans started chanting, "We want baseball!" Until play ultimately resumed.

"I think that MLB should do something to educate fans," Roberts said. "You take 20 minutes, and fans are wondering what's going on, so that absolutely makes sense."

Even though he took responsibility for the mistake after the game, Molitor also thought that the delay took too long and that fans should have been made aware of the situation to avoid confusion.

"It seemed excessive to me," Molitor said of the 18-minute pause in the action. "I can't say that I was given an explanation as to why the delay was so lengthy, but I was confused and I think everyone was a little bit perplexed on what transpired."

Ultimately, Rosario was forced to leave the game, Polanco came back into the game from the dugout to resume his role at short, and Adrianza moved to left field. Pressly was inserted into the fifth spot in the lineup, and play resumed.

The Dodgers capitalized on the delay, removing one of the Twins' best hitters from the game, and freezing Pressly for twenty minutes between pitches.

As Roberts mentioned, at the end of the day, the Dodgers received an advantage as they quickly scored two runs once play resumed and went on to win, 6-2.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Make it 4 in a Row With Win Over Twins]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:01:13 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/166*120/GettyImages-822854198.jpg

Chris Taylor can rake. 

Taylor knocked in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Minnesota Twins, 6-2, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

After starting the game 0-for-2, Taylor delivered RBI doubles in the fourth and sixth innings to add to his hot-hitting in the month of July. 

Taylor leads MLB in batting average in the month of July, batting .440. Since the All-Star break, Taylor is batting .520 with nine runs, five doubles, three triples, two homers and nine RBI.

"He's a solid player," said teammate Logan Forsythe. "His success is going to continue. There was a little struggle at some point, but he knew what he had to do to get out of it. I think he's going to continue to impress the rest of the year."

The Twins started the scoring with an RBI single by Zack Granite in the top of the third inning off Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda.

Los Angeles responded with four runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to RBI by Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Pederson.

Meada (9-4) left the game with the lead after five innings, allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Japanese right-hander improved to 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA against the American League this season, including three games against AL Central opponents (Twins, Royals and White Sox).

Jose Berrios (9-4) took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in four short innings.

After an 18-minute delay because of an illegal double switch by Twins' manager Paul Molitor in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Boys in Blue broke the game open with back-to-back RBI by Logan Forsythe and Taylor.

"I was constantly moving throughout the delay," Forsythe said. "It was crazy. I've never been part of that long of a delay. I ran sprints and then stuck with my plan at the plate. Luckily I got a ball over the plate and was able to go up the middle with it and get a big run for us."

The Dodgers bullpen threw four scoreless innings thanks to the efforts of Luis Avilan and recently recalled right-hander Josh Ravin. Ravin, who was called up from Triple-A OKC prior to Monday's game, threw a career-high three shutout innings.

Los Angeles became the first team in baseball to win their 70th game of the season, and extended their MLB record of 48 consecutive victories win taking a lead.

Minnesota falls below .500 (49-50) for the first time since April 27 when they were 10-11. 

The Dodgers improved to 11-3 in Interleague play this season and are currently riding a seven-game win streak against the American League.

Up Next:

Former L.A. Angel, Ervin Santana starts for Minnesota on Wednesday night opposite Alex Wood in the finale of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Lakers Agree to Sign Tyler Ennis]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:10:19 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Tyler-Ennis-Lakers-sign.jpg

On Tuesday, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to sign free agent guard Tyler Ennis to a one year minimum contract, with the team holding an option on a second year, after veteran guard Derrick Rose agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers one day earlier.

The Lakers, who had reportedly met with Rose, were able to offer Rose more money than the Cavs, but the former NBA MVP chose a role with LeBron James and the 2017 NBA finalists instead. So, the Lakers seemingly immediately pivoted to a younger player on a cheaper contract.

Ennis came to the Lakers in February via a trade with Houston and initially got off to a slow start. However, the 22-year-old found his rhythm and averaged 11.3 points and 3.6 assists in 27.7 minutes per game for the final seven games of the season. LA won five of their final six games, with the only defeat coming away to Golden State. Ennis played upwards of 20 minutes in each of those final half-dozen contests, as the Lakers finished the season on a strong note.

As Basketball Insiders salary cap expert Eric Pincus points out, the Lakers still have the ability to offer a player a $4.3 million room exception to a players, should the team fancy a free agent. Rose was a target for this exception, but the 28-year-old oft injured guard chose to sign for about half as much money in Cleveland.

With Ennis agreeing terms with the purple and gold, the Lakers' roster is officially at 13 players. Rookie Thomas Bryant has not yet signed with the team, but if the Lakers can agree terms with the second round pick, the roster would be at 14 players. The roster is full at 15 players.

Also, the Lakers have signed Alex Caruso to a two-way contract, so the team still has one two-way roster spot available, as well.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bellinger Provides Latest Drama in Dodgers Win]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:04:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*126/GettyImages-821936252.jpg

The oldest guy started it, and the youngest ended it. 

Los Angeles knocked around 44-year-old Bartolo Colon and Cody Bellinger hit a game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth as the Dodgers came from behind for the 26th time this season to defeat the Minnesota Twins, 6-4, on Monday night at Chavez Ravine.

Colon was making his second start for the Twins after he was released last month by the Atlanta Braves. Before the game, Colon mentioned to reporters that he might consider retiring depending on how his outing against the Dodgers went.

"I might have put some thought into it, it is what it is, but I will be pitching next year because I made a promise," Colon said about retirement.

What was the promise you might ask?

"I made a promise to my mom, that before she left this world, that I would pitch until I'm 45."

Things started smoothly for the Dominican known as "Big Sexy," as he recorded four scoreless innings before getting beat around in the bottom of the fifth.

Trailing 2-0, the Dodgers tied the game with back-to-back home runs by Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson off Colon.

The back-to-back jacks were the seventh time the Dodgers have hit consecutive home runs this season, and the first since Corey Seager and Justin Turner went deep on July 1, in San Diego.

Three batters later, Chris Taylor knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI single, giving him his eighth multi-hit game in his last 10 appearances.

The lead would be short-lived as Eddie Rosario continued to he a thorn in the Boys in Blue side.  

Rosario hit his 11th home run of the season, a no-doubt shot off Grant Dayton to left field that tied the game at 3-3.

"I tried to hit it with good contact and go opposite field," Rosario said of the game-tying home run. "That’s everything.”

One inning later, it was Rosario again who knocked in the go-ahead run as the Twins came from behind to take the lead.

Rosario finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

"I feel bad," Rosario said after the loss. "I have a good game, but I don’t care right now. I want to win the game, that’s it for me."

The Dodgers MLB record of 46 consecutive victories when taking a lead was in jeopardy with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but the Boy Wonder struck again, saving the day and the streak for Los Angeles.

"He doesn't scare off in the moment," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said of his 22-year-old rookie. "He seems to to something every night. The whole team, really. When we need a big hit, somebody always comes through."

Bellinger launched his team-leading 28th home run of the season to straightaway center field off left-hander Taylor Rogers for a three-run bomb that gave Los Angeles a 6-4 lead.

"Everyday before the game, I've been working on hitting curveballs, elevating them," Bellinger said of the pitch he sent into orbit for the go-ahead home run. "I just tried to put a good swing on it, and luckily it went out."

One pitch before the home run, Bellinger sliced a 330-foot foul ball down the right field line and was visibly frustrated he had missed an opportunity. Thankfully, another one came on the next pitch. 

"Cody felt that was a pitch he should have handled, but he got in front of it too much," added Roberts. "Fortunately for us, he [Rogers] threw the game pitch."

The "Belly Blast," as he likes to call it, was also Bellinger's third go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later this season, the second most in MLB behind Salvador Perez (5).

"You have a little extra adrenaline because the game means a little more," Bellinger said of how he's been able to hit so many home runs in clutch situations this year. "I like the pressure situations. Sometimes there's more pressure on the pitcher, and they make more mistakes."

After the home run, the crowd gave Bellinger a standing ovation and started chating, "MVP! MVP! MVP!" until the rookie came out of the dugout for a curtain call. 

"I didn't hear the chants at first, Kiké [Hernandez] had to tell me to go out [for a curtain call]," said Bellinger of the MVP chants. "I definitely heard it after I came out. It's pretty cool."

One day after he blew his first save of the season, Kenley Jansen closed the door in the ninth for his 25th save, extending the Dodgers record to 47 consecutive games won when leading at any point.

"They played the 'let's help the closer game' today," joked Jansen about having to warm up quickly to come in the game after Bellinger gave the Dodgers the lead and made it a save situation. "It was great. We're all having so much fun."

Los Angeles has won 34 of their last 40 games, the best 40-game stretch since the Brooklyn Superbas in 1899.

The game was also the 100th of the season for the Boys in Blue, and they reached the century mark with a record of 69-31, the second best record in the divisional era since the Cincinnati Reds went 70-30 in 1970.

How's That For a Debut?

After 11 long years in  pro ball, including nine in the minor leagues, left-hander Edward Paredes earned the win in his MLB debut at the age of 30 when he pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

"It's been 11 long years to get to this point. When they first told me, I didn't believe it. I asked them 'are you sure?'" Paredes said through a translator of the moment he found out he would be entering the game in a high-pressure situation to make his MLB debut. "In all seriousness, when they first announced my name [on the PA system] and said I was making my Major League debut, I didn't hear anything after that. It just goes to show, you can do whatever you set your mind to."

He became the first Dodger pitcher to make his MLB debut after the age of 30 since Japanese import, Hiroki Kuroda did it in 2008.

"It's a great story and a long road for him," said Roberts. "To finally make his Major League debut in a Dodger uniform, everyone was thrilled."

World Series Rematch:

The Twins and Dodgers met in the 1965 World Series, which Los Angeles won in seven games.

Ryu Back:

Before the game, left-hander, Hyun-Jin Ryu was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list.

The big Korean southpaw did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Up Next:

Jose Berrios starts for the Twins on Tuesday night opposite Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Lakers Coach John Kundla dies at 101]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:21:47 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Lakers-John-Kundla.jpg

Before Phil Jackson and Pat Riley, before Gregg Popovich and Larry Brown, even before Red Auerbach, there was John Kundla.

Kundla, the Hall of Fame coach who led the Minneapolis Lakers to five NBA championships, died Sunday. He was 101.

Son Tom Kundla said his father died at an assisted living facility in Northeast Minneapolis that he called home for years.

With George Mikan in the middle and Kundla the calm, steady hand directing the team, the Lakers won the 1949 championship in the BAA — the league that preceded the NBA — and NBA titles in 1950 and 1952-54, cementing the franchise's place as the league's first true dynasty. The Lakers also won an NBL title in 1948, but the NBL marks are not included in the NBA's records.

"On behalf of the entire Lakers organization, I'd like to express our sadness at the passing of John Kundla," Lakers President and co-owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. "John played an important role in the history of the Lakers organization. ... In addition to his numerous contributions to the Lakers and our legacy, John was a wonderful man and will be remembered fondly."

Kundla was the oldest living Hall of Famer in any of the four major pro sports.

Kundla was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. A year later, he was named one of the league's 10 greatest coaches as part of the league's "NBA at 50" celebration.

He was hired at 31 and resigned at 42 with a career record of 423-302, happy to cede the attention and the accolades to his players over himself. He was known for his understated sideline demeanor, which was unique compared to the fiery drill sergeants of the era.

"John wasn't a screamer and was very mild-mannered, but he'd let loose when we deserved it, and usually I was the first one he bawled out," Mikan once told Sports Illustrated. "The message he sent was that no one on the team was above criticism."

Kundla was born in Star Junction, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1916. He relocated to Minneapolis with his family at the age of 5.

The Detroit Gems of NBL moved to the Twin Cities in 1947 and hired Kundla to run the re-named Lakers. In Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen and Jim Pollard, the Lakers assembled the first super-team, beating New York in 1952 and '53 and Syracuse in '54 for the three straight titles.

He also was a trailblazer during those racially tense seasons, often turning down hotels that refused to house black players when the team was on the road. When he later coached at the University of Minnesota, Kundla was on the bench when the first black players arrived at the school.

"John was an incredible staple of Minnesota basketball," Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor said in a statement.

To this day Jackson, Auerbach and Kundla stand as the only three coaches to have won more than two championships in a row and Kundla remains tied with Popovich and Riley for total championships with five.

"He was an all-time great, Hall of Fame NBA coach," Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said in the team release "He had a very profound impact on the NBA, coaching and the overall game."

What was Kundla's secret?

"One game with about a minute left to go. Tie game. I substituted," Kundla recalled to NBA.com last year. "The player I substituted gets a beautiful basket and wins the ball game. Everybody said, 'What a smart move you made.'

"What had happened, the (other) player came to me and said, 'I want to go to the bathroom.' I got credit for being smart."

That kind of humility was his hallmark, both on the court and at home.

Kundla and wife Marie, who died in 2007, had six children. Five of Kundla's six grandchildren played college basketball, a hoops-loving family that would only find out how revered the patriarch was when others would speak for John. Only two were around during his Lakers days.

"We were too young to realize how important it was and what a number of accomplishments he had made until we reached the age of reason," Tom Kundla said. "That's what my dad does. No big deal. We'd see the trophies and the big gold basketball in the entry way. It was a norm."

Kundla stepped down in 1959 to coach at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, before the Lakers moved to Los Angeles.

"We played team ball," Kundla told NBA.com. "We didn't try to (run up) the score. We played defense. We didn't try to make the other team look bad. But the players were a real good group together."

His induction speech for the Hall of Fame lasted just over six minutes, with the vast majority of it spent thanking coaches, players and his wife, Marie, "who still yells defense in her sleep, believe it or not."

The entire family was there for the induction ceremony, many of the children only then realizing just how accomplished their father was.

"I would say, 'Dad you were a superstar coach,'" Tom Kundla said. "'No no,' he would say. 'I had a great team. It was always, 'I had a great team.'"

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Is OJ Simpson Still Welcome at USC?]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:10:44 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_WEB_OJ_DISCUSSION_1200x675_1007093827549.jpg

When O.J. gets out on parole, how long until he ends up back at USC? Might not be long given the relationship the university and the football team have with Simpson. Fred Roggin, Mark Medina and Kevin Figgers discuss the surprising nature of O.J.'s coziness with the Trojans. Originally aired on Going Roggin, July 23, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Sharapova Will Take Court Again in Newport Beach Tonight]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:57:54 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/177*120/07+GettyImages-171425537%281%29.jpg

Maria Sharapova is scheduled to play for the Orange County Breakers for a second and final time in 2017 Monday night when they face the San Diego Aviators in a World TeamTennis match at Breakers Stadium at Palisades Tennis Club in Newport Beach.

Sharapova, who had five stints as the No. 1 player on the Women's Tennis Association singles rankings, most recently in 2012, split two sets in the Breakers 17-14 loss to the Aviators July 16 at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad in the season opener for both teams.

Sharapova was playing for the first time since May 16, when a thigh injury forced her to retire from her second-round match in the Rome Open as she was leading Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 2-1.

Sharapova first played women's doubles, teaming with Andreja Klepac for a 5-1 victory over Darija Jurak and Shelby Rogers. Sharapova lost to Rogers, 5-3, in women's singles.

Sharapova was suspended Jan. 26, 2016, by the International Tennis Federation for an anti-doping rule violation. She regained her eligibility to play on April 26.

Sharapova reached the semifinals of her first tournament following her suspension, the $719,000 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, then lost in the second round of both her tournaments since then.

The Breakers won all five sets in a 25-10 victory over the Springfield Lasers Sunday at Breakers Stadium at Palisades Tennis Club.

Yanina Wickmayer opened the match with a 5-2 victory over Julia Boserup in women's singles, then teamed with Klepac for a 5-1 victory over Boserup and Anna-Lena Groenefeld.

Ken Skupski teamed with Steve Johnson for a 5-4 victory over German Benjamin Becker and Jean-Julien Rojer in the match's third set, men's doubles. Klepac and Skupski then defeated Groenefeld and Rojer, 5-1, in mixed doubles.

Johnson concluded the match with a 5-2 victory over Becker, who is not related to the German International Tennis Hall of Fame member Boris Becker.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Vault: Twisting Your Arm]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:12:41 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_WEB_VAULT_ARM_WRESTLING_1200x675_1007088707913.jpg

Who is Cleve Dean? And why is that guy drinking motor oil? Fred Roggin tugs, pulls and throws it back to 1981 for a look at the characters that made up the World Arm Wrestling Championships. Originally reaired on Going Roggin, July 23, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Blake Griffin, Manna from Heaven and Dodger Dreams]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:43:55 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/RAPID_FIRE_0723_1200x675_1007787587999.jpg

On this week's Rapid Fire, Fred Roggin welcomes Kevin Figgers from AM 570 LA Sports and Mark Medina of the Daily News to talk Blake Griffin, Rob Pelinka and the signing of Biblical proportions and the Dodgers chances at winning 105 games. Originally aired on Going Roggin, July 23, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Jamaica Stuns Mexico 1-0 in Pasadena]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 20:29:58 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Jamaica-vs-Mexico-Gold-Cup-Kemar-Lawrence.jpg

PASADENA--Forty-two thousand, three hundred and ninety-three fans turned up at the Rose Bowl on Sunday to watch Mexico take on Jamaica in the Gold Cup semifinal, and the vast majority of those fans left the stadium disappointed.

Jamaica's Kemar Lawrence stepped up in the 88th minute to knock in a free kick goal from just outside Mexico's penalty area, and Mexico goal keeper Jesus Corona simply did not react in time to stop the well-placed shot.

Jamaica won 1-0 in front of a crowd that was soaked in the green, red and white colors of the nation that shares a border with the United States. When the Mexican team left the pitch, it heard a chorus of jeers from the fans that had stuck around past the final whistle.

With the victory, Jamaica now advances and faces the United States on Wednesday in Santa Clara on Wednesday.

On the day, Jamaica's goal keeper Andre Blake probably deserved the most credit for the result, as Mexico's seven shots on target all failed to beat the living wall that was Blake. Lawrence may have hit the match winning goal, but Blake kept Jamaica in the match after Mexico had dominated possession 64 percent to 36 percent.

Of course, Mexico falling short of Wednesday's final means that the dream CONCACAF USA versus Mexico final is not to be. However, the reggae boys of Jamaica provide the U.S. Mens' National Team with a far greater threat on the break with their pace. Add in that Jamaica nearly scored off a free kick earlier in the match, and the United States could be Jamaica's next victim if Bruce Arena's men come in not ready to play.

Ultimately, though, the United States should be heavily favored to win Wednesday's final considering the match is on U.S. soil and Jamaica is not considered one of the confederation's heavy weights.

All that said, Sunday night's 1-0 result in Pasadena was well deserved by the Jamaicans.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw Exits With Injury, Dodgers Win in Extras]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:51:56 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/205*120/Kershaw+Exits+Game+vs+Braves.png

Kershaw Day? Try Sunday, bloody Sunday.

Logan Forsythe hit a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves, 5-4, in extra innings on a day overshadowed by Clayton Kershaw's injury. 

Kershaw stopped the hearts of Dodgers fans across the globe when he bounced a curveball in the dirt in the second inning and immediately reached for his lower back. 

"I felt something different," Kershaw said of the pain he felt in his back. "I'm not optimistic. Hopefully we'll find out more tonight."

After he threw the pitch, it appeared as if Kerhsaw may have pulled something in his back. Trainers immediately came out to the mound, but Kershaw stayed in the game, walking Tyler Flowers and striking out Matt Adams to end the inning.

"They asked me if I was hurting. I said 'yes,' that was the extent of it," Kershaw said of the conversation on the mound. "I kinda knew at that point I was probably coming out. Sitting down and getting cold and going back out wasn't going to be a good thing."

However, after the inning, Kershaw immediately left the dugout and did not return to the game as the Dodgers announced later that he left with "lower back tightness."

"We took him out as a precaution," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts after the game. "We won't know more until we get the scans, but we're holding out hope."

That's cause for concern for the Dodgers and their fans as their record breaking season just flashed before their very eyes.

Kershaw missed 10 weeks of the 2016 season with a herniated disk in his back, and never underwent surgery to repair it. 

"I don't want to compare the injuries because there's so many variables," said Kershaw. "I honestly don't even know how to compare it."

If the injury is related to the herniated disk, and Kershaw is forced to miss the same amount of time he did last season, then he would miss the remainder of the regular season.

"There's a lot of frustration," a visibly disappointed Kershaw said following the game. "I've done countless hours of back maintenance and rehab to try and stay healthy, so there's definitely a lot of frustration for sure."

For now, Los Angeles is forced to hold its collective breath as they are cautiously optimistic that the injury isn't serious, but after the game Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts confirmed that Kershaw would head to the 10-day disabled list and undergo further testing on Sunday night.

"It is a DL situation," Roberts confirmed. "We know the standings, we know where we're at, but we need to gather more information. How he feels, with the reports we get, then we'll make a further decision."

Despite Kershaw's absence, the walk-off victory gave the Dodgers their 15th consecutive victory when Kershaw starts the game. 

After an RBI double by Brandon Phillips gave the Braves the lead in the top of the third inning, Dodgers' catcher Austin Barnes followed with a three-run bomb in the bottom of the fourth that put the Boys in Blue in front, 3-1.

"He has a really good fastball and it was really jumping today," Barnes said of the pitch from Braves' starter Sean Newcomb that he ultimately wrapped around the foul pole for a home run. "I was able to get a hold of one."

Bellinger added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when he belted his NL-leading 27th home run of the season.

"It was a 3-0 count, so I looked over at Doc and he gave me the green light," Bellinger said of the homer. "I had a good feeling a fastball was coming and he threw it where I could hit."

Bellinger's home run turned out to be vital as closer Kenley Jansen blew his first save of the season when he allowed a three-run home run on the final strike of the game to Matt Adams.

"At the time I was thinking it was just an extra run," Bellinger said of his insurance run before the bottom of the ninth. "You don't usually see that out of Kenley, but it's all good." 

Jansen was indifferent after the game. Feeling "sick to his stomach," after the loss of Kershaw, but happy the team won the game. 

"It was a good at-bat by Adams," Jansen said. "He fought it off and he's got power so it ended up over the fence. You can't second guess yourself. My teammates picked me up today."

Prior to the bomb by Adams, Jansen had converted 34 consecutive saves, and had not blown a game since August 26, 2016.

Brandon Morrow got the win with a scoreless 10th inning, and the Dodgers got the game-winning rally started in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff single by Chris Taylor. 

Corey Seager took Taylor's place after a fielder's choice groundout, and advance to third on a hit-and-run play with Justin Turner at the plate. 

"It was a 3-2 hit and run," said Seager. "It worked out really well. Got into first and third and it ended up paying off."

One batter later, Forsythe won it for the Dodgers witn an RBI single up the middle with the Atlanta infield in. It was LA's seventh walk-off victory this season.

"Off a guy like Johnson, he's got a really good sinker and you have to see him on the plate," Forsythe said of his game-winning at-bat against Atlanta closer, and former Dodger Jim Johnson. "I got one to do it with, and luckily enough I got inside of it and hit to the right part of the field."

The Dodgers extended their MLB record to 46 consecutive wins when taking the lead at any point in the game, and are an MLB-best 21-8 during day games this year.

The victory moves the Dodgers 2.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros for the best record in baseball as LA improved to 41-13 at home this season.

With just 27 games left at Dodger Stadium, the Blue Crew guaranteed themselves a winning record at the Ravine in 2017.

Up Next: 

44-year-old Bartolo Colon heads to the mound on Monday opposite Hyun-Jin Ryu who is expected to be activated off the disabled list. First pitch is 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taylor, Hill Help Dodgers Bounce Back Against Braves]]>Sat, 22 Jul 2017 22:16:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/Ct3+helps+dodgers+bounce+back.png

Don't say he's over the Hill.

Corey Seager, Chase Utley, and Chris Taylor all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped their brief two-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

After back-to-back blowout losses to the Braves on Thursday and Friday, Rich Hill righted the ship for the Boys in Blue with just over six strong innings.

"Just to bounce back tonight was a really good team win," said Hill. "Everybody played really well tonight,"

Corey Seager got the scoring started in the first inning with a solo shot to centerfield for his 16th home run of the season.

The home run gave the Dodgers a 1-0, as L.A. would ultimately extend their Major League record of consecutive wins when taking a lead to 45 games.

"It always helps when you score first," said Seager of his home run. "You get on top and relax a little bit, but if you don't score first you still have to come out and compete."

Seager's mentor, Chase Utley, followed the reigning Rookie of the Year with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the third inning.

"We swung the bats better tonight then we did the last two games," added Utley. "Obviously that was the goal tonight."

Former Dodger, Matt Kemp tied the game in the top of the fifth with an RBI single to left field as the Braves scratched two across off Hill in the fifth.

Kemp has hit safely in eight of his last nine games since the All-Star break and is batting .314 with five runs, a home run and six RBI. 

Battling a respiratory infection, Hill (7-4), would bend, but not break in the inning, and left with the lead in the seventh after allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in six and 1/3 innings.

The outing was Hill's fifth consecutive strong outing, and third quality start in his last four. In the month of July, Hill is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA with 37 strikeouts and three walks.

"It's much more fun when you don't suck," joked a raspy Hill after the game. "I want to contribute to the team, regardless of the outcome at the end of the day. Nobody's perfect, I just want to give my best effort."

The Dodgers received a gift in the form of the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With Yasmani Grandal on third base and two outs, Yasiel Puig, hit a swinging bunt down the third base line which Braves' pitcher Julio Teheran fielded and threw to the plate to get Grandal, but the ball bounced out of the glove of catcher Tyler Flowers, allowing the go-ahead run to score and Puig to reach second on the error.

"It was just like it looks. It hit the glove, the ball flied out, it's just baseball," Flowers said of the play at the plate. "It's a quick play. I catch it, he is right there. I didn't have time to go to two hands."

Chris Taylor entered the game on a double-switch in the seventh inning, and then promptly added an insurance run when he led off the inning with a solo shot to center field.

"I tried to talk to the guys who had already faced him, especially if he's a starter and Teheran was still in there," Taylor said of his first at-bat coming off the bench to leadoff the seventh inning. "I talked to them to see what he was throwing and how they were feeling."

Teheran (7-8) would leave the game shortly thereafter, surrendering four runs on nine hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six and 1/3 innings.

Despite the home run by Taylor, the Dodgers super utility star wasn't finished as he added a two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth to break the game open.

In the month of July, Taylor is batting .429 with eight runs, three doubles, three triples, two home runs, and five RBI.

"I cleaned some things up mechanically," Taylor said of his struggles in June and hot stretch in July. "I'm not trying to overswing, and almost like I'm going straight into two-strike [approach] and just trying to get the barrel to it."

Los Angeles 67-31 still holds the best record in baseball, 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros and are 32 of 38 since June 7, the best 38-game stretch since 2013.

The Dodgers improved to 40-13 at home, and are 15-7 against Atlanta since 2014.

Something's Going Around The Clubhouse:

Justin Turner missed the game with a respitatory infection that has spread like wildfire around the Dodgers clubhouse. Rich Hill has been battling the virus for over a week, and so has Kenley Jansen.

"It's kinda been going around," joked Hill who said he's been taking Mucinex to get over the cold.

Up Next:

LHP Sean Newcomb faces off with Clayton Kershaw in the finale of the four-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Here's Why The Dodgers Could Trade for Felipe Rivero]]>Sat, 22 Jul 2017 20:22:38 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Felipe+Rivero+trade+rumors.png

Earlier this week I tweeted out that the asking price for two of the best left-handed relief pitchers in the game had reached exorbitant levels, and that I wouldn't be surprised if the Los Angeles Dodgers turned their attention to Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Felipe Rivero.

Naturally, this did surprise the fans in Pittsburgh who stubbornly believe that Rivero is the greatest closer in the game, and could fathom no possible future, in any universe, that he would play for anybody else.

Sorry Bucs fans, you're wrong.

Rivero was acquired from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline last season in exchange for former Pirates closer Mark Melancon.

In less than a year, Rivero has ascended from a lefty specialist, to one of the best relief pitchers in the game.

But before we delve deep into Rivero, let's first rewind so that all fans of baseball can understand how we got here.

The Dodgers have the best record in baseball and are the betting favorite to win the World Series this year.

With the trade deadline less than 10 days away, the Dodgers front office is searching for an elite left-handed relief pitcher that they can partner with closer Kenley Jansen to formulate an eighth and ninth inning one-two punch that hasn't been seen since the 2014 and 2015 Kansas City Royals.

Mark Feinstand of MLB.com was one of the first to list the three top left-handed relievers that the Dodgers were "looking hard" at.

According to my sources, and as already been reported by ESPN, and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and other outlets, the Dodgers have inquired about Britton and Hand.

Britton is one of the best closers in baseball over the past three seasons, and has 120 saves since 2014 with an ERA of 1.38 to go along with 215 strikeouts and 55 walks.

The Orioles left-hander was 47-for-47 in save opportunities last year and finished with a 0.54 ERA.

However, Britton has been on the disabled list with a forearm injury and has pitched in only 12 games. Britton is under contract for the 2018 season at a hefty price tag of $11.4 million.

Reportedly, the Orioles are asking for at least three prospects from the Dodgers in return for Britton with Alex Verdugo, Yadier Alvarez, and/or Willie Calhoun among the names at the top of the list.

The Dodgers are cautious to send three of their trop prospects to Baltimore for a pitcher who just cameoff the disabled list, and since his return has a 5.14 ERA with four runs allowed on 10 hits in just seven innings pitched.

As they turn the tires on Britton, the Dodgers attention shifted to San Diego left-hander Brad Hand, who was named an All-Star this season and has an ERA of 2.30 with 60 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP in 47 innings with the Padres this season.

Hand is just 27 years old, and finally seems to be coming into his own as a relief pitcher after he struggled in 2014 and 2015 with the Miami Marlins.

Once again, sources confirmed that Padres' General Manager, A.J. Preller, told the Dodgers front office that the asking price for Hand starts with Alex Verdugo and would require more prospects on top of that.

At one point, the price for Hand got so high, that an anonymous executive told Yahoo's Jeff Passan, that Preller wanted more for Hand than the Dodgers would ask an opposing team in a hypothetical trade for Clayton Kershaw.

That brings us to my tweet, and the reason why I was trending in Pittsburgh for most of Friday.

League executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, have told me that if it's going to cost Los Angeles Alex Verdugo and at least two more top prospects for an elite left-handed reliever, that they wouldn't be surprised if Dodgers' President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, goes after Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Felipe Rivero.

For those that aren't familiar with Friedman, he's a baseball analytics genius with tremendous foresight and creativity when it comes to transactions. Unlike most executives in baseball, Friedman is always thinking two, three, and four moves ahead. He's constantly thinking big.

In 2015, Friedman famously traded for a left-handed starter on the Atlanta Braves by the name of Alex Wood, in addition to Luis Avilan, and closer Jim Johnson for Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, a prospect, and a draft pick.

At the time, the Dodgers needed a top of the rotation starter who could slot behind Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the playoffs. Wood was not that guy, but Friedman saw something in him that he liked, plus the fact that he was relatively cheap, and under team control until 2020.

Flash forward to Friday, where before his first loss of the season to the Braves, Wood was a perfect 11-0 on the year with a 1.56 ERA and being named to his first ever All-Star Game last week.

If that wasn't example enough, before the 2016 season, Friedman traded three prospects to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Todd Frazier, and then immediately sent Frazier to the White Sox for four prospects including Frankie Montas, and Trayce Thompson.

When asked why he didn't simply keep Frazier, Friedman told reporters he already had an everyday third baseman in Justin Turner, a baseball journeyman who had been previously waived by the Orioles and released by the New York Mets. 

Turner was also named an All-Star for the first time and is leading the Majors with a .371 batting average. 

Thinking ahead, Friedman would later trade Montas and Jharel Cotton at the deadline to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick.

The point of all this is that Friedman understands that prospects are extremely valuable and has the foresight to acquire them in exchange for players that could grow into stars (i.e. Chris Taylor, Wood, etc.)

Rivero is one of those guys. If the asking price for an elite left-handed arm is at least Alex Verdugo (53), Yadier Alvarez (26), and Willie Calhoun (86), then why not make the same offer, or throw in a fourth Baseball America Top 100 prospect like Walker Buehler (77), and go big for Rivero who has a 0.70 ERA, a 0.697 WHIP and is under team control until 2022?

Now here's where the fun begins. After my tweet stating as much, the backlash from Pirates' fans began as they foamed at the mouth like a rabid raccoon ready to bash me with cries of "blasphemy!'

Here are some of my favorite responses:

I mean the vitriol from these fans alone would lead you to believe I suggested they trade Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner, and Barry Bonds for a Broadway musical.

Now, I don't expect Pittsburgh sports fans to know anything about the Dodgers farm system, but trust me; it's good. If you've never heard the names of Verdugo, Calhoun, Alvarez, or Buehler, then I'm not surprised if you think, as one Twitter troll wrote to me, that Pirates' General Manager, Neal Huntington, would "hang up immediately" if asked if Rivero was available.

Unfortunately, that's not the case and as so many put it, Huntington would be "crazy" or "high" or "drunk," to not listen to an offer that would bring in a haul like that from the Dodgers.

Earlier this year, Cody Bellinger was No. 3 on Baseball America's Top 100 prospect list and he's now a National League MVP candidate in his rookie season. Two years ago, Corey Seager and Julio Urias topped the list.

To put those prospects in perspective, the Dodgers have five on the list, and each of them is expected to be a starter in the big leagues. The Pirates have three on the list.

For those in the Steel City that believe I magically manifested this trade scenario out of thin air, think again. In addition to myself and NBC LA, the Dodgers interest in Rivero has been reported and corroborated by Bleacher Report, as well as USA Today's Bob Nightengale who predicted:

Prediction: [Dodgers GM Andrew] Friedman goes massive, and acquires Pittsburgh Pirates left-handed stud Felipe Rivero for, yes, top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo, and perhaps expands the package by including Willie Calhoun and Yadier Alvarez, too. Verdugo could be a star, but Rivero is absolutely filthy, yielding a .088 batting average with only five hits in 17⅓ innings since his first save on June 10. He would provide the Dodgers with the nastiest right-left bullpen combination in baseball.

Looking ahead, I realize that this, like most news during the trade deadline, is mostly speculation, and during this time there are literally thousands of calls made by GMs across the league to gauge interest in players and prospects.

Does any of this mean with certainty that this or any other trade for that matter is going to happen? No, of course it doesn't. The purpose of the tweet and this article is mainly for discussion and speculation, and as I originally wrote, to "not be surprised," if it does happen.

In fact, the Pirates find themselves riding a recent six-game winning streak and are just two games out of first place in the NL Central. This recent surge could possibly throw a monkey wrench in all this.

After struggling in the first half, the Bucs are back to .500 and have Starling Marte back (although not for the postseason), and might end up being buyers at the deadline rather than sellers.

With that said, Friedman does not like to pay high costs at the trade deadline, and I for one do not want to see any of the team's top 100 prospects sent elsewhere for a team that is on pace to win over 110 games and win the division regardless of who they acquire at the deadline.

Friedman did most of his spending in the offseason, and if he is going to make a move, he would rather overpay for a guy like Rivero than for Britton or Hand.

If the Dodgers and Friedman do end up doing something at the trade deadline, don't be surprised if it's something big. 

Photo Credit: Justin Berl/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wood Roughed up By Braves in First Loss]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:09:43 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/199*120/Wood+Drops+Ball+and+Game.png

Perfection doesn't exist.

Alex Wood was handed his first loss of the season by his former team as the Atlanta Braves beat down the Los Angeles Dodgers, 12-3, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Wood was originally drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft, and was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline in 2015 for Hector Olivera.

Entering the game, Wood was a perfect 11-0 with a 1.56 ERA, but the Braves hit him early and often to the tune of a career-high nine runs, increasing his ERA to 2.17 by nights' end.

"I didn't have my command like normal, and I didn't execute," Wood said of his start. "It's just one of those nights. They have a quality lineup and they didn't help me out a whole lot."

Atlanta jumped on Wood with two runs in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead.

After two scoreless frames from Wood, opposing pitcher Jaime Garcia hit a routine pop fly that Wood dropped, allowing two more runs to score on the costly error.

"Cody [Belinger] lost the ball in the dark sky. I looked at the last second to see if anyone was coming to catch it, and I heard Yaz [Yasmani Grandal] yelling my name," said Wood of the dropped fly ball. "Instinct takes over and I tried to catch it. In retrospect, you probably won't see me attempt to catch a fly ball anymore."

Garcia ultimately was responsible for chasing Wood from the game when he became the first Braves pitcher since Tony Cloninger in 1966 to hit a grand slam.

Garcia belted the first grand slam of his career, when he sent a 90MPH fastball from Wood over the fence in right-center to give Atlanta a 9-0 lead.

"That was pretty unbelievable," Garcia said of his grand slam. "I've never hit a grand slam in my life. That was pretty cool."

Wood (11-1), allowed nine runs (seven earned) on a season-high nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts in just 4 and 2/3 innings.

It was Wood's first loss since May 30, 2016 and his first defeat at Dodger Stadium since Sept. 22, 2015. 

"They kicked our butts the first two nights," concluded Wood. "Hopefully, Rich [Hill] and Kershaw will get them back the next two days."

Freddie Freeman and Tyler Flowers also homered in the game for Atlanta.

Garcia (4-7), picked up the win, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven strong innings.

"I was able to make some pitches early on and keep them off balance," said Garcia of his outing. "I knew it was going to be a tough challenge for me, but I was able to execute my pitches and I was able to stay locked in."

The Atlanta left-hander has been mentioned in numerous trade rumors this week, and was expected to miss Friday's start following a trade to the Minnesota Twins.

"I'm not going to lie, and say I didn't hear about it, because a lot of people reached out to me," Garcia said about the trade rumors after the game. "I was aware. I don't pay attention to anything going on that's out of my control. I'm an Atlanta Brave and I'm excited that I'm still here."

Former Dodger Matt Kemp, went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. 

The Dodgers managed to scratch across just three runs in the game as they lost back-to-back games for the first time since June 5-6 against the Washington Nationals.

"Woody hasn't had an outing like that all year. It's just one of those nights," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "We just have to flush this one out and get them tomorrow."

The nine-run deficit was the Dodgers most lopsided loss of the season.

The Braves have won seven of their last nine games on the road.

Up Next:

The Braves send their ace, Julio Teheran to the mound on Saturday opposite Rich Hill as first pitch is scheduled for 6:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Braves Snap Dodgers 11-Game Win Streak]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:54:19 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/Braves+Snap+Dodgers+win+streak+.png

Leave it to old friend Matt Kemp to snap the streak.

Kurt Suzuki homered and the Atlanta Braves snapped the Los Angeles Dodgers season-high 11-game win-streak, 6-3, on Thursday night at Chavez Ravine.

Brandon McCarthy got off to a rough start as four of the first five Braves' batters reached base in a wild two-run first inning that put Atlanta out in front.

"They're a really aggressive team and they made me pay," McCarthy said about the first inning. "Oddly enough, I feel happy today outside of the actual results."

Cody Bellinger drove home Chase Utley in the bottom half of the frame as the Dodgers cut the lead in half. 

Bellinger's RBI was his team-leading 63rd RBI of the season as the rookie All-Star is batting .304 with 14 home runs in his last 34 games.

Suzuki broke the game open with a two-run homer off McCarthy in the top of the fourth and Atlanta never looked back.

"The pitch to Suzuki I'm not thrilled with," McCarthy said of the elevated sinker that Suzuki hit out of the ballpark. "That's just an execution error on my part. They put the bat on the ball enough to make things go their way."

McCarthy (6-4) allowed a season-high six runs on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts in just four short innings. It was one of his worst starts of the season.

"A blister formed during the game," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts told the media of McCarthy after the game. "I definitely don't think it's mental, but probably mechanics and the blister as well."

Yasmani Grandal--who had a root canal procedure earlier in the day--tried to bring the Boys in Blue back with a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the rally ultimately fell short.

"I had the appointment this morning, so I'm probably going on maybe three or four hours of sleep," said Grandal about the root canal. "I already had my mind set that I know this is going to suck, but I wanted to play through it and try and win a game today."

Mike Foltynewicz (8-5) earned his career-high fifth straight decision, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 and 1/3 strong innings.

"Everything felt good," Foltynewicz said. "Overall, it was a good night, the offense came up big. It's good to start this series off the right way."

In his last nine starts, Foltynewicz is 5-0 with a 3.33 ERA, the best stretch of his young career. 

Former Dodger, Jim Johnson, pitched the bottom of the ninth for his 22nd save of the season. 

The Dodgers 11-game win streak was tied for the longest in the Majors with the Houston Astros, and was there second double-digit wining streak this season.

The loss was just the second at Dodger Stadium in their last 20 games at home, and Los Angeles still has the best home record in the Majors, and the highest winning percentage at Chavez Ravine in franchise history.

So long, Sergio Romo

Before the game, the Dodgers reinstated left-hander Grant Dayton and designated Sergio Romo for assignment, likely ending his brief time with Los Angeles.

Up Next:

LHP Jamie Garcia was supposed to start on Friday for the Braves, but he was traded to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. If the trade goes through on Friday, the starter will likely be a call up. Alex Wood will put his perfect 11-0 record on the line opposite whomever starts for the Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Forum Owners File Claim Over Clippers Stadium Plans]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:42:03 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/5-23-17+Forum.JPG

The owners of The Forum concert venue have filed a claim for damages -- a precursor to a lawsuit -- against the city of Inglewood for quietly entering into a deal to build a new Los Angeles Clippers arena just down the street.

The Madison Square Garden Co. says Inglewood Mayor James Butts used a bait-and-switch strategy to coerce Forum executives into clearing the way for the project on a Century Boulevard parcel across from the NFL stadium now under construction, the Daily Breeze reported. They say Butts persuaded them to give up their leasehold in April on part of a parking lot to make way for a new business-technology park.

Instead, in June, city officials shocked MSG by announcing their deal with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer for a 18,000- to 20,000-seat arena that would likely also host concerts on the site 11/2 miles south.

"The mayor made it extremely clear that he needed that piece of land back for a kind of 'Silicon Beach,'?" said Marvin Putnam, a partner with the law firm Latham & Watkins, which filed the damage claim that serves as a precursor to a lawsuit, according to the Breeze. "They're attempting to flat-out trick people."

Butts declined to comment. When Madison Square Garden Co. relinquished the parking lease to the city, its approved contract states that the land would not be used for anything that would hurt the Forum's business, according to documents.

"We, along with the hundreds of hardworking men and women who work to bring top-flight entertainment events to the Forum, are stunned that the city is moving forward with a plan that is in direct conflict with its existing and clear-cut written commitments to our venue," Forum officials said in a statement.

The Inglewood City Council approved the exclusive-negotiating agreement with Ballmer on June 15, which was secured with a $1.5 million payment to the city. The deal gives the two parties three years to negotiate for the new arena at the corner of Century Boulevard and Yukon Avenue. Ballmer wants to move the NBA team from Staples Center, which is shared with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings, to a new state-of-the-art facility.

The team's Los Angeles lease is up in 2024.

The claim for damages was submitted Wednesday.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[For $12 Million, You Can Name the Field at Dodger Stadium]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 22:22:04 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/163*120/Dodger+Stadium+Naming+Rights+For+Sale.png

The NBC Field at Dodger Stadium has a nice ring to it.

Do you happen to have $12 million dollars lying around? If you do, you can name the field at Dodger Stadium.

According to the Sports Business Daily, the Dodgers have had the naming rights to the field at the third oldest stadium in Major League Baseball up for sale since early Spring with an asking price of $12 million.

Commercialism is no stranger to the sports world, initially starting with huge brand signage at NASCAR races, to stadiums, and now on to NBA jerseys starting in the 2017 season.

After the announcment on Monday that the naming rights were available, Dodger fans across the globe began to react, or overreact to the news via social media. 

At first, a bevy of fans believed that the Dodgers were selling the naming rights to the actual stadium, similar to the Staples Center, in downtown LA and the StubHub Center in Carson. 

However, the Dodgers made it clear that the stadium itself would remain Dodger Stadium, and just the naming rights for the field would be for sale. Therefore, if a company were to pony up the $12 million necessary it would go something like this, [Insert Name Here] Field at Dodger Stadium.

Some fans who frequently flock to Chavez Ravine don't like the idea of selling the rights to naming the field. Those opponents believe it is the beginning of a slippery slope that could eventually lead to the naming of the stadium, advertisements on the uniforms, and eventually, the corporate name of the team itself like the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.

Proponents of the naming of the field would like to see a rich billionaire who bleeds Dodger Blue to fork over the $12 million to name it Vin Scully Field or Jackie Robinson Field.

For now, the naming rights to the field that is played on Santa Ana Bermudagrass are still up for grabs as the Dodgers themselves are ironically wrapping up a two-game series at "Guaranteed Rate Field," in Chicago.

If the name of the White Sox Field is any indication of what could come at Dodger Stadium, perhaps they should just let sleeping dog's lie.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Sweep White Sox in Rain Soaked Rout]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:30:25 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/Taylor+Homers+as+Moncada+Looks+on.png

Rain, rain, go away, but the Dodgers win anyway.

Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, and Enrique Henrnadez all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers won in a rain-soaked rout, 9-1, over the White Sox in seven innings on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

Taylor hit a leadoff homer to start the game, but the torrential downpour of baseballs in the stands didn't end there.

Melky Cabrera tied the game in the bottom half of the first with his 12th home run of the season to tie the game at one apiece.

Hernandez hit solo shots in the second and third respectively, as he recorded his first multi-homer game of the season.

Seager followed Hernandez with a two-run home run of his own as the Dodgers took a commanding 5-1 lead after four frames.

Seager's home run was his 44th of his career as a shortstop (45 total), breaking the Los Angeles Dodgers' record of 43 held by Rafael Furcal. The all-time franchise record for home runs by a Dodgers' shortstop is 122 by Pee Wee Reese.

The Dodgers broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning that started with five consecutive hits.

Shortly after the seventh inning, the rain and wind came pouring down and after a brief delay, the game was called by the umpires.

Kenta Maeda (8-4) earned the win, allowing one run on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts in his first start since July 7, against the Kansas City Royals.

In interleague play, Maeda is 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA against the Royals, Angels and White Sox in 2017.

White Sox starter, Carlos Rodon (1-3), got rocked, allowing five runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in the loss.

Chicago's top prospect, Yoan Moncada, was called up before the game, and went 0-for-2 with a walk in his White Sox debut.

Moncada was famously required from the Boston Red Sox in a blockbuster offseason trade that sent Chris Sale to Beantown.

The Dodgers are now 31-4 in their last 35 games, the best stretch in franchise history and longest stretch since the Brooklyn Superbas in 1899 went 31-4.

The victory gave the Dodgers their 11th consecutive win, the longest active streak in baseball, and LA's longest streak of the season after a 10-game winning streak last month.

The win also completed a two-game sweep of the White Sox, the Dodgers' 12th sweep of the season. In the last 40 years, the most sweeps the Dodgers had in a single season was 13 in 1978.

Los Angeles can tie that mark with a sweep in their next series.

Up Next:

The Dodgers return home to the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine for a 10-game home stand starting on Thursday. Brandon McCarthy starts opposite Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicx at 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: David Banks/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Heart and Hustle of the 2017 Dodgers]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:58:22 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/Justin+Turner+Heart+and+Hustle.png

The heart of the 2017 Dodgers is also their best hitter. 

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was named the team's recipient of the annual Heart and Hustle Award for the 2017 season. 

The award is given to active players on each team who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit, and traditions of the game. 

The award is given by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni assocation and is the only award that is voted on solely by former players.

"Justin gives his all on the field," said Dodgers legendary pitcher Don Newcombe. "He brings joy and positivity to the clubhouse and spends his free time giving back to the community."

One player from each team is selected by the MLBPAA and the final winner is announced on November 14, 2017 at the annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. 

Turner leads the league in batting average with a .371 average this season and was named to his first ever All-Star Game last week after receiving a record amount of fan votes in MLB's "Final Vote" contest. 

Photo Credit: Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images.]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Set Best 34-Game Mark in Franchise History]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:38:43 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Kershaw+and+Bellinger+Keep+Dodgers+Rolling.png

One is the loneliest number.

The Dodgers scored one run in the first inning and held on to defeat the Chicago White Sox, 1-0, to set the best 34-game mark in franchise history on Tuesday night in the Windy City. 

Cody Bellinger knocked in the game's only run with an RBI single and Clayton Kershaw earned his 15th win of the season with seven shutout innings as the Dodgers improved to 30-4 in their last 34 games, the best stretch in baseball since 1977. 

Chris Taylor reached base on an infield single to start the game, and then promptly stole second, before scoring on the Bellinger single. Little did both teams know, that early run would be the only one of the game. 

Taylor finished with four hits for just the second time this season, and is now batting .426 in the leadoff spot for Los Angeles this season.

Kershaw (15-2) was not at his best, but scattered seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in seven shutout innings as the three-time Cy Young Award winner has made 14 consecutive starts without a loss, beating his own record second in 2014 of 13 consecutive games without a loss. 

White Sox starter, Miguel Gonzalez (4-9), was the hard-luck loser, allowing just one run on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts in six innings. 

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 24th save of the season.

The victory is the Dodgers 10th straight game, the second time this season that the team has reached a double-digit win streak this season, the only team in baseball to accomplish that feat.

Los Angeles is 65-29 on the season, the best start in Los Angeles franchise history, and the best start in team history since 1955. 

Up Next:

Kenta Maeda heads to the mound on Wednesday as the Dodgers look to keep rolling against LHP Carlos Rodon. First pitch is 5:10PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Jon Durr/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Intro Kentavious Caldwell-Pope]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 17:11:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Kentavious-Caldwell-Pope.jpg

Less than 24 hours after winning the Las Vegas Summer League, the Los Angeles Lakers held court in El Segundo and introduced new signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who joined the team on a one-year $18 million contract, as the starting shooting guard of the team.

"We needed a two-guard and a special two-guard that can play both sides of the ball but also has a high basketball I.Q., bring some toughness to the team and the floor," Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson waxed poetic about the team's new signing. "He can guard the 1-position, the 2-position, the 3-position--man, I should have been playing with him myself--almost like Michael Cooper in a sense."

Johnson added, "Also, [he] can hit the three ball and take it to the basket. Just another explosive player that our Lakers will get a chance to play with."

As Johnson grew exited talking about the team he was assembling, the front row of the audience could hardly contain itself. That front row consisted of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant, all of whom had taken the team bus back from Las Vegas to El Segundo in the morning and had stuck around for the press conference.

Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Kyle Kuzma and Ivica Zubac were also present at the facility, as the Lakers introduced their newest signing, illustrating the close involvement of the players. Only veterans Luol Deng, Brook Lopez and Corey Brewer were not visible in the flesh for Caldwell-Pope's introduction.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said, "I think it means a lot to the Lakers' family to have our guys come back from Vegas--literally the bus just got here--to show support for their newest teammate."

Caldwell-Pope is a 24-year-old guard that can shoot and defend, which fills two major needs for the Lakers of 2016-17.

As Johnson tells it, after he entered the team's management setup, he took to watching practices and watching games. What the 57-year-old saw was that teams had taken to sagging in and playing zones that invited the Lakers to shoot. Also, Johnson wanted a bit more intensity and competition in practice.

"I said, 'Man, we got to change and get some shooting in here and then we got to get some versatile guys that can play more than one position,'" Johnson shared his thoughts after watching practices in those early days in the front office.

Caldwell-Pope's defensive intensity and versatility, which the player cited as being more important than his three-point shooting at Tuesday's press conference, and shooting ability should help the Lakers address both areas that Johnson saw as problems.

"He gives our team versatility," Johnson said about the new signing. "We can cross match. In today's game, you have to have versatility, and so he gives us that."

While Johnson shared that the playoffs are always the goal at the start of the season, the executive did not seem to be in a rush to make proclamations and guarantees that the team would return to the postseason for the first time since the 2012 playoffs, when Dwight Howard and the Lakers were promptly swept in four games by the San Antonio Spurs.

"We're already better," Johnson said when asked about expectations for the upcoming season. "The roster is more balanced. We saw the ball movement in Summer League, and that's what we want to see and what [Lakers coach] Luke (Walton) wants to see."

Johnson added, "I tell you what, I would not want to miss a Laker game this season because it's going to be exciting every single night."

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Lonzo Ball Wins MVP, Lakers Win Summer League]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:08:20 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/Kyle-Kuzma-Lakers-Summer-League-final-7-17.PNG

LAS VEGAS - Due to a strained calf, Lonzo Ball sat out of Monday's NBA Summer League final in Las Vegas, where the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Portland Trail Blazers at the Thomas & Mack Center, but the 19-year-old rookie sensation was named NBA Summer League Most Valuable Player and handed a trophy prior to the game.

Ball became the first Laker to be named Summer League MVP after averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals, along with recording two triple-doubles.

After Ball was presented with the MVP trophy, which he accepted wearing what could best be described as spa slippers, the Lakers and Blazer played out a closely contested Las Vegas Summer League finals.

From the onset, rookie Kyle Kuzma out of the University of Utah stepped up and filled the scoring void. Kuzma, who was named to the All Summer League 2nd Team, scored 19 points in the first half on 7-10 shooting, including 4-6 from beyond the three-point line.

Kuzma has been a standout player for the Lakers, who drafted the Flint, Michigan native with the no. 27 over all pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Kuzma's scoring helped the Lakers keep pace with Portland, as the two teams went into the halftime intermission down 59-58.

In addition to Kuzma, the Lakers also earned solid contirbutions from Vander Blue and Matt Thomas, both of whom started and scored in double figures in the first half.

As the score suggested, the Lakers and Blazers were in for a high-scoring shootout, as both teams put up high scores for NBA games, while Summer League games only feature 10-minute quarters.

Kuzma continued his strong performance by scoring 11 points in the third quarter and giving the Lakers an 84-79 lead with 10 minutes to play. Kuzma had improved to 6-8 from three-point land after hitting a buzzer beating three-pointer to put the Lakers up 84-79 with 10 minutes remaining.

In the fourth quarter, the crowd got involved and turned up the intensity, which only helped the Lakers, who were the clear crowd favorites. When Ivica Zubac hit a mid-range jump shot with 7:42 remaining in the ball game, the Blazers called time out and the biased Lakers' fans erupted into a frenzy at the Lakers leading by 13 points.

The lead would obviously narrow, as Portland made a push to comeback, but the Lakers' continued to hit shots when they needed them most. Portland would cut the difference down to single digits multiple times, but the Lakers never let Portland truly threaten.

When the final buzzer finally sounded, the Lakers won by a final count of 110-98.

Incredibly, LA won six straight games, including five playoff games in six nights, to win the Las Vegas Summer League tournament. Kuzma finished the night with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Lonzo Ball Inspires Lakers to Summer League Final]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:00:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-win-in-Summer-League.jpg

LAS VEGAS - Lonzo Ball continued his takeover in the desert as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 22-point halftime lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Las Vegas Summer League semifinal with 14 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and a steal and no turnovers in 18 minutes of work.

By himself, Ball had more assists than the entire Dallas Mavericks' team at the intermission of Sunday night's playoff game, as the kid from Chino Hills continued to resurrect hope in the stumbling Lakers' franchise.

While the first half highlighted Ball's talents and exemplified his impact on the game, the second half only saw the former UCLA Bruin play three and a half minutes before leaving the game with tightness in his right calf. Ball ended up getting his calf stretched out on the baseline before disappearing into the locker room tunnel for more stretching.

Ball returned to the bench soon after, but he would not return to the court.

With the Lakers leading by comfortably by double digits for the majority of the ball game, the decision to hold out the 19-year-old made a great deal of sense, especially considering Summer League is essentially a glorified exhibition tournament.

Without Ball, though, the Lakers nearly blew a 26-point lead. As the Lakers fell apart without their star guard and the Dallas Mavericks made their final push, the game closed to a one-point difference. Fans at the Thomas & Mack Center, who were overwhelmingly in favor of the Lakers, took to chanting "We want Ball," but Lakers Summer League coach Jud Buechler did not flinch or even look into the point guard sensation's direction.

Instead, Kyle Kuzma, Matt Thomas and Vander Blue led the Lakers to victory, as Kuzma finished with a game-high 24 points, Thomas chipped in 20 points and Blue tabbed 17 points in the win.

For Dallas, Dennis Smith Jr. led the way with 21 points, and the Mavericks matched the Lakers with all five starters scoring in double figures. Though Dallas closed to within one point, the Mavericks never led at any stage in the game.

Next, the Lakers will take on the Portland Trail Blazers at 7 p.m on Monday night in the Las Vegas Summer League championship game. The Lakers will play their fifth game in six nights, though Ball's involvement remained somewhat in doubt after the game. As a positive sign, Ball's calf was not listed as strained, only as "tight."

According to both the player and his coach, though, the training staff and management will make the determination on whether or not the new face of the Lakers' franchise will play in the 2017 Summer League finale in front of a national audience.

Notes: The Lakers shot 77.3 percent from beyond the three-point line, and their long range shooting has become a common trend in the Summer League session. Ball finished with 16 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, one steal and no turnovers in 21 and a half minutes before getting pulled.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Win 9th Straight Game]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 18:19:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/AP_17197632563999.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers had all three Miami Marlins outfielders leaping for the ball at the wall, and only Justin Turner managed to clear it.

Turner homered and also singled to increase his batting average to .374, and the Dodgers extended their winning streak to nine games Sunday by beating Miami 3-2.

It was the Dodgers' fourth one-run victory during their streak, and the score was close only because Marlins Park is so big.

"A lot of our guys are going to be real happy to get out of this place," Turner said. "If we were at home in Dodger Stadium, we might have hit 20 homers this series. This place is enormous. They have a very athletic outfield and cover a lot of ground, and they made a lot of really good plays."

Marcell Ozuna jumped high above the 7-foot wall in left field to rob Kike Hernandez of a home run, and Christian Yelich leaped at the wall in center to steal an extra-base hit from Logan Forsythe.

But Giancarlo Stanton lost his glove over the 8½-foot wall in right field trying unsuccessfully to catch Chris Taylor's triple. When Stanton made a running leap and stretched his left arm above the wall, the glove came off and fell to the other side.

"I just hit my wrist at the top of the fence, and the glove just popped off," Stanton said.

Five Los Angeles pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts with no walks. Rich Hill (6-4) allowed one run in five innings, and Kenley Jansen got the final four outs for his 23rd save in as many chances.

The Dodgers (64-29) climbed 35 games above .500 for the first time since 1977 by completing their 11th sweep of the year, most in the majors. They've won 29 of their past 33 games and have the best record in the big leagues.

"It has been fun," Hill said. "We know our end goal, and what we want to do, and where we want to go, and how we see the season finishing. But we can't get there without focusing on tomorrow."

The Dodgers have the franchise's best record through 93 games since 1955.

Turner hit his 11th homer in the first inning, added a sacrifice fly in the third and reached on an infield single in the fifth. He was sidelined for three weeks early in the season by a hamstring injury, but entered the game on the verge of qualifying for the NL batting race, which he would lead.

The three-game sweep was the Dodgers' first in Miami since 2008. They didn't even need ace Clayton Kershaw, who makes his first start since the All-Star break Tuesday at the White Sox.

"We ran into a buzz saw," Miami manager Don Mattingly said.

Los Angeles won six of seven games from the Marlins this year.

It was that rare game where neither starter exceeded 90 mph. Chris O'Grady (1-1), making his second career start, allowed three runs in five innings.

One Dodger who struggled against O'Grady was Cody Bellinger. Less than 24 hours after hitting for the cycle, Bellinger went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against the left-hander.

Right fielder Yasiel Puig, batting .164 against left-handers this year, was among the regulars held out of the Dodgers' starting lineup.

Jansen struck out pinch hitter Justin Bour with two on to end the eighth, and followed that with a perfect ninth to lower his ERA to 0.90.


Dodgers: 1B Adrian Gonzalez (lower back) is likely a couple of weeks away from beginning a rehab assignment, manager Dave Roberts said. Gonzalez took 60 swings on the side Sunday, but has yet to take batting practice or run the bases.

Marlins: 2B Dee Gordon (neck spasms) was held out of the starting lineup, but had a pinch-hit single and is expected to start Monday.


Dodgers: After a day off, the Dodgers will open a two-game series Tuesday at the White Sox with All-Star LHP Kershaw (14-2, 2.18) scheduled to face RHP Miguel Gonzalez (4-8, 5.15). Kershaw is unbeaten in his past 13 starts despite allowing 18 homers this year, and he's unimpressed by the barrage of long balls around the majors.

"Everybody's asking, 'Is the ball juiced? Is it the era for home runs?'" Kershaw said. "But there are still a lot of guys not giving up home runs. There are a lot of guys pitching really well. To me it's not that big a deal. Offense is what people like to see; it's exciting. But I think pitching will still win out in the end."

Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (1-4, 8.00) is scheduled to start Monday against Philadelphia's Jerad Eickhoff (1-7, 4.63). LHP Adam Conley will be recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to start Tuesday, Mattingly said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Wilfredo Lee/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Win, Advance to Summer League Semis]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 03:48:45 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-Summer-League-7-15-17.jpg

Vander Blue scored 27 points, Kyle Kuzma added 26 more and Lonzo Ball flirted with yet another triple-double to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-106 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in the Las Vegas Summer League quarterfinals on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Ball finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in 34 minutes, as the Lakers extended their Summer League winning streak to four games after losing the opening two contests of the session.

Along with Blue, Kuzma and Ball, the Lakers received notable contributions from Travis Wear, as the former UCLA Bruin hit four of his six three-point attempts, and Matt Thomas, who finished with 17 points on 6-9 shooting from the field and 3-4 from three-point land. In fact, the Lakers hit 14-26 from three, with Blue, Kuzma and Thomas all making a trio of three-pointers each, while Wear finished top of the pile with four long bombs to his name.

Brooklyn offerred the Lakers their toughest test thus far, as Brooklyn's starting five featured four players with at least a season of NBA experience in Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Isaiah Whitehead and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, all of whom scored at least 15 points on the night.

However, the Lakers sharing of the basketball combined with the extra contributions from guys like Wear and Thomas helped LA hold off the Nets' charge and send the Lakers into the final two days of the competition. On the night, the Lakers finished with 26 assists on 42 made field goals.

The Lakers now face their fourth game in five days at 5 p.m. Pacific Time against the Dallas Mavericks. The winner of that game will play in the final on Monday against the winner of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Lakers are only two wins away from the 2017 Summer League trophy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lukaku Debuts, Man United Beats Galaxy 5-2]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 04:08:37 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Marcus-Rashford-Manchester-United-Galaxy-July-15-17.jpg

CARSON - With David Beckham watching both of his former clubs from the stands, Marcus Rashford scored a first half double within 20 minutes to lead Manchester United to a 5-2 victory on a balmy Saturday night in Southern California.

Rashford, who is still only 19 years old, started at striker and scored within two minutes of the opening whistle. After putting in a 45-minute shift and grabbing a seat during the preseason friendly for the Premier League club, one could not help but marvel at the teenager's composure in front of goal combined with the pace and positional understanding on display.

For the Galaxy, the match served as an all-too-familiar mid-season exhibition contest that tends to more accommodate the visiting teams in their preseason preparations than help the LA-based club directly.

At halftime, both clubs made wholesale changes and brought on their regulars for the final 45 minutes, with the Galaxy bringing on a couple more first-choice players at the 60-minute mark.

For Manchester United, the halftime changes included Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming on, the latter of whom scored Manchester United's fourth goal of the night. At 4-0 up, one would have had a tough time seeing any purpose to looking up at the scoreboard.

The greater meaning of the day, though, came from the debut of Manchester United's new star striker Romelu Lukaku, who arrived from Everton for nearly $100 million transfer fee and officially only just joined the team in Los Angeles earlier in the month.

Lukaku came on at halftime and played for the entire second half, after Rashford and Marouane Fellaini had helped Manchester United jump to a 3-0 halftime lead against a weakened LA Galaxy starting lineup. The Belgian's first chance was blocked off by Galaxy goal keeper Brian Rowe, and the 24-year-old missed the target on his second attempt. Ultimately, the Belgian failed to score on his debut.

One of the other halftime substitutes for the Red Devils, Anthony Martial, looked active from the moment he came on, and the Frenchman eventually turned in Manchester United's fifth goal of the night in the 72nd minute.

Just shy of the 80-minute mark, LA Galaxy finally made a mark on the game when Giovanni Dos Santos beat Manchester United backup goal keeper Joel Pereira.

At this point, the Galaxy regulars, who should have been in mid-season form, displayed their quality and began a barrage on Manchester United's goal. Only a couple minutes later, Pereira was forced to make a point blank stop to save Manchester United's blushes.

In the 88th minute, though, an LA Galaxy corner led to a header by Dave Romney that caught Dos Santos on the way in to make the score 5-2 in favor of the visitors from Manchester. In effect, the Galaxy starters had played to a 2-2 second half draw against the Premier League giants.

Notes: Victor Lindelof, who expects to partner with Eric Bailly in the Manchester United back four, also made his Manchester United debut on the night, as the Swede played the final 45 minutes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bellinger Hits For The Cycle in Dodgers Victory Over Marlins]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 19:59:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Bellinger+Hits+for+the+Cycle.png

Cody Bellinger became the first Dodgers rookie to hit for the cycle and Alex Wood became the first Dodgers pitcher in more than a century to win his first 11 decisions in a season, helping the NL West leaders beat the Miami Marlins 7-1 Saturday night for their eighth straight victory.

Bellinger singled in the first inning, hit a two-run homer in the third, added an RBI double in the fourth and hit his second career triple on the first pitch of the seventh. His triple off Nick Wittgren barely cleared the glove of right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who tried to making a running backhanded catch.

Wood (11-0) struck out 10 in six scoreless innings, allowed only four baserunners and lowered his ERA to 1.56 in 16 games this year.

An angry Yasiel Puig took several steps toward the mound after he was nearly hit by a pitch from Miami's Jose Urena in the first inning. Puig hit two home runs in Los Angeles' win Friday, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning.

The Dodgers (63-29) climbed 34 games above .500 for the first time and have won 28 of their past 32 games. Their bandwagon included an entire section at Marlins Park, where a group that follows the team on the road unfurled its enormous blue flag with the Dodgers logo during the sixth inning.

Los Angeles took a 5-0 lead in the third when Bellinger hit his 26th homer and Yasmani Grandal added a three-run shot, his 12th.

Bellinger's cycle — his first four-hit game — was the fifth in the majors this year, and came against three pitchers. He became the third Dodger to hit for the cycle since the team moved to Los Angeles, and the first since Orlando Hudson on April 13, 2009.

Bellinger is the ninth player in the Dodgers' 128-year history to hit for the cycle. They improved to 54-18 (.750) since he was promoted from the minors.

Urena (7-4) allowed all five runs and needed 82 pitches to get through three innings, his shortest start of the year.


Urena's first pitch to Puig was a 96 mph fastball that just missed the slugger's left thigh. Puig shouted at Urena and took several steps as some players and both managers ran onto the field.

Catcher J.T. Realmuto stepped in front of Puig, and after some yelling the confrontation quickly ended. Puig then flied out.

Benches cleared when the teams met in Los Angeles in May, prompting the ejections of Marlins manager Don Mattingly, Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling and Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren.


Puig remained in the No. 8 in the order even though he's second on the Dodgers with 18 homers.

"You look at the numbers and the production he has had, and the easy thing is to put him right in the middle of the order," manager Dave Roberts said before Saturday's game. "But I think the right thing at this moment is to stay the course. It puts him in a good spot in the order, and the results are there."

The Dodgers improved to 31-6 (.838) when Puig bats eighth.


Stanton went 0 for 2 with a walk against Wood and is 3 for 25 lifetime (.120) against the left-hander.


LHP Rich Hill (5-4, 3.69) is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday for the Dodgers. Hill made his most recent appearance at Marlins Park last September, when he threw seven perfect innings before Roberts pulled him, mindful the lefty had been sidelined by a blister earlier in the season. Three relievers completed a two-hit shutout.

RHP Tom Koehler (1-4, 8.00) will start for Miami as a replacement for RHP Edinson Volquez (left knee tendinitis).

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Pick Up Where They Left Off in Miami ]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:25:45 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Puig+Picks+up+where+Dodgers+left+off.png

It may be the second half of the season, but it's the same old story for the Boys in Blue.

Yasiel Puig hit his second homer of the game with two out in the ninth inning Friday night, and the three-run shot helped the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Miami 6-4 for their seventh consecutive victory.

Corey Seager also homered for the Dodgers (62-29), who were one strike from defeat three times before winning for the 27th time in the past 31 games. They're 33 games above .500 for the first time this year.

The Marlins led 4-3 when Joc Peterson singled on a 1-2 pitch with two out in the ninth against A.J. Ramos (2-4). It was the first hit by the Dodgers since the fifth inning.

Peterson moved up on a wild pitch, Yasmani Grandal walked on a 3-2 pitch, and both runners advanced on another wild pitch.

Puig fell behind 1-2 before pulling a 94-mph fastball into the home run sculpture. He slapped his chest twice with both hands as he looked toward the jubilant Los Angeles dugout and began his jog.

It was his 18th homer this year, and the second blown save by Ramos.

Los Angeles starter Brandon McCarthy allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings, but four relievers blanked Miami. Josh Fields (5-0) pitched a perfect eighth, and Kenley Jansen followed with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 22nd save.

Miami starter Dan Straily pitched five innings and allowed three runs, including two homers.

Entire sections of empty seats returned to Marlins Park three days after the All-Star Game, with the ballpark barely half-full. Announced attendance was 21,858.

The Marlins took the lead with three runs in the fifth. Giancarlo Stanton doubled home one run, and Justin Bour hit a two-out, two-run double, ending McCarthy's night.

Puig put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 when he hit a homer estimated at 449 feet on the first pitch of the fifth inning. With two out, Seager homered off the facade of the upper deck.

Pederson doubled off the top of the wall leading off the second. With two out, second baseman Dee Gordon dropped a throw on a steal attempt, allowing Pederson to score from third.


Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor made an over-the-shoulder catch before hitting the wall to rob Gordon in the first inning. Gordon then made a diving stop in the seventh to rob Puig.

Riddle made a nifty pickup of Seager's one-hopper to start a double play in the eighth.


Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (bruised left foot) threw 58 pitches in a simulated game but won't be activated during the Dodgers' trip, manager Dave Roberts said. It's uncertain whether he'll return to the rotation or go to the bullpen.

Marlins: RHP Edinson Volquez (left knee tendinitis) underwent an MRI because of lingering soreness and might not be available to start as scheduled Sunday, manager Don Mattingly said. ... INF Miguel Rojas (right thumb) is expected to make several more rehab starts before rejoining the Marlins.


Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (10-0, 1.67) is scheduled to face RHP Jose Urena (7-3, 3.54) on Saturday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee]]>
<![CDATA[Another Triple-Double For Lonzo Ball, Lakers Win Again]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:57:56 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-triple-double-7-13-17.jpg

For the second time in the 2017 NBA Summer League, Lonzo Ball recorded a triple-double.

On Thursday, Ball finished the night with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, five steals and two blocks in a 94-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the round of 16 of the Las Vegas Summer League tournament.

Yes, the Lakers are in the playoffs, and they're making noise with two straight wins in the tournament and three consecutive victories over all. The Lakers go for four-in-a-row against the Brooklyn Nets in the quarterfinals, which will be played on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Pacific Time.

On Thursday, though, as was the case on Wednesday night, Ball stole the show. The 19-year-old rookie, again, took center stage in a nationally televised game and played with poise to help the Lakers hold a narrow lead for the duration of the second half. His six turnovers illustrated that he was far from perfect, but one would be unfair to diminish his starring role in the victory.

After an awful first game, Ball is averaging 21.0 points, 11.3 assists, 9.7 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 1.7 blocks per game over his last three games. Even though his 5.7 turnovers are eye-popping, he's played starred on the stage.

Ball may have been the most dominant personality on the court, but Kyle Kuzma's shooting impressed once again. Kuzma, who was a late first round pick that arrived via the Lakers' trade with Houston, shot 50 percent from the field, including 4-8 from three-point land.

The rookie has seemingly already grown comfortable with the extended NBA long ball line, and the ability to hit the long bomb should help the 21-year-old get rotation minutes during the regular season.

Also, Vander Blue scored 18 points in the win, while Ivica Zubac recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Zubac, though, noticably struggled with the fast pace of play at times. While Summer League can be even more frantic than the NBA, the Lakers' big man has not looked especially dominant in Las Vegas thus far.

For the Cavs, Kay Felder scored 25 points to lead all scorers.

Notes: Ball wore James Harden's Adidas on Thursday after wearing Kobe Bryant's Nike's on Wednesday. Ball wore his own shoes in the first two games but went on to explain that he can wear which ever shoes he pleases with his family brand: BBB (Big Baller Brand).

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Officially Sign Caldwell-Pope, Caruso]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 18:32:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-agree-Kentavious-Caldwell-Pope.jpg

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers made the signing of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope official, though the way the sports world works these days, the news had leaked and been reported a couple days earlier.

Still, Caldwell-Pope signed on the dotted line and featured in a no. 1 Lakers' jersey on social media on Thursday, as the 6-foot 5-inch guard takes over the number vacated by D'Angelo Russell, who was traded to Brooklyn ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Caldwell-Pope's arrival is heralded as an astute signing for the franchise that is pinning its hopes on attracting two marquee free agents in the summer of 2018. Caldwell-Pope's one year contract reportedly worth $18 million allows the Lakers to add a piece that fits on the court and also fits in the organization's future financial plans.

As an added bonus, the defensive-minded shooting guard shares agent Rich Paul with LeBron James, and the Lakers have been rumored to be interested in bringing James to LA as one of those two premier free agents in the summer of 2018. Obviously, 29 other teams share that interest, but the Lakers appear to be legitimate contenders if James opts to leave Cleveland for a second time as a professional.

While Caldwell-Pope's signing may not be a direct indication of the Lakers' chances with James, the fact that Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson got a deal done with James' agent certainly is not a negative signal to potentially putting James in a purple and gold jersey. In a sense, the Lakers not have a not to subtle line into James' ear.

In the short term, though, Caldwell-Pope fits the needs of the team as a defensive-minded guard that is improving on his three-point shooting. With rookie sensation Lonzo Ball distributing, Caldwell-Pope should get a look at open shots that help his long range percent, and conversely, Caldwell-Pope should assist the rookie on the opposite end of the court, where rookies tend to struggle in the NBA.

Beyond Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers also announced the signing of Alex Caruso, who is one of the standouts of the Lakers' Summer League team in Las Vegas. Caruso signed a two-way contract, which stipulates that the 23-year-old Texan can not spend more than 45 days with the Lakers during the newly re-branded G-League season.

As such, Caruso will feature prominently on the also newly re-branded South Bay Lakers but will also be available to come up and experience life in the NBA without taking up any of the Lakers' 15 regular season roster spots. LA can hand out one more two-way contract, which is a new phenomenon in a league that is growing its minor league system by encouraging teams to utilize their G-League affiliates and earn two extra roster spots.

With Thursday's two signings, the Lakers' roster is now at 12 full time players and one two-way player, and rookie Thomas Bryant remains unsigned. The 19-year-old Bryant expects to end up as a two-way player, as his age and status in the draft suggest he was likely selected as an asset for the future rather than the present.

In order to make the required space to sign Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers had to waive guard David Nwaba, and if the guard clears waivers, LA would likely look to re-sign the 24-year-old and push the regular season roster up to 13 players. With point guard Tyler Ennis, who finished the previous season with the Lakers, unsigned and available, LA could quickly jump up to 14 players and all but complete its summer dealings.

As it stands, though, the Lakers now have hit the salary cap with 12 players signed to the regular season roster and one two-way player slot filled up.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lonzo Ball Scores 36 Points, Lakers Win]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 02:07:09 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-scores-36-points.png

Any remaining doubts over the Los Angeles picking Lonzo Ball with the no. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft evaporated as quickly as a cup of water in the 120-degree Las Vegas sun.

On Wednesday night, Ball led the Lakers with 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks, as LA came from behind to win 103-102 over the Philadelphia 76ers in the play-in round of the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League tournament.

With the victory, the Lakers advance to the Round of 16 on Thursday, where they face a well-rested Cleveland Cavaliers team.

Incredibly, Ball started the night looking to pass and notched six assists in the first quarter and went to the bench scoreless. From the second quarter on, though, the 19-year-old took advantage of a defense that was afraid of his passing more than his shooting.

Ball attacked the basket and improved with every quarter. The former UCLA Bruin scored eight points in the second quarter, 13 points in the third and finished off with 15 points in the fourth quarter. Yes, Ball scored 28 points in the second half of a Summer League game, which features shortened 10-minute quarters.

In a vacuum, Ball's scoring output would be impressive, but led the Lakers' comeback. After a back-and-forth start, Philadelphia took the lead early in the second quarter and ballooned its advantage to 15 points midway through the third period.

In fact, LA tasted its first lead of the second half with 21.2 seconds remaining, when Ball went to the rim, got fouled and hit a clutch free throw to give the Lakers a one point lead. Really, these weren't empty statistics as Ball led the comeback.

On the next possession, though, Philadelphia scored a layup to take a one-point lead. After Kyle Kuzma found Ivica Zubac on the ensuing out of bounds play, the big Croatian got fouled and hit both clutch free throws to give the Lakers a 103-102 lead, and the score held as a desperate heave at the buzzer never looked like it had a chance.

Notably, this was also Zubac's best performance of the Las Vegas Summer League, as the 20-year-old finished with 21 points in 25 minutes and stepped up big at the foul line at crunch time, but Ball's finger prints were all over Zubac's numbers.

"That's how a real point guard got to play," Ivica Zubac said about Ball after the game. "He leads the team on the court. When he's got to involve the other guys, he passes the ball. When he's got to take over and score, he can do that, too. He did a great job tonight."

Zubac plainly stated the hopes of his team and its fan base in his rapidly improving English, "I wish he can play like that every night."


-Kuzma recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four assists and two blocks.

-After the win, Ball was critical of his six turnovers when interviewed by ESPN on the court. The ESPN broadcast focused a great deal of attention on the fact that Ball wore Kobe Bryant's line of Nike shoes rather than his own signature Big Baller Brand shoes.

Ball used the phrase "Mamba Mentality" on the ESPN national broadcast to explain why he switched shoes before citing that his family shoe brand allows him to wear whichever shoes he pleases. One rather famous fan took the opportunity to essentially create a Nike adverisement featuring Ball and put it on Instagram to be viewed literally millions of times.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Waive David Nwaba, Get Ball, Kuzma Back]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 13:07:50 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-David-Nwaba.png

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers officially waived David Nwaba, possibly ending the LA-native's miraculous run with the purple and gold, in order to create the salary cap space required to sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a reported one year $18 million contract.

Caldwell-Pope cannot officially sign with the Lakers until Nwaba clears waivers, but during that 48-hour process, another team can come in and claim the defensive-minded shooting guard that went un-drafted before finding a place on the Lakers' roster at the tail-end of the 2017-18 NBA season.

Salary cap expert Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders and Bleacher Report explained the logic. Along with clearing the space required to sign Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers would also be able to sign rookie Thomas Bryant via cap room for three or four years. Then, if Nwaba clears waivers, the Lakers can re-sign the former University High School and Santa Monica College atendee to a two-year contract.

Of course, this plan would only be possible if Nwaba clears waivers and another team doesn't step in to claim his non-guaranteed $1.3 million contract.

Essentially, the Lakers waived Nwaba not because of his play or because of anything to do with his attitude but because of salary cap rules and the business of basketball. If all goes according to plan, the Lakers will get the 6-foot 4-inch guard with a 7-foot wingspan back on the roster and the dream will continue.

Summer League Update

In terms of immediate effects, the Lakers will be without Nwaba for Wednesday night's Summer League game. Considering the team ended Monday night's win with only four healthy bodies, LA was looking at possibly only suiting up eight players for Wednesday night's Summer League playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, both Lonzo Ball (groin) and Kyle Kuzma (cramps) have recovered from injuries that kept them out of Monday's win over Sacrament, and both are available to play on Wednesday night. So, the Lakers should have 10 healthy bodies for Wednesday's game. If the Lakers progress in the tournament and advance as far as the final, they face the possibility of playing five games in six days with a razor thin squad that is far from 100 percent healthy.

Tip-off of the Lakers and the 76ers is 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Lakers Agree to Sign Caldwell-Pope]]>Tue, 11 Jul 2017 23:01:18 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-agree-Kentavious-Caldwell-Pope.jpg

According to an ESPN report by Brian Windhorst, the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for $18 million on a one-year contract late Tuesday night.

For Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, Caldwell-Pope serves as the first major free agent acquisition of the newly formed Lakers' front office tandem. Previously, the team had only agreed terms with its rookies and signed an NBA Development League player to an NBA contract.

Most importantly, this contract falls within the parameters set forth by the front office with regards to the goal of not committing to contracts that would still be on the books in one year's time. The Lakers' plan is to go out and get two big free agents in the summer of 2017 with Paul George rumored to be coming to LA and whispers of LeBron James possibly leaving Cleveland growing louder with the Cavaliers' failing to fill front office vacancies and boost the Cavs' roster.

For the upcoming season though, Caldwell-Pope fills multiple needs. He is a 6-foot 5-inch shooting guard that is known for being a strong defender. Also, he has an improving three-point shot. The 24-year-old spent four years in Detroit and made 75 starts for the Pistons during the 2016-17 season.

In his final season in the "Motor City," Caldwell-Pope averaged 13.8 points, 2.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals to go along with 35 percent shooting from beyond the three-point line.

With Caldwell-Pope on the roster, the Lakers likely have a starting lineup in place for opening night of the season: Brook Lopez, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Caldwell-Pope and Lonzo Ball.

Of course, Jordan Clarkson will be in contention for a starting guard spot with Caldwell-Pope, but Clarkson was most often used as a scorer off the bench in Luke Walton's first season on the Lakers' sidelines. As such, Clarkson can likely continue to look for points off the bench with Caldwell-Pope assuming starting duties. Ball's rookie status would benefit from having a strong defensive backcourt mate, so Caldwell-Pope is probably a better fit than Clarkson at the position.

The signing of Caldwell-Pope initially seemed to suggest that the Lakers would no longer be interested in the services of Rajon Rondo, but a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski stated that the Lakers were still hopeful of using their $4.3 million exception to sign Rondo.

If the player and the team agree terms, Rondo would likely serve as the point guard of a second unit that features Clarkson, Luol Deng, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac. Corey Brewer is also an able body at Walton's disposal off the bench, and add in rookies Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart to the mix, as both have guaranteed contracts.

David Nwaba, though, faces possible being waived in order to sign Caldwell-Pope depending on the exact dollar amount of the contract per NBA salary cap expert Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report and Basketball Insiders. However, even if the Lakers are forced to waive Nwaba, the team could potentially re-sign the defensive-minded shooting guard if he is not claimed by any other team.

Regardless of what happens with Nwaba and even if Rondo does not end up on the Lakers, the signing of Caldwell-Pope played well with the fan base when the news broke. In truth, one would have been hard pressed to find a better fit for the current Lakers' roster than Caldwell-Pope, and the terms fit the team's vision of the future.

For Johnson and Pelinka, agreeing terms on a one year contract with a young player that can contribute on both ends of the court provides the best case scenario. Now, the question remains on whether Rondo is next.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Injured Lakers Beat Kings at Summer League]]>Tue, 11 Jul 2017 05:34:06 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-NBA-Summer-League-July-10-17.png

LAS VEGAS—For the conclusion of Monday's game against the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers had more players one the court, five, than active bodies on the bench, four.

Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma all sat out Monday's game with various minor injuries, and P.J. Dozier soon joined them in the group of walking wounded after a tough fall left the guard limping.

Still, somehow, the Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings 95-92 after nearly blowing a 28-point lead. To be fair, few expected this Lakers' squad to have a 28-point lead to begin with.

The star of the game was Alex Caruso, who tabbed 18 points, nine assists and four rebounds to go along with four steals in 30 minutes of work. Caruso started in place of the injured Ball, and the 23-year-old looked hungry for the game time.

"I know that I can play basketball," Caruso said after the game. "I believe in myself, so once I started making shots early, I knew it was going to be a good night."

Caruso is a big 6-foot 5-inch point guard that went undrafted in 2016 and joined the Oklahoma City Blue, a team affiliated with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers, however, found a roster spot for the Texan on the Summer League team, and a handful of injuries helped the former Texas A & M Aggie shine in the first half and down the stretch at the Thomas & Mack Center.

"We hadn't seen a ton of that type of level from him," Lakers Summer League coach Judd Buechler admitted after the game. "He obviously played well in camp, but that was next level stuff he was doing out there."

On Monday, Caruso orchestrated the Lakers' offense, which recorded an assist on 22 of 32 made field goals. The play of the game arrived when Caruso forced a steal and chased a ball down before throwing up an inch perfect alley-oop to former UCLA Bruin Travis Wear.

In addition to Caruso, David Nwaba also stood out for the Lakers in Monday's victory, as the Los Angeles native scored 13 points to go along with nine rebounds, four assists, a steal and two blocks.

Off the bench, Vander Blue scored 21 points, as the 2017 NBA Development League MVP hopes to advance to the NBA rather than the newly rebranded G-League.

For Sacramento, Buddy Hield led all scorers with 22 points, as the crowd was seemingly split with Sacramento and LA fans. With every bucket down the stretch, one set of fans would cheer before the next bucket sent the opposing fans into a frenzy. While the two previous games may have been close and featured more future NBA level talent, Monday's game provided the most in-arena excitement and the best competitive flare of the Lakers' three Summer League games thus far.

Coincidentally, the Lakers also won on this occasion.

Next, the Lakers have Tuesday off before playing in the tournament portion of the Las Vegas Summer League. At a minimum, the Lakers are guaranteed two more games.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Ball in the Family: LaVar and Lonzo Get Their Own Show]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 14:21:10 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_RAPID_FIRE_710_1200x675_991607875851.jpg

It’s time for Rapid Fire!! Will you be watching Lonzo Ball and his family on their new Facebook show? Was Nick Young’s move to the Warriors a good play? Should Sam Darnold leave USC after next season or stay in school? Brian Webber and Shannon Farren join Mario Solis in this edition of Rapid Fire, originally aired on Going Roggin, July 9, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Chris Paul is Gone. Is the Clippers Ship Going Down Too?]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:41:36 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_GR_CLIPPERS_PLAYOFFS_1200x675_991738435654.jpg

With Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford and JJ Redick gone the Clippers will look very different next season. With their leader on the move, is the Clippers ship sinking? Originally aired on Going Roggin, July 8, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Trout Returning to Angels' Lineup After Injury]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 06:57:28 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-480711668.jpg

Mike Trout will return to the Los Angeles Angels' lineup Friday after missing 39 games with an injured thumb.

Angels spokesman Tim Mead confirmed the club's plan Sunday night after Trout's fourth rehabilitation game with Class-A Inland Empire.

Trout has been out since May 28, when he tore a ligament in his left thumb while sliding headfirst into second base. The two-time AL MVP had surgery and missed six weeks of big-league action.

The Angels (45-47) return from the All-Star break at home Friday against Tampa Bay. Los Angeles went 19-20 during Trout's absence, staying in second place in the AL West.

Trout was in the midst of yet another MVP-caliber season when he was hurt. He is batting .337 with 16 homers, 36 RBIs and a whopping 1.203 OPS in 47 games.

Trout had a triple and three walks Sunday in his final appearance with Inland Empire. He began taking batting practice June 30 before his minor-league stint in San Bernardino.

Despite the first major injury of his career, Trout was voted onto the AL All-Star team for the sixth time. The Angels announced last week that Trout wouldn't attempt to play in Miami.

Trout was the All-Star Game's MVP in 2014 and 2015.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Turner and Kershaw Complete Sweep of Royals]]>Sun, 09 Jul 2017 19:55:00 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/Justin+Turner+Hits+2+Homers+Against+Royals.png

They ended the first half on a high-note.

Justin Turner hit a pair of homers, Clayton Kershaw threw a complete game, and the Los Angeles Dodgers head into the All-Star Break with the best record in baseball, after sweeping the Kansas City Royals, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon at Chavez Ravine.

The Dodgers will never be royals, it doesn't run in their blood, but they do have six World Series titles in their franchise history, and could be well on their way to a seventh if they continue at this torrid pace.

15 different Dodger players have had game-winning hits this season, and on Sunday it was newly minted All-Star Justin Turner who came through with a pair of home runs to cool off Kansas City, arguably the second hottest team in baseball behind the Boys in Blue.

Turner hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first and a two-run blast in the bottom of the third as he punctuated one of the greatest hitting first halves in baseball history (.377 BA) with an exclamation point.

Bartender, I'll have another please…

Kershaw (14-2) also had a historic first half as he cemented his legacy as one of the game's best pitchers with a first half for the record books.

Kershaw threw a complete-game, allowing just six hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts in his final start before the All-Star break. He did it on exactly 99 pitches, the first pitcher in Major League history to strikeout at least 13 batters on fewer than 100 pitches.

"It was a good way to end the first half," Kershaw said after the game. "When you get your pitch count down, you can make it through nine, and it just worked out well today."

Kershaw became the first Dodger pitcher in franchise history since Sandy Koufax (15) in 1966 to win at least 14 games before the All-Star Break, and he did with the Hall-of-Fame left-hander in attendance.

"Sandy was here today, so I wanted to do it for him," Kershaw said of collecting his MLB-best 14th win and first complete game of the season.

Kershaw's 13 strikeouts on the day also gave him 159 on the season, his second highest first half total of his career (160). It was also the 59th time in his career Kershaw has struck out at least 10+ batters in a game.

The complete game was Kershaw's first of the season and his 13th consecutive victory without a loss, tied with Houston Astros starter, Dallas Keuchel and teammate Alex Wood for the most consecutive starts without a loss in the Major Leagues (active).

In his last 13 starts, Kershaw is 10-0 with a 1.98 ERA with 115 strikeouts.

Kershaw's only blemish on the day was a two-run home run to Eric Hsomer in the top of the fourth inning. 

"I was just trying to stay aggressive. The approach for me was be ready to swing early," said Hosmer of his home run and approach to Kershaw. "I was happy to see the ball roll around over the fence."

Turner provided most of the offense for the Boys in Blue as he tallied the fifth multi-homer game of his career, and catcher Austin Barnes added a solo shot in the six inning.

"When it's hot out here and there's a breeze blowing out, the ball flies pretty good here," said Turner of his two home runs. "I'm just trying to hit the ball as hard as I can every time. There's a lot of conversation about juiced balls, but I've flown out to the warning track about 30 times this year, so I guess they're not juiced for me. Sometimes they go over the fence, sometimes they don't."

The Dodgers swept the Royals for the first time in franchise history, and completed their MLB-leading 10th series sweep of the season, three more than the entire total from the 2016 NLCS season.

Los Angeles heads into the All-Star Break at 61-29, the best record in all of baseball, and a run differential of +163, the single highest in National League history.

"This is the best first half I've ever been a part of," Kershaw said of the Dodgers' record before the All-Star break. "It definitely makes the All-Star break a little more satisfying." 

The team's .678 winning percentage is the fourth highest in franchise history and single highest total since the team moved to Los Angeles. 

Scary Moment:

Home plate umpire, Kerwin Danley, was struck in the mask by a foul ball off the bat of Cody Bellinger and nearly collapsed after the contact. He left the game with concussion-like symptoms.

Up Next:

The Dodgers send six different players to the All-Star Game for the first time since 1991. Rookie Cody Bellinger highlights the Home Run Derby on Monday, with the Midsummer Classic taking place on Tuesday.

Los Angeles will be back in action on Friday against the Marlins.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lonzo Ball Bounces Back with Triple-Double Vs. Celtics]]>Sat, 08 Jul 2017 22:03:33 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-vs-Celtics-Summer-League.JPG

LAS VEGAS—The Los Angeles Lakers lost 86-81 to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but the ball bounced the way of the purple and gold when zooming out on the night.

More specifically, Lonzo Ball bounced back with a triple-double that displayed exactly why the Lakers had drafted the 19-year-old with the no. 2 over all pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Ball still struggled to find his shot and only made one of his five three-point attempts, but his ability to push the pace and set up teammates could not be ignored. Led by Ball, the Lakers began making extra passes and playing basketball in its most beautiful form.

"The way (Ball) plays the game, you can't help but follow when someone plays like that," Lakers coach Luke Walton said to reporters at halftime of Saturday's game. "You see other guys on the team already making the extra pass that they weren't making last night, and that's leadership. I'm thrilled with the way they're playing right now."

When the final buzzer sounded, Ball had 11 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, one block and one steal in his second Summer League game, which was a notable improvement on his debut one night earlier, when the former UCLA Bruin missed 10 of his 11 three-point attempts and only made two of his 15 field goal attempts over all.

Adding to the impressiveness of Ball's bounceback game was the fact that the Lakers announced that Brandon Ingram would not play on Satuday night or at any future point of the Summer League after the 19-year-old cramped up in the loss to the Clippers and had been previously playing through a sprained ankle.

"We're just trying to protect him from himself a little bit," Walton said about the decision to hold out Ingram, who had looked like the best player on the floor by a great distance the night before.

Losing the best scorer on the squad, Ball faced even more pressure to perform on Saturday night in front of a sold out Summer League audience, most of whom were Lakers' fans. Coming off a nationally televised game and receiving harsh criticism from analysts on both coasts, the 19-year-old seemingly did not let the pressure get to him. 

The first sign of how the night would go arrived when Ball stepped up and make his first shot, a three-pointer, before going on to set up fellow rookie Kyle Kuzma throughout the night. Just as he had looked to get the ball into Ingram's hands a night earlier, Ball identified Kuzma as his primary weapon and found the forward with every opportunity. The Michigan native scored a game-high 31 points.

However, the Lakers did lose for the second night in a row, and the no. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Jayson Tatum, led Boston with 27 points and 11 rebounds in the victory.

"Definitely felt better, better game, but we didn't get the win," Ball said after the game. "That's all we care about. Until we win, I'm not going to be happy."

During Summer League, winning and losing is not nearly as important as building chemistry and building confidence.

"It was a big comeback game for him," Lakers Summer League coach Judd Buechler said after the game. "I was really happy for him. You could just tell at times he felt more comfortable. The assists were there. He scored a little bit more."

Buechler added, "You could really see the adjustments he made from last night to tonight."

On Saturday, the scoreboard may have accurately listed the Celtics as winners, but fans of the Lakers and of Ball felt like winners, as their point guard of the future played with the skill, style and substance of a future superstar.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Rally Past Royals in Extra Innings]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 11:00:20 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Joc+and+Cody+Pops.png

They're simply the best.

Cody Bellinger tied the game with one swing and then won the game without swinging, as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed their 23rd comeback of the season, rallying past the Royals, 5-4, on Saturday evening at Dodger Stadium.

The leading candidate for National League Rookie of the Year tied the game with his 25th home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth, then walked on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th, as the Dodgers won their fifth straight game.

Nearly 46,000 fans battled the record heat ,which reached highs of 112 degrees in the San Fernando Valley and was 99 at the Ravine by the time first pitch rolled around.

"I didn't think it was too bad," starting pitcher, Brandon McCarthy said of the heat. "I'm not going to complain about LA heat. I've played in Texas, I've played in Arizona, this is hot, but not horrfific."

Even the elderly crowd had difficulty with the conditions as one Grandma on the in-stadium videoboard flashed the crowd while shown on the screen.

"I heard about it, but I think I missed the show," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "My players said I had a missed opportunity."

Joc Pederson beat the heat with a two-run home run in the second inning off Ian Kennedy that put the Dodgers out in front.

The two-run blast was Pederson's ninth of the season as the center fielder has hit seven of those home runs over the last month of the season.

However, Joc didn't just do it with his bat as the center fielder also showed off his arm when he threw out Jorge Bonifacio at the plate in the top half of the fourth inning.

"That was a big play," said Roberts. "He made a couple nice plays in center field today."

Brandon McCarthy ran into some trouble in back-to-back frames as the Royals scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

"It got wobbly there in the middle, but I was able to land the dismount," McCarthy said of the fourth and fifth innings. "Overall it was a good step forward in terms of learning where I'm at."

Whit Merrifield hit a two-out double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball. Merrifield was not done, as he tied the game with an RBI single in the top of the seventh.

McCarthy, who was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the game, did not factor in the decision as he allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with two walks and a single strikeout in six solid innings.

Kansas City starter, Ian Kennedy, also did not factor in the decision, as the former Padres' pitcher allowed three runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.

"Ian threw great. He kept us in the ball game and threw six strong innings," said Royals' manager Ned Yost. "We had opportunities, we just didn't capitalize on them."

Salvador Perez broke the tie off Dodgers' reliever Pedro Baez in the top of the eighth as the Venezuelan catcher crushed a 98MPH fastball to dead-center that gave the Royals the lead.

Not to be out done, All-Star and Home Run Derby participant, Cody Bellinger, broke out of an 11-game homerless slump with his 25th long ball of the year, 402-foot blast off an 89 MPH changeup from former Royals' closer Joakim Soria.

"I've been making constant adjustments," Bellinger said of his first homer in his last 11 games. "It's going to be a constant up and down. You just have to ride out the highs as long as you can."

Bellinger became the second fastest in MLB history to 25 home runs, accomplishing the feat in his 69th game. Chicago White Sox slugger, Jose Abreu, is the only player to accomplish the feat in a faster time.

After scoreless innings of relief from Kenley Jansen and Ross Stripling in the 9th and 10th innings respectively, Bellinger gave the Dodgers their sixth walk-off win of the season when he literally walked with the bases loaded to win the game.

"We put extra focus on Herrera because we knew we were going to face him in a clutch situation," said Bellinger of facing the Royals' closer in that situation. "I missed my opportunity on 3-1, and luckily he just missed his slider on 3-2."

Despite blowing an early three-run lead, the Dodgers improved to 50-0 when leading after five innings.

The Dodgers last five games have all been decided by one-run as the Dodgers currently hold the best run differential in Major League history at the All-Star Break with a mark of +160. That number can improve or decrease on Sunday.

The victory gives the Dodgers a record of 60-29, the first time to reach 60 wins in all of baseball as they surpass the Houston Astros for the best record in the league with the win. 

It's the first time L.A. has reached the 60-win mark before the All-Star Game since 1974 and according to ESPN Stats and Info, they are just the fourth team in the last 40 years to win 60 games before the All-Star break.

Up Next:

A matchup of two of the top left-handers in the game takes place on Sunday as Danny Duffy goes to-to-toe with Clayton Kershaw in the final game before the All-Star Break. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lonzo Ball Struggles, Clippers Upset Lakers]]>Sat, 08 Jul 2017 01:13:35 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-Summer-League-7-7-17.PNG

LAS VEGAS—Earvin "Magic" Johnson sat at mid-court and Lakers coach Luke Walton watched from the sidelines, as Lonzo Ball made his NBA Summer League debut on Friday night in front of a national audience.

The Lakers' first bucket came from a lob tossed up by Ball to Brandon Ingram, and a packed Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV errupted in joy. While Ingram would score 26 points and display maturity and evolution in his 31 minutes on the court, Ball struggled to create shots and missed 10 of his 11 three-point attempts, including a couple of air balls.

"I just hate losing," Ball said in his usual monotone style following the dismal debut.

"This is the worst you can do, you can't go but up," Ball's outspoken father, Lavar, said to reporters after the game. "And you still keep your team in the game playing the worst game ever. That's what I like about this right here."

The elder Ball may have been a bit harsh to call this his son's "worst game ever," but Lonzo Ball did not have a memorable night. On the bright side, though, Ball seemingly recognized the hot hand he had in Ingram and managed to still contribute five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block on the night. But missing 13 of his 15 shot attempts stood out like a Shaquille O'Neal at the free throw line.

Lavar Ball, though, offered praise for his son: "He took the shots. They didn't go in, but he took them. That's what I got to see. At the end of the game, are you going to take them [sic] big shots?"

Lavar Ball added, "It's better for him to start at the bottom."

"He's a leader on the court," Ivica Zubac didn't seem at all deterred by Ball's bad shooting night. "He always talks. He's going to set you up. It's easy to play with him. You always want to play with a guard like Lonzo, and that's just what he does."

Zubac, who took blame for the defeat, added about Ball, "He just had a bad shooting night. He's going to be good next game."

Zubac's thoughts reflected the post-game comments of both Lakers Summer League coach Judd Buchler and Ingram.

One player that stood out for the Lakers was 19-year-old rookie Thomas Bryant. Playing for the Lakers with that famous last name is due to draw attention, but Bryant bares no resemblance to the recently retired LA Lakers' legend. 

The 19-year-old rookie scored 13 points in 17 minutes to go along with five rebounds in an energetic debut. The crowd appreciated the unique power forward with a shooting touch, as he made his only long range attempt on the night and four of his five attempts over all.

Of course, the star of the game for the Lakers was Ingram. The 2016 no. 2 pick attacked the basket to take game-high honors in scoring and also contributed three assists and three steals. The former Duke Blue Devil helped bring the Lakers back into the ball game and hit the game-tying basket with 29.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force the overtime session.

However, Ingram missed the potential game winner and came up limp with a cramp after the final buzzer. Though the 19-year-old seemed to recover and walked off the court without assistance, Johnson insisted Ingram sit out the remainder of the game from his courtside seat.

In the overtime session, Ball missed shots, and the Clippers got a perfect two minutes from Sindarius Thornwell. Thornwell finished tied for game-high honors with 26 points, seven of which came in the two-minute overtime.

Next, the Lakers play on Saturday night against the Boston Celtics at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The Clippers next take the court at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday against the Utah Jazz.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Utley Reaches Milestone in Dodgers Win Over Royals]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 23:09:36 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/Utley+1000th+RBI.png

He's not batting a thousand, but he did get No. 1000.

Chase Utley reached a milestone, Yasiel Puig homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers kept on rolling as they finished off the Kansas City Royals, 4-1, on Friday night at Chavez Ravine.

Utley knocked in the 1000th RBI of his career with a double in the bottom of the 8th inning as the Dodgers won their fourth consecutive game.

The Dodgers and Royals have played each other three times in interleague play over the years, but it was the first matchup between the two teams at Dodger Stadium since 2003.

Kansas City scored first on a two-out double by All-Star Mike Moustakas that extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. One batter later, Alcides Escobar singled to center field to give the Royals the first run of the game.

"It was the first time I saw him," Said Moustakas of facing Maeda. "He threw the ball fantastic. It's a good matchup. Days like this you just have to tip your cap to the pitcher."

Moustakas grew up in nearby Chastworth, CA where he was named High School Player of the Year twice in 2005 and 2006 after leading Chatsworth High School to two CIF titles. Moustakas had a lot of friends and family in attendance and you could hear his cheerleading section every time he stepped up to the plate.

"This is my first time back to Dodger Stadium since High School," admitted Moose. "It's cool to come home and get that kind of love in a visiting ballpark, but I've lived here for 28 years so I have a lot of friends and family."

The Dodgers would respond in the bottom half of the fourth as a string of two-out singles by Kenta Maeda, Logan Forsythe, and Corey Seager gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Forsythe has reached base safely in 11 of his last 12 games, and is batting .400 with 14 runs, four doubles, one home run and four RBI.

"Logan is a consistent guy who gets on base for us," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts about Forsythe. "People are quick to look at his average, but even when he was struggling he got on base. He plays very good defense and has really been a big part of what we're doing."

Puig hammered a 2-2 slider from Hammel 429-feet to left field for his 16th home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth.

"I think I'm going to hurt my shoulder if I keep going after those sliders in the dirt," joked Puig of all the sliders he swung at from Hammel on the night. "He threw so many in the dirt that one of them had to stay up, and I was able to connect with that one."

Before the game, Puig hung out with former Real Madrid striker and current Bayer Leverkusen star, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, as the Mexican national is rumoured to be headed to Los Angeles for the next MLS season.

"I spent a little bit of time with him, and it was an honor to meet him," said Puig. "I buckled down and made sure I gave him a gift [a home run] for coming and visiting."

Hammel (4-8), took the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in six innings for the Royals.

Maeda (7-4) got the win, allowing just one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five strong innings. Over his last 10 starts, Los Angeles is 8-2.

"His stuff had teeth," said Roberts of Maeda's start. "Overall, Kenta threw really well. He kept battling. He was really good tonight."

Utley's 1000th RBI of his career came on an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning that tacked on an extra insurance run for the Boys in Blue.

Utley received a standing ovation from Dodgers fans and now ranks ninth on the active list of RBI leaders.

"It was something we in the clubhouse have talked about and were anticipating," said Roberts. "A big hit for us, another RBI, 1000 RBIs, it's a great milestone, but we didn't expect too much emotion from him."

All-Star Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 21st save of the season. 

It was announced on Friday that Alex Wood would be joining Jansen and his fellow Dodger All-Star teammates as Los Angeles will send six different players to the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 1991.

The Los Angeles Dodgers improved to 49-0 when leading after 5 innings.

With two games left before the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently tied with the 1944 St. Louis Cardinals for the best run differential in MLB history with a mark of +159 before the Midsummer Classic.

Up Next:

Former Padre, Ian Kennedy, starts for the Royals on Saturday opposite Brandon McCarthy who is expected to be activated off the 10-day disabled list in the morning. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Use The Force on Star Wars Night ]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 21:53:57 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/starwars.jpg

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The worlds of Star Wars and baseball collided on the field on Friday as the Dodgers hosted their ninth annual Star Wars night at Chavez Ravine.

The game marked the first interleague game at Dodger Stadium between Los Angeles and the Kansas City Royals since 2013, and before the game, many characters from the George Lucas franchise posed on the field for pictures.

Darth Vader, R2D2, a Storm Trooper, Rey, Princess Leia, Padme Amidala, and a clone trooper, were all in attendance, throughout the game as they made their way through the stadium to pose for pictures with fans.

In addition to the characters themselves, the writer and director of the next film in the franchise, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Rian Johnson, was in attendance and the Maryland native who attended film school at USC, appeared to be in awe of Dodger Stadium and his favorite athletes.

Johnson bounced his ceremonial first pitch, and then got some consolation hugs from the characters of the movie, which is due out on December 15, 2017.

The night didn't end after the pregame celebration, as Dodgers organist Dieter Ruehle played Star Wars themed music on the keys throughout the game.

Also, fans who purchased their tickets through the team's website as part of the "Star Wars Night," ticket package, received a free BB8 t-shirt.

After the game, the Dodgers "Friday Night Fireworks" promotion was accompanied with Star Wars music courtesy of DJ Severe.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Chicharito Hangs Out at Dodger Stadium]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 22:58:03 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/thisisapicture.jpg

Could Chicharito be on the move?

If you read the sports page of all the European newspapers it certainly seems that way, but for the time being, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is enjoying his vacation as he soaks up the sun in Los Angeles.

The Mexican international soccer superstar was at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon, spending time with countryman Adrian Gonzalez.

Gonzalez and Chicharito hung out before the Dodgers' game against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night and Gonzalez introduced the Bayer Leverkusen striker to teammates and soccer fanatics, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner.

Puig had fun meeting the former Real Madrid star as the Cuban slugger has made no secret of his love for Real Madrid over the years. Puig loves the sport of soccer and even challenged Chicharito to a game of FIFA.

"I spent a little bit of time with him, and it was an honor to meet him," said Puig. "I buckled down and made sure I gave him a gift [a home run] for coming and visiting."

NBC LA caught up to Chicharito and asked him if the rumors of a potential move either back to the English Premier League or to a Los Angeles based team in the MLS were true, to which Hernandez responded, "you never know."

His new friend, Yasiel Puig, on the other hand, would like to see Chicharito don the kit of either the LA Galaxy or LAFC. 

"Yes, yes. Of course I would go see him [if he came to LA]," Puig said about the prospects of Hernandez playing in the MLS in LA. "Now that we're friends I support him no matter where he goes, and hope everything turns out well."

In the meantime, Chicharito is enjoying some much needed time off after competing in the Confederations Cup in Russia. 

Hernandez was not satisfied with El Tri's placing in the World Cup warm-up, believing his team should have defeated Portugal in the third place match.

The Guadalajara native and Mexico's all-time leading goal scorer credited eventual champion Germany's play in the tournament and said he will be watching Mexico's run in the Gold Cup taking place this month in the United States.

During Chicharito's conversation with NBC LA, current Dodger broadcaster and LAFC owner, Nomar Garciaparra, came up to meet and speak with Hernandez.

We reminded Nomar here was his chance to recruit the Mexican superstar to come play for LAFC in their inaugural season in 2018, but Nomar mentioned that his fellow owner, Will Ferrell had already done that, citing this video on ESPN from last week.

Whether or not Chicharito plays in Los Angeles is yet to be seen, but he has a year to decide as his contract with Leverkusen is up next Summer. 

In the meantime, if Hernandez does head to the City of Angels, the first thing he'll need is a Dodger hat, something that Gonzalez made sure he had on Friday.

<![CDATA[Lonzo Ball, Lakers Tip-off Las Vegas Summer League]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 03:44:01 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-Summer-League-7-7-17.jpg

On Friday night, Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers take the court in Las Vegas to tip-off their 2017 NBA Summer League campaign.

Ball expects to lead the Lakers for the foreseeable future as the new face of the franchise, and Friday night in Nevada is the first look at the no. 2 pick playing point guard and leading the Lakers--even if it is only the Summer League.

Unquestionably, Ball is the star attraction in the desert tournament, as the Lakers take on the LA Clippers on Friday night and the Boston Celtics on Saturday night in what has recently turned into a premier Lakers' off-season attraction. Fans of the team make the annual pilgrimage from far and wide for the event.

With the Lakers landing the no. 2 pick in back-to-back-to-back seasons and spending four straight years in the NBA lottery, fans have increasingly flocked to Las Vegas every July to fill up the Thomas & Mack Center with purple and gold jerseys. With Ball and Ingram in the lineup, Saturday promises a big crowd that should force open the upper deck of the arena for the second straight year.

Traditionally, the NBA Summer League is only reserved for first and second-year players, along with a select number of young talents from the NBA Development League, which recently re-branded to the NBA G-League. The Lakers feature one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, so LA has a stacked roster with Ball and Ingram making the Lakers favorites in a town where that sort of claim requires numbers to back it up.

As of July 1, the Lakers and Phoenix Suns were co-favorites to win the tournament with 6/1 odds. As the crowds and money flow in over the weekend, the Lakers should edge the Suns as outright favorites. The LA Clippers, meanwhile, were 20/1 to win the NBA Summer League.

Despite notoriously underperforming in Las Vegas, the Lakers have a strong enough roster to justify their status in 2017. Ball and Ingram may be the headliners, but Ivica Zubac returns after standing out in the summer games a year ago. LA also has the 2017 NBA D-League MVP in Vander Blue on the roster, so the team features some of the more polished talent in the field.

Add in David Nwaba to go along with three rookies in Kyle Kuzma, Thomas Bryant and Josh Hart--two of which stayed in school long enough to become upperclassmen--and the Lakers should have arguably the strongest squad in Las Vegas.

Anything short of winning the tournament would be a disappointment considering the talent, but ultimately, the Summer League is about watching particular players shine, so results of the games ultimately do not matter. That said, no one is playing to lose, and the Lakers will have the crowd in the stands and talent on the court on their side.

For the local Pac-12 fans, the Lakers' Summer League squad also features former UCLA Bruin Travis Wear and former Arizona Wildcat Gabe York.

The Lakers and Clippers tip-off at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time with the game broadcast on ESPN and Spectrum SportsNet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Sweep Snakes in Improbable Fashion]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 23:38:33 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/CT3+Walk+off+hit.png

Call them the comeback kids. 

The Dodgers scored four runs before they recorded an out in the bottom of the ninth and Los Angeles completed the most improbable of sweeps over the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-4, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

Arizona closer Fernando Rodney was a giant can of gas on the mound just waiting to explode as he entered the game in the bottom of the ninth. The D-backs closer walked four in the inning before allowing a two-run single to Corey Seager that tied the game 4-4. 

"I had some at-bats against him in the past luckily, so I kind of knew what it was like," said Seager of his at-bat against Rodney. "He was struggling. He couldn't find the zone, and that's hard for a closer when you can't throw strikes."

Rodney was removed for T.J. McFarland who allowed a line drive to left field on the first pitch to Chris Taylor and the Dodgers completed the stunning walk-off victory over the Snakes. 

The game-winning hit was the first of Taylor's career as the Virginia native collected a career-high four hits, finishing 4-for-5 with two doubles and prompting the the Fox Sports Arizona Twitter account to publish this tweet:

"It feels like we're never out of the game," Taylor said of the team's comeback. "It seems like we're out of it and we put one good at-bat together at a time, we get some guys on and then good things happen."

Before the dramatic finish in the ninth, the first four runs of the game came via the solo home run. 

Jake Lamb hit a pair of solo shots, and Ketel Marte and Logan Forsythe each hit one as the Diamondbacks led 3-1 heading into the ninth inning. 

Lamb started the scoring when he crushed a 73 MPH curveball from Rich Hill 435-feet down the left field line in the top of the fifth inning to give the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead.

That lead was short-lived as Logan Forsythe tied the game with a solo shot of his own on an 83 MPH slider from Robbie Ray in the bottom half of the inning.

Forsythe has been on fire over the last two weeks, reaching base safely in 10 of his last 11 games, and batting .405 with 14 runs, four doubles, one homer and three RBI over that span.

Other than the home runs, both southpaw starters pitched well despite either not factoring in the decision.

Ray allowed one run on five hits with four walks and a career-high 13 strikeouts in six strong innings as he made his final start before the All-Star Game. Ray was selected as an All-Star for the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career on Sunday.

"Butcher [Pitching coach] told me to work my magic, so I came at it with my best stuff and came out on top," said Ray of his performance. "Anytime you can shut up that many fans is great."

Hill was equally as good, allowing just one run on two hits with no walks and nine strikeouts over seven innings for the Dodgers.

Hill has pitched at least seven innings with no walks and nine strikeouts in each of his last three starts, a feat he was unable to do in any of his first nine starts this season. In fact, Hill had not pitched out of the fifth inning until June 26th against the Angels.

"The ball is coming out of my hand the way I want it to," said Hill of his turnaround the last few starts. "Finding my mechanics was the biggest thing. When you can find the consistency in those mechanics you're able to execute a lot more efficiently in the zone."

The Dodgers went to the bullpen in the eighth inning and immediately got blown up as Lamb and Marte absolutely crushed balls from Luis Avilan to break the tie.

Lamb started the inning with a 415-foot shot off Avilan and two batters later, it was Marte with a 440-foot bomb that nearly left the stadium entirely.

Dodgers' relief pitcher Josh Fields brought home a run on a balk in the ninth inning that ended the streak of solo home runs in the game. 

But just as fans in attendance started heading for the parking lot, the Dodgers continued their fairytale season with a four-run bottom of the ninth, capping off the comeback with CT3's thrilling walk-off hit.

"It was incredible," said Hill of the comeback. "I saw some people leaving the ballpark. You gotta stay. If you're going to watch these games you have to stay, it's a lot of fun."

It was the fifth walk-off victory for the Dodgers this season and their 22nd comeback of the year. 

Meanwhile, thanks to Rodney, the Diamondbacks were swept for the first time this season and fall 5.5 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the Natioinal League West. 

"It's certainly a tough loss to absorb. It will probably stick with us for the next couple of hours," said Arizona manager, Torey Lovullo. "But we have to find a way to turn the page and figure out what happened."

Los Angeles has an MLB-best nine sweeps on the season. 

Up Next: 

Former Cubs starter, Jason Hammel heads to the mound on Friday opposite Kenta Maeda as the Dodgers open up the final three-game series of the first half against the Kansas City Royals at 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Justin Turner Sets Record in All-Star Game Voting]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:34:05 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Turner+Homers+on+4th+of+July.png

Hey now, you're an All Star!

After 72 hours of non-stop voting, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was named to his first ever All-Star Game selection as the winner of MLB's Final Vote contest.

The results were announced live on MLB Tonight and Turner was named the representative for the National League with a record 20.8 million votes, shattering the previous record held by Freddie Freeman with 19.7 million in 2013.

Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was the winner in the American League. Moustakas also won the Final Vote contest in 2015, his first All-Star Game appearance.

Fans were able to vote online, through text, and on Twitter using the hashtag, #VoteJT. Dodgers' super fans, Pantone 294, voted around the clock at Dodger Stadium in a room set up by the Dodgers.

The room was known throughout the week as "Justin Turner All-Star Game Voting Headquarters," and featured over 20 Pantone 294 members voting in shifts on computers around the clock until voting ended at 1:00PM PST on Thursday afternoon.

"I'll be forever grateful to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fans for what they did for me this week," Turner said in the dugout after the announcement was made.

In addition to his teammates, Turner received the support of celebrities and other SoCal based sports teams like the Rams, Clippers and Kings. 

Turner leads the National League in batting average (.384) and on-base percentage (.473), and OPS (1.042).

Here were the final vote standings per MLB.com.

Final Standings:

American League:

  1. Mike Moustaks, KC
  2. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
  3. Didi Gregorius, NYY
  4. Elvis Andrus, TEX
  5. Logan Morrison, TB 

National League:

  1. Justin Turner, LAD
  2. Kris Bryant, CHI
  3. Anthony Rendon, WSH
  4. Mark Reynolds, COL
  5. Justin Bour, MIA

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nick Young Agrees to $5.2M, 1-Year Deal With Warriors]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 11:43:02 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-460813958.jpg

Veteran guard Nick Young is getting a new start with Golden State, agreeing to a $5.2 million, one-year contract Wednesday with the champion Warriors.

Young's agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed the deal in a message to The Associated Press. Warriors general manager Bob Myers also said the team would finalize a contract with Young once the free agency moratorium period concludes Thursday.

In addition, forward Omri Casspi is joining the Warriors on a $2,106,470, one-year contract, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because it hadn't been announced. This will be the 29-year-old Casspi's sixth team as he enters his ninth NBA season, including two separate stints in Northern California with the Sacramento Kings. He played for Sacramento, New Orleans and Minnesota last season, averaging 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.9 minutes.

Golden State's familiar-looking roster is taking shape. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is back on a record $201 million, five-year contract; NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant agreed Monday to a deal for approximately $53 million over the next two years; 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala got a three-year contract with $48 million guaranteed; fellow key reserves Shaun Livingston for $24 million and three years, and David West on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum $2.3 million.

The 32-year-old Young last month declined the player option in his contract for next season with the Los Angeles Lakers, which would have paid him more than $5.6 million, and became a free agent. He had said in April that it was "60/40" he would leave the Lakers — preferring to be part of a playoff team.

Now, he's on a super team.

Young averaged 13.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 60 games for the Lakers. He will provide the Warriors with the kind of depth they like on a long bench as coach Steve Kerr regularly rotates in his reserves to spell the stars.

Young's agency, Priority Sports, also posted on Twitter: "Congratulations to @NickSwagyPYoung on your new contract with the @warriors! We are so happy for you!"

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wood on Fire as Dodgers Defeat D-Backs]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 23:22:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/205*120/Wood+on+Fire+against+Dbacks.png

He's a babe in the Woods.

Alex Wood threw seven shutout innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers won a nail-biter, 1-0, over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Wood's rapid ascension this season begs the question:

When do isolated incidents stop being random events and start being a trend?

Wednesday marked Wood's 13th start of the season, and the North Carolina native remained perfect on the year, improving to 10-0, with a league-best 1.67 ERA.

"You have tp pinch yourself sometimes," said Wood of his remarkable start to the season. "I've had some pretty good runs in my career, so this is something where you have to try and slow it down and take it all in and remember what you're doing now so when the hard times come you get back to where you had success. It's been a lot of fun."

Wood tied Dallas Keuchel for the longest active streak in the Majors without a loss, at 13 consecutive starts. Teammate, Clayton Kershaw is second with 12 straight starts without a loss.

"You see your teammate in Clayton [Kershaw] the way he goes at guys, prepares, pitches every game like it's conceivably his last," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts, comparing Wood to Kershaw. "Every time Alex takes the mound he has that pitching with a purpose mentality. Guys like that you feel really good when they take the mound."

Wood was humbled by his manager's analogy.

"Even to be mentioned in the same breath as him is pretty cool," Wood said of the comparison to Kershaw. "I think he holds everyone accountable without actually holding you accountable. He puts in the work, and it makes you want to work hard too."

Wood is easily one of the surprises of the first half of the MLB season as the left-hander didn't even make it out of Spring Training in the starting rotation.

After struggling in his last two starts in the preseason, Wood was dealt to the bullpen to begin his 2017 campaign. 

On Wednesday, you could not see the Wood for the trees, as the Dodgers emerging ace became the first starter since Don Newcombe in 1955 to start the season 10-0. No starting pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers history has accomplished the feat.

"That's pretty cool," said Wood when told he was now in the record books with Newk. "I'm sure I'll see him sometime in the next couple days. It's pretty neat to be mentioned with him."

This was Wood's final start before the All-Star Break and he leaves with the fourth lowest ERA in team history behind only Don Drysdale (1.37), Zack Greinke (1.39), and Sandy Koufax (1.60). 

"One day at a time. I would feel very honored if that happens," added Wood when asked if he should be in the Midsummer Classic. "It's something as a kid you dream of. I would feel very humbled."

If you're superstitious for the second half of the season, it's time to knock on Wood, but in his final start of the first half, he was brilliant, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits, walking two, and striking out 10 in the win.

"I don't know how often you get two teams with 50+ wins before the All-Star break playing against each other, especially in the same division," said Wood of his start on Wednesday. "It felt a little bit bigger tonight, tensions were a little bit higher, especially in a 1-0 ballgame."

Arizona starter Zack Godley was the hard-luck loser as he allowed just one run on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in an otherwise strong start that lasted 5 and 2/3 innings.

"He's got a very good curveball. He really competes," Roberts said of Godley. "We really didn't get a whole lot of good swings off him." 

One of those good swings came when Yasmani Grandal knocked in the game's only run with an RBI double that scored Chris Taylor in the second inning.

"Fortunately CT [Chris Taylor] hanging breaking ball gets a base hit up the middle and Yasmani gets a first-pitch fastball and hits it to the opposite field gap," added Roberts. "That was all the offense we needed. It's not the formula we've used in recent weeks, but it was just enough."

Despite his sensational start, the Dodgers were not out of the woods as Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen had to combine for two innings of tension-filled scoreless relief.

"These guys got their job done," said Jansen of Wood and Baez before him. "To see how Alex [Wood] battled, it gives you that extra adrenaline to go out there and fight."

Jansen allowed the tying run to reach base on a Brandon Drury single, but he struck out Chris Hermann to end the game as the All-Star earned his 20th save of the season, the sixth consecutive year he's tallied at least 20 saves.

Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks are still off to their best start in franchise history at 52-33 overall.

With back-to-back victories over the rival Diamondbacks, the Dodgers increased their lead in the National League west to a season-high 4.5 games.

Up Next:

Los Angeles looks for the sweep, and a stranglehold on the division over the D-backs as LHP Robbie Ray and Rich Hill tangle on Thursday at 7:10 PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clippers Acquire Gallinari, Trade Jamal Crawford ]]>Tue, 04 Jul 2017 23:09:07 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/Danilo+Gallinari+Clippers+.png

One door closes, another opens. 

Fresh off the heartbreaking departure of heralded point guard Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers have acquired former Denver Nuggets forward, Danilo Gallinari in a three-team sign and trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

According to Woj, Gallinari's contract is a three-year, $65 million deal that also sent Clippers guards Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone to the Atlanta Hawks. 

The Clippers did not have the cap space to sign Gallinari outright, so the Hawks facilitated the deal by taking on the contracts of Crawford and Stone. To swetween the pot, Los Angeles also included their 2018 first-round draft pick that was acquired from the Houston Rockets last week in the CP3 deal. 

In exchange, the Nuggest received a 2019 second-round pick from Atlanta as a parting gift for losing out on Gallinari. 

Earlier reports from the weekend were that Gallinari was interested in signing with the Clippers after Doc Rivers and Jerry West sold the Italian sharp-shooter on the idea of playing with a formidable front court that includes All-Stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. 

Although not nearly on the elite level as Paul, Gallinari is a nice edition to the Clippers and could still keep them in contention for a playoff spot as the 6-foot-10 forward can shoot threes, or drive to the basket. He will most certainly space the floor, allowing more room for the likes of Griffin and Austin Rivers, with lobs to DJ still on the agenda as defenders collapse the paint. 

Meanwhile, Crawford is expected to ask for a buyout from the Hawks as he has told reporters recently that he has no intentions of playing for Atlanta since they are currently in rebuild mode. 

Crawford has told sources that he is interested in staying in Los Angeles with the Lakers or joining the Golden State Warriors. 

Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Turner Provides Dodgers' Fireworks on Fourth of July]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 17:24:37 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Turner+Homers+on+4th+of+July.png

Instead of fireworks, there were fire-whiffs.

Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 batters, Justin Turner homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-3, on Fourth of July at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw (13-2) had a no-hitter entering the seventh inning before he allowed an infield single to Chris Ownings that spoiled the no-hit bid.

"I think I made Doc's [Dave Robert's] job a little bit easier by giving up a hit so he didn't have to worry about leaving me in or not," joked Kershaw about giving up the infield single. "After the seventh inning you start thinking about it though."

Owings made soft contact on a groundball to second base, and first baseman Cody Bellinger found himself out of position as Kershaw was half a step late covering the bag, allowing Owings to reach base safely.

"Honestly, I was thinking maybe get two guys out and give up a flare," joked Roberts of the no-hitter ending. "You always want the best for the player. Reality setting in and what's best for Clayton, getting to 130 pitches doesn't make sense for anyone. So after the inning, there was a little bit of a sigh of relief from me."

Other than that, Kershaw was virtually unhittable as the seven-time All Star struck out 11 with two walks in seven shutout innings for his MLB-leading 13th victory of the season.

Kershaw has not lost a game in 12 consecutive starts and is 9-0 with a 1.98 ERA since May 6th. He has not allowed an earned run in his last three starts, totaling 20 innings.

"You guys kept telling me I was giving up too many homers so I tried to stop doing that," Kershaw joked about how he's pitched since surrendering a career-high four homers against the Mets. "That's a great win. That's a team right behind us."

Justin Turner continued to state his case to make the National League All-Star Game roster as he went 2-for-4 with a 390-foot single and a 405-foot homer to dead-center in the third inning.

"I was hoping it got over his head, but it hit off the wall and went right to him," said Turner of his very long single. "The goal is to do things to help your team win. So it's pretty fun."

Turner is expected to have the highest batting average at the All-Star break in Dodgers history, and is currently batting .384 on the season.

Fans can still vote Turner into the All Star Game in Miami next Wednesday as Turner is a finalist for the MLB Final Vote contest. Fans can text "N5" to 89269 or go online and vote at MLB.com.

"The fans have been awesome," said Turner of the voting. "I appreciate the support. We'll take care of the baseball stuff on the field and let them [the fans] do their thing. Hopefully, it will be enough to get to Miami."

Yasmani Grandal knocked in Chris Taylor with an RBI single shortly after Turner's homer as the Dodgers' catcher finished the day, 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Patrick Corbin (6-8) allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings.

All four of the Dodgers' All-Stars played in the game as Kershaw started, Turner (hopefully) homered, Cody Bellinger had a hit, Corey Seager played great defense and Kenley Jansen earned his 19th save of the season by recording the final two outs of the game.

Daniel Descalso hit a three-run homer off Jansen with two outs and the Diamondbacks down to their final pitch. 

"Luckily, it happened in that situation, and not bases loaded," said Jansen of the home run to Descalso. "You're going to give up some runs, sometimes they're good and you have to tip your cap. So today, I'm tipping my cap to Descalso. He put a good swing on it and got me, and tomorrow I'm going to go out there and try and get him. That's how the game goes."

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks (108-61) have combined for the third highest winning percentage by two teams in the same division since the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates were 93-51 on Fourth of July in 1976.

Los Angeles extended their lead in the NL West to 3.5 games over Arizona and regardless of how the series ends, guarantee themselves to remain in first place heading into their weekend series with the Kansas City Royals. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers will look to put more space between themselves and the Snakes for first place in the National League West as RHP Zack Godley squares off with LHP Alex Wood on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Air Force F-15s Flyover Dodger Stadium ]]>Tue, 04 Jul 2017 18:52:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/FullSizeRender+3.jpg

Happy Fourth of July!

The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated Independence Day at the Ravine with a pregame song by Billy Ray Cyrus, and an Air Force flyover during the national anthem.

Cyrus, better known as Miley's dad, performed "Some Gave All" behind home plate with his guitar while the color guard brought out an American flag in the shape of the United States that covered most of the outfield. 

After the song, Cyrus sang the national anthem and two Air Force F-15 fighter jets flew over the stadium as seen in the video below.

The Dodgers kicked off Independence Day hosting the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

The D-backs are currently 2.5 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the National League West, making the three-game series one of the more vital of the season.

Bot teams will wear specialty Independence Day uniforms with stars and stripes, as well as a limited edition Fourth of July hat, courtesy of New Era.

Around the stadium, the Dodgers also celebrated Independence Day with special Fourth of July themed food items, like a red, white, and blue funnel cake and a Dodgers blue popsicle.

Photo Credit: Michael Duarte/ NBCLA]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Avoid Sweep as Dodgers Drop Series Finale]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 18:03:13 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/Maeda+Knocked+Around+by+Padres.png

Put the brooms back in the closet.

Manuel Margot had a home run and a double as the San Diego Padres avoided the sweep by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park.

Margot homered in the first and hit an RBI double in the second inning as the Padres knocked around Kenta Maeda to the tune of four runs in the first two innings.

Maeda (6-4) struggled on Sunday, allowing five runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout in 3 and 2/3 innings, his worst outing since April 22 against Arizona.

"It's disappointing that even though I didn't have my best stuff, I wasn't able to battle it out today," said Maeda after the game through a translator. "The results didn't look too good, but I'm hoping I can get back on the right track."

In his last 17 starts, Maeda has made it past the fifth inning, just three times.

Corey Seager did it with the glove and the bat, knocking in the Dodgers first two runs of the game with a two-out, two-run double down the right field line in the top of the sixth.

Seager also capped off his day with a sensational backhand catch that is sure to make ESPN's Sports CenterTop 10 on Sunday night.

"It was kinda just luck," said Seager of the highlight catch. "The ball got caught in between each other and I just stuck my glove out there. I didn't even feel it, I had to check, and luckily I caught it."

Yasmani Grandal added a solo home run in the top of the seventh, just his second of the year from the right-hand side of the plate.

Jhoulys Chacin (7-7) got the win, allowing just four hits with three walks and six six strikeouts in five shutout innings for the Padres.

Rookie Hunter Renfroe recorded a season-high four hits for San Diego.

Cody Bellinger struggled during the weekend series in San Diego. In his first two games at Petco Park, Bellinger was 5-for-10 with 3 home runs and nine RBI against the Padres.

This series, Bellinger was a mediocre, 2-for-14 with no home runs, no RBI and six strikeouts.

"I only had a couple pitches to hit and I missed them," Bellinger said of his struggles this series. "When you do that, it's hard to succeed. Honestly, it was myself that was off, but they pitched me pretty well.

The Dodgers are 7-2 against San Diego this season, with both losses coming in games started by Maeda.

Hey Now, You're an All-Star

Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger were all named to the National League All-Star Team on Sunday. The Dodgers have no starters in the game, and Alex Wood and Justin Turner were obvious snubs from the list, but could be added to the roster later.

"For the four guys that were named, we're very excited it was well deserved," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts after the announcement was made. "But for Alex [Wood] and JT [Justin Turner] I was very disappointed and surprised. Every year there are snubs, but it was ludicrous."

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Monday before they open up a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks with first place in the NL West on the line. Clayton Kershaw will start on Tuesday opposite Patrick Corbin for the Snakes. First pitch is 6:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Gallardo]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Injury Updates: Kazmir Coming Back]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 16:13:57 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/Kazmir+Dodgers.png

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course.

Fresh off their record-breaking season in 2016 for most players on the disabled list, the 2017 edition of the Dodgers is on pace to shatter that record.

In 2016, Dodger players were sent to the disabled list a record 33 times, including an MLB-best 29 different players.

As of today's date, the Dodgers have sent 23 different players to the DL in 2017, missing a combined 868 days of action.

The most recent victim of the revolving door that is the Dodgers' disabled list is Brandon McCarthy who was placed on the 10-day DL with right knee tendinitis.

Also, in case you missed it, Julio Urias, underwent left shoulder surgery and is expected to miss the next 12-14 months.

Here's the updates:

Scott Kazmir (Left hip strain): Kazmir is coming back. The veteran left-hander has made two rehab starts with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, allowing one run in three innings of each start. His velocity is in the high 80s to low 90s, where it was last season, and he told NBC LA exclusively on Wednesday, that he feels close to returning. It's possible Kazmir could get a start after the All-Star break.

Brandon McCarthy (right knee tendinitis): McCarthy has been dealing with right knee tendinitis all season, but after a wild and erratic start last Sunday against the Colorado Rockies that saw the tall right-hander allow five runs in just three innings, the Dodgers decided it was the perfect time for McCarthy to get some rest and relaxation. He is expected to be activated on either Wednesday or Thursday to start against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Andre Ethier (Lumbar disk herniation): As expected, Ethier was moved to the 60-day disabled list on May 9, 2017 and earlier this week, Roberts announced that Ethier will not be activated until Sept. 1st, when the rosters expand.

Franklin Gutierrez (Ankylosis spondylitis):The Dodgers' right-handed power hitter off the bench and lefty specialist has been dealing with the auto-immune disease for years and struggles to get his back and body loose before games. The Dodgers placed him on the 10-day disabled list on June 25th, but it's doubtful he returns until after the All-Star break.

Adrian Gonzalez (Back): Gonzalez made his first trip to the DL in his career earlier this year, but when the two herniated discs in his back flared up during an at-bat a couple weeks ago, the veteran first baseman decided to shut it down. He received an epidural in his back last Monday, and has not started doing any baseball activities. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said on Saturday, that it's possible Gonzalez won't return until early August.  

Chris Hatcher (Thoracic inflammation): After an up-and-down start to the season, Hatcher was finally placed on the disabled list with thoracic inflammation in his right throwing arm. The injury does not appear serious, and Hatcher should be eligible to return this coming, but the Dodgers might delay that time table and wait until after the All-Star break.

Yimi Garcia (Right elbow surgery): Garcia was placed on the 60-day disabled list on February 15th after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is expected to miss all of the 2017 season, but be back in time for Spring Training of 2018.

Julio Urias: The 20-year-old pitching phenom underwent shoulder surgery last Tuesday to have his anterior capsule repaired by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The injury was an acute injury, and is expected to sideline Urias for the next 12-14 months. It's possible that Urias misses the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Adam Liberatore: (Left forearm tightness): Liberatore was placed on the disabled list at the end of May and could miss significant time. He was examined by doctors at the beginning of June, and this is his second stint on the DL this season. His return is unknown.

Andrew Toles (Torn right ACL): Toles underwent surgery this week to repair the torn ACL in his right knee after he collided with the short porch in left field trying to preserve a no-hitter for Julio Urias. Toles will miss the remainder of the 2017 season, but is expected to make a full recovery for 2018.

Rob Segedin: (Right toe and right wrist): Segedin was originally placed on the 10-day DL on April 19th with a right toe injury. After over a month of rest and recovery, problems arose in Segedin's right wrist, and the right-hander will undergo surgery this coming Wednesday to remove bone spurs from the wrist area. He is expected to miss the next four to six weeks, and could also be a candidate for the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to April 19th.

Dodgers Injury Updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong]]>
<![CDATA[Taylor's Slam Highlights Dodgers Rout of Padres]]>Sat, 01 Jul 2017 23:11:52 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Chris+Taylor+3rd+Grand+Slam+Against+Padres.png

Los Angeles may have lost CP3, but they still have CT3.

Chris Taylor hit a grand slam and the Los Angeles Dodgers blew out the San Diego Padres, 8-0, on Saturday night at Petco Park. 

Taylor hit his league-leading third grand slam of the season when he sent a fastball from Craig Stammen into the seats in left field in the seventh inning and the rout was on.

"Coincidence? I don't know," Taylor said when asked how he's hit three grand slams already this season. "I don't think I do anything different with the bases loaded. I try not to do too much and just put the ball in play. I've run into a couple this year."

Rich Hill did it at the plate and on the mound as the lanky left-hander recorded his first multi-hit game of his career, finishing the night 2-for-4 with an RBI. 

"I think the ball just found the bat," joked Hill of his hit. "I don't think there was too much skill involved. My teammates were all waiting for that hit, so I think I'm off the schneid."

Hill's fourth inning RBI single was his first hit of the season and his first hit in the big leagues since June 19, 2009. 

"He's sheer entertainment," teammate Justin Turner said of Hill at the plate. "He looks like a really big little leaguer up there. Good for him tonight to get two hits, and help himself out."

Hill (5-4) scattered four hits throughout the game, with one walk, and a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven shutout innings, arguably his best and longest start of the season.

"The ball is coming out of my hand the way I want it to," said Hill of his start on Saturday night. "The last two outings my curveball has been good. When you can get into your mechanics the way you want to, you can feel the release point and see the shape of the ball out of your hand, that's really been the key."

The Dodgers went back-to-back in the fifth inning when both Corey Seager and Justin Turner hit solo shots off San Diego starter Dillon Overton.

"We had a lot of good at-bats off him in the first few innings, but once you start seeing a guy and his pitches multiple times, you get a little more comfortable and I think that's what happend," said Seager of he and Turner's back-to-back home runs. "I felt good today."

Overton (0-1) allowed four runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 4 and 2/3 innings in his Padres' debut.

Former Padre, Logan Forsythe, started the series 8-for-8 with a walk in his first nine plate appearances, before he struck out in the eighth inning.

This series marks the first time Forsythe has played at Petco Park since he was a member of the Padres in 2013. 

Forsythe raised his batting average 40 points from .207 to .247 in just two games.

Seager had three hits in the game, finishing the night 2-for-5 with a home run.

After a franchise record 53 home runs in the month of June, the Dodgers opened up July with three long balls.

Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts watched the game from his house, located 20 minutes north of San Diego, as he served a one-game suspension for his role in an altercation with Padres' manager Andy Green on Friday. 

"To have him [Dave Roberts] out there everyday and bring that excitement and energy, for it not to be there for one day, it was definitely an adjustment," said Seager of Roberts' absence. "It was different."

Bench coach, Bob Geren managed the game in Roberts' absence. 

Up Next:

Japanese right-hander, Kenta Maeda, returns to the stadium he made his MLB debut in last season as the Dodgers go for the sweep in San Diego. The Padres will counter with RHP, Jhoulys Chacin. First pitch is scheduled for 1:40PM PST. 

Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Waive Center Tarik Black]]>Sat, 01 Jul 2017 14:45:56 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Tarik-Black-Waived-Lakers.jpg

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Tarik Black had been waived, which closed the loop on Black's time with the Lakers after the center had originally been claimed by the team via waivers in December of 2014.

Though likely not a welcomed move considering the player's positive reputation inside the locker room and beyond, this move hardly came as a shock. By cutting Black when they did, the Lakers avoided paying the 25-year-old $6.7 million in salary for the 2017-18 season.

Black may be a defensive specialist and an energetic player that fits the Lakers' style moving into the future, but 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game during the 2016-17 season did not expect to bring Black back to the Lakers at that price tag.

During his time in LA, the Memphis native personified professionalism by not publicly spatting with his coach despite failing to see the court with any regularity during Byron Scott's two-year tenure. At times, Black would simply smile and go so far as to ask, "What am I supposed to say?" rather than share frustrations over his lack of playing time in a head-scratching situation.

The young center only averaged 12.7 minutes in 39 appearances with zero starts for the 2015-16 LA Lakers, a team that struggled to play defense and finished with the worst record in the history of the franchise. Through all the losing, Black remained a mature professional when interacting with reporters and seemingly remained a positive teammate inside the Lakers' locker room.

In addition, he became a media favorite because his interviews often displayed depth, interest and understanding of non-basketball subjects to a level rarely found inside NBA locker rooms. Finding college graduates in the NBA is quickly becoming rare. Meanwhile, Black even went back to the University of Kansas after becoming a professional to earn his Master's Degree.

Perhaps, the best example of Black's professionalism and good nature arrived when he did. In those early days of donning a purple and gold jersey, Black finished off every interview with a single line: "Thank you for the opportunity."

On hearing the news of the Lakers waiving Black, those who interacted with Black regularly could not help but wish him the best of luck and apply new direction to that line: "Thank you for the opportunity."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Barnes Hits 2 Homers, Both Managers Ejected in Dodgers Win]]>Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:39:51 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Barnes+Hits+2+homers.png

Yeah, baby! Yeah!

Austin Barnes hit a pair of home runs and recorded seven RBI as the Los Angeles Dodgers dismantled the San Diego Padres, 10-4, on Friday night at Petco Park.

Barnes started the game with a grand slam in the first inning--the first of his career--as the Dodgers quickly jumped out to a four-run lead before fans found their seats.

"I thought I got it pretty good. I didn't know what was going on as I ran the bases, but I'll definitely remember the grand slam the most," said Barnes of the game that was filled with a lot of memorable moments. "It was definitely fun."

The slam was Richard's first allowed this season, but San Diego as a team has surrendered seven grand slams this season, the most in the Major League, and three of those have been hit by the Dodgers. 

"They beat us to death on the baseball field tonight," said Padres' manager Andy Green. "They've beaten us repetitively on the baseball field. They're the best team in the National League West right now."

Justin Turner tacked on a two-run shot in the top of the fourth inning and finished the game going 3-for-3, improving his average to an MLB-best .390 on the season.

After a bases loaded walk added another run, Barnes broke the game open with a three-run shot in the top of the sixth to put an exclamation point on his career night.

"Something exciting happens every day," said Barnes. "It's been fun to come to the ball park and we expect to win every game."

San Diego scored their first run in the bottom half of the fourth, and the Padres potentially could have added a couple more if not for the heroic efforts of the team's ball girl, who snagged a one-hopper down the line and handed it to a fan, not realizing it was a fair ball.

"That was a pretty nice play by her," joked Barnes of the play that may have saved a run.

Alex Wood remained perfect on the season, allowing just one run on two hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in six strong innings as he lowered his ERA to 1.83, the lowest in the league.

"I was seeing red," Wood said after an emotional first inning that saw both benches warned. "Once the adrenaline wore off from all that stuff that happened in the first, I was pretty tired the rest of the game. It was a battle to get through, I didn't think that my stuff was that great tonight, but we made some pitches when we needed to."

Wood (9-0) became the first Dodgers pitcher to start a season 9-0 since Rick Rhoden in 1976 and has not lost a game in his last 12 consecutive starts, second in the Majors behind only Dallas Keuchel with 13.

Richard (5-8) took the loss, allowing seven runs on nine hits with four walks and three strikeouts in four and 1/3 innings.

"He's fake tough," Richard said of Wood after the game.

Since shutting out the Dodgers on Opening Day, Richard has surrendered 12 runs to the Boys in Blue over a span of two starts.

Former Padre, Logan Forsythe, went 4-for-4 with a walk and collected a season-high four hits.

"I think that the work I've been doing transitioned into the game tonight," said Forsythe of his success. "I saw the ball good tonight and I found some holes. I haven't been back here in a long time and it's nice to play in your old stadium."

Sergio Romo couldn't escape the bottom of the ninth, as he allowed a two-run home run to pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez that cut the lead to 10-4. 

The home run was Sanchez's third pinch-hit homer of the season, and the Padres lead the league as a team with six pinch-hit home runs on the year. 

The Dodgers end the month of June with a record of 21-7, tied for the most wins in a month in franchise history.

L.A. also extended their franchise record for most home runs in a single month set on Thursday night in Anaheim, by hitting three more long balls on Friday, giving the Dodgers a record 53 homers in June.

"We were talking about setting the franchise record with 50 homers last night," said bench coach Bob Geren who took over after Dave Roberts got ejected in the first inning. "We were joking that the month's not over until today, and we hit three more. Austin hit the ball hard every time up."

The Dodgers have homered in 21 of their last 22 games and have now hit six grand slams this season, the most of any team in the Majors. 

The Dodgers also extended their MLB-best run differential to +147, more than 30 runs higher than the Houston Astros in second with +116.

Manager Fight:

The highlight of the game occurred in between the first and second innings as both managers were ejected after an incident behind home plate.

Everything started after Alex Wood accused Padres' left fielder Jose Pirela of giving away pitch location in the bottom of the first inning. Wood told Pirela that if he continued to do it, he would "[Expletive] drill him!" 

After home plate umpire Greg Gibson was told what Wood said, he warned both managers but did not go into detail, choosing to wait til after the inning. 

After the frame, Gibson met with both managers behind home plate and explained to them why he issued the warnings.

"It was a very civil conversation, for about the first 30 seconds," Gibson told the Pool Reporter after the game. "From there, that's between us and the league."

Just as San Diego skipper Andy Green started walking back to the dugout, he yelled something at Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts, and the mild-mannered Roberts charged at Green and pushed him before he was pulled away by Gibson.

"There was some things that Andy directed at our player [Alex Wood]. I thought it was excessive, and I took exception. I got emotional," Roberts said of the altercation. "As an opposing manager, when you start making poignant comments about our player, I have problem with it." 

"We're not going to stop because they want to intimidate us on the mound screaming at our baserunner," Green said of his version of the events. "I told him what I thought of his pitcher and it may have been dripping with sarcasm, but no, we're not going to stop."

Both benches quickly cleared and Roberts was seen on-camera screaming "You and me!" towards Green before exiting the dugout.

Up Next:

Rich Hill makes the start on Saturday against LHP Dillon Overton for the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.

Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blake Griffin Expected to Sign with Clippers]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:02:44 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/blake-us.jpg

Chris Paul flew the coup, but Blake Griffin is back.

According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Blake Griffin has reached an agreement to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers after an impressive meeting with Clippers brass on Friday afternoon. 

Griffin met with head coach Doc Rivers, team owner Steve Ballmer, special consultant Jerry West, and players DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Patrick Beverley and Sam Dekker during the meeting, which according to witnesses, was "not cheap," and filled with high production value. 

The meeting took place at Staples Center where reports are that Griffin walked through a "Clippers' museum," with different displays set up for each chapter of his life as a Clipper.

After the meeting, which Rivers said "went well," Griffin cancelled his other meetings with the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets and is expected to sign a five-year, maximum salary deal with the Clippers that is worth $173 million.

Free agency doesn't start until Saturday, but after opting out last week with Paul, Griffin is expected to stay with the Clippers for the foreseeable future.

Griffin is expected to miss the start of the season as he recovers from a toe injury he suffered during the NBA Playoffs in the opening series against the Utah Jazz. 

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers' Official Summer League Roster]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 15:33:38 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Brandon-Ingram-Lakers-Summer-League-2017.JPG

On Friday, exactly one week ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers' first game in Las Vegas, the team announced its 2017 NBA Summer League roster, and the talent on the roster suggests the Lakers should probably be considered favorites to win the tournament.

Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, who were picked with the no. 2 over all pick in back-to-back seasons, headline the roster with second-year Ivica Zubac expected to start at center. LA's no. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Kyle Kuzma, will likely start in the front court, as well, but the no. 30 selection, Josh Hart, faces stiff competition for a starting spot from David Nwaba, who joined the team as a defensive specialist and undrafted free agent at the tail-end of the 2016-17 season.

Considering Nwaba's seniority, general play in the previous season and the fact that the Lakers recently picked up the option on his contract, the LA-native will likely start.

Also, the Lakers have a 19-year-old, 6-foot 10-inch rookie center that can shoot three-pointers in Thomas Bryant, and the coaching staff will likely play the 241-pound big man meaningful minutes to better evaluate his talent.

True, the Lakers have notoriously underachieved in the competition in recent years, but this team has even more young talent than those previous incarnations. After all, the Lakers not only drafted four players in 2017, but Nwaba, Zubac and Ingram combined for 137 appearances and 53 starts during the 2016-17 season. Add in that the Lakers are also bringing along NBA Development League Most Valueable Player Vander Blue, and suddenly, the Lakers not winning the 2017 NBA Summer League, or at least advancing to the final, would likely be viewed as a massive disappointment for Lakers Summer League coach Judd Buechler.

Another notable player on the Lakers' 2017 NBA Summer League roster is former UCLA forward Travis Wear. Here's the full roster:

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Set Home Run Record in Victory Over Angels]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2017 23:20:58 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/Joc+Pederson+sets+home+run+record+for+month.png

Maybees don't fly in June, but baseballs sure do.

The Los Angeles Dodgers set a new franchise record with 50 homers in the month of June as they defeated their neighbors, the Anaheim Angels, 6-2, and split the four-game Freeway Series on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. 

The Dodgers struck the first blow in the top of the third as the first three batters reached base. Chase Utley hit a deep fly ball to straightaway center field that scored Logan Forsythe on a sacrifice fly and Los Angeles led 1-0.

An error and an errant throw tied the game in the bottom half of the fourth inning as the Dodgers uncharacteristic mistakes continued to rear their ugly head.

Cameron Maybin singled to left field to start the inning, and then advanced to second on a fielding error by Trayce Thompson.

Two batters later, with the infield in, and Maybin on third, Albert Pujols hit a groundball to shortstop Corey Seager, but the throw to the plate was wild, allowing Maybin to score and tie the game. 

"There's definitely some things defensively that we need to clean up," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said of the mistake-filled inning.

The Dodgers blew the doors off the barn in the fifth and sixth as Yasiel Puig, Chase Utley and Joc Pederson all homered.

"We were able to slug the ball out of the ballpark," Pederson said of the three home runs. "Our pitchers are able to keep close in the game and so it's a good dynamic we have going right now."

Puig began the home run barrage when he sent a two-seam fastball from J.C. Ramirez flying into the night sky and half way up the left field pavilion to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Two batters later, Utley followed with a deep fly of his own off Ramirez and faster than a beach ball goes from the stands to the field, the Dodgers led 3-1.

Joc Pederson delivered the death blow for the Boys in Blue as he put the final nail in Ramirez's coffin with a three-run blast that broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth.

Since Pederson suffered a concussion on May 24th after a collision with Yasiel Puig, he is batting .296 with six home runs and 13 RBI. Pederson jokingly suggested that the collision "knocked some sense into him," earlier in the week.

Pederson's eighth homer of the season gave the Dodgers 50 total in the month of June, a new franchise record for home runs in a single month.

"We have a lot of good hitters and hitting is contagious," Pederson said of the record.

The previous record was set in July and August of 1953 when the then Brooklyn Dodgers hit 49 home runs in consecutive months.

Los Angeles can extend their record on Friday night in San Diego.

Five runs of support was all three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw would need as the former MVP extended his regular season record to 94-0 when given at least four runs of support.

"After we scored some runs, you definitely want to come out and make sure you have a shut down inning," said Kershaw of pitching with run support. "It's pretty important when you score runs to have the pitcher go out there and shut them down the next inning and have a quick inning so your guys can go back out there and start hitting and fortunately it worked out that way tonight."

Kershaw (12-2) allowed one unearned run on just three hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts in seven dominant innings as he became the first pitcher in the Majors to earn his 12th win this season as he lowered his ERA to 2.32 on the year.

"I feel good. Tonight was another step in the right direction," added Kershaw of his performance. "Overall, I'll take tonight."

Kershaw is now tied with teammate Alex Wood who both have made 11 consecutive starts without a loss.

After Kershaw left the game, the Halos tried to claw their way back with three consecutive hits off Luis Avilan, but Brandon Morrow struck out two batters before leaving the game for closer Kenley Jansen. 

Jansen shut the door with his 18th save of the season and seventh of four outs or more this season.

"I'm just trying to do my part to win ball games," said Jansen after the game. "That's the only thing I care about is trying to help my team win. If Doc [Roberts] wants me to go four or five [outs] i'm ready."

The Dodgers have now homered in 20 of their last 21 games and have scored a total of 183 runs via the long ball this season, the second most in baseball behind only the Washington Nationals.

Tempers Flared: 

Things got a little testy between the two So Cal teams when Morrow hit Halos' third baseman Yunel Escobar with a fastball to load the bases in the bottom of the eighth. 

Escobar believed the pitch was intentional, especially after he had an incident with Kershaw earlier in the game, but Morrow nor the Dodgers, wanted to bring the tying run to the plate in that situation. 

"It wouldn't be a good situation to put somebody on base right there," said Morrow of the altercation. "He yelled something at his own dugout and then yelled something as he came towards me. I was confused."

Sombrero's Flying:

Today marks the 27th anniversary of Fernando Valenzuela's no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. His catcher that day was Angels' manager Mike Scioscia and sparked the immortal words of Vin Scully: "If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky."

Derby Bound:

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and outfielder, Cody Bellinger, has been formerly asked by Major League Baseball to participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby.

He hasn't officially confirmed his participation as of yet, but is expected to compete in the event provided his father, former big leaguer, Clay Bellinger, can pitch to him.

Up Next:

The Dodgers head to Petco Park for a three-game weekend series with the San Diego Padres. Alex Wood will start in the first game on Friday, opposite left-hander Clayton Richard. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Gallardo]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Intro Draftees, Summer League Next]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2017 17:55:20 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Josh-Hart-Lakers-rookie.jpg

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers introduced Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant with fellow rookie Lonzo Ball watching the presentation from the practice court. Fellow Laker Larry Nance Jr. was also in attendance.

Hart will wear no. 5, and Bryant will wear no. 31. Kuzma will don no. 0, which was recently vacated when Nick Young opted out of his contract and became an unrestricted free agent.

The trio of youngsters all enter the Lakers at different stages in their development.

Hart is the most seasoned of the Lakers' newest additions with four years of college basketball under his belt, including a national championship with Villanova in 2016.

"He came in here for his draft workout, and he was always in the right place on the court, in every defensive drill," Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka boasted about Hart.

At 6 feet 5 inches tall, Hart is expected to be a contributor from opening night and a guard that expects to fill the gaps on both ends of the court. The 22-year-old never shot below 50 percent from the field during his college career, and his senior featured 40.4 percent shooting from beyond the three-point line. Those percentages suggest that Hart rarely forced a bad shot.

Kuzma, who red-shirted his rookie season, was a player that jumped out to the scouting department on film. Pelinka repeated that the 21-year-old was a "position-less players" and defensively, that quality appealed to the Lakers' roster builders.

Kuzma is a 6-foot 9-inch forward that connected with the front office partially due to to his upbringing in Michigan, where Lakers president Earvin "Magic" Johnson also grew up. Of the trio, Kuzma was selected the highest at no. 27 in the 2017 NBA Draft, a pick that the Lakers received via their trade with the Brooklyn Nets.

"When we had the meeting with him in Chicago, he went out there the next day and put on a show," Johnson said, referring to Kuzma's performance at the draft combine. "We said, 'Ok, that's the guy we like right there.' And so, he really impressed us with that performance that had in Chicago."

The Lakers' executives lauded the work ethic of all three guys and said the research with their respective college coaches led to the team making the picks.

While both Hart and Kuzma expect to be playing regular minutes from the start of the season considering they are both polished college players, Bryant is a bit more of a developing raw product. The team expects the 19-year-old 6-foot 10-inch center to shuttle down to the G-League, formerly known as the Development League.

Bryant is a three-point shooting center that can stretch the floor and played two seasons at Indiana University. In his final season as an amateur, Bryant shot 38.3 percent from beyond the three-point line. However, with a center like Brook Lopez, who is also a three-point shooting big man, and big man Ivica Zubac already on the roster, Bryant will likely struggle to see the court in his rookie season.

The big takeaway from the day, though, was that the Lakers have three rookies that expect to be rotation players during the 2017-18 season and another rookie that fits the profile of the modern NBA big man.

All four of the Lakers' rookies expect to be on the Lakers' Summer League roster, along with returning Lakers Zubac, Brandon Ingram and David Nwaba. There, the four rookies hope to display the qualities that led the Lakers calling their names on draft night.

The Lakers will play their first Summer League game in Las Vegas on Friday, July 7.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Walk Off on a Strikeout in Freeway Series]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:49:07 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Angels+Beat+Dodgers+2-1.png

Even though you can't see us, we're always watching.

The Anaheim Angels appeared to have blown Game 3 of the Freeway Series with the Dodgers, but walked off in the bottom of the ninth thanks to one of the most bizarre endings you'll ever see. 

Ben Revere scored the game-winning run after Cameron Maybin struck out with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Yasmani Grandal's throw to first sailed past Chase Utley and the Angels won on a strikeout, passed ball, and error, 3-2, on Wednesday night.

"We haven't lost any games like that this season," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts after the awkward ending. "That's a tough way to lose."

Grandal quickly went from hero to goat after he tied the game in the top of the ninth with the Dodgers down to their final strike. 

"The home run doesn't matter when you lose the game," a visibly upset Grandal said after the game. "The home run would have mattered if we had won it. It kept us in the game, and got us to the bottom of the ninth, but we still lost."

Grandal became the first Dodger since Shawn Green on August 3, 2002 to hit a game-tying home run while down to their last strike.

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Meyer went toe-to-toe in a pitcher's duel through the first five innings of the game. 

Andrelton Simmons broke a scoreless tie when he crushed a curveball from Ryu in the bottom of the sixth inning to score the only runs of the game for the Halos.

Simmons blast was his eighth of the season and snapped a 21-inning scoreless streak againt the Angels for Ryu.

Trayce Thompson hit a solo shot to lead off the eighth inning but it was not enough as the Dodgers only mustered two total hits in the game.

"It just feels good to contribute and do what I can to help the team," said Thompson of his first home run of the season. "Obviously, we fell short tonight, but it feels good to play and contribute. I'm just happy I'm back."

Ryu pitched well, despite not factoring in the decision, as the Korean left-hander allowed just the two-run homer to Simmons, scattering seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in five and 2/3 innings.

"Hyun-Jin threw a very good baseball game," said Roberts of Ryu. "He was on the attack. The hanging breaking ball to Simmons was the difference at that point, but I thought his whole body of work was very good."

The gentle giant, Alex Meyer, outdueled Ryu for the Angels. The six-foot, nine-inch, Meyer allowed just one hit—a single to Grandal—striking out four, while walking a career-high five in six shutout innings.

"I thought we were stressing him and grinding at-bats," said Roberts of Meyer. "We had a good plan against him, but we couldn't get through. We couldn't get that big hit against him when we needed it."

Meyer has allowed two or fewer runs at home in eight consecutive starts, and is just the fourth pitcher in franchise history to toss shutouts of 6+ innings with two hits or less in back-to-back home starts.

The Angels new closer, Cam Bedrosian, blew the save, serving up the homer to Grandal in the bottom of the ninth, but still was credited with the win thanks to Grandal's error. 

Ironically, Grandal was not the only error in the bottom of the ninth. 

After Pedro Baez got the first out of the inning, Revere reached first on an error by shortstop Chris Taylor. Corey Seager is the Dodgers' everyday shortstop, but he has missed the team's last five games with a hamstring injury. 

Revere reached second on a wild pitch, and then scored after Baez struck out Maybin with a changeup, but the ball got by Grandal who tried to throw to first to get Maybin out, instead throwing the ball over the head of Chase Utley who was making a spot start at first base.

"I picked up the ball and saw Maybin was late running," recalled Grandal of the last play of the game. "I didn't get a good grip on it. As soon as I double clutched, I said to myself 'oh [expletive], Revere is now at third and could go home.' I tried to hurry my throw. I was off balance and all of a sudden I threw it away."

The win was the Angels seventh walk-off victory this season, the most in the Majors, and they are 7-2 in walk-off games this season. 

Surprisingly, this is not the first time the Halos have won a game on a walk-off strikeout. 

On June 16, 1986, Wally Joyner scored the game-winning run for the Angels following a strikeout by George Hedrick's that saw the ball roll all the way to the backstop against the Texas Rangers. 

Speaking of the Rangers, the last walk-off strikeout in the Majors occured on Sept. 29, 2010 when the Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners on the rare walk-off strikeout.

Despite the loss, the Dodgers are still 1.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the National League West. 

"If I had to do it over again, I'd probably try to do the same thing," added Grandal. "Probably next time, I'll try and get my feet under me and make sure I at least throw it on the bag and I'm not throwing changeups to first. But we're still in first place, so there's no lows in here."

The Dodgers have lost their last four games at Angel Stadium.

No-Hit Loss:

Nine years ago to the day, the Dodgers beat the Angels 1-0 at Dodger Stadium despite being no-hit by Angels' starter Jered Weaver.

Up Next:

The finale of the Freeway Series will be on Thursday as Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw looks to even the series against RHP J.C. Ramirez. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07PM PST.

Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Introduce Brook Lopez, Pick Up Option on Nwaba]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 18:59:46 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Brook-Lopez-Lakers.jpg

Twenty-nine-year-old Brook Lopez was born in North Hollywood and spent his entire amateur life in the state of California, notably attending Stanford University.

On Wednesday, the California kid arrived in El Segundo for his introductory press conference.

Aquired via trade with the Brooklyn Nets, Lopez is the latest 7-footer to don the famous Los Angeles Lakers' purple and gold colors. Lopez will wear No. 11, which should be a hit with the Lakers' Latino fans for obvious reasons.

Though the trade with Brooklyn that sent Timofey Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn in exchange for Lopez and the draft rights to Kyle Kuzma has been widely framed as a salary dump designed to open up salary cap space in the summer of 2018 — which it most certainly is and does — the fact remains that Lopez is not an aged veteran or a dinosaur the Lakers are humoring with a starting spot on a team that is obviously rebuilding.

In a year when Brooklyn finished with the worst record in the NBA, Lopez experimented and transformed his game. After averaging no more than 0.2 three-point attempts for the first eight years of his career, the 268-pound center attempted 5.2 three-pointers per game and made 34.6 percent of them.

To put Lopez's sharp shooting in perspective, the former Nets center would have been the fourth best percentage three-point shooter on the Lakers' roster at the end of the 2016-17 season — behind only Nick Young (40.4 percent), Tyler Ennis (38.9 percent) and Russell (35.2 percent). In terms of attempts, the only Lakers that attempted more three-pointers per game than Lopez were Russell and Young.

To put it bluntly, the Lakers gave up an old-world center in Mozgov, along with his bloated contract, and got back a legitimate three-point shooting 7-footer that fits the modern game. Considering Lopez's long range shooting percentage is only 0.6 percent below Russell's average, one could easily argue that the Lakers replaced Russell's long ball with Lopez's long ball. And yes, the center should conceivably improve on the shot that has only been a regular part of his arsenal for one season.

While the salary dump motivations of the trade are impossible to deny and even the Lakers' front office admitted as much in the wake of the trade, one should also acknowledge that Lopez is the best center the Lakers have had since Pau Gasol — no disrespect intended toward Carlos Boozer, Chris Kaman, Roy Hibbert and Mozgov.

Lopez's ability to stretch the floor may even lead to the Lakers playing with bigger lineups at the end of games, which would be a break from what Lakers coach Luke Walton opted for in his first season on the sidelines. Lopez could offer the team the opportunity to retain offensive spacing while still maintaining a 7-foot defensive anchor in the paint.

Frankly, as much as the Lopez trade could go down as a straight salary cap move, the offensively skilled big man with range could just as easily crash that narrative and find a long-term home in LA when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2018.

Lakers Bringing Back David Nwaba

On Wednesday, the Lakers also announced that the team had decided to pick up a contract option on guard David Nwaba. Nwaba, who was born in LA and grew tall in the City of Angels, earned an unlikely call-up from the LA D-Fenders late in the 2016-17 season. Nwaba appeared in 20 games for the Lakers and particularly showcased athleticism, fitness and defensive focus.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Why are the Clippers Trading Chris Paul?]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:35:59 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Chris-Paul-Lakers-Clippers-1-14-17.jpg

The LA Clippers acquired Chris Paul via a trade in December of 2011 and will now trade the four-time NBA assists leader to the Houston Rockets in June of 2017.

What was Paul's effect on the Clippers?

Adding an elite point guard may not have translated to a desired level of success in the playoffs, as the Clippers never got past the second round, but Paul led the Clippers to five straight seasons of 50-plus victories. Yes, on the court, Paul helped the Clippers accumulate better regular season records than the cross-town Los Angeles Lakers in each of his five full seasons in the City of Angels.

In addition, Paul's presence also helped the Clippers cement a sellout streak at Staples Center that started back in February of 2011. No player played a bigger role in bringing in new fans to watch the Clippers over the greatest half-decade in the franchise's history. As Paul heads to Houston, that streak is up to 278 straight sellouts.

In exchange for Paul, the Clippers received a small army of players with Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams and Sam Dekker highlighting the list, along with a first round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Without disrespecting any of the aforementioned pieces, one can safely state that Paul is a different class of player.

The 32-year-old ranks no. 10 on the all-time NBA assists lists with 8,251 career helpers and leads the category for all active player. Paul will likely reach the top three on the all-time assists list if he remains healthy.

So, why did this trade happen when it did?

Paul faced a deadline to either opt into the final year of his contract or become an unrestricted free agent. In conversations with the team, Paul reportedly revealed his desire to play with James Harden in Houston, and the team also reportedly shared that it would struggle to provide Paul with the maximum allowable in the final year of his contract, which would amount to nearly $50 million for a 37-year-old point guard. And so, the Clippers managed to work out a deal with Houston to trade the perennial all-star, rather than potentially lose their best player in free agency for nothing.

Ultimately, the Clippers received a package of assets to help with Paul's loss, but the future of the team relies heavily on the team's ability to re-sign free agent Blake Griffin. Without Griffin, the Clippers would likely be in danger of finishing below the Lakers in the standings for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Even with Griffin, the Clippers' streak of winning 50 games is in serious jeopardy, as Paul's exit marks the end of the "Lob City" era in Los Angeles.

However, it's not all doom and gloom for the Clippers. As Bobby Marks of the Vertical at Yahoo Sports points out, the Clippers could have $70 million in salary cap room in the summer of 2018, meaning the team could effectively start from scratch on a new plan for the future with Jerry West serving as a front office advisor and billionaire Steve Ballmer serving as a financier. Ideally, though, the team would like to retain Griffin as a center-piece of the new era, as the Oklahoma City native is entering the prime of his career at age 28.

Still, Wednesday's news of Paul's departure out of Los Angeles sent shockwaves throughtout the sports world and in Los Angeles, but the impact of the trade on the Clippers' future remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, though, Paul's exit will have a notable impact.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Even Freeway Series With Angels]]>Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:40:49 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/Joc+Pederson+homer+Halos.png

Time to start a new blue streak. 

Joc Pederson hit a three-run home run and Kenta Maeda threw seven shutout innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers evened the Freeway Series with their crosstown rivals the Angels, 4-0, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers saw their 10-game winning-streak and streak of 17 consecutive games with a home run snapped by the Angels on Monday night, but started a new streak on both fronts thanks to the exploits of Pederson in the sixth inning.

Pederson hit his first long ball off a left-hander this season, as the Dodgers scored the only runs of the game in a four-run sixth against the Halos.

"Shawn Wooten [Dodgers Triple-A hitting coach] definitely found something in my swing that I was not doing," said Pederson of his first homer against a lefty. "That was my first hit. It's paying off. Things have been going well with it."

Chase Utley led off the inning with a double to left-center, the first legitimate hit of the game against former Dodger and Angels' starter, Jesse Chavez.

Logan Forsythe walked, and Chris Taylor hit a sacrifice fly to center before Chavez (5-8) left the game with one out.

Similar to Ricky Nolasco who defeated his former team the night prior, Chavez threw 6 and 1/3 scoreless innings before he was removed, and was responsible for two runners on base. 

"Same as Nolasco yesterday, he [Chavez] was mixing his stuff really well and keeping us off-balance," said Bellinger of Chavez. "He manipulated the plate and made us chase. Gotta tip your cap to him."

Unlike Monday night, the Halos' bullpen could not close the door as Jose Alvarez allowed an RBI single to Cody Bellinger that scored the first run of the game.

"It's more barrel control than anything," Bellinger said of his ability to hit the ball to opposite field off Alvarez. "I'm comfortable with where I attack from. Sometimes I can load early and be preset."

Bellinger is batting .297 with 20 runs, eight doubles, 13 home runs and 27 RBI in the month of June. 

Two batters later, Pederson crushed a curveball for his seventh home run of the season and fifth in his last 11 games since coming off the disabled list. Pederson suffered a concussion after running into Yasiel Puig in right field on May 25.

"Maybe it knocked some sense into me, I don't know," joked Pederson of his hot-hitting since he was concussed by Puig. "I was hitting a lot of balls on the ground, and now I'm getting under them."

Maeda (6-3) was masterful in his best start of the season for the boys in blue. The Japanese right-hander allowed just four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven shutout innings.

"The last three or four outings he's been aggressive and attacking the strike zone," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Maeda. "The slider and curveball were sharp. He was efficient and that's what we needed today to start a new winning streak."

The Dodgers finished their nine-game homestand with a record of 8-1, and currently have the best record in the National League at 52-27.

Trayce Thompson made his 2017 Dodger debut as he started for the first time since June 20, 2016. Thompson was hitless in the game, but made multiple defensive plays in right field in place of Yasiel Puig.

"It feels good to be back with all these guys," said Thompson of his first start in over a year. "It felt good to get out there and play the game I've wanted to play since I was five years old. I was just happy to be back."

Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager was not in the lineup for the fourth game in a row and could be placed on the 10-day disabled list if his injured hamstring does not get better.

Up Next:

The Freeway Series continues as the Dodgers travel down the I-5 to Anaheim for the first of two games at the Big A on Wednesday. Hyun-Jin Ryu starts for the Boys in Blue opposite RHP Alex Meyer for the Halos. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07PM PST.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Urias in Good Spirits After Shoulder Surgery]]>Tue, 27 Jun 2017 21:16:47 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/Urias_Shoulder_Surgery2.png

He was living a teenage dream, until it became a nightmare.

Julio Urias, the Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher affectionately known as "the teenager," underwent season-ending surgery on Tuesday and will miss the next 12-14 months as he recovers.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal El Attrache in Los Angeles, to repair the anterior capsule in Urias' left shoulder that was injured on a pitch earlier in June with the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

Dodgers' President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, met with reporters last week and said that Urias initially felt a "tugging" feeling in his shoulder on June 10 and after throwing two fastballs clocked at 96 and 97 mph, respectively.

Urias pitched two more innings after the injury, and woke up the next morning 'really stiff" in his shoulder.

The 20-year-old pitching phenom flew back to Los Angeles shortly thereafter and underwent tests before a diagnosis was made last week.

The injury is cause for concern as historically, shoulder surgeries for pitchers have less of a success rate than elbow operations like Tommy John.

The injury is expected to sideline Urias for the 2017 and 2018 season, with the Dodgers likely targeting a return for the Mexican left-hander in Spring of 2019.

Thankfully, Urias is still young and has plenty of time to return to an elite level.

"This is scary to think about," said MLB analyst Harold Reynolds. "He's still young, just 20 years old. To see him go down right now is scary."

Urias underwent the successful surgery on Tuesday morning, and posted a picture of himself before and after the operation on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

"The more difficult the road, God will multiply your strength and you'll know the better the victories. Never give up!" He wrote in Spanish on his post.

On Tuesday, before the team's game against the Angels, Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts gave an update on Urias.

"The surgery was a success," said Roberts. "I don't know in medical terms; all I know is seeing the [email[ thread from Dr. El Attrache, he's a lot more optimistic than he was when he was first going to do the surgery.

"It was very clean. There was some debridement he had to clean up. There was an attachment of some sort. All I know is that we as an organization, and Julio – it's a very positive outcome."

Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nolasco, Angels Snap Dodgers 10-Game Winning Streak]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:06:27 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/225*120/Nolasco+Shuts+Down+Dodgers+.png

All good things come to an end.

Ricky Nolasco threw six shutout innings and the Anaheim Angels snapped the Dodgers 10-game winning streak, 4-0, on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

The first game of the Freeway Series featured the former Dodger, Nolasco, whose Angels had lost the last 10 games he started.

As fate would have it, that streak also would be snapped as Nolasco (3-9) was excellent against his former team, scattering just five hits, with two walks and five strikeouts in six and 1/3 scoreless innings against arguably the best offense in baseball.

"That was a strong outing against a team that has been swinging the bats well," said Angels' manager Mike Sciosia. "That was a great game for Ricky."

Rich Hill pitched well for the Dodgers, but fell victim to the double-steal in the top of the third inning.

After a leadoff walk to Nolasco, Hill surrendered a single to leadoff hitter Cameron Maybin before getting the next two outs of the inning. However, with two outs and Yunel Escobar at the plate, Maybin and Kole Calhoun stole second and third.

One pitch later, a single scored both runs, giving the Halos an early 2-0 lead.

Andrelton Simmons led off the fourth inning with a triple to center field after Joc Pederson got a bad jump on the ball. Simmons would score on a sacrifice fly two batters later.

Hill (4-4) finished the game giving up three runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in a season-high seven innings. 

"It actually felt like I was myself again," said Hill of his longest start of the season. "Today I felt more like myself than any other game I've pitched the entire year so far. The velocity was maintained throughout the game and my cutter was very good today. The ball came out of my hand the way I wanted it to.

The highlight of the game came in the top of the eighth inning when Yasiel Puig threw out Calhoun trying to go first-to-third on a single by Albert Pujols.

Angels' catcher Martin Maldonado hit a solo home run off Dodgers' reliever Sergio Romo in the top of the ninth.

The Dodgers may have been a bit fatigued after a nearly five-hour affair in the sweltering heat a day earlier saw them erase a five-run deficit and defeat the Rockies, 12-6. 

"I guess there's something to that," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "It's a night game after a day game, and we felt good coming in, so nobody in that clubhouse is going to use that as a reason why we got shutout tonight."

Ironically, the Dodgers also had their streak of 17 consecutive games with a home run snapped by the pitcher who has allowed the most homers in the major leagues. 

"That's the game of baseball. Ricky Nolasco leads the majors in home runs given up," said Roberts. "That's the great thing about this game, and that's why we play. Tip your hat to him, he threw a good baseball game."

The 17-game homer streak was the longest in Dodger Stadium history, and the second longest in franchise history behind a 24-game streak in 1953. 

LA's 10-game winning streak was the second longest streak in the majors this season, behind the Astros 11-game streak earlier this month.

Up Next:

Game two of the home-and-home Freeway series features another former Dodger in Jesse Chavez as L.A. counters with Kenta Maeda. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Win 10th in Row, Beat Rockies 12-6; Bellinger 2 HRs]]>Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:41:02 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-800814546.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers unleashed yet another weapon to continue their winning streak.

The vaunted wild pitch.

The Dodgers made some history Sunday, albeit with a great assist from the Colorado Rockies, scoring a record five runs in the final two innings on four wild pitches by Adam Ottavino.

Add the almost requisite home-run production from rookie sensation Cody Bellinger  this time he had two — and the Dodgers had a 12-6 comeback win over the Rockies for their 10th consecutive victory.

"That was a long, crazy game," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

The game went four hours and 19 minutes, making it the longest nine-inning game since Dodger Stadium opened in 1962.

Incorporated were the seventh and eighth innings when they scored five consecutive runs on four wild pitches by Adam Ottavino (1-2).

According to the Elias Sport Bureau, the Dodgers were the first team in the live-ball era (since 1920) to score at least five runs on wild pitches.

"These games are played by human beings," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Games like this happen. They're painful when you're on this end of it but we've had our share where it's gone the other way."

The two teams combined to throw eight wild pitches, which according to STATS is the most in a single game since 1913. Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy threw three, one of them scoring a run.

Bellinger now has 24 home runs, helping the Dodgers stretch their longest string since they won 10 straight in August 2013. Colorado lost its season-worst fifth in a row.

The Dodgers have hit at least one home run in 17 consecutive games, tying their record in Los Angeles. Their franchise record is 24 consecutive games set by Brooklyn in 1956.

Kenley Jansen got five outs for his 17th save, and his first career double and RBI to drive in the Dodgers' final run.

Jansen also walked his first batter of the season after striking out 51 in a dominant year.

"That was a good streak," Roberts said. "That was historical."

Colorado led 6-4 when Ottavino took over with two on and two out in the seventh. He walked a batter and threw a wild pitch that allowed one run to score. Ottavino then threw another wild pitch for the tying run, and when catcher Tony Wolters couldn't find the ball, Austin Barnes raced home from second.

"He had third base, he was going hard, took the turn around third base and the play is in front of him," Roberts said. "At that point you have to be instinctual."

The Dodgers added five more runs in the eighth, the first two scoring on another pair of wild pitches by Ottavino. He had thrown three wild pitches this season before the problems at Dodger Stadium.

The Rockies could not stop their losing skid despite taking a 5-0 lead off McCarthy. The Dodgers came back for their 16th win in 17 games.


He now has six multihomer games this season, a Dodgers' rookie record and second all-time to Mark McGwire's seven in 1987. He also beat out an infield hit and made a diving catch in right field.

"(Dodgers broadcaster) Manny Mota comes in to remind me every day, I already got paid for yesterday," Bellinger said. "That's a good reminder."


Rockies: OF Carlos Gonzalez missed his third consecutive start with a sore shoulder. Black said Gonzalez did take some early batting practice and was showing improvement.

Dodgers: Put OF Franklin Gutierrez on the 10-day disabled list with another bout of Ankylosing Spondylitis, an immune arthritic condition he has battled since 2011. The team is uncertain if he will be ready to return after the 10 days off. The team called up infielder Mike Freeman from Triple-A Oklahoma City to his roster spot.


Rockies: RHP German Marquez (5-3, 3.92 ERA) is scheduled to start the Monday opener of a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco. The rookie has allowed only three earned runs in his last three starts (1.93 ERA) and is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in six road starts.

Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 4.73) will attempt to pitch into the sixth inning for the first time this season when he starts Monday against the Angels. It will mark his 10th start. In his last start Wednesday against the Mets, he allowed one run on four hits in five innings.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Injuries: Hatcher Finally Goes on DL]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 19:56:31 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Chris+Hatcher+goes+to+DL+.png

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course.

Fresh off their record-breaking season in 2016 for most players on the disabled list, the 2017 edition of the Dodgers is on pace to shatter that record.

In 2016, Dodger players were sent to the disabled list a record 33 times, including an MLB-best 29 different players.

As of today's date, the Dodgers have sent 23 different players to the DL in 2017, missing a combined 797 days of action.

Lefty specialist, Franklin Gutierrez was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, and former Seattle Mariner, Mike Freeman, was called up to make his Dodgers debut.

Sergio Romo was reinstated from the 10-day DL on Monday, but Chris Hatcher took his place on the DL on Friday, June 24. 

Here's the updates:

Scott Kazmir (Left hip strain): Kazmir is still rehabbing in Arizona at the Dodgers spring training facility. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said his velocity has ticked back up, but no rehab assignment has been discussed at this time. Look for more after the All-Star Break.

UPDATE: Kazmir made his first rehab start for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday and allowed one run on four hits with no strikeouts in three innings. His fastball was in the high-80s and topped out around 90MPH. 

Andre Ethier (Lumbar disk herniation): As expected, Ethier was moved to the 60-day disabled list on May 9, 2017 and earlier this week, Roberts announced that Ethier will not be activated until Sept. 1st, when the rosters expand.

Adrian Gonzalez (Back): Gonzalez made his first trip to the DL in his career earlier this year, but when the two herniated discs in his back flared up during an at-bat a couple weeks ago, the veteran first baseman decided to shut it down. He received an epidural in his back on Monday, and isn't expected to be back until late July.

Franklin Gutierrez (Ankylosis spondylitis): Gutierrez was supposed to start on Sunday against Tyler Anderson and the Colorado Rockies, but awoke to pain and stiffness in his back due to his ankylosis spondylitis condition. Rather than have him push through it, the Dodgers placed their specialist against left-handed pitching on the 10-day DL and recalled Mike Freeman from Triple-A OKC. 

Chris Hatcher (Thoracic inflammation): After an up-and-down start to the season, Hatcher was finally placed on the disabled list with thoracic inflammation in his right throwing arm. The injury does not appear serious, and Hatcher should be eligible to return in 10 days, but the Dodgers might delay that time table.

Yimi Garcia (Right elbow surgery): Garcia was placed on the 60-day disabled list on February 15th after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is expected to miss all of the 2017 season, but be back in time for Spring Training of 2018.

Adam Liberatore (Left forearm tightness): Liberatore was placed on the disabled list at the end of May and could miss significant time. He was examined by doctors at the beginning of June, and this is his second stint on the DL this season. His return is unknown.

Andrew Toles (Torn right ACL): Toles underwent surgery this week to repair the torn ACL in his right knee after he collided with the short porch in left field trying to preserve a no-hitter for Julio Urias. Toles will miss the remainder of the 2017 season, but is expected to make a full recovery for 2018.

Rob Segedin: (Right toe and right wrist): Segedin was originally placed on the 10-day DL on April 19th with a right toe injury. After over a month of rest and recovery, problems arose in Segedin's right wrist, and the right-hander will undergo surgery this coming Wednesday to remove bone spurs from the wrist area. He is expected to miss the next four to six weeks, and could also be a candidate for the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to April 19th.

Dodgers Injury Updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  

Photo Credit: Ralph Freso/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers on Cloud Nine]]>Sat, 24 Jun 2017 23:40:43 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/229*120/Joc+Pederson+Dodgers+Cloud+9.png

The Dodgers are on cloud nine.

Joc Pederson homered, Clayton Kershaw cruised, and the Los Angeles Dodgers won their ninth consecutive game, as they shutout the Colorado Rockies, 4-0, on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

Pederson led off the third inning with his sixth home run of the season and fourth in his last eight games, when he sent a first pitch fastball from Tyler Chatwood 421-feet over the centerfield wall.

"I've been hitting off Doc [Dave Roberts] in the cage during batting practice and I have a good routine going," said Pederson of his hot-hitting as of late. "You're always trying to go up there and hit a good pitch, and he gave me a fastball on the first pitch and I was able to get on it."

The mammoth blast extended the Dodgers historic home run streak to a season-high 16 games, the fourth longest in franchise history, the longest in Dodger Stadium history, and ties a 16-game streak in 1956 at Ebbets Field.

"I didn't know that stat," added Pederson of the streak. "It's definitely fun to be a part of."

His manager believes that there's a connection between the home run streak and the team's recent winning streak.

"There's a connection," said Roberts. "We talk about scaring pitchers. When you're a pitcher and you have to be perfect to get guys out, that's a tough way to go through a lineup. We've been very stubborn, and when there's a pitch we can do damage with, we're slugging."

The franchise record for consecutive games with a home run is 24 in 1953. If the Dodgers can hit one out of the park on Sunday, they will tie the Los Angeles record set in 1960 when the team homered in 17 consecutive games while playing at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

Chatwood (6-8), struggled with his command throughout the game, walking a season-high eight batters before exiting stage right in the fourth inning.

"He couldn't throw the ball over the plate," said Roberts of Chatwood's command. "In my opinion when you face a guy like Clayton, the opposing pitcher is always ramped up and jacked up. Chatwood was max effort from pitch one and when you're doing that, it's hard to sustain. Our offense is very disciplined outside the strike zone. We're willing to take the walk. It's a formula we've been doing the last couple of weeks."

The Southern California native walked four batters in the fourth inning alone, including three consecutive to walk in a run, as the Dodgers took a commanding 4-0 lead.

Ordinarily, four runs in a baseball game is not a lot, but with three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound, it might as well be game over.

"He was on edge," Roberts said of Kershaw on Saturday. "He was amped up and a little frustrated early on, but he settled in nicely." 

Kershaw improved to 93-0 during the regular season when he is given at least four runs of support and earned his MLB-leading 11th win of the season.

"It's incredible," Kershaw said of his record and the team's performance lately. "It seems like every night you find a different way to win and every time we come to the field it feels like there's no way you're going to lose. 

Kershaw (11-2) scattered just four hits, two of which came in the first inning, as he struck out eight, walking just one, in six shutout innings. He also lowered his ERA to 2.47 on the season, fourth lowest in the major leagues.

"They're a really good team over there, and we're going to have to beat them down the stretch," said Kershaw. "It's important to get these wins now, especially when we're playing so well."

Kershaw followed in teammate Alex Wood's footsteps with his 10th consecutive start without a loss. Astros' starter Dallas Keuchel currently holds the longest active streak at 13, followed by Wood (11), and then Kershaw (10).

The Dodgers walked a total of 10 times in the game; the second-most free passes issued this season.

Corey Seager did not start, and was listed as day-to-day with a grade-one hamstring strain, suffered in the second inning of Friday's victory.

Kershaw surpassed Orel Hershiser for most wins by a pitcher in Dodger Stadium history, earning the 77th victory of his career at the Ravine.

Los Angeles has won 15 of their last 16 games, and hold the best record in the National League at 50-26, and best home record in all of baseball.

Fun Fact:

Sandy Koufax made his debut 62 years ago to the date, and struck out two in two scoreless innings of relief.

Up Next:

The finale of the three-game series with the Rockies is on Sunday afternoon as Los Angeles looks for the sweep against their divisional rivals. LHP Tyler Anderson takes the mound for Colorado and RHP Brandon McCarthy for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lonzo Ball: 'The New Face of the Lakers']]>Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:45:34 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Face-of-Lakers-6-24-17.JPG

"The new face of the Lakers" — LA Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson bestowed the title upon newly drafted Lonzo Ball during an introductory press conference, which was held in El Segundo fewer than 24 hours after the Ball put on a purple hat and walked on stage in Brooklyn, New York.

"The guy who I think will lead us back to where we want to get to," Johnson continued. "We want to start building a successful team, and you have to have a great leader and somebody that can make their teammates better, somebody who has incredible basketball IQ — the IQ is off the charts — somebody who can get their teammates to follow them."

To say that Johnson has high hopes for the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft is a gross understatement, and the five-time NBA champion and arguably the best player in the history of the storied franchise did not hesitate to place an extra pound of pressure on the first draft pick made under his spell.

"Lonzo, just leave me one or two records, okay?" Johnson begged comically before Ball could even get in his first words at the press conference. "Don't break all my records."

During his opening remarks, Johnson challenged the 19-year-old: "There's [sic] some jerseys hanging on that wall. We expect a 'Ball' jersey hanging up there, alright?"

Of course, Johnson owns one of those coveted jerseys, so, what did Ball think about Johnson's challenge?

"I think it's a good goal to set, so I'll definitely be chasing that," Ball stated succinctly.

The 19-year-old answered questions with speed and pin-point accuracy, which is what the Lakers expect from Ball's passing when he finally takes the court. If he moves the ball with the same level of efficiency that he answers questions, the Lakers' pick may turn out to be even better than projected.

He's not shy, he doesn't mumble and he doesn't come off as timid. He's naturally confident, which doesn't seem to require using extra words or dragging out answers unnecessarily.

Ball smiled and didn't seem at all overwhelmed by the extra cameras and coverage, "I'm used to all the media, and it's nice talking to you guys."

Ball became the unquestioned face of the Lakers when Johnson and the Lakers traded away D'Angelo Russell and effectively cleared the runway for Ball to land on shore and take over the team.

"D'Angelo is an excellent player," Johnson explained the trade that shipped out Russell and Timofey Mozgov's handcuffing contract. "He has the talent to be an all-star, and we want to thank him for what he did for us, but what I needed was a leader. I needed somebody that can also make the other players better...that players want to play with."

Hardly shying away from the topic, Johnson made it clear that Russell's leadership qualities led to the trade more than any lack of faith in the 21-year-old's ability to play in the NBA.

For Johnson, research made it clear that Ball can be that next great Lakers' leader.

"I went to the high school," Johnson explained his research. "I talked to the principal. I talked to — I think it was — four teachers. They all said, at different times, 'This guy, everybody's attracted to this guy.' Okay, that's all I needed to hear. He was a leader. He treated people the right way. I said, 'Okay, we got our man now.'"

Johnson also said he talked to Ball's teammate at UCLA, T.J. Leaf, and the entire UCLA coaching staff, and the Lakers' executive said that each and every person he spoke with offered an endorsement of Ball's character and leadership ability.

"What sealed the deal was to go to Chino Hills," Johnson said.

Both Pelinka and Johnson told the tale of the day they went to Chino Hills and witnessed how the Ball family lives and the manner in which the patriarch of the family, Lavar Ball, interacts with his sons, his wife and the neighborhood kids. Both Johnson and Pelinka cited the trip as the final handshake to seal the deal.

"We're used to great leaders. That's why we win, right?" the nine-time NBA Finals participant continued to hold court in front of an amoeba like mass of reporters. "You think about, 'Derek Fisher was a great leader.' So, it's not just [Ball's] passing, but it's his leadership is what sold me, too. And then, last but not least, going to Chino Hills, getting to know the family, getting to know Lavar—forget all the other stuff—him and I man-to-man, it was a really great moment."

Johnson added almost as an afterthought, "And then, visiting with Lonzo was special."

If anyone, the Lakers' executive understood pressure of coming in to be the face of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Johnson displayed confidence in the 19-year-old's handling of the attention thus far. Just as Lavar Ball had added pressure by promising that Lonzo would lead the Lakers to the playoffs in his first season a day earlier, Johnson piled on pressure asking for a jersey on the wall and reminding everyone that he led the Lakers to a championship in his rookie season. In Johnson's eyes, Ball had not slipped yet, so he was built for this unique type of pressure.

Regardless of the questions posed, Ball answered with confidence, without hesitation and devoid of superfluous language. The prince had been groomed for this moment, and now, the young king looked at home on the throne.

After the press coronation in El Segundo, the "new face of the Lakers" took his victory procession to the center of the city, where he threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium. The teenage king was greeted by an adoring public, effectively ratifying the start of his reign.

Notable Quote:

Magic Johnson's response when asked if making a move to free up salary cap space is effectively a bet on himself to draw in top free agents, where the previous regime had struggled:

"Look at my face. Do you see that smile? Do you see it? Ok, then…I've always bet on myself, right? I'm fine where we are. I'm happy. I'm excited. Lakers fans should be excited. We're back. This draft is outstanding—not just Lonzo; Kyle (Kuzma); Josh (Hart); Thomas (Bryant). We're really happy about this class that we drafted. When you have that much cap space, we're going to be major players next summer. The tide has turned. People want to play here again. It's an exciting time."

Johnson concluded and laughed, "I wouldn't have made that move if I didn't think I could use that money."

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Keep Rolling With Rout of Rockies]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:01:17 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/189*120/Dodgers+Keep+Rolling+with+Route+of+Rockies.png

Mark it eight, dude. 

Yasiel Puig homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers won their eighth consecutive game as they rolled over the Rockies, 6-1, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Rockies entered into a world of pain as Colorado collided with the hottest team in the Major Leagues in a clash of two of the top teams in the National League West. 

Cody Bellinger got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly to straightaway center that scored Corey Seager from third in the bottom of the first inning. 

Colorado tied the game in the top of the second after left fielder Franklin Gutierrez was slow getting to a ball that was hit to his right, allowing Ramiel Tapia to score all the way from first on the play.

Seager and Justin Turner added RBI singles in the bottom half of the second and Bellinger followed with his second RBI of the game, a double to the gap in left-center that gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. 

"They pitched in the last series the same way they did today, so I was looking for something on the outside part of the plate," Bellinger said of his RBI double to the gap. "I was able to put a good swing on it, it went into the left-center gap and we were able to keep the inning going."

Yasiel Puig hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth, that extended the Dodgers home run streak to a season-high 15 consecutive games, the fourth longest stretch in franchise history, and the longest since 1977.

Alex Wood  continued his hot start to the season, as the 26-year-old left-hander made his 11th consecutive start without loss, the second longest active streak in MLB and tied with Orel Hershiser for the longest undefeated streak to open a season.

Wood (8-0) remained perfect on the season and surrendered just one run three hits with two talks and seven strikeouts in six solid innings for the boys in blue. Wood also lowered his ERA to an NL-best 1.86 on the season.

"We're rolling right now," said Wood of his team's eight-game winning streak. "My changeup was good tonight, our gameplan was to attack them, and I was able to get some early contact. I was rolling the last couple innings and we got the first game of the series under our belt."

Rockies' rookie Kyle Freeland (8-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on a season-high 10 hits with three strikeouts in six innings. Freeland earned his first career victory over the Dodgers on April 7.

"The first time he faced us was his debut and he had some adrenaline and extra heat on his heater," said Bellinger of Freeland. "We watched some of his previous starts and we had a good game plan against him and executed it really well. Plus, when you're clicking like we are, it helps."

The Dodgers added an extra run in the bottom of the eighth after catcher Austin Barnes led off the inning with a triple to right field, scoring two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Logan Forsythe.

Seager left the game with a right hamstring injury, and will undergo more tests on Saturday morning. Manager Dave Roberts said he will be out of the lineup, but believes the reigning National League Rookie of the Year will not have to miss any significant time. 

"I don't see him in the lineup tomorrow, but I still think we got ahead of it," said Roberts. "We'll know more tomorrow, but we're hoping it's just a cramp."

Seager himself said he's had a similar injury in the past, and does not believe it's serious.

"I've had a bunch in the past and I know when it's really bad," said Seager. "I very easily could have stayed in, I've done that in the past, and made it worse, so it was the smart thing to do."

Seager said he first felt tightness in the muscle during his swing, but the pain increased when running the bases.

"I first felt it during the swing and then the first initial step and then right around second base," said Seager of when the injury occured. "It felt more like a cramp, and then coming around third, there was really no point to push it. I'm pretty confident I won't need to go on the DL, but honestly I don't really know right now."

The Dodgers put some space between themselves and the three best teams in the league as they are now 2.5 games ahead of the Rockies and Diamondbacks in the West.

Arizona, Colorado, and Los Angeles have the three best records in the NL, and it's the first time in the divisional era (since 1969) that three or more teams have had a winning percentage of .615 or greater on June 23rd or later.

The Dodgers season-high eight-game winning streak is the longest streak since August 7-17, 2013, when they won eight in a row during a 42-8 stretch that catapulted them to their first of four straight NL West crowns.

The Dodgers have the best run differential in baseball at 128 and have won 14 of their last 15 games.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have their ace on the mound on Saturday night as they look to put more space between themselves and Colorado in the N.L. West. RHP Tyler Chatwood gets the call for the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Lonzo Ball Lobs His First Pitch at Dodger Stadium]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:48:38 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/198*120/Lonzo+Ball+First+Pitch+.png

This was a totally different Ballgame.

On Thursday night in New York City Lonzo Ball walked onto the stage as the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft.

On Friday, he walked out to the mound. 

Less than 24 hours after Ball was drafted by his hometown Lakers, the 19-year-old threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium.

Ball made his first public appearance earlier in the afternoon at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo where the team held a press conference for the media. 

"It's a lot better now that it's official," Ball said when asked how it feels to be a Laker. "It's very humbling. It's going to be fun."

Dodgers' owner and current President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers, Earvin Magic Johnson, was in attendance for both events and had noting but positives to see about the new point guard that has been compared to the "Magic Man" himself.

"Our players are going to love playing with him," Johnson said of Ball. "This is a great day for our organization."

A few hours after the press conference, Lonzo arrived at Chavez Ravine without his controversial father, Lavar. The top draft pick brought some friends and current girlfriend as he was given a tour of the stadium and the Dodgers' clubhouse.

Ball wasn't very nervous for the ceremonial first pitch despite the fact that others like rapper 50 Cent have embarrassed themselves in the past during the 60-foot toss from the mound to home plate.

Ball lobbed a pitcher high and outside to Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen who donned an old school No.32 Lakers' Magic Johnson jersey for the first pitch.

Before he took his seats behind home plate for the game, Ball got the game started by ushering the immortal words of the great Vin Scully, "It's time for Dodger Baseball!"

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>
<![CDATA[Urias to Have Season Ending Surgery]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:26:20 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/Julio+Urias+Has+To+Wait.png

Left-hander Julio Urias, the Los Angeles Dodgers' top prospect, needs shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old is scheduled to have his left anterior capsule repaired Tuesday by Dodgers head physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Los Angeles president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Urias is expected to be sidelined for 12-to-14 months.

The injury is typically associated with wear and tear, and Friedman said the Dodgers could not find an example of another pitching sustaining that type of injury at such a young age.

"It's not as serious as I think it sounded to me on the front end," Friedman said Friday. "It was an acute injury, which means it happened on a pitch. So the fact that it's not wear and tear that happened over years makes the prognosis that much better. Dr. ElAttrache is really confident that we'll be able to take care of this and get him back to his accustomed level."

Urias signed with the Dodgers as a 16-year-old from Mexico, and Los Angeles limited his innings each season.

"I think that there's some solace in that," manager Dave Robert said. "It doesn't change the fact that we're disappointed for Julio. But I think as an organization I just don't see how we could have handled him with more care."

Urias made his major league debut on May 27 last year and went 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 15 starts and three relief appearances during his rookie season. Urias did not make his first appearance for the Dodgers this year until April 27 and went 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts for Los Angeles. He was sent to Oklahoma City to work on his mechanics, and Friedman said Urias injured the shoulder June 10 on a single pitch in his last outing with the Triple-A farm team.

"He still threw two more innings at 96-97 (mph)," Friedman said. "But the next day he woke up and said it was really stiff."

Friedman and Roberts said Urias took the news hard.

"For him it's frustration, anger, sadness," Roberts said. "This year, essentially, if you're talking about building a young pitcher up and getting him to a point where we can take off the training wheels, we're kind of back to that point next year, as next year's going to essentially be a recover year."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bad news for Julio Urias and the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dodgers?src=hash">#Dodgers</a> this is a major surgery and will likely shut him down for all of 2017. <a href="https://t.co/1yVf40aLb6">https://t.co/1yVf40aLb6</a></p>&mdash; Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) <a href="https://twitter.com/michaeljduarte/status/878389882862813184">June 23, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Why Did the Lakers Draft Lonzo Ball]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 04:41:24 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-draft-Lonzo-Ball-6-22-17.jpg

Nineteen-year-old Lonzo Ball is in place to be the leader and face of the Los Angeles Lakers' franchise after the former UCLA Bruin heard his name called for the no. 2 over all pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

On Thursday, Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka put the call in to Ball about three minutes before the pick went live, and Ball's dream became a reality.

"Yea, this is crazy," Ball said in a media room at the Barclays Center, where he sat as the focal point of a conference call with reporters back at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo. "It's crazy. You can't really tell by my emotion, but I'm feeling good. I'm happy to be home. It's crazy."

Ball went to UCLA and his family lives in Chino Hills, so as far as being local, Ball is as home grown as it gets in a league with the Lakers' two rookies from a season ago grew tall in Croatia and Georgia—the state, not the country.

Despite being in the spotlight and drawing national attention at UCLA and even more so after basketball season ended, Ball has seemingly not taken a step wrong or put his foot in his mouth. No, his father, Lavar, has a habit of doing enough of that for both father and son—and the rest of the family, for that matter.

On draft night, only minutes after his son had been drafted with the no. 2 overall pick, Lavar Ball continued his personal P.R. campaign and promised that his son would lead the Lakers to the playoffs in his first season on national television. As a reminder, the Lakers only won 26 games a season ago, and they're coming off the four worst seasons since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.

"He's his own man, so I don't know what he's going to do," Lonzo Ball said, with a smile visible through the phone, when asked if Lavar Ball would tone done his outspoken behavior now that his eldest son had made it to the Lakers. "It's going to be a surprise for you guys and me, but you just got to stay tuned."

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka offered his own views on the elder Ball, views that did not match the narrative normally associated with the loud spoken creator of the Big Baller Brand and a frenzy that has swirled around his soft spoken son in the months leading up to the no. 2 pick.

"Time with (the Ball) family really helped crystalize our decision," Pelinka said late Thursday night, after the draft had wrapped up. "We spent a day out at his house and got to see really how the sons interacted with their mom and their dad and really got to see the way Lavar cared for his sons, and even more importantly, the way he cared for his wife, Tina, and the condition she's in."

Tina Ball recently sufferred a stroke.

Pelinka added, "Listen, there can be a sense of bravado with some of the media stuff, but when you get to see the heart of a person and how they treat others, I think that's when you really get to know them. And all I can say is that we walked away from that really impressed with the family."

Based on the Lakers' executive's words and the action of executing on the no. 2 pick, Lavar Ball seemingly helped Lonzo Ball become a Laker far more than he hurt his son's chances. However, the 19-year-old did not entirely earn his draft position and status because of his father yelling into microphones.

"There's something very, very special about his basketball abilities," Pelinka said about the younger Ball. "I think if you use a sports analogy in another sport--football--you look at passers like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers that just have an ability to do something that is so special with where they put the ball and where they deliver it. I think the vision and abilities that Lonzo has just puts him in a class of being a transcendent talent."

Lakers coach Luke Walton opted for a different word: "Genius."

"We want the ball moving, and we want to play an up-tempo game, and that's what Ball is a genius at," Walton said as he drowned in a sea of microphones and cameras only minutes after the selection had gone public.

"I'm sure he'll fit into our culture," Walton said before adding to his thought. "He'll improve our culture with the way he plays, the way he passes, his selfless nature, and that's why we took him."

Ball is an LA pure bread, so fitting in off the court doesn't appear to be a concern. Having lived in Westwood for college and having his family home base in Chino Hills, LA isn't an exotic far away dream land with unfamiliar big city lights or newly found fame. When asked about how LA would welcome one of its own, Walton confidently stated that his experience in public in recent weeks led him to believe the city was already rooting for the younger Ball to succeed.

On the topic of playing at home, Ball said he thought it should be a "comfortable" environment. "For LA, I've been here my whole life. It definitely helps me. I always play for my home town."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Flip The Power Switch in Sweep of Mets]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 23:44:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/Justin+Turner+Homers+Against+Mets.png

All they do is win win win no matter what.

Justin Turner, Enrique Hernandez, and Joc Pederson all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers won their seventh consecutive game, 6-3, to complete the four-game sweep over the New York Mets on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

For the second straight night, Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run, the 44th leadoff homer of his career, tied with Ian Kinsler for the most among active players.

Turner tied the game with a solo shot in the bottom of the third inning, his third home run in the last four games.

"We're hitting on all cylinders right now," said Turner of his team's season-high seven game winning-streak. "Our starting pitchers are throwing the ball great, our bullpen has been fantastic, and we're doing a good job of staying in the strike zone, swinging at good pitches and we're getting good results."

Two batters later, Hernandez hit a two-run home run to right field to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

"That's been my strength throughout my career, to be able to drive the ball the other way" Hernandez said of his oppoiste field home run. "Last year, I wasn't able to hit the outside pitch, and I wasn't able to hit the ball the other way with authority. I got back to it this year and I'm liking the results."

Travis D'Arnaud got one of the runs back with a solo shot in the top of the fourth.

Hyun-Jin Ryu left with the lead, but did not factor in the decision, surrendering just two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings.

Chris Hatcher allowed the game-tying run to score in the top of the sixth courtesy of an RBI double by Lucas Duda that allowed Jay Bruce to score all the way from first.

The Dodgers would regain the lead in the bottom half of the seventh thanks to a solo shot by Joc Pederson.

Pederson entered the game as a defensive replacement on a double-switch in the top half of the inning and crushed the first pitch he saw from Paul Sewald into the seats in right field for the go-ahead home run.

"What he did is the hardest thing to do in baseball," Hernandez said of Pederson's home run that broke the tie. "It's not easy to sit there for a few innings and then maybe get one at-bat. It's a little bit easier to play defense first and then an at-bat, but to get a pinch-hit period is difficult, and for him to get a homer and two hits was huge."

Jerry Blevins relieved Sewald, but walked three consecutive batters to give the Dodgers a 6-3 lead.

"I was just bad today," said Blevins matter of factly. "That happens sometimes. Sometimes you stink. But the good part of my job is I have to be ready to go out there again tomorrow and be better."

Kenley Jansen entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and recorded his 16th save of the season and sixth of the four-out variety.

Los Angeles flipped the power switch, hitting 15 home runs in the series, the most in franchise history over a four-game span, and the most the Mets have ever allowed in their franchise history.

Overall, the Dodgers have homered in 14 consecutive games, the fourth longest stretch in franchise history and most since June 10-24, 2016. 

"Guys know when there's dew on the grass, that means the marine layer is in and the ball is not going to fly as much," said Turner, citing weather as an explanation for the team's recent power. "When it heats up a little bit and you don't see that moisture on the grass, the ball definitely goes better."

The victory gave the Dodgers their seventh series sweep of the season, the same total they had over the entire 2016 season.

The Dodgers win and the Rockies loss to the Diamondbacks increases L.A.'s lead in the National League West to 1.5 games as the Boys in Blue now have the best home record in baseball at 29-10

Up Next: 

The Dodgers will welcome the Rockies to Chavez Ravine over the weekend for a clash of two N.L. West titans. LHP Kyle Freeland gets the call on Friday opposite Alex Wood for Los Angeles. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.

Photo Credit: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Draft Lonzo Ball at No. 2]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 01:01:00 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Draft-Lonzo-Ball-2017.jpg

With the no. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers finally selected Lonzo Ball from the University of California at Los Angeles.

The pick hardly came as a surprise as the local kid from Chino Hills had been projected to go no. 2 even before the Lakers landed the second pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. Once LA had the no. 2 pick, the Ball family celebrated the inevitable move to the Lakers as destiny.

After meeting with the Lakers twice and notably not publicly meeting with other teams, Ball’s gamble appeared to pay off when he heard his name called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York on Thursday night.

One notable reason why the Lakers' pick did not come as a shock is because the team reportedly agreed to trade away D'Angelo Russell, who plays the same position as Ball, to the Brooklyn Nets a couple days ahead of Thursday’s draft.

Ball was a consensus First Team All-American, Pac-12 Player of hte Year and All-Freshman Team member in his lone season at UCLA. The 19-year-old started all 36 games during the 2016-17 season in Westwood and averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 35.1 minutes per game. His 274 assists were a UCLA record and the second most assists in a single-season in Pac-12 history.

The Lakers also held the no. 28 pick in the draft, and the aforementioned trade with Brooklyn yielded the no. 27 pick. Via Brooklyn, LA drafted power forward Kyle Kuzma with the no. 27 pick, who was a junior at Utah.

LA then went on to trade the no. 28 pick to Utah for the rights to the no. 30 and no. 42 picks. With the no. 30 pick, LA picked senior Josh Hart out of Villanova. Hart is a 6-foot, 5-inch guard that can likely contribute from the start. Hart was the Big East Player of the Year and the co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year. LA added a fair amount of versatility with the last pick of the first round.

With the no. 42 pick, Utah selected Thomas Bryant on behalf of the Lakers. Bryant, who is a 6-foot 10-inch forward/center from Indiana University, has a 7-foot wing span and averaged 6.6 rebounds and 12.6 points during his sophomore year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Puig Angers Mets With Slow Home Run Trot]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:33:18 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Yasiel+Puig+Watches+Homer.png

Puig your friend, but not New York's.

Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder Yasiel Puig is officially on the bad side of Mets' first baseman Wilmer Flores and other New York teammates after the Cuban slugger stared at his three-run home run and then slowly trotted around the bases in the team's 8-2 win on Wednesday night. 

The always colorful Puig, known affectionately as the "Wild Horse," for his untamed nature on the baseball diamond, put on a bit of a performance at home plate after he posed for several seconds to watch his home run exit the ballpark before jogging around the bases.

As you can see in the video, as Puig rounded first base, Flores said something which nearly stopped Puig in his tracks before he cursed back at Flores and continued his trot around the bases, a journey that took just over 32 seconds.

"I don't think he knows what having respect for the game is," said Flores at his locker well after the game had ended. "I think there's a way to enjoy a home run, but that was too much."

What did Puig say?

"[Bleep] you!" repeated Flores.

Similar to Bryce Harper, Jose Bautista, and Mets' outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Puig plays the game with a certain panache that rubs baseball purists the wrong way.

Ordinarily, Puig is 100 percent to blame for the vitriol and anger that comes with the way he plays the game. However, on Wednesday, the gauntlet was dropped when Mets' starter Tyler Pill intentionally walked Joc Pederson with one out to get to Puig.

"They intentionally walked him to get to me and that was part of the emotion," said Puig through a translator postgame. "They figured I would hit another groundball like I did in the first inning so I was able to connect and that's why I took so long."

As anyone who's played baseball knows, there's an element of pride at stake when a pitcher intentionally walks the batter in front of you to get you in the batter's box.

On a personal level, I once had a pitcher intentionally walk my cousin—a notorious home run hitter—to get to me because they thought I would be an easier out. As my teammates tried to rile me up from the dugout by pointing out the slight, it made me angry and more focused at the plate.

As fate would have it, I too hit a home run, and stared down the pitcher as I slowly trotted around the bases. To be blunt, there was no greater payback than that.

"They figured I would be an easier out," explained Puig of his own situation on Wednesday night. "They elected to pitch to me instead of Joc, and they thought it would be the same result as my first at-bat. So yes, they challenged my pride."

Ironically, after the inning ended, it was fellow countryman, Cespedes that waited for Puig on the field to give him some "advice."

Puig told reporters that Cespedes told him he needed to run faster around the bases, a sentiment that he disagreed with.

Cespedes declined to discuss his conversation with Puig, calling it a "personal conversation," but other Mets' players including Flores believe it could have a carry over affect into Thursday's finale as the Dodgers go for the four-game sweep.

"He disrespected us," Flores said simply. "I don't take that."

Puig responded to Flores comments after the game, chalking up the Mets' ire to their play as of late.

"We've been hitting well and hitting a lot of home runs," said Puig. "If that's the way he feels, it might be the result of them not playing so well."

Puig is no stranger to pissing off opposing teams with his antics as he was just recently suspended one game by Major League Baseball after he flipped off fans in Cleveland with both hands during a game last week against the Indians.

Similar to Wednesday, Puig also hit a home run during that incident, but is appealing the suspension.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]]>
<![CDATA[Puig, Grandal Put Dodgers Back in 1st Place]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:06:00 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/Getting+Puigy+With+It.png

Getting Puigy with it!

Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer and Yasmani Grandal hit two, as the Los Angeles Dodgers took over sole possession of first place in the National League West with an 8-2 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of Grandal and Puig, the Boys in Blue won their sixth consecutive game and 12 out of 13 overall.

"Every single night there's somebody different," said Roberts. "Our 6-7-8 hitters in the lineup picked up the rest of the lineup tonight. They were on base, I think eight times tonight with a couple of homers."

Curtis Granderson opened up the game with a home run on the second pitch he saw from starter Rich Hill.

The long ball was the first leadoff homer this season for Granderson and 43rd of his MLB career, one shy of Ian Kinsler for most among active players.

It was also the only run New York would score.

Hill got the run back in the bottom of the third with a sacrifice fly to left -center that scored Joc Pederson from third.

Hill got himself into some trouble in the top of the fourth when he loaded the bases for Jose Reyes. However, Hill struck out the side to escape the inning without any damage.

"He regrouped and picked us up," Roberts said of Hill striking out the side to get out of the inning. "That was a big spot right there and I think it took the wind out of their [The Mets] sails."

The fourth inning ultimately became the turning point in the game, as the Dodgers kept New York scoreless and then hung four on the Metropolitans in the bottom half of the inning.

"It's been a lot of fun to watch this offense,"Hill said of the bottom half of the fourth inning. "What guys are doing on a nightly basis is really special. Historically, it's a moment in time you have to appreciate. So to get out of that inning and swing the momentum back into our court was big."

It was a tough pill to swallow for Mets' starter Tyler Pill when he intentionally walked Joc Pederson to put runners on first and second for Yasiel Puig.

Puig promptly sent a slider into orbit for his 13th home run of the season, giving the Dodgers a 5-1 lead.

During Puig's home run trot around the bases, a handful of players on the Mets including first baseman Wilmer Flores and catcher Travis d'Arnaud were upset with the slow pace in which Puig proceeded to round the bases.

"I don’t think he knew what’s happening in respect to the game’’ Flores said, referring to the Mets troubles. "We’re playing horrible right now. He disrespected us. There are other ways to enjoy a home run." 

Puig had his own response to Flores' comments:

"We've been hitting a lot of home runs. If that's the way he feels, that might be a result of them not playing so well," Puig said in response. 

After the inning, as Puig walked out to right field, he was stopped by fellow Latino players, Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Reyes who talked to him about his actions after the home run.

"After I talked to Cespedes, he tried to give me some advice and to run a little bit faster," said Puig of the encounter. "I don't look at it the same way he does, but it is what it is."

Pill (0-3) remains winless on the season after surrendering six runs (five earned) on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts for the Mets.

Grandal homered in the bottom of the sixth and the eighth as he recorded his eighth multi-homer game of his career and first since Opening Day against the San Diego Padres.

Hill (4-3) had a bounce back performance after he got pounded in Cleveland last week. The left-hander allowed one run on four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in five innings.

"I was more consistent with my delivery and I didn't try to do too much," said Hill of his start. "Really, the biggest thing was staying as direct as possible to the plate. You can't sacrifice location for stuff." 

After the leadoff home run to Granderson, Hill and four different Dodgers' relievers combined to keep the Mets scoreless over the next 26 outs before Granderson delivered his second RBI of the night with a double off the right field wall.

Granderson finished 3-for-5 with a double, home run, and two RBI. 

With their eight runs on Wednesday, the Dodgers have now scored eight or more runs in five consecutive games, the first time they've accomplished that feat since 1945. 

The Dodgers surge has put them back atop the N.L. West as they collide with Colorado for a three-game series over the weekend.

Up Next:

Steven Matz pitches for the Mets on Thursday opposite Hyun-Jin Ryu as Los Angeles looks to complete the four-game sweep of New York.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nick Young Becomes Free Agent, "Swaggy P" Era Over?]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:21:08 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Nick-Young-free-agent-6-21.jpg

Only one day after deciding to end of the D'Angleo Russell era, the Los Angeles Lakers conceivably also witnessed the end of the "Swaggy P" era.

On Wednesday, Young opted out of the final year of his contract with the Lakers and became an unrestricted free agent. Unlike the Russell and Mozgov trade, which expects to be finalized on Thursday, this move hardly came as a shock.

Following his exit interview at the conclusion of the season, Young even joked with reporters, "They was [sic] begging me to stay, but I as like, 'Magic, we'll see.'"

As he exited the room laughing, Young dropped a clear hint of his intentions, "I'll see ya'll when I come back and play against ya'll next year."

Suffice to say, Wednesday's announcement that Young was opting out of his contract to test the free agency waters did not cause any heart attacks. Ultimately, though, the losses of Young and Russell mean that the Lakers have lost both halves of their starting back court.

Likely, Lonzo Ball out of UCLA will assume one of those roles if he is the Lakers' pick at no. 2 in Thursday's NBA Draft, but LA still needs shooters and a partner for Ball.

Young and Russell were two of only three Lakers to average two or more three-point makes per game during the 2016-17 season. The third player was Lou Williams, who was traded prior to February's trade deadline, so LA has lost its three most consistent three-point scorers at a time when the NBA seemingly relies more on the three-point shot than ever before.

Young, incredibly, shot 40.4 percent from three-point land during the 2016-17 season, which likely played into why he opted out of $5.7 million guaranteed. Likely cashing in for bigger pay day and a longer term contract at age 32 should have made Young's decision to terminate his contract an easy call.

While Young's four years in LA featured far more losing than anything else since the Lakers played out the four worst seasons in the history of the franchise since moving to LA, a combined record of 91-237, the Lakers will need to find a replacement for "Swaggy P" either via the draft or free agency.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Seager Puts on a Show With 3 Home Runs]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:58:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/Corey+Seager+hits+3+homers+against+mets.png

Welcome to the Seager Show.

Corey Seager hit not one, not two, but three home runs as the Los Angles Dodgers destroyed the New York Mets, 12-0, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Seager homered in the first, fourth, and fifth innings as he recorded the second three-homer game of his career. 

"It's obviously great to hit multiple home runs in games," said Seager. "It's exciting, there's no way around it. It's just exciting."

Seager (2) has already tied Babe Ruth and Ken Griffey Jr. with multiple three-homer games in his career, and has one more than Mickey Mantle (1) and David Ortiz, who was never able to accomplish the feat. 

Seager got the scoring started with a two-run blast in the first frame.

Two batters later, Cody Bellinger continued his home run tear when he crushed his NL-leading 22nd home run of the season into the seats in right field.

"I don't think there's a better feeling," said Bellinger of the home run barrage. "We're doing whatever we can to win games and we have great pitching which makes it easy on our offense."

Bellinger became the fastest player in MLB history to hit 22 home runs in their career, beating Wally Berger by four games.

The 21-year-old rookie has also hit 10 home runs in a 10-game span, the first rookie in MLB history to accomplish that feat, and the second in Dodgers franchise history joining Shawn Green (2002).

"We're clicking on all cylinders right now," said Bellinger of not only himself, but his teammates. "We're having fun and we have a plan against opposing pitchers and we're executing it really well right now."

Seager smashed his second home run of the game, a solo shot to dead-center field in the bottom of the fourth inning.

If they hadn't done so already, the Dodgers broke the game open off Santa Monica native, Robert Gselman.

Yasmani Grandal started the fifth inning with a solo shot to left field that chased Gselman from the game, and five days later, Seager hit his third home run of the game to opposite field that gave the Boys in Blue a commanding 10-0 lead.

"It's one of those nights where the ball just goes where you want it to," continued Seager. "You're putting good swings on it and they're going out of park."

Gselman (5-5) took the loss, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts in just 4 and 1/3 innings. He also allowed four home runs.

"I've been getting my butt kicked out there," said Gselman. "I left a lot of pitches up in the zone and it made it harder."

Lost in the box score, Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy (6-3) was brilliant, throwing six shutout innings with just four hits allowed to go with a walk and four strikeouts.

"It was hard to not notice how many runs we scored tonight," said McCarthy. "Normally, I don't notice it, but it felt like we were all set pieces moving the game until our guys get their at-bats."

McCarthy lowered his ERA to 2.87 and has been dominant this season for the Dodgers as he's pitched 69 innings on the season, more than the last two years combined.

"I've commanded fairly well and the ball is moving," said McCarthy of his success. "The last couple of weeks have been an example of some luck thrown in there too. My goal is to minimize hard contact and execute my pitches."

Brock Stewart recorded a save in his 2017 debut as the right-hander threw three scoreless innings of relief out of the bullpen. It was the first save of Stewart's big league career.

Justin Turner's 14-game hitting streak was snapped, despite the fact he reached base on an error in the first inning.

The Dodgers hit four or more home runs for the second straight night and 28 total in their last 10 games, the most homers over that stretch in the team's history (134 years).

"We're having a great time," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "As excited we are for Cody and Corey we're playing very good baseball and we're ready to go again tomorrow."

The 12-run victory was the largest margin of victory for Los Angeles this season.

Los Angeles has won five consecutive games overall, and 11 of their last 12, but remain ½ game behind the Colorado Rockies for first place in the N.L. West.

Crash Course:

It was almost déjà vu in the outfield as center fielder Joc Pederson's life flashed before his eyes when he nearly collided with Yasiel Puig at full speed during a fly ball out late in the game.

"It seems like I hold my breath a lot when the ball goes to right-center field," joked Roberts. "Fortunately, Yasiel, very talented, came up with it, and there was no collision." 

Pederson suffered a concussion after colliding with Puig in right-center last month and was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

New Bash Brothers: 

Meet the newest edition of the famous Bash Brothers, this time donned in blue.

"Whatever Bellinger's doing, I don't understand and I think Seager got mad and decided to hit three of his own," said teammate Brandon McCarthy of the hot-hitting duo. "It's really fun to watch those guys hit right now."

Up Next:

It will be a bitter pill to swallow on Wednesday when the Mets send RHP Tyler Pill to the mound opposite Rich Hill for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Lakers Trading D'Angelo Russell, Mozgov]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:08:36 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DAngelo-Russell-traded-to-Nets.jpg

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical at Yahoo Sports, the Los Angeles Lakers are trading Timofey Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the no. 27 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

Wojnarowski is one of the most respected reporters in the business, so this isn't fake news. Take a breath.

The Lakers just offloaded one of the two contracts that expected to saddle the franchise in free agency for the next three years, but it seemingly cost them Russell. Mozgov's four-year, $64 million contract only lasted one year in LA. Lopez is due to earn $22.6 million in 2017-18, but he is off the books and would clear salary cap space for the team when LeBron James likely opts out of his contract in the summer of 2018.

In addition, the Lakers also secured the no. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, meaning that LA now holds the no. 27 and no. 28 picks, along with the no. 2 pick. LA could use the two late first-round picks to strengthen its trade package for Indiana with the goal of bringing Paul George to the Lakers.

LA expects to keep hold of the no. 2 pick. Russell's departure means that the Lakers have a glaring hole in the back court at the point guard position, and there's a certain point guard out of UCLA that is projected to be the next young face of the Lakers' franchise. Yes, after Tuesday's report, Lonzo Ball joining the Lakers appears to be more likely than ever.

However, the Lakers likely aren't done with the trade market just yet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What Does Jerry West's Move to Clippers Mean?]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 01:05:52 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Jerry-West-Clippers-Consultant.jpg

On Monday, the LA Clippers presented Jerry West as a special consultant for the front office.

The man who served as the architect of the Showtime Lakers, constructed the Shaq and Kobe Lakers, and played a role in the emerging dynasty of the Golden State Warriors, is now working for the local team that did not hang up his jersey in the rafters and build a statue of him outside its home arena.

For the Clippers, this level of legitimacy and growth only further solidifies the positive direction of the franchise.

The LA Clippers have the bottomless pockets of Steve Ballmer, who is one of the most uniquely enthusiastic owners in the history of the league. Monday's press conference to make official the arrival of West served as a reminder of the pressure that had been lifted off Doc Rivers' shoulders.

"I want to sleep at night," Rivers said at the press conference when asked why West was being hired. "Hiring (Lawrence Frank) allowed me to rest more. Now with Jerry, I want to be able to have a group I know every night that we have the best group and we're searching for the best."

Frank was the third man on the stage, furthest from the podium and literally sitting next to Rivers' right ear, metaphorically sitting on the right shoulder. The message was clear: Rivers' responsibilities were gradually being reduced, even if he was still the President of Basketball Operations, along with being the coach.

"This is just another great example of the commitment that Steve Ballmer has allowed the organization, Doc Rivers and me to add someone like Jerry West," Frank explicitly stated, the message being delivered.

Frank, who was named the Clippers executive vice-president of basketball operations in the summer of 2016, now had one additional, experienced and highly-respected voice to help guide the future of a franchise that is facing significant change.

The Clippers can ill afford to allow both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul to walk this summer considering the lack of young talent on the roster and zero draft picks in the near future.

Paul can capitalize on an additional year on his contract by staying in LA, which amounts to significant levels of guaranteed money for the 32-year-old president of the Players' Association. On the other hand, talk of Paul joining the San Antonio Spurs may require a fair amount of maneuvering from San Antonio, but Paul effectively assuming Tony Parker's role, with Kawhi Leonard being arguably the best two way player in the NBA, could be the combination that at least challenges the Warriors' emerging reign in the Western Conference.

Keeping Paul would be in the Clippers' best interests, of course, even if they eventually decide to trade him; though, his leverage in negotiations suggests he could also secure a no-trade clause. Keeping Paul on the team would at least guarantee that the Clippers would remain one of the top teams in the West for the near future. Also, Paul would be a valuable tool in attracting free agents looking to win sooner rather than later, namely LeBron James--more on that later.

Griffin's desire to return to the Clippers should also be an interesting case, as the 28-year-old is probably young enough to warrant another big contract after four years. A move to a Texas team like Houston or a Florida team like Miami would help cut out a chunk of the salary difference due to no state income tax in the aforementioned states. Finally, Griffin's desire, or lack thereof, to stick with the Clippers' project could well be the biggest challenge facing the newly assembled front office team in free agency.

Again, the benefit of keeping Griffin is that the team can trade him for assets at some point even if the current Clippers don't improve on the previous season.

Surely, West will talk to both Paul and Griffin about their futures and will likely work to bring both players back. In his introduction, however, the 79-year-old dodged the question on the free agent decisions awaiting with the skill of the most experienced of orators. Afterwards, the bulging basketball brain even boasted, "I don't hear very well. I'm your typical politician. I never answer."

Without a doubt, West brings added charisma and local respectability to a franchise that could certainly be in the conversation for James' signature if he decides to leave Cleveland in a year's time.

Why would James leave Cleveland?

Well, Ballmer is the type of owner and billionaire business connection that would only make too much sense for a star player that has publicly and privately struggled with the reaction of Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert when James sat down for "The Decision" and announced his move to Miami.

After winning Cleveland's first title in half a century, James leaving the Cavaliers would likely not be greeted by same jersey burning and anger this time around. In fact, James' exit appeared to be more of a talking point than ever before because of Cleveland announcing the departure of general manager David Griffin on the same day--an executive James had publicly backed earlier in the season.

The man who helped construct the championship winning side a year earlier and also built a side strong enough to reach the finals for the third straight season had unceremoniously been let go. No replacement was immediately announced, and reports suggested Griffin had been fielding calls regarding All-Stars Paul George and Jimmy Butler in recent days, which further sent shock waves regarding the timing of the decision.

With the NBA Draft on Thursday and free agency a couple weeks away, they did little to instill confidence in the Cavs' organization. For a team that needs to rebound from a Finals defeat and utilize the best player on the planet approaching the end of his prime, the front office vacancy at the worst possible time could see James moving out west in one year's time, i.e. to join West.

If conquering the West was to be "King" James' desire, the Lakers would likely also dress up and court arguably the greatest natural basketball talent of this lifetime. And so, West would be competing with the Lakers directly.

"I'm really proud of my time with the Lakers—really proud," West said on the subject of the Lakers. "Obviously, it's a different time and a place. You know, I wish them well. But when they're playing the Clippers, no, I don't wish them well."

West added, "I don't live in the past. You learn from the past. You do not live in the past."

West spoke highly of Rivers' handling of the awkward ouster of former Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Then, the man associated with nine NBA titles--eight of which came as an executive--stated that the Clippers represented the end of his basketball life.

"Here I am on the last adventure of my life, and I like to call it an adventure," West said. "I believe in ownership a lot."

The message was clear. West would help build the new brand of Clippers. It was Ballmer's corporate backing drawing West to the Clippers, and along the way, West will likely pluck his son, Ryan West, from the Lakers' organization. The younger West was a standout in the Lakers' scouting department and worked closely with the previous administration's front office. After Rob Pelinka and Earvin "Magic" Johnson took over the Lakers' front office, Ryan West was so highly regarded that he kept his position. But now, Jerry West's arrival may well lead to the Lakers losing a front office asset, while the Clippers will likely gain two valuable voices.

Ultimately, though, Jerry West displayed his comfort with the men he would be working with but particularly pointed to Ballmer as the deciding factor in his decision to sit in front of a Clippers' logo.

"I am sold on the ownership here. I think they want to establish their own identity in this town, and that is what to me is most important," West said.

At one point, West paused after talking about Ballmer and shared out loud, "Honestly, I'm really thrilled. I'm really thrilled."

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Bellinger Breaks Records in Dodgers Big Win Over Mets]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 23:41:10 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/Bellinger+Breaks+MLB+Record+.png

It's Cody Bellinger's world, we're all just living in it.

The new National League home run leader belted two on the night, breaking multiple MLB records in the process as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the New York Mets, 10-6, in a slugfest at Chavez Ravine on Monday night. 

Bellinger homered in the first and second innings, respectively, giving him 21 on the year, the most in the National League, and the most in all of baseball since he was called up on April 25th.

"Sick," said Bellinger when told he now led the NL in home runs. 

Bellinger blasted a three-run shot off Mets' starter Zack Wheeler to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

One inning later, Bellinger sent a slider from Wheeler over the center field wall for his second home run in as many innings as the Dodgers raced out to an early 7-0 lead.

"It was a 3-2 count, and I was just trying to protect," said Bellinger of his second home run. "I think he threw me inside and I was able to put the barrel to it."

Bellinger became the fastest player in MLB history to hit 21 home runs, surpassing Wally Berger and Gary Sanchez who each hit 20 through the first 51 games of their careers.

"It's crazy. If you told me a month and a half ago what I was going to do, I probably would have called you crazy," said Bellinger of the records he set. "I'm gonna come in tomorrow do my same routine and try and put together some good at-bats."

Bellinger also tied Mike Piazza's franchise record with five multi-homer games in his rookie season and became the fastest in MLB history to have five multi-homer games. Bellinger still has 91 more games to break the record of seven set by Mark McGwire in 1987.

Justin Turner homered in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 14 games (longest active in MLB) as the third baseman finished the night going 4-for-4 with three singles, a walk, a home run, four RBI and two runs scored.

Turner reached base safely in all of five plate appearances and now leads all of baseball in batting average with a .399 mark, but as of now, is ineligible for the MLB lead because of his DL stint last month (number of at-bats).

On the flip side, Clayton Kershaw had one of the worst starts of his career, but thanks to the Herculean efforts by Bellinger, Turner and Chris Taylor, he still recorded his MLB-best, 10th win of the season.

"It's obviously not the way I drew it up," Kershaw said of the victory. "But the way we've been playing of late, we probably had a good chance if I could hold them to six."

Kershaw (10-2), joined Jason Vargas of the Kansas City Royals as the only 10 game winners in baseball, by allowing a career-high four home runs in the game.

Jose Reyes hit two homers off the three-time Cy Young Award winner, Jay Bruce hit one and Gavin Cecchini added another as both teams hit four home runs in the game, the second time in a week at Dodger Stadium.

"It's a good feeling to hit my first home run off an unbelievable pitcher like Kershaw," said Cecchini who hit his first career HR in his first career start. "He hung a curveball and I put my best swing on it."

Kershaw has now surrendered 17 home runs on the season, the most he's ever allowed in his entire career, and we're still just 71 games into the season.

"No theory," Kershaw said matter of factly when asked if he had a theory as to why he's allowed so many home runs this season as compared to previous years. "You hope mistakes are hit for singles, but it just so happens mine are going out of the ballpark."

On the bright side, Kershaw improved to a perfect 8-0 with a 1.84 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mets, passing the late Jose Fernandez and Edison Volquez as the only pitchers since 1913 with a record of 7-0 or better and sub-2.00 ERA against any opponent.

Kershaw exited the game in the seventh inning, allowing six runs on six hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts in 6 and 1/3 innings. It was his 55th career game with 10+ strikeouts.

"There's two ways to go: you can either try and rethink everything or say 'screw it' and come back tomorrow and act like it didn't happen," added Kershaw of his start. "I'm going to go with the latter. I guess that's why you play on a good team, we have a lot of guys swinging the bats well that picked me up today."

Chris Taylor gave Kershaw and the Dodgers an extra insurance run in the bottom of the seventh with his ninth long ball of the season. A no doubt about it shot to left field to put LA up 9-6.

The Dodgers recorded a season-high 17 hits in the game, two more than their previous total of 15 earlier in the season.

Maybe it's global warming, or "juiced" baseballs, but the ball is definitely flying out of the ballpark this season. In the entirety of Dodger Stadium's 55-year history, two teams have combined to hit eight or more home runs only three times, and it has happened twice now in the last eight days.

Los Angeles improves to a season-high 19 games over .500 (45-26), the second best mark through 71 games in the last 30 years of team history, and have won four consecutive games including 10-of-11 overall.

Up Next:

Robert Gsellman gets the start for the Mets on Tuesday opposite RHP Brandon McCarthy for the Boys in Blue. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong]]>
<![CDATA[Will the Lakers Draft Lonzo Ball?]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:09:35 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lAKERSPICK619_1200x675_971506243614.jpg

The NBA Draft is just a few days away and the fate of the Lakers' #2 pick is more unknown than ever. Will Lonzo Ball be in purple and gold just like LaVar predicted? Or do they have a trick up their sleeves? Fred Roggin welcomes Mark Medina of the Daily News and ESPN LA's Brian Kamenetzky. Originally aired on Going Roggin, June 18, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron to the Lakers?]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 17:34:38 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/RAPIDFIRE619_1200x675_971382851593.jpg

Any chance LeBron James really comes to LA next summer? How does Jerry West's arrival improve the Clippers' championship chances? And how much are you paying for Mayweather vs. McGregor? Mark Medina of the Daily News and ESPN LA's Brian Kamenetzky join Fred Roggin in this edition of Rapid Fire, originally aired on Going Roggin, June 19, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Brett Eibner ]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:52:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Brett_Eibner_Long_1200x675_971051587709.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael J. Duarte, sits down with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Brett Eibner to discuss his decision to go to Arkansas over straight to the pros, his career changing injury in Kansas City, and his secret bullpen sessions with the Dodgers.]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Brett Eibner (Short)]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:24:00 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Brett_Eibner_Short_Final_1200x675_970972739868.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael J. Duarte, sits down with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Brett Eibner for some fun questions like which actor would play him in a movie, the person he admires most, and a secret nobody knows about him.]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Closing in on Thursday's NBA Draft]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 05:22:06 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-NBA-Draft-2017.jpg

The wait is nearly over.

On Thursday, the NBA Draft will finally take center stage, and already, reports have surfaced stating that the Boston Celtics have agreed to trade away the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the No. 3 pick and a protected 2018 first-round pick.

Philadelphia expects to pick Markelle Fultz at No. 1, making the LA Lakers' decision at No. 2 in the draft a bit clearer for the front office. However, the complication comes via reputable reports out of Indiana that Paul George has informed the Indiana Pacers that he will become a free agent in one year's time and that he will likely head west to join the LA Lakers at that time.

As such, the Pacers have seemingly hopped on the phones and are trying their best to offload their exiting super star via a trade. Already, the Pacers have talked to the Cleveland Cavaliers, which sounds intriguing for neutral NBA fans already eyeing the 2018 NBA Finals, but one imagines that the Pacers will benefit more from trading George to a team with younger assets on the roster.

What does George have to do with Thursday's NBA Draft?

While the Lakers can seemingly afford to simply sit back and wait for George to join in the summer of 2018 via free agency, the team could use its leveraged position to make a trade and bring George to LA possibly involving the No. 2 or the No. 28 picks. If the Pacers are in a hurry to offload George entering the NBA Draft week, LA could quickly become an active trade partner considering the young players on the roster and draft picks LA holds.

Certainly, the Lakers have options, and so, rumors and discussions of trades expect swirl at tornado levels over the upcoming week in particular. 

In addition to the two picks the Lakers already have for Thursday's draft, an ESPN report revealed that the Lakers' front office is trying to acquire another first-round pick. The same report stated that the team expects to hold onto its no. 2 pick.

If Fultz is off the table, the most likely picks at the No. 2 position are Lonzo Ball out of UCLA, Josh Jackson out of Kansas and De'Aaron Fox out of Kentucky. Ball and Jackson both met with the Lakers' decision-makers twice, with each player working out at the Lakers' training facility once. Seemingly, the choice comes down to whether the Lakers prefer Ball as a play-maker for the future or Jackson as an athletic wing player that can play defense and hopefully develop his shot.

It's nearly here.

The 2017 NBA Draft will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on June 22, 2017 with coverage beginning on ESPN at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Sweep Reds on Father's Day]]>Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:42:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-697356286.jpg

They came, they saw, they conquered. 

Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers hung on to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 9-8, to complete the three-game sweep on Father's Day at Great America Ball Park.

Kenta Maeda got the start and then helped out his own cause when he knocked in the first two runs of the game with a two-run double in the top of the second inning. 

The first of two redheads homered in the top half of the third as Forsythe cranked a two-run shot off Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo.

Arroyo would not return to the mound in the fourth, exiting stage left for Blake Wood. Arroyo was handed the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts in just three innings.

With the Dodgers ahead 5-1 in the sixth inning, it was the "Red Dream's" turn to go deep as Justin Turner broke the game open with a three-run homer, giving the Boys in Blue a commanding 8-1 lead.

Maeda (5-3) left the game with the lead, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts in five innings.

"Kenta came out aggressive and was pitching with aggression," sad Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts to a group of media members in his office after the game. "With his workload over the past week, I took him out early."

However, the Reds would rally off the Dodgers normally lights out bullpen.

"It got a little too close for us," said Roberts. "This is a good offensive club and we've had our way with them, but they put some good at-bats together against our bullpen."

Cincinnati started the comeback with a solo shot by Adam Duvall off Grant Dayton in the bottom of the sixth inning.

One frame later, it was Scotter Gennett who went deep off Josh Fields to cut the Dodgers lead to 8-5. Fields has struggled over the past few weeks, allowing five home runs in his last four appearances and six homers overall.

It was Eugenio Suarez's turn to go deep in the bottom half of the eighth as the Reds got within a run off setup man Pedro Baez.

With the tying run on second base and two outs, Joey Votto thought he had completed the comeback with a long drive to deep left field, but Enrique Hernandez made a leaping catch at the wall to save Father's Day for the Dodgers and complete the season sweep of the Reds.

Kenely Jansen closed the door with his 15th save of the season, and extended his MLB record with 50 strikeouts to start a season without allowing a walk.

Cincinnati has now lost a season high 10 consecutive games and alternatively, the Dodgers have won three in a row and nine out of 10 overall.

The three-game sweep of the Reds in Cincinnati, was the Dodgers sixth sweep of the season, with two coming against the Big Red Machine.

Both teams wore powder blue hats, jerseys, and gear in honor of Father's Day. Even the stitching on the baseballs was powder blue for the game and all games around the league.

Up Next:

Clayton Kershaw opens up a nine-game home stand at Dodger Stadium on Monday as the Dodgers host the New York Mets. RHP Zach Wheeler starts for the Mets with first pitch scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Hit 4 Homers in Rout of Reds]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 17:03:30 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/AP_17168792984510.jpg

The Great America "Small" Park lived up to its name.

Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, and Yasiel Puig all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Cincinnati Reds, 10-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Great America Ball Park.

Yasiel Puig hit a pair of home runs, his second multi-homer game of the season as the Dodgers handed the Reds their eighth consecutive loss.

The game was tied at 1-1 until L.A. broke it open in top of the third. The inning started with Reds manager Bryan Price getting ejected and the Dodgers smelled blood.

Hyun-Jin Ryu reached base on an error, Corey Seager walked, and then Chris Taylor brought them both home with an RBI double to left field.

One batter later, Cody Bellinger hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw from Asher Wojciechowski and Joc Pederson followed with a home run of his own as the Dodgers went back-to-back.

Bellinger's homer was his team-leading 19th of the season, tying Gary Sanchez for the most home runs through a player's first 48 games of his career.

"I had heard about this ballpark and I thought my swing would do well here," Bellinger told reporters after the game. "I thought I hit one in my first-at bat, but I definitely got one in my second. I'm not sure if those go out at home."

The home run to Pederson was the last pitch Wojciechowski would throw as he left the game the loser, allowing six runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts in just two and 1/3 innings.

The loss was Wojciechowski's first of the season in five appearances.

Puig hit solo shots in the sixth and eighth innings to extend the Dodgers lead to 9-2, and guarantee the Dodgers their seventh straight win over the Reds.

Ryu (3-6) got the win, allowing two runs on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings of work. The Korean left-hander improved to 3-1 against the Red in his career.

"It was a difficult game," Ryu told reporters of his start. "I tried to limit the damage and not give up too many hits in a row. I guess I did a good job in that regard."

Every position player had a hit for Los Angeles and all nine starters reached base safely in the game.

Seager went 2-for-2 with a double, three walks and an RBI. Bellinger finished 3-for-5 with a double, home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

Relief pitcher Josh Ravin made his 2017 debut with two scoreless innings to end the game.

Before the game, the Reds unveiled a statue for legendary alumni Pete Rose who was also denied entry into the Hall of Fame earlier this week.

Rose stood in the batter's box during the ceremonial first pitch and fans in attendance received a replica statue of the man known as "Charlie Hustle," diving head first into first base.

The Dodgers are a season-high 17 games over .500, but still trail the Colorado Rockies for first place in the National Leage West after the Rockies beat the Giants, 5-1 at Coors Field earlier in the day.

Up Next:

Los Angeles looks for the sweep on Sunday as Kenta Maeda makes his first start since he was sent to the bullpen, opposite veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10AM PST.

Photo Credit: John Minchillo/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Wood Wipes Out the Reds ]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:20:28 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/Alex+Wood+Wipes+Out+Reds.png

When one door closes another opens.

Alex Wood threw eight sensational innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers bounced back after they saw their six-game win-streak snapped with a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night at Great American Ball Park. 

The Dodgers saw their season-high six-game winning-streak snapped on Thursday after a lopsided loss to the Cleveland Indians. However, after a trip south to Cincinnati the boys in blue bounced back with a win as they look to start a new winning-streak before headed home to Los Angeles for a nine-game homestand.

Joc Pederson hit his first home run since he was activated off the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday.

Pederson finished 2-for-3 with a home run, double, RBI and two runs scored and appears to be back after struggling at the plate before his DL stint.

After a three-run home run surrendered by relief pitcher Josh Fields spoiled Alex Wood's last start against the Reds at Dodger Stadium, the left-hander continued his dominance this season.

Wood (7-0) remained perfect on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.90 after allowing just one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in eight innings.

"It was huge for us," manager Dave Roberts told the media of Wood's outing. "We expected him to throw the baseball well. He was dominant against one of the best offensive teams. He was on the attack from the beginning."

Ironically, it was Cincinnati catcher Devin Mesoraco who did the damage as he drilled a solo shot off Wood in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Overall, Wood has gone 10 consecutive starts without a loss this season, tied for the second longest streak (Dallas Keuchel -13) for the most in the Major Leagues.

The last Dodgers' starting pitcher to open the season with 10 or more consecutive wins without a loss was Orel Hershiser in 1985 (11 straight).

Wood also improved to 3-0 lifetime with a 2.26 ERA against the Big Red Machine.

Wood also helped his own cause at the plate, with a crucial insurance run in the eighth inning. With two outs and a runner on base, Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts had a pinch-hitter for Wood in the on-deck circle.

The move was merely a ploy and a bit of gamesmanship as once Yasiel Puig walked, Roberts quickly sent Wood back to the batter's box. Wood rewarded his manager with an RBI single down the right field line to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

"It was a little bit of gamesmanship on my part," admitted Roberts. "I knew the whole time Alex Wood was going to bat."

Chris Taylor went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and Kenley Jansen remained a perfect 14-for-14 on save attempts this season as he struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to hand the Reds their seventh straight loss.

Los Angeles could move into a first place tie with the Colorado Rockies for first place in the N.L. West as the San Francisco Giants where ahead at Coors Field as of the publication of this story.

Up Next:

Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the start on Saturday against RHP Asher Wojciechowski at 1:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Cube Talks Big3, Lakers and Lonzo Ball]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:31:04 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Ice-Cube-Big-3-basketball.jpg

Ice Cube, a.k.a. O'Shea Jackson Sr., is one of the most recognizable figures in Los Angeles with one of the most recognizable voices in music. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of his critically acclaimed solo album "Death Certificate" and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the rapper, writer, actor, director and producer took a moment to talk to NBC Los Angeles about his latest project: The Big3.

The same energy that saw Ice Cube become the first member of N.W.A. to take a leave the group and venture out on his own flows when asked why he didn't simply try to buy a stake in an NBA team.

"I didn't want to be a part of someone else's thing," the founder of the new three-on-three basketball league says. "I don't want to be a piece of an owner of a team. If I can't own it outright, I'm kind of cool. This, to me, is a fresher concept. I'd rather stay a fan and follow one team, but this is a whole league. We believe that it's going to take off because we believe 3-on-3 is a young game. Our players are veterans, but the game itself is a young game that appeals to a younger demographic."

So, the Big3 was born with Ice Cube the corporate face of the new league which launches at Barclay's Center in Brooklyn on June 25 and concludes at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 26. The league will also stop at Staples Center on Aug. 13.

"It's my creation," Jackson tells NBCLA.com why he decided to run with this venture. "Just being a fan of basketball, tired of guys retiring too soon—for me."

He adds, "I understand that guys can't handle that NBA schedule no more [sic], but I still think they can play. I still think people want to see them play. And it was really just about trying to create a league and a stage where guys can still do their thing. And it's coming along. It's a great endeavor. And we're having fun putting it together."

The biggest star of the league is Allen Iverson, who originally turned down the opportunity but came back around after a second approach.

"We wanted marquee names, guys that we thought would get fans excited, and we approached Allen Iverson," Ice Cube says. "And he actually turned us down at first. But then, we were a little further down the road, had things in better order and we decided to go to him again. Our commissioner, Roger Mason Jr., really solidified the deal and made it happen."

Iverson called up Ice Cube and told him he was ready to join up, but the 2001 NBA Most Valuable Player had one request: he wanted to play, but he didn't want to have a coach. One could instantly imagine a 42-year-old Iverson asking his team to come in for practice and hearing his players ask, "Practice?"

Ice Cube, understanding the value of having a marquee name of Iverson's ilk, immediately agreed to the request. And thus, Iverson became a player-coach. The new league now had its star player.

"Three-on-three is actually the most played form of team basketball because everyone plays it," Ice Cube contends. "Blacktops, back yards, anywhere there's a court, it's a half court three-on-three. And so, it's not a whole new concept. It's just taking it from the street and the blacktop and putting it in the theater on a major level, and that's what we did. And that's really what it's all about."

As a businessman, the executive producer of of Friday and Barbershop movies franchises appears to be ahead of the curve considering the IOC announced that three-on-three basketball will now be an Olympic sport at the 2020 games in Tokyo. Would the United States send a team of Big3 All-Stars to Tokyo? The NBA fuels the USA Basketball team that competes in the Olympics, so why not use ex-NBA players practicing and playing for a three-on-three game?

While USA Basketball may simply pull college players or select a second pool of NBA players to win gold in Tokyo, the mere fact that three-on-three basketball is being added to the Olympics suggests that Ice Cube may be striking gold with this project.

"I plan to be here forever," Ice Cube says about the Big3. "I plan to be here as long as the NBA is here. I don't plan to go nowhere [sic]. I believe we are a viable option for players when they feel like their time is done in the NBA and they don't want to go overseas and they don't want to just play pro-am pickup game. If they want to play in a real professional league, come to the Big 3."

One cannot help but admit that the new league could have a steady stream of ex-NBA stars for the foreseeable future. Playing one game per week in a half court setting allows older players to continue flaunting their talents in an environment suited to their skills. As the NBA speeds up into an up and down game, the Big3 alternative may provide a sweet spot for players that are no longer able to keep up with the fast pace of the NBA but still have enough left in the tank to conjure magic on the court.

Of course, the threat of injuries with older players is worth mentioning.

"Guys can get hurt in any league," the 48-year-old executive contends. "When you're playing rec-league, kids get hurt. AAU, high school, college, pros. So, guys getting hurt is part of the game. We're not going to say, 'Because our guys are not in the NBA no more [sic], that's why they got hurt.' Or 'our guys are a certain age, that's why they got hurt.' Our wear and tear is very limited. We've got one game a week to 60 (points) and you got subs. So, we feel like we've done everything we can to make the game as safe for the players as it can be."

Ruthlessly, the creator adds, "But if you're not in shape and you can't play, you shouldn't be out there. So, we're not going to look at it any different than any other league that has injuries."

Based on scrimmages and watching some of his players work out, Ice Cube seems confident that the product will be up to a standard that can create a foundation for the future.

Ice Cube Talks Lonzo Ball, Lakers

Even after launching his own league, Ice Cube does not hesitate to proclaim his love for the NBA or for his beloved LA Lakers. And what is every Lakers' fan talking about these days? Lonzo Ball.

"I think he adds some excitement to the Lakers," Ice Cube says about Ball. "We need a name. I believe he has the game, but you'll never know until you see him against pro competition. Nobody else I'm checking for really out there because Lavar Ball has made his son into a household name, so he's the one I got my eyes on, so that's the one I want."

While the basketball experts may be mulling over whether the Lakers should go with Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox or Ball should the Boston Celtics select Markelle Fultz, as expected, Ice Cube provides a view into the wider segment of Lakers' fans that follow the team. For them, Ball appears to be a recognizable name with buzz and star power that has yet to be replaced since Kobe Bryant rode off into the sunset.

Judging by the media attention Ball received following his Lakers' workout, one cannot help but understand that Ice Cube is not alone in his assessment of the 19-year-old former UCLA Bruin being a "name."

In addition, Ice Cube also shared his views on the Lakers' recent front office changes. Although he stated that he was a fan of former Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, Ice Cube welcomed the arrival of Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

"I think that's one of Magic's strong suits: people like him," Ice Cube shares his perspective. "People want to be around him. People want to hear what he has to say. To me, it's a better recruiting tool. Magic Johnson—I mean, that goes without saying."

Photo Credit: Getty Images for BIG3]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Host Markelle Fultz For Pre-Draft Workout]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:45:50 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Markelle-Fultz-Lakers-draft-6-15-17.jpg

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers welcomed Markelle Fultz, who will likely go as the no. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, to their practice facility for a pre-draft workout behind closed doors.

"I would like to go (no. 1), but wherever I land is where I go," Fultz said, standing in front of a backdrop of Lakers' team logos on Thursday.

Fultz is projected as the top guard in a draft that features Lonzo Ball and De'Aaron Fox close behind.

"I respect all of them," Fultz said about his draft competition. "They've all got different types of games. I believe I fill in every box on both ends of the floor, so I think that's just what the difference is."

Asked about Ball in particular, Fultz shared his competitive spirit with a chuckle-drawing quote: "I'm a competitor. So anybody that's in front of me I'm going to try to take him out. Lonzo's a great guard. We're both competing for the same position, so just stepping on the court, I'm going to try to beat him in everything I do. That's tying my shoe faster, anything, it really doesn't matter."

As one would expect from the likely no. 1 overall pick, the former Washington Husky is not short on confidence. However, the fact that Fultz worked out for the Lakers suggests that there is a chance the Boston Celtics select a different player and open the door for the Lakers possibly selecting the 19-year-old.

"I think I fit well," Fultz said with regards to the prospect of playing alongside D'Angelo Russell. "He can play off at the two (shooting guard). I can play off at the two. We'll fit together. Basketball players who are pretty good at what they do learn to play with each other."

Unless the Lakers decide to pick Jackson, the overall likelihood is that the Lakers will select a guard in the draft. As such, the fit with Russell is important—if the Lakers don't make a trade, of course.

"I think my biggest strengths is [sic] just play making ability, really on and off the ball, scoring the ball, getting assists, rebounding—pretty much anything to impact the game," the Maryland native said. "Then, there's stuff I need to work on, really on the defensive end. Just team defense and just being locked in every possession. I wouldn't say I'm a terrible defender—just being locked it."

Fultz expanded on the challenge of being locked in, "It's just a mindset. Building that mind set really every possession. I might be tired, but fight through fatigue and just saying 'I'm not going to let my guy score.' Not only that, just being in a position to be, if my teammate gets blown by or something like that."

While Fultz landing in LA is not exactly how most draft boards see the June 22 NBA event going, the possibility does exist. Thursday's workout in El Segundo took place to address that exact possibility.

"I can see myself playing here," Fultz said, surrounded by championship banners, trophies and retired jerseys painted on the walls of the Toyota Sports Center. "It's a great city, a great team—a lot of history behind this team."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rich Hill Roughed Up as Indians Snap Dodgers Win Streak]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:48:18 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Rich+Hill+Roughed+Up+in+Cleveland.png

They couldn't come back from this one.

Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor both homered, but the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the finale of the three-game series with the Cleveland Indians, 12-5, on a Thursday matinee at Progressive Field.

Lonnie Chisenall knocked in five RBI as Cleveland snapped the Dodgers six-game winning streak.

Rich Hill had a rough start as the left-hander put the Dodgers behind the eight ball, surrendering three runs in the first inning and two in the second inning. 

Edwin Encarnacion homered off Hill in the bottom of the second, a mammoth shot to left field for his 13th long ball of the season.

Trailing by five runs, the Dodgers clawed their way back thanks to rookie Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger belted his team-leading 18th home run of the season when he hit a line-drive shot down the right field line that just cleared the fence under the foul pole.

Bellinger's blast made him the second fastest all-time in MLB history to hit 18 homers, doing it in his first 47 games of his career. Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees is the only player with more homers (19) in his first 47 career games.

One inning later, it was Chris Taylor who continued to crush as he homered off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin to cut the lead to 5-4.

However, Chisenhall broke the game open with a three-run home run in the bottom half of the sixth and Cleveland cruised from there.

Facing the Indians for the first time in his career, Hill (3-3) allowed seven runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts in just four innings pitched.

Tomlin (4-8) got the victory, surrendering four runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings.

The 12 runs allowed were the second most by the Dodgers this season, and the most since they surrendered 13 runs against the Diamondbacks in Arizona in April.

With the loss, the Dodgers move a ½ game behind the Colorado Rockies for first place in the N.L. West with the Rockies set to take on the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field later in the day.

Up Next:

Alex Wood starts on Friday night as the Dodgers travel a few hours south on the 71 to Cincinnati where they will meet RHP Tim Adelman and the Reds in a three-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers' 2017 Vegas Summer League Schedule]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:03:46 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Summer-League-schedule-2017.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers expect to unofficially headline the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas for the third year running.

In what has become an annual summer spectacle, the first half of July attracts a healthy audience of Lakers' supporters to the middle of the desert for a showcase of the NBA's future stars.

The Lakers have the no. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, which most experts expect to be Lonzo Ball. Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox and Markelle Fultz appear to be the three other possible selections with the pick, but regardless of who the Lakers take, the Summer League is the first opportunity to see the newest young Lakers' star on a basketball court.

The Summer League will tip-off on Friday, July 7, and the Lakers will take on the LA Clippers on opening night at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.

Then, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time, the Lakers face the Boston Celtics in a match up that should place the no. 1 and no. 2 picks of the 2017 NBA Draft head-to-head for the first time. Over the past couple of seasons, the Saturday night showdown of the top two picks in the draft has led to growing crowds and even the upper rafters being forced open due to high demand. It's open seating, so fans would be wise to arrive early for this game.

Traditionally, only rookies and sophomores take part in the Summer League, so Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and David Nwaba expect to be the only three returning players on the Lakers' Summer League roster, though the team should be further filled out by the no. 2 and no. 28 picks of the 2017 NBA Draft.

After the Friday and Saturday games, the Lakers will have Sunday off with a late 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time tip-off against Sacramento on Monday. From there, the tournament goes into tournament seeding, with each team guaranteed at least five games for the tournament, which runs from July 7 to July 17.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Great Jerry West Could Leave Warriors for Clippers]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 09:26:20 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/163*120/GettyImages-468251444+%281%29.jpg

Jerry West could be leaving his job as an adviser to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to take a similar role with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 79-year-old Hall of Famer and Lakers great tells ESPN he's intrigued at the prospect of working for team owner Steve Ballmer, whom he calls "a winner."

West says he would like to help Doc Rivers, the coach and president of basketball operations, and general manager Lawrence Frank. The Clippers are focused on retaining key free agents this summer, including Chris Paul.

West "will join the Clippers in an advisory role similar to the one he has held with the Golden State Warriors since 2011," reported the Orange County Register Wednesday. "An announcement of West’s new role is expected before the NBA Draft on June 22."

The Warriors have won two NBA titles during his time in the Bay Area.

West's former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Elgin Baylor spent 22 years as general manager of the Clippers before being let go in 2008.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Inglewood Mayor: "This Will Be the Sports Entertainment Capital of California"]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:13:37 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/INGLEWOOD_MAYOR_CLIPPERS_DEAL_1200x675_967861827897.jpg

Fresh off the Clippers announcement that they plan to relocate to Inglewood in 2024, the city's Mayor, James T. Butts, joined Fred Roggin to explain how the deal went down and what it means for the Clippers and the city. Part of an extended interview for Going Roggin.]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Butts: Inglewood Looks Forward to Hosting Opening Ceremony]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:52:57 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BUTTS_OLY_WEB_1200x675_967852099885.jpg

With the announcement that the Clippers plan on moving to Inglewood, the city is in position to be LA's Olympic center in 2024 or 2028. Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts talks with Fred Roggin about that unique possibility.]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Win 6th Straight ]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 20:59:20 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/Dodgers+Beat+Indians+again.png

Another day, another hero for the Dodgers.

Enrique Hernandez hit the go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth and the Los Angeles Dodgers won their sixth straight game, 6-4, over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

Andrew Miller gave up the go-ahead blast to Hernandez, and had faced 120 batters over 32 innings before he surrendered his first homer of the season to Cody Bellinger on Tuesday night.

Less than 24 hours later, it was Hernandez who took arguably the greatest relief pitcher in baseball deep to break a 2-2 tie and give the Dodgers some more late-inning dramatics.

"He's got really good stuff, so you have to keep everything short and battle," Hernandez told Alanna Rizzo of his at-bat against Miller. "He left a fastball over the plate and it was an emergency swing. I wasn't sure if it was going out. Thank God, we're in Cleveland and not LA, because that doesn't go out at home."

Miller has now allowed five total runs to the Dodgers in the last two games, more than he had allowed all season in his previous 50 games.

The Dodgers struck first off former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber in the second inning.

After a one-out walk to Yasmani Grandal, Chris Taylor doubled to left field to put two runners in scoring position.

Two batters later, Joc Pederson legged out an infield single to score Grandal, and then helped executed the first and third double steal, allowing Taylor to steal home and give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Kluber kept his composure, retiring 15 out of the next 17 batters he faced before leaving in the eighth inning. Kluber did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts over seven innings.

One of those strikeouts was against Yasiel Puig in the fifth inning, giving Kluber 1,000 in his big league career. Kluber is the seventh pitcher in MLB history to reach the milestone in less than 150 career games, and the fastest Cleveland Indian in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

Brandon McCarthy breezed through the first five innings for the boys in blue before he ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth.

Cleveland scratched a run across on McCarthy after back-to-back singles by Bradley Zimmer and Francisco Lindor.

After a pitching change, Grant Dayton got Michael Brantley to fly out to right field, allowing Zimmer to score from third on the sacrifice fly.

McCarthy also did not factor in the decision, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and zero strikeouts in 5 and 1/3 impressive innings.

"That was something else. I couldn't strike anybody out," McCarthy said of his outing. "I kept thinking 'How can I be this lucky?' but somehow things worked out and I'll take it."

Jose Ramirez tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot to right field for the equalizer.

Dodgers' reliever Josh Fields surrendered the game-tying homer, his third home run allowed in his last four appearances.

After a dominant stretch through the first two months of the season, Fields has struggled as of late with an ERA of 9.00 with four runs allowed in four innings of relief.

Despite the Dodgers coughing up the lead, Hernandez played the role of hero as he stroked the go-ahead home run off Miller in the top of the eighth.

"My main focus this season is to do damage and drive the ball," Hernandez told SportsNetLA. "I'm glad I've been able to do that and help the team win."

Hernandez was pinch-hitting on the home run, giving the Dodgers their fourth pinch-hit home run of the season

Five batters later, Chris Taylor broke the game open with a two-run single to center field, giving the Dodgers a temporary 6-2 lead.

Cleveland scored two runs off the Dodgers bullpen in the bottom of the eighth, but Pedro Baez got Lonnie Chisenhall to fly out to third base with runners on second and third to end the inning.

The victory gives the Dodgers the best record in the National League at 41-25, as they remain percentage points ahead of the Colorado Rockies for first place in the NL West. 

Los Angeles has won a season-high six consecutive games and the accomplished the feat on the 91st birthday of legendary Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe.

Up Next:

Rich Hill gets the ball in the finally of the three-game interleague series on Thursday opposite RHP Josh Tomlin. Dodgers fans will need to wake up early for this one as first pitch is scheduled for 9:10AM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bellinger Belts 2 HR as Dodgers Beat Indians]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:40:06 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-695716984.jpg

Mama, there goes that man.

Cody Bellinger had another multi-homer game and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cleveland Indians, 7-5, in their first interleague game of the season at Progressive Field on Tuesday night.

Bellinger teed off against one of the best relievers in baseball when he sent a slider from Andrew Miller just over the fence in left-center for his team-leading 16th home run of the season. It was Miller's first homer allowed this season.

But the Boy Wonder wasn't done, as he sent the second pitch he saw from left-hander Boone Logan deep into the seats in left field, for a no-doubt-about-it blast in the top of the ninth.

Bellinger now has back-to-back multi-homer games, and is one shy of the Dodgers all-time rookie record of five, set by Mike Piazza in 1993.

The 21-year-old rookie is just three homers shy of Adrian Beltre's rookie record of 20 home runs by a Dodger player 21 years of age or younger, and has the most homers in MLB history by a player in their first 45 games tying the New York Yankees' Gary Sanchez.

Bellinger leads the Dodgers in home runs (17) and RBI (39) despite playing just 45 games this season.

Yasiel Puig got the scoring started for the boys in blue in the top of the second inning, when he took Trevor Bauer deep for an opposite field home run that gave the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.

However, drama and controversy arose after the trot around the bases as Puig appeared to flip off someone at Progressive Field as he headed back to the Dodgers' dugout.

Bauer allowed two runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts but did not factor in the decision. Fans in Los Angeles may remember Bauer from the 2016 MLB Playoffs when he famously sliced open his finger on a drone before pitching in the ALCS.

Clayton Kershaw was cruising through the first four innings before he ran into some trouble in the fifth, allowing a game-tying homer to Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez.

Thanks to Bellinger, Kershaw (9-2), still earned the win, allowing just two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in seven solid innings. Kershaw has allowed a team-high 13 home runs this season.

Tuesday marked Kershaw's first ever start in Cleveland in what could be a potential World Series matchup this fall.

Daniel Robertson hit his first home run of the season off Chris Hatcher with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to cut the LA lead to 7-5.

Kenley Jansen recorded the final out of the game for his 12th save of the season and 201st in his MLB career. 

The last time the Dodgers played in Cleveland was on June 15, 2003 and Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts was the leadoff hitter that day.

The victory gave the Dodgers a five-game win streak and are now tied for first place in the National League West after the Colorado Rockies lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-2, earlier in the day.

Up Next:

Brandon McCarthy makes the start on Wednesday opposite former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber in the second game of the first Interleague series of the season for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Relive the 2017 NBA Finals]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:45:06 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-691322156.jpgPhotos from start to finish of the 2017 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors as Kevin Durant and Dub Nation get revenge on LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NBA Finals Memes: Warriors Get Revenge on Cavs]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:39:59 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/205*120/Warriors+Get+Revenge+on+Cavs+in+Part+3.png

Round 3 goes to Golden State.

The Golden State Warriors avenged their 2016 NBA Finals loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 129-120 victory on Monday night in Oakland.

Kevin Durant was named the NBA Finals MVP after scoring 39 points as he finally took home his first ever NBA Championship trophy.

LeBron James did everything he could to send the series back to Cleveland scoring a game-high 41 points, but this time the Warriors were able to close the door on the 3-1 series lead.

After the game, the Internet was abuzz with memes and jokes from the Cavs loss and the Warriors redemption. We compiled some of the best ones for your enjoyment.

Part III, Revenge of the Steph: 

We have the LeBron crying meme, the Jordan crying meme, and now the Tiger Woods mugshot meme.

The Cavaliers were in trouble after they went down 3-0.

The Kardashian Kurse:

Insane ticket prices for Game 5:

Kevin Love didn't score in the first half of Game 5:

The Warriors kiss cam:

Kevin Durant's Next Chapter: 

What J.R. Smith will be doing after tonight's loss in Game 5:

When you finally slay those 3-1 lead demons: 

LeBron carries the Cavs all series:

Russell Westbrook after the Warriors won Game 5:

Could Brian Scalabrine have helped LeBron and the Cavs:

A recap of the 2017 NBA Finals:

This shirt was great:

Too soon?:

Tribute to Warriors super fan, MC Hammer:

This was epic:


Kevin Durant, King Slayer:

Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Vault: Fred Roggin's Talking Horse]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 13:46:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/VAULT_ROGGIN_TALKING_HORSE_1200x675_965066819651.jpg

A horse is a horse, of course, of course. Unless it's a prized talking race horse. We dug into the archives where Fred Roggin chased down one of the greatest race horses of all time, only to find out he could speak for himself. Originally aired on Going Roggin, June 11, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Seager's Slam Caps Off Dramatic Comeback]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 19:35:13 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/185*120/GettyImages-694961424.jpg

As the subtle breeze blew into Dodger Stadium, the baseballs started flying out of it.

Seven different players combined to hit eight home runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers came from behind in dramatic fashion to sweep the Cincinnati Reds, 9-7, in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Chavez Ravine.

Corey Seager hit a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth as the Dodgers rallied from a four-run deficit, scoring a season-high six runs in the inning.

"That was a huge inning," said Seager. "It wears down the pitcher, you lose confidence in your pitches when you can't finish anybody off. It wears on guys for sure. We've come back a lot this year. We never give up."

Cody Bellinger hit two home runs and Chase Utley also hit one for the Boys in Blue who have now won four consecutive games overall.

Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Joey Votto, and Devin Mesoraco all homered for the Reds as they were swept by the N.L. Wild Card-leading Dodgers. 

The eight combined home runs were the most in a Dodger game this season and just the second time in Dodger Stadium history that both teams hit four or more home runs in the same game.

"It's nice to hit when it's warm," said Utley of why he thought the ball was leaving the ballpark so much. "On a day like today, no lead is safe, and we never feel like we're out of a game and today it showed."

After a scoreless first inning by both teams, Dodger Stadium began to look like a rocket launching test site as the ball began bursting out of the ballpark from all angles.

Duvall hit his 15th homer of the year as he crushed a first-pitch fastball from Hyun-Jin Ryu into the stands in left-center for the first run of the game.

Two batters later, it was former Dodger, Scott Schebler's turn as he sent a slider from Ryu over the wall for a two-run homer, staking Cincinnati to an early 3-0 lead.

The long ball was Schebler's NL-leading 18th of the season, putting him one ahead of teammate Joey Votto, but that wouldn't last long.

Like a sudden burst of sunshine on this otherwise cloudy day, Cody Bellinger launched his team-leading 14th home run into orbit in the bottom of the second inning to cut the Reds lead to 3-2.

Votto tied his teammate for the NL-lead when he launched his 18th homer of the season off Ryu in the top of the third, adding an extra insurance run.

It was Chase Utley's turn to go deep as he homered off Tim Adleman in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the Cincinnati lead to a single run.

In the last month, Utley leads the league in batting (.365) and has scored 7 runs, recorded four doubles, one triple, four homers and 12 RBI in his last 16 games.

"I feel more comfortable in the batter's box," said Utley of his success lately. "Confidence is a big factor for a hitter and I've gotten some hits which builds confidence."

Devin Mesoraco tacked on a two-run homer in the top of the sixth that put the game out of reach for L.A. Mesoraco also homered on Saturday night off Josh Fields that tied the game and stole a win away from Alex Wood.

After a couple more scoreless innings, the game looked like it would come to an undramatic conclusion, but Bellinger decided to add a plot twist as he homered again in the bottom of the eighth inning that reenergized the crowd and his team.

Bellinger's pair of homers was the third multi-homer game of his career despite the fact the rookie has only played 43 games this season. Over that span, the Arizona native leads the Dodgers in home runs (15) and RBI (35).

After the Bellinger blast, the Dodgers loaded the bases off Reds' reliever Raisel Iglesias for Saturday night's hero, Corey Seager.

Seager didn't waste any time reinserting himself into the role again as he crushed a first-pitch changeup from Iglesias deep into the seats in right-center for the first grand slam of his career.

"I wasn't trying to drive in everybody. I just wanted to hit a sac fly, a base-hit, just move everyone up one and pass the baton to the next guy," said Seager of his slam. "I was just trying to look for something out over the plate and up. It was a changeup."

The game-winner traveled 398-feet, but left the bat at an astonishing 101 MPH as Dodger Stadium broke into bedlam after the blast.

Kenley Jansen quickly rushed to warm up after the go-ahead home run, recording the 11th save of the season and 200th of his career.

"He's a championship type player and one of the leaders on the ballclub," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "When we got within two, I wanted him up and ready. Thankfully, he doesn't take long to get loose."

Jansen became the 49th player in MLB history to reach the milestone since the save rule was established in 1969. Aditionally, Jansen extended his MLB record for strikeouts without issuing a walk, punching out his 43rd batter in the ninth inning.

Adrian Gonzalez left the game with a back injury.

"After my third at-bat, I told Doc 'I'm not helping the team right now, let's take me out,'" said Gonzalez of why he left the game. "I know what I have. I have an L4 and L5 vertebrae herniated disc. I'll get an MRI tomorrow and see what happens."

The victory gave the Dodgers their fourth sweep of the season and ninth consecutive victory over the Reds at Dodger Stadium overall. It was the 18th comeback victory for L.A. on the year.

"There's no quit in our team," concluded Roberts. "There's a fight in that clubhouse. These games are reasons why we're going to be there in the end."

Up Next:

The Dodgers have an off day on Monday before they travel to Cleveland where they could be on a collision course with the NBA Finals should the Cavaliers win Game 5. The series opens on Tuesday in a highly anticipated matchup between LHP Clayton Kershaw and RHP Trevor Bauer. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Seager Walks Off Dodgers With Double]]>Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:26:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-694664224.jpg

Holy Seager smooth, Batman! 

Corey Seager book-ended RBI doubles in the first and ninth innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers recorded a 5-4, walk-off win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers scored three runs in the first inning as Corey Seager got the party started with an RBI double that flew over the head of Scooter Gennett for the first run of the game. Two sacrifice flies later, Seager himself scored to make it 2-0 Dodgers.


Cody Bellinger followed Seager's run with his 13th home run of the season, a blast that sailed over the short porch in right field, barely missing the foul pole.

"We had a pretty good plan against him [Wojciechowski]. I had two strikes so I was expecting a heater up," said Bellinger who now leads the team in home runs and RBIs (32). "Sometimes when you're looking for something you get it. I stayed back on it just enough and it got out of here."

Dodgers' starter Alex Wood was activated off the 10-day disabled list before the game and raised his consecutive innings scoreless streak to 28 before allowing an RBI single to former Dodger, Jose Peraza in the top of third.

"You don't really think too much about it. It's nice to do things like that," said Wood of the streak. "Every hit and every run matters. I made one bad pitch to Peraza. I threw him two pitches in the same spot. I probably should have gone somewhere else before I came back to the sinker away."

Wood continued to put up zeroes for the next few innings thanks to some stellar defensive help by novice center fielder, Chris Taylor, who did his best Spider-Man impression on this web gem in the sixth inning:

"I knew he hit it well, so I just tried to get to the wall as quick as I could," said Taylor of the acrobatic catch. "Luckily, our walls are pretty padded so I wasn't scared of the contact. It was just one of those instinct plays."

However, Wood himself would not make it out of the inning as he left the game with two outs and two runners on after Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts called up the bullpen on the bat-phone and asked for reliever Josh Fields.


Fields emerged from the bat cave in relief of Wood, but faster than you can say, "Holy game-tying home run, Batman," Devin Mesoraco tied the game with one swing after sending a fastball from Fields into the left-center pavilion.

"I made a good pitch, and Mesoraco got to it. He did a good job of getting on top of that ball," said Fields of the game-tying home run. "Doc [Roberts] came up to me after and told me to hang in there. That relaxed me and gave me a lot of confidence."

Wood was charged with two of those three runs, allowing three total on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts as he did not factor in the decision.

"I was pretty gassed that last inning," admitted Wood. "Going two weeks without starting, it's tough on your stamina. That's probably where missing time affects you the most."

Asher Wojciechowski started for Cincinnati, and also did not factor in the decision as he allowed four runs on six hits with no walks and just one strikeout in five innings.


Corey Seager  gave the Dodgers precisely what they needed when he once gain doubled past the outstretched arms of Gennett to win the game for the boys in blue in the bottom of the ninth.

"I got a little bit lucky I guess," said Seager of the fact that both balls were not caught by Gennett. "I hit one right in the same spot on my second at-bat and he caught it, so I really didn't know if he was going to get to that one or not."

The hit was Seager's first ever walk-off hit in his entire baseball life spanning over 20 years. He finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.

"That was the first one. It was pretty cool," Seager said of the walk-off hit. "Aparrently I'm not very good at it, it took me 20 years to get one. The whole thing was fun."

The walk-off win was the Dodgers fourth of the season and their third straight win overall. They improved to 13-2 against the Reds at Dodger Stadium since July 26, 2013.

Up Next:

The Reds will send RHP Tim Adleman to the mound on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the three-game series. Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his first start at Dodger Stadium since he was sent to the bullpen as first pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Dodgers Honor Past in Old Timers' Game]]>Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:35:12 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*130/Don_Newcombe_OTG.JPGLegends of the Dodgers past and present collided on Saturday as the team honored the greats in the 2017 edition of the Old Timers' Game.

Photo Credit: Ron Cervenka/Think Blue LA]]>
<![CDATA[Turner Homers in Return, Maeda Gets 1st Save]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 23:17:05 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Justin+Turner+Homers+in+Return.png

The word of the day is "Red."

The Red Dream returned, Rich Hill got the win, and Kenta Maeda earned his first career MLB save as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 7-2, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

The game marked the return of third baseman Justin Turner who was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the game.

"He's got a great head and a good pulse," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Turner's presence in the lineup. "He's the glue to our offense and our clubhouse."

Turner missed the last 19 games with a hamstring injury, but immediately made his presence felt as the man known as the "Red Dream," homered in his first at-bat in three weeks.

"It took me almost 100 at-bats to hit one home run, and then I miss three weeks and hit one in my first at-bat back," said Turner of his first inning home run. "I give all the credit to Bellinger, I was using his bat. That bat must have homers in it."

After Reds' starting pitcher, Amir Garrett, was figuratively hit by Turner's home run, he was hit in the literal sense an inning later as he tried to field a comebacker with his left hand off the bat of Dodgers' catcher Austin Barnes.

"It hit me pretty hard," said Garrett after the game. "I didn't really have time to react and I was in an awkward position. Everything came back negative, so I'm good to go."

Garrett remained down on the mound after the play for several minutes and eventually had to leave the game with a contusion on his left hand. Thankfully, x-rays on the hand were negative.

"In the moment, I thought it was broken," continued Garrett. "It hurt, it was numb, I couldn't feel anything, but after 30-45 minutes it calmed down. It's fine. It's just bruised now."

Former Dodger Jose Peraza knocked in the first run of the game for the Reds with an RBI single in the top of the second inning and Joey Votto added a solo shot in the top of the ninth for his 17th long ball of the season.

Christmas came early for L.A. as Cincinnati gifted the Dodgers a couple runs in the third inning.

Austin Barnes hit a chopper to third base with the bases loaded, but pitcher Jake Buchanan's throw went wide of first and down the right field line allowing two runs to score.

Barnes recorded a season-high two hits in the game, and is batting .381 with three runs, two doubles, one homer and three RBI in his last 10 games.

Franklin Gutierrez hammered a two-run single to left field in the bottom of the fourth and the Boys in Blue added a home run in the bottom of the eighth for the five-run victory.

Rich Hill (3-2) earned the win, allowing just one run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts on the night.

"To battle through everything and grind, I feel very good," said Hill of his consistency at this point in the season. "It's the consistency thats important."

Hill has held batters to just a .103 batting average with runners in scoring position this season, the second lowest in the Majors behind the Rangers' Yu Darvish (0.98).

Kenta Maeda recorded his first career save in his first career relief appearance after allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts in four innings out of the bullpen. 

"I've been a starter all my life so it was disappointing when I found out I was going to the bullpen," said Maeda through a translator. "Hopefully, with good results I'll be back in the starting rotation."

Maeda joined Hyun-Jin Ryu, who piggybacked a Maeda start two weeks ago, as the only two Dodger pitchers with four-inning saves this season. 

"I was aware I was probably going to go four innings, so I put more effort into it from my first inning," said Maeda of his recent struggles as a starter and how he pitched better out of the pen. "As a starter you think about going deeper into the game. Maybe I was hesistant pitching in the first inning, but as a mid reliever you don't really think about that too much and maybe that's something I can take away from today."

The last time the Dodgers had two four-inning saves in a single season was in 2000, when Alan Mills and Matt Herges each collected four out saves for Los Angeles. 

Up Next:

RHP Asher Wojciechowski takes the mound opposite LHP Alex Wood who is expected to be activated off the 10-day disabled list for the Dodgers before the game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Spend Off Day With Maroon 5]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 21:25:55 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LADF_Gala2_1200x675_964389955651.jpg

They've got the moves like Jagger.

It may have been an off day on Thursday for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the team and it's players all came out to the Ravine dressed to the nines for the third annual LADF Blue Diamond Gala. 

The event featured celebrities, players, coaches, executives, former players, musicians, entertainers, reality stars, athletes from other professional sports as well as fans as all were welcome to walk the blue carpet followed by a star-studded concert featuring Earth, Wind & Fire and Maroon 5.

It's a night where we're celebrating the work that we're doing," said Nicole Whiteman, the executive director of the LADF. "We're giving Los Angeles a chance to come together at this party to help us continue to have significant impact on children in undeserved communities."

Nearly 1,500 people showed up the event, a 33 percent increase from last year's turnout that saw fans rocking out to Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac.

In addition to the majority of the Dodgers on the 25-man roster, celebrities in attendance included Eric Stonestreet, Haley Joel Osment, Ariel Winter, Heather Morris, Mario Lopez, Mary Hart, Kevin Frazier, Larry King, Alonfso Ribeiro, Prince Jackson and Lonnie Chavis from NBC's "This Is Us."

"I'm a baseball fan, I love being able to come to games so to get to come here to watch Earth, Wind & Fire and Maroon 5 at the place I get to watch baseball is pretty cool," said Stonestreet who stars on the show "Modern Family." " I'm happy to be here and support this organization."

The players cleaned up well as it offered the team an opportunity to shed their uniform for some classy threads as the players got to show off their fashion sense.

"You never know when you need a suit. I dressed myself and picked out these shoes a couple days ago," said Dodgers' rookie Cody Bellinger. "I'm looking forward to seeing Adam Levine. Man Crush. He's awesome." 

No player was more unique than Dodgers' reliever Josh Fields who wore a custom made camouflage suit that he's been waiting to break out for months.

"This is a spa day for everyone. Everyone is dressed up looking good, there's going to be a concert. I'm looking forward to it," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "Just to see the people in Hollywood, our team, and the money being raised tonight."

All proceeds from the Gala were used to benefit the Dodgers RBI and Dodgers Dreamfields programs, as the charity provides sporting equipment, funds, and fields for local communities. 

LADF raised over $1.5 million from ticket sales and donations and received more than $100,000 from a live auction held at the event itself.

Photos were courtesy of LAD Productions, Matthew Mesa, and Ron Cervenka.

<![CDATA[LADF Gala 2017]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 20:25:46 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LADF_Gala2_1200x675_964389955651.jpgCelebrities, athletes, entertainers and fans all united on Thursday, June 8, 2017 in the name of charity as Earth, Wind, and Fire along with Maroon 5 performed at the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Gala at Dodger Stadium.]]><![CDATA[LA Lakers Announce 2017 Preseason Schedule]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 09:35:17 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LA-Lakers-preseason-schedule-2017.jpg

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers revealed their 2017 preseason schedule with the exhibition season set to start on Sept. 30, 2017 in Anaheim against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Due to the 2017-18 NBA regular season starting a bit earlier than years past in an attempt by the league to cut down on stacking games during the season and avoiding stars resting due to a busy schedule, the Lakers will be back in action sooner than ever before.

In addition, the preseason schedule has also been shortened to only six games. LA will still hit the usual stops in Anaheim, Ontario and Las Vegas, but the team is not making its annual trip down to San Diego in 2017.

Following the opening game in Anaheim, the Lakers host the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on Oct. 2nd before facing the same team two days later in Ontario at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Two days after that, on Oct. 8, the Lakers will face the Sacramento Kings at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Luke Walton's team will then return home to wrap up the preseason with an Oct. 10 game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center and a city rivalry game against the LA Clippers on Oct. 13 at the arena that both teams call home.

Tickets for the games in Anaheim, Ontario and Las Vegas will go on sale at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday, June 12. Tickets for the Staples Center games will go on sale at a later date.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw Stops the Sweep]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:37:13 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/190*120/AP_17158718312812.jpg

Just call him the showstopper.

Clayton Kershaw allowed just three hits and the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided the sweep, and snapped a three-game losing streak, with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon at the Ravine.

The marquee matinee matchup featured a pitching duel between two of the best flame throwers in the game as Kershaw went toe-to-toe with Washington starter Stephen Strasburg.

It was the first time the two aces had gone against each other after Strasburg was scratched from a start at Dodger Stadium last season in what would have been the first pitcher's duel between the two.

Ryan Zimmeran got the Nats on the board in the second inning when he hit a leadoff home run to the short porch in left field to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

"He's obviously the best hitter in the national league right now," Kershaw said of the Zimmerman homer. "First pitch of that inning, I thought I could sneak a strike in there, I bet he was expecting it and it was an impressive swing for sure."

Zimmerman has been on a tear this season, leading the majors in batting average (.364), and the NL in home runs with 17. 

Despite leading the league in ERA, Kershaw has been susceptible to the long ball this season.

Zimmerman's homer was the 12th home run he's allowed this season, most on the Dodgers pitching staff this season, and most he's allowed in the last five season.

By comparison, Kershaw only allowed eight home runs all of last season, and just four at this point in the season in 2016.

Like a meteor, Strasburg burned through the Dodgers for the first five innings before surrendering a solo shot to Corey Seager with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

"He was really good all game," said Seager of Strasburg. "I was looking for something out of the plate and fortunately, I got one."

After quickly retiring the first two hitters to start the inning, Strasburg was bitten by the bad luck bug when he served up a fastball to the reigning NL Rookie of the Year that tied the game. 

One batter later, he had appeared to strike out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning, but the ball got away from Jose Lobaton, and rolled to the backstop, allowing Gonzalez to advance to first.

One pitch later, Gonzalez advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI double by Yasmani Grandal to give the Dodgers the lead.

"It was nice for it to balance it out a little bit," said Roberts of the Dodgers' luck that inning and lack of luck in the loss the night prior. "They got some breaks this series and they cashed in. It was a big two-out from Yaz [Grandal]." 

Washington almost tied the game in the top of the eighth after a leadoff triple by Trea Turner, but Dodgers' reliever Pedro Baez wiggled out of the jam by fielding a comebacker from Bryce Harper and catching Turner in a rundown at the plate.

"Ironically, we just practiced that play two days ago," said Kenley Jansen of Baez's play. "It paid off. Baez was a great third baseman and it was a great play by him. It was a game saver."

Strasburg (7-2), took the loss allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in six strong innings of work.

"I thought I executed really well today," Strasburg said of his outing. "The ball just didn't bounce our way today. It's part of baseball. Tip your cap."

Strasburg recorded his 1,166th strikeout in the first inning, tied for the most strikeouts in MLB history by a starting pitcher in their first 1000 innings.

Kershaw (8-2) is now tied for the NL-lead in wins after allowing one run on three hits with three walks and nine strikeouts.

"It is what it is," Kershaw said of coming out after seven innings despite batting for himself. "We were fortunate to get a win there and salvage the series."

In his last seven starts, Kershaw is 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA and has struck out 57 batters against just 11 walks.

Kenley Jansen entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and recorded his fifth save of four-outs or more. It was his 10th on the season and 199th of his career and 18th of the four-plus variety, the fifth most among active pitchers.

"I'm used to it by now," Jansen said of the multiple four-plus out saves this season. "I make sure to take care of my body and do all the stuff I need to do off the field and it's paying off. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing."

With the win, Los Angeles still has yet to be swept in a series this season.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Thursday before opening up a three-game series with Rich Hill expected to start on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds at 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Finally Work Out Lonzo Ball]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:46:26 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-6-7-17.JPG

Are you the best player in the Draft?

Pinned back against a Los Angeles Lakers' background, Lonzo Ball answered the final question of his draft workout press conference with supreme confidence: "I think I am."

The local and national media had sent representatives to a summer pre-draft workout with such aggression that media members took to guessing how many cameraman and reporters had turned up. This was more than any ordinary summer workout and even dwarfed busy practice days at the facility.

"This feels like a Kobe Bryant press conference," one media member said about the camera-laced crowd.

What did Ball make of all the bright lights and press trampling one another to get his attention?

"I'm kind of used to it by now." Ball shared that following his first game at UCLA, "it's been kind of like this every time."

The workout itself was held behind closed doors and involved an emphasis on shooting. Ball doesn't plan on changing his shooting motion and did not share what other teams he will be working out with. When the cameras and press were allowed onto the practice court, a sweat-soaked Ball sat slumped in a chair.

Former Lakers champion Lamar Odom, who has become a familiar face at the facility over the summer, came over and offered the 19-year-old kid a few words of encouragement before the UCLA kid had to meet his media obligations. It was already a scene. Even before Ball makes a single pass in the NBA, he is seemingly a bigger star than all of his potential Lakers' teammates.

Ball stood up and slowly walked in front of a Lakers' sponsored banner to field about eight minutes worth of questions, and two takeaways became impossible to ignore: Earvin "Magic" Johnson had an impact on Ball as a kid and Ball believes he will be the point guard and leader for the purple and gold for the future.

"They have a lot of good players," Ball said about the current Lakers' young core. "I just think they need a leader at point guard. I feel I can bring that to the team."

Of course, the Lakers drafted D'Angelo Russell as a point guard with the no.2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, so this response seemed to cause a reaction on social media. Was this a shot at Russell? Most analysts believe Ball and Russell can play together in the Lakers' backcourt, assuming both players improve defensively. Had the polished player accidentally stumbled for a moment? Was his response intentional?

Later in the press conference, a reporter asked, "Why should the Lakers draft you?"

Ball repeated, "They need a leader. They need a point guard. I feel like I can play that role."

The second time Ball spoke, his belief that he would be the leader of the Lakers if drafted came across more clearly, and whether or not it was intended to send a message to Russell, the statement spoke for itself. Ball wants to be the face of the Lakers and the leader of the team.

"I think a lot of it is just natural," Ball spoke about his thoughts on leadership. "I think you're either born a leader or you're not."

Asked if he was a born leader, Ball responded without hesitation, "Yes, sir."

When speaking of leaders and point guards, one would be remiss to not mention Johnson, the five-time NBA champion and current Lakers president of basketball operations. Seemingly, Ball mentioned Johnson more than any of the other players, coach or even his outspoken father, Lavar Ball.

"My dad loved [Johnson], loved the way the Lakers played, so I kind of patterned my game after that." Ball said he grew up watching game tape of Johnson and was familiar with the player.

Ball continued the comparison: "He's a big point guard. I'm a big point guard. He likes to push (the ball). I like to push it. He likes to pass. I like to pass."

When Ball spoke about Tuesday's dinner meeting being fun, he was asked what about it made it "fun." Conspicuously, Ball's answer started with Johnson: "Just Magic Johnson is one of the greatest players to ever play. I love the way coach Walton coaches. Rob's a great dude too. Just meeting all of them is a blessing."

Ball said that Johnson also offered advice on how the young player can help improve players on the court and how he can help off the court, too.

"It was a blessing," Ball said about his first meeting with the Lakers' legend. "He's the best point guard to ever play. Me, being a point guard, I looked up to him my whole life. And to finally get a chance to meet him is a blessing."

Ball summed up his thoughts on Johnson and mirrored the Lakers' hope, should they call Ball's name with the no. 2 pick on June 22: "(Johnson)'s the best point guard to ever play, so I can learn a lot of things from him."

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Max Scherzer Mows Down Dodgers ]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 23:15:26 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/Scherzer+Strikes+Out+14.png

Mad Max: Fury Road.

Max Scherzer struck out 14 batters and the Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. 

Scherzer (7-3) was sensational in one of the more dominant starts of the season for the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.

"I knew I had to come out with a lot of off-speed pitches to counteract their lefties," said Scherzer of the Dodgers' lineup. "I had a good feel for my slider. It's a pitch I can have great feel for. If I can find the zone early, it's an indication I can put it wherever I want it."

The right-hander allowed one unearned run on just three hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts in seven strong innings for the Nationals who have won seven of their last eight games on the road.

Scherzer's 14 strikeouts was the 55th time in his career that he recorded 10 or more strikeouts in a game, the most among active players. The two-time Cy Young Award winner also joined Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens as the only players in MLB history with five or more career games with at least 14 strikeouts and no earned runs.

"I knew I had nine strikeouts through three," said Scherzer of his strikeouts. "But after those walks, I knew my pitch count was up so I had to work more efficiently. I'm a strikeout pitcher, that's just who I am. So when you get in two strike situations I have to put them away."

Clayton Kershaw is second on that list, and has a chance to tie Scherzer's record when he takes the mound on Wednesday.

Brandon McCarthy nearly matched Scherzer, but was done in by Washington's speed and small-ball style of play.

"Scherzer's one of the best in the game," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the pitching matchup. "When you get a performance like that from Mac [McCarthy] to match him, it's a tough one to lose."

Trea Turner started the game with an infield single and then promptly stole second and third before the Dodgers knew what hit them.

Two batters later, Turner would score on a sacrifice fly by Bryce Harper.

"Forgetting Trea Turner was on first and second and that he was going to steal at will and not doing all that I should do to hold him," McCarthy said of the most frustrating part of the game. "I have to do things to increase the odds in our favor and I didn't do any of those."

Harper himself scored on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead, as both Washinton runs came via the sacrifice fly.

McCarthy (5-3), was the hard-luck loser, allowing just two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in seven solid innings of work. It was his first loss of the season at Dodger Stadium.

"I understand when Max is pitching like that the odds are long and it's going to be a tough fight," said McCarthy of the loss. "I understand it, but you'd like to be able to pull out a game like that."

Adrian Gonzalez knocked in the Dodgers only run of the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.

Rookie Koda Glover pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save of the season.

Los Angeles struck out a season-high 17 times and have now lost three games in a row as they look to avoid their first series sweep of the season on Wednesday.

Up Next:

Clayton Kershaw will once again look to snap the skid when he takes the mound opposite Stephen Strasburg in a marquee pitching set for a matinee start time of 12:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jackie Robinson Statue to be Installed Outside Rose Bowl]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 06:56:57 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jackGettyImages-3203656-%281%29.jpg

A statue of Jackie Robinson in a football uniform will be installed this fall outside of the Rose Bowl's main gate, stadium officials announced Monday.

Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball's color line in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, was raised in Pasadena and played football at the Rose Bowl for Pasadena City College in 1937 and 1938.

Robinson continued his football career at UCLA, which has played its home games at the Rose Bowl since 1982.

The statue will be the first outside the Rose Bowl.

Funds for the statue were donated by the Tull Family Foundation to Legacy Connections, the private nonprofit fundraising arm of the Rose Bowl Stadium. Thomas Tull was a producer of the 2013 film biography of Robinson, "42."

"The legendary courage and competitiveness of Jackie is meaningful for so many as he is a true American champion," said Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn.

"This iconic venue has seen so many important moments over a near-century, and being able to appropriately honor Jackie's impact with the first commemorative statue is only fitting."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pat Riley Hints Lakers Will Pick Lonzo Ball]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 06:12:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Pat-Riley-Lakers-Lonzo-Ball.jpg

Will the Los Angeles Lakers pick Lonzo Ball with the no. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft?

Despite the UCLA guard not yet having met with the team and not having worked out for the Lakers' brass, rumors are abound that the Lakers will pass on the prospect, at least in part because of his outspoken and polarizing father, Lavar Ball. Still, almost unanimously, the draft boards and analysts think that Ball should be the no. 2 pick. 

One guy who seemingly isn't buying the narrative that the Lakers will pass on Ball is former Lakers coach and current Miami Heat executive Pat Riley. Riley sat down next to Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who is the Lakers President of Basketball Operations and the man who will likely make the decision on whether or not to draft Ball, for a TeamedUp event sponsored by American Express on Monday night in downtown Los Angeles.

At one point, Riley shared the greatest challenges of being an NBA executive in the first year with Johnson and the crowd listening eagerly.

"When things aren't going good the first year, he's going to want to go down there and be Lonzo Ball's mentor," Riley said, as Johnson began to laugh and even gave a high-five to his former coach for the name drop.

After the crowd settled down, Riley continued to his original point about giving up control and being patient when things aren't going right: "It's not easy to sit there."

While the evening touched on a variety of experiences the two men shared and whether Johnson would beat LeBron James one-on-one (Riley thinks Johnson would win), the highlight of the night had to be Riley's hint at Ball's future in LA.

The manner in which Riley purposely mentioned Ball as a part of the Lakers without adding an "if" or introducing any qualifiers suggested that the Heat executive believes Ball will be wearing purple and gold in the fall.

Johnson's reaction to the suggestion did not exactly scream of a denial. Rather, the man who went to nine NBA Finals in 12 years literally celebrated the reference and the suggestion.

Obviously, none of these reactions or thoughts are binding and a great deal can occur between the draft workouts and the team and player meetings to change minds and hearts, but if nothing else, one would imagine that the rumors that the Lakers are looking to pass on Ball with the no. 2 pick may be greatly exaggerated.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for American Express]]>
<![CDATA[Nationals Defeat Dodgers in NLDS Rematch]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:38:57 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/175*120/AP_17157126702338.jpg

If this game was a measuring stick, the Dodgers came up short. 

Anthony Rendon homered as the red-hot Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2, on Monday night in a rematch of the National League Division Series from last season at Chavez Ravine.

Rendon hit his 11th home run of the season off Hyun-Jin Ryu in the top of the second inning, and Washingotn added three more before the Boys in Blue finally decided to make it interesting. 

Matt Wieters added a two-run single in the fourth and Bryce Harper knockd in his 44th run of the season with an RBI single in the fifth as Washingon led 4-0 entering the sixth inning. 

The Dodgers scored both their runs in the sixth as they cut the lead in half thanks to hits by Corey Seager and Chris Taylor. 

Logan Forsythe led off the inning with a walk and Seager singled for one of his season-high three hits on the night. 

"He [Gonzalez] made some mistakes and we put some balls in play," Seager said of the two-run sixth inning. "We got one in, but we just couldn't get those extra runs we needed."

Taylor drove in the first run of the game for the Dodgers as he brought home Forsythe on an RBI double to left field.

"He went to that fastball in four pitches in a row, and I was able to shorten my swing with two strikes and get inside it," Taylor said of his RBI double. "We were able to string a couple hits in a row that inning which was good."

One batter later, Franklin Gutierrez grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Seager.

But that was as close as the Dodgers would get as the normally rocky Nationals' bullpen held on to get the win. 

Gio Gonzalez (5-1) continued his hot-start to the 2017 season as he allowed two runs on four hits, with two talks and five strikeouts in six innings.

"That's a tough team to beat," said Gonzalez of his performance. "Especially in their ballpark, but I was aggressive in the strike zone, I minimized my walks, our bats are red-hot, and the bullpen did a great job."

Lifetime, Gonzalez is 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers and has won four straight games against the Boys in Blue. 

"It's beautiful here," Gonzalez said when asked why he pitches so well at Dodger Stadium. "Maybe it's the weather, but I have to give all the credit to my offense and defense."

Ryu (2-6) took the loss, despite pitching one of his best games of the season. The Korean left-hander allowed four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in a season-high seven innings of work. 

"The runs I gave up were with two outs, and that was disappointing," Ryu said through a translator following the game. "That was definitely a game-changer."

The seven innings was Ryu's longest start since August 13, 2014. 

Oliver Perez struck out the only batter he faced in the bottom of the ninth inning to record his first save of the season and just the third of his career, the other two coming with the Seattle Mariners in 2013.

The game marked the first time the two teams had played each other since the Dodgers edged out the Nationals in Washington D.C. last October in an action-packed five-game series for the ages.

The Nationals' victory on Monday, snapped the Dodgers five-game winning streak against Washington at Dodger Stadium in the regular season, and gave the Nats the best record in the National League at 36-20.

Washinton has won six of their last seven games and now lead the NL East division by 11.5 games over the second place New York Mets.

Up Next: 

Former Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer heads to the mound on Tuesday opposite RHP Brandon McCarthy for the Dodgers. 

Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Can't Complete Sweep of Brewers]]>Sun, 04 Jun 2017 17:15:12 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-692312204.jpg

This time, they couldn't come back.

Zach Davies pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning, Eric Thames hit his 15th homer and the Milwaukee Brewers averted a three-game series sweep by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 on Sunday.

Davies (6-3) struck out six and allowed a walk in six-plus innings, effectively mixing a curveball, changeup and a fastball that hovered around 90 mph.

He retired 13 in a row from the first until Yasmani Grandal reached on a one-out infield single up the middle in the fifth, the Dodgers' first hit.

Los Angeles didn't get a runner to second until Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Bellinger opened the seventh with singles that chased Davies. Grandal bounced into a double play against Oliver Drake, and Austin Barnes flied out off Hernan Perez.

After scoring 10 runs on 10 hits in a win Saturday, the Dodgers were relatively quiet at the plate on the last day of a seven-game trip.

They fell behind early after Thames hit a hanging curveball from starter Kenta Maeda (4-3) over the wall in right-center for a 1-0 lead in the first.

It was Maeda's third consecutive game he got knocked around in the first inning, as he allowed two runs on two hits, with three walks and seven strikeouts in just four innings overall.

"I was able to get some outs in the first inning, but they were still able to score and my pitch count rose," Maeda said through a translator. I just didn't execute."

The Japanese right-hander has not worked more than five innings since coming off the disabled list on May 25 following a left hamstring injury.

Corey Knebel struck out the side around a walk for his fifth save.


Utility man and leadoff hitter Eric Sogard, who started at second with Jonathan Villar getting a day off, had an RBI single in the second. He was hitting .429 with five runs and four RBIs when starting in the leadoff spot in six games entering Sunday.


Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts said 3B Justin Turner (right hamstring) could return from the disabled list late next week. The Dodgers begin a six-game road trip to Cleveland and Cincinnati on June 13. ... RHP Brandon McCarthy, who left his start on Thursday against St. Louis early with a blister on his right index finger, was scheduled to throw a bullpen session before the Brewers game on Sunday. McCarthy was confident that he could make his next scheduled start on Tuesday against Washington, Roberts said.

Up Next: 

The left-handers head to the mound on Monday as the Dodgers return home to the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine. Gio Gonzalez will take the mound for the Washington Nationals opposite Hyun-Jin Ryu for the Boys in Blue. First pitch is 7:10 PM PST

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions...

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taylor's Slam Caps Off Dramatic Comeback]]>Sat, 03 Jun 2017 18:44:10 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/Chris+Taylor+Comeback+Grand+Slam.png

The Granddaddy of all comebacks. 

Chris Taylor hit a go-ahead grand slam off Carlos Torres in a five-run ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied late for the second straight day to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-8 Saturday.

Los Angeles led 4-3 in the seventh when Chris Hatcher walked the bases loaded and Josh Fields relieved. Travis Shaw drove Fields' third pitch over the fence in left-center, and Hernan Perez homered two pitches later for an 8-4 lead.

Yasiel Puig hit into a run-scoring forceout in the eighth, and the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Torres (2-4).

Corey Seager walked, and Yasmani Grandal hit a grounder to first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who threw to second trying for a forceout and hit Seager on the back for an error.

Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes walked, Cody Bellinger took a high and outside full-count pitch for a walk that forced in a run and Taylor homered off the batters' eye behind the center-field fence.

Brandon Morrow (2-0) struck out the side in the eighth, and Kenley Jansen worked around Shaw's one-out single in the ninth to remain perfect in nine save chances.

Los Angeles won Friday's series opener 2-1 when Grandal homered against Corey Knebel in the ninth and rookie Cody Bellinger homered off Neftali Feliz in the 12th.

Dodgers starter Rich Hill needed 97 pitches to get through four innings Saturday, allowing three runs — two earned — three hits and four walks.

Brewers starter Matt Garza gave up two runs — one earned — three hits and four walks in four innings, leaving with a bruised chest. He collided near first with Aguilar after the first baseman fielded Bellinger's leadoff grounder in the fourth, was checked by head athletic trainer Dan Wright and remained in the game, then was pinch hit for in the bottom half.

Aguilar hit a solo homer in the third for a 3-2 lead.


Dodgers: INF Logan Forsythe did not play due to right hip flexor tightness. ... OF Joc Pederson has begun baseball activities for the first time since being placed on the seven-day concussion DL on May 25. Manager Dave Roberts said Pederson will go on a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment before he is activated.

Brewers: OF-1B Eric Thames was given the day off against Hill, a left-hander.


Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.21 ERA) starts Sunday's series finale. He is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two career stars against Milwaukee.

Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 5.18 ERA) starts for the Brewers. He is 5-1 with a 3.98 ERA in his last eight starts and an 8.79 ERA in his first three.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw Records 2,000th Strikeout in Comeback Over Brewers]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 21:36:33 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kershaw+2000th+strikeout.png

Call him "Mr. 2000."

Clayton Kershaw recorded the 2000th strikeout of his career, Cody Bellinger hit the game-winning home run and the Los Angeles Dodgers came back to beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1, on Friday night at Miller Park.

The Dodgers were trailing 1-0 with one out in the top of the ninth inning when Yasmani Grandal tied the game with a solo shot to right field. 

Three innings later, it was the rookie, Cody Bellinger, who hit his team-leading 12th home run of the season Neftali Feliz in the top of the 12th for the go-ahead run. 

Bellinger's 12th home run came in 135th career at-bat. By comparison, Cody's father, Clay Bellinger, only had 12 home runs in his entire MLB career that spanned four seasons and over 311 at-bats. 

"I'm sure I have a text from him," Bellinger told Alanna Rizzo of tying is Dad. "I'm sure he's super proud, but I don't get that opportunity if not for Yaz [Yasmani Grandal]."

Despite not factoring in the decision, Clayton Kershaw was the talk of the town after reaching another career milestone.

"He was unbelievable," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Kershaw. "I don't know what else to say. He was lights out. The 14 punchouts in seven innings. It was a joy to watch."

Kershaw struck out the 2,000th batter of his career in the second inning when he struck out Jonathan Villar on a four-seam fastball to become the second fastest pitcher (based on games played) in MLB history to reach the 2,000 mark.

Kershaw was also the fifth youngest pitcher in MLB history to record his 2,000th strikeout and the third fastest in history based on innings pitched. He also has the fourth most strikeouts in franchise history behind Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, and Sandy Koufax.

"It will be cool someday," Kershaw said of reaching the milestone. "I guess when you retire you look back on that stuff. I don't take it for granted, but also I don't think about it. It will be cool some day."

However, Kershaw did not factor in the decision, allowing one run on two hits, with one walk and 14 strikeouts in seven dominant innings.

Kershaw's one and only mistake of the game came on a fastball to Domingo Santana that was sent 445-feet over the centerfield wall for the Brewers only run of the game.

"Most of the time, one pitch isn't going to beat you," Kershaw said of the home run. "But tonight it did. Thankfully, Yaz [Yasmani Grandal] put a good swing on a ball in the ninth." 

Meanwhile, Milwaukee's Jimmy Nelson was no slouch, as he arguably out-dueled Kershaw, scattering five hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts in eight shutout innings.

"He pitched better than I did," Kershaw said of Nelson, matter of factly."

Grandal saved the Dodgers and Kershaw's bacon when he homered off Brewers' closer Corey Knebel with one out in the top of the ninth to tie the game, Knebel's third blown save of the season.

The Dodgers bullpen combined for five innings of scoreless relief as closer Kenely Jansen earned the win with a scoreless 11th and 12th inning. 

"We have the best bullpen in baseball," added Roberts. "They were the difference in the game. I've never seen anything like that."

Jansen set an MLB record with 38 consecutive strikeouts without allowing a walk.

Both teams combined for 42 strikeouts, with the Dodgers tying an MLB record with 26 strikeouts, 14 of which came from Kershaw alone.

"The swings and misses were amazing," Kershaw said of the record number of strikeouts in the game. "Another five innings from our bullpen. Can't say enough about those guys. Everybody. Our bullpen is pretty special. They throw that high fastball really well. It makes it really hard to hit."

Every run in the game came via a solo home run.

Los Angeles moved into first place in the National League west after the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks both lost.

Dodgers' pitcher Alex Wood was named National League Pitcher of the Month for May, and Cody Bellinger was named Rookie of the Month before the game.

Up Next:

Rich Hill heads to the mound on Tuesday opposite right-hander Matt Garza for the Brewers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wainwright Beats Dodgers With Arm and Bat]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:04:00 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*121/AP_17152679748484.jpg

The Dodgers were defeated at the plate on Thursday by a pitcher.

Adam Wainwright hit a two-run homer off Brandon McCarthy and pitched six innings of four-hit ball, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Thursday for a four-game split.

Wainwright (6-3) struck out six and walked two, pitching out of two-on, one-out jams in the fourth and fifth, and extending his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings. Matt Bowman, Trevor Rosenthal and Seung Hwan Oh pitched an inning each to complete a five-hitter. Oh threw a one-hit ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.

Wainwright followed Paul Dejong's second-inning single with a drive over the left-field bullpen for his 10th career homer. Wainwright has six hits and seven RBIs this season.

McCarthy (5-2) gave up seven hits in four innings, struck out six and walked one.

Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal were ejected in the ninth by plate umpire Marty Foster. Gonzalez took a called third strike on the outside corner leading off and was tossed while arguing from the dugout as Grandal was being introduced as a pinch hitter with one out and one on. Grandal swung past strike three, got into an argument with Foster — apparently over a called strike on the second pitch of the at-bat — and also was tossed. Austin Barnes then popped out.


Wainwright needs two homers to tie Bob Forsch for second among Cardinals pitchers behind Bob Gibson (24).


Cardinals SS Aledmys Diaz made a diving stop up the middle on Barnes' fourth-inning grounder with two on, transferred the ball to his right hand and made a backhand flip to Dejong at second for an inning-ending forceout on Chase Utley, saving a run. ... Los Angeles LF Cody Bellinger made a sliding backhand catch on Diaz's liner in the bottom half.


St. Louis advanced a runner to third without scoring for the second time in the series. With runners at second and third, no outs and the middle of the Dodgers infield playing back in the third, Yadier Molina grounded to a drawn-in third baseman Kike Hernandez, who threw to first for the out. Tommy Pham also grounded to Hernandez, who threw home and got Stephen Piscotty into a rundown, and Piscotty was tagged out by Barnes, the catcher, near third base as Jedd Gyorko advanced to third. Dejong then struck out.


Gyorko's first-inning single off of McCarthy was his first hit in 16 career plate appearances against the right-hander.


Dodgers: LHP Adam Liberatore (left forearm tightness) was placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to Wednesday and LHP Grant Dayton was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Cardinals: INF Gyorko will go on paternity leave when the team travels to Chicago for a weekend series against the Cubs.


Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.37) starts Friday at Milwaukee, where he is 4-0 with a 1.41 ERA in five starts.

Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (4-3, 2.93 ERA) will face RHP John Lackey (4-5, 5.18 ERA), a former teammate, on Friday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Snap Dodgers Six Game Winning Streak]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 20:05:50 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/164*120/AP_17152087999141.jpg

All good things must come to an end. 

Dexter Fowler hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the eighth and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped the Los Angeles Dodgers six-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

Fowler broke a 1-1 tie with two outs in the bottom of the eighth when he sent an 89MPH slider from Ross Stripling into the seats in right field for the go ahead home run. Before the at-bat, Stripling had thrown 13 consecutive innings of scoreless relief.

Carlos Martinez (4-4) was still the pitcher of record when Fowler hit his home run, so he recorded the win, allowing just one run on four hits, with three walks and nine strikeouts in eight strong innings for the Cardinals.

Hyun-Jin Ryu did not factor in the decision, but pitched one of his best games of the season just five days after making his debut as a reliever for the first time in his career against the Cardinals in Los Angeles.

"He came out of the pen in his last appearance and threw the ball really well," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "Tonight he was really focused and came out aggressive. He did have a really good look in his eye tonight."

Ryu allowed just one run on three hits, with one walk and four strikeouts in a season-high six strong innings for the Korean left-hander.

The Cardinals scored the first run of the game on a bit of bad defense by the Dodgers.

After a one-out single for Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong drove a ball to centerfield that was misread by newly minted center fielder Chris Taylor.

Taylor was playing in on the play, but took a bad read on the ball as it bounced over his head for an RBI double.

Los Angeles would scratch a run across on Martinez in the top of the sixth. After a one-out walk to Corey Seager, Yasmani Grandal followed with a single that put runners on the corners for Adrian Gonzalez. 

Gonzalez drove a fly ball to centerfield that scored Seager and tied the game.

Martinez made the defensive play of the game in the second inning when Cody Bellinger crushed a comebacker at Carlos that the right-hander snagged like a lizard catching a fly.

Seung Hwan Oh mowed down the Dodgers in the top of the ninth for his 12th save of the season, snapping L.A.'s season-high six-game win streak in the process.

The loss moves the Dodgers into a first place tie with the Colorado Rockies for first place in the National League West, with the Rockies taking on the Mariners at Coors Field.

Up Next:

The finale of the four-game series in St. Louis concludes with a marquee matchup between two veteran right-handers as Brandon McCarthy takes the mound for the Dodgers against Cardinals ace, Adam Wainwright. First pitch is scheduled for 10:45AM PST.

Photo Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Lakers Set Lonzo Ball Workout Date]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 08:33:07 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-Lakers-workout-June-7-2017.jpg

With the no. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers widely expect to select Lonzo Ball out of UCLA and make the Southern California kid a long-term fixture with LA's most popular basketball franchise.

Though the team has been working out numerous draft prospects in recent days, the players that have come in to work out for the purple and gold thus far have not been likely selections with the no. 2 pick.

However, a Lakers beat reporter for the LA Times claims that Ball and the Lakers have scheduled a date for the likely no. 2 pick to undergo a pre-draft workout with Earvin "Magic" Johnson and the Lakers' basketball brass. Ball is expected to come into the Lakers' facility in El Segundo on June 7, though the team has not yet announced the workout officially or reveal any details about whether Ball will meet with media following the closed door session.

The 19-year-old, who was born in Anaheim and calls Chino Hills home, will likely not take part in a workout against other prospects, which is often the case for the high profile prospects. The Lakers, though, have a habit of setting up a competitive two-on-two game involving the coaching staff and pushing prospects into a competitive environment.

Previously, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge publicly revealed that Ball had politely declined to work out for the team with the no. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, making the SoCal native's preference for the Lakers clear.

In addition, Ball will likely also work out with the Philadelphia 76ers, who hold the no. 3 pick, and the Phoenix Suns, who hold the no. 4 pick. Should the Lakers not select Ball on June 26, the player would be wise to show his stuff to other potential suitors.

Note: NBC Los Angeles will be present at the Lakers' facility for any media availability with Ball on June 7.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Trayce Thompson Full Interview]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 07:23:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Trayce_Thompson_Full_1200x675_956888131735.jpgNBC LA sports reporter Michael J. Duarte talks to Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder Trayce Thompson about his back injury, growing up with NBA stars Klay Thompson and Kevin love, his bromance with Nolan Arenado, as well as the best/worst advice he's ever gotten from his father.]]><![CDATA[Deja Vu for Dodgers as L.A. Wins Sixth in a Row]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 20:30:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/Dodgers+Make+it+6+in+a+row.png

Can you say, Déjà vu?

Last Thursday the Dodgers allowed three runs in the first inning to St.Louis, only to score seven unanswered runs in return and win the game. 

Once again, the Cardinals scored three runs in the first inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers scored seven unanswered in response as they rallied to beat the Redbirds, 9-4, on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.

The victory gave Los Angeles their season-high sixth win in a row as the Dodgers move into sole possession of first place in the National League West for the first time this season.

No coincidence, both the starting pitchers on the mound last Thursday in Los Angeles were on the mound again on Tuesday as Maeda allowed three runs in the first frame for the second straight start.

Once again, Maeda settled down after the rocky start, throwing three scoreless innings before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth.

"For us to be fortunate to only be down 3-0, I guess was a good thing," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "For Kenta to go back out there and throw three scoreless innings was huge. He kept us in the ballgame."

Maeda did not make it the minimum five innings in order to get the win, surrendering three runs on four hits, with three walks and two strikeouts in just four innings.

Call it jet-lag or just bad luck, but the Dodgers started the game with some sloppy baseball as the team committed three errors in the first two innings and failed to bring home Chase Utley after a leadoff triple started the top of the second inning.

"It was ugly there early," agreed Roberts. "We kicked the ball around uncharacteristically and we had an opportunity early and didn't cash in. We just couldn't get on track."

Just as they did five days ago, the Dodgers would respond and get back to their winning ways as they scored four runs on the Redbirds in the third inning.

Once again, it was the hot-hitting Utley who was at the center of the rally as the 38-year-old veteran roped a ground-rule double down the left field line to close the gap.

Utley finished the game a home run shy of the cycle as he went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

St. Louis second baseman, Paul DeJong made an errant throw on a groundball up the middle one batter later, and his error cost the Cardinals an extra run as the tying and go-ahead runs scored for the Boys in Blue.

The Cardinals bullpen struggled with their command in the top of the fifth inning as Tyler Lyons hit Utley with a pitch before walking back-to-back batters, awarding the Dodgers a free run.

Lyons was replaced by John Brebbia, but the right-hander immediately walked pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez allowing another run to cross the plate. 

Michael Wacha (2-3) took the loss against L.A. for the second time in a week, allowing  four runs (three earned) on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in just three short innings.

Brandon Morrow (1-0) got the win in just his second appearance with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers bullpen saw their streak of scoreless innings of relief come to an end at 24 and 2/3 as Christ Hatcher surrendered a solo home run to Yadier Molina in the bottom of the eighth.

Ironically, Molina was the last person to score a run off the Dodgers bullpen when he homered last Wednesday in Los Angeles. Hatcher, was also the pitcher who started the scoreless streak that night with two scoreless innings at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning off former Dodger Jonathan Broxton to close the door on the Cardinals.

Up Next:

Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for the Dodgers just five days removed from his first career relief appearance as Los Angeles looks to make it seven in a row against Cardinals' starter Carlos Martinez. First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Star Trout to Have Surgery for Torn Thumb Ligament]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 07:15:16 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/170*120/AP_17148762330582.jpg

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has a torn ligament in his left thumb and will have surgery Wednesday that is expected to sideline him between six to eight weeks.

The Angels put the reigning AL MVP on the disabled list Monday for the first time in his career. The outfielder hurt himself a day earlier making a headfirst slide to steal second base in Miami.

At 25, Trout already is a two-time AL MVP. He is hitting .337 and has 16 home runs, second most in the majors.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said an MRI revealed the tear. Team doctor Steve Shin arrived in Anaheim later Monday night, met with Trout and it was determined surgery was his best option.

"It was news no player wants to hear," Eppler said. "He's been put in a tough spot and it's something he's still digesting."

The Angels lost shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a similar thumb injury last season. He had surgery and was out slightly over five weeks.

Los Angeles was 26-28 going Monday night's game at home against Atlanta, and the lineup recently missed ailing slugger Albert Pujols.

Trout made his major league debut by playing 40 games for the Angels in 2011. Since then, he's been a five-time All-Star and has finished in the top two in the AL MVP all five seasons.

A year after hitting .315 with a .441 on-base percentage, 29 home runs, 100 RBIs and 30 steals, Trout was off to a dynamic start. He was leading the league in on-base percentage (.461) and slugging percentage (.742) when he was hurt.

"It's really hard to quantify (his loss)," Eppler said. "We're going to feel that impact and it's going to require multiple people stepping up in his absence. The team will fight as it always does. But he's in the heart of the order and a leader in the dugout. Those are tough to absorb."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Stay Hot With Win Over St. Louis]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 14:55:08 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-689797912.jpg

When you're hot, you're hot.

Chase Utley, Cody Bellinger, and Logan Forsythe all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers won their fifth straight game, 5-1, over the St. Louis Cardinals on Memorial Day at Busch Stadium.

Less than 24 hours removed from their three-game sweep of the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, the Dodgers traveled to St. Louis for an early morning game against the Redbirds.

The adrenaline must have been stronger than the jet lag as the Dodgers jumped on National League ERA leader Mike Leake early in the game.

Facing Leake for the second time in a week, Utley started off the scoring for the Boys in Blue with a solo shot to centerfield to leadoff the third inning.

The 38-year-old veteran second baseman has been the hottest hitter on the team as of late, batting .311 with two doubles, two triples, three homers, and 13 RBI in the month of May.

Yasiel Puig followed Utley's bomb with a single to center, and moved to second on a sac bunt by pitcher Rich Hill. Two batters later, Corey Seager drove in Puig with an RBI single up the middle to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Cody Bellinger extended his team-lead in home runs with his 11th long ball of the season in the top of the fourth inning.

Bellinger got the green light on a 3-0 count, and sent a 89MPH sinker into the seats in right-center to give the Dodgers an extra insurance run.

"It was 3-0 and I got the green light," said Bellinger of his 11th homer of the season. "There was nobody on base so I had a good feeling what was coming and I was able to put a good swing on it."

The 21-year-old rookie sensation now has nine homers in the month of May to go with 27 RBI. He's the fastest in franchise history to reach 11 career home runs, doing it in just 32 games.

Bellinger is also the easy favorite to win NL Rookie of the Month, and also showed off his arm by throwing out a runner at the plate in the bottom of the seventh.

"I didn't break towards the ball right away, if I had, he probably wouldn't have sent him," said Bellinger of the play at the plate. "I had a lot of momentum going that way, I just tried to throw it the best I could."

After St. Louis added a run in the bottom half of the fourth inning, the Dodgers struck back with two more runs in the seventh and eighth, respectively.

Logan Forsythe hit his first home run in a Dodger uniform when he sent a fastball from Kevin Siegrist into the bullpen in left field.

Forsythe has been starting at third base and batting leadoff recently with Justin Turner on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Leake (5-3) took the loss, after a dominant performance last week at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander allowed four runs on six hits, with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings, raising his ERA to 2.24 on the season.

Rich Hill (2-2) rebounded from his worst outing of the season against the Cardinals last week in Los Angeles. The veteran left-hander surrendered just one run on two hits, with two walks and four strikeouts in five solid innings of work.

"We made some adjustments this week and it proved to be succesful," Hill said of his second start against the Cardinals in five days. "Today was much more crisp and clean, and the ball was coming out more efficiently. I feel much more comfortable where I'm at right now."

The Dodgers bullpen once again threw four scoreless innings of relief to close the door.

"Of course we can't expect them to throw up zeros the rest of the season," said Roberts of his bullpen lately. "I try and put these guys in the right spot and they're answering the bell. Those guys feed off each other."

Brandon Morrow made his Dodger debut with a scoreless ninth inning. Morrow was activated earlier in the day from Triple-A Oklahoma City after starting pitcher Alex Wood was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

The 32-year-old reliever has an opt out clause in his contract on June 1st if he did not reach the Majors before then. He also would receive a $100,000 bonus if he was promoted to the big leagues.

The victory gives the Dodgers three wins over the Cardinals in four games over the past week. They have won five consecutive games and 11 of 13 overall.

Up Next:

Kenta Maeda makes the start on Tuesday for the Dodgers as Michael Wacha returns for the Redbirds. First pitch is 4:05PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Trayce Thompson]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 12:51:50 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Trayce_Thompson_Short_1200x675_955503171698.jpg

NBC LA sports reporter Michael J. Duarte talks to Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder Trayce Thompson about his brother, favorite artists, and which teammate he would choose as his running mate.]]>
<![CDATA[Former Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda is Home]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 09:31:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lasorda+foto.JPG

Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda is home Monday after undergoing surgery to replace his heart pacemaker.

Lasorda, 89, was released Sunday, according to a Twitter post by the Dodgers organization.

"Tommy Lasorda underwent surgery to replace his pacemaker yesterday (Thursday)," the team announced in an earlier post on Twitter. "He's doing well and looking forward to returning to Dodger Stadium."

Lasorda was hospitalized last week and at one point was reported to be in intensive care. It was his third hospital stay since August 2016. The Baseball Hall of Famer has a history of heart trouble and suffered a heart attack in 2012.

He managed the Dodgers for 21 seasons from 1976 to 1996, guiding the team to four World Series appearances, including championships in 1981 and 1988. Lasorda has been with the team for more than seven decades and currently serves as a special adviser to Dodgers chairman Mark Walter. He last appeared at Dodger Stadium in April for the unveiling of a statue honoring Jackie Robinson.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Sweep Cubs Behind Home Run Barrage]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 17:47:04 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/226*120/Dodgers+Sweep+Cubs.png

You get a homer! You get a homer! Everyone gets a homer! 

Cody Bellinger, Austin Barnes and Yasiel Puig all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a three-game sweep over the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, with a 9-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

The two teams combined for a season-high total of seven home runs on the day, as all 11 runs scored in the game came via the long ball.

"It was billed as a pitcher's duel," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the matchup between Jon Lester and Clayton Kershaw. "When you see Lester and Kershaw on the mound, you don't expect the runs that we put up today. Two good guys on the mound, but the bally was flying out of the ballpark today. That's why you play the game and that's what makes this game great."

Willson Contreras kicked off the home run barrage with a solo shot of Clayton Kershaw in the second inning.

It was Contreras' fifth homer of the season, and the fifth time the catcher had faced Kershaw in his career. He has now hit two homers off the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner.

"They did a good job," said Kershaw of Contreras and all the Cubs hitters against him. "They fouled off a lot of tough pitches, and the mistakes I did make they made me pay for it."

Cody Bellinger responded for the Dodgers in the bottom half of the inning, with his team-leading 10th home run of the season.

"We talked about what he can and can't do," said Bellinger of his approach against Lester for the first time in his young career. "The first couple pitches he threw me cutters, but then he threw me a slider and I was able to put a good swing on it."

Bellinger belted a curveball from Jon Lester into the bleachers in right-center for a three-run blast that gave the Dodgers the lead.

An inning later, it was the Dodgers' super utility player's turn to take Lester deep as Los Angeles extended their lead to 6-1 on this home run:

The bombs continued bursting in air as Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo took Kershaw deep in the top of the fourth inning to cut the Dodgers lead to 6-4.

After striking out Lester to leadoff the inning, Kershaw served up a four-seam fastball to Baez for the Puerto Rican's eighth home run of the season.

Two batters later, Rizzo completely crushed a fastball by Kershaw halfway up the seats in right field for a 417-foot blast. According to StatCast, Rizzo's homer exited the park at 109 MPH, the hardest home run hit off Kershaw in 2017.

The long ball was also Rizzo's third career home run against Kershaw, tied for second all-time (Adam Dunn – 4).

 "I don't know, ask him," Kershaw said grumpily when asked why Rizzo had success against him at the plate over his career. 

Kershaw would not last much longer, as the 2014 MVP exited the game with one out in the fifth inning.

Kershaw did not reach the minimum five innings to record the win, instead allowing four runs on a career-high 11 hits, with two walks and six strikeouts in his shortest start of the season.

"I think early on I knew he didn't have his best stuff," said Roberts of Kershaw. "The game never got any momentum. They grinded at-bats and the pitch count rose quickly. It was one of those games where I was just counting outs. Clayton wanted to keep going, but fortunately our bullpen has been lights out."

Kershaw left the game with 1,996 career strikeouts, just four shy of 2,000, a milestone he should reach in Milwaukee in his next start.

"I'm sure he's well aware he's 10 strikeouts away from 2,000, but he's only focused on the first hitter of the game," added Roberts of the nearing milestone. "I think there will be certain times where we sit back and look at the cumulative body of work that Clayton has accomplished and admire it."

After two days of receiving the silent treatment from the Dodgers' pitching, the Cubs bats briefly awoke in the early innings on Sunday, scoring four runs on three homers before closing down shop for the remainder of the game.

"Nobody gave up a run this series but me," said a visibly frustrated Kershaw after the game. "It was a good series for everybody."

Josh Fields (2-0) received the win, as the Dodgers bullpen threw 4 and 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in Kershaw's stead. Fields has not allowed a run in 19 of his 21 relief appearances this season and lowered his ERA to 0.84 on the year.

Austin Barnes added an insurance run with a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Yasiel Puig put the exclamation point on the sweep by ending an eight-game drought with his ninth home run of the season, a no-doubt shot off Hector Rendon in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"Obviously, I got a good pitch I was able to hit," Puig said in Spanish of his homer. "But up and down, all my teammates did a good job today."

Jon Lester (3-3) took the loss, surrendering a season-high six runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in just 3.1 innings, his shortest start and worst performance of the season.

The victory gave the Dodgers their third sweep of the season as they finished their 10-game homestand going 8-2. It was their first sweep over the Cubs at Chavez Ravine since Aug. 3-5, 2012.

Chicago was swept for the third time this season, and have lost eight of their last ten games away from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

"I don't see any reason to worry," said reigning MVP Kris Bryant. "You have good years, you have bad years. You have good weeks and bad weeks. We're off to an average start. It's not terrible, but we're probbaly spoiled because of the way we started last year."

By comparison, the Cubs were only swept twice all of last season, a year that ended with the team lifting their first World Series trophy in 107 years.

Up Next:

The Dodgers head to the Gateway Arch on Memorial Day as they face the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time in a week. Rich Hill starts for the Dodgers opposite NL ERA leader, Mike Leake for the Redbirds. First pitch is at 11:15 AM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Injury Updates]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 13:33:45 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/JT+injured+hamstring.png

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course. 

Fresh off their record-breaking season in 2016 for most players on the disabled list, the 2017 edition of the Dodgers is on pace to shatter that record.

In 2016, Dodger players were sent to the disabled list a record 33 times, including an MLB-best 29 different players.

As of today's date, the Dodgers have sent 20 different players to the DL in 2017, including 22 total trips.

MLB leader in batting average, Justin Turner, remains on the disabled list as the Dodgers wrap up their 10-game homestand at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

Joc Pederson is also on the DL with a concussion, and has been asked to stay away from his phone, video games, and the dugout during the games, while he goes through concussion protocol.

Here's the updates:

Scott Kazmir (Left hip strain): Kazmir was moved to the 60-day DL on Friday, retroactive to March 30th. After a tough spring for Scott, his velocity is returning while he rehabs in Arizona. According to Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts, Kazmir is getting closer to making a rehab start in Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, likely during the month of June.

Andre Ethier (Lumbar disk herniation): Andre Ethier has been on the 10-day DL since March 30th, and could be a candidate for a move to the 60-day DL soon. He's rehabbing in Los Angeles with the team, but mentioned to NBC LA, that he has yet to ramp up his baseball activity. He is expected to go on a rehab assignment at some time in July and will likely return to the club after the All-Star break.

Justin Turner (Right hamstring strain): Turner was leading the league in batting average at .379 when he reached for his right hamstring and came up limping trying to score from second on a single to left field. Turner told NBC LA he's feeling better, and was seen taking batting practice and fielding groundballs over the weekend. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said JT will travel with the team to St. Louis, and is expected to be activated at some point during the road trip.

Luis Avilan (Left triceps soreness): Avilan was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday after he felt some soreness in his triceps muscle of his pitching arm. The injury is not serious, and Avilan is expected to be activated as soon as he is eligible on June 5th.

Yimi Garcia (Right elbow surgery): Garcia was placed on the 60-day disabled list on February 15th after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is expected to miss all of the 2017 season, but be back in time for Spring Training of 2018.

Joc Pederson (Concussion): Pederson was placed on the seven-day concussion DL after he ran full speed into Yasiel Puig's elbow during a collision in the outfield on Tuesday night. Originally, Pederson passed the initial concussion tests, but felt dizzy and disoriented the following morning. Doctors have asked him to stay away from his phone, television, video games and other electronics. He also has been asked to avoid the clubhouse during games. He will not travel with the team during their seven-game road trip to St. Louis and Milwaukee, but is expected to be activated when the team returns home on June 5th

Andrew Toles (Torn right ACL): Toles underwent surgery this week to repair the torn ACL in his right knee after he collided with the short porch in left field trying to preserve a no-hitter for Julio Urias. Toles will miss the remainder of the 2017 season, but is expected to make a full recovery for 2018.

Rob Segedin: (Right toe and right wrist): Segedin was originally placed on the 10-day DL on April 19th with a right toe injury. After over a month of rest and recovery, problems arose in Segedin's right wrist, and the right-hander will undergo surgery this coming Wednesday to remove bone spurs from the wrist area. He is expected to miss the next four to six weeks, and could also be a candidate for the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to April 19th

Brock Stewart (Right shoulder tendinitis): Stewart started the season on the disabled list and is close to returning to the Dodgers. He made his first rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga this weekend, and is expected to head to Triple-A Oklahoma City once he's ready to return.

Dodgers injury updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taylor Made: Dodgers Shutout Cubs Again]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 20:17:09 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/Chris+Taylor+homers+against+Cubs.png

No Cubs no.

Chris Taylor hit a two-run home run and Chase Utley did the rest, as the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the Chicago Cubs, 5-0, for the second straight day at Dodger Stadium.

Both terms were hitless through the first three innings before Utley knocked in a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead.

One inning later, Taylor slugged his sixth home run of the season off John Lackey to give L.A. a three-run lead.

"He walked the guy before me, so I had a feeling he wanted to get ahead," said Taylor who was swinging on the first pitch of his two-run home run. "I just wanted to be aggressive, and he left a slider up over the middle of the plate."

When Taylor is in the Dodgers starting lineup, L.A. is 18-7, and the utility player has more home runs this season than Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Logan Forsythe, and Adrian Gonzalez combined.

"I don't care where I play," added Taylor. "I just wanted to be on the field."

Six batters later, it was Utley again as he knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded single to right field.

After homering on Thursday and Friday, Utley continued to sizzle at the plate as he's batting .356 with six runs, one double, two triples, two home runs and 12 RBI over his last 15 games.

"I've been seeing the ball a little better," said Utley of his torrid stretch. "I enjoy being in the lineup. It's definitely fun to play, so hopefully I can keep it going."

Utley and Taylor provided the Dodgers with all the offense they would need as Brandon McCarthy shut down the Cubs, allowing just two hits, with one walk and six strikeouts in six scoreless innings.

McCarthy (5-1) became the third Dodgers pitcher to reach five wins this season, joining Alex Wood and Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers are the only team in the National League with three pitchers with five wins or more.

"Brandon was very efficieint," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of his starter. "Somewhere in the fourth inning, something was going on with his knee. It's somewhere in the 'tendinitis' category. After the sixth, I didn't want to push it, so I took him out of harm's way."

Lackey (4-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits, with four walks and five strikeouts in five innings.

Ross Stripling recorded his first career save by throwing three consecutive scoreless innings of relief after McCarthy left the game.

The Cubs have yet to score in the series, and have tallied 18 consecutive innings in Los Angeles without a run. It was the first time Chicago was shutout in back-to-back games in three years. 

"As a group, they carry out their game plan perfectly," said Cubs' manager Joe Maddon of the Dodgers. "They did the same thing to us today that they did last night. We didn't make any adjustments and we have to make some tomorrow."

L.A. has won eight of their last ten games and three of five from the Cubs this season.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will look for the sweep on Sunday as Clayton Kershaw heads to the mound opposite John Lester in a potential Cy Young Award showdown. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>
<![CDATA[Utley and Gonzalez Homer Against Cubs]]>Sat, 27 May 2017 02:32:46 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Gonzo+homers+against+Cubs.png

They did it for old times' sake.

No, it was not Old-Timers' Day at Dodger Stadium, but veterans Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, 4-0, on Friday night at the Ravine.

Utley (38), homered for the second straight night and Gonzalez (35) hit his first home run of the season as the Dodgers won the first of a three-game series in a rematch of the National League Championship Series from last fall. 

"They hit homers and we didn't. That was the difference," said Cubs' manager Joe Maddon after the game. "It was a good baseball game."

Alex Wood continues to pitch like the ace of the staff as the left-hander from North Carolina extended his scoreless innings streak to 25 and 1/3 innings, longest in the MLB this season, while lowering his ERA to a league-best 1.69 on the season.

"This is as healthy as he's been in recent memory," said Roberts of the reasons behind Wood's success. "That lends to his confidence, but right now, you can look at him as a 1A."

Wood has been absolutely lights out at Dodger Stadium over his career, improving to 10-2 with an ERA of 1.62 at the Ravine, the third lowest in franchise history behind Sandy Koufax and Bob Lee (1.37).

Wood (6-0) was masterful for once again, allowing just two hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in five shutout innings. Wood was named NL Pitcher of the Week last week, but is likely going to be the NL Pitcher of the Month if he continues his dominance on the mound.

"I definitely feel confident right now," said Wood of his pitching over the last few starts. "My confidence is coming from the consistency of my stuff every five days. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and give us a chance to win."

Wood's six wins put him in elite company on the season as he joins teammate Clayton Kershaw (7), Colorado's Antonio Senzatela (7) and Arizona's Zack Greinke (6) with at least six wins this season. 

Jake Arrieta had a scoreless streak of his own, as he had not allowed a run against the Dodgers in 18 consecutive innings (regular season) before Utley sent him deep on a 1-1 slider in the bottom of the third inning.

It was the first time Utley had homered in back-to-back games since Sept. 27-28 in San Diego last season.

"To see Chase break out tonight was great," added Roberts. "Hopefully, there's more of that to come."

After a slow start to the season, Utley is heating up as the veteran second baseman is batting .326 with six runs, one double, two triples, two home runs and nine RBI since May 10th.

Yasmani Grandal added an RBI double the following inning before Gonzalez sent a sinker over the centerfield wall for his first home run of the season.

The homer was Gonzalez's first long ball during the regular season since he went deep at Petco Park in San Diego on Sept. 28th of 2016.

"I knew I was going to hit a home run before the season ended," joked Gonzalez of finally lifting the weight off his shoulders. "It was great. That's what makes it fun."

Arrieta (5-4) took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits, with one walk and nine strikeouts in six innings for the Cubs.

"For the most part it was really good," said Arrieta of his outing. "I made a couple mistakes again, and they came back to get me."

Chris Hatcher threw two innings of scoreless relief to close the door on Chicago, snapping their three-game winning streak as they embark on a six-game California road trip in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Up Next:

John Lackey heads to the mound tomorrow for the Cubs against Brandon McCarthy in a matchup of veteran right-handers. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15PM PST

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]]>
<![CDATA[Cubs Dress Like 'Anchorman' Characters in LA]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 22:59:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Cubsedit.jpg

Don't act like you're not impressed.

The Chicago Cubs kept it classy on their way to open a road trip at Dodger Stadium, with the World Series champions dressing as characters from the Will Ferrell comedy "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

Manager Joe Maddon colored his gray hair a dark brown and dressed in a suit and red tie in a nod to Burgundy, the San Diego TV news anchor played by Ferrell in the 2004 comedy. Burgundy's nightly signoff was "You stay classy, San Diego."

"It was a Maaco job," he said, referring to the auto painting business. "I scratched my head on the airplane, I still can't get my fingernails clean. That brown paint bedded deeply in my nail bed."

Outfielder Kyle Schwarber donned a white cowboy hat with a suit similar to sportscaster Champ Kind in the 1970s-set movie. Pitcher John Lackey wore a red suit and white cowboy hat, while pitcher Jon Lester dressed in a bright blue suit and a striped tie.

"The guys had a great time. It was really well done," Maddon said before Friday's game against the Dodgers.

Missing from the trip was third baseman Tommy La Stella, who Maddon said is a dead ringer for Brick Tamland, the Action News Team's not-very-bright but good-hearted meteorologist played by Steve Carell in the movie.

"That would have been perfect," Maddon said.

He said strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss "stole the show" in a bright blue bathing suit and orange bathrobe with a stuffed tiger head dangling from his right shoulder, along with a bushy mustache, brown wig and sunglasses.

"Above and beyond," Maddon said. "I'm really happy for the notoriety that he's achieving based on his representation of Mr. Burgundy pool side."

The Cubs will do it all over again on Wednesday night when they return to Chicago after concluding a three-game series in San Diego.

Maddon said he went online and found two vintage clothing stores in Burgundy's town that he plans to visit on Tuesday.

He's known for coming up with themes on road trips. In a previous visit to Los Angeles, the Cubs wore footed pajamas.

Check out the video below, courtesy of the Chicago Cubs Twitter account, to see all the players dressed up as their favorite "Anchorman" cast members.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Great Tommy Lasorda Recovering After Heart Surgery]]>Fri, 26 May 2017 17:10:36 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lasordaedit.jpg

Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was recovering Friday from heart surgery.

"Tommy Lasorda underwent surgery to replace his pacemaker yesterday (Thursday)," according to a Twitter post from the team. "He's doing well and looking forward to returning to Dodger Stadium."

Lasorda, 89, was hospitalized last week and was reported to be in intensive care. At that time, the team said only that he was "resting comfortably."

Lasorda, who suffered a heart attack in 2012, serves as a special adviser to the chairman of the Dodgers.

Lasorda — a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame — managed the Dodgers from 1976-96, guiding the team to four World Series appearances, including championships in 1981 and 1988.

He appeared at Dodger Stadium last month for the unveiling of a statue honoring Jackie Robinson.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Maeda and Ryu Join Forces to Beat Cards]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 22:55:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Maeda+on+the+mound+and+at+the+plate.png

Why hello, Kitty. 

It wasn't Asian Heritage night at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, but it might as well have been as Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu joined forces to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-3, on Hello Kitty Night at the Ravine.

Maeda was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the game as center fielder Joc Pederson was placed on the seven-day concussion DL. 

The rust was evident for the Japanese right-hander from the jump as Maeda was knocked around in the first inning.

"It was a little hard getting into the game with the long layoff," Maeda said through a translator. "I was able to make adjustments and overall it was a good game for me."

All nine starters for St. Louis went to the plate, with six of them reaching base in a three-run first inning that left Maeda and the Dodgers rattled. 

Jedd Gyorko did most of the damage for the Redbirds with a two-run double and Yadier Molina followed with an RBI single to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. 

Maeda (4-2) recovered, allowing no runs over the next four frames and finishing the night with three runs scored on seven hits, with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings. 

"It took me some time to get my rhythm back," added Maeda. "My offspeed pitches were flat. I was able to find my rhythm in the later innings and bounce back."

Trailing 3-0 before they even got an at-bat, the Dodgers chipped away at the lead, starting with a solo shot from Chase Utley in the second inning.

Utley sent a changeup from Michael Wacha into the bleachers in right field to put the Dodgers on the scoreboard. The home run was Utley's first of the season as he became the fifth player over the age of 38 to homer this season.

Wacha took the loss, allowing a season-high six runs on seven hits in a season-low four innings.

The Dodgers found themselves in an interesting dilemma in the fourth inning. With runners on first and third and two outs, Yasiel Puig was at the plate. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts sent Logan Forsythe into the on-deck circle, presumably in case Puig reached base.

Puig sent an RBI single to right field to cut the lead to 3-2, clearing the way for Forsythe at the plate, but at the last minutes, Roberts called him back and sent Maeda back into the batter's box.

"At that point, the way he was throwing the baseball, he was going to hit regardless," said Roberts of Maeda batting in that situation. "That was just a little gamesmanship on my part."

The head-scratching move paid off, making Roberts look like a genius as Maeda doubled down the left field line, plating two runs to give the Dodgers the lead.

Maeda exited stage left after the fifth inning for Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who made his debut as a in the first appearance out of the bullpen for the 30-year-old in his big league career. 

The last time Ryu entered a game in relief, was in Korea when he was 19 years old. Ironically, he recorded the save in that situation as well. 

Ryu picked up where Maeda left off, firing four scoreless innings of relief and earning the first save of his MLB career as two Asian starters combined for a two-pitcher victory for the first time (that we know of) in Dodgers franchise history.

"I'm a starter at heart and I believe I'll get another opportunity to start," said Ryu also through a translator. "Today was just a one-time appearance. We will have to see what happens moving forward. I was happy I didn't give up any runs, that I was able to get the save, and that my team was able to get the win."

Chris Taylor continued to swing a hot bat for the Boys in Blue regardless of where he starts on the field. In just his second career start in center, Taylor went 3-for-4 with a double an RBI and a run scored.

Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Dodgers lead.

The Dodgers win the three-game series from the Cardinals in their first rubber match win of the season (2-1).

Throw Back Thursday:

On this date in 2014, Dodgers' starter Josh Beckett threw the first no-hitter of his career, and the 21st in franchise history as he shut down the Philadelphia Phillies on 128 pitches.

Up Next:

The Dodgers brace themselves for a cataclysmic confrontation with the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs this weekend. RHP Jake Arrieta will start the first game of the series opposite LHP Alex Wood for the Dodgers in a rematch of the NLCS from last season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Leake Drains Dodgers as Cardinals Cruise to Victory]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 22:54:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-688000614+%282%29.jpg

Los Angeles let this one leake away.

Mike Leake allowed four hits over eight innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-1, and even up the best of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine.

Leake (5-2) lowered his ERA to a National League-leading 1.91, leapfrogging Clayton Kershaw who took over the crown the night prior against the Redbirds. 

"I did a good job of keeping the ball down tonight," said Leake. "I wanted to go back out there for the ninth, but we have no rest coming up, so it was wise to wait and go to the bullpen tonight."

The new NL ERA leader allowed just one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a season-high eight innings.

Entering the game, most thought that with Leake and Dodgers' starter Rich Hill on the mound, that the game would be similar to the pitcher's duel seen the night prior. 

However, Hill (1-2) did not hold up his end of the bargain. 

The L.A. left-hander allowed a season-high five runs on four hits in just four innings as he lost his second game of the season.

"It was a bad outing," said Hill. "I take responsibility for that. Mechanically I was a little off and the ball was jumping all over the place. I really need to work on some things this week to get ready for the next game."

Hill issued seven walks in the game, a career-high, and the most issued by any Dodgers' pitcher this season. 

Kolten Wong drove in the first two runs of the game for the Cardinals and Jedd Gyorko had three hits and drew a walk in the two-run second inning that gave the Cardinals the lead for good.

"We were behind the eight-ball tonight," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "Rich [Hill] just didn't really have any consistency tonight."

Yadier Molina hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Molina's streak ties Kolten Wong for the Cardinals' longest this season.

Chris Taylor made his first start in center field for the Dodgers, replacing Joc Pederson who was out with a stiff neck.

Corey Seager snapped his 0-for-10 hitless streak with a double in the seventh inning. 

Cody Bellinger drove in the only run of the game for the Boys in Blue, but comitted a costly error in the outfield when he let a ball go under his glove, allowing a run to score. 


Former roommate of Dodgers' pitcher Ross Stripling takes the mound for St. Louis tomorrow when RHP Michael Wacha gets the start. Japanese right-hander, Kenta Maeda is expected to come off the disabled list and start for the Dodgers.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[At Age 94, High School Baseball Coach Inspires Players]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 08:35:18 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/chatsworth-coach.PNG

Call him a motivator, a father figure or an inspiration -- or simply call Chuck Hatfield "coach."

The assistant varsity baseball coach has been with the Chatsworth High School Chancellors since 1994. Even at 94 years old, Coach Hatfield can't get enough of the game.

"He's an outstanding coach and an even better person," said Tom Meusborn, the team's head coach. "Just having him out here, having him around us day in and day out, what he brings as a coach and as a person can't be duplicated."

Over two decades ago, Meusborn needed someone to look out for the junior varsity team. Since then, Hatfield has developed into so much more.

He can no longer hit or throw, but he's become the team's calming psychologist. Hatfield also volunteers at the school's counseling office.

Hatfield has been part of seven out of the Chancellors' nine city championships, but he wants just one more to finish out on top.

"This may be my last year," he said. "Now that would come important to me, to get that extra ring."

The Chancellors face El Camino Wednesday in the CIF semi-finals at USC. Should they win, they'll play for another city title June 3 at Dodger Stadium.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Kim Kardashian's Trainer Gunnar Peterson Joins Lakers]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 12:49:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-hire-Gunnar-Peterson-strength-director.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers added a bit of star power to their training staff on Wednesday when the team announced the hiring of Gunnar Peterson as Director of Strength and Endurance Training.

Peterson is a world famous for training athletes and celebrities including a client list that includes Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. On Peterson's website, the trainer displays an article that states he had been training Kardashian since she was only 19, along with gives him credit for Kourtney Kardashian's recent body transformation. In fact, Peterson has seemingly trained the entire Kardashian family.

Along with the celebrity clientel, Peterson also has experience working with Lakers president Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.

"Gunnar is a true pioneer and visionary at his craft, and will bring a new mentality to our weight room which we are all very excited about," Pelinka said in an official team statement. "Since Magic and I have worked with Gunnar in the past, we have a strong relationship with him, which makes working together now feel seamless."

The Lakers also stated that Peterson is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and that he has experience working with athletes from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, USTA, boxing and various NCAA sports. Of course, he's most famous for being a trainer to the stars.

Earlier in the summer, the team parted ways with former Strength and Conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco, as the new regime of Johnson and Pelinka continued to shake up the organization since assuming control at the tail end of the 2016-17 season.

After taking the reins, Johnson previously publicly mentioned that he would like to see the players in better shape and specifically mentioned cutting down body fat levels. Seemingly, Peterson's hire is a means to that end.

Also, without a doubt, it adds to the star power in the room and makes a statement in LA, which is still an entertainment town, after all.

<![CDATA[Dodgers Walk-Off in 13 Innings Over Cards]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 20:14:08 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*133/GettyImages-687531526.jpg

Pocket aces.

Logan Forsythe knocked in the game-winning RBI in his first game back from injury and the Los Angeles Dodgers walked off to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, in extra innings on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

It was a good ol' fashioned pitcher's duel at the Ravine between two of the top ERA leaders in baseball. 

Clayton Kershaw and Lance Lynn each allowed just one run in their starts, but did not factor in the decision.

Kershaw cruised through the first eight innings, heading to the ninth with a chance at his 16th complete-game shutout of his career. 

"They didn't tell me anything," Kershaw said after he completed the eighth inning. "I was going to keep going until they tell me not to."

After a leadoff single to Randal Grichuk, Kershaw was just two outs away from what would have been his MLB-leading eighth win of the season, when everything suddenly changed on one pitch.

As he had done throughout the game, Kershaw threw a curveball in the dirt, but destiny was not on the Dodgers' side as the ball took an awkward bounce of catcher Yasmani Grandal's glove and rolled all the way to the backstop.

"It was unfortunate, there's no way else to put it," said Kershaw after the game. "The way it bounced, and where it ended up, a guy gets two bases on a wild pitch. That's no fun."

Ordinarily, the runner would simply advance to third on the wild pitch, but Grandal was unable to locate the ball and miraculously, Grichuk scored from second to tie the game, and end the complete-game shutout.

Kershaw finished the ninth, allowing just one run on three hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts.

"His curveball was as good as it's been all year," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "I felt he deserved a chance to finish the game. I felt that was his game to complete."

It was the 53rd time in Kershaw's illustrious career that he has struck out 10 or more batters in a game, but the three-time Cy Young Award winner was visibly upset after he left the mound in the ninth.

Kershaw left the game with a 2.02 ERA, and now is in sole possession of first place for the lowest ERA in the National League.

Lynn entered the game in 5th and finished the night with the third lowest ERA among N.L. starters at 2.53.

"You want to outduel whomever you're pitching against," said Lynn. "When you're facing someone of his [Kershaw] caliber you have to be on point and can't give up many runs or you're going to lose the game."

Lynn's only mistake of the game was a first inning slider to Grandal that the catcher crushed to dead-center for the only run of the game.

"When it was all said and done, I made one mistake, and it was a homer," said Lynn of his start. "It was quite the pitcher's duel tonight and it was fun."

Grandal has reached base safely in 14 of the last 15 games and is batting .411 with seven runs scored, nine doubles, two home runs and 14 RBi since May 3rd.

Lynn allowed just the home run as he surrendered two hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in eight innings.

Redbirds starter Mike Leake will have a chance to leapfrog Kersahw on Wednesday when he takes the mound for St. Louis.

After the game was tied in the ninth, the Dodgers' piggybacked off Kershaw's strong start to throw four scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit.

Forsythe, who was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the game, had four consecutive strikeouts before he drove in the game-winning run with a double into the right field corner. 

"You try not to focus on the negatives," said Forsythe of his early struggles in the game. "Something was just a tick off. Luckily, I made an adjustment and I was able to help the team."

It was Forsythe's second walk-off hit of his career, and first since June 5, 2012 when he was a member of the San Diego Padres.

Both times struck out 19 times each, a franchise record for the St. Louis Cardinals, and one shy of tying the franchise record for the Dodgers.

The loss snapped the Cardinals nine-game winning streak on the road.

The Dodgers have won five of six overall, but still remain 2.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies for first place in the National League west.

Scary Moment: 

Dodgers' outfielders Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig collided in the outfield in the top of the 10th inning and both players stayed on the ground for several minutes after the play. 

"It was like they got into a car accident," Roberts said of the play. "It was a scary moment."

Replay showed Puig's elbow hitting Pederson in the face as Joc's head collided with the wall. Puig appeared to have injured his ribs in the collision as well. 

Pederson left the game in what was diagnosed as a neck strain, Puig stayed in the game and will undergo x-rays on Wednesday. 

"I felt it in my ribs, but I remained in the game to try and help my team. Hopefully tomorrow there's no pain," said Puig of the collision. "He [Joc] feels great, but he can't look at me from the side."

Up Next:

Rich Hill returns to the mound on Wednesday for the Dodgers in what could turn out to be another pitcher's duel against Mike Leake. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats, and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tommy Lasorda: A Dodgers Legend in Photos]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 13:49:33 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knbc-tommy-lasorda.jpgTake a look at the legendary Tommy Lasorda's career through the years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One-on-One: LaVar Ball vs. Magic Johnson]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 18:37:27 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAVAR_VS_MAGIC_1200x675_950597699846.jpg

He already said he could beat Michael Jordan so we asked basketball's most famous father about a one-on-one matchup with Magic Johnson in their prime.]]>
<![CDATA[Divine Intervention Brought Boston to LA]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 14:01:31 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRE_BOSTON_FOR_WEB_1200x675_950542915779.jpg

How did Tre Boston decide to sign with the Chargers over other teams this offseason? He asked a random guy at a gas station, of course. A random guy that had just asked him for money. Originally aired on Going Roggin, May 21, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Work Out Potential 2017 Draft Picks]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 10:14:26 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-NBA-draft-workouts-2017.jpg

Along with the no. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers also hold the no. 28 pick thanks to a trade deadline week switch with the Houston Rockets that sent Lou Williams to Texas for a first round selection and Corey Brewer.

LA no longer holds its second round pick, as the 2019 first round pick owed to Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade converted to two second round picks when LA held onto its 2017 NBA Draft pick. The Lakers' 2018 first round pick, regardless of where it lands, will go to Philadelphia, and their second round pick will go to Orlando in 2018, but the team will have Denver's second round pick in 2018.

Back to 2017, the Lakers are opening their doors and working out six players on Monday: Nigel Williams-Goss from Gonzaga, Dominique Hawkins from Kentucky; V.J. Beachem from Nortre Dame; Thomas Bryant from Indiana; Andrew White from Syracuse; Kyle Kuzma from Utah. These players could potentially be selections with the Lakers' no. 28 pick.

Unlike the no. 2 pick, which likely only involves working out three to five guys, the no. 28 pick could result in the Lakers working out 20, 30 of even 50 players. Back in 2015, LA held the no. 27 pick and the no. 34 pick and worked out scores of players ahead of the draft.

Based on recent history, Monday is likley closer to the beginning of the workouts than the end, as the team should try to get a look at as many players as possible. When the team held numerous workout sessions and invited in media afterwards in the summer of 2015, ultimately, Larry Nance Jr. stood out to the Lakers. A couple seasons later, the Lakers look like they made the right pick at no. 27 of the 2015 NBA Draft. At the time, Nance had been projected as a second round pick by most experts and outsiders. Although, the Lakers selected Anthony Brown at no. 34, and Brown is no longer with the team.

When picking second overall, the team only has to take into account one other team's pick before going and getting its top rated prospect. At no. 28, the variance makes it nearly impossible to figure out which players will be available. So, working out players that potentially drop on draft day allows the team to be more aware of a potential selection. In addition, the draft workouts may yield an overlooked diamond in the rough, as was the case with Nance in 2015 at no. 28 and with Ivica Zubac at no. 32 in 2016.

While the Lakers also expect to bring in the top prospects like Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum for the no. 2 pick, the majority of the upcoming workouts should consist of lesser known prospects likely to be available for selection late in the first round.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Chris Taylor (Short)]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 08:57:52 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Chris_Taylor_Short_Interview_1200x675_950228035928.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael J. Duarte, sits down with Los Angeles Doddgers infielder Chris Taylor to discuss his new nickname, a few of his favorite things, and he shows off a secret talent nobody knows about.]]>
<![CDATA[The Vault: Seeing Double]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 13:53:11 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/VAULT_WEB_KOTENKO_BROS_1200x675_950548547642.jpg

Twin jockeys Bob and Jerry Kotenko are pretty similar, as Fred Roggin found out way back in 1981. Reaired on Going Roggin, May 21, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Chris Taylor (Long)]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 09:00:09 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Chris_Taylor_Long_Interview_1200x675_950292547821.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael J. Duarte, sits down with Los Angeles Doddgers infielder Chris Taylor to discuss his wrestling lineage, his trade from Seattle to LA, and how he changed his swing this offseason.]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Finish Off The Fish]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 22:32:26 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/AP_17141753476694.jpg

The Big Butter and Egg Man delivers on Sunday.

Adrian Gonzalez knocked in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers took the four-game series from the Miami Marlins, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. 

Gonzalez had his best game of the season at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, as he recorded his first three-hit game since August 22, 2016.

"My body is definitely better," said Gonzalez of his day after going on the 10-day disabled list on May 5th. "First few games it was trying to get back into the rhythm and today I felt good."

His three runs driven in were also the most he's had since September 18, 2016 as he had a two-run double in the first inning and a RBI single in the fifth.

"I pride myself on driving in runs," added Gonzalez. "My whole career I've been good with runners in scoring position. I've never been very good when nobody is on, so when I get guys out there, I definitely want to make the most of those opportunities."

Brandon McCarthy got the Dodgers back on track on the mound, not allowing a hit through the first four innings. 

"Brandon was relentless today," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "He's all in for the ball club and he's been laser-focused lately."

McCarthy (4-1) surrendered just one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts in six strong innings for the Boys in Blue.

"It was two years of being up and down and all over the place," said McCarthy of his recent resurgence on the mound in 2017. "It was a healthy offseason where I focused on myself and pitching again and it brought back the me I would like to be."

The first Miami run was knocked in by former Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis, who laced an RBI single to right field that brought home Derek Dietrich in the fifth inning. It was the first time Ellis was in the lineup against his former team since he was traded to Philadelphia last August. 

"This is one of the most beautiful places to play in all of baseball," said Ellis of playing in Dodger Stadium again. "It's just a great place to play."

Joc Pederson broke out of a 32-game homerless slump with his second long ball of the season in the fourth inning.

Joc has struggled this season at the plate, batting .206 on the year. Prior to that at-bat, Pederson's last homer was a grand slam on Opening Day.

"It felt really good," said Pederson of his home run. "I've been struggling a little bit and I just wanted to get the ball in the air. I got the ball on the barrel and it went over the fence."

38-year-old Chase Utley turned back the clock with a diving stop in the third inning.

Later in the game, Utley conjured up the memory of Dick Dietz as he stood in the box like a post, taking a ball off the right knee from Brad Ziegler. Dietz famously tried to lean in to a Don Drysdale fastball at Dodger Stadium that would ended Drysdale's scoreless streak prematurely.

Vance Worley (0-1) made his Miami Marlins and 2017 season debut, allowing three runs on six hits, with one walk and two srikeouts in four innings.

Justin Bour homered for the third time in the series off Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning. 

The Dodgers took three-of-four from the Marlins over the weekend and collected a season-high six doubles on Sunday.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have on off day on Monday before hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for three at the Ravine on Tuesday. Clayton Kershaw will get the start in the first game of the series opposite Lance Lynn at 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP]]>
<![CDATA[The Los Angeles Dodgers 2017 Walk Up Songs]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 18:35:21 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/Flea+Dances.png

It's Time for Dodger Baseball.

A player's walk-up music is often one of the most underrated aspects of the game of baseball. In a sport clouded by how much time is wasted, the walk-up song offers an opportunity for a player to not only entertain fans, but also give them a brief glimpse into their personality. 

Every year, NBC LA brings you the walk-up songs for your Los Angeles Dodgers.

Early in the season, it's an afterthought for players, some prefer to keep the same music year-after-year for superstitious reasons—cough, Clayton Kershaw—others, will constantly change their music throughout the season as new music comes out, adjusting to their mood throughout the season.

One of the best examples of this, was Dodgers' outfielder Andrew Toles who started the season with "All There," by Young Jeezy, but within hours of the release of Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN" album on April 14th, immediately requested his walk-up music be changed to "DNA," by the artist out of Compton.

We are now a quarter of the way through the season and that's ample enough time for the players on the Dodgers to send in their song requests and see what's working at the plate and what's not.

Courtesy of the Dodgers in-game mix master, DJ Severe, here are the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers walk-up songs:

Corey Seager: "Thunder in the Rain," by Kane Brown

Enrique Hernandez: "Despacito," by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee

Kenta Maeda: "Flash" by Perfume

Justin Turner: "Shape of You," by Ed Sheeran

Chase Utley: "Kasmir," by Led Zeppelin

Trayce Thompson: "Call Casting," by Migos

Yasmani Grandal: "Bounce Back," by Big Sean

Yasiel Puig: "Papa Dios me Dijo," by Secreto El Famoso Biberon

Joc Pederson: "Thunder," by Imagine Dragons

Clayton Kershaw: "Let You Go," by Chainsmokers

Chris Hatcher: "Let Me Clear My Throat," by DJ Kool

Chris Taylor: "Copperhead Road," by Steve Earle

Austin Barnes: "Congratulations," by Post Malone

Andre Ethier: "Waves," by Kanye West

Hyun-Jin Ryu: "Gagnam Style," by Psy

Andrew Toles: "DNA," by Kendrick Lamar

Julio Urias: "El Sinaleonse," by Banda El Recodo

Rob Segedin: "Feeling Alright," by Rebelution 

Charlie Culberson: "Kings of Summer," by Ayokay

Sergio Romo: "El Mechon," by Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga

Adrian Gonzalez: "El Mariachi Loco" 

Logan Forsythe: "Rocket," by Def Leppard

Cody Bellinger: "LAX Files," The Game

Kenley Jansen: "California Love," by 2Pac, Roger, and Dr. Dre

If you want to listen to any of these songs, we made a Spotify Playlist of them available here:

2017 Dodgers Walk-Up Songs


Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Take a Bite out of Dodgers]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 23:37:30 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/165*120/GettyImages-477927818.jpg

It was a ruff night for the Boys in Blue.

Julio Urias had the worst outing of his career as the Miami Marlins destroyed the Los Angeles Dodgers, 10-6, on Pups at the Park night at Dodger Stadium.

Urias (0-2) followed up a bad performance in Colorado last weekend with the worst start of his career on Saturday.

"It wasn't a good night," admitted Urias through a translator after the game. "I'm not throwing first-pitch strikes and I need to focus more on that moving forward. I feel fine, it was just a bad night."

The 20-year-old Mexican-American struggled with his command as he allowed seven runs (six earned), on seven hits, with three walks, and zero strikeouts in just 2 and 1/3 innings, the shortest start of his career.

"He wasn't sharp," added manager Dave Roberts. "He hasn't been consistent. I'm not sure what it is, but we have to figure it out."

Perhaps motived by the late-inning kerfuffle on Friday night, the Marlins scored in each of the first five innings, leading by a tally of 10-0 entering the bottom of the fifth.

"We needed it," Mattingly said of the offensive output. "I don't know if last night had anything to do with that. You've heard that in the past, but I don't know if you can put any stock in it."

Fur-tunately, the Dodgers didn't stop retrieven' as they pawed their way back into the game thanks to home runs by Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, who went back-to-back in the bottom of the seventh.

Bellinger became the fastest player in Dodgers franchise history to hit the first nine home runs of his career as he accomplished the feat in just 24 games, beating Yasiel Puig's previous mark of 44 games in 2013.

"I didn't know that," Bellinger said when told he now held the franchise record. "It's pretty cool, but every day I'm trying to put my foot on the gas pedal and keep going."

Puig was not in the game because of a lower back injury suffered the night prior, but his right field replacement hit a solo shot to break up Dan Straily's no-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Straily (2-3), was paws-itively lights for the first four innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in the victory.

"I was really happy with the first five innings," said Straily. "I was frustrated with myself in the sixth inning. I gave them back the momentum as I exited, but overall I felt pretty good about it."

Former Dodger, Dee Gordon, went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, and shortstop J.T. Riddle had a career night, finishing a triple shy of the cycle going 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI.

One night after he was thrown at by reliever Ross Stripling, Giancarlo Stanton had a career-high three doubles and three RBI for the Fish.

"We woke up with some drive and some fight. Last night was a wake up," admitted Stanton following the game. "This was the place that made me love baseball. I grew up here. I like to perform here. I was able to stay in and stay down tonight."

The victory snapped the Marlins five-game losing streak and tied them with the San Diego Padres for the worst record in MLB.

Not fur-gotten, the health of Hall-of-Fame Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda was on a lot of fans minds as Lasorda is recovering in the hospital after suffering an infection. Get well soon, Tommy.

The sold out Dodger Stadium crowd, including 558 canines, went "mutts" when Lasorda's retired No. 2 was shown on the videoboard during the game.

Up Next:

Vance Worley will start for Miami on Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers send Brandon McCarthy to the mound looking to win the series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: tephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Great Tommy Lasorda Hospitalized]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 12:37:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/tom+copy.jpg

Dodgers great Tommy Lasorda has been hospitalized, a team spokesman confirmed to NBC4 Saturday.

"Hall of Fame Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda has been hospitalized. Lasorda is resting comfortably and appreciates all of the support," the team said in a statement. 

Lasorda is reportedly in the hospital for an infection, something that he has been hospitalized for in the past. According to a source close to the situation, Lasorda is resting and is expected to be realeased sometime next week. 

No other details about the team’s former manager’s illness or condition were immediately available.

Lasorda, 89, has a history of heart problems, and suffered a heart attack in 2012.

Currently, Lasorda serves as a special adviser to the chairman for the Dodgers. He is in his 68th season with the team, having previously been a player and a scout before becoming both a minor and major league manager.

He managed the team for two decades from 1976 to 1996 and led them to four National League pennants and two World Series wins. He was briefly the Dodgers’ general manager in 1998 after the midseason firing of Fred Claire.

He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Benches Clear as Dodgers Beat Marlins, 7-2]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 01:10:55 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/194*120/AP_17140188129142.jpg

The Dodgers won the trade.

Chris Taylor and Brett Eibner both hit homers and Alex Wood threw eight shutout innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Miami Marlins, 7-2, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Ironically, all three stars of the night for the Dodgers were acquired via trade.

Wood, the reigning National League Pitcher of the Week, delivered his third straight shutout as he has cemented himself in the Dodgers rotation for the foreseeable future.

"My consistency is there when I pitch every fifth day," said Wood. "Overall my fastball command was good tonight and I made some pitches when we needed to."

Wood (5-0), scattered just six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 7 and 1/3 shutout innings as he remained perfect on the season, lowering his ERA to an astonishing 1.88 on the season.

"No question," said Wood when asked by NBC LA, if this is the best he's pitched since he was traded to the Dodgers. "I felt like I was hitting my stride a little last year, but the consistency of my stuff, this is the best I've felt since 2014."

Wood was acquired from the Atlanta Braves as the 2015 MLB trade deadline. 

Chris Taylor went 3-for-4 with a double, and solo home run as he finished a triple shy of the cycle. The man known affectionately as "CT3," also flashed some leather in the game as the Dodgers turned a season-high four double plays on the night. 

"I feel like I'm seeing the ball well right now," said Taylor of his hot streak. "It's a combination of my swing mechancis and my confidence. When you get in a groove like that, the game slows down, and that's how its felt recently."

Taylor was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a straight-up trade for RHP Zach Lee last June.

Eibner was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game after the team announced that third baseman Justin Turner would be moved to the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

Eibner promptly made the most of his MLB action by sending a four-seam fastball from Justin Nicolino over the fence in left-center for his second home run of the season.

Eibner was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in January for Double-A infidler, Jordan Tarsovich.

Nicolino (0-1), took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in just four short innings.

Cody Bellinger became the fastest Dodger in history to hit the first eight home runs of his career when he went deep for in the bottom of the eighth to tie Yasiel Puig for the team lead. 

Despite the Bellinger bomb, it was the fireworks immediately afterward that had everyone talking.

After Bellinger belted a fastball from A.J. Ramos over the wall, Ramos hit Eibner with the very next pitch, a 97MPH fastball near the chest.

With the Dodgers leading 7-0 in the top of the ninth, L.A. retaliated as reliever Ross Stripling threw behind Giancarlo Stanton to start off the inning.

Stripling was immediately ejected, and both benches cleared as Marlins' manager Don Mattingly went after Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts and bench coach Bob Geren in the melee. Both Mattingly and Geren were ejected.

"They were exchanging some pleasantries," joked Roberts. "I think it was taken care of on the field and we're both looking forward to winning a game tomorrow."

"When Geren is out there yelling at my guy, he's going to have to go through me," added Mattingly. "If the players are yelling at each other, that's one thing, but when he's going to start yelling at guys, that's a whole other thing."

After the ejections, Justin Bour homered for the second straight game to end the shutout and put the Fish on the board.

Puig left the game in the fourth inning with low/mid back tightness, but says he still plans to play in the remaining two games of the series.

"I’m not going on the D.L. I need to be back on the field, to keep hitting, and go to Miami for the All-Star Game," Puig said after the game. 

Los Angeles has won three straight, and the Miami Marlins have the worst record in baseball. Things will certainly get interesting as these teams still have two games left to play this weekend.

Up Next:

Dodgers send Julio Urias to the mound on Saturday opposite Dan Straily as L.A. celebrates "Pups at the Park," night at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>
<![CDATA[Breakdown: Paul George to the Lakers?]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 05:42:02 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Paul-George-Lakers-Pacers.jpg

Talk of Paul George coming to the Los Angeles Lakers is nothing new, but with the NBA announcing its first, second and third team All-NBA and George missing the cut, those rumors kicked up a gear.

The reason for the uptick in talk is that in the latest collective bargaining agreement, the NBA has created incentives for star players to stick around with their home teams. In the previous agreement, players were incentivized to stay with their team by being able to sign for five-year contracts with their current team versus four-year contracts elsewhere, and while that incentive continues in the new agreement, the league has added further financial incentives to go along with the added year.

In the past, a player signing a maximum-level contract with a new team left an extra year of guaranteed money on the table, along with taking a slight hit on an annual basis. This financial impact did not seemingly add up to being enough of a factor to keep an All-NBA caliber player with their current teams, so the NBA added an extra clause.

So, to allow for even more of a hometown edge, the NBA added an extra rule. If the player is of the elite quality, meaning he's on the first, second or third team All-NBA, the home team can offer a "Super Max" contract, more accurately identified as the "Designated-Player Exception."

How does a player qualify for this special exception, which can be offered as a contract extension or as a free agency deal? First of all, the player must be with the team that drafted him or on a team that traded for him while he was on his rookie contract.

Further, the player must meet one of the follow two criteria: 1. the player must either make an All-NBA team or be named MVP or Defensive Player of the Year in the previous season 2. the must be on an All-NBA Team in two of the previous three seasons or the league's MVP in one of the previous three seasons.

So, with George missing out on the All-NBA teams, he is no longer able to sign the Designated Player Exception, which could have been signed as an extension. This new addition makes most people think that Russell Westbrook, who qualifies for the new Super Max contract will stick around in Oklahoma City.

With regards to George, the Indiana Pacers could have offered George roughly $207 million over five years had he made either first, second or third team All-NBA according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Technically, George could still make that list in the 2017-18 season, but Indiana is now sitting in a position where it could lose its most valuable asset and get nothing in return.

With George not making the All-NBA teams, the Pacers can still offer him an extra year guaranteed, so the Palmdale native is looking at a five-year contract worth about $177 million to stay at Indiana if he does not make an All-NBA team in 2017-18. Other teams can only offer George a maximum of four years at roughly $130 million.

So, in effect, the Pacers lost a great deal of their leverage over George by the Indiana star missing out on the All-NBA teams. Had he made the list, the Pacers would have been able to offer George the extension immediately, and if the forward passed on the bloated contract, one would imagine Indiana would have no reason to wait on a trade.

The same reports that linked George to LA in the first place, namely Sam Amick of USA Today, seem to suggest that the Super Max was never a factor in George's willingness to come to LA. Obviously, though, a $200+ million guaranteed contract extension offer would have tested George's conviction.

As a reminder, George has a player option on his contract at the end of the 2017-18 season, so more than likely, the Southern California native will be a free agent in 2018 anyhow.

As such, the Pacers will likely shop around and see what the 27-year-old is worth this summer while keeping in mind that he could effectively be a rent a player for the Pacers or most every other team in the NBA. And this is where the situation could get complicated for the Lakers.

If George is truly dead set on coming to LA, then Indiana would be wise to engage the Lakers and see what it can get back in return as other teams would be hesitant to fork over anything significant if they believe the player plans to walk to LA in one year's time anyhow.

However, the Lakers may be wise simply waiting an extra year and getting George on the free agent market in the summer of 2018, when the team will have contracts for Corey Brewer ($7.6 million) and Tarik Black ($6.7 million) expiring.  Also, Nick Young is due to make $5.7 million in the final year of his contract in 2017-18, but Young can opt out ahead of the current season and joked that he would be a visiting player during his exit interview.

Of course, all that still doesn't take into account the Lakers' salary cap troubles with the big contracts for Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, who are making on average $16 million and $18 million per year, respectively, for another three years. Also, Jordan Clarkson is only through one year of his four-year $50 million contract, and LA is on the hook for paying the new no. 2 pick, should they decide not to trade the pick. Add in the lottery contracts of D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram, and new Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has his work cut out for him.

Ultimately, LA could use Indiana's expected desperation to move George and give the Pacers a contract or two that would make space that could allow the Lakers to potentially attract another marquee free agent to play alongside the four-time All-Star.

Or, the plan could be simply to create enough cap space independent of the Pacers to sign George in the summer of 2018 with the hopes that the young core of lottery picks develop into the star players that the Lakers seemingly have struggled to attract in free agency.

Either way, George missing on the 2018 All-NBA teams created a situation where he is far more likely to be traded and has far less incentive to stay in Indiana. With George rumored to be heading to LA in a year's time anyhow, LA now has even more leverage in any potential trade talks with Indiana.

The Lakers' path to landing George just became signicantly clearer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Puig Homers as Dodgers Defeat Marlins]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 23:33:36 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/puig.jpg

Welcome to the fish fry. 

Yasiel Puig hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Miami Marlins, 7-2, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. 

Puig broke a tie game with a two-run homer off Edinson Volquez in the bottom of the second and the Dodgers never looked back.

Justin Bour and Christian Yelich both hit solo shots for the Marlins as Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was able to contain the damage while earning his second win of the season.

Ryu surrendered two runs while scattering seven hits, with one walk and three strikeouts before leaving the game with one out in the sixth inning with an a left knee injury.

"I think I could have stayed in the game, but it turned out to be the right decision," said Ryu. "But if I needed to, I could have stayed in the game."

Los Angeles started the game with three straight singles and scored the first run of the game on a ground out by rookie Cody Bellinger. The fielder's choice RBI was Bellinger's 19th in the month of May, the most in the Majors.

Bour tied the game with a home run in the top of the second, but the Dodgers were lucky to escape the inning allowing just one run.

"JB's been swinging the bat good," said Miami manager Don Mattingly after the game. "He's been swinging the bat good and will get three lefties in a row here so we'll see how he handles it."

Giancarlo Stanton started off the inning with a double off the left field wall, but was thrown out trying to steal third on a ball that got away from Yasmani Grandal. One pitch alter, Bour homered.

Puig put the Dodgers back in the lead in the bottom half of the inning as he passed Bellinger for the team lead in home runs with eight.

Yelich homered off Ryu in the top of the third, but the Dodgers got the run back in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Adrian Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was activated off the 10-day disabled list before the game and Scott Van Slyke was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster.

"My timing felt good and my swings felt good," said Gonzalez of his first big leage action in 10 days. "When you have herniated discs, you just have to try and keep the inflamation down. Overall, my body felt good."

Chase Utley reached base safely in all three plate appearances and since struggling to start the season, is batting .478 with a .536 OBP since May 9th. 

Volquez (0-6) remains winless on the season after allowing five runs on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.

Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen entered the game with two outs in the eighth for his fourth four-out save of the season and eighth overall.

He struck out all four batters he faced, including the side in the ninth on just nine pitches, known in baseball as an "immaculate inning." Jansen is just the 79th pitcher in MLB history to record an immaculate inning, and the first in franchise history since Todd Worrell did it on Aug. 13, 1995.

"I've been pitching for 7-8 years and didn't know what that was," said Jansen of the milestone. "They explained it to me and that was awesome. That's a blessing."

Jansen also recorded his first hit of the season at the plate, with an infield single off the glove of Bour in the bottom of the eighth. It was Jansen's first single since August 31, 2010.

"It was fun to just go out there and swing the bat," said Jansen of just the second hit in his career. "I definitely loved that hit."

Overall, the Dodgers bullpen threw 3 and 2/3 innings of no-hit relief with 10 strikeouts, just the third time in the last 100 years a pen has accomplished that feat.

Los Angeles added two runs in the bottom of the eighth off Miami reliever Odrisamer Despaigne.

Ryu was hit by a pitch on the right bicep in the fourth inning and then took a groundball off the left knee in the sixth inning. He left the game and is expected to be placed on the 10-day DL on Friday.

Ryu's injury was not even the worst of the night as third baseman Justin Turner appeared to injury his hamstring while rounding third in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"We're going to get some tests and scans done tomorrow morning," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Turner's injury. "It didn't look good from my vantage point. It was right behind the knee, but a little bit above the knee, but not the belly of the hamstring."

Turner would have easily scored on a single by Grandal but immediately grabbed his right hamstring after rounding third and limped towards the plate where he was tagged out. He will be reevaluated on Friday, but is expected to miss time, opening the door for the return of Logan Forsythe.

Up Next:

Los Angeles faces another LHP in Justin Nicolino on Friday as reigning National League Pitcher of the Week, Alex Wood, looks to stay perfect on the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.  

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>
<![CDATA[Rain Delay: Opening of Inglewood Stadium Pushed Back to 2020]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 19:38:35 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/12-28-2016-rams-stadium-seating-1.jpg

The opening of the $2.6 billion stadium that will house the Rams and Chargers in Inglewood has been delayed by one year, due in part to unusually heavy winter rainfall, officials announced Thursday.

The stadium is now scheduled to be open for the 2020 NFL season.

"Despite bringing drought relief to the region, the rain fell during the mass excavation period of construction when no other work could proceed in wet conditions," according to a statement issued by the Rams. "As a result, we experienced significant delays and lost the better part of two months from early January into the beginning of March."

A groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held in November, and crews have already excavated an estimated 6 million cubic yards of dirt.

According to the Rams and Chargers, moving back the opening date to 2020 will provide "additional flexibility" to accommodate any additional delays.

As a result of the delay, the Rams will continue playing at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Chargers will remain at the StubHub Center in Carson through the 2019 NFL season.

<![CDATA[Kershaw Saves the Day in San Francisco]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 15:48:50 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Dodgers+Giants+Benches+Clear.png

Here he comes to save the day.

Emotions ran high as Clayton Kershaw threw seven shutout innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park.

Kershaw is no stranger to snapping losing streaks this season as the Dodgers' ace has repeatedly stopped the bleeding for the Boys in Blue in 2017.

Wednesday marked Kershaw's sixth start of the season following a Dodgers' loss and the left-hander improved to 5-1 in those starts, putting L.A. back on track time and time again.

"Good win," said Kershaw to reporters after the game. "We needed it today after losing three in a row."

Kershaw (7-2) allowed just three soft-contact hits, with no walks, and five strikeouts, over seven shutout innings. He lowered his ERA to 2.15 and his seven wins tie him with Astros' starter Dallas Keuchel for the MLB lead.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner improved to 20-9 with a 1.62 ERA in his career against the Giants and Wednesday's performance was even more impressive when you include the fact that no San Francisco player reached second base off him in the game.

One of the longest and most heated rivalries in sports finally lived up to expectations when the benches cleared in the third inning.

In the top half of the first, after a two-run double by Yasmani Grandal, San Francisco starter, Johnny Cueto, started jawing at the Dodgers' catcher for apparently stealing signs.

"It was just the heat of the moment," Grandal told Alanna Rizzo after the game. "We talked about it...it was no big deal."

Two innings later, Grandal was at the plate again and Cueto appeared to throw at his head, prompting another verbal exchange between the two when the inning came to an end, and ultimately leading in both benches clearing onto the field.

As you can see from the video above, only one player wanted no part of the confrontation: Kershaw.

Clayton quickly told his teammates to get back to the dugout as he headed to the mound for the bottom of the third, avoiding the conflict altogether.

"He smelled blood," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts about Kershaw wanting to get back on the mound with a three-run lead during the commotion. "Clayton was in control."

Order was restored, no ejections were made, and no other issues between the two teams occurred for the remainder of the game.

Cueto (4-3), allowed five runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings in the loss.

Yasiel Puig added a two-run single in the top of the sixth inning to extend the L.A. lead to 5-0.

Cody Bellinger went 2-for-4 with doubles, an RBI and a run scored as he currently leads the Majors for most RBI in the month of May with 18.

Sergio Romo was put into a familiar situation at AT&T Park as the former San Francisco closer was asked to finish off the game with a six-run lead in the bottom of the ninth. 

Romo has struggled mightily this season, and promptly served up a solo shot to Eduardo Nunez to end the Dodgers' shutout. Romo retired the next two hitters, but has an 8.10 ERA this season.

Up Next:

The Dodgers return home for a 10-game homestand starting on Thursday against former skipper Don Mattingly and the Miami Marlins. RHP Edisnson Volquez will start opposite Hyun-Jin Ryu at 7:10 PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ben Margot]]>
<![CDATA[Rich Hill Returns, But Giants Deal Dodgers Another Loss]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 22:42:59 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-683960502.jpg

This was the rivalry we're used to.

Rich Hill returned from the disabled list, but the Giants dealt the Dodgers their third straight loss after a 2-1 defeat on Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

Brandon Belt and Chris Taylor both homered, but an infield single and wild pitch turned out to be the difference in the game. 

Hill was activated off the disabled list before the game after missing the last month with a blister on his left middle finger. The blister did not appear to be an issue, but Hill struggled from the start, hitting Denard Span in the back with a breaking ball and following that up with a balk in the first few minutes of the game.

Hill was able to wiggle out of that jam and many more throughout the game, as his only mistake came on an elevated curveball to Belt in the bottom of the fourth inning.

"I felt good. The ball came out of my hand well," said Hill to reporters after the game. "Obviously one mistake to Brandon [Belt], a curveball that hung. Other than that, eveyrthing came out the way I wanted it to, the finger was good, so there's no issues there."

Belt sent the pitch off of the hands of a fan in right-center for his eighth home run of the season. Hill did not factor in the decision, allowing one run on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts in five innings.

Chris Taylor tied the game in the top of the sixth with a home run to dead center off Ty Blach. Taylor has reached base safely in 15 consecutive starts and is one of the Dodgers most consistent hitters this season.

Blach (1-2) was brilliant for San Francisco, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in the victory.

Belt led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a ground ball to second base, but Taylor was unable to make the throw from short right field to get him out. Belt advanced to second on a wild pitch from Luis Avilan, and scored on a single from Brandon Crawford one batter later. 

"I didn't see it," said Roberts of the wild pitch that ultimately scored the winning run. 

Belt scored both runs for San Francisco in the win as five of the nine games between the two teams this season have been decided by one run with two others going to extra innings.

Dodgers have lost three in a row for the second time this season, the first time was April 16-18. Ironically, that streak was snapped by Clayton Kershaw, the man scheduled to start on Wednesday for Los Angeles.

Up Next:

Clayton Kershaw will once again be asked to snap the Dodgers losing streak as he squares off against Johnny Cueto for the third time this season. First pitch is 12:45PM PST. 

Photo Credit: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Image]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Secure Second Pick in Draft]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 19:04:36 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/Lakers-NBA-Draft-Lottery-2017.png

The Los Angeles Lakers won big on Tuesday night when the team landed the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery.

While the Boston Celtics landed the No. 1 overall pick, the Lakers had the most to lose on the night, as the team needed to finish in the top three to keep its first round pick or the pick would have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the Steve Nash trade. The Lakers were more likely to lose the pick than keep it, but as luck would have it, LA moved up from the No. 3 spot to the No. 2 position.

Now, LA will draft second overall for the third year in a row, and the current projections show the team getting Lonzo Ball out of UCLA.

In addition, keeping their first round pick meant that the Lakers no longer owed the Orlando Magic the 2019 first round pick in relation to the Dwight Howard trade from the summer of 2012. Instead, the Lakers will now give the Magic two second round picks.

Ultimately, Tuesday night was a big win for the Lakers' rebuild. The team will still give its 2018 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, which means that tanking will no longer be beneficial for the 2017-18 season.

While Ball is the most likely selection with the no. 2 pick, the Lakers may end up with point guard Markelle Fultz out of Washington. Ball and Fultz appear to be the two standout players in the 2017 NBA Draft, and the Lakers will likely take whichever of the two players the Celtics do not pick. It is a similar scenario to the 2016 NBA Draft when the Lakers took Brandon Ingram after the Philadelphia 76ers decided on Ben Simmons with the no. 1 pick.

Entering the night with the most to lose and after losing so much in recent seasons, the Lakers finally got a big win in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery. And finally, the Lakers appear to be out of tank mode.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Fan Looks To Embarrass Dean Spanos]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 17:12:29 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/183*120/SD+Sign+Guy.JPG

A whole lot of Chargers fans (former and present) are still mad about the team moving to Los Angeles. And some of them are looking for ways to make sure everyone knows how upset they are.

“I’m not going to just sit here and let the NFL leave my city after being screwed over by a greedy owner,” said Joseph MacRae, who has a particularly large bone to pick with Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos.

The Chargers will be playing their home games in Carson and if MacRae’s plan comes together, when Spanos drives to the StubHub Center he might not like what he sees.

“The goal is to put up billboards in Los Angeles really close to the StubHub Center that will be anti-NFL, anti-Spanos,” said MacRae, who is also known as "S.D. Sign Guy.” He’s the one who heckled Spanos at the Chargers event at The Forum in Los Angeles, visibly rattling Dean.

MacRae has started a campaign to try and construct three billboards on freeways around the stadium in Carson, two of them calling out Spanos and one taking issue with the NFL for allowing the Bolts to leave America’s Finest City. He wants to have them up by the start of September because after opening the season on the road in Denver the Chargers play three consecutive home games.

“A billboard in Los Angeles has to be up for four weeks so we would be just in time for all three of their home games,” said MacRae.

He's started a Go Fund Me page called "Fight For L-A Billboards” hoping to raise $15,000 dollars for the signs. He’s also asking disgruntled Raiders fans from Oakland to join in. As a lifelong Chargers fan, McCrae's motivation is simple.

“It’s to keep getting at Dean. Dean does not like to be trolled and we all know that. For him to move to this Fight 4 L.A. and all this and then about a couple of miles away you’re getting trolled in your own city by some folks from San Diego and Oakland, I think it would be amazing.”

MacRae raised more than $8,000 in two weeks. If you’d like to donate to the cause, click here.

<![CDATA[Back Home, Predators Eager to Match Ducks' Physical Play]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 08:35:45 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/173*120/AP_17135070959032.jpg

The Nashville Predators finally are facing their first real adversity this postseason, with the Anaheim Ducks eager to push, hit and poke them out of what's already been a historic run.

The Predators insist they can play that game too — and keep their cool no matter what pesky Ducks center Ryan Kesler does.

Nashville center Ryan Johansen vented his frustration at how Kesler plays after the Ducks rallied twice in pulling out a 5-3 win Sunday night that tied the Western Conference finals at a game apiece. Johansen said he didn't know how anyone could cheer for a guy like that constantly prodding and poking. Each picked up a penalty, with Johansen high-sticking Kesler off a faceoff.

"That's playoffs written all over it," Predators forward Colton Sissons said Monday. "Obviously, there's some bad blood there, and they've been competing hard and battling all series. It's only going to get escalated from here."

Johansen wasn't among the Predators who spoke once they landed in Nashville. After the game, he said he just has to focus on his game. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said he hadn't heard or read Johansen's complaint about Kesler but defended his 24-year-old center.

"I can tell you that I just saw him on the plane, and he's composed," Laviolette said. "I saw him on the ice last night, and he's composed. He'll be ready to play."

Ducks defenseman Josh Manson said Kesler would be in his head a little bit if he was playing against one of the finalists for the Selke trophy given to the NHL's best defensive forward.

"He's a guy that you love to have on your team and you hate to play against," Manson said. "So you watch throughout the series and throughout the playoffs, so far he takes pride in throwing guys off their game. So hopefully it is working."

How much Kesler has gotten under Johansen's skin and whether the 32-year-old veteran can shake the anchor of Nashville's top line remains to be seen. The Chicago Blackhawks were unable to disrupt the Predators during their first-round sweep, and St. Louis won twice on home ice by drawing penalties in a series the Predators finished in six games .

So far, the Predators have matched the Ducks nearly hit for hit and still have the home-ice advantage in this series.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Nashville, where the Predators have won nine straight playoff games dating to last year, including a league-best 5-0 this postseason. The streak started in Game 6 of their first-round win over the Ducks after Anaheim took both Games 3 and 4, outscoring the Predators 7-1.

That is why the Ducks feel pretty comfortable heading to Music City after avoiding an 0-2 deficit for a second straight series. They also have a 4-1 road record after sweeping Calgary and winning twice in Edmonton .

"We believe that we can go in any building and play with the teams that we're up against and give ourselves a chance for success," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

For some Ducks, this will be their first chance at hearing just how loud Bridgestone Arena is in the playoffs.

"I've seen games on TV and played there in the regular season," said Nick Ritchie, a 21-year-old forward. "They'll have a pretty big crowd, obviously. We've been a good team on the road. We're just going in there and going to try to take care of business."

That means crunching the Predators whenever possible, a style the Ducks play very well. That includes Jared Boll, who had only three points in 51 games during the regular season but has played each of the first two games against Nashville. The 6-foot-3 forward has three combined hits throwing his big body around, including a big check on Calle Jarnkrok in the opener.

The Predators also have been physical, and defenseman P.K. Subban said he thinks they've been doing a good job so far, particularly Johansen. The center has multiple points in three straight games and just tied the franchise record for most points in a postseason with 13.

"He's really valuable to our hockey club," Subban said.

The Ducks' style might be taking a toll on the Predators' power play. Nashville scored four goals on its first 10 power plays on the road this postseason but now are 0 of 8 on the man advantage against Anaheim, including failing to convert through 88 seconds of a 5-on-3 in the opener.

Now Laviolette will have the last change, though he didn't tip his hand at any possible adjustments.

"I think the guys will be fine," he said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers S.F. Struggles Continue in Blowout Loss to Giants]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 22:50:49 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-683513754.jpg

This wasn't exactly how they drew it up.

Brandon McCarthy returned from the disabled list, but the Los Angeles Dodgers were blown out by the San Francisco Giants, 8-4, on Monday night at AT&T Park.

McCarthy was activated off the 10-day DL before the game, but was bitten by some bad luck as soft contact from San Francisco turned into a four-run deficit for the Dodgers.

McCarthy (3-1), lost for the first time this season, allowing six runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings.

"Not a lot of loud contact, but quality aiming I guess," McCarthy told the media of his outing. "I just kept trying to make pitches and couldn't make headway. It wasn't really working."

Entering the game, McCarthy was the most consistent starter on the staff, with a 3.10 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21.

The Dodgers struck first following a two-out single by Corey Seager and an RBI double for Yasmani Grandal in the third inning, but it was all downhill from there.

The Giants ran off eight unanswered runs, including a four-run fourth inning off McCarthy in which the proverbial wheels fell off for the Dodgers.

McCarthy allowed four straight hits to start the inning, and by the time the dust settled, the Dodgers were down 5-1.

"Early on he was sharp. That fourth inning got away from him," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "If you look at that inning, only a couple balls were hit hard, but that fourth inning obviously proved to be the difference."

Matt Cain (3-1) continued to crush the hearts of Dodger fans, including the thousands who made the trip from Los Angeles and parked themselves in the bleachers of AT&T Park.

In Cain's two starts against the Dodgers, totaling 12 and 2/3 innings, the veteran right-hander has allowed just one run.

"He did a lot of what he did against us the first time he faced us," said Roberts. "We hit a lot of balls hard, but didn't have anything to show for it. I can't explain it, he went out there and competed." 

On Monday, Cain made 112 pitches, the most he's thrown in three years, as he scattered just five hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Cody Bellinger returned to the spot he made his MLB debut just 20 days ago, but struggled, finishing 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on the night.

The Dodgers mounted a mini-rally in the top of the ninth as they scored three runs of the Giants' bullpen, but Joc Pederson struck out with a runner on second to end the game.

San Francisco has the third-worst record in the National League, but have won four consecutive games and 5-of-8 against the Dodgers this season.

It was the first time L.A. has lost back-to-back games since April 21-22 against Arizona. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers are expected to activate Rich Hill from the disabled list on Tuesday as he starts opposite LHP Ty Blach at 7:15PM PST.

Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Vault: Lakers Sign Magic Johnson (1979)]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 15:36:33 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_VAULT_MAGIC_DRAFT_1200x675_944314947672.jpg

Magic Johnson takes the platform for the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday, exactly 38 years since he was introduced as the Lakers #1 pick back in 1979. Originally aired on Going Roggin, May 14, 2017. ]]>
<![CDATA[Is LA Ready for the Olympics?]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 15:43:07 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_WEB_OLY_2024_1200x675_944320067681.jpg

Does Los Angeles really want the 2024 Olympics? Is our city ready? Fred Roggin poses those questions to Daily News Columnist Vinny Bonsignore and Shannon Farren of KFI AM 640. Originally aired on Going Roggin, May 14, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Cody Bellinger]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 16:52:16 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/223*120/Screen+Shot+2017-05-10+at+5.32.42+PM.png

NBC LA Sports Reporter Michael J. Duarte sits down with Los Angeles Dodgers' rookie Cody Bellinger to discuss his first few weeks in the Big Leagues, growing up with Derek Jeter and his decision to skip college.]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Cody Bellinger]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 16:52:55 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/223*120/Screen+Shot+2017-05-10+at+5.34.16+PM.png

NBC LA Sports Reporter Michael J. Duarte sits down with Los Angeles Dodgers' rookie Cody Bellinger to discuss his favorite food, video game, and celebrity crushes.

Photo Credit: Michael Duarte]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Odds For NBA Draft Lottery 2017]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 04:21:30 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-NBA-draft-lottery-2017.jpg

One way or another, the Los Angeles Lakers will give up a first round draft pick.

Ideally for the franchise, the Lakers will land in the top three in Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery and hold onto their 2017 first round selection, which means their 2018 first round pick would instead go to Philadelphia in relation to the Steve Nash trade of 2012. In addition, the first round pick promised to Orlando in 2019 would convert into two second round picks.

Considering the team is still near the bottom of the league and projects to improve combined with the prospect of holding onto an extra first round pick, finishing in the top three on Tuesday would be the preferred scenario for the purple and gold.

The odds of the Lakers keeping that pick are 46.9 percent. LA has a 15.6 percent chance of finishing with the no. 1 overall pick, a 15.7 percent chance of finishing with the no. 2 overall pick and a 15.6 percent chance of finishing with the no. 3 overall pick.

Given their draft position, the Lakers have a slightly better chance of finishing outside the top three. LA holds a 22.6 percent chance of finishing with the no. 4 spot and and 26.5 percent chance of finishing with the no. 5 pick. The least likely outcome on Tuesday is that the Lakers land in the no. 6 spot, 4.0 percent.

The Lakers are currently on a streak of no. 2 picks, as the team drafted D'Angelo Russell with the no. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and selected Brandon Ingram with the no. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Another no. 2 selection would be a welcome addition to a franchise that appears to be rebounding from three straight historically awful seasons from 2013 to 2016.

If the Lakers do land a top-three pick, three point guards have emerged as the top three talents in the draft. At the top of most draft boards is Markelle Fultz, a 6-foot 4-inch point guard out of Washington. Lonzo Ball of UCLA is no. 2 in most mock drafts, and the 6-6 guard out of UCLA also seems to be more of a passing guard than a shooting guard. 

If the Lakers land in the no. 3 spot, De'Aaron Fox of Kentucky, another point guard, is projected as the third best point guard in the 2017 Draft. However, Josh Jackson of Kansas, a 6-foot 8-inch small forward, could be a better fit for the team and slots into that no. 3 spot on several mock drafts that project the Lakers to land the no. 3 pick. Jayson Tatum of Duke, who matches Jackson's height and weight, would be another option with the no. 3 pick.

Barring a surprise pick, the aforementioned five players expect to be the top five picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, though the order of picks could change.

If the Lakers land at no. 1 or no. 2, though, the choice appears to be between Ball and Fultz only, and Lavar Ball, Lonzo's outspoken father, does not appear to be enough of a deterrent to stop NBA teams from drafting the UCLA Bruin. At the moment, Fultz seems to be the consensus top prospect.

Lakers president Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will be the two representatives for the team at the NBA Draft Lottery. Johnson will be the television face for the Lakers as the results are announced, while Pelinka will be in the room when the actual drawing takes place.

The NBA Draft Lottery show will begin at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on May 16. It will be broadcast on ESPN.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Miss Opportunity on Mother's Day to Move Into 1st ]]>Sun, 14 May 2017 16:45:51 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Dodgers+Lose+to+Rockies+on+Mothers+Day.png

It was a Mother's Day Mash.

The Dodgers and Rockies combined for five homers as Colorado held on to defeat Los Angeles, 9-6, to split the four-game series at Coors Field over Mother's Day weekend.

Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig got the home run barrage started in the first and second innings.

Seager started the scoring with a two-run bomb off Antonio Senzatela to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.

After the Rockies recaptured the lead with three runs in the bottom of the 1st, Puig sent a slider from Senzatela into the seats in left field that tied the game at 3-3.

Both teams exchanged power punches throughout the day as Yasmani Grandal gave the Dodgers back the lead with an RBI single in the top of the third.

The lead would not last as Pat Valaika hit his first of two homers in the game with a two-run shot off Julio Urias in the bottom of the fourth that put Colorado in front, 5-4.

An inning later, it was Nolan Arenado's turn to tee off as he destroyed a slider from Sergio Romo to give the Rockies two important insurance runs.

"This year has been a little bit more trying," said Romo of his struggles to start the season. "It just seems to be that one pitch every outing. I just need to try and iron it out."

After Los Angeles got within a run in the bottom of the eighth, Valaika once again hit a two-run shot off Chris Hatcher to extend the Rockies lead back to three runs.

Both rookie starters, Urias and Senzatela, struggled on Mother's Day as they surrendered a total of 10 runs combined in just nine total innings.

Senzatela (6-1), an early favorite in the National League for Rookie of the Year, earned the win, allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings.

Urias (0-1) did not favor well in his first recorded decision of the season—a loss. The 20-year-old left-hander allowed six runs on seven hits with one walk and just one strikeout in four short innings of work.

"I felt good, but gave up a lot of hits in the first inning," Urias said of his start. "Unfortunately, it was just a really bad outing."

Despite the loss, L.A. had plenty of opportunities as they stranded 11 men on base, including two in each inning from the 5th through the 8th. Before RBI singles by Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger in the bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

"We've been good in those situations, but today was one of those days that we had a lot of situational opportunities and we didn't capitalize," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the runners left on base. "We had opportunities to put them away early, and we couldn't get it done."

The top of the Rockies lineup provided most of the offense for Colorado as Charlie Blackmon, D.J. LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado combined to go 8-for-11 with three RBI and five runs scored.

Colorado closer Greg Holland recorded his MLB-leading 16th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Both teams celebrated Mother's Day weekend by wearing pink uniforms including pink accessories like armbands, socks, shoes, gloves, belts, bats, batting gloves, shin and elbow guards.

Each jersey and hat had a pink ribbon to help raise awareness for breast cancer research. All proceeds of the sale of the pink merchandise went to breast cancer research charities.

Up Next:

The Dodgers head back to the Bay to battle the rival San Francisco Giants on Monday. Brandon McCarthy is expected to be activated off the disabled list before the game and will start for the Dodgers opposite RHP Matt Cain for the Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Inch Closer to Rockies in N.L. West]]>Sat, 13 May 2017 20:55:31 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/Alex+Wood+Dominates+Rockies.png

The Dodgers are in the Rockies' rearview mirror.

Alex Wood threw six shutout innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers moved within 1 half-game of Colorado for first place in the National League West after a 4-0, victory over the Rockies on Saturday night at Coors Field.

Wood (4-0) is off to the best start of his big league career as he is undefeated through six starts this season.

"It's always different pitching here," Wood told reporters of his start at Coors Field. "It was a battle in the beginning, but Barnes and I worked really well together tonight."

After starting the season in the bullpen, Wood has quickly become a stalwart in the starting rotation, might be the best of the five at present, as he lowered his ERA to 2.27 and recorded back-to-back shutouts, and has scoreless outings in three of his last four starts. 

"We have a large stable of starting pitchers, but there's a point where performance is important," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "Obviuosly he deserves another start. He's the story. It was another big outing."

Wood was lights out again on Saturday, allowing no runs on five hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts in six scoreless innings. He struck out 11 batters in his last start, the first time in his MLB career he recorded back-to-back games with at least 10 strikeouts.

The Dodgers struck first as Enrique Hernandez led off the second inning with a double down the left field line. Hernandez would score two batters late on a double by catcher Austin Barnes.

Barnes had all five-tools on display as he promptly stole third base and scored on a sac bunt by Alex Wood to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Brett Eibner hit his first home run in a Dodgers uniform when he destroyed a fastball from Tyler Anderson that went 465-feet into the pine trees in centerfield for a mammoth home run.  

Anderson (2-4) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings of work. 

Justin Turner went-2-for-4 with a double and an RBI as he improved his average to .347 at Coors Field with 11 doubles, two homers and 16 RBI in his career in Colorado.

Kenley Jansen pitched the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation for the second consecutive night. Jansen struck out the side in the ninth, giving him 28 strikeouts and no walks to start his 2017 campaign, the best mark he's ever had in his career. 

"Here in Denver, it's almost like four runs is a save," said Roberts. "It was a total team win."

The victory was the Dodgers 100th at Coors Field, the most among any visiting team in Rockies franchise history.

L.A. has won 12-of-15 overall and is a season-high seven games above .500.

Up Next:

20-year-old Julio Urias heads to the mound on Mother's Day against rookie Antonio Senzatela with first place in the N.L. West on the line. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PM PST. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Rookies Face Big Decision]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 16:58:01 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/Chargers+Mike+Williams+Draft+Board.JPG

One of the fun things for a new NFL player to do is find out which number he’s going to wear. A number can be iconic. In San Diego, everybody knows who 55 is (if you don’t you’re probably not reading this football story anyway).

The 2017 rookie class for the Los Angeles Chargers of Carson was on the practice field in Mission Valley for a mini-camp (because this is the world we live in). The Bolts will not move full-time to their Orange County facility until training camp in July.

We got to see a few of the new numbers on the new guys. Defensive backs Rayshawn Jenkins (#33) and Desmond King (#36) were both working mostly at safety. Offensive linemen, Sam Tevi took #69 while Dan Feeney grabbed #66. Their second round pick, offensive lineman Forrest Lamp, wore #76 at Western Kentucky but will be #77 in the NFL.

“(Russell) Okung has 76 so I can’t take a vet’s number,” said Lamp. “So I just went one up. My freshman year at Western Kentucky I wore 77 because a senior had 76.”

But the first round pick, wide receiver Mike Williams, was wearing #7 at camp. That’s not the number he is going to wear during the regular season. The NFL has rules for which positions can wear which numbers. Wide receivers must be from 10-19 or from 80-89. Williams is partial to #7 but knows he has to change.

“The numbers that were available? I didn’t want those,” said Williams, who is still in the decision-making process. “I’m waiting out my options to see what opens up.”

Williams wore #7 in high school and at Clemson, then was the 7th overall pick in the NFL Draft. It would be easy to just throw a “1” in front of the “7” … but there’s a sizeable road block to that number with the Chargers. The #17 is owned by franchise quarterback Philip Rivers.

Sometimes a player will negotiate with someone who has his number on a current roster. Williams said he’s not even going to try something like that with 17.

“Oh, no. I most definitely can’t get that,” said Williams. “That’s not happening.”

Williams says he wants to stay in the teens and as it stands now #14 is available. There’s even some symbolism there. If he can be twice the player he was in college, just put him in the Hall of Fame right now.

<![CDATA[Neal's OT Goal Puts Preds Past Ducks 3-2 to Open West Final]]>Sat, 13 May 2017 06:14:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17133165400686.jpg

A few moments after James Neal crumpled Anaheim's Brandon Montour with a vicious check, the Nashville forward took a pass from P.K. Subban and ripped a shot past three Ducks for the winning overtime goal.

Even in uncharted territory for this franchise, the Predators are still rolling through the Stanley Cup playoffs with their distinct combination of smash and flash.

Neal scored 9:24 into OT, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves and the Predators kicked off their first appearance in the Western Conference finals with a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.

Filip Forsberg and Austin Watson scored in regulation for the Predators, who improved to 9-2 in this NHL postseason. They also won their third straight series opener on the road, continuing their month-long run of relentless postseason play.

"It shows a lot of character," Rinne said. "All night, we had a lot of chances and we didn't give them a lot. ... I thought that we created a lot, and eventually we were going to get one by him. I thought (Ducks goalie John) Gibson played a strong game tonight, but guys stuck with it. We've been doing that the whole playoffs. It's a great sign for a team."

Game 2 is Sunday night.

After finishing off St. Louis in the second round last weekend and resting while the Ducks labored through seven games against Edmonton, Nashville capitalized on its fresh legs to win a predictably physical game between two hard-hitting powers.

Nashville got off to a strong start and followed it up with a gritty overtime effort after Hampus Lindholm's first playoff goal in two years tied it for the Ducks in the third period.

Neal put a long shot past a sprawled Gibson after a prolonged threat by the Predators that left Anaheim's defense in disarray. The goal was the veteran forward's third in four games.

"I don't know if it hit the goalie or the player that was laying in front still," Neal said. "But it was a good feeling to see it go in."

Jakob Silfverberg scored on the Ducks' first shot, and Gibson stopped 43 shots in a stellar performance. Just two days after finishing off the Oilers in the second round, Anaheim struggled to keep up at times in its second conference finals appearance in three years.

"No guy will use that as an excuse," said center Nate Thompson, who won the faceoff that led to Lindholm's tying goal. "They came out and took it to us. We just need to get back to playing our game."

Although this conference final matches two Sun Belt clubs 2,000 miles apart, they have a feisty history. Anaheim and Nashville are meeting in the postseason for the third time, including the past two seasons.

Nashville twice won Game 1 and went on to claim the previous two series with major help from Rinne, who usually has been at his inimitable best when facing the Ducks' scorers. Rinne picked up right where he left off last season when Nashville eliminated Anaheim from the first round in seven games, but Gibson was similarly outstanding.

"We knew they were going to come hard," Gibson said. "It was their first game in a while. We weren't our best, but we lost in overtime. If you look at the first period, they really came on us with a lot of pressure. We haven't played a team like that in a while. We got better as the game went on."

The Ducks got just one shot on goal in the first 13 minutes of Game 1, but Silfverberg put it into Rinne's far top corner for his eighth goal in 12 games this spring, matching his goal total in 48 games over his previous six trips to the postseason.

Nashville dominated the weary Ducks, and Forsberg forced a turnover on a forecheck before tipping Matt Irwin's shot through Gibson for his fourth goal.

Watson then put the Predators ahead early in the second period with his first playoff goal, banking his shot in off Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen.

The Ducks played a strong third period and evened it when Lindholm scored his first playoff goal in 25 games since Game 1 of the 2015 Western Conference finals against Chicago.

NOTES: Anaheim remained without two key injured veterans. D Kevin Bieksa missed his seventh straight game, while F Patrick Eaves missed his fifth straight game with a leg injury. Bieksa is close to returning to health, while general manager Bob Murray said he is hopeful Eaves could play again in the postseason. ... Watson became the 15th player to score a goal for Nashville in just 11 playoff games. ... A 6 p.m. local start time combined with Southern California's legendarily bad Friday traffic to leave thousands of empty seats in Honda Center at the opening faceoff. The sellout crowd filled in throughout the night. ... The Ducks went scoreless on four power plays. They're 0 for 21 with the man advantage since late in Game 2 against Edmonton on April 28.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw Gets Dodgers Back on Track]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 20:40:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-682469808.jpg

Leave it to Clayton Kershaw to get Los Angeles back on track. 

Kershaw allowed just two runs over seven strong innings and the Dodgers bounced back with a 6-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night at Coors Field. 

Fresh off the Dodgers 10-7 loss on Thursday night that snapped their season-high, five-game win-streak, Kershaw righted the ship as he surrendered just two runs on seven scattered hits with one walk and four strikeouts. 

The Dodgers hung five runs on the Rockies in the second inning and never looked back as L.A. added a Cody Bellinger homer in the top of the eighth to move within 1.5 games of Colorado in the N.L. West. 

Chase Utley got the scoring started in the second with a two-run triple, that was proceded by back-to-back doubles from Joc Pederson and Corey Seager a few batters later. 

Bellinger crushed a curveball to right field for his team-leading seventh home run of the season. The 21-year-old rookie sensation is now tied for second place for home runs hit by rookies this season. 

With the victory, Kershaw (6-2) became the all-time wins leader for a starting pitcher against the Rockies, passing Randy Johnson who had beaten Colorado 19 different times in his career. 

Tyler Chatwood (3-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits with four walks and six strikeouts in just 4 and 1/3 innings of work. 

D.J. LeMahieu was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Charlie Blackmon was responsible for the other Rockies run, finishing 2-for-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored. 

Up Next: 

Alex Wood looks to stay perfect on the season as he takes the mound for Los Angeles opposite Tyler Anderson. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rockies Snap Dodgers Five-Game Win Streak]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 21:25:59 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/230*120/Dodgers+Win+Streak+Snapped+by+Rox.png

All good things must come to an end. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu had the worst night of his career and the Los Angeles Dodgers had their five-game win-streak snapped by the Colorado Rockies, 10-7, on Thursday night at Coors Field. 

"He wasn't sharp," Dodgers' manager said of Ryu after the game. "He was missing out over the plate. He just couldn't get that last out. We were down 7-0 before we could really get going."

Fresh off the 10-day disabled list, Ryu (1-5) allowed 10 runs (five earned), on eight hits with six walks and just four strikeouts in four short innings. 

His counterpart, Jeff Hoffman, struck out eight in his first major league win. Hoffman (1-0) allowed just three runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts after he was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier in the day.

Carlos Gonzalez broke out of his slump in a big way with a two-hit, three-RBI night. Ian Desmond and Nolan Arenado each had two doubles as the Rockies remain in first place by 2.5 games over the Dodgers in the National League West.

The Dodgers trailed 10-0 before they rallied for seven runs in the final five frames. Trailing 10-6 in the top of the ninth, L.A. loaded the bases with no outs for Chase Utley, prompting Colorado to go to their closer Greg Holland. 

"You're never out of it here," said Roberts. "That's credit to our guys. For us to get Holland in the game, that was a good thing for us."

Utley grounded into a double-play and Holland struck out Yasiel Puig to end the game.

Up Next: 

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound on Friday night opposite Tyler Chatwood at 5:40 PM PST. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski]]>
<![CDATA[Ducks' Reward for Game 7 Win is Date With Rinne and Preds]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 07:51:49 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/AP_17131126319962.jpg

The Anaheim Ducks finally cleared a major psychological hurdle with their gritty Game 7 victory over Edmonton on Wednesday night. After four consecutive years of failure in winner-take-all showdowns, they stood up to an upstart opponent and finished a series strong.

"I wouldn't say it's a relief, but the fact we don't have to talk about it anymore, that's a good thing," captain Ryan Getzlaf said.

Getzlaf also said this particular party is already over, however.

Anaheim has just two days to prepare to face another daunting obstacle from its playoff past: a 6-foot-5 Finnish goalie with a knack for stopping the Ducks in their playoff tracks.

Nashville's Pekka Rinne ran Anaheim out of the first round last season for the second time in his career, and he returns with the surging Predators for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Friday.

The Ducks have been the hapless foils for some of the best moments in Nashville franchise history — and for Rinne, who always seems to find his inimitable top form against Anaheim.

Rinne and the Predators ousted the Ducks in six games in 2011 for their first ever playoff series victory. Five years later, Nashville stole the first two games of the clubs' first-round series at Honda Center before winning the final two, including a nail-biting 2-1 victory in a Game 7 dominated by Rinne.

"They're a great team, and they've done a really good job in the playoffs this season and against us in the past," said Anaheim forward Andrew Cogliano, who scored the tying goal in Game 7. "It's going to be another big challenge going forward."

Both of the West finalists are perhaps overdue to be rewarded for years of patient progress with a Stanley Cup Final trip. Anaheim hasn't made the final round in a decade despite icing one of the NHL's most consistently strong teams, while the Predators are in their first conference finals in the club's 10th trip to the postseason since 2004.

Nobody gets anything in the Stanley Cup playoffs without a grind, and these two teams are on it. They've combined for the best two records in this postseason, losing only five combined games.

The Ducks should feel a swell of confidence after outlasting the Oilers. Anaheim had lost five straight Game 7 appearances overall since 2006, but the Ducks played a stellar defensive game against Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl before winning it on power forward Nick Ritchie's third-period goal.

And the way the Ducks rallied was even more impressive. They fell behind the Oilers just 3:31 into this seventh game, but the rest of the night largely belonged to Anaheim, which finally showed some veteran mettle in the playoffs' biggest crucible.

"We were down 1-0 for a little bit, and we didn't panic," Ritchie said. "We actually started to play better once they scored, and we got another one and then we kind of brought it home with good defensive hockey."

Big-game resilience hasn't always been Anaheim's strength during the past half-decade. Despite having home-ice advantage to start 10 straight playoff series since 2009, the five-time defending Pacific Division champions had blown a 3-2 series lead four straight times before holding off Edmonton.

The Ducks aren't willing to say they've found new playoff toughness, but their renewed vigor in this particular postseason is exemplified by Getzlaf, whose first two rounds were among the best of the 2007 Stanley Cup champion's long playoff career.

Getzlaf, who turned 32 years old on Wednesday, has eight goals and seven assists in 11 playoff games, already setting a new career high for goals in a single postseason. The consummate playmaker has been looking for his shot with urgency, and he has cemented his role as a steadying presence in Anaheim's dressing room.

Even his longtime linemate, Corey Perry, has picked up on the vibe.

The 2011 NHL MVP managed only 19 goals during the lowest-scoring full regular season of his career, but he has surged while reunited with Getzlaf in the playoffs. Perry has six points in the last four games, capped by an assist on Ritchie's series-winning goal.

Rinne is the biggest obstacle yet — literally and figuratively — to this Stanley Cup push in Anaheim, but the Ducks are ready for any challenge.

"The way we've played the last half of the season where we've learned to deal with adversity, we needed that again tonight," Getzlaf said after Game 7. "That's what we need going forward into the next round."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Sweep Pirates]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 23:02:43 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/AP_17131142088409.jpg

Time to walk the plank.

Cody Bellinger hit a two-run homer and Chase Utley turned back the clock, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-2, on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers got some bad news to start the day as it was announced that left-fielder Andrew Toles would be out for the remainder of the season after he tore the ACL in his right knee on Tuesday night.

"As much as we all feel for Andrew in this situation, we still have a baseball game to win and more to play," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "It means a lot of guys are going to get more opportunities, and we expect them to go out there and produce."

A visibly downtrodden Toles spoke to the media before the game, telling reporters he wants to "stay positive," and that he told his teammates to "keep moving on. We've got other dudes who can play. It's no big deal."

One of those "other dudes" who can play is 21-year-old Cody Bellinger who now becomes the everyday left fielder in Toles' absence. Bellinger has lit the league on fire since he was called up to the Major Leagues two weeks ago and continued that pace with a two-run homer in the first inning on Wednesday.

"I was waiting for a quick pitch," said Bellinger of the at-bat. "I saw him pick up his leg and that allowed me to stay back on the ball and luckily, he left it up."

The long ball was Bellinger's sixth of the season, and it comes in just his 14th career game. He now is tied with Yasiel Puig for the team lead in home runs and is just two RBI behind Puig for the team lead at 19.

"It's been crazy and fun," said Bellinger of the hot start to his career. "I'm just going to go along for the ride and help these guys win."

Bellinger became the second fastest in franchise history to hit six home runs to start their career. Matt Kemp holds the record after he hit six home runs in his first 13 games to start his career in 2006.

With Bellinger moving back to left field and Adrian Gonzalez on the disabled list, Chase Utley made his first start of the season at first base and immediately looked like the Utley of old at the plate.

Utley recorded his first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI as he stepped back into the time machine for the Boys in Blue.

"I'm just trying to stick with it," said Utley after the game. "Eventually hits will fall and for me, tonight was a good night."

Utley participated in a simulated batting practice with right-hander Brandon McCarthy before the game, an exercise he believes helped him at the plate in the finale against the Pirates.

"Any time you can get mulitple at-bats it can help your timing," Utley said. "Hopefully, I can take that with me to Colorado."

Yasmani Grandal also continues to swing a hot bat as he reached base safely in all four plate appearances, finishing 3-for-3 for a double, RBI, run scored and a walk.

For the second straight start, Kenta Maeda was masterful. The Japanese right-hander nearly pitched a complete-game shutout before allowing a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.

"I was hoping he'd go the distance," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "I was absolutely pulling for him to complete it, but you get to a certain point and you want to make sure you win the game. I didn't want him to have a sour taste after that brilliant outing." 

All in all, Maeda was pretty dominant, allowing just two runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a career-best 8 and 1/3 innings.

Chad Kuhl defeated the Dodgers in his MLB debut on June 26, 2016, but he was knocked around on Wednesday, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

"Tonight was bad," said Kuhl of his start. "It's a shame what happened in the first inning. It's unacceptable." 

Francisco Cervelli scored the only runs of the game for the #Bucs with a two-run homer off Maeda in the bottom of the ninth.

The Dodgers have swept both Pennsylvania teams in consecutive weeks after sweeping the Phillies April 28-30. They also are riding a season-high five-game win-streak. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers head out on a seven-game road trip starting in Colorado on Thursday. Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to be activated off the disabled list and start opposite LHP Tyler Anderson at 5:40PM PST at Coors Field.

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Toles Out For Season With Torn ACL]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 19:57:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/AP_17130160744602.jpg

Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles is handling his latest setback with the positive mindset that got him to the major leagues.

Toles has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will need season-ending surgery. He was on crutches Wednesday and said he expects six-to-seven onths of rehabilitation and a return in time for spring training.

"I want to stay positive," Toles said. "There's no sense in being distraught over an injury. In sports, it happens."

He landed awkwardly while trying to preserve a no-hitter for Julio Urias in the seventh inning Tuesday night, sliding into the left-field wall as a drive by Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen landed for a double. Toles came out of the game.

"I was close to the wall. I was going to dive, but I realized I was going to go right into the wall," Toles said. "I accelerated at the last second and stopped really quick on the dirt and my leg gave out. ... I didn't hear a pop or anything. How do I put this? It was an awkward hyperextension."

A MRI on Wednesday confirmed the injury. He will have surgery in about seven-to-10 days.

"His outlook on things is that he's not too down," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's not too down. I think where most people would be devastated, his outlook on life is pretty simple, which is great. Just with his trek to get to the big leagues and what he's had to endure and overcome, and to establish himself as a big-league ballplayer for a winning team, says a lot about his character. To not see it through this year, I know his teammates, coaches, we're all disappointed."

The 24-year-old Toles won Los Angeles' left-field job and was hitting 275 with five homers and 15 RBIs, including a .375 average with seven RBIs in his last 11 games.

A son of former NFL player Alvin Toles, Andrew played football in high school until a hernia injury sidelined him. He said that was the worst injury he had before now. He also has dealt with anxiety.

Selected by Tampa Bay on the third round of the 2012 amateur draft, Toles was out of baseball in 2015 and even worked at a grocery store during that time.

The Dodgers signed Toles in September 2015, and he started the next season in Class A. He made his major league debut in July, played all three outfield positions and excelled as a pinch hitter.

Los Angeles had won nine of 11 entering Wednesday, and Toles was a big part of the Dodgers' success. Asked how his teammates reacted to his news, Toles said: "Disappointment. They don't want anyone to get hurt, obviously. We'll keep moving on. We've got other dudes who can play, too. It's no big deal. We should be OK."

Toles, who turns 25 in two weeks, smiled when talking about how he was performing at the plate.

"I was swinging it pretty good," he said "Feeling good. Playing pretty good defense. Kind of came to a halt."

Cody Bellinger started in left field for Wednesday night's series finale against the Pirates. Bellinger began the night with a .320 average, five homers and 15 RBIs is 13 games, playing first base while Adrian Gonzalez is sidelined with right elbow soreness.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ducks Confront Game 7 Demons vs. Oilers]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 12:18:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/173*120/AP_17126250207480.jpg

Game 7 may be the most exciting phrase in sports to a lot of people. Probably not for the Anaheim Ducks and the Washington Capitals.

The Capitals have lost six of nine Game 7s in the Alex Ovechkin era, and the Ducks have lost five in a row with stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, including a heartbreaker in each of the last four years. Wednesday night is the chance for each team to confront its Game 7 demons as Washington hosts the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim hosts the Edmonton Oilers with spots in the conference finals at stake.

"I don't know whether from coaching or playing whether you get into a mental block or not," said Bruce Boudreau, who coached in Game 7 four times with the Capitals and four times with the Ducks. "I think Washington for sure is due to win. I've said it for four years in Anaheim we're due to win, but in the end your best players have got to be your best players."

For the Capitals, that means more production from Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, and strong goaltending from Braden Holtby when the puck drops against the Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) for the chance to meet the Ottawa Senators in the East final. In those nine Game 7s, Ovechkin has three goals and three assists, and at the moment he is earning praise from teammates and coach Barry Trotz in this series for accepting a demotion to the third line.

Getzlaf and Perry have combined for only seven points in six chances in Game 7 going into another one at home against Edmonton (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Goaltender John Gibson was pulled from his only Game 7 start in 2014 after allowing four goals on 18 shots, and he's coming off another hook after three goals on six shots in a 7-1 drubbing in Game 6 on Sunday.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle didn't blame Gibson and said it's about the entire team being better.

"Obviously there's more at stake when it's the final game," said Carlyle, who won the Cup in 2007 but hasn't won a Game 7 since 2006. "Now it boils down to one. ... I'm sure that you could poll 100 people, and 99 of them would say they'd rather play at home. It's our turn to serve, and holding serve means that we go on. If we don't hold serve, then it's not what we're looking for."

Boudreau, who is 1-7 in his NHL coaching career in Game 7 after success in that spot in the minors, thinks goaltending will be the difference. Trotz doesn't think it'll have anything to do with history.

"I don't know if there's any hump to get over," said Trotz, who is 1-1 with the Capitals in two Game 7 opportunities in 2015. "I just think with this group that I've been with, our Game 7s have been pretty solid. You're not going to win every one. But I thought our game was really, really quite good in both those Game 7s."

Whether it was Marc-Andre Fleury stopping Ovechkin on a breakaway in 2009, Jaroslav Halak stopping 41 of 42 shots in 2010, losing by one goal to the New York Rangers in 2012, getting shut out by the Rangers in 2013 or losing in overtime at the Rangers in 2015, Game 7 just hasn't been kind to the Capitals.

"At the end of the day they're a different team," said Adam Oates, who coached the Capitals' 5-0 Game 7 loss in 2012. "I think they're the better team right now, so hopefully they play that way. Based on (Monday) night I don't see any reason why they won't."

Beating the Penguins emphatically 5-2 in Game 6 in Pittsburgh is why Boudreau believes the Capitals will win Game 7. Their last Game 7 victory at home came in the first round in 2009 with Boudreau behind the bench when Sergei Fedorov scored the winner to knock off the Rangers.

"I've got to believe that (the momentum from Game 6 is) going to roll over, that they're finally sick and tired of hearing that they haven't gone to the third round and will break through," Boudreau said.


Concussed on May 1, Sidney Crosby returned five days later and didn't look at his best Monday after crashing headfirst into the boards. But Crosby and coach Mike Sullivan said he was checked by a doctor and not put into the NHL's concussion protocol.

Crosby continues to play but isn't pleased that he keeps getting questioned. "You talk to the doctor," Crosby said Tuesday. "We can sit here and I can explain for 10 minutes what concussion protocol is and all that stuff but I don't really want to do it."


Fleury has allowed nine goals on 58 shots the past two games after nine on 142 shots the first four games against the Capitals. Some of that is the play in front of him, especially with Pittsburgh defenseman Trevor Daley missing Game 6 with a lower-body injury.

If the Capitals have found a hole on the goaltender's glove side they're not saying.

"We're just trying to shoot where there is open spot," Kuznetsov said.


Justin Williams has a chance to add to his legend as "Mr. Game 7" in his first chance with Washington. A three-time Cup winner, Williams is 7-0 with seven goals and seven assists in seven chances in Game 7.


This is the first NHL Game 7 for Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Cam Talbot and the majority of the Oilers, who as a franchise last played in one in 2006. That was a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the Cup Final that as, you guessed it, Williams sealed it with an empty-netter.


The Hurricanes' coach in that Game 7 against Edmonton was none other than Peter Laviolette, who's waiting for the Ducks or Oilers in the Western Conference final with the Nashville Predators. Laviolette's Predators are looking to become the third eighth seed in the salary-cap era that began in 2005-06 to reach the Cup Final. The first two? The '06 Oilers he beat and the 2012 Los Angeles Kings, who got 15 points during their run from Williams.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Local Olympic Athletes Want Games in LA]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 11:28:28 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Local_Athletes_Want_Olympics_in_LA_1200x675_940173379603.jpg

What do prospective Olympic athletes think about Los Angeles becoming a host city for the 2024 Games? Mario Solis reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. ]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Rally For Roller Coaster Win Over Pirates]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:09:05 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/Stripling+WalkOff.png

What a roller coaster of emotions. 

Austin Barnes hit the game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3, on Mexican Heritage Night at Dodger Stadium. 

Everything was turning up roses for the Dodgers through the first six innings of the game, when suddenly it all turned on a dime. 

Los Angeles led 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning, and 20-year-old Mexican pitching prodigy, Julio Urias, had a no-hitter, so what could go wrong, right?

Apparently everything.

Andrew McCutchen started the comeback for the Bucs by hitting a ground-rule double to left field that injured Andrew Toles on the play. 

"He was locating and kept everybody off balance," said McCutchen of Urias. "I was looking for something to drive. I stayed within myself and took what he gave me. I was able to get a double. It felt pretty good."

Replay showed Toles trying to avoid a collision with the wall, but his right knee bent awkwardly on the play and he laid on the ground for several minutes, writing in pain, before exiting the game.

Enrique Hernandez entered the game for Toles as a defensive replacement, and Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts pulled Urias out of the game for fellow Mexican reliever, Sergio Romo.

"Mexican Heritage Night. Pitch count creeping up there. I was thinking, 'If I have to take this young kid out of a no-hitter, 45,000 fans are going to come down on me,'" joked Roberts of the decision to take out Urias. "It was a tough one for me, but once he gives up that hit, I was able to take him out. He's going to get his chance for some other no-hitters."

As fate would have it, the first hit after the switch went straight to Hernandez, who brutally misplayed a fly ball, not only allowing McCutchen to score, but Francisco Cervelli to end up on second base after Hernandez allowed the ball to skip past him and roll all the way to the wall.

The hit was ruled a double for Cervelli, but easily, and arguably, should have been ruled an error on Hernandez. The mistake was costly as rookie Max Moroff—who made his MLB debut on Monday—recorded the first hit of his career, an RBI single to left-center that tied the game.

"Kiké [Hernandez] lost the ball in the lights," said Roberts of the play. "It was unfortunate. Luis [Avilan] gives up a blooper. It was a good pitch that the kid got enough of the barrel on. We didn't quit though, and that's credit to our guys."

Bitten by bad luck, Urias did not factor in the decision, as the mistake by Hernandez denied him his first win of the season. Urias exited the game to another standing ovation by the Dodger Stadium crowd, finishing with one run allowed on one hit with one walk and five strikeouts in 6 and 1/3 innings pitched, the longest he's pitched into a game as a starter in his career.

"I really have to thank Grandal. He deserves a lot of the credit for this," said Urias of his catcher. "He kept calling pitches and I just kept listening to him. I'm happy with the work we did together. The most important part was we got the win."

John Jaso hit the go-ahead home run for the Pirates in the top of the eighth as the Dodgers trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth with Bucs closer Tony Watson on the mound.

"It didn't go as far as I thought it did," joked Jaso of his homer. "The situation was to get a homer there, but I was just trying to look for a pitch to drive there and thankfully it went over the fence."

Watson wilted under the pressure and the Dodgers simply refused to lose as Corey Seager and Justin Turner hit back-to-back singles with one out to keep L.A.'s hopes alive. 

Of course it was Cody Bellinger who answered the bell. Bellinger tied the game with an RBI single, knocking in his 15th run in just his 13th big league game. 

After a quick Kenley Jansen sighting in the 10th, the Dodgers walked-off thanks to an RBI double by pinch-hitter Austin Barnes to extend their winning streak to a season-high four games. 

"I knew I hit it in the gap pretty well," said Barnes of the game-winning hit. "Thankfully he [pinch-runner, Ross Stripling] was pretty fast and he got around the bases."

Yasmani Grandal provided the early offense for the Dodgers as he sent a two-seam fastball from Ivan Nova into the seats in right-center for a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

"I've been seeing the ball well," added Grandal. "I knew I had it when I hit it. He missed with a pitch and I put a pretty good swing on it."

Up Next:

The Dodgers will look to sweep the series on Tuesday when Kenta Maeda takes the mound against RHP Chad Kuhl. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Making Major Organizational Changes]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 07:10:24 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/Rob-Pelinka-Lakers-GM-3-10-17.png

The rumor that Kyle Lowry is considering coming to the Los Angeles Lakers doesn't sound far-fetched unless one considers his motivation for potentially leaving Toronto would be to chase an NBA title. In that case, the Lakers would be one of the last landing spots for the 31-year-old.

This, in a nut shell, is the off season life in Los Angeles.

Seemingly any and every potential free agent or trade target will inevitably be linked with the LA Lakers, regardless of how much sense the prospect makes for either the player or the team. If Kevin Durant wins a title with the Golden State Warriors, the story of how Durant owns a house in LA and can now come rebuild the franchise in peace will inevitably spark without any real basis.

While there appears to be genuine interest in Paul George coming to LA, the Indiana Pacers forward is on contract for another year, so getting George would likely involve giving up assets. While giving up largely unproven players to get an All-Star is not necessarily a raw deal, why would the Lakers give up anything if George truly wants to come to LA for free in one year's time anyhow?

The New York Knicks didn't display that level of thinking when they traded for Carmelo Anthony, and their nightmare with the Knicks superstar will seemingly never end.

Without a doubt, the Lakers expect to be active in free agency and in the draft. However, no one truly has any idea what the Lakers will and will not do because Lakers president Earvin "Magic" Johnson has only been leading the basketball side of the organization for about three months, and first-time General Manager Rob Pelinka has been at his post for an even shorter period of time.

So, what do we know?

For starters, the Lakers have not been sitting idly by since the end of their regular season in mid-April. Here's a quick summary of changes that the organization has undergone since the regular season finale whether by resignations or separations: Long-time Lakers assistant general manager Glenn Carraro left the franchise after 17 years; Strength and Conditioning coaches Tim DiFrancesco and Sean Light have moved on; Basketball Operations Coordinator Tania Jolly departed; Director Player Development Rondre Jackson is no longer with the team; and Director of Basketball Analytics Yuju Lee reportedly resigned rather than accept a reduced role.

The aforementioned changes were reported via the LA Daily News, ESPN, the LA Times and Bleacher Report, as well as confirmed publicly by a number of the people mentioned.

Needless to say, Johnson and Pelinka are not afraid of change, and the Lakers are in fact changing from the top down. How much of that change lands directly on the court remains to be seen, but the team's move to a new state of the art privately owned practice facility guarantees to be only one of the long-term changes the team undergoes over the summer of 2017.

On the topic of the summer of 2017, the Lakers have a rather important date circled on their calendar: May 16. That is NBA Draft Lottery day, when the Lakers learn whether they keep their 2017 first round pick or ship it East to Philadelphia as the last remnants of the Steve Nash trade.

LA has a 46.9 percent chance of keeping its draft pick, which requires that the Lakers finish in the top three in the lottery. If LA does keep its pick, Johnson and Pelinka will have one more potential cornerstone franchise player or yet another potential bargaining chip on the trade market. Either way, keeping the draft pick would help the Lakers' situation in the present and in the future.

In addition to crossing fingers, toes and legs, the Lakers have also reportedly revamped their scouting structure into four tiers: College; International; NBA; NBA Development League.

With the exception of the college scouting unit that has yielded late draft value like Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in recent years, the other segments expect to receive significant changes based on Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Pincus also states that the team will continue to rely on international scout Antonio Maceiras, but the Lakers expect to add to his staff significantly. A quick peek around the league shows that the international NBA talent pool simply cannot be overlooked at this point. Even a look inside the Lakers' locker room at Ivica Zubac underscores this point.

From the generals in the front office to the lieutenants and foot soldiers beneath them, the Lakers are undergoing a massive structural reorganization at seemingly every level.

Seemingly, the only aspect of the Lakers that has not been drastically impacted by the new culture of change is the personnel on the court -- yet.

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Pound Pirates, 12-1]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 23:11:45 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/CT3+Grand+Slam.png

Make it an even dozen. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers spoiled the Pirates return to sunny Southern California by pounding Pittsburgh, 12-1, on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Pittsburgh entered the game winners of 10-of-13 against the Dodgers since 2015, including a 5-2 mark last season, but the Dodgers wasted no time turning the tables on the Pirates.

Chris Taylor started the game with a grand slam off starter Trevor Williams to give L.A. an early 5-0 lead, and the Dodgers never looked back.

Taylor's first inning slam came on the heels of Cody Bellinger's slam in the ninth inning on Saturday night against San Diego. It was the first time the Dodgers have hit grand slams in back-to-back games since Sept. 7, 2004 (Robin Ventura and Olmedo Saenz).

"You definitely want to take advantage of those opportunities," said Taylor of coming up with the bases loaded in the first inning. "It's fun every time you hit a home run. Obviously we did a good job of scoring tonight."

Two batters later, Yasiel Puig sent a slider halfway up the seats in left field and the Dodgers finished with six runs in the first inning.

Williams wilted under the bright lights of Dodger Stadium. In his first start of the season, the right-hander from San Diego made two fielding mistakes to start the game, and surrendered eight runs (six earned) on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts in just three innings of work.

"I made some mistakes out there and didn't execute some pitches and it led to a big inning," said Williams after the game. "I let things get out of hand that first inning. I had a chance to stop the bleeding, but unfortunately he [Taylor] hit it over the fence for four runs."

Meanwhile, Alex Wood was phenomenal in just his fifth start of the season. Wood did not allow a hit through 4 and 2/3, finishing the game with just one walk and 11 strikeouts in five scoreless innings.

Wood has solidified his spot in the starting rotation as the Dodgers continue to play musical chairs with their starters.

"I was supposed to throw today anyways," said Wood of his spot in the rotation. "It just so happened we got rain, so we could have stayed on and we all would have gotten seven days rest, but McCarthy didn't start, so I stayed on my normal rotation."

On Monday, the team announced that undefeated starter, Brandon McCarthy, was headed to the 10-day disabled list (retroactive May 5) with shoulder soreness.

In just his second start since returning from the disabled list, Joc Pederson, finished 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.

"I've been trying to get my feet underneath me and get into a good rhythm," said Pederson of his return. "I had two weeks off so I'm trying to get back into the feel of things."

Talyor continues to rake, going 2-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored.

"His swing last year couldn't really handle velocity," said Roberts of Taylor's turnaround since last season. "The rhythm in his swing he can handle more velocity and mechanically he's much more sound and athletic." 

Cody Bellinger went 0-for-4 with a run scored and a strikeout on the night it was announced that he was named the National League player of the week.

The team combined for a season-high 15 hits and recorded 17 strikeouts--the most this season--as they won their third straight game and eight of ten overall.

Up Next:

The Dodgers send Julio Urias to the mound tomorrow against former-Yankee Ivan Nova for the Pirates. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Austin Barnes]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 07:48:55 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Austin_Barnes_Short_Interview_1200x675_938708547522.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael Duarte, asks Los Angeles Dodgers' catcher, Austin Barnes, about his baseball idol, his favorite song, superhero, and which teammate would be his running mate if he ran for President.]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Austin Barnes]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 07:51:12 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Austin_Barnes_Full_Interview_1200x675_938701891799.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael Duarte, interviews Los Angeles Dodgers' catcher, Austin Barnes, about his transition behind the plate, his uncle Mike Gallego and how he proposed to his fiancee.]]>
<![CDATA[Byron Scott to Doc Rivers: Get Rid of One of Those Jobs]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 13:18:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BYRON_ON_DOC_1200x675_938344003575.jpg

Former Lakers Coach Byron Scott joins Fred Roggin to talk about how the Clippers must move forward after being knocked out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Byron will also discuss his new book, Slam-Dunk Success, and the Lakers' pursuit of Paul George. Part of an interview airing at midnight on Going Roggin, May 7, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Byron Scott to Lakers: Get Paul George]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 13:09:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BYRON_ON_LAKERS_PICK_1200x675_938339395999.jpg

Former Lakers Coach Byron Scott knows what he would do if the Lakers manage to land a top three pick, and it involves getting Paul George in purple and gold. Part of an interview originally aired on Going Roggin, Sunday, May 7, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw, Bellinger Lead Dodgers Over Padres ]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 21:40:00 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/AP_17127118098878.jpg

Don't make Clayton Kershaw angry.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out nine Padres, Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam, and the Los Angeles Dodgers won their second straight game in San Diego, 10-2, on Saturday night at Petco Park.

Kershaw threw seven shutout innings before allowing a solo shot to Ryan Schimpf in the bottom of the eighth.

Other than the one mistake to Schimpf, Kershaw was lights out, allowing just one run on five hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. Kershaw's four free passes issued were the most since May 10, 2015 against Colorado at Coors Field.

Another Clayton, Padres' starting pitcher, Clayton Richard, did not fair as well as the Dodgers avenged a loss to Richard in the second game of the season at Dodger Stadium.

Richard surrendered five runs on seven hits with a career-high six walks and five strikeouts in just five short innings for San Diego.

Bellinger bookended the scoring for the Boys in Blue with an RBI single in the fourth, and a grand slam in the top of the ninth.

It was the first grand slam of Bellinger's career and his fifth home run in his first 11 games as a big leaguer, a Dodgers franchise record.

The Dodgers gave Kershaw the lead with three runs in the fourth inning, and tacked on two more when Kiké Hernandez hit a two-run double with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth.

Hernandez drilled a line drive down the left-field line that could have cleared the bases, but Franklin Gutierrez stopped at third base and had to exit the game with a hamstring injury.

Kershaw cruised until he ran into some trouble in the bottom of the eighth. After he leadoff home run to Schimpf, he nearly got himself ejected after he argued a ball call by home plate umpire, Toby Basner, on a pitch that looked like it should have been strike three.

Kenley Jansen came into the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eight looking for a four-out save. Bellinger's slam gave the Dodgers a nine-run lead, but if Jansen could finish off the bottom of the ninth, he still would have recorded the save. 

However, the all-time saves leader in franchise history, struggled in the ninth, and was relieved by Chris Hatcher with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, negating the save opportunity for Jansen.

Up Next:

Brandon McCarthy looks to remain undefeated opposite RHP Trevor Cahill on Sunday afternoon. Rain is expected and it could delay the game which is scheduled to start at 1:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: Gregory Bull/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ducks Make Record Rally, Perry Scores in 2OT to Top Oilers]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 08:31:39 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/AP_17126244206518.jpg

Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have been preparing for these moments for their entire adult lives. Nearly 14 years after the Anaheim Ducks drafted them together, they've built a mental connection that remains indelible through any playoff pressure or defensive determination.

So when Getzlaf found the puck and a sliver of space on the boards in the second overtime of a crucial playoff game Friday night, Perry's feet moved before his thoughts.

"Right to the net," Perry said. "He had eyes up, and he had time, and I was yelling for that puck the whole way."

After the unprecedented comeback required just to get back into Game 5, the Ducks finished it off with one more moment of hard-earned grace from their dynamic duo.

Perry scored 6:57 into the second OT after the Ducks rallied from a three-goal deficit in the final minutes of regulation, completing a spectacular 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers and seizing a 3-2 lead in their second-round playoff series.

Anaheim became the first team in Stanley Cup playoff history to force overtime or win a playoff game after trailing by three goals with less than four minutes left in regulation, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

While the Oilers cried foul over a no-call of goalie interference on Rickard Rakell's tying score with 15 seconds left in regulation, the Ducks celebrated their third straight win — and the first home victory for either team in the series.

Perry, who finished with a goal and two assists, collected that pass from Getzlaf and waited out a sprawling Cam Talbot, who made 60 saves.

"That's will," said Getzlaf, who has scored 15 points in a spectacular postseason. "We willed it through, and did whatever we had to do. We scratched and clawed at the end and found a way to get ourselves back in that game and give ourselves an opportunity."

Game 6 is Sunday in Edmonton.

Getzlaf got the first goal of the comeback with 3:16 left in regulation, and Cam Fowler scored 35 seconds later before Rakell put the tying goal through a crowd of prone players to cap a stunning sequence — all with goalie John Gibson pulled for an extra attacker.

On his 24th birthday, Rakell slipped a puck under a crowd that included a horizontal Ryan Kesler making some contact with Talbot. Video review found no goalie interference because Kesler had been shoved into Talbot by Darnell Nurse, and the Ducks celebrated madly.

"I don't even know what goalie interference is anymore, to be perfectly honest," Edmonton forward Milan Lucic said. "It's an absolute joke that especially two really good referees can't make the right call at the right time."

Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Drake Caggiula scored during a dominant second period, but the Oilers coughed up a big late lead despite solid play by Talbot.

Talbot acknowledged his own frustration over the no-call, but said: "At the same time, we had a 3-nothing lead with 3 1/2 minutes to go. We had every opportunity to win that game. ... They get a lucky bounce there, and it just started to unravel from there. We did a good job battling back in overtime, got a few good chances, but weren't on top of things."

Gibson made 35 saves, helping the Ducks move one win away from their second trip to the Western Conference finals in three seasons.

After a disastrous start to the series in Anaheim, the Ducks returned home with confidence and two gritty road wins, including an overtime victory in Game 4.

Edmonton appeared to be ready to run away with Game 5 in the second period. After Draisaitl's opener, McDavid capitalized on a two-man advantage by adroitly batting a puck out of midair for the fifth goal in his first Stanley Cup playoff run. Caggiula put the Oilers up 3-0 with a score off a 4-on-1 rush midway through the period.

But Edmonton couldn't hang on in regulation after the Ducks pulled Gibson and one of the most improbable rallies in NHL playoff history.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>
<![CDATA[Bellinger Belts 2 Homers as Dodgers Beat Padres]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 23:54:07 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*135/AP_17126161908514.jpg

The legend of Cody Bellinger added another chapter.

Bellinger belted two home runs for the second time in a week and the Los Angeles Dodgers ran away from the San Diego Padres, 8-2, on Friday night at Petco Park.

Just hours after the Dodgers announced that Bellinger would be the everyday first baseman for the next couple weeks, following the decision to place Adrian Gonzalez on the disabled list for the first time in his career, Bellinger provided most of the offense for the Boys in Blue.

"Every time he steps in the batter's box you think something really exciting or special is going to happen," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. 

The rookie first baseman continues to prove he belongs in the big leagues as Bellinger sent a four-seam fastball into the upper deck in right field to start the scoring in the fourth inning. The ball traveled an estimated 438 feet on the homer.

But the 21-year-old wasn't done yet as be broke the game open in the top of the ninth with a three-run blast to dead-center off Miguel Diaz.

The second home run, made Bellinger the first Dodger player in franchise history to have a pair of multi-homer games in the first ten games of their big league career.

"If you had told me I would start out this hot, I would have thought you were crazy," said Bellinger of his metoric rise in the Majors. "It's pretty crazy how things are working out."

Kenta Maeda got the start, but did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in five solid innings.

"It was an interesting night," Maeda said through a translator after the game. "In terms of the result, five innings is a little too short for me, but I'm getting a better feel for my pitches with each outing."

Sergio Romo got the win and Josh Fields became the first Dodgers' reliever not named Kenley Jansen to record a regular season save since 2015.

Clayton Kershaw famously picked up the save in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals last year.

After Bellinger gave the Dodgers a one-run lead, the Padres scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to turn the tables on the boys in blue. 

Andrew Toles delivered a two-run double in then top of the seventh to give the Dodgers the lead and L.A. never looked back, providing an insurance run in the eighth, and four in the ninth.

The Dodgers improved to 7-4 on Cinco De Mayo.

Up Next:

Clayton Kershaw returns to the mound for the Boys in Blue as he goes up against Padres left-hander, Clayton Richard on Saturday night at 5:40PM PST. 

Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Real-Life 'Rocky' Hits Theaters in 'Chuck']]>Fri, 05 May 2017 21:42:30 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Schreiber_and_trainer.jpg

Do you follow boxing?


Did you see "Rocky?"

The first words of the theatrical trailer for the upcoming movie, "Chuck," are really all you need to know. If you're a fan of boxing, chances are you've heard the name Chuck Wepner.

Wepner was a boxer in the 1970s, who once was the world's number one ranked contender. In 1975, he went 15 rounds in a heavyweight title fight against the great Muhammad Ali, before fading into relative boxing oblivion following the success of that fight.

Fight fans know Wepner as "The Bayonne Bleeder," a man who could take a punch like nobody else as his rough, unpolished, "street style" technique led opposing boxers to call him "dirty," and "a survivor."

If you still don't know Chuck Wepner, chances are you're familiar with his alias: Rocky Balboa.

That's right, Wepner's epic 15-round fight with Ali became the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone's succesful Rocky franchise.

There's been a lot of boxing movies recently, including Stallone's new spinoff "Creed," about the son of archrival Apollo Creed. Often times the trap in these boxing movies and biopics in general, is that as predictable as they are, they rarely show the punches taken by these larger than life characters outside the ring. 

As any athlete understands, the highs and lows felt during competition, pale in comparison to the highs and lows of life. The same can be said for the life of Chuck Wepner.

Certainly "Chuck," which stars Liev Schreiber of "Ray Donovan" fame, and opens Friday, May 5th, in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles, has plenty of in-the-ring boxing action, but it's the punches Chuck takes outside the ring that are what truly fuel this film.

"We don't fall into that trap," joked Schreiber when asked by NBC LA reporter Michael Duarte if the real life Chuck Wepner was uncomfortable with the telling of any parts of his story. "Chuck's a very open guy. He wants people to know who he is. We had no problem with that. The harder aspects of his story, are what makes it like a fight. It's our ability as human beings to persevere and to come through something like that, that makes us so special. Boxing is a microcosm of life, to make your way through 15 rounds of a prize fight, you've been through something profound."

The most profound discovery that came from Wepner's 15 rounds with Ali, was the fame that followed. The notoriety that comes from knocking down the greatest heavyweight champion of all time, and subsequently, the stardom that follows after they make an Oscar-winning movie about your life.

What's interesting about Wepner's underdog story in the film, is not the 15 rounds he goes toe-to-toe with Ali, played by real-life boxer, Pooch Hall, but the 15 rounds of life that Wepner experiences outside the ring.

After Wepner's fight with Ali, "Chuck," which was directed by Phillppe Falardeau, paints the picture of what followed. As Wepener rises to fame, he spends his days and nights partying on the Jersey Shore until his escapades eventually lead to the exit of his wife Phyllis, played by Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men" fame, and his daughter.

Wepner enjoys alcohol, cocaine, and women, but his real life drug was fame, a harsh reality that the film is not afraid to shy away from. In order to keep his name in the headlines, Wepner does anything to stay relevant, including fighting Andre the Giant, and a grizzly bear.

As Wepner's life continues to spiral out of control, he's given a lifeline by Stallone who asks Wepner to audition for his "Rocky" sequel, "Rocky II." Instead of rehearsing his lines and preparing for the audition, Wepner parties with his best friend John (Jim Gaffigan), and goes skinny-dipping with women as they run "other lines."

Of course, Wepner shows up extremely late to the audition, high as a kite, and reeking of booze. Predictably, he struggles to get through the scene with Stallone, and as you can expect, doesn't get the role. Wepner reaches rock-bottom, and it's in the final act of the film, that a love story with fast-talking bartender, Linda, played by Schreiber's real-life partner, Naomi Watts,begins to blossom, rescuing Wepner from himself.

Schreiber boxes in real life and has been training for the better part of 15 years. He was sent the script for "Chuck," over ten years ago, but it was after a successful stint as Ray Donovan, that Schreiber wanted to make the film as a change of pace.

We're glad he did, as Schreiber is excellent in playing the "Real Life Rocky." Inside the ring, Schreiber took real punches from boxers, including Hall who he spars with on a weekly basis. He admits it wasn't the best idea he's ever had, but it helps make the scenes inside the ring more authentic for the avid fight fan. As Wepener's life ebbs and flows, Schreiber plays it all with a human touch. Portraying Wepner's naivety and charm, even as he burns his life to the ground.

Wepner is flawed, and Schreiber knows that. Neither the actor, nor the real-life legend is afraid to show that, and it's that aspect which makes the film so interesting to watch. If you like sports, boxing, or are just a fan of non-fiction, you'll enjoy this movie. It's not the Ali-Frazier of movies, heck, it isn't even the Rumble in the Jungle, but with a run time of just 98 minutes, it will definitely keep you entertained.

"Chuck," rated R, is playing at the ArcLight in Hollywood with a Q&A with Schreiber this Friday (May 5) and Saturday (May 6). It also is at The Landmark in West L.A. It opens nationwide on May 12th and May 19th.

Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz]]>
<![CDATA[Getzlaf is Driving Ducks Toward Pivotal Game 5 With Oilers]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 07:06:35 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/170*120/AP_17119168186976.jpg

A decade after Ryan Getzlaf raised the Stanley Cup for the first and only time, the Anaheim Ducks captain appears to be extremely eager to hoist it above his head again.

Getzlaf's spectacular postseason hit a new high point Wednesday when he figured in every goal for the Ducks in their 4-3 overtime win at Edmonton, getting two goals and two assists as Anaheim evened its thoroughly entertaining second-round series.

Snatching two victories from the teeth of a frenzied Canadian crowd is a remarkable achievement, but Getzlaf has the perspective of experience when he looks at where the Ducks are sitting as they head into Game 5 at Honda Center on Friday night (10:30 p.m. EDT, NBCSN).

"We haven't done anything yet," Getzlaf said Thursday after the Ducks returned to Orange County. "It's all about our response for Game 5."

The home team hasn't won yet in this series, and the Oilers are 4-1 in California during their impressive return to the Stanley Cup playoffs this spring. Although the Ducks pulled even with Edmonton by remaining unbeaten on the road in these playoffs, Anaheim has never overcome a 2-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

And none of those metrics mean anything, according to the captain.

"I've been explaining this for 12 years, and I'll probably explain it for 12 more," Getzlaf said with an exasperated grin. "Home ice is home ice. You feel better in your building. Obviously, you feel more comfortable. But if you look back on history, there's no rhyme or reason on whether you win or lose. It's about going out and playing and executing, and the better team is going to win. It doesn't matter what building you're playing in."

Getzlaf has executed at an extraordinary level in these playoffs. He has seven goals and six assists in just eight games, ranking second in the league in playoff scoring.

He has already matched his single-season career high for postseason goals, and he is dominating play with his usual superb passing and an aggressive two-way mentality. While longtime linemate Corey Perry struggled for most of this season, Getzlaf has been among the game's best players since the All-Star break — even if he doesn't get a wealth of NHL attention playing out on the West Coast.

"He's been — pretty much night in and night out — the most dominant player on the ice," Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler said. "He's doing a little bit of everything. His stat line (in Game 4) was just ridiculous. That's something that you don't see very often, and to see it up close and personal was pretty special. It's no secret to us or anybody that he can certainly lift us up and pull us along. When he leads, we follow, and when he is playing like that, it's tough not to just give 100 percent of all your effort, because that's what he's doing, and he expects the rest of us to follow up."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>
<![CDATA[Silfverberg Scores in OT as Ducks Top Oilers 4-3 in Game 4]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 07:15:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*124/AP_17124196287923.jpg

Ryan Getzlaf was a one-man wrecking crew at a big moment for the Anaheim Ducks.

Getzlaf scored twice and assisted on two goals, including Jakob Silfverberg's game-winner 45 seconds into overtime, and the Ducks topped the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday night.

"If he keeps doing this, we're going to have fun time here," Silfverberg said.

"He's one of the best players in the league and when he plays like he did tonight with that aggressiveness and physicality, he kind of pushes the whole team to move forward with him."

Rickard Rakell also scored for Anaheim, which has won two in a row after dropping the first two games of the series at home. John Gibson made 29 saves.

Drake Caggiula, Connor McDavid and Milan Lucic scored for Edmonton, and Cam Talbot had 35 stops.

"It's a 2-2 series now," Caggiula said. "We have to make sure we play a full 60 minutes going forward here. We were in this situation last series too, and it worked out just fine."

Anaheim had a 3-2 lead before Caggiula snapped a rebound over Gibson's head at 18:18 of the third. It was the rookie's first career playoff point.

Game 5 is Friday night, back in Southern California.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet," Getzlaf said. "All we did was get our home-ice back. We've got to take this one, breathe, breathe, the next day and a half here and get ready for Game 5."

Edmonton led 2-0 after the opening period on goals from Lucic and McDavid.

Getzlaf sparked Anaheim's rally, scoring 97 seconds into the second and producing a go-ahead goal at 14:25. With his 35th and 36th playoff goals, Getzlaf surpassed Teemu Selanne as the franchise's career leader.

"When he's your centerpiece and he's doing what he's doing and accomplishing what he's doing, you'd have to scratch your head and really dig deep into the archives of when he's played better," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

"He's been an energized player since our five-day break. Whatever he had on that five-day break, we're going to find out and give him more of it."

Said Getzlaf: "I feel good right now, I'll put it that way. It's a fun time of year. I love playing right now."

Patrick Eaves was scratched Wednesday due to a lower-body injury suffered in Game 3, so Corey Perry was reunited with Getzlaf on Anaheim's top line with Rakell.

Edmonton unsuccessfully challenged for goaltender interference on Getzlaf's goal at 1:37. The Oilers contended Perry bumped Talbot as he was beaten on a wrist shot.

"I disagree with the call or I wouldn't have challenged it," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "I thought he interfered with blocker and hands and he (Talbot) couldn't make the save. They didn't see it that way. They gained a little momentum at that point."

The Ducks tied it at 2 when Getzlaf threaded a goalmouth pass over to Rakell, who batted it past Talbot's glove. Getzlaf then pounced on a rebound that Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins failed to clear, giving Anaheim a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

Gibson held off the Oilers over the first 10 minutes of the game when they outshot the Ducks 8-3. McDavid was the most dangerous player in the opening minutes with a pair of scoring chances.

Lucic put Edmonton in front with a power-play goal at 15:38, and McDavid swept the puck over Gibson at 17:43 for his second goal of the series and fifth of the postseason. Leon Draisaitl assisted on each of the first-period goals.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Give Game to Giants on Vin Scully Night]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 00:14:46 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/220*120/Vin+Scully+Ring+of+Honor+Dodger+Game.png

They didn't win for Vin.

Gorkys Hernandez hit the game-winning double in the top of the 11th and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-1, on Vin Scully Night at Dodger Stadium.

The Hall of Fame broadcaster was inducted into the Dodgers' Ring of Honor during a pregame ceremony in left field. Scully joins 10 other Dodger legends, nine of which are also Hall of Famers whose numbers are retired at the Ravine.

The Dodgers scored their lone run of the game on a costly error by second baseman Joe Panik. Panik dropped a fly ball from Yasiel Puig, which may-or-may-not have landed in foul territory, and the Wild Horse scampered to third on the misplay.

Two batters later, Chris Taylor singled to right field to give the Dodgers the lead.

The lead was short-lived as San Francisco tied the game in the top of the eighth, cashing in on a mistake by Dodgers reliever, Ross Stripling.

"It was a weird series of events that led to the tying run," said Stripling. "It was frustrating, but that's the way it goes."

After a leadoff single by Hunter Pence, Stripling bounced a ball into the dirt to Buster Posey that rolled all the way to the backstop, allowing Pence to take third on the play. Two pitches later, he scored on a groundout to second base.

"I thought Utley was going to be in on the Posey ball, but I guess with two strikes he [Roberts] had moved him back," Stripling said of the play that scored the tying run. "Off the bat I was like, 'heck yeah!' then I look and he's playing in his normal spot. It kinda stinks."

"When you're at home, you try and play for the tie to still have at-bats to extend the game," said Roberts. "Versus nobody out, play the infield in, a seeing-eye [single] gets through and the inning keeps going and you could lose the game. I felt like with the matchup I'd rather extend the game."

The game went to extra innings, the third time this season the Dodgers have played more baseball, and each time has been against the Giants.

For the second consecutive appearance, left-hander Grant Dayton allowed at least two runs, as he surrendered three in the top of the 11th to give San Francisco the win, and the series.

Dayton had made eight previous appearances on the season without allowing run before allowing five runs in his last two games.

Juio Urias fired five scoreless innings in just his second start of the season, but did not factor in the decision as he left the game with both teams deadlocked in a scoreless tie.

"I wasted a lot of pitches early tonight and got behind in the count a lot," said Urias of his outing. "I kept attacking. Thank God I was able to get out of some tough situations."

Jeff Samardzija started the game for the Giants and had his best pitching performance of the season.

The San Francisco right-hander known as "The Shark," allowed one unearned run on three hits with no walks and eleven strikeouts in eight strong innings.

"What a beauty he threw tonight," said Giants' manager Bruce Bochy of his starting pitcher. "He was on top of his game and had a great look about him tonight. He was maniacally focused."

Despite the loss for the Dodgers, the night belonged to Vin Scully who brought fans to their feet before the game with his classic line, "It's Time for Dodger Baseball." The first 40,000 fans also received a commemorative Vin Scully microphone and listened to many of Vin's legendary calls played on the video board throughout the game.

Up Next: 

The Dodgers will have a rare day off on Thursday before heading south on the 5 freeway for a weekend series against San Diego. Kenta Maeda is expected to start on Friday for L.A. as Jhoulys Chacin goes for the Padres. First pitch is 7:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Induct Vin Scully Into Ring of Honor ]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 18:24:36 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/188*120/Vin+Scully+Ring+of+Honor.png

It was as if he never left.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully returned to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday afternoon and sat down with reporters for about twenty minutes, weaving stories with ad-libs in classic Scully fashion.

"'ll give it my serious consideration, but first I'll have to work on the infield fly rule," joked Scully, when asked what he would do with North Korea if he were President of the United States.

Scully wasn't here to talk politics, although he admitted he watches more of it now that he's retired, the legendary broadcaster was back at Chavez Ravine to become the 11th inductee into the Dodgers Ring of Honor, located above the loge section in left field.

"I'm looking forward to it," Scully said of joining the other Dodgers' legends. "But in all honesty, I hope it's brief."

Scully will get his wish as the pregame ceremony will only last about 10 minutes as his plaque, bearing a microphone emblem, joins the likes of Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Walter Alston, Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, and Don Drysdale.

In his press conference, Scully had a story about each and every one of his fellow members of the ring of honor, whether it was Pee Wee Reese's wife cooking for all the Dodger players, Walter Alston delivering a speech on a bus, or Tommy Lasorda trying to pitch batting practice to 700 players for a measly $50, Scully had an aside for everyone.

"It's very emotional, even though I don't show it," said Scully of joining those careers that he called. "I don't see those numbers. When I look at those numbers, I see faces, I hear voices. I see those numbers move. I look at 39, and I don't see 39, I see Roy Campanella. I see outside the kitchen in Vero Beach, I used to literally sit at his feet and Campy would tell stories. I can do that with every number up there. For me to be with Pee Wee Reese, and Duke Snider, and Roy Campanella, and all of the other great players, there's a sense of looking back. That was my graduating class. Those were the ones who started me on my career."

Scully's career spanned 67 seasons before he retired from broadcasting last year. He admitted shortly after Opening Day that his retirement hadn't quite hit him until the season started, but now that a month has gone by, he knows he made the right decision, and is at peace in his life.

"I miss it the way you or I would miss fellows you or I hung out with in college," said Scully. "Life has called us to eventually drift apart. I did it for 67 years, so it's pretty hard to just turn away. However, every minute I look at Sandy in the house, I know it's the right time and I'm in the right place in my life."

Scully expected to be reading more books in retirement, but said that Sandy and their grandkids have kept him busy. His favorite part is not having to prepare to call games, instead enjoying afternoons in his backyard.

"I like sitting in the backyard sipping on something cold at around 5 o'clock, instead of being here, going over my ad libs."

Scully confessed he has not watched any games on television this season, but is instead keeping up with the team through the newspaper articles the morning after.

In his comments to the media, he spoke specifically about the rise of Cody Bellinger, Logan Forsythe's injury, and the hot start to the season for Yasiel Puig.

Fans are asked to arrive early on Wednesday for the ceremony and video tributes that are expected to start at 6:00PM PST. The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative Vin Scully microphone, but as for Vin returning to the mic himself, he has had no thoughts of that.