<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Sports - [LA FEATURE] SoCal Sports 4 You]]>Copyright 2018http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sportsen-usSat, 23 Jun 2018 22:40:38 -0700Sat, 23 Jun 2018 22:40:38 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Kershaw and deGrom Struggle, Kemp's Slam Lifts Dodgers]]>Sat, 23 Jun 2018 19:31:14 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-982321258.jpg

Clayton Kershaw and Jacob deGrom stumbled in an unexpected ace showdown, Matt Kemp hit a pinch grand slam and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the slumping New York Mets 8-3 Saturday night.

The Dodgers have won 11 straight against the Mets dating to May 2016, matching their best run in the rivalry. Los Angeles beat New York 11 straight times across 1963 and '64.

Kershaw gave up two runs over three innings in a surprise return from the disabled list. He threw 55 pitches, starting out strong before laboring through his final inning. Left-handed rookie Caleb Ferguson (1-1) replaced him and escaped a couple tight situations over four scoreless innings for his first major league win.

DeGrom (5-3) allowed three earned runs in six innings, including Max Muncy's 14th home run in the first. He entered the game with a major league-leading 1.51 ERA and hadn't allowed three earned runs in a game since April 16 against Washington.

New York has lost five straight overall and 12 of 13 at home. The Mets have scored four or fewer runs in 15 straight home games dating to May 20.

Kemp cleared the bases during a five-run eighth inning with his eighth career slam and 13th home run this season. Chris Taylor had a key two-run pinch double, and Los Angeles won for the 24th time in 33 games.

Kershaw was scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but Los Angeles decided Friday to have him pitch in New York because of precarious weather in Nebraska. The lefty ace had been sidelined since June 1 with a lower back strain.

Kershaw was electric in the first inning, freezing leadoff man Brandon Nimmo on a curveball for a three-pitch strikeout and catching Todd Frazier looking for a five-pitch K.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner wasn't as sharp after that. Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista lined consecutive doubles in the second inning to tie it at 1, and Kershaw threw 25 pitches in the third inning, including an RBI single by Wilmer Flores to put New York ahead 2-1.

Kershaw struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits before Taylor hit for him in the fourth. Kershaw was expected to be limited to 60 pitches or four innings before his rehab outing was nixed.

Taylor was held out of the lineup with a tight left hamstring for a second straight day but delivered a two-run double as Kershaw's replacement. His shot into the right-center gap put Los Angeles ahead 3-2 during deGrom's 33-pitch fourth inning. Pitcher Ross Stripling pinch ran for Taylor.

Ferguson struck out six, walked one and allowed three hits. The 21-year-old worked out of trouble in the fifth and seventh innings. The latter jam emerged when Cody Bellinger badly misplayed Nimmo's low liner to center, leading to a one-out triple. Ferguson then struck out Frazier and got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out.

DeGrom's day got off to a rocky start. One pitch after leadoff hitter Joc Pederson drilled deGrom in the rear end with a grounder, Muncy drove a 97 mph fastball midway up the second deck in right field for a 1-0 lead. DeGrom matched a season high with three walks and gave up five hits.

Bautista hit a solo homer off Yimi Garcia in the eighth inning, his fourth this season.

NOT CLOSE

Los Angeles' past nine wins over New York have been by at least three runs — a first in Dodgers history against any opponent, according to STATS. Los Angeles has outscored the Mets 83-23 during its 11-game streak.

SAFETY DANCE

Enrique Hernandez scored Bellinger with a safety squeeze in the eighth inning.

CLAIMED

The Angels claimed reliever Hansel Robles on waivers a day after he was cut by New York.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (4-1, 2.63) is still dealing with soreness from a right rib microfracture. Buehler nixed a scheduled bullpen session Saturday, and manager Dave Roberts said he may throw it Sunday if there's improvement. ... LHP Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A to make space for Kershaw.

UP NEXT

LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 4.99) starts the series finale for the Dodgers against LHP Jason Vargas (2-6, 8.60).

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[LA Kings Sign Russian Forward Ilya Kovalchuk]]>Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:55:26 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/kovalchuk-russia-2015-ap.jpg

After five years back home in Russia, Ilya Kovalchuk is ready to resume his Stanley Cup chase with the Los Angeles Kings. 

The high-scoring forward agreed to a three-year, $18.75 million deal with the Kings on Saturday, choosing Los Angeles over several interested teams for his return to the NHL. 

The 35-year-old Kovalchuk scored 816 points in 816 career games for the Atlanta Thrashers and the New Jersey Devils before leaving North America in 2013 for the Kontinental Hockey League's SKA St. Petersburg. He led the KHL in scoring last season, and he was the MVP of the Olympic tournament in Pyeongchang while propelling the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" to a gold medal.

"He gives us an added element of skill and scoring, along with a desire to win," Kings general manager Rob Blake said. 

Boston and San Jose were among the suitors for Kovalchuk, but the Kings made a top-dollar offer to add him to a lineup that could use another dependable goal-scorer. Kovalchuk is likely to be particularly important on the power play for the Kings, who ranked in the middle of the NHL standings in most team scoring categories. 

Kovalchuk was the first Russian to be the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft when Atlanta chose him in 2001. He quickly became one of the NHL's most consistent scorers with his wicked shot and hockey sense. He spent nearly eight years with the Thrashers and 31/2 seasons with the Devils, who acquired him in a trade in February 2010. 

Kovalchuk will forever be the top scorer in the history of the Thrashers, who moved to Winnipeg one season after trading him to New Jersey. He shared the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer in 2004 with Rick Nash and Jarome Iginla, yet his 41 goals that season were only the fifth-best total during a career in which he posted a pair of 52-goal seasons for the Thrashers. 

Kovalchuk had little playoff success in his NHL career until 2012, when he reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Devils after leading the Eastern Conference playoffs in scoring. New Jersey lost the Final in six games to the Kings, with Kovalchuk scoring only one empty-net goal in the series. 

The Kings and Kovalchuk have had mutual interest for many years. Los Angeles pursued him in free agency in 2010 before Kovalchuk got a massive contract to stay with the Devils. 

Just three seasons into a 15-year, $100 million contract with New Jersey, Kovalchuk abruptly left the NHL for St. Petersburg amid complaints about North American taxes and the distance from his family. Kovalchuk and his wife have four children.

He won two KHL championships with St. Petersburg, and he scored 141 points in 113 games over the past two seasons against the KHL's lesser competition. Kovalchuk became a five-time Olympian in February, when he scored five goals in six games for the Russians in the watered-down Pyeongchang tournament, which included no current NHL players.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Rams Announce Start to Training Camp]]>Sat, 23 Jun 2018 10:47:31 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-898124618.jpg

The Los Angeles Rams will begin training camp at UC Irvine July 26 with the first of 12 practices open to the general public, the NFL team announced.

Admission is free. Gates will open 90 minutes before the start of practice. Select players will sign autographs after all open practices. The training camp will include a backpack giveaway July 28, a schedule magnet giveaway July 29, a branded flag giveaway Aug. 11 and a branded towel giveaway Aug. 11.

Tickets are required to receive the giveaway items. Ticket registration is available on the team's website, TheRams.com.

Parking will be available in the Mesa Parking Structure, next to the Bren Events Center. Fans are encouraged to purchase parking passes in advance for the discounted rate of $10 at TheRams.com/TrainingCamp.

Parking purchased in-person on the day of practice is $15.

Video cameras and alcohol are prohibited. Fans cannot bring food (with exceptions made for special dietary needs), pets (service animals are permitted) or weapons.

UC Irvine is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus.

All but one of the 12 practices open to the public will begin at 3 p.m. The exception is the final one, Aug. 16, which will begin at 9:45 a.m. The other open practices will be conducted July 26, July 28-30, Aug. 1-2, 4, 11-13 and Aug. 15.

The July 27 practice will only be open to season ticket holders.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bellinger's Slam Powers Dodgers Past Mets]]>Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:49:15 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/165*120/GettyImages-981645614.jpg

Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the sinking New York Mets 5-2 on Friday night behind Alex Wood's effective pitching.

Yasiel Puig added a solo home run in the ninth, and the defending NL champions won their 10th straight against the Mets dating to May 2016. Los Angeles has outscored New York 75-20 in those games, winning each of the past eight by at least three runs — a first in Dodgers history against any opponent, according to STATS.

Wood (3-5) outdueled Zack Wheeler, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings to win his second consecutive start. The left-hander with the funky delivery struck out seven and walked one.

Jose Bautista hit his first homer for the Mets, a two-run shot off Wood in the sixth. An error by second baseman Max Muncy gave New York a chance in the eighth, but with runners at the corners Scott Alexander got Bautista to ground into an inning-ending double play on the next pitch.

Muncy made the turn after a nice play by shortstop Enrique Hernandez.

Alexander tossed two shutout innings, and Kenley Jansen fanned two in a perfect ninth for his 19th save.

New York wasted a dazzling catch by center fielder Michael Conforto that saved a run in the third. After starting the season 11-1, the Mets (31-42) lost for the 21st time in 27 games to fall a season-worst 11 games under .500.

Wheeler (2-6) walked his first two batters in the sixth — though his full-count pitch to leadoff man Joc Pederson certainly appeared to be in the strike zone. One out later, Matt Kemp blooped a single to right field to load the bases.

Bellinger connected on an 0-2 delivery, launching a 96 mph fastball into the second deck in right for his second career slam. Last season's NL Rookie of the Year began the night hitting .179 with runners in scoring position.

In the opener of a three-game series, Wheeler went seven innings. He threw 114 pitches, his most since returning to the mound last year after missing two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: SS Chris Taylor was out of the lineup because of a tight left hamstring. Hernandez started in place of Taylor, who exited Wednesday's game in Chicago against the Cubs. He was available off the bench — probably just to hit, according to manager Dave Roberts. "We'll give him today and we'll see about tomorrow," Roberts said. ... Reserve infielder Chase Utley was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list after missing 19 games with a sprained left thumb. ... Rookie RHP Walker Buehler is scheduled to throw 20 to 30 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday, the next step in his comeback from a right rib microfracture. He could return to the rotation without a minor league rehab assignment, Roberts said. Buehler is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in nine big league starts.

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (strained ligament in right index finger) was scheduled to play catch. ... OFs Yoenis Cespedes (tightness in upper right quad) and Jay Bruce (strained right hip) will not resume baseball activities until they are free of symptoms. ... 3B David Wright (shoulder, back surgery) planned to hit in the indoor batting cage and go through other baseball activities on the field.

UP NEXT

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.76 ERA) is set to make a surprise return from the disabled list Saturday night, starting against Jacob deGrom (5-2, major league-low 1.51 ERA) in a marquee matchup — weather permitting. Kershaw has been sidelined since June 1 with a lower back strain. He originally was scheduled for a rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but heavy rain in the forecast caused the team to change plans. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP, who also missed nearly all of May with left biceps tendinitis, will be limited against the Mets, with 21-year-old rookie LHP Caleb Ferguson (0-1, 7.59 ERA) ready in reserve.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[See Who the Lakers and Clippers Picked in the 2018 NBA Draft]]>Fri, 22 Jun 2018 05:35:43 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/GettyImages-980828878.jpg

The 2018 NBA Draft took place Thursday and LA's two teams stayed busy, making five combined selections on what became a wild night around professional basketball.

The Lakers selected former University of Michigan center Moritz Wagner with the No. 25 overall pick, their only one in the first round. Wagner gained national attention in NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament last April, leading Michigan to the national championship game.

Wagner's main skills are on offense, as he averaged 14.6 points per game last season. He also made 39 percent of his shots from three-point range, averaging almost five attempts from deep per game.

Wagner is the latest in a long line of Lakers big men drafted in recent years. The Lakers drafted forward Julius Randle no. 7 overall in 2014, and have taken a frontcourt player near the end of the first round in every draft since. They picked forward Larry Nance Jr. in 2015, center Ivica Zubac in 2016, forward Kyle Kuzma in 2017 and now Wagner.

President of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka face some difficult decisions in that area of the roster. Kuzma made the 2017-18 NBA all-rookie first team while Nance was dealt to the Cleveland Caveliers last February in a trade that included the pick used on Wagner.

Randle and center Brook Lopez, the Lakers' starting frontcourt at the end of last season, will hit restricted and unrestricted free agency, respectively, next month.

The Lakers also made two selections in the second round. They selected the rights to Isaac Bonga, an 18-year-old forward out of Germany, with the 39th overall pick. They have the option to let Bonga keep playing overseas next season.

Johnson and Pelinka took a third European, University of Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, with the 47th overall selection. Mykhailiuk is a sharpshooter from the three-point line, having made 44% of his shots from that distance last season.

The Clippers entered the night with back-to-back selections at nos. 12 and 13, having acquired the former pick in the trade that sent superstar forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons. Rumors swirled that the Clippers might use those picks to trade into the top 10 selections, but they instead made a much more minor trade.

Their front office, which includes Lakers legend Jerry West, dealt the 12th pick and two future second round picks to the Charlotte Hornets. In exchange, the Clippers got the no. 11 pick, University of Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

The former Wildcat excelled in the pick and roll during his one season at Kentucky. He gives the Clippers their first long term point guard option since Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2017.

The Clippers then selected Boston College guard Jerome Robinson with the 13th pick. Robinson was a "favorite" of West, according to Sports Illustrated reporter Jake Fischer. He made a name for himself as a fantastic scorer, averaging over 20 points per game and over 48% from three-point range.

One of biggest nights of the calendar year in the NBA kicked off with selections from two of the Lakers' and Clippers' division rivals. The Phoenix Suns took University of Arizona center DeAndre Ayton first overall, while the Sacramento Kings picked Duke University forward Marvin Bagley III second overall.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lavar Ball on the JBA, LiAngelo Undrafted, Lonzo Trade Rumors]]>Thu, 21 Jun 2018 23:07:05 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAVAR_JBA_LIANGELO_LONZO_1200x675_1261546051997.jpg

The BBB Patriarch speaks on LiAngelo going undrafted, the Lonzo trade rumors and the debut night of his new basketball league as the JBA tips off in Ontario. ]]>
<![CDATA[LAFC Stadium Unveils Security Technology That Can Bypass Lines]]>Thu, 21 Jun 2018 06:01:13 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAFCCLEARThumb.jpg

Fans who have waited in long security lines at sports venues can get a break at LA's newest pro stadium--and it won't cost them anything. Banc of California Stadium announced a partnership Wednesday with CLEAR, a security company used primarily at airports including LAX.

CLEAR's biometric identity platform will get LAFC fans to the front of the line with "just the tap of a finger", according to a news release. All they need to do is bring a state-issued driver's license or passport and spend 3-5 minutes signing up at a kiosk by the stadium gate. They will scan their documentation, their fingerprints, answer a couple security questions, then be able to use your special pass immediately, said Ed O'Brien, CLEAR's head of sports.

Once they are registered, fans can bypass lines by just scanning their fingerprints in special CLEAR lanes. Those lanes will open at Banc of California Stadium Wednesday night for LAFC's match with Sacramento Republic FC.

"You will have to still go through the security screening process for the stadium, but that allows you to skip all those lines that back up behind the metal detectors or the ticket scan," O'Brien said.

And the best part? A subscription is free and can be used at any other sports venues that use CLEAR, such as AT&T Park in San Francisco.

"The sports level is free because... teams don't want to charge fans extra for coming in since they're already paying for tickets," O'Brien said.

Those who already use CLEAR's airport program, which costs $15 per month and is billed annually, can use it at those venues as well.

"What our members like...is that it's a very transferable, consistent experience from what we provide at our other sports partners but also at the airports," O'Brien said. "So if you're a CLEAR member, you can get a very consistent experience at LAX and at [Banc of California Stadium], which are obviously two very unrelated venues."

O'Brien also said there are special deals for those who like the CLEAR experience at stadiums and want to try it at the airport.

LAFC is the third MLS team to partner with CLEAR after the San Jose Earthquakes and NYCFC. CLEAR systems are also in place at nine MLB stadiums across the country and the NBA's American Airlines Arena in Miami.

CLEAR touts its security system as faster and more secure, boasting a SAFETY Act certification from the Department of Homeland Security. Sports might see even more of it in the future. The company says it is developing new "biometric-powered stadium experiences", including ticketing and concessions.



Photo Credit: CLEAR]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Add 2018 Draft Pick in Trade with 76ers]]>Wed, 20 Jun 2018 20:05:12 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Magic-Johnson-Rob-Pelinka.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers acquired the 39th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft from the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday, according to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnaworski.

In exchange for the second-round pick, the Lakers sent a 2019 second-round pick and cash considerations to Philadelphia, Wojnaworski said.

The Lakers now own two second-round picks at no. 39 and no. 47 heading into Thursday's draft. They acquired the 25th overall pick, their only selection in the first round, in a trade deadline deal in February that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the pick and the expiring contracts of Channing Frye and Isaiah Thomas.

The Lakers' own first round pick, no. 10 overall, belongs to the Sixers as a result of the 2012 trade that brought Steve Nash to Los Angeles.

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have made no secret that their focus in free agency will be chasing star veterans.

Along with being linked to several stars that are free agents in either 2018 or 2019, including LeBron James, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, various reports have suggested Johnson and Pelinka have displayed interest in several prospects that are likely to be selected ahead of the Lakers' first pick.

With the extra draft pick, the Lakers' front office now has more ammunition to maneuver in Thursday's draft.



Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Shut Out by Cubs in Finale at Wrigley Field]]>Wed, 20 Jun 2018 16:54:41 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-979614592.jpg

Whether they were making neat grabs or nailing runners at the plate, the Chicago Cubs came through with one sparkling play after another.

It was just what Jon Lester needed.

The four-time All-Star won his fifth straight start, Javier Baez backed him with three hits and two runs, and the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 on Wednesday.

"That's what we're capable of doing," manager Joe Maddon said. "In the past when we've won at a high level, we've played outstanding defense. It never gets old. It never gets old to watch that kind of baseball."

Lester (9-2) gave up five hits over seven innings, though he didn't have his usual pinpoint command.

Baez had two doubles and a triple for a career-high three extra-base hits. He also stole a base and made some big plays at shortstop and second.

Kyle Schwarber hit his 14th homer. Kris Bryant added two hits and an RBI in his third straight game batting leadoff. And the Cubs handed Ross Stripling his first loss since April 30, taking two of three in a rematch of the past two NL Championship Series.

"We'll be somewhere (in the playoffs) in October," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I can't speak to the opponent, but we'll be somewhere."

Lester walked three and struck out one batter. Anthony Bass worked the final two innings to finish the six-hitter.

"I really didn't have much today," Lester said. "I was kind of grinding through that one."

But he didn't need his best stuff with the defense coming through in a big way.

Baez made a strong throw from deep in the hole at shortstop in the second inning to rob Logan Forsythe of a hit and had fans chanting his name in the eighth after a neat double play as the second baseman. He caught Justin Turner's line drive and lunged to the bag to double off a diving Enrique Hernandez.

Right fielder Jason Heyward threw out Chris Taylor trying to score on Turner's fly in the third.

Center fielder Albert Almora raced in for a diving grab on Yasiel Puig's liner in the seventh. And the Cubs caught several balls on the warning track while winning for the 17th time in 25 games.

"Al comes in, dives for one and I'm just like, 'OK, I'm done clapping for you guys," Lester said. "It's expected now that these guys can make these plays."

Stripling (6-2) had won six straight starts. The right-hander went six innings, allowing three runs and eight hits while striking out seven without a walk. But the Dodgers dropped back-to-back games for the first time since they lost a season-high six in a row May 10-16.

STINGY STARTS

Cubs starters have allowed one run or less in seven straight home games, matching Chicago's longest streak since May 11-June 7, 1919, according to STATS.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: SS Taylor exited with a tight left hamstring in the sixth. He said it started bothering him running the bases in the third, and he expects to be available Friday, when the Dodgers open a three-game series at the New York Mets. ... INF Chase Utley (sprained left thumb) was ready to return from the disabled list. But the Dodgers decided to wait until Friday to activate him. "Kind of where we're at with the pitching," Roberts said. "He's healthy and ready to go with us, but having some option-able players on the roster makes a lot of sense for us. Playing a doubleheader, three games in 24 hours, we've got to kind of see how things play out and give ourselves some options."

Cubs: The Cubs placed closer Brandon Morrow (lower back tightness) on the 10-day disabled list. ... RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) threw a simulated game. Maddon said he looked "outstanding," and the Cubs will see how he feels Thursday before announcing the next step as he works his way back. ... Maddon also said the Cubs are "very close" to mapping out a plan for Carl Edwards Jr. (right shoulder inflammation) to return from the DL.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22 ERA) tries to win his second straight start as the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Mets on Friday. RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82) pitches for New York.

Cubs: The Cubs open a four-game series at Cincinnati on Thursday, with RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 3.55) going against RHP Matt Harvey (1-5, 5.92)

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Split Doubleheader With Cubs]]>Tue, 19 Jun 2018 23:05:33 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*135/GettyImages-978966562.jpg

Albert Almora Jr. got even. So did the Chicago Cubs.

Almora hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning, and the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Tuesday night to salvage a split of their day-night doubleheader.

Kris Bryant sparked the winning rally with a leadoff triple against Brock Stewart (0-1). After Javier Baez was walked intentionally, Almora hit a liner into right field.

In the Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Dodgers in Game 1, Almora popped out to first with the bases loaded with one out in the eighth. The Dodgers intentionally walked Jason Heyward before Yimi Garcia retired Almora.

"It was personal for me," Almora said. "I didn't come through. I was a little aggressive.

"I learned from the first mistake and I didn't do too much (in the second game), but I really wanted that one pretty bad. It was just a little bit of revenge from the first game."

Rob Zastryzny (1-0), the fifth Cubs reliever, got Yasmani Grandal to fly out with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th to earn the win.

The rematch of the last two NL Championship Series was set to begin on Monday night, but the opener was postponed by a mixture of poor weather and a limited power outage at Wrigley Field. It's the only scheduled visit for Los Angeles, leading to the day-night doubleheader.

"It was two really interesting games," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Could have lost both, could have won both. It's nice to walk off."

Los Angeles began the long day with its 4-3 victory on pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer's two-run double in the ninth. Joc Pederson led off the game with his ninth homer and Yasiel Puig drove in a run with a bloop double.

The Dodgers jumped in front in the nightcap on Austin Barnes' RBI single in the sixth. But the Cubs tied it on Kyle Schwarber's 13th homer, a drive to right against Erik Goeddel in the seventh.

Los Angeles wasted an impressive return for Rich Hill, who pitched six innings of three-hit ball in his first major league start in a month. Hill was placed on the disabled list on May 20 with a blister on his left middle finger, a recurring problem for the veteran left-hander.

"The fastball command, the curveball command, it was on point tonight," manager Dave Roberts said. "You hope to get something like that, but you never know what you're going to get making his first start back from injury, but again, he was outstanding."

Mike Montgomery kept Chicago in the game with six effective innings, yielding one run and five hits. The lefty has a 1.21 ERA in five starts since he was inserted into the rotation after Yu Darvish went on the disabled list on May 26 with right triceps tendinitis.

"I just want him to continue to take start after start like this," Maddon said.

Bryant led off in each half of the doubleheader. The third baseman doubled twice and drove in two runs in Game 1, and went 1 for 5 in the night cap.

It was the third and fourth times this season — and in his career — that the slugger batted at the top of the order.

Bryant's two-run double in the opener helped Chicago to a 3-1 lead. But Puig doubled in Chris Taylor in the sixth, setting the stage for the ninth-inning rally.

Farmer lined a 2-2 pitch from Justin Wilson (1-2) into the corner in left after pinch-hitter Austin Barnes walked and Justin Turner singled. Farmer is batting just .238 for the season, but is 6 for 16 with two doubles off the bench.

Edward Paredes (2-0), the fifth of six Dodgers relievers, got one out in the eighth to earn the win. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 18th save.

Wilson (1-2) came one pitch away from earning his first save. Maddon used the lefty because closer Brandon Morrow has a sore back that flared up on Monday.

The Dodgers' Kenta Maeda lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and five hits in his second start since coming off the disabled list. Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood allowed two hits and struck out six in five innings, walking five to increase his major league-leading total to 63.

MAKING MOVES

To make room for Hill on the roster, the Dodgers optioned infielder/outfielder Breyvic Valera to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Stewart was added to the roster as the 26th man prior to the second game of the doubleheader. The Cubs recalled right-hander Justin Hancock from Triple-A Iowa as their 26th man.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

The Cubs celebrated Hall of Famer Billy Williams' 80th birthday during the nightcap. Led by the Wrigley organist, many in the crowd of 40,409 joined in singing "Happy Birthday" to the six-time All-Star after the second inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (strained lower back) is scheduled make a minor league rehab start on Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City. According to Roberts, Kershaw will be limited to four innings and 60 pitches. His next appearance could be with Los Angeles. ... INF Chase Utley (left thumb sprain) could be activated off the DL on Wednesday.

Cubs: Maddon gave no timetable for Morrow's return. ... Darvish will throw a simulated game on Wednesday. Maddon said the Cubs will determine the next step in the right-hander's rehab program based on his response. ... INF Javier Baez, hit on the elbow by a pitch on Sunday, returned to the starting lineup at second base in the nightcap. Baez entered the first game in the seventh inning.

UP NEXT

Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (6-1, 1.76 ERA) squares off against Cubs LHP Jon Lester (8-2, 2.28 ERA) on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Photos of the 2018 World Cup in Russia]]>Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:30:37 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/174*120/World-Cup-2018-gallery-thumbnail-Mex.jpgA look at some of the best photos from the 2018 World Cup in Russia with Mexico's victory over Germany, Argentina's difficult draw with Iceland and Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick against Spain leading the way.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Damper Father's Day for Dodgers]]>Sun, 17 Jun 2018 16:51:28 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/163*120/GettyImages-977266794.jpg

A Father's smile can light up an entire day. 

The sun broke through the cloudy skies late in the game on Sunday, but by that time the Dodgers day was already overcast, as they lost the series finale with the rival San Francisco Giants, 4-1, on Father's Day.

Following back-to-back victories on Friday and Saturday that saw Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez homer in each game, it was San Francisco who hit the longballs on Sunday. 

Nick Hundley and Brandon Belt each hit a two-run homer as the Giants lit up rookie starter Caleb Ferguson.

Ferguson (0-1) was making his third career Major League start, but will have to wait to earn his first career win, as he surrendered four runs (three earned) on two hits (both homers), with six strikeouts and one walk in a season-high five innings.

"I made a lot better pitches this time around," said Ferguson of his third start. "I made one mistake pitch with that changeup in the first inning. But definitely it was a lot better than my previous starts."

Ferguson also recorded his first career hit—a single to right field—in the bottom of the third inning.

"I almost got thrown out at first base," laughed Ferguson of the hit. "It was fun to get the first one out of the way and go hit now."

Ferguson was about to escape the first inning unscathed after striking out Andrew McCutchen for the second out, but Hundley got a hold of a 2-2 changeup for a towering shot to left field that gave the Giants an early 2-0 lead. 

Hundley finished the game going 1-for-3 with a walk, and has reached base safely in eight of his last nine games. Since May 27, he is batting .290 with three runs, one double, one triple, three homers and eight RBI.

The Dodgers got one back in the bottom half of the inning when Hundley tried to pick off Justin Turner at second base, but the throw went into center field, allowing Max Muncy to score from third.

"That was a great read by Justin with the ball in the dirt," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the lone run L.A. scored in the game. "Hundley picked it clean and somehow Crawford missed it." 

Belt broke the game open in the top of the third inning when he sent a fastball from Ferguson into the seats in left-center for his 12th homer of the season.

Belt has hit well in his last 20 games, batting .342 with 15 runs, five doubles, six homers and 16 RBI.

"Today was his best outing," said Roberts of Ferguson. "He just made two mistakes. Outside of that I thought he pitched really well."

San Francisco starter Chris Stratton had struggled against the Dodgers in his career, with a record of 0-2 with an 8.49 ERA (12 runs in 11.2 IP) in three previous starts against the Boys in Blue.

However, Stratton (8-4) was stellar on Sunday, allowing one unearned run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Easily his best start against the Dodgers in his career.

Hunter Strickland recorded the final two outs of the ninth for his 14th save of the season.

Los Angeles fell to 11-9 in day games this season and are now behind in the season series with San Francisco, 6-7. The two rivals will meet six more times before the year ends. 

The Dodgers season-high five-game winning streak was snapped.

Do It For Dad

Both teams wore special light blue Father’s Day caps and uniforms, while all players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic blue ribbon on their uniforms along with blue wristbands in honor of Father’s Day and to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will travel to Chicago after the game where they will take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field for a three-game series with their NLCS foe. RHP Kenta Maeda will start opposite RHP Tyler Chatwood with first pitch scheduled for 5:05PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: John McCoy/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Father's Day and Summer Gift Ideas for Dodgers Fans]]>Sat, 23 Jun 2018 17:39:00 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-939868482.jpg

The heat is on.

Things are starting to heat up in Southern California and with the warmer weather comes uncomfortable day games at Dodger Stadium.

This Father's Day on June 17th is an example of one of those games, and if you are not lucky enough to be in attendance to receive a promotional money clip or play catch on the field with Pops, fear not, we have you covered. 

As the temperatures rise in Southern California this Father's day and into the Summer, we have the perfect gift idea for the Dodger fans in your family. 

Bani Bands is a state-of-the-art headband with Patented Coolcore fabric that provides cooling relief under the sun. The cooling headbands will stay up to 30 degrees cooler than your body temperature when wet.

The company offers headbands for every MLB team including our own Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels. Additionally, they offer college teams as well as sports themed head bands as well.


Prefer a stylish headband without a sports team or cooling feature?

Check out UrbanHalo headbands, which are perfect for outdoor summer workouts and their signature "no headache" headband made from an uber-soft fabric material good for any outdoor activity.

Both brands of headbands come in multiple shapes and sizes and range from $9.99 to $24.99 for a two-pack.

However, if you're an NBC LA viewer, enter the promo code KNBCLA20 on the Bani Bands website, which gives you 20% off your purchase from now until the end of summer.

Now you can enjoy your favorite MLB team in style this summer without having to hide under the concourse for relief.  

Also, head over to the Dodgers team store where you can find plenty of other gifts for Father's Day and the uncoming summer months like wallets, ties, pint glasses, spray fans, beer holders, lawn flags and more.

https://www.banibands.com/

https://www.urbanhalo.com/



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kemp and Hernandez Homer Again as L.A. Beats S.F.]]>Sat, 16 Jun 2018 21:31:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*121/GettyImages-976707012.jpg

Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.

Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez homered for the second straight game and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the rival San Francisco Giants, 3-1, on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. 

After holding on to defeat left-hander Derek Holland on Friday night, Kemp and Hernandez tagged another southpaw, this time in San Francisco ace, Madison Bumgarner.

Kemp kick started the party with a solo shot of Bumgarner in the bottom of the second inning.

"He actually pitched well," Kemp said of Bumgarner. " He made a couple mistakes and we capitalized off him, but that was a good pitcher we faced today and I'm glad we got the win."

San Francisco tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Alen Hanson in the top of the fifth.

Bumgarner must have been saying to himself, "You're killing me, Smalls," after Kiké Hernandez took him deep for the game-winning two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning.

"My first two at-bats I was a little bit too anxious,"  said Hernandez of facing Bumgarner. "That third at bat with Barnsey [Austin Barnes] at second was a pretty big at-bat in the game. He hung that one. It was one of the few mistakes he made. It took me three at-bats to adjust to him, but I'm glad I did."

Hernandez has historic success against the four-time All-Star and 2014 World Series MVP. The Puerto Rican right-hander is batting .455 with five doubles, four home runs and eight RBI against Bumgarner in his career.

"I try not to think too much about it," said Hernandez of his success against Bumgarner in his career. "At the end of the day, the last two years, I haven't had the success I had the first year. I've gotten him, he's gotten me, I feel like it's pretty even."

Hernandez became the seventh consecutive No. 2 hitter in the Dodgers lineup to homer and eight of his ten homers on the season have come at home.

"Kemp hasn't stopped hitting all year, but I had a pretty brutal May and not the greatest of starts to June," said Hernandez. "Just to be able to contribute at the plate for my team is huge. We're playing really good baseball right now."

Hernandez's two-run blast was the Dodgers 34th home run in 13 games during the month of June, already more than any other month this season.

Overall, the Dodgers lead the National League with 90 total home runs this season.

Bumgarner (0-2), remains winless on the season as he allowed three runs on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts in a season-high six innings pitched.

Hernandez helped Alex Wood earn his second victory of the season as the lefty allowed one run on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings.

"It feels really good when you start executing and the shape of my breaking ball was the best it's been," said Wood of his start. "I felt really confident with everything tonight, but as the game went on I got a little fatigued."

Wood (2-5), improved to 3-3 with a 4.24 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 10 walks in 11 career games against the Giants.

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 17th save of the season.

The victory gives the Dodgers a season-high fifth consecutive win, as the team improved to 11-2 in the month of June, and drew level with San Francisco on the season with six wins apiece.

The win also guaranteed that the Dodgers would extend their series unbeaten streak to nine consecutive series.

After the game, the sellout crowd in attendance was treated to a screening of The Sandlot with the original cast on the field. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers will see the ball from a different angle on Father's Day as RHP Chris Stratton is set to straddle the mound against LHP Caleb Ferguson for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Defeat Rival Giants on Star Wars Night]]>Fri, 15 Jun 2018 22:58:06 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-975884210.jpg

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Enrique Hernandez and Matt Kemp both homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers did what they do: hit home runs, as they defeated the rival San Francisco Giants, 3-2, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

The dark side of the force entered Chavez Ravine following the Dodgers short, two-game, interleague sweep of the Texas Rangers.

Los Angeles entered the contest with a losing record against their rivals this season, dropping six of the ten head-to-head matchups between the two teams.

So if you thought that meant the Dodgers were going to drop the opener on Friday, I find your lack of faith disturbing. 

Super-utility player Enrique Hernandez is just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.

Following a walk off dance move at home plate on Wednesday night, Hernandez homered off Derek Holland in the first inning on Friday.

The force was with MVP candidate Matt Kemp in the bottom of the fourth inning when he crushed a first-pitch changeup from Holland into the seats in left-center for a solo shot that gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Two batters later, Yasmani Grandal reached third base on a dropped fly ball from San Francisco centerfielder Austin Jackson, and the Dodgers took a 3-0 lead on an RBI double by Yasiel Puig one batter later.

Holland (4-7) allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings in the loss.

Never tell Ross Stripling the odds.

Following a season that started in the bullpen, the improbable ascension of Stripling as a Major League starter has been nothing short of astonishing.

"When Doc [Dave Roberts] first told me I was going to start, I just imagined a piggy back scenario," said Stripling. "I wasn't totally built up so I didn't know what to expect. I knew I wanted an opportunity to be a starter, but I didn't know how well it was going to go until I took the ball every fifth day."

Despite the fact he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his Big League debut against the Giants at AT&T Park in 2016, Stripling entered the game winless against San Francisco with a record of 0-2 in two starts and nine appearances.

Stripling (6-1) allowed just two runs on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in six and 1/3 innings.

"As you log innings and at-bats against guys who get paid a whole lot of money to hit the ball far and you get behind on them and have success, it gives you confidence," said Stripling of his ability to not walk batters. "I've always prided myself on being someone who doesn't walk people. Right now, I'm just filling up the zone with everything and trying not to give away any free passes."

The victory was Stripling's career-high sixth consecutive, and the third longest in the National League. 

Chewie, we're home. Stripling is undefeated at home this season, improving to 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA and striking out 45 batters against just five walks over 39.1 innings.

The only runs Stripling allowed on Friday, was a two-run, opposite field home run that landed in the Dodgers' bullpen off the bat of Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval.

"He [Stripling] gave up a late homer, Panda put a good swing on it," said Roberts. "But the way he's going to go out there and compete every single time he gets the baseball, that's who he is."

Sandoval finished the game 2-for-3 on the night and has reached base safely in 13 of his last 16 games since May 27, batting .354 with seven runs, two doubles, three homers and 11 RBI.

The Dodgers have relied heavily on their bullpen in the past 25 games since May 17, tossing over 112 innings, the second most in the Majors.

Friday night was Josh Fields turn to take the ball as he recorded four consecutive outs in relief, including pinch-hitter and former MVP Buster Posey, before exiting the game for Scott Alexander.

Kenley Jansen earned his 16th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. 

"We've done a good job with Kenley's usage," said Roberts. "To have Kenley only go three outs worked out well."

The Dodgers moved above .500 with a record of 19-18 for the first time this season.

On Appeal

Matt Kemp was suspended one game by Major League Baseball before the game, but appealed the verdict. He is allowed to continue to play while the appeal process plays out, and the Dodgers are certainly glad he did after the victory on Friday. 

Kemp is batting .335 with 31 runs, 16 doubles, 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 66 games this season. He currently ranks third in the NL in batting average and his .426 batting average with runners in scoring position is second in the NL behind Atlanta's Freddie Freeman.

Up Next:

You know, no matter how much we fought, I've always hated watching you leave.

The Giants will send LHP Madison Bumgarner to the mound on Saturday opposite LHP Alex Wood for a primetime 5:15PM PST first pitch.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Ceremonial First Pitches at Dodger Stadium]]>Fri, 15 Jun 2018 07:32:46 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-868783292.jpgFrom the adorable Kershaw siblings to a determined looking Danny Trejo and the family of Jackie Robinson, we have a collection of some of this season's best ceremonial first pitches at Dodger Stadium.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Padres Pitcher Holds Suspected Mail Thieves at Gunpoint]]>Thu, 14 Jun 2018 16:33:57 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/Kevin+Brown+Padres.JPG

In his lone season with the Padres, that 1998 World Series team, pitcher Kevin Brown showed San Diego fans how he earned the reputation of being intense. Like really, really intense.

To put it bluntly Kevin Brown took no crap from nobody and it would appear that has not changed in retirement.

Brown reportedly held two thieves at gunpoint outside his home in Macon, GA, after finding them attempting to steal his mail. According to deputies in the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Brown suspected someone was raiding his mailbox so he hid in his neighbor’s yard waiting for them to try again.

Deputies at the scene say Brown saw two males attempt to steal his mail, chased them down and kept his firearm aimed at them until law enforcement officers arrived. On Thursday morning two brothers, 30-year-old Jeremy Brown and his 15-year-old brother (no relation to Kevin Brown) were each charged with three counts of theft by taking and one count of forgery.

An investigation by the Sheriff’s Department found them in possession of more than $3,000 in stolen cash and $16,000 in stolen checks.

If you’re wondering why Brown is not in trouble for running around his neighborhood with a gun, Georgia has a “stand your ground” law that allows individuals to use force in the defense of property.

Brown is credited with being the final piece to the puzzle that propelled the Padres to the 1998 National League Pennant. He struck out 257 hitters in 257.0 innings while winning 18 games and outdueling Hall of Famers Randy Johnson and Tom Glavine in the playoffs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Two-Step! Dodgers Sweep Rangers After Benches Clear]]>Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:17:05 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/161*120/GettyImages-974035192.jpg

Now that's a Texas two-step!

Enrique Hernandez do-si-doed around Carlos Perez in the bottom the 11th inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers walked off against the Texas Rangers, 3-2, on Wednesday night at Dodger stadium.

Following a blowout victory against Bartolo Colon in the first game of the series, the Dodgers and Rangers nearly came to blows in game two.


Justin Turner jump-started the offense with a solo shot in the first inning.

Turner crushed an 84MPH changeup from Hamels over the wall in left-center for the team's 30th home run in the month of June. 

"I just missed with one pitch," said Hamels of the homer to Turner. "It tends to be that changeup that I hang. It's really cost me the last two weeks by giving up a home run with it."

The Dodgers 30 home runs in the month of June is the most in an 11-game span in franchise history.

Yasiel Puig attempted to steal third base in the bottom of the second inning and the throw by Rangers' catcher Robinson Chirinos went through the legs of Adrian Beltre and into left field, allowing Puig to score.

The brawl that would have everyone talking broke out in the bottom of the third inning. 

Kemp was attempting to score from second base on a single to right field by Enrique Hernandez when he barreled into Chirinos at the plate.

"I thought it was a clean play," said Kemp after the fact. "He was blocking the plate. I ran him over. It's pretty much that simple. I was out."

Kemp was ruled out on the play, but Chirinos didn't take kindly to the collision and pushed Kemp as he got to his feet. Kemp pushed back, and both benches quickly cleared. 

Both Kemp and Chirinos were ejected from the game for the altercation that ensued.

"It's really not that big a deal," said Kemp of the altercation. "Two guys shoving eachother and then it's over. I'm just happy we won the game."

The brawl must have sparked the Rangers as they tied the game in the top half of the fourth inning.

Adrian Beltre kicked off the comeback with a one-out double to right-center for his 3,090th hit of his career, surpassing Ichiro Suzuki for the most hits by an international player in MLB history.

Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo each followed with RBI singles and the Rangers and Dodgers were deadlocked at 2-2.

Beltre finished the game 3-for-4, and has hit well against his former team, batting .386 with nine runs, four doubles, two homers and eight RBI in 11 career games against the Boys in Blue.

In his first career start against the Texas Rangers, the Japanese right-hander did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout in five innings.

"Kenta will make his next start when we decide and he will be ready to go," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts after the game.

Prior to the game, the Dodgers reinstated Maeda from the 10-day disabled list after he missed the last 14 days with a right hip strain.

Hamels matched Maeda, also allowing two runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts in six innings of work.

"It's a tough one to lose," said Hamels following the loss. "I know the guys coming in from the bullpen fought hard, and it was just a tough way to lose."

Hamels is a trade candidate for many competing teams, including the Dodgers who are in need of starting pitching.

In four starts at Dodger Stadium, Hamels has gone 1-1 with an ERA of 1.61, something the Dodgers front office could look at when it comes to making moves before the July 31 deadline. 

"I really enjoy pitching here," said Hamels after the game. "I have pretty good results and just the atmosphere and what the field kind of has it's a great spot. It's got great energy."

Each team took turns matching six scoreless frames until the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 11th. 

Austin Barnes hit a groundball back to relief pitcher Matt Bush, but his throw home pulled Perez off the bag and Herrnandez danced around him for the game-winning run and the Dodgers first walk-off win of the season.

"I went back to my Latino roots and showed off my salsa moves," said Hernandez of the game-winning run. "Knowing that you're the winning run, you're going to do anything possible to score."

The Dodgers are now 9-2 in the month of June, and improve to 18-18 at home on the season.

The two-game sweep of Texas was their first against the Rangers since sweeping three-in-a-row from June 30-July 2, 1998.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Thursday before facing the rival San Francisco Giants for a three-game weekend series on Friday. LHP Derek Holland will start against RHP Ross Stripling.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[World Cup: SoCal Restaurants, Bars Serving Up Serious Game]]>Fri, 22 Jun 2018 14:38:41 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/fox-hound-worldcup-061418.jpg

The World Cup, which takes place in Russia, began last week and continues into the middle of July. The quadrennial soccer tournament kicked off with a bright and early opening ceremony, which aired June 14 at 6 a.m. PST followed by the first game between Russia and Saudi Arabia. 

In all, 32 teams will take the global stage. Though the U.S. will not be competing for the first time since 1986, do not let that discourage you from viewing the international phenomenon. Below is a list of restaurants and bars in SoCal that will have you screaming GOOOAAAALLLL!


The Fox And Hounds

Where: The Fox And Hounds British Pub at 11100 Ventura Blvd. in Los Angeles

When: Starts Thursday at 6 a.m. 

Urupuan Restaurant 

Where: Urupuan Restaurant and Cantina at 12210 Ramona Blvd. in Baldwin Park

When: Opens at 8 a.m. Will open at 6 a.m. for Mexico's game on Sunday. 

Hector's on Broadway

Where: Hector's on Broadway Seafood Restaurant & Bar

When: Opens 11 a.m.

Don Chente 

Where: Don Chente Bar & Grill 

When: Starts Thursday at 8 a.m. Don Chente is only showing the first game of the tournament, and games where Mexico is competing. 

El Pescador 

Where: El Pescador Restaurant at 17421 S Avalon Blvd. Suite A in Carson

When: Only showing Mexico games. 

Culichi Town

Where: Culichi Town Sushi Restaurant at 9333 Slauson Ave. in Pico Rivera

When: Opens at 8 a.m.

 

El Sushi Loco Sushi y Mariscos 

Where: El Sushi Loco Sushi y Mariscos Mexican and Sushi Restaurant at 15711 Amar Rd. in La Puente

When: Opens at 10 a.m.

Tequila's 

Where: Tequila's Bar & Grill at 13627 Victory Blvd. in Van Nuys 

When: Opens at 7 a.m. Will not be showing opening ceremony.

Guelaguetza Restaurante

Where: Guelaguetza Restaurante Mexican Restaurant at 3014 W Olympic Blvd in Los Angeles 

When: Open 8 a.m. Saturday, 7 a.m. Sunday After this weekend, this location will be open at 9 a.m. 

Cabo Cantina

Where: Cabo Cantina Mexican Restaurant at 8301 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood 

When: Monday - Thursday at 4p.m. and Friday - Sunday at 12 p.m.

Gloria's Cocina Mexicana

Where: Gloria's Cocina Mexicana Mexican Restaurant at 7401 Florence Ave. in Downey

When: Opens 7 a.m. 



Gauchos Village

Where: Gauchos Village Brazilian Restaurant at 135 North Maryland Ave. in Glendale

When: Opens 7 a.m. 

Perú's Taste

Where: Perú's Taste Peruvian Restaurant at 8246 Lousie Ave. in Northridge 

When: Opens at 8:30 a.m. for Perú's game. Will not be showing the opening ceremony. 


Mercado Buenos Aires

Where: Mercado Buenos Aires Argentinian Steakhouse at 7540 Sepulveda Blvd. in Van Nuys 

When: Opens at 7:30 a.m. 

For those looking for more family-friendly options, check out the Hammer Museum in Westwood. There, festivities begin in July and attendance is free. McDonald's is also playing on hosting viewing parties, Click here for more information and a full list of more family-friendly locations. 



Photo Credit: Fox and Hounds/ Dan Mullan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[VIDEO: Benches Clear Between Dodgers and Rangers ]]>Wed, 13 Jun 2018 20:59:25 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-974035196.jpg

Tensions got heated at Dodger Stadium between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. 

Dodgers' outfielder Matt Kemp barreled into Rangers' catcher Robinson Chirinos during a play at the plate in the bottom of the third inning.

Kemp was attempting to score from second base on a single to right field by Enrique Hernandez.

However, the throw from right fielder Nomar Mazara beat Kemp to the plate, but Chirinos was blocking his path. Kemp hesitated for a second appearing on the verge of giving himself up on the play before lowering his shoulder into Chirinos.

Chirinos held on to the ball, and Kemp was ruled out on the play, but the catcher didn't take too kindly to the collision and pushed Kemp. Kemp pushed Chirinos back and both benches cleared.

Both Kemp and Chirinos were ejected from the game for the altercation.

Videos of the incident are below.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Bats Break Out Against Bartolo Colon]]>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 23:42:02 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/164*120/GettyImages-972811246.jpg

Clearly the Dodgers don't believe in respecting their elders. 

Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, and Yasiel Puig all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat up on 45-year-old Bartolo Colon, to blowout the Texas Rangers, 12-5, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

In their first tango with Texas since 2015, the Dodgers improved to 8-2 in the month of June and have won 18 of 24 overall. 

Tuesday's matchup featured a generation war between Colon and 21-year-old rookie Caleb Ferguson.

Ferguson was just nine months old when Colon made his MLB debut--flash forward 20 years later--and the experienced veteran was on the mound making his 540th start, while Ferguson was making his second.

"I was seven years old when he made his debut, that's kind crazy to think about that," said Dodgers infielder Max Muncy. "It's fun to face guys like that. Other than my dad in batting practice, he's the oldest guy I've ever homered against."

Ferguson was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to the game, sending rookie right-hander Walker Buehler to the 10-day disabled list.

Buehler became the sixth starting pitcher to join the DL, giving the Dodgers an MLB-high 11 current players on the disabled list.

The Dodgers have also used 11 different starting pitchers this season, tied for the second most in the Major Leagues behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who utilize a new strategy of starting relief pitchers and then inserting the starters.

"We tried that," joked Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts the other day about starting a reliever. "That didn't go so well."

In his Dodger Stadium debut, Ferguson pitched well, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in four innings.

"This went a lot better obviously," said Ferguson about his second start compared to his first. "It's nice to get my feet even more wet with this one, pitch deeper into the game, and handle adversity in those innings. But yeah, definitely a lot better."

The outing lasted much longer than his first career start in which he lasted just 1.2 innings at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

"I don't have to try and put every pitch on the black," said Ferguson about what he learned from his first start in Pittsburgh. "I just have to make really competitive pitches in the zone. That's a thing that helped me a lot this start."

Early in the game, Colon collected his 2,500th career strikeout.

However, it was all downhill for the man they call "Big Sexy" from there, as the Dodgers scored three runs in the bottom of the second, punctuated by a two-run homer for Joc Pederson.

"You have to tip your hat. Turner Ward said his last career at-bat was against Bartolo Colon," said Pederson of facing the 45-year-old pitcher. "He does a good job of spotting up and obviously that's why he's been around so long. I just tried to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it.

Pederson said he's been "trusting the process," and finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. In his last 13 games, Pederson has launched seven home runs with five doubles, 11 runs, and 10 RBI. 

"I used to get real frustrated over not getting the results," said Pederson. "Instead I've been sticking to the process and if the results aren't there hopefully they'll be there tomorrow."

An inning later, Max Muncy continued his sizzling start to June with his fourth home run in four consecutive games.

"I think everyone is just kinda feeling the momentum up and down the lineup," said Muncy. "Everyday someone steps up, you don't know who it's going to be, but it's a good feeling right now."

Muncy finished the game 2-for-5 and extended his career-high hitting streak to eight games.

The Dodgers would break the game open in the bottom of the fourth, as they sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring a total of seven runs off Colon and reliever Alex Claudio.

Yasiel Puig highlighted the inning with a two-run blast off Colon for his eighth homer of the season.

Puig drove in a season-high three runs and is red-hot in the month of June, batting .417 with 10 runs, five doubles, three homers and nine RBI.

Colon (3-4), allowed a season-high eight runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts in just 3 and 1/3 innings.

The eight runs allowed were the most Colon has surrendered in over a year (June 5, 2017) and in 11 career starts against the Dodgers, he is 2-7 with a 6.12 ERA.

13 years to the day former Dodger Hee-seop Choi became the first Asian Major Leaguer to hit three home runs in one game, Shin-Soo Choo sent Yimi Garcia deep in the top of the fifth inning for his 12th home run of the season. 

 

Cody Bellinger reached base safely in four of five plate appearances and finished the game going 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, an RBI and two walks.

Daniel Corcino, pitched three innings of relief, earning the first save of his career.

The victory extends the Dodgers undefeated consecutive series streak to eight as the interleague matchup with the Rangers is a simple Texas two-step. 

Up Next: 

The finale of the short, two-game, interleague series concludes on Wednesday as LHP Cole Hamels is expected to face RHP Kenta Maeda for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jury Orders Rams to Pay Reggie Bush $12.5 Million]]>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 18:55:55 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Reggie-Bush-lawsuit-Rams.jpg

A jury in St. Louis on Tuesday ordered the NFL's Rams to pay former running back Reggie Bush $12.5 million for a severe knee injury he suffered in 2015, the team's final season in St. Louis before moving to Los Angeles.

The jury found the Rams 100 percent liable for Bush's injury and ordered the team to pay $4.95 million in compensatory damages and $7.5 million in punitive damages, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Attorneys for the Rams said they plan to file a motion for a new trial.

Bush was playing for the San Francisco 49ers when he was pushed out of bounds during a game on Nov. 1, 2015, at what was then the Edward Jones Dome, now known as the Dome at America's Center. He slipped on a surface that the lawsuit dubbed the "concrete ring of death," about 35 feet (11 meters) behind the 49ers' bench.

Bush suffered a season-ending left knee injury. The lawsuit contended the injury undermined his earnings as a player for the rest of his career. He signed with Buffalo in 2016 and retired in 2017. Now 33, he works as an analyst for the NFL Network.

"Reggie lost his ability to do what he loved, and to bargain for a contract that he worked his entire life for," Bush's lawyer Tim Cronin said during closing statements. "These players get chewed up. They only have so many chances."

Bush also sued public agencies that own and operate the dome, but a judge dismissed them from the suit last week after ruling that the team had control of game-day operations.

Just a week before Bush's injury, Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown slid across the same concrete stretch and injured his shoulder.

The concrete surface in the dome was covered with rubber padding two weeks after Bush was injured.

Rams attorney Dan Allmayer said the team should not be held responsible for Bush's injury because it could not have foreseen a dangerous condition. He noted that no one besides McCown and Bush had been injured there over 20 seasons played at the dome.

Allmayer said Bush's injury was caused by "pre-existing issues," not the fall on the concrete.

NFL owners approved the request from Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move the team to Los Angeles in 2016.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Getty Images for ESPN]]>
<![CDATA[Aaron Donald Skips LA Rams Mandatory Minicamp]]>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 18:22:53 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Aaron-Donald-skips-Mandatory-minicamp.jpg

All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald is not attending the Los Angeles Rams' mandatory minicamp while he continues his lengthy quest for a lucrative new contract.

Donald wasn't on the field with his teammates for the Rams' first minicamp workout Tuesday, and he wasn't at their training complex for their off-field commitments Monday, either. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year also skipped the Rams' voluntary workout program over the previous two months.

"He's in a good place," Rams coach Sean McVay said Tuesday. "Would we want him to be here? Yeah, we'd love to have Aaron here. But it's kind of the same where it's been. We're just focusing on the guys that are here, but we're always in constant dialogue with Aaron and his group, and would like to come to a solution. When that's going to happen, it's hard to say."

Donald is home in Pittsburgh during the Rams' offseason work for the second straight year, but he reported to last season's mandatory minicamp to avoid a potential fine. This year, Donald doesn't appear to be concerned about losing money by missing minicamp while he strives to become one of the NFL's highest-paid players.

The defending NFC West champion Rams haven't indicated whether they intend to fine Donald for missing the camp, but his absence wasn't a surprise. The team could fine him more than $84,000 for missing this camp, but it waived much larger fines incurred by Donald last year when he skipped the entirety of training camp.

"When I spoke with him last week, I said, 'If there's not a solution to this by next week, will you be here?'" McVay said. "He said, 'I'm going to stay back at home, continue training.'"

Donald is due to make nearly $6.9 million this season in the fifth year of his rookie contract. The team agrees he deserves a raise after turning in four dominant seasons as the cornerstone of the Rams' defense, yet the Rams and Donald's representatives still haven't made a deal after many months of talking.

The 27-year-old Donald doesn't have extensive leverage in the negotiation because the Rams theoretically could keep him for another three seasons through 2021 under a franchise tag. Neither side has disclosed their contract proposals, but Donald is widely thought to be seeking a contract big enough to make him one of the top-paid players at any position, with a salary comparable to the wages of the NFL's better quarterbacks.

The Rams have managed to maintain a positive relationship with Donald even after he skipped training camp and the entire preseason schedule last summer. He reported to the team shortly before the regular season began, missing the first game.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection also skipped most of the Rams' offseason program and organized team activities last year. Although he showed up for last season's mandatory minicamp, he didn't participate in the team drills, instead doing individual work and staying on the sidelines.

Donald is expected to be the foundation of a standout defensive line alongside Rams newcomer Ndamukong Suh, who agreed to a one-year, $14 million deal in the offseason.

Donald is missing several weeks of work with the Rams' revamped defense, which also added star cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters while losing three veteran leaders: Trumaine Johnson, Robert Quinn and captain Alec Ogletree.

The new Rams don't seem worried about missing these chances to build chemistry while establishing new leaders in the locker room.

"He's the MVP, so we know what he's going to do when he gets here," Talib said. "Everybody is just going to be themselves. If you're a leader, it's going to happen naturally. Nobody has to go out of their way to be a leader, go out of their way to hoorah and just yell stuff out. Everybody will just be themselves."

NOTES: Donald is the only player unaccounted for at minicamp, McVay confirmed. ... McVay is canceling Thursday's scheduled practice and taking his team on a tour of the franchise's under-construction stadium in Inglewood, California. The Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers will open the multibillion-dollar Hollywood Park stadium complex in 2020.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Watch World Cup Around SoCal]]>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 21:10:48 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/fifaGettyImages-961625698.jpg

Some truths?

Grass is usually green, and soccer balls boast multiple panels, and cleats are sturdy, and a very large number of televisions around Southern California, and well beyond Southern California, will be tuned to the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 during a thrilling, goal-packed, spring-into-summer month.

That multi-week, multi-match, multi-country excitement begins on Thursday, June 14, with a wrap-up date on July 15.

And while what we said stands about the large number of TVs — walk by a bar or neighbor's den when a match is on and chances are you'll hear it — there are a few places around Southern California that are really doing it up for World Cup viewers.

Can't miss rooting for your team? Consider calling upon...

The Paley Center for Media, which will put live matches on the big screen at the Beverly Hills museum's John H. Mitchell Theater. The cost to see the larger-than-life action, which is being presented by Telemundo and Fox Sports? It's free.

Various spots, from Universal CityWalk to Alpine Village in Torrance, thanks to the LA Galaxy's "full watch party schedule." El Torito in Orange and Art Theatre in Long Beach are also on the roster, so just check what locations will be featuring what matches on what dates.

McDonald's is hosting a trio of viewing parties at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. The dates? June 17, June 23, and July 15, and "(a) free McDonald's breakfast will be provided for attendees along with live entertainment and family friendly activities."

Old World in Huntington Beach bills itself as "the World Soccer epicenter in Orange County." Not only will the venue "televise all games during Old World normal operating hours" but you'll be able to purchase brats and beers and the other bites and bevs the German-themed landmark famously serves.

Hammer Museum in Westwood will be featuring the final five matches, beginning on July 6, with the quarterfinals. These'll be on the museum's big screens and there is no cost to attend (though there is for parking below, do note). 

Wirsthaus and Rasselbock are both planning on "... airing all Germany and Mexico matches in the group stage of the World Cup, and all games after, in the elimination rounds." Both spots will throwing open their doors early on game days, and reservations are recommended. Yep, there's food to buy, and sips, too.

And while the Forest Lawn Museum, Forest Lawn-Glendale will not be airing the matches, those who are enjoying World Cup should make a date to see "GOOOOL! The World Cup's Greatest Moments," on view through Sept. 16 at the museum.

Look for "significant soccer events" from past World Cup matches, as well as displays that provide the sort of history and background that make watching the current teams all the more satisfying and fun.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Muncy Homers For Third Straight Game as Dodgers Beat Braves]]>Sun, 10 Jun 2018 17:05:15 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/173*120/GettyImages-970634832.jpg

Beat the heat.

The Los Angeles Dodgers remained unbeaten in seven consecutive series after defeating the Atlanta Braves, 7-2, in the rubber match on Sunday Afternoon.

Following a split of the first two games of the series that saw Los Angeles hit six homers, the Boys in Blue broke out the bats again against the Braves with three more dingers in the finale.


Logan Forsythe, Max Muncy, and Enrique Hernandez all went deep for the Dodgers as Los Angeles recaptured the National League lead in home runs with 84 on the season.

Forsythe kicked off the home run barrage in the bottom of the third inning when he greeted newcomer, Sean Newcomb with a solo shot to the short porch in left field.

After the game, Forsythe said the home run was dedicated to his "Aunt Deb," who passed away on Saturday.

"I was sitting on a fastball and luckily I got it pull side," said Forsythe of the homer. "Newcomb's got a really good fastball that rides up in the zone. I had a plan and stuck with it. I was trying to be more aggressive early in the count."

Newcomb would find himself in further trouble after loading the bases for NL batting leader Matt Kemp.

Kemp continued his tear with runners in scoring position, with an RBI single to center field and the Dodgers lead 3-0, after three. 

"I made a couple stupid pitches," said Newcomb of his start. "I wasn't making the pitches I was supposed to and I was just leaving them there for them to hit and it all happened really fast there in the third inning."

Kemp is second in the league with RISP with an average of .426, just 30 points behind Atlanta's Freddie Freeman.

Ross Stripling ran into some trouble in the top of the fourth, surrendering solo shots to Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman before retiring the last two hitters of the inning.

"Obviously the two homers was tough, but I was able to limit it after that," said Stripling. "I gave us a chance to win and that's what I was trying to do when I went out there."

Stripling (5-1) won his fifth consecutive start and continued to stay hot, allowing just the two runs on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 6 and 2/3 innings. 

"I feel confident saying my curveball is my best pitch," said Stripling of what was working on his outing. "But my other three pitches play off of it and I'm able to make my curveball look different during different sequences."

Max Muncy homered for the third consecutive game when he hammered a first-pitch fastball from Newcombe into the seats in left field for his team-leading 12th home run of the season.

Muncy went 1-for-2 with two RBI and two walks today, extending his career-high hitting streak to seven games.

"It's just a good stretch for me," said Muncy of his hitting streak. "That's kind of how baseball goes. This is one of those stretches where it feels like everythings over the plate for me. I'm sure it won't be long until everything seems like its on the corner, but when you get a stretch like this you have to take advantage of it."

Hernandez put the finishing touches on the Dodgers seventh victory in their last nine games with a solo shot to center field in the bottom of the seventh. 

Hernandez continues to hit the ball well at home, batting .284 with 12 runs, two doubles, one triple, six homers and 13 RBI.

Los Angeles has won an MLB-best 17 out of their last 23 games.

Up Next: 

The Dodgers will have an off day on Monday before hosting the Texas Rangers for a quick two-game interleague series starting Tuesday. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Los Angeles Dodgers Injury Updates: Dodgers Continue to Drop Like Flies as Injuries Mount]]>Sun, 10 Jun 2018 15:56:49 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dodgers+injuries+06102018.jpg

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course. 

The Dodgers set the record for the most players on the disabled list in 2016, and backed it up with an MLB-high 38 total DL stints in 2017.

That trend has continued in 2018 as the Dodgers have already placed eleven different players on the DL in the first six weeks of the season.

As of today's date, injuries have made fourteen different players miss a total of 429 days on the DL, totaling nearly $18 million in salary spent towards injured players.

The biggest blow of course was the announcement on April 30 that two-time All-Star shortstop and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Corey Seager, would miss the rest of the season with a strained UCL in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery.

Currently, the Dodgers are tied with three other teams (Angels, Mets, Nationals) for the most players on the disabled list with ten.

After injuries befell four of the five Dodgers opening day starters in Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, and Clayton Kershaw, even L.A.'s young crop of prospects called upon to step in their shoes is now starting to get hurt.

Number one prospect, Walker Buehler, took a line drive off the ribs on May 21, and hasn't been the same since. He exited Friday's victory against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning with rib soreness after telling Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts he felt pain and was having trouble breathing on the mound.

Buehler is receiving treatment and has not been placed on the disabled list as of yet, but that could change in the coming days.

Dennis Santana, the Dodgers tenth best prospect as determined by MLB.com before the season began, ascended through the ranks of the farm system and was promoted to the Major Leagues last week in Colorado.

After earning the win in relief of a bullpen game on June 1 at Coors Field, Santana was slated to make his first MLB start on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

However, just minutes before first pitch, Santana felt something in his right lat muscle and was a last second scratch. An MRI the following day revealed a tear in the muscle and Santana went on the disabled list.

Here are the latest updates on all the Dodgers injuries:

Dennis Santana (strained right rotator cuff): Santana was called up to the big leagues earlier than expected this season, but with the amount of injuries to the starting rotation, his services were needed last week in Colorado and Pittsburgh. However, Santana suffered a torn right lat muscle while warming up and went on the disable list on June 5th. On Saturday, he was transferred to the 60-day DL, making him ineligible to return until Aug. 8th.

Tony Cingrani (left shoulder sprain): Cingrani is back on the disabled list for the second time this season with what is being diagnosed as a left shoulder sprain. Cingrani exited Wednesday's loss against the Pirates after he "felt pain" in his left shoulder during a relief appearance. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts noticed that Cingrani's velocity had dropped 4-5MPH while on the mound and pulled him from the game. Roberts said that they expect Cingrani to be back on or around June 18.

Clayton Kershaw (lower back strain): Kershaw returned to the disabled list with a familiar injury after he was pulled from a start on May 31 after just five innings. Similar to his lower back strain he suffered last season, Kershaw is expected to miss at least a month. He's been playing catch before games and according to Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts, is currently "symptom-free." His time table has not changed however.

Kenta Maeda (right hip strain): Maeda threw an aggressive bullpen session on Friday, and is expected to throw another one on Sunday. Provided that everything goes well, he is expected to come off the disabled list and be slated into the starting rotation as soon as Wednesday, June 13.

Chase Utley (left thumb strain): Utley's injury came as a surprise ahead of last Wednesday's game when it was announced that the veteran second baseman would head to the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. Utley declined to comment on how he suffered the injury, but he appeared as a pinch-hitter last Tuesday night and the Dodgers did need bullpen help after Maeda's short outing in that game.

Rich Hill (Finger): Hill threw his first simulated game without any tape covering his blister on Friday. In the game, he threw 60 pitches over four innings and according to Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts "the ball came out really well." Hill will either throw another simulated game or make a rehab start next week.

Tom Koehler (Shoulder): Originally believed to be a bicep injury, Koehler was diagnosed with an anterior capsule strain early in spring training and was placed on the 60-day disabled list to start the season. Koehler threw his first bullpen session last week and his second this past weekend. Dave Roberts said that Koehler "felt strong," and left the session encouraged. Koehler is still a long way away however, requiring a simulated game and a rehab assignment before returning to big league action.

Julio Urias (Shoulder): The Mexican native underwent shoulder surgery last summer and is expected to be out until after the All-Star break. Urias has finally begun to throw off a big league mound, and Dave Roberts said the timetable of after the All-Star break, and a target of end of July is still the plan. He also noticed that Urias could provide bullpen help if needed.

Corey Seager (Elbow): The biggest blow of all for the boys in blue was announced on Monday, April 30 when the team reported that Seager was diagnosed with a right UCL sprain in his throwing elbow and have to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Seager's surgery took place in Los Angeles on Friday, May 4, performed by Dr. Neal El Atrtache. El Attrache told the team that the surgery was a "success," and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Seager would rehab at home in North Carolina for the remainder of the season. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu (Groin): Ryu tore his groin muscle "off the bone," during a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 2, and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list a month later on June 2nd. The move means Ryu is ineligible to return until the first week of July, but his target return is still expected to be after the All-Star Break.

Dodgers Injury Updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wood Gets Beat by Braves as Dodgers Lose]]>Sat, 09 Jun 2018 22:34:49 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/164*120/GettyImages-970634852.jpg

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten used to winning lately.

After a horrific first seven weeks of the season, the Boys in Blue hold the best record in baseball (16-5) since May 17.

They've won six of their last seven games, but the Atlanta Braves didn't care about any of that.

Tyler Flowers knocked in three runs and the Braves defeated the Dodgers, 5-3, on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.


Following a 7-3 victory over former teammate Brandon McCarthy in the opener, the Dodgers broke out to an early, 1-0, lead courtesy of another home run by Max Muncy.

Muncy homered on consecutive days for the first time in his career, and is currently second on the Dodgers with 11 home runs this season.

"He hit a homer on his first at-bat, and has been swinging the bat well," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "But for him to go out there and take three walks and get on base and keep the line moving was even more impressive and says a lot about his maturity."

Following his solo shot, Muncy walked three straight times and has now reached base safely in a career-high six consecutive games.

A battle of former teammates tied the game in the top of the second as Charlie Culberson hit an RBI single off Dodgers' starter Alex Wood.


Culberson has found a home in Atlanta since being traded in the offseason as part of a five-player deal that brought Matt Kemp back to the Dodgers.

"Alex Wood's a great pitcher, but we made him throw a lot of pitches and got him out of the game early," said Culberson. "It's obviously nice to get some playing time and contribute to some wins."

The former Dodger finished the game with a career-high three hits, and has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, batting .372 with nine runs, three doubles, two homers and 10 RBI over that span.

Wood has struggled against the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft. In five career starts, Wood has a 1-3 record with a 7.07 ERA against Atlanta. 

It was more of the same on Saturday as Wood allowed four runs (two earned) on nine hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings.

"It's been a tough last three starts for me, probably the toughest in my career," said Wood after the game. "You're just grinding really hard. Hopefully, one of these next few it will start to turn, but it's been frustrating for sure."

His counterpart, Anibal Sanchez (2-0), was solid for the Braves, allowing two runs on just three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 and 1/3 innings.

"Winning is really good," said Sanchez after his outing. "Today we put everything together. We got big hits in the right moment. My confidence is better right now."

After an error by Logan Forysthe at second base allowed Dansby Swanson to reach base, Atlanta broke the game open with a two-run double by Flowers.


Flowers added another RBI in the top of the fifth and finished the game 2-for-4 with a double and a season-high three RBI. In his last 11 games, Flowers is batting .297 with six runs, two doubles, two homers and seven RBI.

"I was just trying to do what the situation calls for," said Flowers of his big night. "I was just trying to hit a soft single to right every time I was up. Somehow I hit the ball down the left field line trying to hit to right."

Forysthe made up for his error with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the fifth that cut the deficit to 4-2. Puig led off the inning with a double and scored on the play. 


One night after being removed from the game for what was called an "in-house thing," the Wild Horse went 3-for-4 for his ninth multi-hit game of the season.

Freddie Freeman finished the game going 3-for-5 with a run scored and a stolen base, and collected his team-leading seventh three-plus hit game of the season.

"I saw strikes and I swung and I got hits," said Freeman matter of factly. "There's not much more into than that. I actually wish we were more efficient, we only got five runs on 14 hits."

Freeman has been on a tear as of late, hitting safely in 20 of his last 21 games since May 19, slashing .384 with 10 runs, seven doubles, three homers and 12 RBI during that span.

Arodys Vizcaíno pitched the ninth for his 11th save of the season.

Despite the loss, the Dodgers have defeated the Braves 11 of their last 15 games at Dodger Stadium dating back to the 2014 season.

Welcome to the Team

After having his contract purchased prior to tonight’s game, Daniel Corcino made his Dodger debut tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning and made his first big league appearance since Sept. 24, 2014, in which he made the start for the Reds against the Brewers.

Up Next:

LHP Sean Newcombe goes for his eighth win of the season for the Braves against RHP Ross Stripling for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[USC Wins NCAA Women's Track and Field Title in Dramatic Fashion]]>Sat, 09 Jun 2018 21:18:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*122/USC-DONUTS-02.JPG

Southern California won the meet-ending 1,600-meter relay to beat Georgia by a point Saturday for the NCAA Division I women's outdoor track and field title.

Kendall Ellis anchored the Trojans to victory at Hayward Field, rallying to edge Purdue's Jahneya Mitchell at the finish line. USC won in 3 minutes, 27.06 seconds, and Purdue finished in 3:27.13.

That gave the Trojans 53 team points, one more than Georgia and two ahead of Stanford, which didn't have entries in the relay.

Oregon pulled off the same feat in 2017, winning the final relay to beat Georgia by 1.8 points.

Saturday, USC got a win from Anglerne Annelus in the 200 (22.76), seconds from Ellis (400) and Anna Cockrell (400 hurdles) and a third from its 400 relay.

Georgia was denied its second team title of the meet after the Bulldogs claimed the men's Friday.

Georgia's Keturah Orji was a double-winner in the long jump (21 feet, 10¾ inches) and triple jump (46-3/4), claiming her fourth triple jump title. Teammate Lynna Irby set a meet record with a win in the 400 (49.80) and was later third in the 200.

Stanford went 1-2 in the javelin with Mackenzie Little (198-0) and Jenna Gray (187-11). The Cardinal also got third-place finishes from Elise Cranny (1,500) and Valarie Allman (discus).

Kentucky was fourth at 46 points. The Wildcats' Olivia Gruver repeated as the pole vault champion, winning at 14-11 despite needing a third-attempt clearance at her opening height of 13-7 1/4 to continue.

Teammate Jasmine Camacho-Quinn took her second 100 hurdles crown (12.70). Kentucky's Sydney McLaughlin won the 400 hurdles (43.96) after setting the NCAA overall mark of 52.75 in May.

LSU won the 4100 relay in 42.25 after setting the Hayward record at 42.09 in a Thursday semifinal. The same team — Mikiah Brisco, Kortnei Johnson, Rachel Misher and Aleia Hobbs — set the NCAA overall record (42.05) last month. Hobbs later won the 100 in 11.01.

Mississippi's Janeah Stewart won the hammer by two inches at 239-2.

In a race in which the first six athletes went under the previous meet record, Sharon Lokedi of Kansas won the 10,000 in 32:09.20.

Arizona State's Maggie Ewen won the shot put (62-10 3/4) and discus (198-5). She is the NCAA record-holder in the shot put (63-10 1/4).

Missouri's Karissa Schweizer repeated as the 5,000 champion (15:41.58) to claim her sixth national title. Boise State's Allie Ostrander won her second straight 3,000 steeplechase title (9:39.28).

Wisconsin's Georgia Ellenwood won the seven-event heptathlon with 6,146 points.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

]]>
<![CDATA[Proposed Clippers Arena Could Skirt Environmental Laws ]]>Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:41:55 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/06-18-2015-clippers-new-logo.jpg

A bill that would exempt a proposed Los Angeles Clippers arena in Inglewood from parts of California's environmental laws was introduced Friday by an area legislator.

Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Los Angeles, said the bill would give the basketball arena the same assist that new arenas in Sacramento and the Bay Area have received.

The proposed Clippers arena would allow the team to move out of Staples Center, which it shares with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. The arena -- details of which are still being negotiated with the city -- would be built with private funds on mostly vacant land owned by the city of Inglewood, under a flight path used by hundreds of aircraft daily.

The new arena would be just south of the under-construction football stadium that will house the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers and the entertainment district of restaurants and bars that will accompany it.

In 2017, the city of Inglewood and the Clippers entered into a three- year negotiating window to build the stadium. The proposal has been challenged by the owners of the Forum, a former basketball arena now used as a concert venue in Inglewood.

The Forum is 1 1/2 miles from the new arena site. It is owned by Madison Square Garden, along with Azoff MSG Entertainment Chairman Irving Azoff.

They have filed a lawsuit accusing Inglewood of tricking MSG into giving up the arena's lease of the city-owned land, now intended for the rival arena. MSG officials claim they had a 15-year lease and option to buy on the same city land now coveted by the Clippers.

That suit claims Butts tricked Forum officials into terminating the parking lease, allegedly saying Inglewood needed the space to develop a "Silicon Beach" industrial site in Inglewood.

Forum owners said Friday the proposed legislation to exempt the arena project from some environmental requirements would be "severely damaging to the families and communities of Inglewood."

"The bill creates different rules for those seeking to develop on the proposed arena property and Hollywood Park site, allowing them to sweep the devastating impacts of endless traffic and significant pollution under the rug without regard to environmental impacts while everyone else in Inglewood has to fully comply with environmental protection laws," according to the Forum owners.



Photo Credit: Los Angeles Clippers]]>
<![CDATA[2018 Belmont Stakes: How to Watch Live Wherever You Are]]>Sat, 09 Jun 2018 13:53:21 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/belmont-stakes.jpg

The 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, is on Saturday, June 9, on NBC.

Coverage kicks off at 1 p.m. PT and competitors will be taking their post positions at 3:37 p.m. PT. You can watch it all live at home or on the go via NBC Live.

You can live stream the Belmont Stakes on your desktop or laptop computer or your mobile device by clicking on this link. You can also watch the coverage on our free app — download it from iTunes here or from Google Play here. All you need is your TV service provider’s username and password.

What is a TV service provider?
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Why am I being asked to sign in?

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<![CDATA[Dodgers Hit Season-High 5 Home Runs in Win Over Braves]]>Fri, 08 Jun 2018 23:23:58 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/164*120/GettyImages-970196280.jpg

Chicks dig the long ball.

The Los Angeles Dodgers hit a season-high five home runs, as they defeated the Atlanta Braves, 7-3, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. 

Following a victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the rubber match that extended their series unbeaten streak to six, the Dodgers got back over the .500 mark for the first time since April 23, when they were 11-10. 

It was Friday Night Fireworks night at the Ravine, but for the 47,262 fans in attendance, it was the fireworks display put on by the players that had everyone talking after the game. 

Yasmani Grandal had a pair of homers, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy went back-to-back, and Cody Bellinger crashed the party late with his fourth home run in four straight games. 

"I think the home run is a big part of the game nowadays with our team included," said Bellinger of the home run barrage that saw the Boys in Blue leapfrog three teams ahead of them for the most home runs in the National League (78). "I'm just going to try and keep it going."

Yasiel Puig put the Dodgers on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning, but was picked off first base immediately after and would later leave the game for what Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts called an "in-house thing."

Grandal began what would be his first multi-homer game of the season with a solo shot off a Brandon McCarthy sinker in the bottom of the second inning.

Grandal was McCarthy's catcher for the last three seasons and credited his knowledge of his former pitcher for the big blasts at the plate.

"That always helps a lot," said Grandal about his familiarity with his former pitchers. I've always told the guys, 'If I catch you for a long time, when you face me it's going to be a battle.' I was able to put two good swings on mistakes over the strike zone and I hit them out."

If Grandal won the battle with McCarthy in his first at-bat, he ended the war with a bomb of nuclear prorportions in his second at-bat.

"I think his familiarity helped a lot," said Roberts of Grandal's success against McCarthy. "We obviously know Brandon well and he knows us well, but nobody knows him better than his catcher."

Grandal's second solo shot marked the 100th home run of his career and his first multi-homer game since June 21, 2017 against the New York Mets. Grandal has hit well at home this season, batting .289 with 15 runs, two doubles, six homer and 14 RBI along with a .940 OPS in 25 games.

Walker Buehler was pefect through the first four innings before Nick Markakis led off the fifth inning with a single.

A few pitches later, Buehler surrendered his first and only run of the game on an RBI double off the bat of Kurt Suzuki that put the Braves on the board. 

Joc Pederson and Max Muncy became the fourth Dodgers duo to go back-to-back this season when they homered off different pitchers in the bottom of the fifth inning. 

"We were seeing the ball well tonight," said Muncy after the game. "You see guys ahead of you hit home runs and it gets you pumped up and makes you want to hit one yourself. It's one of those things where it's just a little bit contagious right now."

Pederson continued his home run tear with his sixth longball in his last six games off McCarthy. After a pitching change, Muncy blasted his 10th home run of the season off Braves' reliever, Sam Freeman, and the Dodgers took a 5-1 lead.

McCarthy took the loss against his former team after allowing four runs on five hits over 4 and 2/3 innings and allowed a season-high three home runs.

Meanwhile, Buehler (4-1) allowed just one run on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts, but was forced to leave the game with one out in the fifth inning because of rib soreness.

"Obviously, him taking that ball of the ribs a couple weeks ago there was always something there," said Roberts of the injury to Buehler. "You saw in that sixth inning the velocity tick down a little bit and to me that was a big red flag that he was protecting. He said that he had a little bit of trouble breating and was in pain."

The game also marked the first time Buehler faced his former college teammate Dansby Swanson at the Big League level. Buehler and Swanson were roommates at Vanderbilt University during their freshman year.


Johan Camargo, who entered the game in the fifth inning as a defensive substation, slugged his sixth home run of the season with a solo shot in the eighth inning off Adam Liberatore.

Cody Bellinger joined the home run barrage with a moon shot to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning that extended the Dodgers lead to 7-3. 

Bellinger has now homered in four consecutive games for the first time in his MLB career, and gave the Dodgers a season-high five home runs in a single game.

The Dodgers have won 16 of their last 21 games and are unbeaten in their last six series.


Up Next:

RHP Anibal Sanchez will take the mound for Atlanta on Saturday with LHP Alex Wood expected to get the call for the Dodgers. First pitch is at 6:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Injury Updates: Kershaw and Cingrani Back on DL]]>Thu, 07 Jun 2018 19:43:59 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-963636696.jpg

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course. 

The Dodgers set the record for the most players on the disabled list in 2016, and backed it up with an MLB-high 38 total DL stints in 2017.

That trend has continued in 2018 as the Dodgers have already placed eleven different players on the DL in the first six weeks of the season.

As of today's date, injuries have made thirteen different players miss a total of 409 days on the DL, totaling nearly $17 million in salary spent towards injured players.

The biggest blow of course was the announcement on April 30 that two-time All-Star shortstop and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Corey Seager, would miss the rest of the season with a strained UCL in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery.

Since then, more dominoes have fallen as veteran second baseman Chase Utley and Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda both joined the disabled list.

Just as things were starting to turn the corner, the Dodgers were dealt another blow as three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 MVP Clayton Kershaw came off the disabled list and immediately went back on it after a short start against the Phillies was hampered by a lower back strain, his third back injury in the last four seasons.

Here's the updates:

Tony Cingrani (left shoulder sprain): Cingrani is back on the disabled list for the second time this season with what is being diagnosed as a left shoulder sprain. Cingrani exited Wednesday's loss against the Pirates after he "felt pain" in his left shoulder during a relief appearance. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts noticed that Cingrani's velocity had dropped 4-5MPH while on the mound and pulled him from the game. He will be reevaluated in Los Angeles.

Clayton Kershaw (lower back strain): Kershaw had been on the disabled list since May 6, but was activated on May 31 for a home start against the Philadelphia Phillies. Kershaw did not look good as his velocity was down in the start, and he left the game in the fifth inning with a lower back strain. Kershaw said the injury was similar to the one he had last season, which saw him miss 40 days with the injury. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said that he believed Kershaw would be out at least a month with the same injury this season.

Kenta Maeda (right hip strain): Maeda had been pitching well before a right hip issue took him out of a game against the Phillies in just the second inning last week. Maeda said after the game he had dealt with the hip strain before, but that it got progressively worse as the game went on last Tuesday. However, Maeda has been cleared to resume baseball activities and Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts believes he will be the first player to come off the disabled list as early as June 10th.

Chase Utley (left thumb strain): Utley's injury came as a surprise ahead of last Wednesday's game when it was announced that the veteran second baseman would head to the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. Utley declined to comment on how he suffered the injury, but he appeared as a pinch-hitter last Tuesday night and the Dodgers did need bullpen help after Maeda's short outing in that game.

Rich Hill (Finger): Hill is back on the disabled list with the same nagging injury that has plagued his last few big league seasons: blisters. Despite the injury, Hill has continued to throw bullpen sessions and simulated games with tape on his finger. Hill also petitioned to the Major League office to allow tape on fingers for pitchers as position players are allowed to. Joe Torre said that MLB would hear a proposal from Hill during Winter Meeting in the offseason. Roberts said that there's no timetable for Hill's return—basically when the blister is fully healed—but when he is ready, he will require a rehab start.

Tom Koehler (Shoulder): Originally believed to be a bicep injury, Koehler was diagnosed with an anterior capsule strain early in spring training and was placed on the 60-day disabled list to start the season. Koehler threw his first bullpen session last week and his second this past weekend. Dave Roberts said that Koehler "felt strong," and left the session encouraged. Koehler is still a long way away however, requiring a simulated game and a rehab assignment before returning to big league action.

Julio Urias (Shoulder): The Mexican native underwent shoulder surgery last summer and is expected to be out until after the All-Star break. Urias has finally begun to throw off a big league mound, and Dave Roberts said the timetable of after the All-Star break, and a target of end of July is still the plan. He also noticed that Urias could provide bullpen help if needed.

Corey Seager (Elbow): The biggest blow of all for the boys in blue was announced on Monday, April 30 when the team reported that Seager was diagnosed with a right UCL sprain in his throwing elbow and have to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Seager's surgery took place in Los Angeles on Friday, May 4, performed by Dr. Neal El Atrtache. El Attrache told the team that the surgery was a "success," and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Seager would rehab at home in North Carolina for the remainder of the season. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu (Groin): Ryu tore his groin muscle "off the bone," during a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 2, and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list a month later on June 2nd. The move means Ryu is ineligible to return until the first week of July, but his target return is still expected to be after the All-Star Break.

Dodgers Injury Updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Use Record 9 Relievers in Win Over Pirates]]>Thu, 07 Jun 2018 18:36:17 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/196*120/GettyImages-969348932.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers keep losing pitchers and winning games. The latest trick by their workaholic bullpen may have been their most impressive.

Spot starter Dennis Santana was scratched minutes before the first pitch on Thursday against Pittsburgh. It hardly mattered. Nine relievers managed to do just enough to hold off the Pirates in an 8-7 victory.

Barely 12 hours removed from a loss that forced manager Dave Roberts to use eight pitchers, the bullpen door in center field opened early and often for the Dodgers. It didn't stop Los Angeles from winning for the 15th time in its last 20 games to move back to .500 (31-31).


"It's one of those things where you just have to kind of ask guys to do more than they've been asked to do and stretch them more, and you try to navigate it the best you can and you understand you don't have a whole lot of margin," Roberts said.

Daniel Hudson pitched a scoreless first in his first start since 2015 after the 22-year-old Santana complained of right lat tightness during warmups.

Pedro Baez (3-3) picked up the win by getting six outs — the most by any of the pitchers Roberts summoned from the bullpen. Kenley Jansen worked around a pinch-hit homer by Francisco Cervelli in the ninth to collect his 15th save in 17 opportunities.

"The fact that Santana went down was just crazy for us," Jansen said. "These last two games weren't easy for us. We got a lot of innings and then today, we had to start since the first inning. It's tough for us."

Having Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger in the lineup helped take some of the pressure off. Pederson went deep twice and Bellinger hit his third home run in as many games for the Dodgers. Pederson led off the game with a solo blast off Jameson Taillon (3-5) and added a two-run shot in the eighth off Michael Feliz for his second multi-home run game in a week.

"Their lineup is deep, it's tough," Taillon said. "I thought I had really good stuff today. I thought I made a lot of good pitches and they were really zoned in."

Bellinger finished 3 for 4, including a shot just over the wall in the sixth to give the Dodgers a three-run advantage, and Pederson's two-run home run in the eighth gave Los Angeles just enough cushion. The first baseman entered the series in a 5-for-54 funk but has focused on trying to spray the ball around instead of pulling everything. The proof the new approach came in the seventh when he sent a curveball by Tyler Glasnow into the sun-splashed bleachers in left-center.

"If you can do that, then you're a tough out," Bellinger said. "They can't shift you as much and that just creates more hits. So, I've been working hard just to try to be an all-around hitter and it's been paying off. Hopefully I can keep it going."

Taillon, coming off his first win in nearly two months, allowed three runs in five innings. Elias Diaz hit his fourth home run and drove in four for the Pirates, and Cervelli's homer pushed his total to a career-high nine. Josh Harrison had two of Pittsburgh's nine hits, but it wasn't enough to keep the Pirates from losing their sixth consecutive series while dropping to .500 (31-31).

Corey Dickerson, who went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts, said facing a different arm every time up presented issues.

"I think that threw a lot of guys off," Dickerson said.

The victory marked the 10th time in 13 games that Dodger relievers have worked at least four innings.

Those following Hudson included Baez — who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday but never made it to the airport after left-hander Tony Cingrani went on the disabled list early Thursday with pain in his left shoulder.


Baez even made the sixth plate appearance of his five-year career when he put down a sacrifice bunt in the third. Edward Paredes, recalled from Triple-A overnight, worked a third of an inning in his second appearance in the majors this year.

"They took on a heavy workload," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "They got out of here with a series win, which doesn't leave a good taste."


Up Next:

The Dodgers travel back to Los Angeles where they will host the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. Former Dodger, Brandon McCarthy will start on Friday opposite RHP Walker Buehler. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Justin Berl/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Caleb Ferguson Makes MLB Debut in Dodgers Loss]]>Wed, 06 Jun 2018 22:27:22 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-968689594.jpg

If you play with fire, you get burned.

Caleb Ferguson found that out the hard way as the Dodgers rallied from three different four-run deficits, but fell short of the final comeback in an 11-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night at PNC Park. 

Following four consecutive wins that saw the Boys in Blue bolt back to .500 at a superluminal pace, the Dodgers turned to 21-year-old rookie Caleb Ferguson to hopefully continue the team's winning ways.

Unfortunately for Ferguson, he let his emotions get the best of him in his Big League debut, allowing four runs on two hits with three walks, two hit by pitches, three strikeouts and one backbreaking double in just 1 and 2/3 innings. 

"It was really exciting to see him out there, but obviously with his adrenaline and emotions there was a lot going on," admitted Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts about his young pitcher. "For me, that second inning he was up to 39 pitches in one inning and I didn't want to put him in any more stress."

Ferguson got ahead of Josh Harrison to start the game, but then hit the Pirates second baseman with a curveball before allowing a single to Austin Meadows. 

"I got two strikes on a ton of guys and the walks and hit by pitches are going to kill you," said Ferguson. "At this level, the guys are going to hit your mistakes. If I just execute one pitch, it could have been different."

Ferguson got out of the inning, recording his first Major League strikeout. 

But it was all downhill from there, as Ferguson started the second inning the same way he started the first, by hitting Corey Dickerson before issuing free passes to Colin Moran and Sean Rodriguez.

The Pirates then ended a 19 inning scoreless streak when Harrison burned Ferguson with a base clearing, three-run double that ended the rookie's debut and gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead.

"It's not how I planned for it to go," said Ferguson of his debut. "It's nice to go out there and get the first one out of the way, even though it didn't go the way you want, I have to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for the next one."

With the Dodgers trailing 4-0 entering the top of the third inning, Matt Kemp cut the lead in half with a two-run double, and Cody Bellinger followed a few pitches later with a game-tying two-run home run. 

But the bullpen would wilt in the following two innings as Daniel Hudson and Brock Stewart each allowed two runs to give the Pirates another four-run lead, 8-4. 

Once again, it was Dodgers MVP Matt Kemp who brought the Boys in Blue back from the brink with a three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to tie Bellinger with a team-high 10 homers on the season. 

"I don't think we're ever out of a game, especially the way our offense has been swinging the bat," Kemp said. "It was a tough day today. They scored a lot of runs. We tried to make it into a good game. We did. Came up short."

The Dodgers bullpen struggled the rest of the way, allowing three more runs to give the Pirates their third four-run lead, 11-7.  The bullpen allowed seven runs in total. 

"I thought we competed offensively and did a lot of things well. Matt obviously had another big night, but there's only so much an offense can do."The offense did what they could do, but overall we just didn't pitch well."

The Dodgers tried to claw their way back into the game with two runs in the top of the eighth, but the rally fell short in the top of the ninth after Kemp and Bellinger lined out to end the game. 

The Dodgers eight-game winning streak on the road was snapped.

Up Next:

RHP Dennis Santana will make his first career MLB start for the Dodgers against RHP Jameson Taillon at 9:35AM PST on Thursday.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Glen 'Big Baby' Davis Facing Felony Charge]]>Wed, 06 Jun 2018 16:27:37 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Glen-Davis-felony-charge.jpg

Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who last played for the LA Clippers in 2015 and won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, was arrested and charged with one felony count of assault by means of force to produce great bodily injury on Wednesday per the LA District Attorney's office.

The 32-year-old former professional basketball player was involved in a fight outside a West Hollywood nightclub in May where he "beat the living hell out of a man" according to TMZ, who first reported the felony charge.

TMZ also reported that the other man in the fight suffered facial fractures, among other injuries, and had to be hospitalized following the fight.

Earlier in 2018, the former Boston Celtics forward was arrested in a hotel in Maryland with more than 126 grams of marijuana and $92,000 in cash. He was charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Davis is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday for the felony assault charge.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Announce Top 10 Picks in 2018 MLB Draft]]>Wed, 06 Jun 2018 04:25:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/AP_18156015458089.jpg

The next crop of future Dodger greats just had their dreams come true.

The 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft was this week and the Los Angeles Dodgers took a high schooler pitcher with their first round pick, and then continued to add arms from there.

By the end of the Dodgers vs. Pirates game on Tuesday evening, the Dodgers had drafted a total of ten players (five pitchers) in the first ten rounds of the draft.

After finishing with the best record in baseball last season, the Dodgers had the 30th overall pick in the draft and selected right-hander J.T. Ginn out of Brandon High School in Mississippi. 

Ginn appeared in eight games (seven starts), going 5-1 with a 0.36 ERA (2 ER/39.1 IP) and striking out 78 batters against just nine walks, while holding the opposition to a .073 average. Ginn also recorded two shutouts and a no-hitter in his starts and was named the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year. 

"We have seen Ginn over the course of last year with a premium velocity that goes with a lot of movement,” said Dodger Director, Amateur Scouting Billy Gasparino. “We think he has one of the best fastball qualities in the draft and he also has a power breaking ball that he can throw for strikes. The stuff has always been there, but we have seen him develop a better delivery as the spring went along. We believe that he is a potential starter and can be one of those power, six-foot righties that really has premium stuff."

Ginn was scouted by Dodgers' scout Benny Latino, and had a 15-2 record with a 1.02 ERA in his last three years of high school.

However, just because Ginn is a pitcher doesn't mean he can't get it done at the plate as well. The 19-year-old batted .415 with 28 home runs, 22 doubles, three triples and 120 RBI in four seasons.

In the second round, with the 68th overall pick in the draft, the Dodgers selected right-hander Michael Grove out of West Virginia University. 

The Wheeling, West Virginia native missed the 2018 season after undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery, but as a junior he went 5-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 25 collegiate games (16 starts).

"Grove is a little bit of a unique case. A lot of credit goes to our area scout, Jonah Rosenthal, as he was able to see him both freshman and sophomore year at West Virginia and was able to gain some familiarity with his physical ability. We felt like Grove’s talent level matched that pick and our comfort level of where he was with his post Tommy John surgery, it made sense for us," said Gasparino.

The Dodgers would go on two select two more pitchers in rounds 3 and 4, selecting John Rooney a left-hander out of Hofstra University in the third round and Braydon Fisher, a right-hander out of Clear Falls High School in Texas.

Below is the complete list of players selected in the first ten rounds.

RoundPickPlayerPosSchool
130J.T. GinnRHPBrandon HS
268Michael GroveRHPWest Virginia
3104John RooneyLHPHofstra
4134Braydon FisherRHPClear Falls HS
5164Devin MannINFLouisville
6194Bryan WarzekLHPUniversity of New Orleans
7224James OutmanOFSacramento State
8254Luke HeyerINFKentucky
9284Josh McLain OFNC State
10314Deacon LiputINFFlorida


The 2018 First-Year Player Draft concludes tomorrow with rounds 11-30 starting at 9:00AM PST.



Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trio of Dodgers Homer in Victory Over Bucs]]>Tue, 05 Jun 2018 20:30:20 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-968033286.jpg

The boys are back...at .500.

Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, and Cody Bellinger all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers opened up a three-game series in Pittsburgh with a 5-0 victory over the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park.

Following a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers got an off day on Monday before beating up on the Bucs for the first time this season to improve to 30-30 through their first 60 games on the year.

Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove was a familiar face to Dodger fans as many will remember him out of the bullpen for the Houston Astros during the 2017 World Series. 

Musgrove allowed two home runs in four total appearances in the Fall Classic before he was traded in the offseason to Pittsburgh as part of the Gerrit Cole deal. 

"The game plan is a little different since his role in the World Series was a reliever and now he's a starter," said Joc Pederson who was responsible for both of those home runs off Musgrove in the World Series. "He was really good entering into the game, but we were able to get to him early."

With Pederson's success off Musgrove in the World Series, it came as no surprise that he kicked off Tuesday's game with a two-run blast off Musgrove in his first at-bat.

Pederson must like Musgrove's pitching, as he is now 3-for-4 with three home runs in his first three at-bats against the right-hander in his career.

"I don't know," Pederson said when asked why he has so much success against Musgrove. "I just try and not do too much and put a good swing on it. I've gotten a couple good pitches and was able to capitalize."

Yasiel Puig flipped the power switch in the top of the fourth inning when he sent a 94MPH fastball from Musgrove to center field for his seventh home run of the season. 

The final blast came off the bat of struggling sophomore sensation Cody Bellinger. 

"I've been working on a lot of things to try and simplify my swing," said Bellinger of his recent struggles. "Everyone has been super supportive of me."

Bellinger belted his ninth home run of the season off right-hander Tyler Glasnow in the top of the sixth to put the Dodgers in front 5-0.

Ross Stripling continued his string of successful starts with just four hits allowed and seven strikeouts in five shutout innings. 

Stripling (4-1 lowered his ERA to 1.52 on the season, good four third best in baseball behind Justin Verlander (1.24) and Jacob deGrom (1.49).

Stripling's strikeout-to-walk ratio is a whopping 9.8 on the season with 49 strikeouts and just five walks this season, the best in baseball according to STATS, LLC.

Musgrove (2-1) lost his first game of the season, allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in five innings.

The Dodgers bullpen, fresh off their National League "Bullpen of the Week," honors pitched four scoreless innings of relief. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers are expected to call up rookie LHP Caleb Ferguson from Triple-A OKC on Wednesday to start opposite RHP Trevor Williams for the Pirates. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.

 



Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Rapid Fire: Please Kobe]]>Mon, 04 Jun 2018 16:24:33 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/RAPID_FIRE_0603_1200x675_1248046659844.jpg

It's another fun filled edition of Rapid Fire: The Lakers pass on LiAngelo Ball, the answer to the Dodgers injury woes and the thing we really need from Kobe Bryant's new book. Fred Roggin is joined by Andy Kamenetzky of ESPN Radio and writer/comedian Mike Critelli. Originally aired on Going Roggin, June 3, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Sweep the Rockies ]]>Sun, 03 Jun 2018 16:33:56 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-966464098.jpg

I bet you didn't see this one coming.

The Los Angeles Dodgers erased a five-run deficit as they rallied again to complete the three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, 10-7, on Sunday afternoon in Denver.

There's nothing like a weekend series at Coors Field to wake up a struggling offense.

After scoring just one run on two hits on Thursday in Los Angeles, the Dodgers offense awoke within the friendly confines of Coors Field scoring 33 runs on 36 hits in the three-game series with Colorado.

"Colorado," said Yasmani Grandal matter of factly when asked what changed with the offense from Thursday to Sunday.

He wasn't kidding.

The Dodgers scored double-digit runs in all three games, the first time they've done that in three consecutive games since Sept. 1996. 

Despite the victory, the game started on a sour note for the Boys in Blue, as Alex Wood got wacked early and often by the Rockies vaunted lineup.

Four of the first five batters for the Rockies recorded a hit to start the game, capitalized by a two-run home run for Ian Desmond.

Desmond's deep blast travelled a whopping 459-feet to dead-center, the longest home run hit off Wood this season. 

Wood would allow four total runs in the first inning, and a total of six in the game on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in just two short innings, his shortest start of the season.

Wood has been whittled at Coors Field over the course of his career. The 27-year-old southpaw is 1-2 with a 9.75 ERA in the mile-high city.

Thankfully for Wood, Max Muncy put the team on his back with a pair of home runs in consecutive innings.

Muncy's first home run was a solo shot to opposite field in the top of the second, but it was his second blast an inning later that did the most damage, as Muncy took Chad Bettis deep with a big, three-run blast in the top of the third.

"I felt extremely locked in," said Muncy of the battle against Bettis. "He was making good pitches and I was able to foul them off. I was waiting for him to make a mistake and thankfully he left one over the middle of the plate at the end there. It was a big moment, it got us back in the game."

It was the first time a Dodger player had homered in back-to-back innings all season.

Muncy has reached base safely in 13 of his last 14 games since May 19, batting .255 with eight runs, two doubles, six homers and 13 RBI.

"He's been great for us," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Muncy. "Today he slugged. Taking one the other way and then a pull side homer. The energy he brings wherever we put him in the lineup is great and he's productive."

Bettis did not factor in the decision, allowing five runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in five and 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers took the lead with a three-run sixth inning. All three runs came with two outs as Logan Forsythe had an RBI single and Los Angeles scored two on an error by Trevor Story.

Forsythe giveth, and Forsythe taketh away, as the second baseman made a costly error in the bottom of the seventh as he booted a groundball with two outs and a runner on third that tied the game at 7-7.

Forysthe—looking for redemption—would battle back as he led off the ninth inning with a double of Colorado closer, Wade Davis. 

After advancing to third base on a wild pitch, Forsythe would score on a groundball back to the pitcher by Justin Turner and the Dodgers would take an 8-7 lead.

One batter later, Yasmani Grandal added two insurance runs with a two-run home run to center field that put the clamps on Colorado for good.

"We battled. Everybody battled," Grandal said of the Dodgers third straight come-from-behind win against the Rockies. "As soon as you start to put pressure on guys they have to perform. He [Wade Davis] left a couple pitches in the zone and we were able to capitalize and break through."

Kenley Jansen entered the game and tossed a perfect ninth for his 14th save of the season.

The Dodgers completed their first three-game sweep at Coors Field since Sept. 2010, and are 5-1 against the Rockies this season and 13 of 17 overall. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Monday as they travel to Pittsburgh ahead of a three-game series with the Pirates. RHP Ross Stripling will look to carry over his amazing month of May as he squares off with RHP Joe Musgrove for the Bucs. First pitch is Tuesday at 4:05PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Destroy Rockies With 8-Run Seventh Inning]]>Sat, 02 Jun 2018 19:51:27 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-966461070.jpg

Break out the bats.

Joc Pederson had a pair of homers, Matt Kemp had the biggest blast of all, and every position player reached base as the Los Angeles Dodgers came from behind to beat the Colorado Rockies, 12-4, on Saturday night at Coors Field.

After the Boys in Blue exploded for 11 runs on 12 hits in a slugfest with the Rockies on Friday, they followed it up with an even better second act as the Dodgers did even more damage with 12 runs on 13 hits in game two.

Just as they did the night before, the Dodgers struck first blood with a two-run second inning capped off by an RBI single by Breyvic Valera.

The RBI single that gave Los Angeles an early 2-0 lead, was the first career RBI for the 26-year-old Venezuelan infielder.

The Rockies would rally to recapture the lead in the bottom of the second inning off Dodgers rookie flamethrower Walker Buehler.

Six of the first eight batters reached base off Buehler in the inning with D.J. LeMahieu highlighting the four-run inning with a two-run double.

Like many pitchers before him, Buehler was bitten with the bad luck that is Coors Field, arguably the best hitter's park in baseball.

The 23-year-old did not factor in the decision, allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in just five innings of work.

Joc Pederson kicked off the comeback for Los Angeles with a solo shot in the fourth inning that cut the lead to one, and a game-tying solo shot in the top of the sixth inning. 

Pederson finished 4-for-5 with  a double, two home runs, and four runs scored in his best game of the season at the plate.

The Dodgers broke the game open with an eight-run seventh inning that saw Matt Kemp cap off the comeback with a two-run liner to left field for his second home run in as many days. 

Kemp leads all active players with 44 home runs, 198 hits, 43 doubles, 113 runs scored and 147 RBI vs. Colorado in his career.

He also has a .318 career batting average against the Rockies, which ranks in the top five among active players behind Buster Posey (.348), Ryan Zimmerman (.337), and Adrian Beltre (.327) with at least 300 plate appearances.

Colorado starter German Marquez was strong through six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts, but it was the Rockies bullpen that imploded in this one.

Brian Shaw, Mike Dunn, and Harrison Musgrave each entered the game in the seventh inning as the trio of relievers combined to allow all eight runs in the inning.

The victory guarantees the Dodgers their fifth consecutive series without a loss as they have taken four out of five series overall.

Up Next:

Wake up early for Sunday morning baseball as LHP Alex Wood takes the mound for the Dodgers opposite RHP Chad Bettis for Colorado. First pitch is scheduled for 9:10AM PST.

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

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Survive Slugfest With Rockies]]>Fri, 01 Jun 2018 22:29:07 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-965863472.jpg

Coors Field is fun.

Chris Taylor hit a go-ahead three run home run in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were the last team standing after a slugfest with the division rival Colorado Rockies, 11-8, on Friday night in Denver.

"It's survival of the fittest," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the game at Coors Field. "You can never script a game out here in this ballpark." 

Indeed there were multiple rewrites throughout the night as the Dodgers and Rockies took turns trading knockout blows with four different lead changes in the contest. 

"At the end of nine innings, you're exhausted and worn out," Taylor said after the game. "It's a good feeling to know you got the win and put it all out there and came out on top."

Scott Alexander made his first career Major League start, and became the 500th starting pitcher in Dodgers franchise history.

After recording the first four outs of the game, Alexander passed the baton to 22-year-old rookie Dennis Santana who earned his first career MLB win in his Major League debut.

"It was beautiful to come and run out of the bullpen in front of my family and to face players I've only ever seen on television," said Santana through a translator of the moment he made his debut. "It was a great experience and I thank my team for helping me, and also getting my first career win."

The Dodgers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to the hottest hitter in the National League.

Matt Kemp crushed a 1-1 cutter from Tyler Anderson deep into the seats in left field for his eighth home run of the season.

The Rockies took the lead in the bottom of the second after Santana hit opposing pitcher, Tyler Anderson, with two outs, extending the inning for D.J. LeMahieu who hit an RBI single and Charlie Blackmon who hit a two-run RBI triple that gave Colorado a 4-2 lead.

Santana got off to a shaky start, allowing five runs on six hits in 3 and 2/3 innings, but he helped his own cause with a two-run bases loaded double in the top of the fourth.

"He made some good pitches, but that's a good lineup over there," said Roberts of Santana's start. "Hopefully he learned something from it and will be ready to go his next turn." 

Santana became the first Dodgers pitcher with an RBI extra-base hit in his first MLB plate appearance since Doug Rau on Sept. 2, 1972, with his game-tying two run double in the first big league pitch he ever saw.

 

"I just went up there with a positive mindset to swing at anything that was there and that's what happened," Santana said of his two-run double.

One batter later, Taylor knocked in his first of four runs in the game with a sacrifice fly that put the Boys in Blue back on top, 5-4.

The lead would be shortlived as LeMahieu tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning and then the Rockies recaptured the lead on an RBI single by Gerardo Parra in the bottom of the fifth inning.

LeMahieu, who was activated off the disabled list before the game, tied a career-high with four hits and drove in two runs.

Brooks Pounders entered the game for the Rockies in the top of the sixth to try and hold he lead, but the Dodgers pounded on the right-hander when Taylor sent a fastball over the fence in right-center for a three-run home run, and an 8-6 L.A. lead.

"He has a little life to his fastball and I was just trying to stay above it," said Taylor of the go-ahead homer. "I was able to foul off a few pitches and finally got the bat head to it and hit the other way. It was a 'Colorado homer,' which is nice."

Taylor finished the game, 2-for-4 with a triple, a sac fly, four RBI, and two runs scored.

Nolan Arenado tried to get Colorado back in the game with a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh off Yimi Garcia.

But Yasiel Puig extended the Los Angeles lead with his fourth hit of the evening, a two-run home run to straightaway center off Chris Rusin.

Kenley Jansen recorded his 13th save of the season by recording the final four outs, despite surrendering an RBI single to Carlos Gonzalez in the bottom of the ninth.

The Dodgers moved within three games of the NL West-leading Rockies with the win.

Up Next:

Game two of the three-game series with the Rockies features rookie RHP Walker Buehler for the Dodgers against RHP German Marquez for Colorado. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15PM PST.  

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Kershaw's Return Ruined by Controversial Call at the Plate]]>Thu, 31 May 2018 21:22:39 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-964633140.jpg

It was a dour day for Clayton Kershaw.

Aaron Nola outpitched the three-time Cy Young Award winner and the Philadelphia Phillies held on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1, on Thursday evening at Chavez Ravine.

The two teams took turns winning in the four-game series as the Dodgers streak of consecutive series victories ends at three. Despite the loss, Los Angeles has still not dropped a series since May 17 against the Miami Marlins.

Kershaw was reinstated from the disabled list before the game, after the seven-time All-Star missed the last 30 days with left bicep tendinitis. 

Kershaw did not look as sharp as he normally does and later after the game it was announced that he was dealing with back discomfort throughout the evening.

"It's beyond frustrating," said Kershaw. "I thought I was out of the woods and feeling healthy, feeling good. Then to have that crop up duing the game."

His fastball velocity peaked at 89MPH, and he did not throw a single fastball in the fifth inning, his final inning.

The Phillies scored the first run of the game on an interesting play at the plate in the top of the second inning.

With Maikel Franco on second base, Jorge Alfaro hit a single to centerfield that sent Franco home. Cody Bellinger made a brilliant throw to the plate that appeared to have Franco dead-to-rights, but Dodgers' catcher Yasmani Grandal dropped the ball.

"A couple guys asked me right away 'Did you touch home plate?' I was like 'No.' But all that matters is we got the run and we won the game," Franco said. "When something happens, they call the video guy right away so I was a little bit surprised. I sat down and I was like 'They’re not showing that play?' and when that happened I was like, 'We got that run.' Crazy."

Franco was ruled safe, but moments later, the play at the plate caused palpebral twitches for the 40,986 fans in attendance after the replay on the videoboard in right field revealed that Franco never touched home plate.

"I asked him [the home plate umpire] afterwards because I obviously didn't know if he touched or not," said Grandal of the play. "He said 'yeah,' nobody screamed at me or anything [to challenge] so there was no reason to go tag him."

However, Dodgers' manager never appealed to home plate umpire Will Little and the play was never challenged or reviewed before an upset Kershaw threw another pitch.

"I saw a safe call and I assumed he had touched home plate," admitted Roberts of the gaffe that may have cost his team the game. "We just didn't get it. You can appeal it. Ultimately, if we would have known, we would have appealed it, yes."

The decision would prove to be costly for the Boys in Blue as the game would eventually be decided by one run. 

"Unbeknownst to us he didn't touch home plate," said Roberts. "You're frustrated. You just gave them a run essentially. We just didn't see it. It cost Clayton a run, and it cost us a run. If you look at it, Clayton went five innings and really didn't give up a run."

Kershaw did not factor in the decision, allowing just one run on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts in five innings. He lowered his ERA to 2.76 on the season.

"It definitely did not look pretty," Kershaw said of his start. "No one is going to feel sorry for me. I'm frustrated and disappointed."

Despite the no-decision, Kershaw still has a losing record against Philadelphia in his career, going 3-5 with an ERA of 3.07 in 13 career starts.

The Phillies are just one of three teams in all of Major League Baseball that Kershaw has a losing record against (Pirates and Rangers).

Philadelphia starting pitcher, and future perennial ace, Aaron Nola, had a no-hitter through four innings before Yasiel Puig began the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff double down the left field line.

Puig would help the Dodgers draw level with the Phillies after an RBI single by Enrique Hernandez two batters later.

Hernández has swung the bat well at home this season, batting .292 with 11 runs, two doubles, one triple, five home runs and 11 RBI in 28 games at Dodger Stadium.

Alfaro would ultimately be responsible for both Phillies runs as he knocked in the game-winning run with an RBI double in the top of the seventh inning.

Alfaro finished the game 2-for-3 and recorded a hit in each game this series, going 7-for-15 with three runs, five doubles and three RBI.

Nola (7-2), was dominant against the Dodgers in the finale of the series. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed just one run on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in seven strong innings.

"I think there’s a lot of pride from Noles," said Phillies' manager Gabe Kapler. "I think he understands that he put our team on his back against the best pitcher over the last six, seven years in Clayton Kershaw, and went toe to toe with him and outlasted him. Noles was just sensational."

Among Nola's 12 starts this season, nine have been quality starts, which is the second most in the NL trailing just Max Scherzer (10). He also joined teammate Jake Arrieta as the second Phillies starter to take a no-hitter into the fifth inning in the series.

Rookie reliever Seranthony Dominguez collected his second save of the season after striking out two batters in 2.0 perfect innings of relief.

The Dodgers finished the month of May with a record of 14-14, and have the best run differential in the National League West at +23. Nonetheless, they still find themselves four games below .500 and fourth place in the division.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will fly to Denver immediately after the game and embark upon a three-game series with the rival Colorado Rockies on Tuesday. Rookie Dennis Santana is expected to start and make his Major League Debut opposite LHP Tyler Anderson. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: John McCoy/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Stripling and Kemp Power Dodgers Past Phillies]]>Wed, 30 May 2018 23:22:26 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/199*120/GettyImages-963964272.jpg

It's Ross Stripling's world, we just live in it.

Stripling allowed just one run in seven innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-2, on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. 

"We're confident," said Stripling after the victory. "Last couple outings for me we've been able to get some early runs and that's been great."

Following a brutal, 6-1, beat down by the Fightin' Phils on Tuesday, it was the Boys in Blue who did the bashing in this game, courtesy of home runs by Max Muncy and Matt Kemp.

Kemp kicked off the scoring with an RBI double in the bottom of the first that gave the Dodgers an early, 1-0 lead. Kemp has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games and is batting a whopping .361 over that span.

"We got it going in the first inning," said Kemp. "I just try and go out there and make things happen. Whatever happens, happens."

Not to be confused with Mel Gibson or Tom Hardy, the man known as "Mad Max" hit is seventh home run of the year on a solo shot off Zach Eflin in the bottom of the third inning.

In his last 18 games since May 10, Muncy is batting .302 with seven runs, five doubles, five home runs and 14 RBI.

"Max got a good pitch to hit," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the home run. "When he's going to the big part of the field he's pretty special. He puts together good at-bats."

After a two-out walk to Yasmani Grandal, Kemp blasted a first-pitch fastball from Eflin deep into the left field pavilion for his seventh home run of the season as well. 

The homer marked Kemp's team-leading 16th multi-hit game this season and increased his batting average to .345, good for first place in the National League.

"We still got four months to go," said Kemp about leading the league in hitting. "It's a long season, but of course it's good to feel the way I feel. It feels good."

Eflin (1-2) sulked off the mound, allowing five runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts in four short innings, his shortest outing of the season for the Phillies.

Philadelphia's lone run of the game off Stripling came on a solo shot from Nick Williams in the top of the seventh inning.

"That wasn't a well executed changeup," said Stripling of the pitch to Williams. "I had gotten him out earlier with it, and I knew if I got it down I had a good chance to get him out, but I hung it on a tee and he didn't miss it."

Meanwhile, Stripling (3-1) earned his third consecutive victory, allowing just one earned run on four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in seven solid innings.

"He missed a lot of barrels tonight," 

Stripling lowered his ERA to 1.68 on the season.

Stripling not only dominated on the mound, but he helped his own cause at the plate as well with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. 

"They walked Logan to get to me," joked Stripling of his RBI single. "We've been working on it, but that was just your classic step in the bucket and post a nice soft liner the other way. It was pretty cool."

Chris Taylor had an RBI double in the same inning, placing him second on the team in doubles behind only Kemp (14) on the season with 13.

Kemp finished the game responsible for half of the Dodgers eight runs with a season-high four RBI and now has a team-leading 30 RBI on the season.

Every player in the starting lineup had a hit on the night for the Dodgers. 

The victory guarantees the Dodgers first winning homestand this season.

Up Next:

The finale of the four-game series with Philadelphia will feature RHP Aaron Nola against the return of the three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 4:35PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Call in Bullpen Reinforcements]]>Wed, 30 May 2018 21:18:08 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-963870600.jpg

Call in the cavalry.

The Los Angeles Dodgers called up a pair of arms ahead of their game with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. 

Rookie Dennis Santana was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City and ambidextrous, switch-pitcher, Pat Venditte, was recalled from OKC as well to add reinforcements to the bullpen.

The moves come after starting pitcher Kenta Maeda was forced to leave Tuesday's, 6-1, loss in the second inning with a right hip strain, causing the Dodgers' bullpen to have to record the final 22 outs of the game. 

Maeda was placed on the 10-day disabled list this morning in order to call up Santana, and veteran second baseman, Chase Utley was placed on the 10-day DL with a left thumb sprain in order to recall Venditte. 

Santana, will make his first appearance on a Major League roster, after starting the season in Double-A Tulsa. 

The 22-year-old out of the Dominican Republic is primarily a starting pitcher with a record of 1-3 with a 2.54 ERA and 65 strikeouts between Double-A and Triple-A.

Santana was originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on March 12, 2013 as a shorstop and was converted into a pitcher in 2013. 

Venditte is a rare switch-pitcher who throws from both his left and right hand on the mound. The 32-year-old has allowed two runs in 2 and 2/3 innings (6.75 ERA

Venditte, 32, has allowed two runs in 2.2 innings (6.75 ERA), and struck out two without issuing a walk in three relief appearances with Los Angeles this season.

Santana is expected to be an emergency pitcher out of the bullpen for Wednesday and Thursday's contensts with the Phillies, and if he goes unused, could make his Major League debut this weekend as a starter in Colorado. 

If the Dodgers can get strong starts from Ross Stripling on Wednesday and Clayton Kershaw on Thursday, then Dennis Santana could start this weekend if the team chooses to push everyone back or start him on Sunday in the fifth spot in the rotation previously occupied by Brock Stewart.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Maeda Exits With Injury in Dodgers Loss to Phillies]]>Tue, 29 May 2018 23:28:34 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-963636510.jpg

This time there was no comeback.

Nick Williams homered and Jake Arrieta did the rest, as the Philadelphia Phillies shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-1, on Tuesday night at Dodger stadium.

"You want to be a stopper," said Arrieta after the game. "Anytime you're in a situation where you lose a tough game, especially in the first game, you want to come out and put a stop to it. That's what I intended to do."

Following a four-run comeback the night prior, the Dodgers found themselves in a similar situation in game two of the series as they fell behind 3-0 in the second inning. 

Williams led off the inning with a solo shot to right-center on a 92MPH four-seam fastball from Kenta Maeda.

Maeda left the game three batters later with just two outs in the inning with a right hip strain. The injury quickly turned the contest into a bullpen game one day after the pen had do pitch five innings of scoreless relief for Brock Stewart.

"Getting pulled out early is something I don't want to do, it puts a lot of pressure on the team," Maeda said through a translator of having to exit the game early. "Throughout the day there was remnants of it, but as I started pitching it became gradually more and more painful throughout the game."

Scott Alexander entered the game immediately for Maeda, and after a walk to Cesar Hernandez, and a single to Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera hit a single that second baseman Logan Forsythe couldn't handle because of a bad hop and the Phillies led 3-0.

Maeda (4-4) left as the losing pitcher of record, allowing two runs on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts in just 1 and 2/3 innings of work. 

"He wanted to stay in and finish the inning, but the risk versus reward was not good," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "He will get an MRI tomorrow. It looks like a potential DL [disabled list] situation. Nothing too severe, but enough for him to potentially miss a start."

The Japanese right-hander was left to excogitate an answer to what caused his hip injury, especially after back-to-back brilliant starts in his last two outings. Maeda fired 14 and 2/3 scoreless innings with 20 strikeouts against the Marlins and Rockies before today.

"In my last outing I felt the pain in my hip," Maeda said through a translator about the injury. "In between the last outing and this outing it was feeling pretty good until I started pitching in this game."

Scott Kingery and Jorge Alfaro hit back-to-back doubles in the sixth inning to extend the Phillies lead to 4-0, the same as it was on Monday night.

Philadelphia, back in their lateritious jerseys, would not allow a comeback on this night as Arrieta stymied the Dodgers hitters all night long with seven shutout innings.

"He used his sinker really well and had his slider going too," said Roberts of Arrieta. "His slider and sinker were really good all night long."

Arrieta (5-2), famously threw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 2015. Instead of no hits, he scattered six of them on Tuesday, striking out five, while walking just two batters.

"Limiting those guys to five or six singles is a pretty good night," said Arrieta. "I felt good, but I can always get better though."

Justin Turner knocked in the lone run of the game for Los Angeles with an RBI single that scored Max Muncy in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Muncy finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double for his fifth multi-hit game of the season. In his last 17 games since May 10, he is batting .313 with six runs, five doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI.

"Everyone was battling tonight," said Muncy. "Bullpen did a fairly good job and that's all we can ask for."

Philadelphia did some late damage against Dodgers' reliever Daniel Hudson as Rhys Hoksins and Carlos Santana both doubled in the top of the ninth. 

In total, five of the first six batters reached base, as Hudson was hammered to the tune of two runs on four hits, extending the Phillies lead to 6-1.

The Phillies recorded a season-high six doubles in tonight’s contest, the most since collecting six on Sept. 12, 2017 versus the Marlins.

Up Next:

Zach Eflin will take the mound for the Fightin' Phils on Wednesday opposite RHP Ross Stripling for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[VIDEO: Bullied Special Needs Man Throws Out First Pitch ]]>Tue, 29 May 2018 19:56:09 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/Michael_Cardena_Family_Field.JPG

Michael Cadena went from bullying victim to local hero with a single pitch.

Cadena fulfilled a lifelong dream as the 27-year-old Riverside man with special needs, walked on to the mound at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday and threw out the ceremonial first pitch in front of thousands of fans and supporters.

You might remember Cadena's story on NBC LA from last month, when the young man was pushed and robbed of his beloved Dodgers hat at a local Riverside Target store.


"I was scared and nervous and frightened," Cadena told our own Hetty Chang about the incident. "My heart was pounding. They shoved me."

His mother, Sylvia, posted about the incident on her Facebook page and received a bevy of support from the community, and an outpouring of responses from fans donating hats, tickets, and signed memorabilia to Cardena.

"I'm proud of him," Sylvia said after her son repeatedly refused to surrender his hat before it was physically taken from him. "Proud for speaking up and saying what was in his heart and mind."

Eventually, word of the incident got out to the Dodgers and they not only gave Cadena free tickets to a game, but through the Dodger Blue Wishes program, invited him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.


Cadena hung out on the field pregame with some of his favorite players, including reigning National League Rookie of the Year Winner, Cody Bellinger. 

Bellinger generously gave Cardena an autographed jersey to wear for his big moment on the mound, but agreed to be his catcher for the pitch as well.

Cadena was born with Apert syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face.

According to the Press-Enterprise, Cardena has undergone multiple surgeries throughout his life and his development was delayed during his adolescence.

 

Despite his disorder, Cardena maintains a job at a local thrift store called Savers in Riverside, and rides a bus and scooter to work. Cardena is a diehard Dodger fan who wears his LA hat and shirt wherever he goes.

Cardena told NBC LA that he had been practicing for his first pitch for the last few weeks with his father, Joe, in the backyard, and had never thrown a baseball before. 

Cardena's fingers are fused together, making it difficult to grip a baseball.

During his first pitch on Tuesday, the left-hander walked to the mound, and then took a few steps towards home plate before bouncing a throw to Bellinger.



Photo Credit: Azucena Varela/ NBC LA
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Steal Victory With Late Comeback Over Phillies]]>Mon, 28 May 2018 22:01:08 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-963429766.jpg

Do you have your rally cap on? 

The Los Angeles Dodgers erased a four-run deficit to steal the first game of a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4, on Memorial Day at Dodger Stadium.

"We probably don't win this game two weeks ago," admitted Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts following the game. "I'm very proud of the way we fought back. For our offense to chip away like that. It was a big win."

Following their third consecutive series win on Sunday, the Dodgers got off to a good start to win their fourth straight series as they rallied late off the Phillies bullpen.

The game got off to a wild start as Rhys Hoskins reached base on an easy groundball to short after home plate umpire Ted Barrett called catcher's interference on Yasmani Grandal.

Hoskins was awarded first base, and two walks and a wild pitch later, he scored to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

"I had some things go against me in the first inning. It was rough from the get go," said Stewart of the start to the game. "Those walks aren't me. It was pretty rough for me."

Hernandez broke the game open in the top of the second as he crushed a first-pitch fastball from Brock Stewart over the wall in right-center for a three-run homer that give the Phillies a commanding, 4-0 lead. 

"In the second inning it went bloop, bloop, and then a blast," continued Stewart. "I threw him [Hernandez] an 0-0 heater right down the middle so maybe I should have placed that one a little better." 

Stewart did not last much longer, as he left the game after the fourth inning, surrendering four runs (three earned) on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

"I did settle in during the third and fourth innings and had better tempo and attacked better," said Stewart. "If I come out with the same tempo I had in the third and fourth inning in the first and second inning I can go deeper into the game."

According to Stats LLC., Stewart has thrown five innings or fewer in each of his first 11 career starts, which is the longest streak by any pitcher to begin his career in the last 105 years.

Vince Velasquez was the most estimable player of the game, throwing five no-hit innings before allowing a leadoff single to Yasiel Puig to start the bottom of the sixth.

"He has a 95 to 96 MPH fastball and a good slider and changeup. He had really good stuff, but if you keep going and going, that's the result. I tried to get the first hit of the game," said Puig. "My team sometimes looks for Puig to do his crazy stuff in order to play better. That's the reason why I tried to do something to give energy to the team to play better."

The Dodgers began to chip away at the lead after Puig broke up Velasquez's no-hitter. He took second on an error by Hoskins, and scored two batters later on an RBI double by Joc Pederson.

Pederson then cut the lead in half after an RBI single by Justin Turner chased Velasquez from the game.

"Joc got behind in the count and had a big double down the left field line that scores Puig," said Roberts. "After that JT [Justin Turner] gets a first-pitch slider base-hit with two outs and that gets us right back in the ballgame."

Velasquez did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings. 

"Last time I started here [at Dodger Stadium] it didn't really go that well, so I kind of redeemed myself there," said Velasquez who hails from nearby Pomona. "Throwing on Memorial Day Weekend for my brothers and my dad and all my family and friends who were here it was good. Really good."

The Dodgers completed their biggest comeback of the season as Matt Kemp started the comeback with a pinch-hit double to the gap in left-center that scored Puig from first base in the bottom of the eighth inning. 

"Good teams chip away and take runs when they can," said Kemp of the comeback. "Any comeback win is fun. This was a good team win."

Since May 13, Puig has gone 11-for-35 (.314) with eight runs, one double, five home runs and eight RBI.

After Hernandez lost a ball in the lights, the Dodgers tied the game on a soft groundball back to the pitcher that was bobbled by reliever Adam Morgan allowing Max Muncy to reach first base safely. 

"If you look at that eighth inning, it was funky," said Roberts of how the rally unfolded. "Velasquez was cruising early and we were just trying to get a hit, let alone a run off him. Then its seeing-eye grounders, balls off gloves, dropped fly balls and things like that. So we had some help."

Two batters later, Grandal brought home the game-winning run with an RBI single to left field.

"These are victories you have to build on," said Grandal of the win. "At the end of the day, it's whomever gets the most guys across the plate and we were able to do that today."

Kenley Jansen quickly warmed up and entered the game after Los Angeles took the lead and recorded his 12th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning facing four different batters.

Hoskins fouled a ball into his face and had to leave the game with a bloody nose in the middle of the Phillies' final at-bat. Pedro Florimon pinch-hit for Hoskins and stuck out to end the game.

The victory was just the third time this season the Dodgers won when the opposing team scored first and the eighth time this year Los Angeles has come-from-behind to win. The four-run deficit was the largest comeback for the Dodgers this year.

Before the game, the Dodgers and Major League Baseball honored and remembered those who lost their lives during their military service to the United States as all games and pregame activities were paused at exactly 3:00PM local time for a moment of silence.

The Dodgers are third in wins on Memorial Day all-time with 107 victories. That puts them behind only the Pittsburgh Pirates (110) and Chicago Cubs (109). 

The Dodgers are the only team in Major League Baseball with a losing record and a positive run differential (+23).

The Colorado Rockies, who lead the National League West division, have a run differential of -22 on the season.

Up Next: 

Jake Arrieta, who no-hit the Dodgers in 2015, will take the mound for Philadelphia on Tuesday opposite RHP Kenta Maeda for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Can Clayton Kershaw's Return Save the Dodgers?]]>Mon, 28 May 2018 14:35:47 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-960225508.jpg

The king…has returned. 

Adrian Peterson, Mario Lemieux, Michael Jordan…the sports world is ripe with athletes triumphantly returning to their respective sport, but few are more important to their team's success than Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

There is no denying Kershaw's dominance. Since his Major League Debut ten years ago this month, the Dodgers have won seven division titles and the Dallas, Texas native has racked up three Cy Young Awards and one MVP trophy.

Arguably considered the best pitcher of his era, Kershaw's career WAR (wins above replacement) is a whopping 61.7, the seventh most among active players. In case you're confused on what that stat means, Kershaw adds nearly six wins per season to his team compared to the average starting pitcher. That is considered MVP quality amongst most major metrics.

Kershaw is slated to return to the Dodgers rotation on Thursday after missing the last four weeks with left bicep tendinitis. The 30-year-old southpaw threw a simulated game on Saturday afternoon, facing teammates Chase Utley, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez and Austin Barnes over four innings on roughly 61 pitches.

"Well, you can't simulate a big-league game," said Kershaw after the sim game. "All the things you do to prepare to pitch a big-league game, until you're in one you really don't know where you're at. You do all you can to prepare, but ultimately you have to face guys."

Kershaw's eminent return will likely send Dodger fans into a splendor, as they laud him the savior of a season that started among the most dismal in franchise history.

When Kershaw went on the disabled list the Dodgers were 15-19 and nine games out of first place in the National League West.

Four weeks later, the team is still four games below .500 (24-28), but find themselves just 3.5 games out of first place following a free fall from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Despite the Dodgers subpar record, the team is trending in the right direction, winners of eight out of their last ten games, the starting rotation, without Kershaw, has posted a 1.38 ERA since May 17, leading to the question: do the Dodgers really need Kershaw to save them?

The answer might surprise you.

Kershaw's greatness is undeniable, but as great as he may be, he is human. Moreover, he is just one man in a starting rotation of five. As a starting pitcher, he can make just one appearance every five days. Therefore, the fortune of that team on the other four days is completely out of that player's control, and Kershaw is no exception.

Kershaw is known as a streak stopper, because he can right the ship after a string of consecutive losses. In fact, he has done that throughout his career with a record of 23-6 after a loss since 2016.

In baseball, momentum is everything and arguably, a single starting pitcher has little to do with that momentum. As a collective group, the starting rotation plays a vital role in carrying over momentum from game-to-game, but its primarily the position players that are the crucial cog that keeps the wheel turning for consistent success or failure.

In the case of Kershaw, he alone cannot save the Dodgers. His return from the disabled list on Thursday will therefore have little effect on the team's overall standing or momentum from day-to-day. Sure, he can provide help when he puts on his cape every fifth day to hopefully provide the Dodgers consistency and a win, but it's the other four days that worry us.

For example, during an 18-game span from Aug. 26 to Sept. 12 last season, the Dodgers won just two games; Kershaw started both of those games. So yes, Kershaw can stop a losing streak, but he's incapable of preventing a massive slump by evidence of that 16 of 17 losing streak at the tale end of last season.

Kershaw's starts over the next four months of the season are a small piece of a very big puzzle that includes an inconsistent bullpen, and lack of offensive production at some very key positions. Sure, Kershaw could throw a no-hitter every fifth day, but what about the other four games?

When Kershaw was healthy to start the season, the Dodgers still struggled. As mentioned, when he went on the disabled list the team was four games under .500. Four weeks later, and they are still four games under .500.

As difficult as it is to except, through 50+ games this season, it's possible the Dodgers are what their record says they are: a .500 team or worse.

If that's the case, unfortunately, Kershaw's return from the DL would have little to no change than it did before he went on the DL.

As an example, take the last three seasons as a case study for Kershaw's impact on the overall record or success of the Dodgers:

In the past three seasons, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Kershaw has spent significant time on the disabled list with injuries to his back and throwing arm.

Out of the last 373 games, Kershaw has missed 113 of them due to injury, effectively taking him out of over 35 percent of his team's games in the last three years.

Ordinarily, you would think the absence of a former MVP with an average WAR above six would significantly effect his team's results, but not so. In the 113 games Kershaw spent on the DL over the last three years, the Dodgers have a record of 69-44. That's a .610 win percentage which would currently be fifth best in all of baseball as of today's publication date.

So if the Dodgers win percentage without Kershaw is a whopping .610, it must be higher when he's on the active roster, right? Wrong.

In the 260 games with Kershaw in the starting rotation, the Dodgers are 148-112 over the last three seasons. Still good, but with a lower win percentage of .569, 41 points below the mark than when Kershaw is on the DL.

There's no denying that the Dodgers (and baseball) need a healthy Clayton Kershaw. As Dave Roberts put it on Sunday before the team's finale against the San Diego Padres:

"It's a big lift. You have your ace coming back and as we have righted the ship and are trending in the right direction to have him back every fifth day…as we're playing better baseball, to add him to the mix is a really good thing for all of us."

But with the current starting rotation finally hitting their stride, is it beneficial to rush Kershaw back from injury if his return is not necessary?

Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda has emerged as the starting pitcher the Dodgers thought they were getting when they signed him out of Japan three years ago. Ross Stripling has risen from bullpen relocation to lights out stuff as a starter. 

Former first round pick out of Vanderbilt, Walker Buehler, is ready to take over as the heir incumbent to Kershaw's ace-caliber throne, and outside of a few blemishes, Alex Wood has proven to be a formidable big league starter. 

Kershaw's addition to the rotation will help solidify a weak fifth spot in the order, with Rich Hill out, but eventually both Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be ready to return from the DL making matters even more complicated.

From an injury standpoint, Kershaw's bicep tendinitis is cause for concern. Despite MRI results showing no structural damage to the tendons (a huge sigh of relief), the bicep tendons are attached to the labrum, providing stability in the shoulder. Further damage to the tendons or the shoulder could be career-ending for Kershaw.

At 30-years of age and in his 11th Major League season, Kershaw is lucky to have escaped any serious season-ending injuries, but the tread on his tires is significantly higher than most pitchers his age. If Kershaw does re-sign with the Dodgers in the offseason, as many experts predict, the team will definitely have to monitor and limit his usage during the second half of his career.

Can Kershaw return to his three-time Cy Young Award winner form and fly in and save the Dodgers season like Superman?

We'll see when he returns, but likely his return will have little impact on the team's future success, and the risks appear to outweigh the immediate reward.


Jacob Rudner of Dodgers Way contributed to this story.



Photo Credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Walker Buehler Wows Again, Dodgers Take Series With S.D.]]>Mon, 28 May 2018 14:36:46 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/198*120/GettyImages-963095640.jpg

Walker Buehler, you're my hero.

The 23-year-old wunderkind allowed just one run in seven superb innnings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, 6-1, on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

The Memorial Day Weekend series with San Diego saw the two division rivals split the first two games before the Dodgers took the series in the rubber match.

Los Angeles has now won eight of their last ten games, as they continue to climb their way back up the National League West standings.

In his first start against San Diego on May 4, Buehler threw six no-hit innings as the Dodgers recorded their first combined no-hitter in franchise history in Monterrey, Mexico.

"Everything worked," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said of Buehler. "I can't remember the last time he walked a guy. He was in complete command."

So it was only fitting that Buehler (3-1) would be just as dominant in his second career start against the Friars, as the rookie allowed just one run on four hits with no walks, and tied a career high with eight strikeouts in seven strong innings.

"You put together some confidence and it just grows," Buehler said of his seventh start of the season. "This game will humble you if you get out of control with it. I try and creep as high as I can to that line."

Buehler helped his own cause with a leadoff single to start the bottom of the third inning for the Boys in Blue. Chris Taylor followed with a double down the right field line, and Enrique Hernandez plated the first run of the game with an RBI single.

"I had a little bit of an out-of-body experience," said Buehler of his single. "I was able to put a bat on it and it went where they weren't."

Taylor would score on a fielder's choice double-play and the Dodgers handed Buehler a two-run lead heading into the fourth.

"This is more of what the talent in this room can do," said Buehler of the Dodgers play as of late. "It took a little while, but I feel like we're playing more like ourselves." 

San Diego scored their only run of the game in the top of the fifth inning after a leadoff double by Freddy Galvis. Galvis advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Raffy Lopez. Lopez has driven in four runs in six games against the Dodgers in his career.

The Dodgers flipped the power switch in their final at-bats as Max Muncy marveled the crowd with a two-run homer off Tyler Webb.

The two-run blast was Muncy's first of the season against a left-handed pitcher and his second home run against the Padres.

"It was good to get that one," Muncy said of his first home run against a lefty. "It was very important. Anytime you can get a little cushion you always want it." 

Four batters later, Cody Bellinger crushed a four-seam fastball from Webb into the batter's eye in center field for his eighth home run of the season.

In 15 day games this season, Bellinger is hittting .339 (17-for-57) along with four doubles, one home run and eight RBI. The Dodgers are 8-7 in those games.

"Kemp told me today that the 'chiropractor had hits in him,' so I went to see him and he cracked my back a few times and I hit a homer," joked Bellinger of his eigthh inning bomb. "I've been feeling really good in the cage lately so hopefully that carries over."

With the win, the Dodgers improved to 6-3 against the Padres on the season and have won a season-high three consecutive series. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers continue their season-high 10-game homestand as they welcome the Phillies and former front office executive Gabe Kapler, now the manager of Philadelphia, to town. RHP Vince Velasquez will start against RHP Brock Stewart at 5:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: John McCoy/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Clayton Kershaw Throws Simulated Game as He Nears Return]]>Sun, 27 May 2018 14:51:00 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-941614662.jpg

Clayton Kershaw is one step closer to a return with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Kershaw pitched a four-inning simulated game Saturday, raising the possibility that he could be back in their rotation next week.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner has been on the disabled list nearly a month with left biceps tendinitis.

Asked if he should be able to go in five days, Kershaw said: "Yeah, I should be." 

Kershaw got up and down, mirroring game conditions, and pitched to Cody Bellinger, Chase Utley, Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez.

Kershaw is 1-4 with a 2.86 ERA this season. 

It's not certain he'll pitch in five days, when the Dodgers play Philadelphia in the finale of a 10-game homestand. 

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who watched the workout with Andrew Friedman, the team's president of baseball operations, wants to see how Kershaw feels before determining when and where he will pitch next.

Roberts had not yet talked to Kershaw before speaking with reporters. 

"That's really encouraging," Roberts said after learning Kershaw said he should be ready to be back in the rotation. "For us, we've still got to talk through some things and make sure the right situation is for Kersh. A lot of it depends on how he feels (Sunday) and how things play out. Having him pitch today, feeling good coming off the mound, a lot of positives." 

Through this stint on the disabled list, Kershaw found himself examining his mechanics. 

"You never should focus on mechanics when you're competing. That's what the in between is," Kershaw said. "I've never really been a mechanics guy. The past few weeks I've been working on it a little bit. It's probably the first time that I can remember that I really focused on it." 

Kershaw declined to explain what motivated him to focus on mechanics.

The 30-year-old left-hander was positive about where he's at now. 

"It's so hard to tell. Been working on little stuff here and there," Kershaw said. "You start focusing on getting hitters out and you stop thinking about your mechanics. Start worrying about trying to get people out. Hopefully muscle memory is ingrained in there. Felt a little bit better today."

Kershaw hadn't felt as positive following his previous bullpen, but he was encouraged Saturday. 

"You can't simulate a big league game. All the things you do to prepare to pitch a big league game, you really don't know where you're at until you're in one," Kershaw said. 

"You do all you can to prepare. Ultimately, the only way to figure out if you're ready or not is to face guys. I feel like I didn't lose a whole lot from where I was but worked on a lot these last few weeks to try to get better and try to get healthy." 

The Dodgers, who were one win away from the World Series title last year, are below .500.

"Being on the DL is no fun. Thankful that it wasn't too incredibly long," Kershaw said. "Just to be able to get back out there. You don't feel a part of the team a whole lot when you're on the DL. It's good to be out there and hopefully help a little bit."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Start With a Bang, but End With a Whimper]]>Sat, 26 May 2018 23:25:46 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/167*120/GettyImages-962856706.jpg

It started with a bang, but ended with a whimper.

Chris Taylor hit a leadoff homer, but San Diego struck back with four home runs of their own as the Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5, on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

The back-and-forth battle began with a bang as Taylor hit his sixth career leadoff home run to give the Dodgers an early, 1-0 lead.

"That definitely helps the confidence for the later at-bats," said Taylor of his third leadoff home run of the season. "I can trust my eyes and not have to think too much when I go up there."

Since moving back atop the order, Taylor has reached base six times in his last 12 plate appearances.

"Moving around in the lineup is nothing new for me," said Taylor. "Last year I did it a ton in the first half of the season. I'm just glad to be in the lineup wherever it is."

The Padres would respond in the top half of the second, as Freddy Galvis blasted a two-run home run that wrapped inside the left field foul pole to give San Diego a 2-1 lead.

Justin Turner tied the game with his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth inning. 

The Dodgers weren't finished putting runs on the board as Logan Forsythe hit an RBI single four batters later, and Los Angeles took a 4-2 lead into the fifth inning. 

"JT obviously his at-bat quality looks right," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "That's a good sign for our offense and Logan too. He's taking more aggressive swings and so he's getting more confident."

Old friend A.J. Ellis shaved a run off the lead with a solo shot off Alex Wood in the top of the fifth. 

The home run was Ellis' first against his former team and his first of the season with San Diego.

The Boys in Blue added an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame as Cody Bellinger worked a bases loaded walk off Jordan Lyles that gave the Dodgers a 5-3 lead.

"To be able to take the walk when they're giving it to you is good," said Roberts. "He's getting closer, he really is. He's trying to fight the results, but Cody is really close."

Lyles did not factor in the decision, allowing five runs on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings. In eight career games at Dodger Stadium, Lyles has a record of 0-3 with a 7.11 ERA.

 

National League Rookie of the Year frontrunner, Christian Villanueva, tied the game with one swing in the top of the sixth, as he crushed a changeup from Wood deep into the left field pavilion. 

"I just threw a stupid pitch to Villanueva. It was high-risk, high-reward. I was trying to throw a changeup down, but I left it a little up and he made me pay for it," said Wood. "This one is on me tonight. They battled for me earlier and scored some runs and there's really no way around it. This one's on me."

That would be the last pitch Wood would throw as he left the game without a decision, allowing five runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 5 and 1/3 innings.

"There was no in between tonight. I made either really good pitches or really bad pitches," said Wood of his start overall. "The three bads one that I threw were just very bad pitches. Usually I miss down or miss out, but tonight they were over the plate."

Villanueva wasn't finished as he added an insurance run for San Diego with his second home run of the game, a solo shot off Josh Fields in the top of the eighth inning.

The Mexican rookie now has 14 home runs in his first season with San Diego, one behind Bryce Harper for the most in the National League. Villanueva also set a new MLB record for most home runs in a rookie season by a Mexican-born player.

"Give credit to those guys. Those four home runs did us in," said Roberts. "We still had our chances and when we scored, they answered. I thought we had some good at-bats tonight, scored some runs, unforuntately we came up short."

Padres' closer Brad Hand pitched a scoreless ninth for his 16th save of the season.

The Dodgers four home runs allowed on Saturday tied a season-high. 

Up Next:

The Padres are expected to have a bullpen game in the finale of the series as the Dodgers counter with RHP Walker Buehler, who will face the Padres for the first time since the team's combined no-hitter on May 5th in Monterrey, Mexico. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[VIDEO: Kobe Bryant Surprises 6-Year-Old With Epilepsy]]>Sun, 27 May 2018 14:18:46 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/GettyImages-914624594.jpg

The Black Mamba might not be shattering the dreams of opposing players on the court anymore, but he's making dreams come true off the court.

Recently retired Los Angeles Lakers superstar, and future Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant, surprised a six-year old boy battling epilepsy, and his family, on the show The View earlier this week.

The incredible story is about Bryson Thompson, a young boy with epilepsy that causes him to have over 100 seizures a day.

The Thompson family discovered their son's heartbreaking diagnosis when he was playing in the back yard with his hold brother, Brock.

"Brock came running in and said 'Bryson fell and he's not getting up,'" said Bryson's mother to Whoopi Goldberg and other hosts on the show. "And so I ran around the counter and I could see that Bryson was face down and wasn't moving, and I really thought that we, at that point, had already lost him. And he had a 15-minute long seizure."

The Thompson family now does the best they can to manage Bryson's seizures that occur everyday, including limiting his time at school to just a few hours a day and constant daily naps to rest his brain. They even received support from the nonprofit organization, Jack's Helping Hand, that gives assistance to children with cancer and other special needs.

The organization gifted Bryson an epilepsy helmet, and older brother Brock thought it would be a good idea to give back to the nonprofit by asking athletes for signed memorabilia to auction off with all the proceeds going to Jack's Helping Hand.

The Thompson's have already gathered a fairly good amount of memorabilia already, but The View added to the collection with signed helmets and jerseys from Tom Brady, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Rodgers, and Peyton Manning.

After the family saw the signed memorabilia, Whoopi Goldberg placed a call on-air to Kobe Bryant asking him if he could sign a jersey for her. Bryant responded by saying he could do one better, and then he walked onto the set leaving the Thompsons and the audience in awe.

"We all have a responsibility to each other, to help one another," Bryant said after dishing out teary hugs to the Thompsons. "If you have the opportunity to do that, it's our responsibility as people to help one another. It's as simple as that."

The emotional video of the entire segment via The View can be seen below:



Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stripling, Dodgers Keep Rolling]]>Fri, 25 May 2018 22:44:38 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*122/GettyImages-962541352.jpg

It's a Bird…It's a Plane…It's...Stripling?

Ross Stripling did his best Max Scherzer impression, and the Los Angeles Dodgers won their third straight game, 4-1, over the San Diego Padres on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Fresh off the heels of their series victory over the division rival Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers continued their 10-game homestand by welcoming their neighbors down south, the San Diego Padres.


Starter turned relief pitcher, turned back to starter, Ross Stripling, carried over the momentum from his last start with another stellar performance on Friday.

"When you first come up it's,  'Do I belong?'" said Stripling about his bouncing back and forth between starter and reliever. "Then you switch roles in my case and come back to the old role, but once you get some comfort you can get confident and you can snowball a couple good outings in a row. I'm feeling good now, but this game can be humbling."

In his first career start against the Padres, Stripling (2-1) allowed just one run (unearned) on six hits with no walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts in 6 and 2/3 innings.

"I had all four pitches working and a good scouting report," said Stripling of his start. "I was able to go out and execute it, get some strikeouts and it's pretty cool to get a career-high."

Stripling lowered his ERA to 1.74 on the season, and in case you thought we were joking about the Max Scherzer comparison, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has a slightly larger 1.78 ERA this year.

"Things are working and I feel like I'm going to go out and have success and that's where we are right now," said Stripling when asked if his ERA could stay below Scherzer's this season. "I watched him pitch last week in D.C. and I don't know if I can have the aggression that he is. I think I'm more mellow, but he's certainly fun to watch. That guy's crazy."

Stripling received plenty of run support early in the game courtesy of a former Friar in Matt Kemp.

Kemp greeted former teammate Clayton Richard with a three-run home run off the left-hander in the bottom of the first inning.

"He left a pitch up and I put a good swing on it and was able to bring some runs in," said Kemp of his homer. "It's always good to win, especially as bad as we started off. We have a long season ahead of us and a lot of ground to make up, but we're having fun right now."

The long ball was Kemp's sixth of the season and four out of the six (67 percent) have come against San Diego.

"It just so happens to be four home runs against them," said Kemp nonchalantly. "Probably need to start hitting some home runs against some other teams as well."

Kemp has hit safely in all seven games against San Diego this season, including five multi-hit games and is batting .577 with five runs, one double, four homers and 12 RBI against the Padres.

Kemp improved his MLB-best batting average with runners in scoring position to .486 on the season.

Enrique Hernandez became an honorary member of the Dodgers' "Slug Club," when he also took Richard deep in the bottom of the third inning.

Richard (3-6) took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.


San Diego's sole run of the game came on an error by right fielder Yasiel Puig.

Manuel Margot led off the inning with a double down the right field line, but Puig bobbled the ball and then appeared to watch Margot rather than gather the ball quickly.

"Initially it was a great play, potentially turning a double into a single," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the error. "He got to it and cut the ball off, but once he didn't come up with it he turned a physical mistake into a mental mistake and turned that double into a triple and it cost us a run."

Margot ended up on third base and scored two batters later on a groundout by Travis Janikowski.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect night for his 11th save of the season and his fifth save in six days.

All of the Dodgers runs in the game came via the home run as Los Angeles has won seven of their last eight games. 

"It's the starting pitching," said Roberts of the team's recent success. "When starters can go deep it takes the pressure off everyone. You get a rested bullpen. When you can get a lead early and play with the lead and not have to hit for the pitcher early, it takes the pressure off everyone."

The team's starting pitching has been sensational over that span, posting a 1.38 ERA and holding hitters to a .152 average with 83 strikeouts.

"It's been awesome," said Stripling. "Buehler and Kenta have set the bar high. When you have guys like Kershaw and Rich [Hill] and Hyun-Jin go down, it's nice to have the depth. Guys have stepped up."

Up Next:

Game Two of the series features RHP Jordan Lyles against LHP Alex Wood with first pitch scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: John McCoy/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[VIDEO: Justin Turner Makes This Adorable Fan's Day]]>Fri, 25 May 2018 20:56:55 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Justin+Turner+and+Declan.jpg

Declan Riddle finally got to meet his hero.

You might remember this adorable two-year-old who went viral back in March after his favorite player, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, fractured his right wrist and went on the disabled list.


Riddle's father, Andrew, is a diehard Dodger fan and he posted a video of Declan shortly after the injury explaining to his son that Turner was hurt and going to miss a lot of games.

"Justin Turner got hurt," said the concerned child. "I have to kiss his boo-boo."

The cute, 27-second video can be seen below, and immediately went viral as it was viewed over 335,000 times. Multiple outlets picked it up, including our very own NBC LA.

After watching the video, Turner tweeted his appreciation to little Declan and offered him and his father two tickets to a Dodger game upon his return from the disabled list. 

Ordinarily, it might end there. Turner with a nice gesture and a public showing of support and gratitude via Twitter, not something that he would actually make come to fruition, right?

This is Justin Turner we're talking about. A man who is not just a great player, but an even better human being.

Turner's charitable work is heralded across the sports landscape as an example of empathy and kindness. Through his foundation, Turner supports homeless veterans, and sick children and their families as they battle through life-altering illnesses and diseases.

Turner has helped build homes for veterans and provided over 10,000 toys, and 2,000 bicycles to children in the Los Angeles area.

As someone who knows Turner well, when he's not on the diamond, you can find him in a children's hospital cheering up kids who are battling illnesses that only pale in comparison to our everyday struggles.

In fact, after dozens of Dodger supporters known as Pantone 294 assembled during the All-Star Final Vote last summer to vote for Turner around the clock for three straight days, the third baseman surprised them on an off day in Miami on a yacht to thank them for their efforts.

So it should come as no surprise that nearly two months after he broke his wrist, Turner was true to his word, and tweeted at Declan and his father from the Nation's Capital after a day-game against the Washington Nationals last Sunday.

Turner had just returned to the Dodgers lineup after missing the first 40 games of the season, and promised the Riddle family tickets and field passes for his first home game at Dodger Stadium on Monday.

Of course Andrew's family cancelled their plans and jumped at the chance to come to the game immediately.

Declan and his family arrived to the stadium early on Monday in time for batting practice and got to hang out on the field where they met some of the Dodgers players and coaches.

Andrew even got to meet one of his favorite players from when he was a kid, former Dodger third baseman Ron Cey.

After what felt like hours of waiting, Declan finally was introduced to his hero and favorite player, even showing him his Clayton Kershaw impression.

On the field, Turner's impact has been felt immediately as the Dodgers have won six of their last seven games with the man they call "JT" guiding the ship.

Off the field, Turner continues to prove why he is an even better person than a player.

Here are the highlights of Declan's day at Dodger Stadium.



Photo Credit: Los Angeles Dodgers
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<![CDATA[Dodgers President Sits Down for Rare Interview]]>Fri, 25 May 2018 07:00:34 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/052418+andrew+friedman.jpg

Dodgers President Andrew Friedman sat down with Fred Roggin for a rare interview. He talked openly about taking the blame for the team’s slow start along with the futures of Manager Dave Roberts and Pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Maeda is Masterful as Dodgers Defeat Rockies]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 23:07:38 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*128/GettyImages-961911478.jpg

Arigatō, Kenta!

Kenta Maeda struck out 12 batters in seven scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers shut out the Colorado Rockies, 3-0, on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Following a late-inning rally to beat the Rockies on Tuesday night, the Dodgers scored first and kept their foot on the gas as the Boys in Blue won the three-game series in their first action against the division rivals this season.


The Dodgers scratched two runs across in the bottom of the fourth inning after Justin Turner led off with a single and scored three batters later on a ground-rule double down the left field line by Logan Forsythe.

"I was just trying to get on top of him [Kyle Freeland] and get him up in the air," said Forysthe. "Luckily I got one to fall inside the line."

Forsythe is batting .357 with three runs, three doubles and an RBI in his last five games. 

On the heels of his dominant outing in his last start against the Miami Marlins, Maeda had a no-hitter through the first four innings before a one-out single by Ian Desmond disrupted the no-no in the top of the fifth.

"I'm being aggressive in the zone and the hitters are missing my pitches," Maeda said through a translator of his success. "I ran into a little trouble in the sixth inning, but I just kept going and that set the tone for the day."

Maeda (4-3) surrendered just two hits with four walks and a season-high 12 strikeouts in 6 and 2/3 scoreless innings. The Japanese right-hander also made a career-high 111 pitches and recorded 10 of the last 11 outs via the strikeout.

"He was in control. We extended him a little bit tonight, but his stuff was not falling off," aid Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "He's attacking and he's more efficient when he's on the attack and it allows him to go deeper into games."

In six career starts against the Rockies, Maeda is 5-2 with a 2.13 ERA. 

Matt Kemp was at it again on Wednesday, as he knocked in a run with an RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth. Kemp leads the Major Leagues with a .471 average with runners in scoring position this season.

He also holds the fourth best batting average among active players against the Rockies with a .317 average against them over the course of his career.

Kyle Freeland (4-5) took the loss, snapping his three-game winning streak, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 6 and 1/3 innings.

Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for this 10th save of the season and second consecutive. 

"For me to have four saves in five days is a great feeling," said Jansen. "Things are going our way now. We just have to keep going."

Despite being five games below .500, the Dodgers find themselves just 3.5 games out of first place in the National League West.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Thursday before hosting the San Diego Padres for the start of a three-game series on Friday. LHP Clayton Richard will toe the rubber opposite RHP Ross Stripling. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers go Back-to-Back to Rally Against Rockies]]>Tue, 22 May 2018 23:01:11 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-961555972.jpg

Back to back like I'm on the cover of Lethal Weapon.

Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig hit back-to-back home runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers came from behind to beat the rival Colorado Rockies, 5-3, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

After a frustrating night at the plate on Monday saw the Dodgers drop their fifth consecutive game at home, the Boys in Blue looked to rebound with Brock Stewart on the mound.

Stewart, who was activated earlier in the day from Triple-A Oklahoma City, was making his first start of the 2018 season, and just the tenth of his big league career.

"It's exhausting being everywhere," joked Stewart of all the shuffling back and forth he's done this season. "It's tough for sure. It's not ideal, but someone has to be the guy that is here every time the team needs help. I'm happy to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Every opportunity I get I'm going to make the most of it."

Matt Kemp got the scoring started in the first inning for Los Angeles following a ground-rule double off the bat of Justin Turner. Two batters later, Kemp singled off Colorado starter Chad Bettis to give the Dodgers the 1-0 lead.

Kemp as been on a tear lately, hitting .471 with runners in scoring position this season, the second best mark in the Majors behind only Manny Machado (.472) of the Baltimore Orioles.

"They [the Dodgers] concentrate on hitting with runners in scoring position," said Kemp. "I try and lock in and get those big hits. It's easier said than done, but we want to get those hits with runners in scoring position."

Bettis then surrendered a double to Cody Bellinger before walking the next two batters to bring in a run, and gift L.A. a two-run lead.

Bettis would settle down, and not allow a hit over the next four innings, but did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

"We got him stressed early," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "We let him up for air for a while there, but got him out of the game and got some insurance runs."

The Rockies would rally to tie the game after Ian Desmond sent Stewart deep for a solo shot in the second inning and Nolan Arenado scratched a run across with an RBI single in the third. 

Stewart also did not factor in the decision, allowing five hits on two runs with one walk and one strikeout in four short innings.

"Not good. Not bad," said Stewart of his first start of the season. "I got behind pretty much everybody and had to battle. It was a very meh outing stuff was."

In a déjà vu moment from the night prior, the Rockies took the lead thanks to a walk and some mental errors by the Dodgers against the bullpen.

Reliever J.T. Chargois issued a leadoff walk to Trevor Story who then promptly stole second, and took third on a passed ball. Two batters later, Story would score the go-ahead run for the Rockies on an RBI single by Desmond.

One night earlier, relief pitcher Pedro Baez would walk Tony Wolters, who then stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw by Yasmani Grandal. Two batters later, Wolters would score an infield single and error by second baseman Chase Utley. 

However, unlike the night before, the Dodgers recaptured the lead thanks to the bats of Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig. 

Taylor started the rally with a two-run home run on a hanging slider by Bryan Shaw that gave the Dodgers the 4-3 lead.

"It felt good just to contribute and help the team win the game," said Taylor. "I've been struggling a little bit and to be able to come through in a big situation and come through for my guys felt good."

Two pitches later, Puig also sent a slider from Shaw deep into the seats in left field for the extra insurance run, and third time the Dodgers have gone back-to-back this season. 

"I was looking for something very fast like 95MPH," said Puig of the at-bat. "He threw me a cutter first pitch that I had never seen. He threw me a slider and finally I swing and do contact with the ball and came a home run."

All five of Puig's home runs have come in the last eight games in which the Cuban slugger is batting .318 with six runs, one double and seven RBI.

Kenley Jansen closed the door for his ninth save of the season, snapping the Dodgers five-game losing streak at Chavez Ravine.

Up Next:

The finale of the three-game series is on Wednesday as LHP Kyle Freeland takes the mound for Colorado opposite RHP Kenta Maeda for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[LAFC Earns Heart-Pounding 1-1 Draw in Dortmund Friendly]]>Tue, 22 May 2018 22:41:42 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAFC+v+Dortmund+05222018.jpg

Fans were treated to 90 minutes of heart-pounding football as the Banc of California Stadium hosted its first-ever international team, with home side Los Angeles Football Club eventually tying Borussia Dortmund 1-1.

Chalk it up to it being a friendly, or LAFC being in the middle of their season while Dortmund just finished theirs a little over a week ago (or maybe, and whisper it softly, the gulf between the teams isn't as big as some European football purists would have you believe), but Bob Bradley's men were the team looking like the European heavyweights throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Despite Dortmund fielding a starting 11 that featured the likes of Mario Gotze, Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle and yes, American golden boy Christian Pulisic, it was LAFC that carved open the defense time and time again in the opening frame.

"The stadium was unbelievable," Pulisic said before complimenting LAFC's level of play. "They were playing football out there and it was awesome to see. And it definitely tested us, it wasn't an easy game."


The black and gold had the first shot on target in the 7th minute, Diego Rossi curling a corner to the far post that found the waiting head of Laurent Ciman, who saw his shot stuffed as Roman Weidenfeller got low to his first post.

Weidenfeller was again on hand in the 13th minute as Rossi received a beautiful through ball on the right and cut back to an onrushing Eduard Atuesta. The Colombian fired on first asking, but Weidenfeller reacted quickly to palm over the first big chance of the half. 

Dortmund tried to respond with a long-range effort from Schurrle in the 19th minute, but that was easily saved by Tyler Miller.

That would be the only real chance for the Germans in the first half, as LAFC continued to cruise to the halftime whistle, seeing a Ciman free kick saved again by Weidenfeller and chances by Rossi and Aaron Kovar (who had come on for Carlos Vela in the 31st minute) go just wide.

A flurry of changes predictably followed the end of the half, but LAFC again had the first chance of the second frame, Dominik Reimann (who replaced Weidenfeller) having to atone for his own bad giveaway by diving low to his right and sending another LAFC shot around the post in the 49th minute.

Only four minutes later, though, Dortmund stopped the hearts of LAFC fans as a shot clanged off the post, but again that would be one of the only chances for the German outfit as LA continued their dominance.

The only thing missing from LAFC's multiple attempts on target was that final ball, that final shot to hit the back of the net. And in the 77th minute, they finally got it.


Receiving the ball on the left, Lee Nguyen played a quick one-two with Jordan Harvey and then crossed low to the first post. Kovar was quickest as he rushed into the space and poked home to lift his team to a 1-0 lead and send the Banc of California Stadium wild.

The energy of the fans after the goal was definitely not lost on Pulisic. "The atmosphere here was unbelievable," he said. "It was awesome to see in America especially."

Dortmund almost dampened the atmosphere just four minutes later as a wonderful ball over the top found Gonzalo Castro rushing into the area, but Charlie Lyon, who had come on for Miller, came rushing out and deflected the ball into the corner.

Dortmund's persistence finally paid off in the 87th minute as Maximilian Philipp curled home a long-range effort to tie things up. 

It was a frenetic closing few minutes as both sides looked to take the win, but it was not to be as the game ended in a heart-pounding draw.

LAFC will now have to switch gears as they turn their attention to league play, where they hope to recover from a 2-1 road loss against the Portland Timbers as they take on DC United Saturday at the Banc of California Stadium.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[NBA All-Rookie Teams: 20 NBA Writers Say Lonzo Ball Wasn't Top 10 Rookie]]>Tue, 22 May 2018 16:03:01 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kyle-Kuzma-Lakers-vs-Grizzlies.jpg

The NBA announced its All-Rookie teams for the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, and Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball both earned honors, with the no. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft making the first team, while the no. 2 pick made the second team.

Philadelphia's Ben Simmons and Utah's Donovan Mitchell, who are the two clear front runners for Rookie of the Year, were both unanimous selections to the first team. Boston's Jayson Tatum received 99 out of 100 first team votes to finish third in the voting.

Kuzma comfortably made the first team and received 93 first team votes and seven second team votes, meaning he was on every ballot. Ball, who missed 30 out of 82 games due to injury, understandably only received seven first team votes and 73 second team votes.

The former UCLA Bruin was a polarizing figure even before he made his NBA debut. Ball fell off the ballots of 20 of the 100 voters, comprised of NBA writers and broadcasters, despite becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double and earning high praise from stars around the league, including LeBron James and Paul George.

Ball struggled with streaky shooting throughout the season and finished averaging 10.2 points per game on 30.5 percent shooting on three-pointers, 36.0 percent shooting from the field and 45.1 percent shooting from the foul line.

Ball's supporters pointed to the point guard's strong defense as an overlooked factor in the voting, but 20 NBA writers not counting Ball as one of the top 10 rookies seemed to raise eyebrows considering he still averaged 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals.

Kuzma, meanwhile, didn't need an argument of support after his historic season. Kuzma became the first rookie in NBA history to score over 1,000+ points, make 150+ three-pointers and grab 400+ rebounds in a debut NBA season. He embodied the modern court stretching power forward.

Kuzma eventually finished the year with 1,242 points, 159 made three-pointers and 483 rebounds in 77 games played. Kuzma recorded 17 double-doubles, shot 36.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc, 45.0 percent from the field and 70.7 percent from the foul line.

Another notable Lakers' rookie that curiously did not receive a single vote was Josh Hart. The rookie out of Villanova proved to be one of the Lakers' best defenders, rebounders and three-point shooters. Hart finished with eight double-doubles despite only averaging 23.2 minutes per game in his rookie year. The 23-year-old also shot 39.6 percent from beyond the three-point line, which was good enough for team-high honors, excluding the Andre Ingram miracle cameo at the end of the season.

Though these postseason awards don't mean all that much in the grand scheme of player development, they are sure to provide more trash talking material for Hart, Ball and Kuzma, all three of whom are notorious for ribbing one another on social media.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bullpen Blows Buehler's Strong Start]]>Mon, 21 May 2018 22:41:15 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-961191874.jpg

There's no place like home…or is there?

Max Muncy homered, but the Los Angeles Dodgers lost their fifth consecutive game at home, 2-1, to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Following a weekend sweep of the red-hot Washington Nationals, the Dodgers offense disappeared upon their return to the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine.

Los Angeles recorded just three hits against the Rockies, one of which was a home run by Muncy.

Muncy crushed a first-pitch fastball from German Marquez in the bottom of the fourth inning into the seats in right-center to give the Dodgers the early, 1-0 lead.

Muncy now has five home runs in 19 starts this season and is 10-for-29 (.345) with three runs, four doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI since May 10.

Walker Buehler was perfect through the first four innings, before allowing a leadoff home run to Gerardo Parra in the top of the fifth that tied the game.

The 23-year-old wunderkind allowed just one run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven strong innings, but his start was wasted after the bullpen surrendered the lead an inning later. 

"I feel like I did a pretty good job of trying to locate tonight," said Buehler of his start. "I just tried to keep them off balance, but Parra got a hold of one fastball."

Pedro Baez entered the game in the eighth inning and issued a one-out walk to Colorado catcher Tony Wolters who is batting .134 on the season.

"That can't happen," Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said of the walk to Wolters. "He got ahead of Wolters and then lost him. He'll be the first to tell you that that can't happen."

Two pitches later, Wolters stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw by Yasmani Grandal.

After a pitching change, Wolters scored the go-ahead run on a grounder to second base by Carlos Gonzalez that Chase Utley was unable to make the throw on for the second error of the inning. 

"I knew it was going to be a tough play," said Utley after the game. "I didn't get a whole lot on the throw and I knew there was a runner at third so I had to get rid of it. We weren't able to make the play."

Utley had a rough night at work as he committed two of the team's three errors in the game. 

"Unfortunately, Chase mishandled a couple of balls," said Roberts. "That's very uncharacteristic of Chase."

Marquez (3-5) allowed one run on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.

Marquez entered the game with a 5.15 ERA and the Dodgers are now 2-12 in games they face an opposing starting pitcher with an ERA of 5.00 or higher.

Baez took the loss, snapping the Dodgers four-game winning streak as former Kansas City Royal and Chicago Cub, Wade Davis, shut the door earning his 17th save of the season. 

The loss was the fifth consecutive defeat by the Dodgers against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

Right off the Ribs

Buehler was hit in the ribcage by a line drive off the bat of Trevor Story in the top of the fifth inning that put the rookie flamethrower on his hands and knees in pain. After a few minutes, Buehler stayed in the game.

Up Next:

Brock Stewart is expected to be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City and start for the Dodgers on Tuesday opposite RHP Chad Bettis for the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Injury Updates: Rich Hill Returns to DL]]>Mon, 21 May 2018 20:52:34 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-960254270.jpg

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course. 

The Dodgers set the record for the most players on the disabled list in 2016, and backed it up with an MLB-high 38 total DL stints in 2017.

That trend has continued in 2018 as the Dodgers have already placed eleven different players on the DL in the first six weeks of the season.

As of today's date, injuries have made eleven different players miss a total of 288 days on the DL.

The biggest blow of course was the announcement on April 30 that two-time All-Star shortstop and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Corey Seager, would miss the rest of the season with a strained UCL in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery.

Days later, the Dodgers were dealt another huge blow as three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 National League MVP Clayton Kershaw went on the DL with bicep tendinitis.

However, as is often the case in the ebbs and flows of a MLB season, the Dodgers received some good news last week as Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, and Logan Forsythe all returned from the DL to provide the team with reinforcements and a much needed boost.

Here's the updates:

Clayton Kershaw (bicep tendintis): Kershaw has been on the disabled list since May 6, and has missed a total of 16 days so far. An MRI with Dr. Neal El Attrache brought with hit good news that his injury was tendinitis and nothing worse. Kershaw has continued to play catch since going on the DL and Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and a simulated game on Saturday. If all goes well, he could feasibly return to the rotation, but the team might opt for him to make one rehab start first.

Rich Hill (Finger): Hill is the latest to return to the disabled list after an earlier stint on the DL in April with a cracked finger. This time, Hill heads to the DL with the same nagging injury that has plagued his last few big league seasons: blisters. As a curveball pitcher, Hill is no stranger to dealing with a blister on his left middle finger, but on Saturday night in Washington D.C. the skin ripped completely off after making just two pitches. The team believes Hill's stint on the DL this time could be more like his 38-day stint back in the summer of 2016.

Tom Koehler (Shoulder): Originally believed to be a bicep injury, Koehler was diagnosed with an anterior capsule strain early in spring training and was placed on the 60-day disabled list to start the season. Koehler has began playing catch from a distance and could go on a throwing program soon. His return is still a ways away as he will need to ramp back up his arm strength and make a string of rehab assignments despite being eligible to come off the DL on Sunday.

Julio Urias (Shoulder): The Mexican native underwent shoulder surgery last summer and is expected to be out until after the All-Star break. Urias' traveled with the team to Monterrey, Mexico as part of baseball's international series, and threw off a mound for the first time last weekend. Urias can now begin a throwing program and could return to the minor leagues in July. H

Corey Seager (Elbow): The biggest blow of all for the boys in blue was announced on Monday, April 30 when the team reported that Seager was diagnosed with a right UCL sprain in his throwing elbow and have to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Seager's surgery took place in Los Angeles on Friday, May 4, performed by Dr. Neal El Atrtache. El Attrache told the team that the surgery was a "success," and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Seager would rehab at home in North Carolina for the remainder of the season. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu (Groin): Ryu is the most recent of devastating injuries to befell the boys in blue. The Korean pitcher left his start against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning on Wednesday May 2, with a groin injury. An MRI revealed that it was a grade 2 strain and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts described the injury in graphic detail saying that the "muscle tore off the bone," and that Ryu would be out until well after the All-Star break.

Dodgers Injury Updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  



Photo Credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Vault: Spying on the Rams]]>Mon, 21 May 2018 13:22:49 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ROGGIN_VAULT_RAMS_CHOPPER_1200x675_1238611523601.jpg

When the Rams closed practice back in 1981, Fred Roggin went to new heights to get the story. Aired on Going Roggin, May 20, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Superb as Angels Snap Skid]]>Sun, 20 May 2018 17:06:09 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Shohei-Ohtani-5-20-18.jpg

Shohei Ohtani struck out nine while throwing 7 2/3 innings of excellent six-hit ball in his seventh career start, and the Los Angeles Angels snapped their five-game skid with a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Martin Maldonado homered and drove in two runs, and Zack Cozart drove in two more runs on sacrifice flies as the Angels wrapped up a disappointing 11-game homestand with only four victories — including both games started by Ohtani (4-1).

Los Angeles' rookie two-way sensation had another strong outing in the longest start of his stateside career, limiting Tampa Bay to three baserunners in his first six innings. Ohtani retired 12 straight Rays after yielding rookie Johnny Field's homer leading off the third.

Ohtani then showed his resilience late. He kept Tampa Bay scoreless in the seventh despite yielding two singles, and he gave up a run while battling for two more outs in the eighth before leaving to a standing ovation.

While Ohtani threw 110 pitches, reliever Sergio Romo started for Tampa Bay for the second consecutive day. He faced the Angels' first six batters and got four outs while becoming the first pitcher in 38 years to last at least one inning in back-to-back starts.

The reliever gave way to Matt Andriese (1-2), who gave up two unearned runs in the fourth after making an error on Andrelton Simmons' grounder back to the mound.

After Justin Anderson escaped the eighth-inning jam, Blake Parker pitched the ninth for his second save in two opportunities.

Field had two hits off Ohtani for the Rays, whose six-game winning streak ended in the finale of an 11-game road trip. Matt Duffy added three hits.

Field, the Rays' No. 9 hitter, led off the third inning with his fourth career homer, connecting on a first-pitch fastball by Ohtani.

Albert Pujols got the day off for the Angels, whose weeklong struggles continued at the plate. Los Angeles still managed to take a 3-1 lead in the fifth despite getting just one hit — which didn't factor into any of the runs.

After Simmons reached on Andriese's error and Cozart walked in the fourth, they both advanced on a wild pitch before scoring on a groundout and a sacrifice fly.

Chris Young doubled for Los Angeles' first hit after that rally, but didn't score. In the fifth, Mike Trout added another hitless run when he walked, stole two bases and scored on Cozart's sacrifice fly.

Trout drew another walk and scored again on a fly by Cozart in the seventh. Maldonado homered in the eighth.

ROMO STARTS

Romo made the first two starts of his 11-year big league career during the weekend, striking out the side in the first inning Saturday before striking out three more Sunday. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash used the unusual strategy with Romo to allow the two young pitchers who followed Romo to face the heart of the Angels' right-handed order less frequently.

Romo became the first pitcher to start back-to-back games since Zack Greinke did it for Milwaukee in July 2012 after getting ejected from his first start after four pitches. Romo is the first pitcher to pitch at least one inning in back-to-back starts since Steve McCatty did it for Oakland in 1980.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi will make his fourth rehab start Wednesday with Triple-A Durham. He's returning from a right elbow problem.

Angels: Starter Matt Shoemaker played catch for the first time in two weeks, but he's still struggling with a strained right forearm. He has made only one start in the last 11 months.

UP NEXT

Rays: After a day off, Tampa Bay returns home to face the Red Sox with Jake Faria (3-2, 5.20 ERA) on the mound Tuesday. Although he struggled last week at Kansas City, he hasn't allowed more than one run in a home start this season.

Angels: After a travel day, Garrett Richards (4-3, 3.47 ERA) takes the mound Tuesday in Toronto for the first time since Aug. 23, 2015. He is coming off a hard-luck loss despite pitching seven strong innings against Justin Verlander and the Astros.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sweep the Leg! Dodgers Finish Off Nationals ]]>Sun, 20 May 2018 14:11:55 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-960565066.jpg

Sweep the leg.

Yasmani Grandal, Kiké Hernandez, and Yasiel Puig all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals, 7-2, on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.

Washington entered the weekend series as the hottest team in baseball with a record of 13-2 in their last 15 games. 

After a rainout on Friday, the Dodgers swept a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, including a victory over three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. 


The seemingly daunting task of sweeping the three-time National League East Champions was supposed to be even more challenging as the Dodgers had to defeat three-time All-Star Stephen Strasburgh on Sunday.

Grandal got the scoring started in the top of the second inning with a solo shot off Strasburg that gave the Dodgers the early, 1-0 lead.

Grandal's home run was the 11th consecutive solo shot by the boys in blue in the month of May.

The Nationals would respond as Trea Turner gave Washington the lead with a two-run, go-ahead home run off Alex Wood in the bottom of the third inning. 

"The pitch to Turner that squeaked out I left it over the plate a little bit," admitted Wood after the game. "But besides that I thought I commanded all my pitches pretty well today.

Enrique Hernandez broke the streak of solo shots with a two-run home run off Strasburg in the top of the fifth to put the Dodgers in front, 3-2.

"It was huge, obviously," Hernandez said of the victory. "Last few weeks it's been hard to score some runs. We did that all day today and this entire series and I feel like we're heading in a great direction."

Hernandez's homer was the first long ball with a runner on base since May 1st and his second home run against Strasburg this season.

"His talent makes me focus more," Hernandez told SportsNetLA of his success against Strasburg. "After my first at-bat my Dad [Chase Utley] told me to use his bat and I did and first pitch I hit a homer, so it's "Dad's bat.'"

Wood (1-4) earned his first victory of the season, allowing two runs on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts in six solid innings. He left the game with leg cramps in the seventh inning after making only 82 pitches.

"I think after I showed off my speed on the bases and then hung out there for a little while during that inning, I cramped up on my last pitch that I threw," Wood said of his first career stolen base, and then having to leave the game shortly thereafter. "Otherwise, I felt pretty good today."

Strasburg (5-4) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in 6 and 2/3 innings.

Puig broke the game open with a two-run homer off Wander Suero in the top of the eighth inning.

Since hitting his first home run of the season on Mother's Day last Sunday, Puig has flipped the power switch and hit four long balls over the last week.

Speaking of "sweeping the leg," Anthony Rendon hit a line drive off the leg of Josh Fields in the bottom of the eighth with runners on first and second. 

Thankfully, the ball richocheted off Fields' leg and right to Max Muncy at first base for the final out of the inning.

Fields returned to the mound in the ninth and recorded a four-out save, his second save of the season.

The Dodgers added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth after an RBI double by Joc Pederson.

Los Angeles ends the season series against the Nationals with a record of 5-1, their first season series victory against Washington since 2016 when they also were 5-1.

The Dodgers tied the Nationals with 579 wins, the most among any other team in Major league Baseball, since 2012. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers will leave on a jet plane back to Los Angeles where they will embark upon a season-high 10-game, 11-day homestand against the Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies. RHP German Marquez is expected to start on Monday opposite rookie Walker Buehler. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Sweep Doubleheader With Nationals]]>Sat, 19 May 2018 21:22:57 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-960254270.jpg

Two-for-two.

Max Muncy knocked in two runs in each game and the Los Angeles Dodgers swept a day-night doubleheader with the Washington Nationals on Saturday at Nationals Park.

After heavy rain postponed Friday night's opener with Washington, the two teams scheduled a doubleheader for a rainy and overcast day on Saturday. 

Muncy was pivotal in both games, but he knocked in two runs in the first game as the Dodgers defeated the Nationals, 4-3.

In game one, Ross Stripling threw a gem allowing just one run on four hits with a career-high nine strikeouts in six innings.

"He went out there and executed the third time through the lineup," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "He's shown a lot. He has a lot of confidence in himself, as he should. He's taking advantage of this and it absolutely has not gone unnoticed. It's innings that we've needed from him."

Stripling's sixth inning almost never came to fruition after Roberts had Chase Utley as a pinch-hitter in the on-deck circle in the top of the sixth inning. 

However, Logan Forsythe grounded into an inning-ending double play and Roberts opted to send Stripling back to the mound for the bottom half of the inning.

Stripling (1-1) quickly struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth, recording a career-high nine strikeouts on a season-high 96 pitches.

"A tough lineup like this, a lot of times you're going to throw the kitchen sink at them from the start," said Stripling of his best start of the season. "I was able to kind of hold on to the change-up and use it in some big spots."

Joc Pederson led off the game with a 10-pitch at-bat that ended in a triple down the right field line. Two batters later, Pederson would score on a sacrifice fly by Yasmani Grandal and the Dodgers would lead, 1-0.

Bryce Harper brought home the only run of the game for the Nationals with an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning.

Harper wore clear prescription glasses to start the game, but ditched them by his second at-bat in the third inning after reportedly finding time to put his contact lenses in.

The Dodgers took the lead in the top of the fifth after Cody Bellinger grounded into a force out that scored Forsythe.

Muncy added two extra insurance runs with a double down the right field line in the top of the sixth and a sacrifice fly that scored Justin Turner in the eighth. 

Tanner Roark (2-4) took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the season.

Unfortunately, both games were overshadowed by serious injuries to key players from each team. 

Howie Kendrick left the game in the ninth inning with a ruptured right Achilles tendon and was immediately placed on the disabled list following the first game.

***** 

Muncy hit a home run off reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Matt Kemp hit the game-winning two-run double in the top of the ninth and the Dodgers came from behind to stun the Nationals, 5-4, in game two.

The Dodgers bullpen recorded all 27 outs in the game after Dodgers' starter Rich Hill lasted just two pitches, and was removed from the game following an 0-2 count to leadoff hitter Trea Turner. 

"The second to last pitch when I warmed up I felt something break open," Hill said of the blister. "I knew at some point I'd have to come out, but I made a few pitches and that was it."

Close-ups on the television broadcast showed Hill had a bloody middle finger on this left throwing hand and the Dodgers announced that he was pulled from the game because of the reoccurrence of the blister problems that have plagued his short Dodger career.

"We're searching and trying to figure out what we can do to alleviate this problem and put it to an end" said Hill after the game. "It's frustrating to put the bullpen and the team in this position."

By contrast, Scherzer made 121 pitches, allowing just two runs on five hits with three walks and 13 strikeouts in seven strong innings. He did not factor in the decision.

Muncy was responsible for both runs off Scherzer as he won the "Battle of the Maxes," with an RBI single in the first inning and a solo home run in the top of the fifth.

The Dodgers bullpen combined to no-hit the Nationals for the first five innings, but the wheels fell off in the sixth as Washington batted around for a four-run inning.

Turner led off the inning with a double and scored three batters later on a two-run double by Mark Reynolds that gave Washington the 2-1 lead.

After not one, but two pitching changes, Dodgers' reliever Daniel Hudson surrendered back-to-back RBI singles to Matt Adams and Scherzer to put the Nationals in front, 4-2.

Ordinarily, in a bullpen game against a three-time Cy Young Award winner with a two-run lead like Scherzer, many would consider it a death sentence, but the Dodgers got off the mat and rallied off the Washington bullpen.

First, Cody Bellinger hit a solo shot in the top of the eighth inning that cut the lead to one. 

Then, in the top of the ninth, Austin Barnes and Logan Forsythe started the inning with back-to-back singles off Nationals' closer Sean Doolittle.

Dave Roberts sent right-hander Matt Kemp to the plate as a pinch-hitter against the left-handed reliever and the move worked as Kemp crushed a fastball down the left field line for the game-winning, two-run double.

"I was just looking for a fastball to drive," Kemp said of the pitch that handed Doolittle his first blown save of the season. "He left one right there, I put a good swing on it and got the job done. Austin Barnes and Logan got that inning started, and I just finished it off." 

Kenley Jansen pitched another perfect ninth inning in the nightcap for the first two-save game in the same day for a Dodger pitcher since Jeff Shaw on Aug. 25, 2000.

After a devastating injury to Howie Kendrick in the first game, it was the Dodgers turn to get bit by the injury bug as it appeared that Rich Hill would head to the disabled list and miss significant time as he tries to heal that nagging blister.

"Obviously Rich is frustrated as we all are," said Roberts following the game. "I had no idea until after the second pitch when he was looking at his finger. It was clearly sliced and as bad as I've seen it since he's been here. I don't know what the timeline is, but we need to make sure it's right and can sustain itself before we can get him back."

Up Next:

The Dodgers will send LHP Alex Wood to the mound in the finale opposite RHP Stephen Strasburg for the Nationals. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35AM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[2018 Preakness Stakes: How to Watch Live Wherever You Are]]>Sat, 19 May 2018 14:22:03 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Preakness-run-142.jpg

The 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, is on Saturday, May 19.

Coverage kicks off at 5 p.m. ET and competitors will be taking their post positions around 6:20 p.m. ET. You can watch it all live at home or on the go via NBC Live.

You can live stream the Preakness on your desktop or laptop computer or your mobile device by clicking on this link. You can also watch the coverage on our free app — download it from iTunes here (INSERT YOUR STATION'S LINK TO APP ON ITUNES) or from Google Play here (INSERT YOUR STATION"S LINK TO APP ON GOOGLE PLAY). All you need is your TV service provider’s username and password.

What is a TV service provider?
A TV service provider is a company you pay to get your television service, such as a cable, satellite or a telecommunications company.

Why am I being asked to sign in?

TV service providers play a key role in delivering our content through emerging technology platforms, like the web and mobile devices. It's through the support of pay TV service providers that we're able to bring live as well as on demand entertainment and news shows to subscribers at no additional cost.

Do I have to create a new account?

If you already have a username and password from your TV service provider, you do not need to create a new account — just verify your account information. If you have not previously set up an account with your provider, you'll need to create a new account. Please contact your TV service provider to learn more. If you're not currently a customer with a TV service provider, you'll need to become one to access the full range of NBC programming.

How do I verify my TV service provider account? 
Select your TV service provider from the list. When asked, enter your account username and password; it's most likely the same information you use to log on to your account to pay your bill online. Don't forget to check "remember me" to avoid having to sign in each time you come back. 

What if I've forgotten my username or password?

Most TV service providers offer a simple way to retrieve or reset your password online. Please contact your provider to learn more.



Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Maeda and Turner Help Dodgers Avoid Sweep]]>Thu, 17 May 2018 12:46:52 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-959544978.jpg

Proof of life.

Justin Turner tied a career high with five RBIs and Kenta Maeda pitched eight sharp innings to help the Los Angeles Dodgers snap a six-game losing streak by beating the Miami Marlins 7-0 Thursday afternoon.

Turner, who broke his left wrist in spring training and made his season debut Tuesday, hit bases clearing, three-run double for the Dodgers' first hit in the third inning. He added a two-run double in the fourth and also singled in finishing 6 for 13 in the series (.462).

In his best start of the season, Maeda (3-3) allowed two hits and no walks in eight shutout innings, and retired the final 17 batters he faced while throwing 96 pitches. 

"I made a mechanical adjustment and I think that was the difference today," said Maeda through a translator after the game. 

Caleb Smith (2-5) threw 60 pitches before he gave up a hit. But he walked the bases loaded in the third, and Turner cleared them with a double. Kemp followed with an RBI double, and Smith departed after three innings trailing 4-0.

Matt Kemp had two doubles and a single for the Dodgers to hike his average to .318.

"He's a free swinger and always has been," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Kemp. "I think he's more honed in on the strike zone."

Turner and Kemp each had three hits as they combined to go 6-for-8 with four doubles and six RBI. 

"Any time you see the hit total close to the run total you know it's a good day for the offense," said Turner about the team's seven runs on ten hits. "Hopefully it carries over into D.C."

Yasiel Puig hit his third home run of the season, all in the past four games.

Kenley Jansen gave up two hits in the ninth but struck out the side to complete the Dodgers' sixth shutout of the year.

Los Angeles' losing streak came against two last-place teams and dropped the defending National League champions into last place themselves in the NL West.

 

Up Next:

The Dodgers will hop on a flight to Washington D.C. where they will square off with the Washington Nationals for a three-game series starting on Friday. RHP Ross Stripling will start against RHP Max Scherzer at 4:05PM PST.  

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

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Show Some Fight in Loss to Fish]]>Wed, 16 May 2018 19:44:22 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-959322272.jpg

Signs of life.

The Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from a four-run deficit, but their comeback ultimately fell short as they lost their sixth consecutive game, 6-5, to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night at Marlins Park.

The Dodgers trailed 5-1 entering the sixth inning, but for the first time in two weeks, they pulled themselves up off the mat and rallied to tie the game at 5-5.

After a historic slump that saw Los Angeles go 21 for 133 (.158 batting average) with runners in scoring position (since April 28), the Dodgers recorded three straight hits with RISP in the rally.

Joc Pederson began the comeback with a leadoff double to center field off Junichi Tazawa. Two batters later, Yasmani Grandal scored Pederson with an RBI single.

Cody Bellinger followed with a double down the right field line, and after a pitching change, Chris Taylor knocked in two runs with a single and Max Muncy tied the game with an RBI double off Drew Steckenrider that leveled the game at 5-5.

"We competed. Had some good at-bats and got some hits," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "Silver lining is we put some hits together, but the bottom line is we lost the ballgame."

Taylor has now reached base safely in 11 of 12 games against the Marlins over the last two seasons.

Brian Anderson belted a two-out, 0-2, single off Walker Buehler in the bottom of the first inning to start the scoring for the Marlins.

Two innings later, Martin Prado reached on an error by Taylor at short and Starlin Castro knocked him in with an RBI single.

Castro finished the game 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

Grandal recaptured the team lead in home runs with seven, when he crushed a four-seam fastball to dead-center to lead off the fourth inning.

Buehler was bitten by some bad luck in the bottom of the fifth inning as he surrendered his first home run of the season on a 96MPH fastball that Justin Bour flicked into left field for the opposite field home run.

"I don't know if there's another human who can hit that ball out of the ballpark to be honest with you," said Buehler of Bour's home run. "He's a Major League Baseball player and a pretty good hitter."

Just 23 days after he made his first career MLB start against these same Marlins, Buehler did not factor in the decision, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. He threw a career-high 97 pitches.

"I gave up too many runs for us to win the game," said a candid Buehler he wore the loss on his sleeve. "That's my job as a starter to keep them off the board and I didn't."

After the Dodgers tied the game in the top of the sixth, Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts sent relief pitcher Pedro Baez to the mound in the bottom half of the frame.

After recording the first two outs of the inning, Baez hung a changeup to J.T. Realmuto for the go-ahead, game-winning home run.

"Pedro made a mistake to Realmuto and gave up a homer and that was the difference in the game," said Roberts. "Someone is going to have to pitch. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for us."

The Dodgers bullpen has been an even bigger weakness than the struggling offense over the last few weeks as the pen has allowed 13 home runs in its last 22 games.

The Dodgers loss drops them into last place in the National League West for the first time this season The last time Los Angeles was in last place in the West this late in the season was in 1992 when the division contained the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros.

The Dodgers are guaranteed to lose the seasons series to the Marlins after the loss and have now dropped 9 of their last 10 games overall.

Up Next:

Enjoy some baseball while you eat your breakfast as RHP Kenta Maeda will face LHP Caleb Smith in the series finale on Thursday morning at 9:10AM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Eric Espada/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Re-Live The World Cup's Greatest Moments]]>Wed, 16 May 2018 17:53:27 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/230*120/World+Cup+Exhibition.jpg

While the World Cup takes place in Russia during June and July, an exhibition in Los Angeles will highlight the best moments in the history of the event that grips the globe every four years.

Those interested in learning about "The Wold Cup's Greatest Moments" should take a trip to one of the least likely places one would expect to see a sports exhibition: the Forest Lawn Cemetery of Glendale.

The cemetery has a museum that has already hosted exhibitions of all kinds, and its organizers wanted to take the opportunity of holding this global event to highlight the history of it.

"GOOOOL! The World Cup's Greatest Moments" includes images, t-shirts, soccer balls, medals, tickets and other objects of this sport, as well as 15 t-shirts of renowned FIFA players from the 1920s to 2010.

"In countries like the United States, where every nationality is represented, millions of football fans of all ages and backgrounds are inspired by the dedication and passion of the players of the world, who are a great source of local, regional and national pride," said Ana Pescador, director of the Forest Lawn Museum. "It transcends our different customs, cultures and politics."

"This exhibition demonstrates why football is the most popular sport in the world, an obsession and international tradition that unites families, friends and rivals, especially every four years during the FIFA World Cup since 1930."

The exhibition is sponsored by the FIFA World Football Museum, based in Zurich, Switzerland and will be open until Sept. 16.

The museum, located at 1712 S. Glendale Blvd., in Glendale, is open Tuesday through Sunday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Entrance to the museum and parking is free.

]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Continue to Reel After Loss to the Fish]]>Tue, 15 May 2018 19:33:17 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-958966862.jpg

New scenery. Same Dodgers.

Los Angeles did not record a hit with runners in scoring position and the Dodgers dropped their fifth game in a row, 4-1, to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

The Dodgers went 0-for-7 in the game with runners in scoring position and left a total of six runners on base.

Situational hitting, or lack thereof, is nothing new for the boys in blue this season as the Dodgers have gone 21 for 129 with RISP (.163 batting average) since April 28th.

Alex Wood was the hard-luck loser for Los Angeles as the left-hander allowed just two runs (one earned) on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts in six strong innings.

Wood (0-4) remained winless on the season and deserved better in this one after the only runs surrendered came on an error and a sacrifice fly.

In nine starts this season, the Dodgers offense has scored just a total of 12 runs while he's been on the mound.

The lone bright spot for the Dodgers came on a solo shot by Yasiel Puig in the top of the seventh inning.

After not hitting a homer through the first 39 games of the season, Puig has now homered in back-to-back games

Cody Bellinger also homered in the top of the ninth, but by then it was too little, too late for the Dodgers.

Miami starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen entered the game with a 10.22 ERA, but like many struggling pitchers before him, he shutout the Dodgers in 4 and 1/3 innings, lowing his ERA to 7.56 on the season.

The Dodgers are now 2-11 when facing an opposing pitcher with an ERA above 5.00 this season.

Veteran infielders Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe were both activated off the disabled list before the game and many hoped they would stop the bleeding. 

Turner made his first start of the season after fracturing his left wrist in spring training and finished 1-for-4 with a single and made some spectacular plays on defense. 

Forsythe has not played since April 15 with right shoulder inflamation and finished the game 0-for-4.

Los Angeles has lost eight of their last nine games and 15 of their last 20 overall. They are last in wins in the National League West.

Up Next 

Rookie Walker Buehler will take the mound on Wednesday against LHP Caleb Smith for Miami. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10PM PST.

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

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Eric Espada/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Mexico Announces Preliminary 2018 World Cup Roster]]>Thu, 07 Jun 2018 13:35:40 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/Mexico-World-Cup-2018-squad.jpg

With the 2018 World Cup in Russia only 30 days away, Mexico and several other countries, including Brazil and Argentina, announced their preliminary World Cup rosters.

Of course, injuries and cuts are expected until each country reaches the final 23-man squad, but Mexico's initial roster caused a notable stir with the tournament only a one month away.

El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio included Rafa Marquez at age 39, which raised more than a couple eyebrows. (Marquez was also sanctioned last year for alleged connections to drug traffickers, which he denied.) However, the leadership and experience Marquez can provide on the bench and in the locker room makes him a uniquely justifiable choice, even if he's not expected to play any significant part on the pitch.

LAFC's Carlos Vela and LA Galaxy's Jonathan dos Santos both made Mexico's preliminary 28-man roster, which was expected, but the inclusion of LA Galaxy's Giovani dos Santos came as a surprise considering his lack of production at club level and a poor MLS season in 2017.

Notable omissions from the squad included Chivas midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro and Santos Laguna midfielder Jose Juan "Gallito" Vazquez.

Injuries and medical concerns will likely force changes before the start of the tournament, but here is El Tri's preliminary 28-man 2018 World Cup roster: 

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Lieja-BEL), José de Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul) y Alfredo Talavera (Toluca).

Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt-GER), Néstor Araujo (Santos Laguna-MEX), Diego Reyes (Oporto-POR), Héctor Moreno (Real Sociedad-ESP), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Oswaldo Alanís (Getafe-ESP), Edson Álvarez (América), Jesús Gallardo (Pumas UNAM) y Miguel Layún (Sevilla-ESP).

Midfielders: Jesús Molina (Monterrey), Rafael Márquez (Atlas), Héctor Herrera (Oporto-POR), Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy-USA), Andrés Guardado (Real Betis-ESP), Erick Gutiérrez (Pachuca), Marco Fabián (Eintracht Frankfurt-GER) y Giovanni Dos Santos (LA Galaxy-USA).

Forwards: Javier Hernández (West Ham-GBR), Raúl Jiménez (Benfica-POR), Oribe Peralta (América), Jesús Manuel Corona (Oporto-POR), Carlos Vela (Los Ángeles FC-USA), Javier Aquino (Tigres UANL), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven-NED), Jurgen Damm (Tigres UANL).

Other World Cup Roster Notes: Brazil and Argentina
Argentina also announced its preliminary roster with 35 names listed. Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli called up Paolo Dybala and Mauro Icardi in the inital squad, with both players considered on the fringes of the manager's plans considering Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero are all available and healthy.

For Brazil, a recent injury to Dani Alves created questions at the right back position, and Brazilian manager Tite included Fagner from Continthians in his preliminary 23-man squad to help cover for the injury. Manchester City's Danilo can also play on the right side and Atletico Madrid's Felipe Luis may be asked to switch sides with Real Madrid's Marcelo — considered a clear first-choice at left back.

Of course, Neymar is also included in the squad, and Brazil's no. 10 is expected to combine with Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus in a lethal attacking front-three ahead of Paulinho and Casemiro mixing with either Renato Augusto or Fernandinho in the midfield.

Here's a look at Brazil's 23-man World Cup roster:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians)

Defenders: Miranda (Inter Milan), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Geromel (Gremio), Danilo (Manchester City), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Fagner (Corinthians), 

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Firmino (Liverpool), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Going to San Diego, Las Vegas, San Jose in Preseason]]>Mon, 14 May 2018 15:16:07 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kyle-Kuzma-Lakers-Rookie-record.jpg

On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced their 2018-19 preseason schedule, which will feature a total of six games, and only two of those games will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and the purple and gold will begin their preseason campaign against the Denver Nuggets on Sept. 30 in San Diego at the Valley View Casino Center. The team did not play in the Southern California city during the 2017 preseason.

In 2015, the Lakers and Warriors were unable to complete their exhibition contest in San Diego due to a dangerous court. Lakers coach Luke Walton grew up in San Diego, and the 2016 exhibition season featured a return to the city, where the new coach of the team even took time to take photos with a newly erected statue of his father, Bill Walton, at the arena.

After the San Diego exhibition, the Lakers will face the same Nuggets team at Staples Center on Oct. 2. After that, the Lakers host the Sacramento Kings at the same venue two days later.


The two Staples Center tenants will then meet in Anaheim on Oct. 6 at the Honda Center.

Finally, the Lakers will finish the preseason with a couple of exhibition fixtures against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 10 and Oct. 12. The first of the two games against the Warriors will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which is a familiar preseason venue for the Lakers. LA has played at the T-Mobile Arena in each of the past two preseasons.

The Oct. 12 game will be at the SAP Center in San Jose. The Lakers rarely travel to enemy territory in preseason, so the trip up to Northern California is a break from the norm. The Lakers traditionally enjoy a healthy crowd advantage in the exhibition fixtures, but the trip to San Jose promises to pack an arena full of Warriors' supporters. Officially, the Lakers are designated as the away team in San Jose.

Notes: Tickets for the games in San Diego and Las Vegas will be sold at www.axs.com with the cheapest tickets in San Diego selling for $25 and the cheapest tickets in Las Vegas on sale for $30. Tickets for the game in Anaheim are available for as low as $24 via www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for San Diego, Anaheim and Las Vegas will all go on sale on May 21 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, with details on the Staples Center games not immediately available.



Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[The Vault: Dog and Bear Show]]>Mon, 14 May 2018 15:00:22 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/VAULT_POST_DOG_BEAR_1200x675_1233267267769.jpg

Fred Roggin takes us back to the 80s with some of America's most amazing animals. How about a log rolling dog and a wrestling bear! Aired on Going Roggin, May 13, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Vela and Villa Both Score as LAFC Remains Undefeated at Home]]>Sun, 13 May 2018 21:11:08 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Carlos+Vela+Goal+against+NYC.png

Los Angeles Football Club remained undefeated on their first four-game homestand of the season as they played to a 2-2 draw with the New York Football Club, at Banc of California Stadium on Mother's Day.

Household names, Carlos Vela and David Villa each scored for their respective teams as the two clubs earned a point in a matchup of two of the top tier teams in Major League Soccer.

The east coast powerhouse NYCFC found a goal early in the game after a video review caught midfielder Edward Atuesta touching the ball with his left hand for a handball in the box.

"I'm not going to complain about it," joked NYCFC manager Patrick Veira about the replay review. "I personally support VAR because I want referees to make the right decision. Today it went in our way, but maybe next time it will go against us."

NYCFC was awarded a penalty kick and captain David Villa stepped up for what seemingly would be the game's first goal. 

However, LAFC keeper Tyler Miller dove to his right and made the save, but the rebound went right to Villa who headed it back into the net for the goal. 

Remember kids, always follow your shot.

LAFC leveled the scored in the 23rd minute off a set piece that saw Walker Zimmerman head a shot that deflected off the foot of NYCFC defender Sebastian Ibeagha and into the right post for the own goal.

"I saw a little bit of a mismatch going to the second post," said Zimmerman. "Carlos [Vela] and made some pretty good eye contact and were on the same page. He hit a great ball and I was able to get a good head on it and send it back towards goal. I was fortunate to get the deflection, but that's what you're supposed to do. Put it on target."

All equal at the half, Mexican superstar Carlos Vela put the home team in front when he smashed a right-footed shot into the back of the net in the 67th minute.

"Always score goals is a good feeling for me," said Vela after scoring his first goal at home this season. "It was the first with my fans. It was a special goal. I hope I will score many more goals in this stadium."

The golazo was Vela's sixth of the MLS season, tied for third in the league behind only Atlanta's Josef Martinez and Columbus' Gyasi Zardes.

Unfortunately for the LA-based black army, the lead was shortlived as super-sub Ismael Tajoun-Shradi found the equalizer after a cross by Alexander Callens deflected off the foot of Omer Gaber and into the leaping fist of Miller who punched the ball away, only to find it land in front of the foot of Tajoun-Shradi for the tight-angled goal.

"He's a goal scorer," said Vieira of Tajoun-Shradi. "I think 9 times out of 10 he will take it. He's really composed and calm in front of the goal. Today he scored a really difficult one and it allowed us to take one point. I'm happy we're going back to New York with a point."

Tajoun-Shradi had been out with a hamstring injury since April 21st, but he was back like he never left, scoring his fifth goal of the season just five minutes after he entered the game for Ben Sweat.

"He looked good in training and is back in the squad," continued Vieira. "We're going to face a different team with different challenges, so it's good to have all the players available for me to make a decision."

The draw earned each team a point and helped NYCFC bounce back after a brutal 4-0 defeat at the hands of their rivals, the New York Red Bulls in the Big Apple derby last week. 

Meanwhile, Bob Bradley's boys finish off an undefeated four-game homestand that keeps them in second place in the Western Conference table. 

"Ten games in the report card is not bad," said Bradley of his expansion team in their inagural season. "We're going in a good direction."

They will travel to Portland, OR next week where they will take on the Timbers on Saturday, May 19, at 12:00PM PST.



Photo Credit: LAFC
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<![CDATA[Rock Bottom? Dodgers Swept by Reds on Mother's Day]]>Sun, 13 May 2018 17:53:19 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/GettyImages-958171304.jpg

Mommy's boys.

Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal both homered, but the Cincinnati Reds brought out the brooms as they swept the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-3, on Mother's Day at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers have been dreadful over the last week and it culminated with the first four-game sweep by the Reds since the Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and Pete Rose era in August of 1976.

To further put that in perspective, the Reds had won a total of four games at Dodger Stadium over the last six seasons combined.

Adding insult to injury, Cincinnati entered the series with a record of 10-27, the worst in the National League. Now, they find themselves two games behind the Dodgers at 14-27.

Peggy's son, Rich Hill, battled out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning, but was bit by the long ball in the top of the third as Rosalia's son, Eugenio Suarez, crushed a 75MPH curveball for a two-run shot.

"I just tried to put that breaking ball in play, and I hit it pretty good," said Suarez after the game. "That was for my wife and my mom. It feels really good."

The Dodgers got a run back in the bottom half of the inning as Maritza's son, Yasiel Puig, hit his first home run of the season to cut the lead in half.

The Reds added to their lead in the top of the fourth thanks to small ball starring Polly's son, Billy Hamilton.

Hamilton hit a one-out single, then advanced to third base on a hard-hit single to center field and scored one-pitch later on a suicide squeeze.

"I saw the sign and said 'here we go!'" said Alex Blandino who put down the bunt. "I was just hoping to get a pitch I could bunt. I saw Billy take off out of the corner of my eye and knew I had to get the bunt down."

Hill left the game with a finger injury in the top of the sixth, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings pitched. In his fifth start, Hill lowered his ERA to 6.20.

"I think it's going to be fine for Saturday," said Hill about his blister that flared up on his throwing hand. "I need to continue to put the work in and get back on track."

Janet's multi-talented son, Pat Venditte, AKA "The Switch Pitcher," entered the game in relief for the second straight day, but after allowing a single to Alex Blandino, he was greeted back to the big leagues by Wendy's son, Joey Votto, who broke the game open with a two-run shot, extending the Cincinnati lead to 5-3. 

The Dodgers tried to claw their way back into the game in the bottom of the seventh as Maria's son, Yasmani Grandal, led off the inning with a solo shot to right field for his team-leading sixth home run of the season.

Reds' starter and Fatima's son, Luis Castillo, left the game shortly thereafter, surrendering three runs (two earned) on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in his best start of the season.

"That kid has a good arm," said Roberts after the game. "He's got really good stuff that plays really well. I thought we had some good at-bats, but had nothing to show for it."

Castillo entered the game with a 6.47 ERA, a shocking statistic that the Dodgers have struggled with all season. In fact, when L.A. has faced an opposing starting pitcher with an ERA above 5.00 they are 2-10 in those games.

L.A. has now lost seven of their last eight games and fall to 16-24 on the season through their first 40 games. The last time the Dodgers started a season with a record this poor was 60 years ago in the team's inaugural year in Los Angeles in 1958.

Happy Mother's Day

As they do every year, the Dodgers along with the rest of the teams in Major League Baseball celebrated Mother's day by donning pink crown hats, while their uniforms featured a pink ribbon, and players were allowed to use pink bats, compression sleeves, batting gloves, cleats, wrist guards and catching equipment.

Seager Sighting

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was spotted in the Dodger dugout during the game. The two-time All-Star and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery last Friday and was rehabbing in North Carolina with his family.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Monday before traveling to Miami to open a three-game series with the Marlins. LHP Alex Wood will start against LHP Wei-Yin Chen. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Former Rams Coach Chuck Knox Dies at 86]]>Sun, 13 May 2018 15:11:45 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/chuck+knox+05132018.jpg

Chuck Knox, the former NFL coach who took the Los Angeles Rams to three straight NFC championship games and also led the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills, has died. He was 86.

The Rams and Seahawks said Sunday that Knox died Saturday night.

"He established a winning culture and a legacy that will never be forgotten, being the only coach to lead the Rams to five consecutive double-digit-win seasons," the Rams said in a statement. "The memories and accomplishments that Coach Knox left behind will continue to inspire us and Rams fans. We hold his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Called "Ground Chuck," for his run-first offenses, Knox was the NFL coach of the year in 1973, 1980 and 1984. He went 186-147-1 during 22 seasons as an NFL head coach, including two stints with the Rams. He won five straight NFC West titles from 1973-77, and he returned in 1992 for the franchise's final three seasons in Los Angeles before its move to St. Louis.

The Pennsylvania native left the Rams in 1978 for the Buffalo Bills. After five seasons, he took over the Seahawks in 1983 and immediately led the franchise to its first playoff berth and the AFC title game. He spent nine seasons with Seattle. 

"His presence projected an external toughness, but merited instantaneous respect by the genuine care and concern he held for his players," the Seahawks said in a statement. "He was one of the great influencers not only in football, but in life." 

Knox was a two-way tackle at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, serving as a captain on the school's undefeated 1953 team. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Juniata. He was a high school assistant at Tyrone and then head coach at Ellwood City before moving on to Wake Forest and Kentucky.

Knox entered professional football in the AFL with the New York Jets as offensive line coach in 1963, and played a key role in the recruitment of quarterback Joe Namath. He remained with the Jets until 1966, and was then offensive line coach with the Detroit Lions from 1967-1972.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Long Beach Hosting First Leg of Tour of California Bike Race]]>Sun, 13 May 2018 12:37:54 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Cycling-Tour-Of-California-AP_16143688005850.jpg

The Long Beach streets that customarily host roaring Grand Prix race cars will be blocked off for speeding bicycles Sunday, as the annual Amgen Tour of California bike race will use Long Beach as the Day One venue.

The racers will loop around the downtown Long Beach and convention center route favored by the car racers, and go around their seven-mile course 12 times in about three hours.

The course also goes up and Ocean Boulevard, as far east as Ximeno Avenue at Belmont Shore.

Since streets in the area will be closed, the start time has been pushed back to 12:40 p.m. Sunday, to accommodate restaurants hosting Mothers Day parties.

Long Beach this year hosts the first stage of the seven-day race. Seventeen teams with 136 pro cyclists will use the circuit in Long Beach, before they head up the coast to Ventura for more racing on Monday.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Can't Stay Out of the Red in Another Loss to Cincy]]>Sat, 12 May 2018 22:57:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/166*120/GettyImages-957851600.jpg

The Dodgers just can't seem to stay out of their own way.

Former Dodger Scott Schebler hit a game-winning three-run homer and the Cincinnati Reds rallied from a two-run deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-3, on Saturday night at Chavez Ravine.

"We can't get out of our own way," said Dodgers' starter Ross Stripling after the game. "None of them have been easy to swallow, but this one definitely hurts."

In a game full of miscues and questionable managerial decisions, the Dodgers and their fans were left scratching their heads as they left the stadium on a day that started full of hope as the team honored the 1988 World Championship team roster in the Alumni game.

16 players from the 1988 World Series roster were on the field for a quick two-inning Alumni game featuring Dodger legends from the past.


After the Dodgers stranded five runners over the first two innings, Cody Bellinger put the team on the board when he crushed a four-seam fastball from Homer Bailey over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead.

"There's been a lot of progress," Bellinger said of his swing on the home run. "We had a really good day in the cage today. It showed today. We had a lot more hits and I think good things are going to come in the future."

Los Angeles finally recorded an RBI hit with a runner in scoring position when Joc Pederson knocked in Austin Barnes with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Reds got one back with an RBI single by Jesse Winker in the top of the fifth.


The run was the first allowed by Stripling in the month of May after a nine-inning scoreless streak.

Stripling left with the lead with one out in the top of the sixth inning, but batted for himself in the bottom of the fifth with two runners on and two outs.

"I don't know," said Stripling when asked if he was surprised he batted for himself in that situation. "I'm glad they left me in and that they have confidence in me. Hopefully, I'll have another chance to do it."

The questionable move by Dave Roberts was only magnified as Stripling left the game for relief pitcher J.T. Chargois after faceing just two hitters in the top of the sixth.

"I felt that Ross was our best guy to get the lefties [Votto and Gennett] coming up," said Roberts of his decision. "Two of their best hitters, I liked Ross there. Then with Suarez, I loved Chargois in that spot. It just didn't work out."

Chargois (1-1) propmtly gave up a single, a home run, and two doubles before leaving the game with L.A. trailing, 5-3.

Schebler was drafted by the Dodgers in the 26th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and made his Major League debut on June 15, 2015 against the St. Louis Cardinals. That offseason, he was traded to the Reds in a three-team, seven player trade.

"They traded me. they moved on. I’d be lying if I didn’t want to come in here and prove myself to a team that I guess gave up on me," Schebler said. "They got something in return. They didn’t see me as part of their plan. It feels nice to come in and prove yourself. It’s nothing against the organization. They didn’t see me as part of their plan. It does feel a little extra nice to do it against a team you once played for."

In his first 15 games this season, Chargois had only allowed one run and two extra-base hits, but in his last two games, he's surrendered five runs and four extra-base hits.

"I feel terrible for him," Stripling said of Chargois. "I know he's wearing it pretty hard. He's been getting big outs for us and we're going to keep relying on him."

Stripling was charged with one of the runs, allowing two runs on six hits with a career-high seven strikeouts and no walks in 5 and 1/3 innings of work. He also made a season-high 79 pitches.

Bailey (1-5) earned his first win of the season after the Reds rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth. The righ-hander allowed three runs on 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

"I'm not going to say that I played well but it was a good team win to win this series," said Bailey. "Our offense and bullpen have been carrying us." 

Scooter Gennett finished the game 3-for-5 for his third consecutive game with three hits or more. In the series, Gennett is 10-for-14 (.714) with four runs, a double, two home runs and six RBI.

"He's finding holes," said Stripling about Gennett this series. "I wouldn't say he's hitting the ball on the screws every time, but he's certainly finding holes and getting on base. He's been annoying to us." 

The loss guarantees the Dodgers will lose their first series to the Redlegs since Sept. 2013. L.A. has not been swept by the Reds in a four-game series since April 14-17, 1975. 

L.A. has lost six of seven and 12 of 17 overall.

V for Venditte

On the bright side, the 49,911 fans in attendance got to see the Dodger debut of ambidextrous "switch" pitcher Pat Venditte.

Venditte is naturally right-handed, but when he was three years old his father began to teach him to throw with his left hand as well. When he was seven years old, his father began to search for a glove that he could wear on both hands without switching in the middle of an inning. A friend put him in touch with Mizuno, and together they made a six-finger glove with an interchangeable thumb slot.

"I was happy to get out there, get ahead, and throw strikes," said Venditte of his start. "It's been a whirlwind 24 hours, but I'm happy to be here and pitching in this stadium."

Venditte entered the game for Chargois in relief and pitched 1 and 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball.

Bellinger Bunts?

In another head-scratching moment, Cody Bellinger bunted back to the pitcher with a 3-0 count in the bottom of the ninth inning. After the game, Dave Roberts said he gave Bellinger the take sign.

"I tried to get the tying run to the plate there and I didn't execute," Bellinger said of the miscue. "I had the take sign and knew a fastball was coming. I thought it was going to be an easy bunt, but I didn't execute. It was bad. If I had to do it over again I wouldn't."

Up Next:

The finale of the four-game series features RHP Luis Castillo against LHP Rich Hill. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers to Honor 1988 World Series Champs at Alumni Game]]>Sat, 12 May 2018 12:11:41 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/KirkGibson1988.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers will honor the 30th anniversary of their 1988 World Series-winning team at Saturday's Alumni Game at Dodger Stadium.

Kirk Gibson, whose ninth-inning pinch-hit home run gave the Dodgers the victory in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, and 1988 World Series MVP Orel Hershiser are among those expected to play.

The other members of the 1988 team expected to play are Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Mickey Hatcher, Rick Dempsey, Tim Belcher, Jay Howell, Alejandro Pena, Jeff Hamilton, Dave Anderson, Mike Davis, Jose Gonzalez and John Shelby.

Other members of the 1988 team expected to attend are John Tudor, Tim Leary, Franklin Stubbs and Ricky Horton.

Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda is also expected to attend, along with five members of his 1988 coaching staff -- Joe Amalfitano, Mark Cresse, Ben Hines, Manny Mota and Bill Russell.

Others set to play in the Alumni Game include Eric Karros, Shawn Green, Rick Monday, Steve Yeager, Ken Landreaux, Derrel Thomas, Kevin Gross, Nomar Garciaparra and Dodger manager Dave Roberts.

The Alumni Game will also feature appearances by Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Don Newcombe, Maury Wills, Tommy Davis and Reggie Smith.

Batting practice for the Alumni Game will begin at 3 p.m., with introductions at 4 p.m. and the game at 4:15 p.m., which precedes the Dodgers 6:10 p.m. game against the Cincinnati Reds.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dark Night for Dodgers in Loss to Reds]]>Fri, 11 May 2018 23:32:24 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-957534782.jpg

It was a dark night for the Dodgers.

Scooter Gennett hit a two-run home run and Matt Harvey pitched four shutout innings in his Reds debut, as Cincinnati crippled the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-2, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Harvey spent his first seven years with the New York Mets before he was designated for assignment last week after starting the 2018 season 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in four starts and four appearances out of the bullpen. 

"It's been a while since I started," said Harvey who made his first start since April 19. "It was good to get the first one out of the way so I just need to build off that and keep going. At everything that's happened its important for me just to pitch and attack."


Harvey was acquired by the Reds on Wednesday for catcher Devin Mesoraco and his change of scenery turned out to be just the fresh start he needed as he threw four scoreless innings allowing just one hit before leaving the game for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.

"It was great," Harvey said of his Reds debut. "I've always liked pitching in this ballpark and it's nice to come here and help this team. I was hoping to go a little bit longer, but this was a good first start."


Harvey's only hit allowed was a fly ball off the bat of Cody Bellinger that got lost in the lights by outfielder Scott Schebler.

The Dodgers trotted out a new lineup on Friday, but it was the same old story for the Boys in Blue as they continued to strand runners in scoring position.

L.A. went 1-for-9 with RISP in the game and are 1-for-16 so far in the two game series with Cincinnati.

"It's just not happening," said a disappointed Dodgers manager Dave Roberts when asked about the struggles at the plate. "We know we're better than this. We have to keep believing it. We have to keep grinding. That's all we can do."

For the second straight game, Scooter Gennett did most of the damage for the Big Red Machine as he finished the game 4-for-5 with a two-run home run and three RBI.

Gennett broke the game open with a two-run homer off Kenta Maeda in the top of the fifth inning. 

Maeda (2-3) would not make it out of the inning, allowing a season-high five runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings.

"Kenta did not pitch well tonight," said Roberts. "He did a nice job of trying to stay in there. We tried to get him through five, but he left that cutter to Gennett up and that was a big blow right there."

Max Muncy was responsible for both of the Dodgers runs with an RBI double in fifth and a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh.

"I was just trying to get the job done," said Muncy following the loss. "They gave me two good pitches to hit and I was just trying to do my job there."

Gennett knocked in three runs for the second straight game and has now homered in four consecutive contests for the first time in his career. 

Raisel Iglesias entered the game with one out and two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth and recorded the final two outs for his sixth save of the season.

Matt Kemp was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes in the sixth inning.

The Dodgers continue to fall deeper and deeper into the sunken place as they have lost five of six games and 11 of 16 overall.

Up Next:

RHP Homer Bailey looks for his first win of the season against RHP Ross Stripling on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Will Carlos Vela be on the Plane to Russia for World Cup?]]>Sat, 12 May 2018 12:01:03 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/carlos+vela+05112018.jpg

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is only a few weeks away, and if all goes as expected, Los Angeles Football Club striker Carlos Vela will be on the plane to Russia alongside his Mexican National Team teammates.

Vela, though, isn't counting his chickens before they've hatched. Following Wednesday's win against Minnesota United, the striker reminded the media that while he hopes to make the World Cup squad, that decision is fully up to national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

"It's not about whether I see myself at the World Cup or not; I work to be there and after that it's not in my hands to say, 'I'm going or I'm not going,'" Vela said.

Yet for all his hard work and fine displays for LAFC, a strange shadow still looms over Vela's World Cup chances, one that has followed him for years and has only been exacerbated by his switch from Spain's top flight to Major League Soccer.

Vela has never really quite shaken the ire of many Mexican national team fans after his self-imposed exile from the national team, one in which he went so far as to rule himself out of the 2014 World Cup.

Out of the Picture 

The reasons for Vela's exile from national team duties have always remained a mystery, but if you know Mexican soccer, you know that politics and grudges are a constant in the revolving door of managers and directors of the Mexican national team.

One of the prevailing theories is that it all goes back to an infamous party thrown at the Mexican National Team hotel in 2010 following a friendly against Colombia. In total, 13 players attended the party and all were fined 50,000 pesos, but only Vela and Efraín Juárez were suspended from the national team for six months. 

At the time, Néstor de la Torre was the Director of National Teams and the one who handed down the punishment before resigning following the controversy. In a strange stroke of fate, José Manuel de la Torre, Néstor's brother, would take over the Mexican National Team reigns in 2011.

That disastrous tenure would last through 2013, a period in which the rift between player and manager - and player and national team - were on full display, Vela refusing to suit up for "El Tri."

A Chance to Come Home

When Miguel Herrera replaced "Chepo" de la Torre as manager, it was seen as the perfect chance for Vela, arguably one of Mexico's best players at the time, to return from the cold. 

Instead, after playing his first minutes in years with the national team, Vela ruled himself out of World Cup contention.

"In each meeting I have had with all the different parties, who have been directly responsible for the national team, I have emphasized that my country is Mexico and alway will be," Vela said in a February 2014 statement. 

"Yet," Vela continued, "In this World Cup cycle I have not been mentally at 100 percent to represent or form part of this team, which deserves my maximum respect."

The Expected Reaction 

For most players, representing their country at the World Cup isn't just a dream, it's the dream, so for many a Mexican national team fan, Vela's statement was seen as a slap in the face by a petulant player.

The fan reaction, while perhaps cruel, was fully expected. Just ask Landon Donovan, arguably the United State Men's National Team's greatest-ever player, how much football fans care about the well-being of a player. 

In both instances a player decided to take a leave for mental health reasons, and in both instances the fan reaction was swift and, yes, a little cruel.

Break a leg or tear a tendon, and be showered with well-wishes. Commit the transgression of taking a mental health break, and be castigated by the fans who one cheered you - simply for being human. 

A Move to Los Angeles 

Vela's move to the MLS drew further criticism. Despite its growth, the MLS has not quite been able to shake its "retirement league" label. 

Vela followed in the footsteps fellow Mexican National Team members, the Dos Santos brothers, in joining the league, all three coming to the United States in arguably their prime footballing years. But Vela, a player long known to be unafraid of doing things his way, has been unfazed by the critics.

"I've always said the decision is mine. The person who has to be happy and the person who has to decide where to be is me," Vela said after Wednesday's game against Minnesota. "I decided to come to Los Angeles and every passing day I'm happier and I feel more strongly that I came to the right place where I can enjoy myself and keep growing as a player."

It's with that positive attitude that Vela continues to eye a return to a World Cup after eight years away. 

"It would be great [to represent Mexico at the World Cup] and a big responsibility," Vela said. "Not being at the last World Cup I think makes me have a lot of eagerness and a great desire to help the team, and if I'm there I'll give it my all to make Mexico and my teammates better." 

What the Future Holds 

While some questions remain, Vela has featured for Osorio's Mexico in recent times, which should signal a return to a World Cup after eight years away.

Osorio is set to release his preliminary 35-man squad on Sunday. After that, he'll have until June 4 to whittle his roster down to the 23 players going to Russia.

Vela will know by then whether his desire to return to the fold, coupled with his impressive displays for LAFC, have paid off.

Quick Kicks:

While discussing his own World Cup chances, Vela also mentioned the simultaneously strange and real possibility of Mexican National Team legend Rafael Marquez suiting up one more time to become only the fourth player to play in five World Cups.

"I think he has been, is and will continue to be an example to everyone, and if we have to we'll carry him there. If I have to give him my spot I'll give it to him," Vela said. "I think he deserves everything to close his great career on a high note. "

Stranger still, though, is the fact that Marquez is now officially retired from club football after having played his final match with Liga MX side Atlas.

A regular under Osorio, the 39-year-old Marquez would be making his fifth World Cup appearance. Despite his age, he has continued to bring leadership and composure to the Mexican side.

"He's someone who always contributes, even if it's not on the pitch it's important for him to be with us, and he gives the leadership that's missing in Mexican soccer because he's lived and played with the biggest and best players in the world," Vela said.

Yet Marquez's chances of competing in Russia have become murky since the former Barcelona and Monaco man was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for alleged ties to drug traffickers. 

Marquez has maintained his innocence, and a World Cup call-up is still not out of the picture, but if he makes it, he will certainly have traveled a strange road to get there.



Photo Credit: (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Turn Red in the Face After Loss to Cincy]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 23:15:09 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-957175708.jpg

Boy are they red in the face.

Scooter Gennett knocked in three of the four runs and the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-1, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

Entering the game, the Reds were tied for the second worst record in baseball (10-27), but a date with the Dodgers is a cure for what ails you these days.

After losing series to the lowly Marlins and Padres, the Dodgers have been stuck in the mud through the first 37 games of the season.

The most recent flaw for the reigning National League pennant winners has been the ability to hit with runners in scoring position.

Needless to say, it was much of the same for the Boys in Blue on Thursday. 

The Dodgers went 1-for-7 with RISP and left eight men on base in their loss to the Reds.

"I don't know," said a visibly frustrated Dave Roberts after the game when asked why his team has struggled with RISP at the plate. "I usually have an answer. It's been a trend we've seen all year. Recently, we've gotten guys on base and had a chance to break a game open and haven't been able to come through." 

Chase Utley picked up where he left off last night with a bases loaded RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.

Utley's RBI would be the only hit with runners in scoring position on the night, and the only run the Dodgers would score in the game.

"Chase had the right approach there," said Roberts of the bases loaded at-bat. "He shortened up his swing and got a hit. Other guys aren't doing that. You have to have a lot of clubs in the bag. You can’t play golf with just one club, and right now we’re a one-club team."

After five shutout innings, Scooter Gennett got the Reds on the board with a two-run double off Walker Buehler in the top of the sixth.

"I have to finish that guy [Gennett] off," Buehler said of his start. "I made one bad pitch and I gave up two runs. It's frustrating for me. This team is trying to win games. I can't give up two runs when we only have one."

Buehler (2-1) recorded his first career loss as the rookie surrendered two runs on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in six innings in just his fourth start of the season.

"Walker pitched his tail off tonight," said Roberts. "He had no margin for error and ends up wearing the loss. It's very frustrating and I expect those guys in the clubhouse to be as frustrated as I am."

Before Gennett's two-out double, Buehler had recorded 15 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest by a Dodgers pitcher this season. 

"I'm getting more confident in the fact that I can get guys out here," said Buehler of his scoreless streak. "I still have to be pretty fine in certain situations and I didn't do that tonight."

One inning later, the fastest man in Major League Baseball, Billy Hamilton, hit an RBI triple down the right field line that extended the Cincinnati lead to 3-1.

Gennett tacked on an insurance run for the Reds with a solo shot off Daniel Hudson in the top of the eighth inning. 

In his eighth start of the season, Tyler Mahle did not factor in the decision, allowing just one unearned run on three hits with a career-high four walks and two strikeouts in five innings. 

"I was just missing my spots," said Mahle, a Newport Beach native. "I made some big pitches in some big situations with runners in scoring position."

The Dodgers had won their last eight consecutive games against the Reds before tonight's loss, their fourth in the last five games, but have still been victorious in 17 of their last 20 games against Cincinnati.

Up Next:

RHP Matt Harvey makes his Cincinnati Reds debut on Friday against RHP Kenta Maeda. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Split Series With Snakes in Wild Win]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 00:04:42 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-956686842.jpg

Take a walk on the wild side.

The game opened with an inside-the-park home run and ended with a couple of wild pitches as the Los Angeles Dodgers won a wacky, weird, and wild game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-3, to split the two-game series on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Nick Ahmed kicked off the kooky evening with a fly ball to deep center field that sent Enrique Hernandez careening into the wall and Ahmed flying around the bases paths for an inside-the-park home run.

Ahmed became the 15th Diamondback all-time to hit an inside-the-park homer and the sixth to hit one on the road. He also became the first player since teammate Daniel Descalso recorded an inside-the-park homer against the Houston Astros on August 17, 2017.

The inside-the-park home run was the first against the Dodgers since Eric Young Jr. hit of the Colorado Rockies hit one on August 8, 2012 against Chad Billingsley at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers loaded the bases three different times in the game, but didn't record a run scoring hit until their final at-bats in the bottom of the eighth inning.

"We had the bases loaded multiple times last night and tonight," said Dodgers third baseman Kyle Farmer. "I didn't get the job done last night so I said 'I'm not going to do this again tonight.'"

The Dodgers scored their first four runs thanks to some assists from the Snakes pitching staff.

"We were gifted some runs," admitted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "It wasn't the way we drew it up, but we'll take it."

First, Los Angeles tied the game on a wild pitch by Patrick Corbin with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning.

"It wasn't my best command today," Corbin said of his start. "Sometimes you don't have your best stuff every day. It wasn't as easy today."

Fernando Salas replaced Corbin in the sixth, but the narrative didn't change as he too loaded the bases, surrendering a sacrifice fly to Kyle Farmer that gave L.A. the lead.

"I knew that guy [Salas] tonight had a really good fastball," said Farmer of his at-bat. "So my plan was to go in there and attack the first pitch and he threw me a fastball and I was able to get it in the air."

Salas was replaced by Silvino Bracho who hit Chris Taylor with the bases loaded to bring in a run and then threw a wild pitch that put the Dodgers ahead 4-1.

Corbin did not factor in the decision, and remains undefeated on the season after allowing one run on three hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in five innings.

"It was a rough five innings," said Corbin. "They know what I'm going to do, but I still have to go out there and execute. I need to work on some things and get better for the next one."

Meanwhile, his counterpart, Alex Wood, remains winless on the season as he also did not factor in the decision, allowing one run on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

"There wasn't much efficiency throughout the night," said Wood of his start. "I had to work really hard throughout the first three innings. I found myself battling through. Fortunately, I was able to hang in there long enough to get through five and give us a chance to win."

Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig both were charged with errors in the game, Puig's error helped the Snakes score two runs in the top of the seventh to make the score, 4-3. 

Chase Utley doubled the score with a two-run, pinch-hit double in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave the Dodgers a 6-3 lead. Utley's double was the first run scoring hit of the game for L.A.

Kenley Jansen collected his sixth save of the season following a perfect ninth inning.

Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks have yet to lose a series this season.

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have played 12 times in the first 36 games and won't play again until August 30th. 

"I’m ready to turn the page on those guys and play somebody else," joked Roberts.

Up Next:

The Dodgers begin a four-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. RHP Tyler Mahle will start against rookie RHP Walker Buehler for Los Angeles. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[LAFC Dazzling in Attack as They Down Minnesota 2-0]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 08:46:53 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/IMG_60281.JPG

It was a night of brilliant midweek soccer at the Banc of California Stadium as the Los Angeles Football Club returned to winning ways in a 2-0 victory against Minnesota United Football Club.

LAFC was still without injured striker Marco Ureña, who continues to recover from surgery after facial fractures suffered against the Seattle Sounders, but that did not stop Bob Bradley's men from producing a night of dazzling attacking football as they took all three points after Sunday's draw against Dallas.

The game got off to a hot start as both sides saw efforts clatter of the upright within just the opening seven minutes. 

First it was LAFC's Diego Rossi who clung on to a beautifully weighted through ball by Eduard Atuesta in the sixth minute, but Minnesota's Bobby Shuttlesworth did well to come off his line and cut the angle as Rossi's low shot to the far post hit the woodwork. 

Just one minute later, Minnesota returned the favor at the other end of the pitch, Darwin Quintero taking out both Atuesta and Laurent Ciman as his left-footed effort kissed the post. 

That would be one of the only Minnesota chances in the first half, though, as LAFC asserted control of the game, continually threatening asbo Vela led the line with Rossi and Latif Blessing given freedom to switch flanks out wide. 

It would take until the 31st minute for LAFC to open the scoring, though, as Rossi danced into the left side of the Minnesota box and squared the ball. Minnesota's Francisco Calvo overcommitted and left a waiting Atuesta unmarked. The midfielder did not miss from eight yards out and slotted the ball into the back of the net to give the black and gold the 1-0 lead.

Minnesota looked to level just two minutes later, but Tyler Miller was quick off his line to snuff out the danger from an onrushing Miguel Ibarra.

Only six minutes later Mark-Anthony Kaye doubled the lead after Vela's deflected cross found Blessing inside the box. Blessing did well to flick the ball behind him to a waiting Kaye, whose side-footed volley just outside the six yard box made it 2-0.

Minnesota looked to cut the deficit in the waning minutes of the first half, but Walker Zimmerman put his body on the line, diving across the goal to head out Ibarra's near-post shot after Ibarra had rounded Miller.

The second half played out much like the first, LAFC continuing the onslaught and Minnesota only able to create half chances.

Carlos Vela found Blessing inside the box with a brilliant cross in the 77th minute, but Blessing could only head to Shuttlesworth.

The score would hold as LAFC picked up another win in its prolonged homestand.

The Takeaways:

Switch, Switch, Switch

It's worth mentioning again the fluidity in attack that Bradley's front men displayed on the night.

Vela led the line, and on paper he had Rossi starting to his left and Blessing on his right. The beauty about football, though, is that you can't always judge tactics based on what's on paper. In practice, the front three switched positions with one another time and time again, to equally dangerous effect.

"The players up front have developed a good understanding," Bradley said. "So their movement I think gives us a good dimension, and they handle the freedom really well....They still cover all three areas; it's not like when we lose the ball they're all standing right next to each other."

Atuesta Shines

Atuesta opened the scoring with his first MLS goal since his switch from Colombian side Independiente Medellín, and he looked composed and comfortable on the ball. 

"It's an immense joy because it's a change in my life, it's my first international experience," Atuesta said. "And thank God, I have players next to me who have helped me a lot to adapt to the team, the city and even the language."

It would be easy to heap praise on Atuesta based on just his goal, but the truth is the 20-year-old Colombian midfielder was brilliant throughout his 89 minutes on the pitch (he was substituted for Calum Mallace).

Not only did he have the most shots on his team with five, but he also had the most touches and made the most passes for LAFC with 102 and 89, respectively. 

Bradley highlighted his importance going forward as multiple LAFC players seem to be headed to the World Cup. "Getting Eduard some games in the midfield now gives everybody confidence that when we're a little bit short on numbers that we've got all good ways to put a team on the field," Bradley said.

For now, LAFC seems to be in safe hands with Atuesta as part of the midfield three.

P*to Chant Seems to be Gone

One thing that was conspicuously absent from Wednesday's game was the anti-gay "p*to" chant that fans were heard loudly chanting in LAFC's first home game.

The day after that game against Seattle, the club came out with a forceful statement against the chant. "Any fans identified as participating in this offensive chanting will be removed from the stadium and the Club will revoke their season membership," the club said. 

That warning seems to be working, as does the video message playing before the game, in which players called for fans to "Stop the hateful chant during goal kicks." 

It was the only black mark a few weeks ago as LAFC downed Seattle, but the decisive action by the club seems to be having its intended effect, and the club will be hoping things stay that way.



Photo Credit: Rudy Chinchilla
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<![CDATA[The Vault: All the Way Up]]>Wed, 09 May 2018 14:08:40 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/VAULT_DODGERS_AREVALO_1200x675_1229430339590.jpg

No matter how the Dodgers played in the 80s and 90s, there was one constant: Luis Arevalo. Fred Roggin goes way back to ride the Ravine with one of the smoothest elevator operators this town has ever seen. Aired on Going Roggin, May 6, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Pollock and Descalso Continue to Punish Dodgers]]>Wed, 09 May 2018 00:24:38 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-956295282.jpg

Home Run Barrage. 

Daniel Descalso hit a game-winning home run in the top of the 12th inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-5, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Six different players hit home runs on the night, but it was the bookend homers by A.J. Pollock and Descalso that proved to be the biggest. 

Pollock and Descalso have combined to hit 10 home runs agains the Dodgers this season. 

"We believe in one another and we trust one another," said Descalso. "I always like being up there with a chance to come through."

The Dodgers trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth before Enrique Hernandez tied the game with a pinch-hit home run off Brad Boxberger that sent the game into extra-innings. 

The game-tying home run marked Boxberger's first blown save of the season and the first blown lead by the Diamondbacks in the 8th inning or later. 

The Snakes first three home runs came off Dodgers starter Rich Hill, who was activated off the disabled list before the game. Hill's curveball was sharp, but his fastball lacked life as all three long balls were hit off via the four-seamer.

"The fastballs kept coming back over the middle of the plate and they hit them out," said Hill of his fastball that he struggled with when falling behind in counts. "Tonight's a tough night for me. This loss falls on me. It's really disappointing and frustrating."

Pollock pierced the Dodgers like a thorn in their side, with his two-run shot in the top of the first inning. 

In 11 games against the Dodgers this season, Pollock is batting .349 with four doubles, seven home runs, and 11 RBI.

Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal helped the Dodgers climb back into the ballgame as Kemp knocked in the first run of the game with and RBI single in the first, and Grandal crushed a cutter from Zack Godley for a solo shot in the third inning.

Kemp finished the game 3-for-6 with a double and now leads the National League in batting average at .353.

After allowing home runs to Owings and Murphy, Hill left the game after the fourth inning, responsible for five runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Hill's ERA is now 7.11 on the season.


The Dodgers got within a run in the bottom of the fifth after Cody Bellinger followed an RBI single by Grandal with a two-run double down the right field line. 

After Hernandez's game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the 10th and had runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 11th as L.A. stranded five runners in extra innings. 

Yimi Garcia entered the game to pitch the top of the 12th, and surrendered a single to Alex Avila and a walk to Paul Goldschmidt before Descalso's game-winning home run. 

"I was looking for a pitch to give us a run and send everyone home," said Desclaso of the at-bat. "He tried to come up and in with a heater. I was trying to hit a line drive there and luckily it went over the fence."

Descalso has hit well against the Dodgers this season, going 9-for-28 (.321) with five runs, one double, three triples and 10 RBI. He has four total home runs on the season, three of them have come against Los Angeles.

Despite blowing the save in the ninth inning, the Diamondbacks inproved to 18-1 on the season when scoring four runs or more. 

The Dodgers dropped to 3-8 against Arizona this season. 

Tensions Got Heated 

When you play the same team 12 times in the first 36 teams, emotions will boil over. That was evident in the top of the fifth inning when Steven Souza Jr. took out third baseman Max Muncy while trying to steal third. Afterwards, Souza Jr. was jawing the the Dodgers dugout as players poured out onto the field. 


Up Next:

The second game of the quick two-game series takes place on Wednesday as LHP Patrick Corbin heads to the mound opposite LHP Alex Wood for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Returns to Mound, Angels Beat Mariners 8-2]]>Sun, 06 May 2018 19:58:19 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/Shohei-Ohtani-Angels-Mariners.jpg

After nearly two weeks off the mound due to a sprained ankle, Shohei Ohtani was a bit surprised about how he felt.

He was less surprised by how he pitched.

"I had no worries about my command. I felt like today I had one of my better commands," Ohtani said through a translator.

The two-way Japanese star took a shutout into the seventh inning while outpitching Felix Hernandez and got help from Mike Trout's 12th home run in the Los Angeles Angels' 8-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

Ohtani (3-1) made his first start on the mound since April 24 and looked to be completely in rhythm and showed no effects. He struck out six and used a mix of his four pitches to keep Seattle's hitters off balance.

Ohtani was able to keep the ball down in the strike zone against a Mariners lineup that typically fares well against fastball pitchers. And his breaking pitches left batters flailing.

"His stuff is really good. Stuff was real," Seattle's Kyle Seager said. "Definitely throws hard and has a good splitter. Was throwing some slow curveballs and seemed like he had his slider working pretty well today, too."

It was 6-0 going into the seventh, and Ohtani had been nearly flawless before running into trouble after a lengthy break on the bench. He gave up a leadoff single to Mitch Haniger, watched Ryon Healy hit a two-run homer and issued a four-pitch walk.

Manager Mike Scioscia quickly made a switch, pulling Ohtani after 98 pitches to a mix of boos from Seattle fans and cheers from those that showed up in red.

Ohtani allowed six hits, walked two and didn't allow a runner past second until Healy homered in the seventh. It was the second time in his five starts Ohtani allowed less than three earned runs.

"The booing that didn't faze me at all. The way I left the game, giving up the two runs and a walk like that is something I need to work on," Ohtani said. "I was really frustrated with myself the way I ended the game."

Trout's home run, which put him one behind Boston's Mookie Betts for the major league lead, was the last of three hit by the Angels. Zack Cozart and Chris Young connected for solo drives off Hernandez (4-3) in the second.

But what became Seattle's undoing was a wild pitch on a strikeout that should have ended the sixth. Hernandez got Young swinging for what should have been the third out, but the breaking ball was spiked in the dirt and catcher Mike Zunino had little chance to keep it from bouncing to the backstop. Young was safe and first and scored on the next pitch as Rene Rivera doubled.

Hernandez walked Ian Kinsler on four pitches, the final batter he faced. Chasen Bradford entered and on his second pitch Trout hit a towering shot into the Angels' bullpen for a 6-0 lead.

"Just getting pitches and not missing them. Getting my foot down on time and my timing is good right now," Trout said.

Hernandez was tagged with five earned runs. He struck out five and walked four.

"The two pitches I threw were a mistake. They were in the middle of the plate," Hernandez said. "The curveball I threw was way in front of the plate. (Zunino) couldn't do anything about that. It wasn't his fault, so it was my fault. But it's frustrating."

Rivera added a two-run single in the ninth off reliever Casey Lawrence.


EARLY DEPARTURE

Seattle shortstop Jean Segura was lifted after the seventh inning due to a migraine headache that progressive got worse during the game.


BULLPEN HELP

The Angels could be on the verge of getting a pair of their injured arms back in the bullpen. Keynan Middleton (elbow inflammation) and Blake Wood (elbow impingement) were scheduled to throw on Sunday and Scioscia was hopeful both could be back in the next week.


ROSTER MOVE

The Angels recalled OF Jabari Blash from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned right-hander Eduardo Paredes to Salt Lake. Parades gave up the game-winning hit by Healy in the 11th inning of Saturday night's game. Blash was hitting .350 with 10 homers at Salt Lake.


UP NEXT 

Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (1-1) makes his fifth start on Tuesday at Colorado. Heaney won his first game of the year in his last start, throwing six innings and allowing one run vs. Baltimore.

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (1-1) will get the start on Tuesday when the Mariners open a series in Toronto. Paxton is coming off a career-high 16 strikeouts in his last start vs. Oakland.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers End Disappointing Day With Shutout Loss to San Diego]]>Sun, 06 May 2018 17:03:55 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-955437862.jpg

That's what you call a road rash.

Eric Hosmer hit a two-run home run and the Los Angeles Dodgers were shutout by the San Diego Padres, 3-0, in the final game of their 11-game road trip on Sunday afternoon in Monterrey, Mexico. 

It was a day that began with disappointment for the Dodgers as the team announced that three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left bicep tendinitis and flew back to L.A. ahead of the team.

 

The 11-game National League West Division road trip turned out to be tougher than anyone could have anticipated as the Dodgers went 4-7, but more importantly, lost four key players to injuries in Yasiel Puig (hip pointer), Corey Seager (season-ending Tommy John surgery), Hyun-Jin Ryu (torn groin) and Kershaw.

After pitching the first combined no-hitter in franchise history on Friday, the Dodgers wilted south of the border, losing in back-to-back games to the lowly Padres.

 

Ross Stripling made another spot start and pitched well despite walking a tightrope all game long.

The Texas native did not factor in the decision, allowing four hits with two walks and five strikeouts over four scoreless innings.

For the second consecutive game, the Dodgers bullpen was to blame for the loss as reliever Tony Cingrani served up a two-run home run to Eric Hsomer in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Dodgers offense didn't fair much better, as they stranded a total of 13 runners on base and were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The lone bright spot was former Padre Matt Kemp who finished 2-for-5 and is now 11-for-22 with 3 homers and a double against San Diego this season.

"We just didn't get the big hit tonight," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "We just couldn't capitalize on our opportunities. We had there pen on the ropes but couldn't push through."

San Diego starter Eric Lauer entered the game winless with a 10.13 ERA, but he picked up his first career Major League win after throwing six shutout innings with one walk and five strikeouts.

Al-Star closer Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 11th save of the season for San Diego.

The last seven Dodger outs of the game were all recorded via the strike out.

The game marked the end of the 2018 MLB International Series in Monterrey, Mexico.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Monday as they fly back to Los Angeles before hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks for a quick two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Rich Hill is expected to be activated off the disabled list and start on Tuesday opposite RHP Zack Godley. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Will the Lakers Land Kawhi?]]>Sun, 06 May 2018 12:29:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_LAKERS_050618_1200x675_1226930243935.jpg

Is one of Riverside's favorite sons coming back home? It seems more and more likely that the Spurs will trade star forward Kawhi Leonard, do the Lakers or Clippers have a chance at landing him? ESPN LA 710’s Travis Rodgers tells Fred Roggin that the Lakers would have to give up their young core in order to do so, while LA Daily News’ Vinny Bonsignore argues it’s not worth losing Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle. Originally aired on Going Roggin on May 6, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw Placed on Disabled List With Bicep Tendinitis]]>Sun, 06 May 2018 11:01:26 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-953568056.jpg

Maybe now its time to panic.

On a nightmarish road trip that appeared to include a never-ending list of injured players, the Los Angeles Dodgers just added the biggest name of all: Clayton Kershaw.

The team announced early on Sunday morning that Kershaw was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left bicep tendinitis.

Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times was the first to report that Kershaw was not with the team in Monterrey, Mexico and had flown back to L.A. early to see team doctor and world renowned orthopedic surgeon doctor Neal ElAttrache.

Kershaw's DL stint was NOT made retroactive three days and is effective immediately. That means the three-time Cy Young Award winner cannot return next Sunday against Cincinnati, but instead, the earliest he can return would be Wednesday, May 16 in Miami against the Marlins.

Kershaw has now been placed on the disabled list each of the last three seasons and four out of the last five seasons. However, this is the first time he's dealt with arm issues when his previous stints were back related.

Kershaw flew with the team to Monterrey, Mexico and was upbeat and smiling when he arrived at the stadium on Friday. On Saturday, he was seen in the clubhouse playing cards before the game with injured third baseman Justin Turner, and was the first to high-five his teammates in the dugout during Saturday's 7-4 loss to San Diego.

Kershaw, 30, has made seven starts this season going 1-4 with a 2.86 ERA (14 ER/44.0 IP) and has held hitters to a .234 average, while striking out 48 against just 10 walks. The southpaw last started on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six in 6.0 innings as he did not factor in the decision.

The news of the injury adds Kershaw's name to a long list of injured Dodgers this season. Outside of Turner who fractured his wrist in spring training, the Dodgers have injuries to Corey Seager (season-ending Tommy John surgery), Hyun-Jin Ryu (torn groin), Yasiel Puig (hip pointer) Rich Hill (finger), Logan Forsythe (shoulder) and more.

The Dodgers recalled RHP Brock Stewart to take Kershaw's place in the rotation.

Stewart, 26, who will make his second stint with the big league club this year, made his 2018 debut on April 30 against the Diamondbacks, allowing one run and striking out three in 1.2 innings of relief with the Dodgers. The right-hander has made four starts with Oklahoma City this season, going 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA (5 ER/18.2 IP) and has struck out 20 batters against just six walks, while limiting the opposition to a .200 average. In 2017, Stewart appeared in 17 games (four starts) with Los Angeles, collecting one save and posting a 3.41 ERA (13 ER/34.1 IP), while holding batters to a .226 average.



Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Allow Many Hits in Loss to Padres in Mexico]]>Sat, 05 May 2018 20:20:02 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-955119124.jpg

Maybe the Dodgers had too many margaritas. 

Less than 24 hours after throwing the first combined no-hitter in franchise history, the Dodgers bullpen returned to their prior form, and the San Diego Padres came from behind to beat Los Angeles, 7-4, on Cinco de Mayo in Monterrey, Mexico.

The celebration from Friday night's no-hitter was short-lived as the back-and-forth battle began with a leadoff triple by Travis Jankowski to guarantee that the Padres would not be no-hit on back-to-back nights. 

One pitch later, San Diego scored their first runs of the season as Eric Hosmer hit a two-run home run off Kenta Maeda.

Matt Kemp kicked off the comeback in the top half of the second with a leadoff home run off Bryan Mitchell.

Five batters later, Chris Taylor tied the game with an RBI single off Mitchell. 

The Dodgers took the lead in the top of the third as Kemp continued his hot-hitting against his former team with an RBI single that chased Mitchell from the game.

Mitchell did not factor in the decision, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in just 2 and 1/3 innings.

San Diego tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth, but Taylor was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth to put L.A. back in front, 4-3.

"I thought we had a chance to break the game open and didn't capitalize," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "We didn't convert when we had the chances. The at-bats in the seventh and eighth went south."

The tables turned in the bottom half of the sixth as Josh Fields surrendered his third home run in his last four appearances, this time a go-ahead two-run shot off the bat of Raffy Lopez that put the Padres in front for good.

San Diego scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth off relief pitcher Daniel Hudson as the Dodgers bullpen allowed four runs in four innings one day after not allowing a hit in the first no-hitter pitched outside the United States or Canada.

"In the last ten days when they struggled, they got behind hitters and walks," said Roberts of the bullpen. "The three days when they pitched well, they got ahead of hitters and didn't walk them. The stuff is there, it's the same guys. It's a simple formula."

The loss snapped the Dodgers four-game winning streak against the Padres this season.

Despite the loss, the Dodgers have won 89 games against the Padres since 2011, the most by any team in MLB against a single opponent over that span. 

The Perfect Game

The Dodgers no-hitter in Monterrey, Mexico on Friday night reminded many fans of the 1957 Monterrey Little League World Series Championship team. That team, known as the Little Giants, threw a perfect game against La Mesa, CA in the championship in 1957.

Up Next: 

Ross Stripling will make another spot start on Sunday in the rubber match against LHP Eric Lauer for the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Injury Updates: Kershaw Goes to DL]]>Sun, 06 May 2018 11:07:29 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*138/GettyImages-946377876.jpg

The injury bug bites all teams from time-to-time, but the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to always be the main course. 

The Dodgers set the record for the most players on the disabled list in 2016, and backed it up with an MLB-high 38 total DL stints in 2017.

That trend has continued in 2018 as the Dodgers have have already placed eight different players on the DL in the first month of the season.

As of today's date, injuries have made eight different players miss a total of 168 days on the DL.

The biggest blow of course was the announcement on Monday that two-time All-Star shortstop and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Corey Seager, would miss the rest of the season with a strained UCL in his right elbow and undergo Tommy John surgery.

Here's the updates:

Clayton Kershaw (bicep tendintis): In a shocking move, the Dodgers announced early Sunday morning that Kershaw had been placed on the 10-day DL with left bicep tendinitis and was on a flight back to Los Angeles to meet with team doctor Neal ElAttrache. Dave Roberts said Kershaw felt something while playing catch on Saturday and a "little of something" during his last start on Tuesday in Arizona. Kershaw has pitched through bicep tendinitis before, but we won't have a timetable until after his visit with the doctor.

Tom Koehler (Shoulder): Originally believed to be a bicep injury, Koehler was diagnosed with an anterior capsule strain early in spring training and was placed on the 60-day disabled list to start the season. Koehler has split his time between Los Angeles and Arizona for the first month of the season and just began a throwing program last Friday. As of today's date, Koehler is throwing on flat ground from about 75-feet away and will continue to build arm strength until he's eligible to come off the disabled list on May 25th.

Julio Urias (Shoulder): The Mexican native underwent shoulder surgery last summer and is expected to be out until after the All-Star break. Urias' traveled with the team to Monterrey, Mexico as part of baseball's international series, but it still looks to be a long time before he takes the mound. Urias' recovery has been slowed as the left-hander has still not thrown off a mound (original target date was spring training). On the bright side, Urias has started to throw from 100-feet off flat ground and believes to be cleared to throw off a mound "in the near future."

Justin Turner (Broken wrist): Turner fractured his left wrist during spring training and posted a video on April 27 of him hitting off a tee at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. Since then, Turner has taken grounders at third base and is expected to take batting practice with the team on Sunday. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he expects Turner to go on a rehab assignment as soon as next weekend and could be back with the team "in the next couple weeks." 

Logan Forsythe (Shoulder): The second baseman who took over at third base after Justin Turner's injury went on the disabled list back on April 15 with right shoulder inflammation. Originally, the injury was only supposed to sideline Forsythe for 10 days, but he has yet to go on a rehab assignment as of today's date. Dave Roberts said that Forsythe could begin his rehab assignment at Oklahoma City as soon as this week and would need 4-to-5 games before being activated. Forsythe believes he's ready to return and is chomping at the bit to get back on the field.

Rich Hill (Finger): Rich Hill originally went on the disabled list on April 15 with a cracked finger nail on his left hand. He was expected just to miss 10 days and start in the four-game Arizona series. However, his finger got infected and the Dodgers skipped his start. Hill told us on Saturday that his finger is "good to go," but in a surprise move, manager Dave Roberts announced that it would be Ross Stripling starting in the Sunday finale in Monterrey, Mexico and NOT Hill. The team announced that Hill will take the place of Kershaw in the rotation and start on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

Yasiel Puig (Hip): Puig was placed on the disabled last after a doubleheader in San Francisco that saw the wild horse run full speed into the right field wall in foul territory at AT&T Park. Puig was originally diagnosed with a hip pointer and stayed behind in Los Angeles during the team's trip to Monterrey, Mexico. Puig is running at full speed and is expected to make a rehab assignment with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Tuesday and be activated off the DL on Wednesday, May 9. 

Corey Seager (Elbow): The biggest blow of all for the boys in blue was announced on Monday, April 30 when the team reported that Seager was diagnosed with a right UCL sprain in his throwing elbow and have to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Seager's surgery took place in Los Angeles on Friday, May 4, performed by Dr. Neal El Atrtache. El Attrache told the team that the surgery was a "success," and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Seager would rehab at home in North Carolina for the remainder of the season. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu (Groin): Ryu is the most recent of devastating injuries to befell the boys in blue. The Korean pitcher left his start against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning on Wednesday May 2, with a groin injury. An MRI revealed that it was a grade 2 strain and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts described the injury in graphic detail saying that the "muscle tore off the bone," and that Ryu would be out until well after the All-Star break.

Dodgers Injury Updates are provided each and every week, usually on Friday or Sunday throughout the season.  



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What You Need to Know About Dodgers First Combined No-Hitter]]>Sat, 05 May 2018 04:55:51 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-954802608.jpg

How do you say "no-hitter" in Spanish?

The correct way is "un juego sin hits," which roughly translates to "a game without hits," apropos for the first combined no-hitter in Dodgers franchise history, and just the 12th combined no-hitter in Major League history.

The last time Walker Buehler pitched in a game without hits, was at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky. However, the astute former student who ranks second in innings pitched, second in strikeouts and third in wins all-time in school history doesn't think that game should count.

"I threw one in high school," Buehler said at the postgame press conference in Monterrey, Mexico on Friday night. "But I gave up two runs in the first inning so I don't think that really counts."

Fortunately for Buehler, Friday's no-hitter seen by a sellout crowd of 21,536 did count, albeit not as an individual accomplishment, but as a collective team effort. One that the 23-year-old Kentucky kid paved the way for.

In just his third career start and first ever against the Padres, Buehler did the lion's share of the work, throwing six hitless innings on the mound before passing the baton to Tony Cingrani.

Cingrani made things interesting as he walked two of the first three batters he faced, but eventually got out of the inning unscathed, keeping the no-hitter intact for Yimi Garcia.

"I didn't even know there weren't any hits," admitted Cingrani after the game. "We have a good bullpen down there and we took care of business." 

Of all the relief pitchers in the Dodgers vaunted bullpen, Garcia perhaps was the most surprising to continue on the no-no.

The 27-year-old Dominican right-hander with a 3.07 career ERA was appearing in just his second game of the season after not pitching in the big leagues in over two years.

In his first appearance just 24 hours earlier, Garcia allowed two hits and an unearned run recording just one out before getting pulled from the game.

So it was only fitting that Garcia stunned members of his own team and coaching staff when he breezed through the eighth inning on just 14 pitches with two strikeouts. The no-hitter was just three outs away from fruition and now was in the hands of left-hander Adam Liberatore.

Ordinarily, the final three outs of a Dodgers win with a margin of four runs or less would go to All-Star closer Kenley Jansen, but after pitching in three consecutive games in Arizona, Jansen was down for the opener in Mexico.

So history fell into the hands of a 30-year-old Italian left-hander who never received a scholarship to a D-1 college out of high school. In fact, in his first full season as a collegiate freshman at Tennessee Technological University, Liberatore, allowed 12 runs in 10 innings for a 10.80 ERA.

"I knew what was going on," admitted Liberatore at the postgame press conference. "I didn't want to be the guy that blew it. Tony got through it, Yimi got through it. I just wanted to go out there and give it my all every pitch. I was just trying to give it my best"

Turns out his best was enough as Liberatore struck out 2016 All-Star Game MVP Eric Hosmer before getting Mexico native and the hottest rookie in baseball Christian Villanueva to fly out for the first two outs of the inning.

As the stress and pressure mounted, all that stood in the way from the Dodgers and history was Frenchy Cordero. After balling behind in the count 2-0, Liberatore struck him out swinging to secure his place in history.

"It's a special night for all of us," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

Roberts was tasked with the most difficult decision of the night earlier in the game when he pulled Buehler from his no-hitter after six innings.

No stranger to these stressful choices, Roberts had famously taken the baseball from rookie Ross Stripling in his debut start in San Francisco after 7 and 1/3 no-hit innings and then again later that year when he yanked Rich Hill from a perfect game in Miami.

"I think of the ones between Stripling and Rich Hill, this was the easiest," said Roberts of his decision. "Where he was at with his pitch count, with three innings left, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me."

Buehler is coming off Tommy John surgery in 2015, and is on a front office imposed innings restriction this season. As the Dodgers number one prospect in the farm system, his future is much more important than any other pitcher in the rotation and at 93 pitches, one shy of his career-high, Buehler new the importance of the situation. 

"He told me I was out of pitches and I was out of the game," Buehler said of the discussion after the sixth inning. "That's probably one of the toughest conversations I've ever had. I obviously wanted to keep going, but that's above my pay grade. They made the choice and these guys finished it off. It was pretty cool."

The Dodgers did finish it off and with their 23rd no-hitter in franchise history came their third consecutive win and an opportunity to get back to .500 before returning to Los Angeles after a nightmare road trip that saw the team lose Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager and Hyun-Jin Ryu to significant injuries.

"This is a momentum builder," said Roberts.

Here's hoping so.



Photo Credit: Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Throw Combined No-Hitter Against Padres]]>Fri, 04 May 2018 21:23:36 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/188*120/AP_18125124898209.jpg

How do you say "no-hitter" in Spanish?

Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore all combined for a no-hitter as the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the San Diego Padres, 4-0, on Friday night in Monterrey, Mexico.

In his first ever start against San Diego, Buehler lived up to his billing as he threw six no-hit innings before leaving the game. 

The 23-year-old Kentucky native issued just three walks and eight strikeouts in his six hitless innings.

Buehler (2-0) made just his third career start and has not allowed a run in 15 of the first 16 innings he's pitched.

The Dodgers got on the board in the first inning thanks to some help by the sky above. Matt Kemp hit a shallow pop fly with runners on first and third, and the Padres players were unable to spot the ball in the overcast sky and it landed safely into the outfield grass for an RBI single.

The Dodgers fought off the elements in the top of the second inning as Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez battled through the rain to hit back-to-back home runs against Joey Lucchesi.

Luchchesi (3-2) allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings.

Mexican-American rookie Alex Verdugo hit a line drive single to left field to bring home the fourth run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Tim Locastro and Walker Buehler each recorded their first career MLB hit in the game.

 

The Dodgers made history by throwing the 12th combined no-hitter in MLB history.  

Up Next:

RHP Kenta Maeda will make the start in Monterrey opposite RHP Bryan Mitchell for the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10PM PST. 

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

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Eduardo Verdugo/AP
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<![CDATA[Albert Pujols Gets 3,000th Hit]]>Fri, 04 May 2018 20:52:41 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/PujolsAP_18125130464172.jpg

Albert Pujols has become the 32nd player in major league history to reach 3,000 hits, getting a broken-bat single to right field off Seattle's Mike Leake in the fifth inning to join the exclusive club.

Pujols dumped the single into shallow right field on his sixth attempt to reach the mark after getting to 2,999. He received a standing ovation from the crowd in Seattle and was given the baseball as a memento. His teammates all greeted Pujols on the field before action resume.

Pujols nearly got the mark in the first inning, but his hard liner was right at shortstop Jean Segura. Pujols walked on a 3-2 pitch leading off the fourth inning after fouling off four two-strike pitches.

The 38-year-old Pujols joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez as the fourth player in baseball history with 3,000 hits and 600 homers. He's the first player to reach the mark since Adrian Beltre last year against Baltimore.



Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP
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<![CDATA[Snake Charmers: Dodgers Defeat D-Backs in Series Finale]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 16:24:07 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-954331890.jpg

Snake charmers.

Austin Barnes homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied late to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-2, on Thursday afternoon at Chase Field. 

For the first time in the Dodgers 2018 season, the game was broadcast exclusively on Facebook Watch where fans could live stream the action from their computer or mobile device.

One of the unique features of the Facebook watch platform was live, interactive comments from fans shown on the screen during the broadcast. 

Opinions and hot takes were aplenty as fans were treated to a good ol' fashioned pitcher's duel for the first five innings.

Barnes gave the Dodgers the lead in the top of the second inning with a solo smash off Patrick Corbin.

After striking out Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza Jr., Alex Wood gave up the game-tying hit to opposing pitcher Patrick Corbin with two outs in the bottom of the second. 


That would be the only run that Wood would allow as he scattered four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in five strong innings.

Yimi Garcia took over on the mound in the sixth inning and made his 2018 debut. Garcia had not pitched since April 22, 2016, but things did not go as planned as three of the first four batters reached base, punctuated with an RBI single by Ketel Marte.

Left-hander Edward Paredes replaced Garcia on the mound and helped the Dodgers escape the inning unscathed in his 2018 Dodger debut.

Corbin did not factor in the decision after allowing one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings, lowering his ERA to 2.15 on the season.

The Dodgers broke the game open off the Snakes bullpen in the top of the eighth with four runs scored off Fernando Salas and Jorge De La Rosa.

Cody Bellinger knocked in a run with a bases loaded sacrifice fly and the Dodgers scratched two more across on two wild pitches by De La Rosa.

Ross Stripling and Kenley Jansen pitched scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to earn the series split for the Dodgers. 

Tim Locastro made his first career MLB start in centerfield, and also made his 2018 Dodger deubt. 

Up Next:

Bienvenidos a Mexico! The Los Angeles Doyers travel to Monterrey, Mexico where they will take on the San Diego Padres at the Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey for a three-game series. RHP Walker Buehler is expected to be activated from Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and start on Friday opposite LHP Joey Lucchesi. First pitch is 6:10PM PST. 

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

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Bullpen Bounces Back as Dodgers Defeat D-Backs]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 04:00:01 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-954004804.jpg

Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.

The Dodgers bullpen combined for 7 and 2/3 innings of relief and Los Angeles held on to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

The Dodgers were hoping that starter Hyun-Jin Ryu could go deep into the game after going 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA since April 2nd, but luck was not on L.A.'s side as Ryu left the game in the second inning with a left groin strain. 

"We're taking a scan tomorrow morning, but just by the talk from the training staff it's a pretty good one," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of the strain. "He's had some history with the left groin and we'll know more tomorrow. It's a big loss."

Ryu's early exit put all the impetuts on the Dodgers struggling bullpen, which was ranked worst in the Major Leagues over the last eight games allowing 25 runs in 23 innings with an 8.49 ERA over that span.

Thankfully, the bullpen bounced back, as Pedro Baez took over threw Ryu in the second inning and threw a career-high 42 pitches in 2 and 2/3 innings of relief.

Baez passed the baton along as Daniel Hudson, Tony Cingrani and Josh Fields combined to throw four scoreless innings of relief with All-Star closer Kenley Jansen earning his fourth save of the season.

"They got the MVP for the night," Roberts said of his bullpen. "They've taken a lot of criticism and obviously they haven’t performed. Tonight we had no margin for error against a team playing very well and each one of those guys stepped up. They all rose to the occasion tonight."

The Dodgers got on the board first after a one-out double from rookie Alex Verudgo. Verdugo advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored two batters later on an RBI single by Cody Bellinger.

Verdugo scored both runs for the Dodgers as he doubled again in the eighth inning, promptly stole third base, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Yasmani Grandal.

Verdugo finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.

The Diamondbacks threatened to score late, as they put runners on the corners with one out for red-hot A.J. Pollock in the bottom of the eighth inning. The National League Player of the Month for April hit a hard one-hopper to short, but Kiké Hernandez made a sensational snag to turn a double play and end the inning. 

"That's the play of the year up to this point," Roberts said of the double play. "I count on him [Hernandez] a lot in a lot of capacities and that backhand play off the bat of Pollock was unbelievable. For him [Hernandez] to bail him [Josh Fields] out to get two outs on one pitch. He's a special player, he really is."

The Snakes scored a run in the bottom of the ninth after Jansen walked Daniel Descalso and then allowed an RBI single to John Ryan Murphy before getting Alex Avila to fly out to left field to end the game.

Zack Godley was the hard-luck loser for the Diamondbacks, allowing just one run on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings.

The victory snapped the Dodgers eight-game losing streak against Arizona at Chase Field.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will look to split the series with the first place Diamondbacks when LHP Alex Wood takes the mound against undefeated LHP Patrick Corbin on Thursday at 12:40PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Thursday's Dodgers and D-Backs to be Streamed on Facebook]]>Wed, 02 May 2018 19:09:59 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-953568526.jpg

Time to check your download speed.

Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Thursday's matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks will be broadcast live on Facebook Watch.

The Thursday, May 3, game will only be available to fans in the United States on Facebook Watch via the MLB Live show Page and can be streamed using the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/MLBLiveGames/videos/2077045439249760/.   

Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Orel Hershiser will be in the broadcast booth along with Rich Waltz and former Arizona Diamondback outfielder Eric Byrnes. Spectrum SportsNetLA's Alanna Rizzo will be the in-game reporter.

The live stream is part of a deal between the MLB and Facebook to stream 25 different games for the 2018 season. The plan is to deliver a unique social-first broadcast experience unlike any other.

In addition to the game, the broadcast will feature elements optimized for a one-of-a-kind social interaction experience. Both companies recommend streaming the game from mobile devices.

On the field, the Dodgers will look to salvage their series against the first place Diamondbacks when they send LHP Alex Wood to the mound opposite the undefeated LHP Patrick Corbin for Arizona.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:40PM PST.



Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Snakes and Ladders: D-Backs Rally Late to Beat Dodgers]]>Tue, 01 May 2018 22:25:32 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-953586282.jpg

Snakes and ladders.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were just nine outs away from breaking out of their recent slump…then the bullpen happened.

Adam Liberatore couldn't handle the lead that Clayton Kershaw gave him and the Dodgers dropped their eighth consecutive game at Chase Field, 4-3, to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in Arizona. 

Kershaw gave the Dodgers everything he had, leaving with the lead after allowing just two runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six strong innings.

"He worked hard tonight," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Kershaw. "We have to find a way to pick him up. The pen in the last 9-10 days, it's been rough. It's been a slump. We have to find a way to get out of it."

The three-time Cy Young Award winner bounced back from a bad performance in his last outing against the Marlins, but as we've seen throughout the first month of the season, the Dodgers simply continue to find ways to lose.

"I would have liked to go deeper into the game obviously," said Kershaw. "When it's not going well it's going to take a lot to get a win. Especially against a team like that. We just have to keep going."

Arizona jumped out to an early lead thanks to the red-hot bat of A.J. Pollock. The 30-year-old outfielder hit his NL-leading 10th home run of the season, and his fourth in the last two days as he sent Kershaw deep on an 89MPH slider in the second inning.

"I probably shouldn't have thrown a bad slider to him," said Kershaw of the Pollock home run.

Pollock moved into a tie with the Yankees Didi Gregorius, the Angels Mike Trout, and the Mariners Mitch Haniger for the most home runs in the Major Leagues.

"There are stretches you go through you see the ball well and there are stretches that you don't," said Pollock. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now. I don't know. Some days it just works." 

The Dodgers took the lead on a two-run bomb from Cody Bellinger in the top of the third inning.

Bellinger's 435-foot blast was the second longest home run hit by a Dodger this season.

L.A. would tack on an insurance run in the top of the fourth before Christian Walker unloaded on a Kershaw slider that landed in the upper-deck to cut the lead down to one.

The 478-foot home run was just Walker's second hit of the season.

Kershaw left with the lead after the sixth, but Liberatore allowed back-to-back singles to start the seventh before Daniel Descalso hit a two-run triple to give the Diamondbacks the lead.

Descalso continues to be a thorn in the Dodgers side as he finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI. 

Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger shut the door on the Boys in Blue from there as the right-handed closer earned his 10th save of the season.

Arizona improved to 17-0 when leading the game going into the seventh inning or later and are the only team in baseball yet to blow a save this season.

The Dodgers are 1-7 against the Diamondbacks this season and have a lost a franchise record eight straight at Chase Field.

Up Next: 

The Dodgers will send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound on Wednesday against RHP Zack Godley for the Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Corey Seager Through the Years]]>Tue, 01 May 2018 18:49:10 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Seager+at+20+years+old.pngA look back at the Los Angeles Dodgers two-time All-Star and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year, Corey Seager, after the team announced he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LAFC Condemns Anti-Gay Chant Heard During Home Opener]]>Tue, 01 May 2018 07:44:51 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAFC+home+opener.jpg

The Los Angeles Football Club has condemned an anti-gay chant that marred the team's victory in its first-ever home game. 

In a joint statement issued Monday, LAFC President and Owner Tom Penn and 3252 Independent Supporters Union President Josef Zacher, said the "p*to" chant directed at Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei during LAFC's 1-0 win was "wrong and not what we are about."


The chant, shouted whenever an opposing goalkeeper takes a goal kick, is a staple of Mexican national team games and now threatens to make its way to LAFC.

While fans contend that the chant is meant simply as a taunt, the word "p*to" has been widely condemned as an anti-gay slur. FIFA has imposed fines on the Mexican Football Federation, and the federation in 2016 launched a campaign against the chant, but those efforts have largely been ineffective. 

At Sunday's game against Seattle, MLS Commissioner Don Garber signaled that the chant could become a problem should LAFC fans continue to embrace it. "We are not just concerned about it; it defies everything we stand for," he said at halftime.

Though Garber was reticent about revealing potential consequences to the team should the chant continue, saying only, "Let's just stop it, and then if we can't stop it we'll figure it out," LAFC was more forceful in its statement.

Neither the club nor the supporters' group "support or condone the use of offensive language and inappropriate chants," the statement said. "Any fans identified as participating in this offensive chanting will be removed from the stadium and the Club will revoke their season membership."

Whether the statement and threats of removal from the stadium will serve to eradicate the chant from LAFC home games will be put to the test Saturday when the team takes on FC Dallas at the Banc of California Stadium.



Photo Credit: Rudy Chinchilla]]>
<![CDATA[When it Rains it Pours: Dodgers Lose to D-Backs]]>Mon, 30 Apr 2018 22:54:50 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-953250682.jpg

When it rains, it pours.

On a devastating day of bad news, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-5, on Monday night at Chase Field.

It was definitely a case of the Monday blues for the Boys in Blue as the day began with the catastrophic news that two-time All-Star and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year winner, Corey Seager, would miss the rest of the season and undergo Tommy John surgery.

"Tough news today and tough to play after that," said reigning Rookie of the Year winner Cody Bellinger. "We're going to be 100 percent fine. We have an unreal group of guys in here that can take the place of Seager. Obviously that's tough, and the D-Backs are hot right now, but we're going to be fine. We need to play with a chip on our shoulder until we get our guys back."

Seager joins a long list of Dodgers on the disabled list as the season seemingly continues to sink further and further away from the regining NL pennant winners.

It snowballed on Monday in the desert as the Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers for the 12th time in their last 13 games.

A.J. Pollock provided most of the pop for the Snakes, hitting a trifecta of home runs, and Nick Ahmed added a 438-foot moonshot as the Dodgers dropped their sixth game in their last seven played.

Reliever Ross Stripling (0-1) made a spot start for Los Angeles, surrendering four runs on eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts in four short innings.

"I thought that he had good stuff," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters about Stripling. "The homer to Pollock obviously hurt. He just made a couple mistakes. There were a couple times he didn't execute pitches and they slugged him."

Pollock started the scoring off Stripling with a solo shot in the second.

Two innings later, Ahmed hammered an 86MPH slider off Stripling to the deepest part of the park, as the Diamondbacks took a 4-0 lead.

Ahmed was a triple shy of the cycle, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.

"The screws came loose there in the second," Stripling said of his start. "They took advantage of the mistakes and made me hurt. It obviously didn't go the way I drew it up."

Brock Stewart made his 2018 debut when he took over on the mound for the fifth, but he didn't fair much better, as he served up another home run to Pollock to start the inning.

Pollock wasn't finished as he hit his third home run of the game, a massive 455-foot shot in the bottom of the eighth off Josh Fields.


"This guy is swinging the bat really well," Roberts said of Pollock. "When you make mistakes out over the plate, he's going to do damage."

The Dodgers got off the mat and started to chip away at the lead, as they scratched two runs across in the top of the sixth thanks to an RBI single for Yasmani Grandal and a triple for Joc Pederson.

Former Dodger Zack Greinke (3-2) was responsible for the two runs, but he left with the lead, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts against his former team.

Max Muncy hit his second home run of the season in the top of the seventh off Yoshihisa Hirano to cut the lead to 5-3.

Arizona would extend the lead in the seventh and eighth innings off the Dodgers bullpen as they improved to a perfect 12-0 when they score at least five runs this season and have yet to blow a save on the year.

"You're trying to keep the game close and keep these guys at bay and you see our offense try and chip away," said Roberts about the bullpen coughing up three runs in a 5-3 game. "We wanted to throw up some zeroes to keep the game close. We'll start doing that."

The Diamondbacks have won a record seven consecutive games against the Dodgers at Chase Field.

Up Next: 

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers opposite RHP Matt Koch for the Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Corey Seager is Out for Season for Tommy John Surgery]]>Mon, 30 Apr 2018 19:05:55 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-952573278.jpg

Two-time All-Star shortstop and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Corey Seager will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the remainder of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers tweeted.

The team recalled Breyvic Valera from Triple-A Oklahoma City and Seager has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right UCL sprain.

Seager was dealing with the issue throughout the course of the 2017 season. He declined to undergo surgery after the conclusion of the World Series, but instead opted for rest to rehab the injury.

Seager said that Monday's MRI revealed the UCL sprain and that surgery would be the "only option." 

"This obviously sucks," Seager said of the season-ending surgery.

A similar MRI last season was not as damaging and surgery was not discussed as an option at that time. For that reason. Seager did not seek any alternative treatments. 

This is a devastating blow to the reigning NL penant winners. The Dodgers are currently 12-15 and in fourth place in the NL West.

"It's a big blow," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "Obviously you lose one of your best players for the rest of the season, it's a big blow. We'll just have to have other guys step, but we can do it."

Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez are two of those guys that are expected to step up in Seager's absence. Taylor came up as a shortstop and started 14 games at the position last season. 

Hernandez played 22 games at the position, including this season. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[LAFC Earns Last-Minute Winner in Home Opener]]>Mon, 30 Apr 2018 09:45:42 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/IMG_59671.JPG

The anticipation built up for more than a month into the Major League soccer season, but the Los Angeles Football Club finally made its debut in front of its hometown crowd, beating the Seattle Sounders 1-0 at the Banc of California Stadium. 

The dominant chant from the supporters' group at the start of the game was "Defend LA," and it was very apropos as Seattle continually carved open the Los Angeles defense.

LAFC dominated possession early, but "early" was the key word, with Seattle asserting a foothold in the game after the 2 minute mark. An early cross by Nicolas Lodeiro that ended with a deflected shot and a corner set the template for what would be the go-to strategy by the Sounders: attack from the left and hurt Bob Bradley's men with crosses. 

That almost paid off in the 8th minute, when LA 'keeper Tyler Miller failed to clear a cross far enough and Alex Roldan got a shot off. Thankfully for Miller, that ball was cleared off the line.

Time and time again, Seattle attacked that left side as Steven Beitashour was continually left exposed by a formation that on paper resembled a 4-3-3 but often morphed into a 2-5-3 as Beitashour on the right and Jordan Harvey on the left stayed higher up the pitch.

Fellow defender Omar Gaber was somewhat surprisingly tasked with playing as a right winger, and though he did provide attacking impetus, he ironically failed to provide defensive cover for Beitashour.

In the 13th minute, center back Laurent Ciman carelessly gave the ball away, which again led to a cross from the left, this time from Alex Roldan. Ciman, however, was spared the ignominy of being responsible for the first away goal at the Banc of California Stadium as the cross evaded defenders and attackers alike. 

Miller was forced into a fine save in the 41st minute, diving low to his right as Lodeiro poked at a low cross.

The sides went off scoreless at the half, but it was clear Seattle had the better chances.

In the second half, however, LAFC were quick out of the gates. 

Diego Rossi played Marco Ureña through in the 48th minute, but Stefan Frei did well to cut the angle and make the one-on-one save.

Two minutes later LAFC were on the front foot once again as Benny Feilhaber's shot from 25 yards out went just wide of the upright. 

Bradley's men looked much more composed as the manager took off Gaber and replaced him with Latif Blessing, and that composure led to more and more chances. 

In the 78th minute, Frei got a hand to a deflected cross, but the ball fell right into the path of Walker Zimmerman. Zimmerman, however, could only rue his missed chance at the go-ahead goal as he nodded over the bar. 

Los Angeles continued their dominance in the second half, but it seemed like the game would end in an anticlimactic, scoreless draw. 

However, that was not to be, and the 22,000 fans in attendance exploded into cheers when Ciman fired home a free kick from 30 yards out, albeit with a lot of help from Frei, who couldn't get his body behind the ball and saw it bounce off his arm and into the back of the net.

"I saw the positioning of the players and felt I had to go for it," Ciman said of the free kick. "I realized the goalkeeper made a mistake, but at the end of the day I had to try to go to goal and that's what I did.

The Takeaways:


Defense Left Exposed

The starting lineup for LAFC was a head scratching one. As said before, what was on paper a 4-3-3 often became a near-suicidal 2-5-3 with Beitashour and Harvey staying high. It's one thing to use your fullbacks to attack, but when both are high up the pitch, the central midfielder should be dropping back to cover the center backs.

That's not at all what happened, though, with Feilhaber and Mark-Anthony Kaye leaving Ciman and Zimmerman exposed time and time again. Not only that, but LAFC's wide players, barring Gaber, hardly threatened in attack, leaving Seattle to eat up the wings for the entirety of the first half.


"P*to" Not Welcome

The Los Angeles Football Club has done a fine job in tapping into the Mexican-American soccer fans of the city. However, one thing the club will want to eradicate, and quickly, is the dreaded "p*to" chant that home fans sling at opposing goalkeepers on goal kicks.

The chant has become infamous in both Mexican league soccer and for the Mexican national team. While fans contend that the word is harmless, others point out that it is often used as a derogatory word for homosexuals. 

The Mexican national team has been fined in the past for fans' use of the word, but that has by and large not served as a deterrent.

Now it could emerge as a problem for LAFC.

"It shouldn't happen, and it'll stop," MLS Commissioner Don Garber told the press at halftime. "We are not just concerned about it; it defies everything we stand for."

But when asked what consequences could befall the team should the chanting continue, Garber was more coy. "Let's just stop it, and then if we can't stop it we'll figure it out," he said.

 

A Win is a Win is a Win

Coach Bradley acknowledged after the game the fact that Seattle was the better team, at least in the first half. 

"We had some stretches in the first half where I thought we started to get going, but overall the first half wasn't as sharp," Bradley said.

Were it not for some profligate finishing from the Sounders and some timely interventions from eventual game-winner Ciman, LAFC players and fans might have gone home crestfallen at a loss.

The history books, however, won't remember what might have happened. Instead, they'll remember that LAFC entered its brand new stadium, played to a crowd of 22,000, and came out on top in what was a historic game for the team.

"The feeling inside that stadium today was incredible. It's nice to not have to inaugurate this new stadium and those fans with a 0-0," Bradley said.



Photo Credit: Rudy Chinchilla
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<![CDATA[Blach is Brilliant, Bellinger Benched]]>Sun, 29 Apr 2018 17:50:26 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-952833824.jpg

Escape from San Francisco. 

Evan Longoria hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Ty Blach made the early lead stand up, pitching the San Francisco Giants past the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Sunday.

Buster Posey doubled and scored twice and Brandon Belt added an RBI double as the Giants took three of four in the series. San Francisco is 6-4 against the Dodgers this season.

If Blach played exclusively against the Dodgers for the remainder of the season, he would be a unanimous winner for the Cy Young Award. 

Blach has faced the Dodgers three times this season, going 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA. Comparatively, he has a 6.27 ERA with an 0-3 record against all other teams in baseball. 

Blach allowed two runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in six solid innings, lowering his career ERA against the Dodgers to 1.63 in seven starts against them.

Sam Dyson and Tony Watson retired three batters each. Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Longoria just missed an extra-base hit down the left field line before driving an off-speed pitch from Kenta Maeda (2-2) into the stands in left-center for his sixth home run.

Posey, who doubled and scored on Longoria's home run, drew a two-out walk in the third and scored on Belt's double. Over his last 14 games, Belt is hitting .375 (18 for 48) with 11 RBIs.

Cody Bellinger had two hits for the Dodgers but was pulled from the game in the sixth inning for not hustling on a stand-up double hit to "Triple's Alley."

UP NEXT

The Dodgers will travel to Arizona where they will face the red-hot Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday. Brock Stewart is expected to start against former Dodger Zack Greinke. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40PM PST. 



Photo Credit: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Chargers Derwin James Gets the L.A. Experience]]>Sun, 29 Apr 2018 06:13:30 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Derwin_James_Interview_NBC_1200x675_1221814339872.jpg

The Los Angeles Chargers first round pick Derwin James finally arrived in Los Angeles Friday morning at the team’s facility.

James had a million dollar smile, with a billion dollar work ethic intact, hoping the season started tomorrow. When James entered the Chargers facility before he spoke a word to the media, his presence was felt vigorously, which is a sure sign of an alpha player with strong leadership qualities.

The proud 6’3", 215 pound safety raised his jersey with pride along side head coach Anthony Lynn, GM Tom Telesco, and President Of Football Operations John Spanos.

“It’s a dream come true. I’m just excited to be here,” James said. “This is just the first step to starting my career.”

It was an interesting 12-hour turnaround for the rookie, as his life changed forever with the one phone call from Telesco at No. 17 in the 2018 NFL Draft.

“I got some sleep on the plane, but that was about it for me right now,” James said smiling.

The versatility that James displayed at Florida State will transfer masterfully into Gus Bradley’s defense. He joins a secondary with Casey Hayward, Jahleel Addai, Trevor Williams, and Desmond King. Bradley, who coached the Legion of Boom in Seattle, believes James has landed in an outstanding situation to begin his pro career.

“I’ve heard a lot of great things about him [Bradley]. He got to coach Jalen Ramsey, who’s a close friend of mine, and I feel like I fit in the system very well. I’m ready to come in and contribute to the team right away,” James said.

James’ athleticism is off the charts, his wingspan could be compared to that of an NBA player, and the fact he ran track and averaged a double-double in basketball while in high school, only adds the depth of talent this young safety possesses.

Although he was noted to be a top-10 pick in the draft, James is excited to play for the Chargers, and they expect him to play with a chip on his shoulder this season. As if he needed any more motivation, the product of Haines City and Auburndale High School in Florida never forgot his roots and is constantly reminded of how blessed and fortunate he is to play on Sundays in the NFL.

James enjoyed the L.A. experience on Friday, and made his rounds from Venice Beach, to LA Live, meeting Snoop Dogg, and dining at the LA Central Market in Downtown L.A.

However, there will be no bigger experience then when he takes the field for the first time at StubHub Center in front of thousands of Charger fans.

]]>
<![CDATA[Los Angeles Chargers 1st Round Draft Pick Derwin James Interview ]]>Sun, 29 Apr 2018 06:01:33 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Derwin_James_Interview_NBC_1200x675_1221814339872.jpg

Nick Hamilton interviews Los Angeles Chargers first round draft pick Derwin James from Florida State University at Grand Central Market in Los Angeles.]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Lose 2nd Game of Doubleheader to Giants]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:36:40 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-952573354.jpg

A tale of two games. 

After a blowout victory in game one, the Los Angeles Dodgers bowed out in game two, losing to the San Francisco Giants, 8-3, on Saturday night at AT&T Park. 


Coery Seager started the game with a two-run home run off Johnny Cueto, but the bats went quiet after that. 

After allowing three hits to start the game, Cueto (3-0), did not allow a single hit over the next five innings, surrendering two runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings.

Cueto has won his last three starts and posts an ERA of 0.84 on the season.

After scoring 15 runs on 20 hits in the first game, the Dodgers offense was a lot more calm by comparison in the nightcap, scoring just three runs on five hits in the second game.

Alex Wood breezed through the first four innings before he ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fifth.

"Through four innings he was outstanding," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "That fifth inning was a big blow. He have us six innings and four runs and still competed." 

Wood surrendered three straight singles before Austin Jackson cleared the bases with a three-run double and the Giants led 3-2.

"I wish I had that one back," said Wood. "I had a few balls fall in the fifth. I made one bad pitch to Austin. That was a tough one for sure."

Wood (0-3) is still winless on the season, allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in six innings. 

Jackson's double was the first hit allowed with the bases loaded by a Dodger pitcher this season in 22 plate appearances. 

San Francisco batted around off Dodgers pitcher Daniel Hudson in the seventh. Evan Longoria and Kelby Tomlinson each drove in two runs in the game.

"After the seventh inning the game got out of hand," said Roberts. 

Up Next:

The finale of the four-game series is on Sunday as RHP Kenta Maeda takes on LHP Ty Blach at 2:05PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[LA Chargers Wrap Up 2018 NFL Draft, Make Seven Picks]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 22:00:48 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/LA-Chargers-2018-NFL-Draft.jpg

The Los Angeles Chargers concluded the 2018 NFL Draft Saturday with four final picks.

The four men selected Saturday to wear Chargers jerseys were West Virginia safety Kyzir White, drafted in the fourth round; UCLA offensive lineman Scott Quessenberry, drafted in the fifth round; Texas Tech wide receiver Dylan Cantrell, drafted in the sixth round; and Northwestern running back Justin Jackson, drafted in the seventh round.

They'll be joining others chosen in earlier rounds of this year's NFL Draft. Previous picks were: Florida State's Derwin James, drafted in the first round; Uchenna Nwosu, drafted in the second round; and Justin Jones, drafted in the third round.

Immediately following the draft, Chargers officials also announced that they've agreed to terms with 21 undrafted free agents: Alabama's Tony Brown; Georgia State's B.J. Clay; Oklahoma State's Zachary Crabtree; William & Mary's Chris Durant; Clemson's Marcus Edmond; Virginia Tech's Brandon Facyson; Colorado State's Zack Golditch; Eastern Washington's Albert Havili; Houston's D'Juan Hines; TCU's Cole Hunt; Arkansas's Bijhon Jackson; Kansas's Ben Johnson; West Georgia's JJ Jones; Nicholls State's Tevin Lawson; Albany's Anthony Manzo-Lewis; Western Carolina's Detrez Newsome; Minnesota's Steven Richardson; Grambling State's Trent Scott; McNeese State's Kent Shelby; Texas Tech's Nic Shimonek; and Texas A&M's Shane Tripucka.

The team's newest members may get some action as the team opens its 2018 regular season playing host to the Kansas City Chiefs Sept. 9 at StubHub Center in Carson.

The remainder of the seven-game schedule at StubHub Center consists of games against the San Francisco 49ers (Sept. 30), Oakland Raiders (Oct. 7), Denver Broncos (Nov. 18), Arizona Cardinals (Nov. 25), Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 9) and Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 22 or 23).

The Chargers will play the Tennessee Titans in London on Oct. 21 in what is considered a home game.

The Chargers eight road games will be against the Buffalo Bills (Sept. 16), Los Angeles Rams (Sept. 23), Cleveland Browns (Oct. 14), Seattle Seahawks (Nov. 4), Oakland (Nov. 11), Pittsburgh Steelers (Dec. 2), Kansas City (Dec. 13) and Denver (Dec. 30).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rams Focus on Depth as 2018 NFL Draft Concludes]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 19:33:32 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/LA-Rams-2018-NFL-Draft.jpg

The Los Angeles Rams made one pick through the first two days of the NFL draft.

They made 10 picks on Day 3, continuing their active offseason by making five trades Saturday, including sending wide receiver Tavon Austin to Dallas.

The Rams used those picks to address immediate needs at linebacker and improve their depth on the offensive and defensive lines for the future.

"We did think if we could turn a lot of the fourth-, fifth-, sixth-round picks into more picks, we'd have a chance to get fits and fill some roles or get players with traits to have a chance to fill some of those roles," general manager Les Snead said.

The Rams have made 11 trades since the league year started on March 14, and that doesn't include the deal with Buffalo for wide receiver Sammy Watkins in August that included their second-round pick.

All of the Rams' picks came from other teams, either through trades or as compensatory selections. Their only choice the first two days was offensive lineman Joe Noteboom of TCU in the third round Friday.

But the Rams ended up using one of their own choices, re-acquiring the fifth-round pick they sent to Denver for cornerback Aqib Talib in March. Getting the 160th overall pick back for two sixth-round picks, the Rams took Oklahoma outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.

Virginia inside linebacker Micah Kiser was also selected in the fifth, with Louisville edge rusher Trevon Young chosen in the sixth. TCU's Travin Howard, a safety turned linebacker, and SMU defensive end Justin Lawler went in the seventh.

Ogbonnia, Young and Lawler will try to replace Robert Quinn, who was traded to Miami in March, and unsigned free agent Connor Barwin. Kiser will compete to replace Alec Ogletree, who was dealt to the Giants in March. Howard can provide added depth at inside linebacker.

The Rams also addressed both lines of scrimmage. After taking Horned Frogs tackle Joseph Noteboom in the third on Friday, the Rams added Michigan State center Brian Allen in the fourth and Maine offensive lineman Jamil Demby in the sixth.

Stephen F. Austin defensive end John Franklin, a fourth-round pick, and Rutgers nose tackle Sebastian Joseph, a sixth-round pick, will get to learn from the likes of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.

Tennessee running back John Kelly was the only skill player the Rams took, selected in the sixth.

"Going into year two, you could be a little bit more strategic with some of the needs because collectively as a coaching staff and with our personnel staff we have a much better idea of how our players that have been here fit," coach Sean McVay said.

Here are some other things to know about the Rams' busy draft:

MOVING ON: The Rams sent Austin to Dallas for a sixth-round draft pick five years after selecting him with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft. Austin never developed into more than a gadget player under former head coach Jeff Fisher, and served as a change-of-pace running back last season under McVay after a wrist injury sidelined him for organized team activities and training camp.

SENIOR SIGNIFICANCE: Noteboom, Kiser, Okoronkwo and Demby participated in the Senior Bowl. Snead said it was a coincidence after six of their eight draft picks in 2017 played in Senior Bowl, but added that the talent level at the event was especially beneficial for a smaller-school player like Demby.

KAMARA 2.0? Todd Gurley established himself as the premier three down back in football with 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns last season, but Kelly could lighten the workload for the NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Stepping in for New Orleans rookie sensation Alvin Kamara, Kelly had 37 receptions for 299 yards with the Volunteers last season after catching six passes for 51 yards in 2016.

"I definitely wanted to be able to incorporate the route-running and pass-catching in my game because I know it translates to the league," Kelly said on a conference call. "I was just blessed to have a guy like Alvin that was able to show me how to perfect my craft on that."

STILL NEED: The additions of Kiser and Howard give the Rams more options at inside linebacker, but Mark Barron is the only proven starter there. It wouldn't be a surprise if they add a veteran capable of calling plays and getting everyone lined up. Increased depth and competition at safety could be an aim with undrafted free agents.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Hit The Bricks in Blowout Win Over Giants ]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 17:09:22 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-952507496.jpg

The Dodgers players could have a career in masonry.

Los Angeles had nine extra-base hits including a home run by Chris Taylor as the Dodgers routed the rival Giants, 15-6, in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. 

Four different Dodgers had at least three hits in the game as the Dodgers players pelted the brick wall in right field all day long.

Chase Utley finished 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI and Chris Taylor went 3-for-6 with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored.

Cody Bellinger also recorded three hits, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored and Joc Pederson recorded his first four-hit game of his career, going 4-for-5 with 4 RBI as he fell a home run shy of the cycle.

Walker Buehler earned his first MLB win as a starting pitcher as he allowed just two runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in five innings.

The Kentucky native made his second career start after making his 2018 debut in a no-decision against the Marlins on Monday. 


The Giants got home runs from Alen Hanson and Nick Hundley in the lopsided loss.

In his first start since the birth of his second child, San Francisco starter Chris Stratton struggled, allowing six runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts in just 1 and 1/3 innings. 

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval pitched the ninth and retired the side in order on just 11 pitches. 


The Dodgers scored a season-high 15 runs and recorded a season-high 20 hits in the game. They also set a franchise record with 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Hopefully, they saved some of that offense for the second game later tonight.

Running Through a Brick Wall

Yasiel Puig left the game with a sore left hip after crashing into the wall in right field.

 

Up Next: 

LHP Alex Wood will start game two against Johnny Cueto in just a couple hours. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM PST.

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

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Giants vs. Dodgers: The Faces of the Rivalry]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 13:45:23 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SFLA10THUMB.jpgIt's no secret that one of the largest and longest standing rivalry in American baseball is between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The rivalry between the teams are so intense that it results in multiple violent incidents between fans. But some fans actually get along! Take a look at some of the Giants and Dodgers fans at the AT&T Park on Friday:]]>
<![CDATA[Baez Gives Giants Win Over Dodgers on Awkward Balk]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 23:20:17 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-952267394.jpg

Sigh.

Pedro Baez fell off the mound and was called for a balk as the Los Angeles Dodgers gifted the San Francisco Giants a 6-4 win on Friday night at AT&T Park. 

The game was decided on a pair of four-run innings for both teams.

The Dodgers erased a two-run deficit when they batted around for four runs in the fourth inning, and the Giants also rallied from a two-run deficit when they scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh.

After an RBI single by Gorkys Hernandez and an RBI double for Kelby Tomlinson, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went to the bullpen to bring in the right-hander Baez with runners on second and third in the bottom of the seventh.

"Tony just didn't have it tonight," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of relief pitcher Tony Cingrani who gave up the tying runs. "I took him out of the game for Petey [Baez]."

Baez made one pitch to Joe Panik before he fell off the mound, dropping the ball on his way and was called for a balk by home plate umpire Adrian Johnson.

The balk allowed the go-ahead run to score and the Giants tacked on an insurance run two pitches later on a sacrifice fly for Panik.

"It's a balk because it didn't go past the foul line," said Roberts of the odd play that saw Baez fall down. "As he tried to make his pitch he tripped and because the ball stayed in fair play it was considered a balk."

The Giants got solo home runs from Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford in the second inning.

Longoria broke out of a slump when he crushed an 81 MPH changeup from Hyun-Jin Ryu for his fifth home run of the season. 

A few batters later, Crawford clobbered a 75MPH curveball to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.

Ryu left with the lead in the sixth inning, allowing just two runs on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

"The two homers I gave up today all came off a misplaced curveball," said Ryu through a translator. "They were both mistakes. They did a good job capitalizing."

In his last four starts, Ryu has a 1.49 ERA with 32 strikeouts and just four walks.

Ryu helped his own cause with a two-run double in the fourth inning that gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Los Angeles also got RBI doubles from Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig in the inning. 

San Francisco starter Derek Holland did not factor in the decision, allowing four runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 3 and 1/3 innings. 

That's My Quad 

Matt Kemp scored on the Grandal double in the fourth inning, but left the game with left quad tightness. 

Birthday Boy

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager celebrated his 24th birthday and entered the game in the 8th inning and got a pinch-hit. 

Up Next:

The Dodgers will play a doubleheader on Saturday as RHP Walker Buehler will start game one at 1:05PM PST and LHP Alex Wood will start game two against Johnny Cueto at 7:05PM PST. 


If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Rams Draft OT Joe Noteboom in 3rd Round of NFL Draft]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 02:57:06 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/173*120/GettyImages-620354022.jpg

Welcome to Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Rams were the last team in the NFL to make a selection in the 2018 NFL Draft when they selected OT Joseph Noteboom with the 89th pick overall on Friday.

After multiple trades in the offseason, the Rams first pick was in the third round at No. 87, but minutes before they were to select, they traded that pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for the No. 89 pick and another sixth round pick (217).


After watching two linebackers come off the board in front of them—a position of need for the team—the Rams opted for depth on the offensive line as they drafted Noteboom from Texas Christian University.

Noteboom hails from Plano, Texas and is a lean, athletic and intelligent player. He is a three-time All-Academic Big 12 selection and more than anything is one of the most durable players in the NFL Draft.

"Played left tackle for the last two years, started 40 straight games," said Rams general manager Les Snead when asked what he liked about Noteboo. "At the end of the day, you got a chance to get a young offensive lineman, add depth, learn from the starters that we have and develop him to become a future player for us.”

Noteboom did not miss a single game in his four-year collegiate career and helped protect the blind side of quarterback Kenny Hill for the last two seasons.

The TCU standout is 6'5" and weighs a whopping 309 pounds. Despite his size, the Rams believe there's room for Noteboom to put on even more weight and muscle this offseason and could become the eventual starter at left tackle after Andrew Whitworth retires.

Noteboom will have a lot of work to do this season as he backs up the All-Pro Whitworth, but he couldn't have landed in a better situation to learn from one of the best as he prepares for life in Los Angeles.

"That’s a perfect guy to learn from, a Pro Bowler like you said, a veteran," Noteboom said of Whitworth. "I’m excited. I’m going to take in everything he’s telling me."

The Rams will have three fourth round picks on Saturday and now five sixth round picks. They should be very active as they look for linebackers and more depth on the offensive line on the final day of the draft.



Photo Credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Darnold and the Jets]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 15:44:54 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_ROSEN_DRAFTED_042918_1200x675_1220984387863.jpg

Start Spreading the news, Sam Darnold is going to New York. How will he fit with the Jets? Will he start right away? Fred Roggin lays those questions our for FOX Sports Radio’s Mark Willard and Mike Critelli, winner of The Choice. Originally aired on Going Roggin, April 28, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Baker Mayfield, LaVar Ball and Frank McCourt]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 15:44:39 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/rapid-baker-roggin.PNG

What do these three have in common? They’re on many people’s most hated lists in the sports world. They’re also fair game for Rapid Fire. Mark Willard of FOX Sports Radio and the winner of The Choice, Mike Critelli, join Fred Roggin. Originally aired on Going Roggin, April 28, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Rosen Out for Revenge]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 15:45:07 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_ROSEN_DRAFTED_042618_1200x675_1220980291983.jpg

Josh Rosen says he’s pissed that nine teams passed him over before the Cardinals moved up to pick him tenth in the Draft. Is he poised to bust out in a big way or will he simply be a bust? Fred Roggin is joined by FOX Sports Radio’s Mark Willard and Mike Critelli, winner of The Choice. Originally aired on Going Roggin, April 28, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Gondolas at Dodger Stadium?]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 22:27:44 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_DIGITAL_SHORT_DODGER_GONDOLA_1200x675_1220267587806.jpg

A new city-backed proposal wants to help reduce traffic at Dodger Stadium by flying gondolas from Union Station to Chavez Ravine. Wait 'til you hear who's behind this big idea.]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Draft FSU Safety Derwin James]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 19:31:48 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-841993194.jpg

The Los Angeles Chargers selected safety Derwin James from Florida State with the No. 17 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

James was widely considered a top 10 talent and was easily the best available player on the board when he fell into the Chargers lap at No. 17. 

At 6'2", 215 pounds, James is an athletic freak with an enormous wing span, breackneck speed and incredible leaping ability. 

General Manager Tom Telesco earlier in the week assigned scouts and coaches to study the teams roster to see what holes needed to be filled in this years draft. 

“We’ll go through different scenarios of where guys would go and what we would do because draft day, you can’t have those discussions. It’s hard enough making decisions with the clock ticking down in front of you,” Telesco said. “You can’t have those long discussions at this point. You have to have that decided. There will be certain trigger points in a round depending on who is there where we might start talking about trading up or trading back or stand pat.”

James was also eyed heavily by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley throughout the process. He could be used in a number of capacities to attack offenses in the league. He's extremely versatile, athletic, that provides a significant boost to that secondary. 

As a true safety his athleticism will shine. Bradley could also put him down into the box and his size will prove him worthy. Despite his left knee meniscus and wound up playing in only two games in 2016 season. While at Florida State, he had 186 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks in just 26 games. The Bolts got a steal with James who literally fell in their laps, as he was projected to be a top 10 pick. 

In James, not only do the Chargers get a leader, but a disciplined player in the film room and displays the ability to learn quickly. 



Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Trade up to Draft Josh Rosen]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 18:36:10 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*128/GettyImages-878771616.jpg

The "Chosen One" is headed to the desert.

Former UCLA quarterback Josh "Chosen" Rosen was drafted at No. 10 by the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday during the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Cardinals originally were slated to select at No. 15 overall, but they traded a third round and a fifth round pick to the Oakland Raiders in order to trade up and draft the former Bruin. 

Rosen became the fourth quarterback taken in the NFL Draft after Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield was taken No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns, USC Trojans QB Sam Darnold was taken No. 3 by the New York Jets, and Wyoming's Josh Allen was selected No. 7 overall by the Buffalo Bills.

It was the first time in NFL history in the common draft era that four quarterbacks were selected in the top 10 overall picks.

NFL Network's Mike Maycock correctly predicted in his mock draft that the Cardinals would trade up to get Rosen and believes that Rosen is the most NFL ready quarterback in the entire draft. 

"He's the most ready to play quarterback in this draft," Maycock said. "Beautiful, natural thrower. The only thing is he needs to understand when the play is over. At the end of the day, he's a difference maker. He can wake up at 4AM and go out and rip an 18-yard comeback. When he has clear feet and clear vision, nobody does it any better."

Rosen rewrote the record books in his three years in Westwood as he broke the single-season passing yards record (3,756), throwing for a total of 9,340 yards with 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. 

Former USC quarterback Carson Palmer retired after the 2017 season and the Cardinals signed free agent quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Sam Bradford in the offseason. Despite Rosen being NFL ready, he might have to wait behind both quarterbacks on the depth chart in 2018.

No word yet on if Rosen will get a hot tub when he moves to Phoenix.

List of NFL Draft Picks for 2018 (so far):

Browns - Baker Mayfield, quarterback from Oklahoma

Giants - Saquon Barkley, running back from Penn State

Jets - Sam Darnold, quarterback from USC

Browns - Denzel Ward, cornerback from Ohio State

Broncos – Bradley Chubb from North Carolina State

Colts – Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame

Bills (via trade) – Josh Allen – from Wyoming

Bears – Roquan Smith from Georgia.

49ers – Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame

Cardinals (via trade) – Josh Rosen from UCLA

Dolphins – Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama

Bucs (via trade) – Vita Vea from Washington

Redskins - Da'Ron Payne from Alabama

more to come...



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[USC's Quarterback Darnold Drafted to New York Jets]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 17:53:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-951595298.jpg

USC's quarterback Sam Darnold was tapped for the New York Jets as No. 3 pick for the NFL Draft Thursday. 

The overall pick for the Cleveland Browns was quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

Darnold is the highest drafted USC player since Reggie Bush in 2006, USC tweeted after the announcement left Trojan fans rejoicing.

The Giants picked second Thursday night after the Cleveland Browns, snatching up Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. 

Analyst and former NFL general manager Phil Savage says the Giants were in the "catbird seat" and can go in many directions, but he encouraged them to consider Barkley. Looks like they heeded that advice. 

Southern California was still eagerly awaiting to see where UCLA's Josh Rosen would be drafted. 

List of NFL Draft Picks for 2018:

Browns - Baker Mayfield, quarterback from Oklahoma

Giants - Saquon Barkley, running back from Penn State

Jets - Sam Darnold, quarterback from USC

Browns - Denzel Ward, cornerback from Ohio State



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Marlins Defeat Kershaw For First Series Win of Season]]>Wed, 25 Apr 2018 21:19:31 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/GettyImages-951293902.jpg

Clayton Kershaw got beat by a substitute teacher.

Rookie Trevor Richards threw five scoreless innings and the Miami Marlins won their first series of the season, defeating the Dodgers, 8-6, on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Three months ago, Richards was working as a substitute teacher in his hometown of Aviston, IL, where he would wake up at 4:00AM every morning just in case the phone rang that a teacher was out sick.

"In the offseason that was my job teaching at schools," said Richards. "It was a pretty small school. Kindergarten through 8th grade. They were wild, I'm sure they were rooting for the Marlins today."

Richards was a non-roster invitee to spring training in February and impressed the front office enough to make the 40-man roster out of camp.

After a wild first week for the Fish saw them play 45 innings over the span of four games, the Marlins called up Richards to make his Major League debut against the Boston Red Sox on April 2nd

Before his move to the big leagues, Richards spent two years pitching in the Frontier League (Independent League), and before that had never pitched higher than Double-A.


Richards ascension hit its apex on Wednesday as he outpitched three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP, Clayton Kershaw, helping the Marlins win their first series of the 2018 season.

"It was cool. I tried to stay in the moment and enjoy it as I can," said Richards of his outing. "Its probably easier said than done, but you get used to it. Its more focusing on your job and what you have to do that day."

Richards allowed just one hit (to Kershaw) in the game, striking out a career-high 10 batters with three walks in 4 and 2/3 innings shutout innings. He was just one out away from earning his first career Major League win.

"A lot of fastball and changeups. I tried to keep the ball down," said Richards. "I wouldn't say it was a 'dream outing' I would have liked to go 7 innings, but it was a good step forward."

Kershaw (1-4) struggled again, allowing three runs on five hits with a career-high six walks and seven strikeouts in just five innings.

"First inning I felt good with everything," said Kershaw. "But I didn't really feel that great after that."

Kershaw flirted with fire all night, loading the bases in the second and fourth innings before escaping without any damage.

"I just wasn't very good," said Kershaw candidly. "A lot of guys on base. I almost skated out of it, but I probably should have given up more than that. It wasn't good for sure."

The seven-time All-Star finally got burnt in the top of the fifth when he allowed a three-run homer to former Dodger Miguel Rojas.

"Getting three runs with one swing of the bat was nice," said Richards of Rojas' home run. "I can for sure go in and attack the zone the next inning."

One inning later, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto hit his second home run in as many games as he took rookie Daniel Hudson deep to give the Fish a 4-0 lead.

The Dodgers scratched one across in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Joc Pederson, but the rally was stymied when Realmuto homered again in the top of the 8th. 

Realmuto has four home runs on the season, three of them coming in the last two days. On the season, the catcher is batting .400 with four home runs and eight RBI.

"He was special tonight," said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. "I'm glad he talked me into playing. We let him roll and obviously he's really good."

Matt Kemp cut the lead in half with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, but it was too little too late for Los Angeles. 

The Marlins tacked on two more in the ninth off of Kenley Jansen but the Dodgers got them back thanks to a two-run home run by Yasmani Grandal.


Happy Anniversary 

One year ago today, the Dodgers called up Cody Bellinger. Bellinger has hit 42 home runs over that span, was named an All-Star and the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 2017.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Thursday before traveling to San Francisco for a four-game series with the rival Giants. Friday's starters are expected to be a matchup of left-handers as Hyun-Jin Ryu faces Derek Holland. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Balk Lets Marlins Off the Hook ]]>Tue, 24 Apr 2018 23:15:59 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-950921442.jpg

The balk heard round the world.

Tony Cingani was called for a controversial balk in the top of the eighth and the Miami Marlins came from behind to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.


The Dodgers entered the eighth inning leading 2-1, but after a broken-bat single for Derek Dietrich, Dodgers relief pitcher Tony Cingrani was called for a balk on a throw over to first base.

Replay showed that Cingrani stepped towards the bag, not home plate, but the call stood. Two batters later, Starlin Castro doubled down the left field line and the game was tied. As the ball came back to the mound, Cingrani stared towards first base umpire Joe West.

"He's the best. He knows what he's doing out there, yeah sure. Joe West just knows what he's doing," said Cingrani sarcastically when asked what he said to the veteran umpire. "It's not a balk, but he called it a balk, so it's a balk. Obviously that's a balk if he called it a balk. It's like a ball being called a strike and a strike being called a ball. It is what it is."

West had some choice words for why he made the call after the game:

"There’s nothing I can do about it," said West after the game. "Nobody’s looking to call a balk there, f&^%, if it doesn’t jump out at you. That’s why I called it. You saw how fast I f%$#ing called it. You hate that you have to do it, but you can’t let them cheat."

Cingrani was frustrated at the call, especially since that is the left-hander's normal pickoff move. A play he's made thousands of times over the years but has never been called a balk before. Cingrani admitted he would be in favor of replay review for balks.

"I think everything should be reviewed," he said. "If we have the cameras, then I think anything should be reviewable if there's a rule in place." 

An inning later, the Marlins scored the winning run off Pedro Baez after a leadoff single by Brian Anderson and an RBI double by Cameron Maybin.

Baez was warming up in the eighth inning and ready to enter, but the ninth inning of a tie game at home is normally reserved for the team's closer, in this case, All-Star Kenley Jansen. 

"That was my decision," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "I wanted to get Petey [Pedro Baez] through that part of the order and get Kenley for a different part of the order. That's on me. It didn't work out and I take full responsibility for it."

Double-Double 

The Dodgers got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning after back-to-back doubles by Matt Kemp and Austin Barnes.

The Marlins tied the game in the top of the third thanks to a solo shot from catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Chase Utley drew a bases loaded walk that scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Kenta Maeda did not factor in the decision, despite a strong performance. The Japanese right-hander allowed one run on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.

"Kenta really did a nice job," said Roberts. "He really did well. He gave us a chance to win and unfortunately we couldn't take advantage of his start."

Dillon Peters had his best start of the season, allowing just one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 and 1/3 innings. He also did not factor in the decision.

The Dodgers five-game winning streak over the Marlins was snapped.

Up Next:

The finale of the three-game series with Miami and the six-game homestand concludes with RHP Trevor Richards squaring off with Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is at 4:35PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Game-Worn John Wooden Jersey is Going Up for Auction]]>Wed, 25 Apr 2018 06:21:14 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/john+wooden+auction+thumbnail.jpg

Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions, HA.com/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Walker Buehler Wows in First MLB Start]]>Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:09:42 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-950493326.jpg

Auston Matthews. LeBron James. The Beastie Boys.

These are just some of the best debut performances in history and now you can add a new name to that list:

Walker Buehler.

The Dodgers No. 1 rookie prospect pitched five scoreless innings and the Los Angeles hung on to defeat the Miami Marlins, 2-1, on Monday night for their third consecutive win. 

Buehler was recalled prior to the game from Triple-A Oklahoma City where he was 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA with 16 strikeouts in three starts for the minor league club.

The Kentucky native lived up to the hype, allowing just four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five shutout innings.

"Being able to throw the first pitch of the game is nice," said Buehler of his start. "I felt a little bit calmer than normal. I felt good."

Buehler left with the lead, but did not factor in the decision after the Marlins tied the game late. 

"In a situation like this it'd be great to go and dominate," said Buehler of his start. "But to put up zeroes and come out of this game unscatched is the biggest thing."

Enrique Hernandez provided the offensive punch for the Dodgers with a solo shot off Jarlin Garcia in the bottom of the fourth.

"In the top of the fourth I saw we didn't have any hits," Hernandez said. "We were aware he [Garcia] had only given up one hit in his last two starts. I saw he didn't have many pitches thrown so I wanted to see as many pitches as I can. I got deep in the count, got two strikes, and then he threw a fastball in. With two strikes, you're not looking fastball in so you just react to it. That's what I did."

At the time, the home run was the Dodgers first hit and run of the game off Garcia.

"He was hitting corners,"said Hernandez who had a season-high three hits. "He wasn't throwing anything over the fat part of the plate. All of his strikes were on the black. He had us trapped. He was establishing that fastball inside and he was locking us up. He did a good job tonight. There's a reason why he has that ERA.

Garcia was equally as good as Buehler, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six strong innings.

"He's been pretty good every time," said Marlins' manager Don Mattingly. "He's faced some tough lineups. Jarlin has been impressive for us."

Garcia has 1.00 ERA in five games (three starts) for the Fish this season.

Hernandez not only carried a big stick, but he flashed the leather as well in a rare start at shortstop.

"I take a lot of pride in my defense," said Hernandez of the plays. "I have a lot of fun playing up the middle in the infield. Those are probably my two favorite positions. If the ball gets near me, I expect to make a play. I made two good plays. The first one was a sliding play, but it was routine. The second one, don't ask me how I made it. I have no idea. I just threw it. I didn't even know where I threw it. I just heard the crowd."

Buehler was five outs away from his first Major League win as a starter, but the Marlins scratched a run across against J.T. Chargois in the top of the 8th.

Chargois hit Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto to start the inning, and then an error on a forceout by Austin Barnes allowed him to advance to second. Two pitches later, Brian Anderson singled up the middle to tie the game at 1-1.

Chris Taylor led off the 8th inning with a double down the left field line and scored three batters later on a sacrifice fly from Cody Bellinger to recapture the lead.

Josh Fields entered the game in the ninth for his first save of the season. Kenley Jansen was not available after pitching on Saturday and Sunday.

The Dodgers have defeated the Fish five straight times dating back to last season, their longest winning streak against the Marlins since 2006.

Up Next:

LHP Dillon Peters is projected to start on Tuesday against RHP Kenta Maeda for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Walker Buehler Discover Your Dodgers (Full Interview)]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:46:40 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Walker_Buehler_DYD_Full__1200x675_1217226307949.jpg

NBC LA Sports reporter Michael J. Duarte interviews Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler about his little league strikeout record, playing in the College World Series, and his goals for the upcoming season.]]>
<![CDATA[Walker Buehler Discover Your Dodgers Fun Questions]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:43:54 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Walker_Buehler_Short_1200x675_1217035843777.jpg

NBC LA Sports reporter Michael J. Duarte interviews Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler about a hot brown sandwich, his love of Skrillex, and who his celebrity crush is.]]>
<![CDATA[Grandal Extends Streak in Dodgers Comeback Win]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 21:19:05 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/169*120/GettyImages-950146268.jpg

Los Angeles is the comeback capital of the United States.

The Dodgers rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat the Washington Nationals, 4-3, on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but recorded three doubles to tie the game.


Chris Taylor, Yasmani Grandal and Cody Bellinger all doubled in the frame to cap off the comeback.

Corey Seager added an RBI sacrifice fly that scored Austin Barnes to give the Dodgers the lead, 4-3, in the bottom of the 7th inning. 

"It's starting to get rolling again," Seager said of the team. "We're kind of clicking on all cylinders. Pitching is good and we're scratching across just enough runs to win games. That's all you can ask for I guess."

Sunday marked the first come-from-behind victory for the Dodgers all season. 

"We're playing our kind of baseball," said Barnes of the comeback. "We have to remember what the recipe for us is: grinding through at-bats and being aggressive." 

Michael A. Taylor homered for the Nationals in the top of the fourth as Washington added runs on sacrifice flies in the first and sixth.

Alex Wood will have to wait another week for his first victory as the former All-Star allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in six innings.

Jeremy Hellickson had a one-hitter entering the sixth inning, but left without a decision after allowing three runs in the sixth inning.

"Hellickson was good," said shorstop Corey Seager. "He kept us off-balance. We were able to grind a few runs off him and get him out of the game. That's when the momentum swung."


Hellickson surrendered three runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 and 1/3 innings of work.

Grandal's double in the three-run sixth inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. 

Kenley Jansen put the first two runners on base, but escaped the ninth to earn his third save of the season.

"I was really pissed off and angry," Jansen said of the two leadoff singles. "All this just motivates me to keep working hard to get where I want to be. You have to be patient. Once I find that rhythm look out."

The Dodgers have won six of their last seven gaes since April 15th.

Just Win, Baby

The Dodgers and the Nationals are the two most winning franchises since 2012. Over that span, the Dodgers have won 568 games with Washington winning 566.


Up Next:

The number one prospect in the Dodgers farm system, Walker Buehler, is expected to be called up on Monday to make his first career MLB start against the Miami Marlins LHP Jarlim Garcia. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: John McCoy/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Where Will Josh Rosen Get Drafted?]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:40:03 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_ROSEN_042218_1200x675_1216783427783.jpg

If Sam Darnold goes to Cleveland, who will draft UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen? There may be concerns about his off-the-field antics, but KFI’s Shannon Farren argues that shouldn’t be a factor for NFL scouts, and AM 570 LA Sports’ Kevin Figgers tells Mario Solis that Rosen will be a top five pick. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 22, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Will Darnold Go #1?]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:36:23 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_DARNOLD_042218_1200x675_1216783427778.jpg

All the buzz this offseason has been around the two So-Cal quarterbacks, but the question still lingers: Who will go first? Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold? AM 570 LA Sports’ Kevin Figgers says Darnold should go first overall but KFI’s Shannon Farren tells Mario Solis that Cleveland's poor history could impact the former USC quarterback. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 22, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Rapid Fire: The Chargers Will Have a Better Season than the Rams]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:33:47 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_RAPID_FIRE_042218_1200x675_1216788035520.jpg

After the entire NFL schedules were released Thursday, AM570 LA Sports’ Kevin Figgers and Chargers Radio Sideline Reporter Shannon Farren predict the Rams and Chargers’ records. And they tell Mario Solis the likelihood of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard joining the Lakers next season. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 22, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Mariachis Will Serenade Fans at 'Viva Los Dodgers' Festival]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 07:33:49 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-868790292.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers will conduct their first Viva Los Dodgers family friendly festival of the 2018 season before Sunday's game against the Washington Nationals with coach Manny Mota signing autographs.

The platinum-selling mariachi band Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, the first mariachi ensemble to be nominated for a Grammy, and Ballet Folklorico LA will perform.

Viva Los Dodgers will begin at 3 p.m. at Dodger Stadium's 76 station. Admission is free with a game ticket. All Dodger fans are welcome.

Representatives of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and City Plants will be at Viva Los Dodgers to sign up Los Angeles residents for free home delivery of shade trees, which protect buildings from the sun, making it easier for air conditioning systems to cool homes and reduces energy consumption.

City Plants is a public-private partnership involving the city of Los Angeles, nonprofit organizations, community groups, residents and businesses which provides free trees to Los Angeles residents and plants street trees in the city.

Viva Los Dodgers takes place on the last Sunday home game in April through August. Viva Los Dodgers culminates with La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers on Sept. 22.

Former U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Roger Mont will be honored as the Military Hero of the Game.

Mont joined the Marine Corps in 2003 and was honorably discharged in 2012.

Mont served as a logistics operator and Marine Corps martial arts instructor. He was deployed three times to Iraq and twice to Afghnistan. He also served in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand.

Mont was awarded the Purple Heart, five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Korean Defense Service Medal and various joint and unit awards.

The first 12,000 children age 14 and under at Sunday's game will receive a Junior Dodgers bat bag.



Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ryu Keeps on Rolling in Shutout of Nationals]]>Sat, 21 Apr 2018 21:39:26 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*124/GettyImages-949795608.jpg

Excellence in flight.

The tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles sits directly in the backdrop of Dodger Stadium.

The Wilshire Grand Center stands as a beacon, as the 1,100-foot tower looms large over Los Angeles.

Atop the 73-story building is the logo for Korean Air. Illuminating the city like a light saber to all who see it, a sweeping reminder of how much Korean immigrants and descendants have shaped the City of Angels.

One of those immigrants is Hyun-Jin Ryu. 

Ryu threw seven scoreless innings as he outdueled Stephen Strasburg in the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 shutout of the Washington Nationals on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

"It was definitely an intriguing matchup to go against a guy like Strasburg," Ryu said through a translator. "He's one of the best righties in the league. It definitely helped me focus more. I wanted to do well."

Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez and Cody Bellinger each homered to provide all the offense for the boys in blue. 

Ryu (3-0) was remarkable against the reining National League East Champions as he allowed just two hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in seven shutout innings.

The 31-year-old Korean left-hander completed his third straight strong start, surrendering just two runs on six hits with 25 strikeouts in 19 innings.

"Compared to my first game, my command has been better," said Ryu through a translator of why he's been so lights out in his last three starts compared to his struggled in his first start. "It's because of that reason I've been good."

Pederson got the party started with a birthday bash in the bottom of the second inning off Strasburg.

"Maybe it should be my birthday more often," joked Pederson. "I think there's good energy on your birthday and you're in a good mood. Everything is flowing. The crowd was into it, that's for sure."

Entering the game, Pederson was batting below .200 on the season, but he has now recorded a hit in four consecutive Big League starts on his birthday.

Hernandez pinch-hit for Ryu in the bottom of the seventh inning and provided a much-needed insurance run for Los Angeles.

Hernandez hit his third career pinch-hit home run when he crushed a 96MPH fastball from Strasburg into the pavilion seats in left field.

Strasburg (2-2) allowed two runs (both homers) on five hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings.

It was Strasburg's 36th career game with 10 or more strikeouts and his first this season.

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth in a non-save situation as the Nationals were shutout for the first time this season.

Bobblehead Boy

Cody Bellinger conjured up memories of Manny Ramirez on April 1, 2010 when he famously hit a grand slam on his bubblehead night into "Mannywood."

"Obviously, it's nice to hit one but to do it on your bobblehead day is a little special," said Bellinger. "It was a great day for us as a team and hopefully we keep it going."

Bellinger blasted his third home run of the season when he sent a two-run shot into the right field pavilion to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

Up Next:

Sunday's game will be nationally televised on ESPN as RHP Jeremy Hellickson starts against LHP Alex Wood who is in search of his first win of the season. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 5:08PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scherzer Outduels Kershaw ]]>Fri, 20 Apr 2018 23:02:01 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/Kershaw_Scherzer.png

It was a one-sided duel.

Max Scherzer out-pitched Clayton Kershaw in the battle of three-time Cy Young Award winners as the Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-2, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.


Entering the game, there was high expectations for the pitching matchup as it was the first time two pitchers each with three Cy Young Awards had faced each other since Roger Clemons and Greg Maddux squared off at Wrigley Field on July 19, 2006.

Additionally, it was the first regular season matchup between Scherzer and Kershaw—who have combined to win five out of the last seven Cy Young Awards—since Sept. 7, 2008.

"You don't measure yourself against the worst; you measure yourself against the best.' I've always thought that," Scherzer said of the matchup with Kershaw. "He brings it every single time. He goes out there and competes as well as anybody."

Kershaw got lit up out of the gate as he allowed two doubles and a single to three of the first four batters he faced as the Nationals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

Kershaw settled in as the next 11 batters rolled on by like an assembly line, before he ran into trouble again in the top of the 5th inning.

Michael A. Taylor led off with a double down the left field line and two batters later, Scherzer singled him to third base. Suddenly, with runners at the corners and one out, Turner laid down a squeeze bunt that scored Taylor and turned into an RBI single for the speedy shortstop.

"That was just a good bunt," said Dodgers' first baseman Cody Bellinger. "We [Kershaw] and I were both going after it so we could go home, but Chase [Utley] was off of first base. It was just a good bunt."

Scherzer had only allowed two hits to Chris Taylor entering the 6th inning, but the Dodgers would prove not to be a bunch of one-hit wonders as they rallied for a run off Scherzer thanks to a two-out RBI single by Yasiel Puig.

Taylor reached base safely in four of his five plate appearances on the night and finished the game going 2-for-3 with a double, triple, and two walks. 

Kershaw (1-3) took the loss, surrendering four runs on nine hits with no walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.

"Two [runs] is tough, usually you feel like you can come back from two, but those tack on runs late you can't have," said Kershaw. "Max [Scherzer] limited the damage better than I did."

Kershaw's nine-game winning streak against the Nationals was snapped.

Scherzer (4-1) out-pitched Kershaw, allowing just one run on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts in six strong innings for the Nationals.

"His fastball is dominant," Kershaw said of his counterpart. "It's the separator for him. Obviously he is great off-speed stuff, but the carry and movement he has on that fastball is just really hard to hit. It's just a really good fastball."

The back-to-back N.L. Cy Young Award winner looks poised to make a run for his third consecutive trophy as he has a 1.36 ERA so far this season, while limiting opposing hitters to a .155 average.

Up Next:

Another pitching duel is on display for Saturday as RHP Stephen Strasburg takes on the red-hot LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu at 6:10PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: John McCoy/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Food Specials Against Nationals]]>Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:26:01 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-868790292.jpg

If you're heading out to the ballpark this weekend, you might want to try out some of these new weekend food specials at Dodger Stadium for the Dodgers and Washington Nationals series.

These specials are sure to bring out the foodie in all of us and can be found on the Field Section 48, Loge Section 113 and Reserve Section 4.


DC Half Smoked Sausage Dog

This Washington D.C. inspired hot dog features pork and beef smoked sausage topped with chili con carne, diced onions and yellow mustard.

Pastrami Fries

These golden crispy French fries are topped with thinly sliced pastrami and a homemade brown gravy sauce.

Chorizo Torta

Is a hot dog a sandwich, a taco, or something else? This might finally put the argument to rest as this Mexican inspired sandwich features a chorizo sausague, split in half with ranchero bean spread, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, queso fresco and smoked jalapeno aioli.


Dodgers Insider contributed to this story.



Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Yasiel Puig Pledges to Renovate Park in San Fernando]]>Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:53:49 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/puig+park+04202018.jpg

Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig is once again bolstering his reputation as a fan favorite, this time by announcing a partnership that will see him help renovate a children's park in the city of San Fernando.

Dozens of excited kids and fans greeted Puig as he and city officials announced a partnership with Puig's Wild Horse Children's Foundation to renovate Pioneer Park. The renovation will see an upgraded baseball field and playground equipment, in addition to a space devoted to hosting nutrition workshops.

As an added bonus, Puig has pledged $1,000 toward the project for every homer he hits through the rest of the regular season.

"God gave me the chance to have a lot of things that I have today," Puig told the crowd. "That's why I want to give the community and you this chance to have these fields that I didn't have in Cuba."

The partnership, Puig said, is only the beginning of his dream to build baseball fields for kids around Los Angeles. He also emphasized, however, that money won't go just toward just baseball fields. Instead, all sorts of playground equipment will be upgraded, from soccer fields to basketball courts to even tennis courts.

For the San Fernando community, a building at the park will also be converted into "Puig's House," a healthy snack bar which the city said will include cooking and nutrition workshops and will distribute free meals to local kids and their families.

"I am humbled by his generosity and compassion to help our children," San Fernando Mayor Sylvia Ballin said in a statement.

In addition, the playground will be updated to meet accessibility requirements for children with disabilities, and volunteers from Cal State Northridge will lead on-site physical and mental health programs for kids and their families.

Adults will also be able to take advantage of financial literacy, English learning, citizenship and life coaching programs.

"Adults have to keep helping kids reach their dreams because kids are the hope for the future," Puig said.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Muncy Hits First Homer as Dodgers Sweep San Diego]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:17:34 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-948378056.jpg

The Max Muncy Game.

Max Muncy hit a two-run homer in his first start as a Dodger, and Los Angeles completed the three-game sweep of San Diego, 13-4, on Wednesday night at Petco Park.

"It's always nice to get the first of anything out of the way whether its a hit or home run or even a play in the field," said Muncy of his home run. "It kinda gets the butterflies out of your stomach and the jitters gone so it's nice to get it out of the way."

Muncy was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, where he was batting .313 with seven runs, two doubles, two home runs and six RBI in the minors. 

After a hit in his first appearance with the Dodgers as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday night, Muncy made the most of his opportunity with the big league club when he started at third base on Wednesday.

Muncy finished 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored as the 27-year-old Texas native helped the Dodgers complete their first sweep of the season.

Ironically, L.A.'s last sweep was also against the Padres, September 25-27, 2017.

Muncy punctuated a five-run third inning for the boys in blue when he jumped all over a first pitch fastball from Luis Perdomo for his first home run as a Dodger.

Muncy also flashed the leather with his glove, making multiple highlight worthy plays at the hot corner including this web gem in the bottom of the seventh inning:

"I take a lot of pride in my defense," said Muncy. "I was honestly scared the ball was going to hit the bag on that play. It kind of just popped up on me and from there I blacked out. I don't even know what happened."

Kenta Maeda (2-1) got the win, allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings. It's the second time he's had 10+ strikeouts in a game this season.

Corey Seager went 4-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored.

"I felt better this series," said Seager. "For whatever reason I got a little more comfortable and put more consistent swings on balls. It's been contagious."

Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal continued their hot-hitting against their former team as they combined for four hits on Wednesday.

Kemp finished the series 5-for-9 for an average of .556 with two homers, three runs and six RBI. 

Grandal is batting. 353 on the season and has an eight-game hitting streak.

San Diego stuck out 45 times during the three-game series, the most strikeouts combined in a three-game series in MLB history since 1913. 

The Dodgers scored 30 runs in the series, the most at Petco Park in any series (three or four games) in LA franchise history.

Every position player in the starting lineup had a hit as the Dodgers won a season-high four straight games.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Thursday before hosting Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals for a three-game series starting on Friday. RHP and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will start for Washington opposite another three-time Cy Young Award winner in Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LAFC Unveils $350 Million Banc of California Stadium]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 06:45:11 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lafc+ribbon+cutting.JPG

The Los Angeles Football Club officially unveiled its brand new, $350 million, 22,000 seat stadium at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

The ribbon-cutting marks part of a years-long effort to bring a second soccer team to Los Angeles, one that initially went up in smoke after Chivas USA, the offshoot of Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara, folded after an unsuccessful few years in Major League Soccer.

To be sure, Chivas USA was done no favors by sharing a stadium with Los Angeles Galaxy, the league's most successful club. Yet the organization had also tried to capitalize on the city's large contingent of Mexican-Americans and still failed, its home games toward the end looking almost barren at times.

To many, the question became, "Can a second soccer team survive in Los Angeles?" It might seem ridiculous to think that it could not, given the number of kids who play the sport throughout the city and the love for the game by members of the large immigrant communities, but then again that's probably what the Chivas USA ownership group thought, too, in 2005.

No, the strategy had to be different on take two.

LAFC and its star-studded owners - including former Lakers player and current President of Basketball Operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson, actor Will Ferrell, former Unites States Women's National Team player Mia Hamm Hamm-Garciaparra, and others - set their sights near the heart of downtown LA and away from Carson, where the hopes for a second LA soccer club had previously died.

"The grow of all this has been driven by the vision and passion of our ownership group, and this very, very large ownership group that we have here in Los Angeles that believe that we can be a league for a new America, for a country that's very young, it's very diverse, it's very global and fits perfectly to the character of what soccer can be and what it is going to be in the years to come," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said at Wednesday's ribbon-cutting.

That ownership group revealed the results of years of planning at Wednesday's ceremony, but - though it did not reference the team directly - it also made clear that the failures of Chivas USA cannot be repeated.

This group has privately fronted the $350 million needed for its stadium and has extended its outreach not just to fans but to city leaders and residents.

"It might be the only stadium in America that right across the street is affordable housing," Johnson said about the Banc of California Stadium. "That's truly a true blessing because that means everybody gets to participate."

Mayor Eric Garcetti was also in attendance at Wednesday's ceremony. "What is the brand of this club?" Garcetti rhetorically asked those in attendance. "There is no mascot. This is Los Angeles. We are Los Angeles," he said.

And that's exactly the fervor which the fans seem to be embracing.


Before anyone had even taken the stage, supporters crowded together, waving flags and chanting. "Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la, LAFC" they shouted.

When coach Bob Bradley took the stage, they led a call-and-response. "Bob the builder," they sang to the tune of the old children's cartoon. "Yes we can," he shouted back.

Certainly the owners will hope that Bradley and his men "can" on the pitch.

They've shown it in flashes in this nascent 2018 season.

The won their debut and thrashed Real Salt Lake 5-1 in their second game, but then they blew a three-goal lead and fell 4-3 at the hands of the Galaxy in the clubs' first-ever "El Trafico" hometown derby of the season.

The next week they were humbled at the hands of Atlanta United, losing 5-0 before bouncing back against Vancouver.

Their record now reads three wins and two losses, but the season is long and forwards Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi and Marco Ureña have already shown an uncanny ability to combine with one another.

Will that translate into a successful maiden season for the club? And if you build it, will they come? It's too early to tell, but the expectation is certainly there, and Johnson has already thrown down the gauntlet.

"Just like we were able to turn the Lakers around into a championship team, we're gonna do the same thing with this great soccer team, LAFC," Johnson said. "We will be champions one day."



Photo Credit: Rudy Chinchilla/KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Kemp and Grandal Do It Again For Dodgers]]>Wed, 18 Apr 2018 06:01:34 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-947949280.jpg

Oops, they did it again.

Matt Kemp hit a home run and Yasmani Grandal smacked the go-ahead, two-run double in the top of the 12th inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, 7-3, in extra innings on Tuesday night.

The Dodgers were on the precipice of their season-high third consecutive win in the bottom of the ninth inning when Kenley Jansen blew his second save of the season.

He allowed Eric Hosmer's towering leadoff home run to center, his second, before center fielder Chris Taylor robbed Christian Villanueva of a homer for the second out. Jansen then walked Franchy Cordero, who stole second and took third on Jansen's balk.

Pinch-hitter Chase Headley, who came in hitting just .038, doubled to right on a 3-2 pitch to tie it. Headley clapped his hands and pumped his fists after sliding into the bag. Jansen struck out pinch-hitter Austin Hedges to send it into extras.

Hosmer had struck out in each of his previous three at-bats.

Up until the ninth inning, Kemp was responsible for the entirety of the Dodgers offense as he knocked the first three runs of the game. 

Kemp got the scoring started in the bottom of the first when he crushed a curveball from Bryan Mitchell into the seats in right-center for a two-run home run, his second straight game in San Diego with a home run.


Grandal, who hit a grand slam in a 10-3 victory Monday night, doubled into the left-field corner off Tyler Webb (0-1), who was called up earlier in the day from Triple-A El Paso. Corey Seager was aboard on a leadoff single and Enrique Hernandez on a walk. Kyle Farmer added a two-run double off Kazuhisa Makita with two outs.

Dodgers starter Alex Wood almost got out of the sixth but was undone by his throwing error. He allowed a leadoff double to Carlos Asuaje and walked pinch-hitter Matt Szczur. Jose Pirela made the first out when he was hit by his dribbler in front of the plate. Freddy Galvis hit a comebacker to Wood, who tried to start a double play but threw wide of second base for an error that allowed Asuaje to score. Manager Dave Roberts brought on Tony Cingrani to strike out Hosmer and then summoned J.T. Chargois to strike out Renfroe.

Up Next: 

The finale of the three-game series at Petco Park concludes with RHP Kenta Maeda facing RHP Luis Perdomo at 7:10PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vegas Sweeps the L.A. Kings 4-0 ]]>Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:41:59 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*124/GettyImages-947962018.jpg

The Sin City Sweep.

Former King Brayden McNabb scored in the second period, and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 1-0, in Game 4 to sweep the Western Conference First Round at Staples Center on Tuesday night.

The Golden Knights became the first NHL team in history to win their first four playoff games, and the first team in all of professional sports to sweep a first round playoff series in its inaugural season.

"You guys remind us or tell us about those records, but it's not something that we talk about or shoot for," Golden Knights' goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury said after the win. "All season long, I didn't know any records about expansion teams. We just do what we do. We just play the game and try to win. That's it."

Last summer, the Kings offered McNabb, Dustin Brown, and Marian Gaborik in the NHL Expansion Draft, but the Golden Knights selected the 27-year-old defenseman over the older offensive veterans with expensive contracts.

Ironically, it ended up being the one piece that the Kings didn't want that ended their season on Tuesday night.

McNabb sniped a shot from distance on a one-timer pass from Reilly Smith 4:04 into the second period that gave the Golden Knights the 1-0 lead.

McNabb became the seventh different player on Vegas to score throughout the first round series.

"It feels great," said McNabb of the game-winning goal. "I'm not a huge offensive guy, so to chip in with a goal feels great. We played well defensively and everyone bought into their role. It was fun."

Marc-Andre Fleury was easily the best player of the series, and he showed that again in Game 4, stopping 31 saves for his second shutout of the series. 

"He played really well," Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said of Fleury. "You have to give them credit, they played a hard series. It's a lot of disappointment in this room, but we can't forget how this feels."

Fleury passed Dominik Hasek for 11th place on the NHL's all-time list with 66 career playoff wins. 

The Kings out shot the Golden Knights 31-to-21 in the game, but their offense looked stale and stagnant all series long. To make matters worse, the Kings were 1-for-13 on the power play in the series.

Jonathan Quick made 20 saves in the loss and only allowed seven goals over the course of the four-game series. The problem was his offense only scored three goals over that span. 

"Obviously, you can't win a series scoring three goals total," said Kings' captain Anze Kopitar. "For sure, we have to give him [Marc-Andre Fleury] credit. I thought he was playing really well. We also had some chances that we didn't score on, so you know, we just didn't score enough goals."

The Kings were looking to become the first team in NHL history to overcome an 0-3 deficit since their 2014 team did it in the first round against the San Jose Sharks.

Up Next:

Another disappointing season has come to an end for the Los Angeles Kings. Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights advance to the second round of the NHL Playoffs where they will play the winner of the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE" at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[US Gymnast Jordyn Wieber Sues Team, Nassar Over Sexual Abuse]]>Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:55:39 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Jordyn+Wieber2.jpg

Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Jordyn Wieber sued Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and others Tuesday over alleged sexual abuse by team physician Larry Nassar.

Wieber's Los Angeles Superior Court complaint makes her one of more than 260 people suing the MSU, USAG and others, accusing them of failing to prevent Nassar's abuse of women and girls.

"The organizations that were responsible for caring for the plaintiff, and the individuals within those organizations who the plaintiff trusted to keep her safe, knew or should have known that Nassar was molesting athletes but turned a blind eye to these warnings ...," the suit alleges.

The USAG "made a corporate decision to purge or otherwise destroy all medical records of victims of Nassar, including those medical records of Jordyn Wieber, in order to further conceal the sexual abuse of Nassar," the suit alleges.

In a prepared statement, Wieber said the lack of accountability from MSU and USAG has made her and other victims feel "shameful, confused, and disappointed."

"My teammates and I were subjected to Larry Nassar every single month at the national team training center in Texas," she said. "He was the only male allowed to be present in the athlete dorm rooms to do whatever he wanted. He was allowed to treat us in hotel rooms alone and without any supervision.

"Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of. Nobody was even concerned whether or not we were being sexually abused. I was not protected. My teammates were not protected. My parents trusted USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar to take care of me and we were betrayed by both."

MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said the university is committed to coming to a resolution for the survivors.

"We are deeply sorry for abuse the survivors suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar and are working to make sure that something like this can never happen again," she said. "Improvements to our reporting practices, sexual assault investigations and employee training procedures are all under way. In addition, we're working to add more counseling and therapist staff positions and to reduce the response times for complaints."

Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan state courts. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges and 300 years in prison on the state charges.

USA Gymnastics officials have condemned Nassar's actions and insisted that the organization "has and will continue to take specific and concrete steps to promote athlete safety and prevent future abuse by adopting and vigorously enforcing the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy, which requires mandatory reporting, defines six types of misconduct, sets standards to prohibit grooming behavior and prevent inappropriate interaction and establishes greater accountability."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[F.C. Barcelona, A.C. Milan and Man United Coming to Rose Bowl]]>Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:28:40 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Alexis-Sanchez-Manchester-United.jpg

Every summer, Europe's top soccer clubs take long flights across the Atlantic Ocean to build their brands and also give fans in the United States a close look at the top players on the planet.

On Tuesday, Relevant Media announced the 2018 International Champions Cup dates and matchups, with the Rose Bowl hosting four of the most recognizable teams on the planet.

On July 25, A.C. Milan and Manchester United meet in Pasadena with two of Europe's elite clubs hoping to fill up the 90,000-plus capacaity Rose Bowl. Three days later, F.C. Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur meet at the same venue.

Other matches in California include A.S. Roma taking on Tottenham Hotspur at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego on July 25 and A.C. Milan facing F.C. Barcelona on Aug. 4.

Of course, 2018 doesn't provide the same level of star appeal as most summers because of the World Cup in Russia, which concludes on July 15 in Moscow. Traditionally, players go on vacation following the summer tournament, so they often skip preseason in World Cup years or join at the tail-end of the exhibition season.

Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Suarez, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Andres Iniesta and Andre Silva are only some of the star names that should be expected to sit out the summer friendlies due to post World Cup holidays.

However, Alexis Sanchez for Manchester United and Gianluigi Donnarumma for A.C. Milan should both be present and participating, as both Chile and Italy missed out on the 2018 World Cup in Russia.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside LAFC's New Training Facility]]>Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:03:56 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lafc+training+facility+performance+center+thumbnail.jpgThe Los Angeles Football Club recently opened its $30 million training facility at Cal State LA.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Football Club]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Defeat Padres Thanks to Former Padres]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:58:25 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-947258820.jpg

San Diego saw the error of their ways.

Two former Padres, Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal both homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated San Diego, 10-3, on Monday night at Petco Park.

Ironically, Kemp and Grandal were traded for eachother back in 2014 and both former Friars received mostly boos from the crowd.

"It's definitely weird," admitted Kemp of he and Grandal both now on the same team and playing their former team in the Padres. "It's good to be on the same team and be doing what we're doing. Hopefully, we keep the hits coming."

Nonetheless, they each silenced the San Diego faithful with home runs in the third and ninth innings, respectively.

"For sure, when you come to a place you've played you want to do good," said Kemp going against the Padres. "I had some fans screaming at me tonight so I got to shut them up a little bit."

Kemp got the party started with a three-run blast in the top of the third inning that punctuated a five-run rally for the Dodgers. 

"I was just trying to get something over the plate and drive it," said Kemp of his home run. "I got a good pitch to hit and got some good wood on it and it went out."

Kemp finished 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI before leaving the game in the fifth inning because of a defensive substitution.

Kemp also helped put the Dodgers on the board in the second inning after he hit a ball to the gap in left-center that advanced Cody Bellinger to third. Kemp was thrown out at second on the play, but two pitches later Grandal brought Bellinger home with an RBI double.

Padres rookie Christian Villanueva continued his red-hot start to the season as he hit a two-run home run off Hyun-Jin Ryu in the bottom of the second inning.

Villanueva became the fifth Padre in franchise history to homer in three consecutive games and now has 10 total home runs in his first 26 career games.

Villanueva currently leads all Major League rookies with six home runs and 12 extra-base hits. 

Other than Villanueva, Ryu was excellent for the second straight start, allowing two runs on three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in six strong innings.

"It's all about command. The only pitch I threw right down the middle led to a homer," said Ryu of his night. "Everything else I was able to command pretty well and led to nine strikeouts."

Ryu improved to 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA to go along with 50 strikeouts in eight career starts against San Diego.

Six of the 10 runs for the Dodgers came off of San Diego starter Robbie Erlin. The 27-year-old left-hander was making his first start of the season and allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in three short innings.

Grand-al Slam

Grandal hit a grand slam against his former team in the top of the ninth inning for his third long ball of the season. 

The grand slam was the first for the Dodgers this season, and Grandal's third home run of the season. 

The Dodgers' catcher has been by far the team's best hitter through the first 15 games, batting .372 with three home runs and 10 RBI. 

Comedy of Errors

Christian Vilanueva and Hunter Renfroe made back-to-back errors to start the third innings as the Dodgers hung a high-five on the Padres in the frame. One inning later, left fielder José Pírela dropped a routine fly ball to give the Padres three errors on the evening. 

Up Next:

LHP Alex Wood will look to earn his first win of the season against RHP Bryan Mitchell for the Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers and Clippers: The Blame Game]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:20:38 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_LAKERS_CLIPPERS_041518_1200x675_1212235843623.jpg

For the first time in 13 years, there is no playoff basketball in Los Angeles. AM 570 LA Sports’ Tim Cates and LA Daily News’ Vinny Bonsignore assess blame for both teams, telling Fred Roggin that changes may be necessary. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 15, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Can Ohtani Make the Angels a Contender?]]>Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:55:15 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_OHTANI_ANGELS_041518_1200x675_1212230723803.jpg



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With a surging Shohei Ohtani and a strong offensive start, the Angels find themselves at the top of their division. But will their lack of depth in the starting rotation hold them back? LA Daily News’ Vinny Bonsignore and AM 570 LA Sports’ Tim Cates argue that the Halos might not even be a playoff team. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 15, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Draft Preview: Darnold, Rosen, Rams and Chargers]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:17:50 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_NFL_DRAFT_041518_1200x675_1212230211697.jpg

With the NFL Draft in two weeks, AM 750 LA Sports’ Tim Cates makes the case that UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold will both play in New York. Meanwhile, LA Daily News’ Vincent Bonsignore addresses the Rams’ and Chargers’ needs heading into the draft. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 15, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Rapid Fire: Can You Yodel?]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:15:55 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_RAPID_FIRE_041518_1200x675_1212231235821.jpg



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Dodgers’ utility Kike Hernandez is using the “yodeling kid” as his walkup song, but can AM 570 LA Sports’ Tim Cates do it better? And after 10 years in the development league, the Lakers’ Andre Ingram made a name for himself in the closing days of the season. LA Daily News’ Vincent Bonsignore shares his undiscovered talent. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 15, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Viva Las Vegas! Golden Knights Take 3-0 Lead Over Kings]]>Sun, 15 Apr 2018 23:23:09 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-946743590.jpg

Viva Las Vegas.

James Neal scored the go-ahead goal at the 14:23 mark in the third period and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, to take a stranglehold on the Western Conference First Round Playoffs.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves and William Karlsson added an extra-insurance goal 21 seconds later as the Golden Knights took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

"All the games have been close," noted Fleury about the three one-goal games in the series. "We're playing well and we're in good position, but we have to keep our foot on the pedal. Nothing is over.

Alex Iafallo opened up the scoring 13:14 into the first period thanks to a beautiful pass from Anze Kopitar. At first, Iafallo's shot appeared to have hit the crossbar and was not a goal, but after a review, the puck hit the white bar behind the crossbar at the far post.

Cody Eakin tied the game midway through the third period after a vicious offensive attack by Vegas. First, Colin Miller's shot hit the post, then Eakin's shot gets blocked and the rebound falls to Ryan Carpenter who slides it back to Eakin who buries it into the back of the net.

Eight minutes later, James Neal scored the go-ahead goal as he spun past Oscar Fantenberg along the boards and slid the puck through the five-hole of Jonathan Quick for the go-ahead goal.

"My little brother taught me that move," joked Neal after the game. "I had the ability to make a play on him [Fantenberg] so I just tried to get around him as quick as I could and get a shot off."

Seconds later, the Golden Knights took a commanding 3-1 lead after Jonathan Marchessault sent the puck to the boards behind the net after the faceoff in the Kings zone. Reily Smith raced to the puck and sent a blind backhand pass to the front of the net where Karlsson buried it for the insurance goal.

"Smitty [Smith] got a jump on it and he threw it blindly to me," said Karlsson of the goal. "I just had to shoot it really. It was a great pass and great awareness by Smitty. Beautiful pass!"

The Kings tried to claw back after Anze Kopitar tipped a shot from Fantenberg out of midair and into the net for the goal.

"We got scored on twice and we were chasing the game after that," Kopitar said of Game 3. "There’s nothing I can really say about that. We’re down, but we’re not out. There’s at least one game left to be played. We have to start with winning one and we’ll go from there."

The goal was the 21st of Kopitar's playoff career, surpassing Marcel Dionne for sixth on the Kings all-time playoff goals list. 

Unfortunately for the two-time Stanley Cup Champions, it was too little too late as the Kings ran out of time and are now on the brink of elimination.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves in the loss.

Two of the Kings top line defenders returned to the ice on Sunday in Game 3 as Jake Muzzin returned from an upper-body injury that saw him miss the last seven games and Drew Doughty returned from a one-game suspension.

Celebrity Sightings

Margot Robbie, David Beckham, Steve Carrell, Eric Stonestreet and Matthew Perry were just some of the celebrities in attendance.

Up Next: 

The Kings will look to avoid elimination in Game 4 on Tuesday. Puck drop is 7:30PM PST on NBC Sports.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw Dazzles on Jackie Robinson Day]]>Sun, 15 Apr 2018 17:26:33 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/GettyImages-946663656.jpg

Need a streak snapped? Call Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw struck out 12 batters as the Los Angeles Dodgers ended their franchise-worst 11-game losing streak to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-2, on Jackie Robinson Day.

"It was definitely getting old losing to this team," said Dodgers leadoff hitter Chris Taylor. "It's nice to finally get a win."

For the first time all season, Kershaw got run support as the Dodgers hung seven runs on the Snakes thanks largely in part to Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor.

"It's always nice to get some runs," said Kershaw after the game. "We needed a win today, obviously, so it was good."

After the Dodgers scored a run in the second inning, Puig broke the game open with a two-run single in the bottom of the third to give L.A. a 3-0 lead.

Taylor went 2-for-5 with a home run, double, and three RBI as the leadoff hitter broke out of a recently slump and took over the team lead in home runs with three.

"My swing feels pretty good," said Taylor after the game. "We made an effort to be more disciplined. We stuck with it and we grinded out at-bats and made him [Godley] work."

Kershaw (1-2), finally recorded his first win of the season, allowing just one run on two hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts in seven strong innings. 

Kershaw improved to 9-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 14 starts against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

"We're going to face the Diamondbacks four times within the first two months," said Kershaw. "You can't be predicatble so you have to mix things up. Barnsey [Austin Barnes] did a good job with that."

Paul Goldschmidt recorded the only home run on the afternoon for Arizona as he sent an 90MPH four-seam fastball from Kershaw into the seats in center field for his fourth home run of the season.

Entering the game, Arizona starter Zack Godley was undefeated with a 0.64 ERA on the season including a 6-1 victory over the Dodgers on April, 3rd. However, Godley (2-1) fell back to earth on Sunday, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits with a season-high six walks and four strikeouts in four short innings.

Since the start of Jackie Robinson Day in 2004, the Dodgers are 12-3 (.800) and are tied with the Cardinals with the most wins on this day.

Streak Snapper

Kershaw not only snapped the Dodgers three-game losing streak, he snapped a Los Angeles franchise-worst 11-game losing streak to a single opponent in the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives"

The Dodgers celebrated the 71st anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier by making his big league debut. Robinson teammate, Don Newcombe threw out the ceremonial first pitch and the first 40,000 fans in attendance received a replica Jackie Robinson jersey.


Up Next:

The Dodgers travel south to San Diego where they will face the Padres for the first time this season in a three-game series at Petco Park. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu will start on Monday opposite LHP Robbie Erlin. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[5 Things You Should Know About Dodgers Breyvic Valera]]>Sun, 15 Apr 2018 14:11:34 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/166*120/GettyImages-843933370.jpg

The Dodgers have made a move…

No, it wasn't Andrew Toles.

The Los Angeles Dodgers placed infielder Logan Forsythe on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on Sunday and recalled infielder Breyvic Valera from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

If you're unfamiliar with Valera, fear not, he's only been with the Dodgers for less than two weeks.

Fans might remember the recent trade rumors between the Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers surrounding star outfielders Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun.

According to sources, the Dodgers were trying to include 22-year-old outfield prospect, Johan Mieses in the proposed deal.

Reportedly, the Dodgers had been interested in possibly converting Mieses into a pitcher, similar to what they did with current relief pitchers Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen.

Mieses has tremendous raw power at the plate, but that comes with a high strikeout percentage, and unpolished defensive metrics in the outfield.

Mieses was ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the system, but the Brewers were not interested in acquiring him and ultimately the talks fell apart. A few hours later, Mieses was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Valera.

Valera, 26, had been designated for assignment by the Cardinals earlier that week, so the fact that St. Louis was able to get something in return for him was seen as a positive for the Red Birds.

According to Jacob Rudner of DodgersWay.com, the trade was good for the Dodgers as Valera provides depth, consistency and flexibility:

"Valera's consistent bat and his defensive flexibility should allow the Dodgers to utilize him in the event of an injury or when his bat gets hot in the minor leagues."

Forsythe's injury opens the door for Valera, and with Justin Turner already on the disabled list with a broken wrist, the Dodgers desperately need depth at third base.

Here are 5 things to know about Valera:

1.    He's Played in the Big Leagues

Valera made his Major League Debut in 2017 going 1-for-10 with a walk and a single in 11 plate appearances. He made two starts at second base and even batted leadoff for a game.

2.    He Consistently Hits Over .300 in the Minor Leagues

Valera has hit over .300 in every single season he's been in the minor leagues dating back to 2010. Last season, with Triple-A Memphis, Valera batted .314 with eight home runs and 41 RBI in 117 games. This season, in six games with OKC, Valera is batting .316 with six runs, two doubles and six RBI to go along with a .417 on-base percentage.

3.    He's a Former MVP

Okay, don't get too excited about this one, but Valera won the Venezuelan Winter League MVP in 2016. Hey, that counts for something.

4.    He's a Super-utility Player

In over 800 minor league games over the course of his nine-year professional career, Valera has played second base, shortstop, third base, left field, right field, and center field. As we all know the Dodgers value versatile players that can play multiple positions.

5.    He's Fast

Valera's biggest asset might be his speed. The Venezuelan infielder has stolen 122 bases at all levels over the course of his career. Speed is something the Dodgers are lacking at the MLB level, especially after Cody Bellinger bulked up over the winter.


If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[It's Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium]]>Sun, 15 Apr 2018 11:44:25 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jackGettyImages-3203656-%281%29.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers will join the rest of Major League Baseball in marking Sunday's 71st anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color line.

Pregame ceremonies for the 1:10 p.m. game at Dodger Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks will include current and former Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars.

The foundation was founded by Robinson's widow Rachel in 1973, the year following his death at the age of 53. It provides four-year college scholarships to disadvantaged students of color. Students from Robinson's high school alma mater, John Muir High School in Pasadena, will attend the game as part of the team's Kids 4 Dodgers Baseball initiative.

Students from his elementary school, Cleveland Elementary School in Pasadena, will participate in Kids Take the Field, with a student accompanying each of the nine Dodger starters as they take the field.

Major League Baseball has marked the anniversary of Robinson's breaking baseball's color line by holding Jackie Robinson Day each year since 2004.

For the 10th consecutive year, all players and other on-field personnel will wear Robinson's No. 42. The number 42 was retired throughout Major League Baseball in 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's April 15, 1947 debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Additional on-field uniform elements have been added this year, including a commemorative patch on all team caps and jersey sleeves, socks emblazoned with 42 and a new lightweight hooded fleece for batting practice and dugout wear, also featuring the 42 logo.

The first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance will receive a Jackie Robinson replica No. 42 jersey.

Robinson went hitless in four at-bats in his major league debut, but scored what proved to be the winning run in Brooklyn's 5-3 victory over the Boston Braves in front of a crowd announced at 25,623 at Ebbets Field.

Robinson played his entire major league career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, helping lead them to six National League titles during his 10 seasons, and, in 1955, their only World Series championship in Brooklyn.

Robinson's successful integration of Major League Baseball is credited with helping change Americans' attitudes toward blacks and being a catalyst toward later civil rights advances.

"I've often said that baseball's proudest moment and its most powerful social statement came when Jackie Robinson first set foot on a Major League Baseball field," then-MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in 2004 in connection with Major League Baseball's first leaguewide Jackie Robinson Day.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Claws and Effect: Dodgers Ruffed Up by D-Backs]]>Sat, 14 Apr 2018 22:24:54 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-946332052.jpg

The dogs deserved better.

Paul Goldschmidt and Alex Avila both homered, A.J. Pollock hit two, and Deven Merrero hit a home run that was erased because of a baserunning gaffe, as the Arizona Diamondbacks dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 9-1, on Pups at the Park night on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers got on the board first with a leadoff double by Yasiel Puig in the second inning. One batter later, Joc Pederson hit an RBI single to put L.A. in front 1-0. 

However, the lead would not last long as the Snakes hounded the Dodgers with homers for the next six innings.

Goldschmidt proved his bat was bigger than his bark when he crushed an 89 MPH four-seam fastball from Rich Hill 428-feet into the short porch in left field.

Un-fur-tunately, the Dodgers would simply roll over and play dead from there as Hill surrendered a three-run home run to Deven Marrero in the top of the fourth inning.

What happened next however was one of the more weird and wild things you'll ever see:

The Dodgers challenged the home run after the play, as on video replay, it appeared that Marrero ran past the runner at first base, Alex Avila. After a lengthy review with officials in New York, the home run was changed to a two-run single, and Marrero was ruled out on the play.

"I haven't seen anything like that before," said Hill who surrendered the home run to Marrero. "I understand the rule, but I wasn't really paying too much attention to when he was running around the bases."

The faux paw cost Marrero his first home run as a Diamondback because of a baserunning blunder.

"That was a terrible read on my part," said Avila of the gaffe. "And probably one of the more embarrassing things I've done on the field. I definitely owe Deven."

Not to be fur-gotten, Arizona centerfielder A.J. Pollock got in on the home run barrage with a two-run blast off Hill in the top of the fifth.

It was a ruff day at the ballpark for Hill (1-1) who allowed seven runs on seven hits with two walks, five strikeouts and two home runs allowed (should have been three), in five short innings.

"The results were terrible," said Hill. "I have to pitch better next time. The biggest thing is we have to continue to put the work in. Get back in here tomorrow and find a way to win." 


Contrary to popular belief, Arizona starter Taijuan Walker was not on a short leash despite leaving the game after two innings. According to D-Backs manager Torey Luvollo, Walker left the game for precautionary reasons with "right forearm tightness."

"I didn't want to push it," said Walker following the game. "I didn't want to go out there and make it any worse. I could have stepped on it and kept going, but I was babying it and I didn't want to do anything dumb."

Pollock and Avila both piled on with solo shots in the 8th and 9th innings as the furocius Arizona attack ended in a 9-1 blowout.

"It's definitely not panic, it's frustration," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts after the loss. "I think the way to sum it up is we have to play better baseball. We have to pitch better. We have to hit better, and the defense has been spotty at times. We have to play better."

The Dodgers have lost 11 consecutive regular season games to the rival Diamondbacks, the longest losing streak to a single team in Los Angeles franchise history.

Needless to say, it was a fur-gettable game for the boys in blue.

Up Next:

Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday as RHP Zack Goldey goes head-to-head with LHP Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST and all fans in attendance will receive a replica Jackie Robinson jersey.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Comeback Falls Short on Friday the 13th]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 23:58:25 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/166*120/GettyImages-946023236.jpg

The nightmare on Vin Scully street.

Daniel Descalso had a home run and four RBI as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-7, in a weird and wild game on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. 

The game lived up to its Friday the 13th billing as the 3-hour and 30-minute affair was full of wacky plays from start to finish.

Descalso started the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the first inning.

Chris Taylor tied the game with his fifth career leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning.

A black cat crossed the path of Kenta Maeda in the top of the third as the Dodgers starter was stricken with a string of bad luck.

Maeda started the inning with a leadoff walk to opposing pitcher Zack Greinke, who wasn't looking to swing the bat after appearing to tweak his back in the bottom of the first inning.

"He had a back spasm," said Snakes manager Torey Luvollo of Greinke. "As the outing kept going he was starting to loosen up. He gave us everything he had and grinded through that at-bat."

Two batters later, Ketel Marte hit a comebacker at Maeda that appeared to be an easy double play, but Maeda's throw to second was wild and the D-backs loaded the bases with no outs.

A wild pitch, a passed ball, and a sac fly followed as Arizona scored four runs (three unearned) in the top of the third inning.

Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers chip away at the lead as he hit a solo shot off Greinke in the bottom of the 6th inning.

Bellinger's blast was his second consecutive game with a home run off Greinke as the reigning National League Rookie of the Year homered off the former Dodger in Game 3 of the NLDS last October.

Descalso extended the Diamondbacks lead with a two-run home run in the top of the seventh, his second home run of the season (both against the Dodgers).

The Dodgers did not go down without a fight, chipping away at the lead in the bottom of the seventh with three straight singles that cut the score to 7-5.

Nick Ahmed hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth providing a huge insurance run for Arizona.

The Dodgers scratched two runs across in the bottom of the 8th as Chase Utley hit a groundball off the second base bag that bounced into the outfield scoring two runs.

However, with the tying-run 90-feet away and just one out, Chris Taylor grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Maeda (1-1) took the loss in his first start since March 31st. The signs of rust were evident as he allowed five runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in just 2 and 2/3 innings.

"It's possible pitching just one inning in 13 days got him," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "He wasn't sharp. Obviously the throwing error in the third inning changed the inning and it just got away from him."

Greinke (1-1) got the win despite allowing four runs on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 6 and 1/3 innings.

With the loss, the Dodgers have dropped 10 consecutive games to its NL West rivals dating back to Aug. 29, 2017 and are 8-14 against the Snakes since the 2017 season.

"We got to beat them at least once before the season is over with," said Dodgers' outfielder Matt Kemp. "It's early. We're not panicking. We have a long way to go."

Up Next:

RHP Taijuan Walker starts opposite LHP Rich Hill on Saturday as the Dodgers look to get off the mat against Arizona. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: John McCoy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Freaky Friday: Golden Knights Defeat L.A. Kings in 2OT]]>Sat, 14 Apr 2018 00:07:15 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*127/GettyImages-946050838.jpg

What happens in Vegas stays on the scoreboard.

Erik Haula scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime to give the Las Vegas Golden Knights a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night.

Haula received a beautiful pass from James Neal as the Golden Knights were on the rush in the waning minutes of the second sudden death overtime period. The Knights had been on the attack all period long before they finally broke through with 4:37 left.

Alex Tuch scored the first goal of the game in the final seconds of a power play in the first period. Tuch received some good luck on Friday the 13th as the puck bounced off the boards and right to his stick in front of the open net.

Tach's goal was the first power play foal for the Golden Knights against the Kings this season (including the playoffs) as Vegas is 1-for-20 against L.A. all-time on the power play. 

Kings rookie Paul LaDue tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal at 15:55 into the second period. It was the 25-year-old's first playoff goal and just the fourth goal of his career.

LaDue's goal was the first and only goal for the Kings so far in the 2018 postseason.

Both goalies were sensational again, as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots in the win for Vegas, but nobody was more outstanding than Kings' goalie Jonathan Quick who made 54 saves in the loss.

The Kings were outshot 56-to-30 in the contest.

Shorthanded Kings

The Los Angeles Kings were not only shorthanded against four Vegas power plays, but they were shorthanded on the ice as well as they were without their best defenseman in Drew Doughty.

Doughty, a likely finalist for the Norris Trophy, was suspended for Game 2 for a hit on Golden Knights' William Carrier.

Energizer Bunny

The Friday the 13th affair was the longest game in Los Angeles Kings franchise history.

Up Next: 

Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round moves to Staples Center on Sunday night as the Los Angeles Kings look to get back into the series with the Golden Knights. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30PM PST.

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Andre Ingram To Toss First Pitch at Dodger Stadium]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:30:59 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-944509682.jpg

Los Angeles Lakers guard Andre Ingram will throw the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's Los Angeles Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks game at Dodger Stadium, three days after scoring 19 points in his NBA debut at the age of 32.

With guards Lonzo Ball and Isaiah Thomas sidelined by injuries, Ingram was signed by the Lakers Monday after playing the previous six seasons with their NBA G League affiliates, the South Bay Lakers and Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Ingram's 19 points were the fourth most by a Laker in his career debut since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1960 behind Magic Johnson (26), Nick Van Exel (23) and Jerry West (20), according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the NBA's official statistician.

Special Food

A special hot dog and chorizo will be available at Dodger Stadium for the three-game series against the Diamondbacks. The "Desert Chili Cheese Dog" is a bacon-wrapped hot dog with house-made chili con carne, grated sharp cheddar cheese, diced tomato and onion, yellow mustard.

The "Chorizo Torta" is a chorizo sausage split in half with ranchero bean spread, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, queso fresco and smoked jalapeno aioli.

A fireworks show set to music from the 1970s will follow the game.

Fans will be invited onto the field to watch the show, which will take place before 11 p.m. and is subject to cancellation if the game lasts too long.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyler Fletcher will be honored as the Military Hero of the Game. Fletcher joined the Air Force in 2007. He served a tour in South Korea as an avionic sensors technician and has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Fletcher is a section chief at Edwards Air Force Base, where his primary duty is to oversee the men and women who maintain the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.



Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Thump Ducks in Game 1 of Playoff-Opening Series]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:21:08 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/sharks-kane-0412.jpg

The Sharks jumped out to a 1-0 series lead in their first round tilt with the Anaheim Ducks, skating away with a 3-0 win in Game 1 Thursday night. Evander Kane (twice) and Brent Burns scored in the second period to give San Jose a three-goal lead, and one they would never relinquish.

The game, and the series, started slowly. The Ducks and Sharks combined for just 12 shots on goal in the first period, as Anaheim jumped out to a 12-9 five-on-five shot attempt advantage.

San Jose took control of the game back in the second, and finally got on the board as Anaheim's penalty parade persisted. Andrew Cogliano and Ryan Getzlaf went to the box for slashing 16 seconds apart, and Kane only needed 10 seconds to score his first-ever goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs on the ensuing five-on-three.

He added another just under seven minutes later, tapping in a saucer pass from Joe Pavelski on a two-on-one following a bad Ducks line change. Burns' seeing-eye point shot beat Gibson five-hole 1:24 later, and the Sharks took a three-goal lead into the third period that would stand until the end of regulation.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Kane waited nine seasons and 574 games to get to the postseason, but only needed one game to find the back of the net. He scored two goals in a 6:44 span in the second period, and finished second on the Sharks with six shots on goal.

The winger all but put the game away with his second playoff goal. Dating back to the regular season, he's now scored 11 goals in 18 games.

SPECIAL TEAMS: San Jose: 1-for-6 on the power play, 3-for-3 on the penalty kill

Anaheim: 0-for-3 on the power play; 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.

The Ducks finished the regular season with a league-worst minus-60 penalty differential. They were minus-three tonight, and Kane's power play goal stood as the game-winner.

IN GOAL: Sharks: Martin Jones opened his third postseason as a starter with his fifth playoff shutout, stopping all 24 Anaheim shots. Jones wasn't challenged much, but made a key save in the first period, stretching his glove to deny Hampus Lindholm after fluky bounce left the puck on a platter.

Ducks: In his first game back from injury, Gibson didn't live up to his usual standards. He stopped 30 of 33 shots, including just 12 of 14 five-on-five. If Anaheim continues to cede puck possession at even strength, he'll need to turn it around.

TURNING POINT: A dominant second period gave San Jose breathing room. The Sharks scored three goals, and put the game away.

Two of those goals came during five-on-five play, where they out-attempted the Ducks 20-11 and outshot them 10-3. San Jose managed a plus-18 goal differential in the second period this season, while Anaheim was just plus-seven, and that disparity played out on Thursday.

INJURY UPDATE: Sharks: Joe Thornton (sprained right MCL) participated in warm-ups, but did not suit up. San Jose head coach Peter DeBoer would not rule out Thornton beyond Game 1 of the first round.

Dylan Gambrell, Barlcay Goodrow, Jannik Hansen, Joakim Ryan, and Joel Ward were scratched, as was 'black ace' Maxim Letunov and third-string goaltender Antoine Bibeau.

Ducks: Goaltender John Gibson (upper-body) returned to Anaheim's lineup after missing the final three games of the season. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa (hand) skated in practice this week, but did not return to the lineup.

Defenseman Cam Fowler (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game, while blueliner Korbinian Holzer and forwards Jason Chimera, Chris Kelly, Troy Terry were scratched.

WHAT'S NEXT: The puck drops for Game 2 on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Coverage begins on NBC Sports California at 7 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ohtani's 3-Run Triple Sends Angels to 7-1 Win Over Royals]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 06:39:42 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*124/04.12.18_Angels-Royals-Ohtani.jpg

Shohei Ohtani had to get a new bat for his triple that broke open the game.

Ohtani tripled with the bases loaded in a five-run seventh inning to help the streaking Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Ohtani gave one of his bats to a 6-year-old boy, Leo Guastello, who boldly asked for it before the game when the two-way rookie star from Japan was signing autographs.

"He looked really sad when he was asking me," Ohtani said through a translator. "He really wanted that bat, so I gave it to him. Hopefully he can swing the bat and become a good player someday, but I can't be doing this all the time or I'll run out of bats."

Mike Trout homered for the Angels, and Ian Kinsler went deep on his first swing in his return to the lineup. Nick Tropeano (1-0) pitched shutout ball into the seventh for his first major league win since 2016.

Kole Calhoun had a two-run single in the seventh for Los Angeles, which has won eight of nine.

With two strikes, Ohtani drove a 97 mph fastball from Brandon Maurer to right-center for his first major league triple, scoring Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons and Luis Valbuena.

"The outfielders were playing in, so I knew once it got past them," Ohtani said. "I wasn't sitting only on a changeup. He made that pitch really good previously, so I had that in my head. He has a really good, firm fastball, so I was ready for that, too."

The Royals had walked Ohtani intentionally in the sixth with first base open and Simmons on second.

Ohtani is tied with Trout for the Angels' lead with 11 RBIs — in 26 at-bats. Trout went 3 for 4 with his fifth home run and has 55 at-bats.

Kinsler led off the game with a home run for the 47th time in his career, driving a 1-0 pitch from Ian Kennedy (1-1) out to left. Kinsler missed the previous 11 games with an adductor strain.

"Looking at video, they score a ton of runs," Kennedy said. "They're a veteran lineup. They're aggressive, but they're selective in certain situations, too. You have to make your pitches. They have plenty of guys in the lineup that can hurt you with base hits, with power. Ohtani is their eighth hitter and he's pretty good."

Tropeano, making his first big league appearance since July 18, 2016, limited the Royals to six hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He had elbow surgery in August 2016 and missed last season.

Tropeano threw 88 pitches, struck out six and walked two.

"A year and a half watching all your buddies play and all I wanted to do was compete," Tropeano said. "I just wanted to leave it all out on the field."

Kennedy was removed after six innings and 100 pitches. He allowed seven hits but just the one run on Kinsler's homer.

The Royals, who have lost eight of 11, have scored a total of 32 runs this season — and 10 of those came in Monday's victory over Seattle.

Lucas Duda singled home Mike Moustakas, who doubled, with two outs in the eighth for Kansas City.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Scott Alexander Part 2]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 09:20:40 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Scott_Alexander_DYD_full_1200x675_1208626755946.jpg

NBC LA Sports reporter Michael J. Duarte interviews Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Scott Alexander about his love of reggae, Seinfeld, and Nicolas Cage.]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Scott Alexander]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 09:09:13 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Scott_Alexander_DYD_full_1200x675_1208626755946.jpg

NBC LA Sports reporter Michael J. Duarte interviews Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Scott Alexander about the Napa Valley fires, pitching for Pepperdine, and batting Type 1 Diabetes.]]>
<![CDATA[Wood Allows 7 Runs as A's Rout Dodgers]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 23:32:00 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*125/GettyImages-945020298.jpg

An elephant never forgets…but the Dodgers might want to forget this one.

Khris Davis and Matt Champan each hit a pair of two-run homers and the Oakland Athletics destroyed the Los Angeles Dodgers, 16-6, on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Davis greeted Alex Wood with a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw to give the Athletics an early 2-0 lead.

Davis finished the game 3-for-5 and was a triple shy of the cycle.

The Dodgers cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to a miscue by former teammate Trayce Thompson.

Thompson, the son of Lakers' legend Mychal Thompson and brother of Golden State Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson, was designated for assignment by the Dodgers before the season and was claimed off waivers by Oakland last week.

Thompson started in centerfield for the A's on Wednesday night and dropped a routine fly ball off the bat of former roommate Joc Pederson that he lost in the lights for a double.

Three pitches later, Corey Seager grounded into an RBI fielder's choice that put the Dodgers on the board.

Thompson redeemed his earlier mistake by taking a home run away from Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the 6th inning. Puig started strutting towards first base as he made his signature bat flip, but Thompson had other ideas with the insane catch. Even Puig had to tip his cap to him after the play.

Oakland broke the game open in the fourth inning when they scored five runs thanks to an error by veteran second baseman Chase Utley.

With a runner at first and one out, Utley struggled with a groundball to second and hastily tried to backhand the ball to second base. The ball sailed past shortstop Corey Seager allowing the inning to continue, rather than record a double play or even a second out at first base.

Wood struck out the next batter, but then the A's recorded three straight hits and before you could blink, it was 7-1, Oakland.

Wood allowed seven runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts in just 3 and 2/3 innings. Wood (0-1) saw his ERA increase from 1.93 to 5.09 by the end of the night.

"I wasn't very good from start to finish," said Wood after the start. "It was just one of those days where everything was really bad. I didn't make very good pitches." 

Yasmani Grandal continued his hot start to the season with a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth inning that traveled 386-feet. Grandal went 3-for-4 with a single, double, and two RBI as he also fell a triple shy of the cycle.

Chapman added a two-run homer off Wilmer Font in the top of 8th inning and Jed Lowrie blasted a three-run home run in the top of the 9th. 

Enrique Hernandez hit his first home run of the season with a solo blast in the bottom of the 9th. 

The Dodgers streak of 10 consecutive home wins against Interleague opponents was snapped with the loss.

That '70s Show

The Dodgers facing off with the Oakland Athletics in Los Angeles might conjure up images of the 1980s, but it was the '70s that were on display with actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis in attendance on Wednesday night.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have an off day on Thursday before hosting old friend Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. RHP Kenta Maeda gets the start for L.A. with first pitch scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Golden Knights Slay the Kings in Game 1 ]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 21:55:12 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/164*120/GettyImages-944989578.jpg

All they needed was one.

Shea Theodore scored just 3:23 into the game, and it would be the only offense Vegas would need as the Golden Knights held on to defeat the Los Angeles Kings, 1-0, in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at T-Mobile Arena.

The victory was the first Stanley Cup Playoff win in Vegas history as the expansion team continues to prove why they are having the best inaugural season in sports history.

After a colorful and extravagant pregame ceremony that only Vegas could produce, the Golden Knights defenseman put Vegas on the board when he dialed up a wrist shot from long distance that deflected off the stick of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare for the goal.

"They came out hard," said Kings forward Adrian Kempe after the game. "We responded well, but it was a tight game for 60 minutes."

After a scoreless second half, the Kings put plenty of pressure on the Golden Knights in the final twenty minutes, but best third period team in the NHL during the regular season was unable to breakthrough for the game-tying goal.

Unfortunately, it was the same old story for the Kings as their defense that they hang their hat on was excellent, but the offense sputtered, especially on the power play.

"We played physical and created chances," continued Kempe. "We just have to keep going a little bit more and I think a couple more shots would have gone through."

Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for the Golden Knights as the Kings were 0-for-3 on the power play.

Jonathan Quick made 27 saves in the loss for the Kings.

Up Next:

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series will be on Friday at 7:00PM PST from Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vegas Puts on Pregame Extravaganza for NHL Playoffs]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 20:50:00 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/163*120/GettyImages-944988692.jpg

Only in Vegas. 

The Vegas Golden Knights put on quite the production prior to their first NHL playoff game in franchise history on Wednesday night.


The Game of Thrones inspired pregame performance featured a golden knight battling a king at center ice, as well as a castle and a drawbridge.

There was also some cool special effects and a light-up drum performance that would make Kanye West proud.

You can see the entire performance in the video below: 

 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Lakers Win, No NBA Playoffs for LA For First Time Since 2005]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 21:48:23 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Clippers-end-2017-18-season.jpg

The last time the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers both missed the playoffs, Chucky Atkins and Chris Mihm started for the purple and gold, while the Clippers would not acquire Chris Paul for another six years.

For the first time since 2005, the Lakers and Clippers both ended their seasons in April when LA's two teams met at Staples Center on Wednesday night in a finale that lacked star power as much as it did meaning.

The Lakers beat the Clippers by a sizable margin, 115-100, but this wasn't a typical Lakers versus Clippers rivalry game on the court or in the crowd.

Paul and Blake Griffin both left the Clippers over the previous 12 months, while the Lakers did not have young stars Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram available for the season finale due to injuries.

Led by rookie Josh Hart on the night, the Lakers collected their 35th win on the season, which meant that the designated visiting team for the day had improved by a total of nine wins on the previous year and 18 wins over the previous two years. Conversely, the Clippers failed to win 50 games in a season for the first time since the lockout shortened season of 2011-12.

When searching for anything to take out of Wednesday's finale, Hart's impressive performance and Gary Payton II's hot shooting highlighted the Lakers' comfortable victory. Hart finished with 30 points, five rebounds and five assists on the night, while Payton added 25 points and rebounds.

Meanwhile, Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 23 points, five rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes on the court. Boban Marjanovic made his impact felt late in the game to keep the Clippers from getting embarrassed, as the center tabbed 12 points and 10 rebounds in 13 minutes.

After 82 games, the Lakers and Clippers finally called time on the 2017-18 season and combined to miss the post season for the first time since 2005. Prior to that, LA had last failed to experience the playoffs in 1994.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vin Scully Narrates Dodger Stadium 2020 All-Star Game Video]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 20:44:30 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-940826676.jpg

All the stars are closer.

Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers confirmed on Wednesday that which we all new on Tuesday, when they announced that Dodger Stadium would host the 2020 MLB All-Star Game.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Dodgers President and Chief Executive Officer Stan Kasten, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, as well as players Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen were all on hand for the announcement ceremony in centerfield on Wednesday morning.

"Major League Baseball is proud to bring the All-Star Game to Los Angeles and fans of the Dodgers in 2020," said Manfred. " As last year’s World Series demonstrated, Dodger Stadium remains one of our game’s classic ballparks, and it will be a perfect venue to showcase the very best of the National Pastime.  I congratulate the Dodgers organization and the leaders of Los Angeles on putting together an outstanding bid to host the All-Star festivities."

"We’ve made no secret that bringing an All-Star Game back to Los Angeles was a priority for our ownership group, and we couldn’t be more excited for Dodger fans and to showcase Dodger Stadium and Los Angeles to a worldwide audience in 2020," added Kasten. "We’d like to thank Commissioner Rob Manfred, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Gil Cedillo for their efforts to secure this premier sporting event for our community, which will benefit from baseball’s legacy youth programs for years to come."

"There’s no feeling quite like watching your favorite players take the field at the ballpark — and we can’t wait to welcome baseball’s best to Los Angeles for the 2020 All-Star Game," said Mayor Garcetti. "Dodger Stadium is a perfect destination for this summer tradition, and I look forward to sharing our city with fans from all over the world."

It's the first time the All-Star game returns to the City of Angels in 40 years, and to celebrate, the Dodgers brought back someone who was there for the Midsummer Classic in 1980, Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Vin Scully.

Scully narrated a video that played on the video boards at the Stadium, describing what it will be like when all the stars come to Hollywood in two years. 

"This is more than steel, concrete, dirt and grass," says Scully in the video. "This is our home…and we can't wait."

The video will give you goosebumps and can be viewed below:

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Photos: See Inside LAFC's New Stadium]]>Fri, 11 May 2018 13:59:09 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lafc+banc+of+california+stadium+thumbnail.jpgThe Los Angeles Football Club, which became the 23rd team in Major League Soccer when it made its debut in 2018, has been advancing construction on the Banc of California Stadium, which will be located in Exposition Park, since the project first broke ground in 2016.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Football Club]]>
<![CDATA[Kings vs. Golden Knights Preview]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 03:25:41 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-925209954.jpg

No, this is not a Game of Thrones episode or a Camelot remake.

It's the Kings and Golden Knights in the first round of the 2018 NHL Playoffs that pits to Pacific Division powerhouses against eachother in the postseason for the first time.

If you're unfamiliar with hockey's new darling let us fill you in:

The Las Vegas Golden Knights completed the greatest inaugural season in the history of the NHL. The expansion team not only made the playoffs in their debut season, but they tallied 109 points, the most by an expansion team in NHL history, shattering the old record of 83 points (84-game schedule) by the Florida Panthers in 1993.

However, the Golden Knights are limping into the postseason, having lost two of their final three games while conceding 15 goals over that span.

The Golden Knights have a vaunted offense, led by William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, Reily Smith and James Neal. Their strengths are speed and depth. Vegas ranked fifth in the NHL in scoring in 2018 and easily won the Pacific division, but can they maintain that level in the playoffs?


During the regular season, the Golden Knights were 2-1-1 against the Kings, but they lost their last two games against the Kings on back-to-back nights at the end of February. 

The Los Angeles Kings are two-time Stanley Cup Champions. They have a combination of tenacious defense, veteran leadership and one of the best goalies in the game. 

However, the Kings were not expected to be here. NHL's royalty missed the playoffs entirely two out of the last three seasons, and the one year they did qualify, they were easily eliminated in five games by the San Jose Sharks.

Handcuffed by salary cap constraints, and with a new head coach, the Kings were expected to miss out on the postseason in 2018. But recent resurgences from veterans Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown made the Kings a playoff team, albeit a flawed one.

The Kings lack depth on their lines, and outside of Kopitar, Brown, Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter, don't have much offense. They too sputtered down the final few weeks of the regular season and are riddled with injuries heading into the playoffs.

This series could be determined by the 72" x 48" inch net on each side of the ice that will house veteran netminders Jonathan Quick and Marc-Andre Fleury; two of the top goaltenders in the league.

Fleury has plenty of postseason experience thanks to his tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins that saw the goalie win three Stanley Cup trophies in the last decade.

On paper, the Kings look like the team with all the playoff experience, especially when compared to the collection of discarded toys that is the Vegas Knights roster.

However, the Knights have plenty of individual experience as pointed out by Kings' defenseman Alec Martinez on Sunday:

"Yeah, it's their first season playing together, but there is still a lot of playoff experience," said Martinez. "James Neal has been to the Final last year, Fleury has won a couple times the last few years. There's playoff experience and new guys on both sides."

As Martinez mentioned, Fleury and Neal both have a lot of postseason experience, including playing against each other in the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals with the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that said, collectively, they have never played in the postseason as a team, nor has the city of Vegas ever tasted playoff hockey.

Can the Knights calm the initial adrenaline storm and focus on the game? Or will the Kings Stanley Cup experience win out?

Schedule: 

Game 1: Wednesday, April 11: Kings at Golden Knights, 10 p.m. -- NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Game 2, Friday, April 13:  Kings at Golden Knights, 10 p.m. -- NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports  

Game 3, Sunday, April 15: Golden Knights at Kings, 10:30 p.m. -- NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Game 4, Tuesday, April 17: Golden Knights at Kings, 10:30 p.m. -- NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

*Game 5, Thursday, April 19: Kings at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m. -- TBD
*Game 6, Saturday, April 21: Golden Knights at Los Angeles Kings, TBD 
*Game 7, Monday, April 23: Kings at Vegas Golden Knights, TBD

    Betting Odds Courtesy of Bovada.lv:

    Vegas Golden Knights: +700 to win the cup (4th best odds)
    Los Angeles Kings: +2200 to win the cup (10th best odds)
    Golden Knights are favorite to win Game 1 at -135.

    Prediction: 
    Kings in 7.



    Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Lakers Call-Up Andre Ingram and He Delivers]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 17:00:46 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Andre-Ingram-Lakers-rookie.jpg

    Andre Ingram is a 32-year-old NBA rookie, which is unique to say the least. For starters, his hair has enough of a salt and pepper look that he'd probably be considered the old man at the park.

    With only two games remaining in the NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to reward a 10-year veteran of the G-League, formerly known as the NBA Development League, for his service by signing him for the remainder of the year.

    Known as a shooter with a dead-eye for the bottom of the net, Ingram made his NBA debut on Tuesday night in the LA Lakers' final home game of the season and did not disappoint.

    After entering the game to an unusually loud ovation late in the first quarter, Ingram put up a perfect second quarter from the foul line, three-point line and the field for 11 points to lead the Lakers' in scoring entering the intermission.

    In his first NBA game, Ingram had the crowd chanting "MVP" when he was at the foul line, as STAPLES Center seemed to embrace and celebrate Ingram's baskets more enthusiastically than any other player's buckets--on either team.

    When the second half started, the gray-haired rookie stepped into another crowd erupting three-pointer and improved to 4/4 from the field through three quarters for 14 points. Fourteen points on four field goal attempts is a great return regardless of the level of player or experience.

    The Houston Rockets led by as many as 16 points on the day, but Ingram's play energized the crowd and helped the Lakers claw within four points with a shade over two minutes remaining in the ball game. Beyond simply scoring, Ingram also recorded three blocks--which was more than he had ever managed in the G-League.

    Lakers coach Luke Walton stuck with Ingram at the end of the game, and the veteran basketball professional officially registered as an NBA rookie went on to hit another three-pointer in the final minute of the game to bring his personal tally to 19 points and also cut the difference between the Lakers and Rockets to only three points.

    Ultimately, the Lakers lost a meaningless game in April to the team with the best record in the NBA, but this night would not be remembered for the 105-99 final score.

    No, Tuesday night was all about Ingram, who finished the night with 19 points on 6/8 shooting, three blocks, three rebounds and one assist.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Taylor and Seager Go Back-to-back for Dodgers]]>Tue, 10 Apr 2018 23:12:45 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-944476630.jpg

    Easy as one-two-three.

    Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, and Matt Kemp all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the Oakland Athletics, 4-0, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

    Taylor and Seager started the game off with a bang when they hit back-to-back home runs off A's starter Sean Manaea.

    It was the first time the Dodgers hit consecutive home runs to begin a game since Taylor and teammate Justin Turner did it on Sept. 18, 2017.

    "That was big," said Taylor. "It's nice to play ahead. If we can do that, we have full confidence our pitchers can shut them down."

    Seager has hit safely in 13 straight Interleague games dating back to July 7, 2017. 

    "It was nice to get some runs early," added Seager. "Everybody knew it was coming, its just now going out and repeating and being relentless in the box."

    Matt Kemp hit his first home run as a Dodger since 2014 when he sent a four-seam fastball off the top of the wall in right-center for his first home run of the season.

    Fans will likely remember Kemp's last home run in Dodger blue, a game-winning blast in Game 2 of the 2014 National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    "I was told 2014 during the playoffs was my last home run," joked Kemp. "That was a long time ago." 

    Hyun-Jin Ryu did his best Shohei Ohtani impression as the Korean-born left-hander had a no-hitter through 4 and 2/3 innings before allowing a two-out single to Stephen Piscotty in the fifth inning.

    Ryu (1-0) allowed just one-hit, with one walk and eight strikeouts in six shutout innings.

    Logan Forsythe added an RBI double in the bottom of the 6th inning as the Dodgers tallied 11 total hits in the ballgame.

    Kenley Jansen entered the game in the ninth with the tying run on-deck, and recorded his second save of the season.

    The two-game Interleague series is the first of the season for the Dodgers and the first time they've faced the A's since 2015.

    Silver Slugger 

    2016 National League Rookie of the Year Corey Seager received his second straight Silver Slugger award before the game. Appropriately, he homered in his first at-bat shortly thereafter.

    Happy Birthday Dodger Stadium

    On this date in 1962, 52,564 Southern California baseball fans were in attendance to watch the Dodgers face the Cincinnati Reds in the first game at Dodger Stadium. Four-time World Series champion, Johnny Podres took the mound for Los Angeles, and took the loss in the Dodgers 6-3 defeat to the Reds.  

    Up Next:

    The finale of the short, two-game series, features RHP Daniel Mengden for Oakland and LHP Alex Wood for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

    If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



    Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Baseball's Stars Will Align at Dodger Stadium in 2020]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:51:02 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/stadium-dodgers-solis-opener.jpg

    The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Wednesday that the team will host the 2020 All-Star Game for the first time in nearly four decades.

     

    In a news release Tuesday, the team said an announcement is scheduled for noon Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. Past and present Dodgers greats were at the historic venue for the official announcement Wednesday at noon.

    "There were really three important things that distinguished the Dodgers' bid," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said during the news conference. "First of all, we thought Los Angeles would be a great place to showcase the young stars in our game. Secondly is where we are today. Dodger Stadium is one of our iconic stadiums and it's particularly appropriate that we bring an All-Star Game here.


    "The third factor is one that (Dodger President/CEO) Stan Kasten mentioned to me once or twice during the process, and that was that there hadn't been an All-Star Game here in Los Angeles since 1980, so it's time for us to be back here."

    It will be the first time since 1980 that the Dodgers have hosted the game. The National League team that year included starters Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Reggie Smith. Pitchers Jerry Reuss and Bob Welch represented the Dodgers' pitching staff.

    The Dodgers have only hosted two of the star-studded games since moving to the West Coast in the 1950s.

    The revelation was first reported by OC Register Dodgers beat reporter Bill Plunkett, citing a source. The Los Angeles Times also reported that the Dodgers will host the Midsummer Classic.

    Dodger fans were, obviously, jubilant at the news on social media. 



    Photo Credit: Mario Solis
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    <![CDATA[Olympians Back California Plan for Disclosures on Doctors]]>Mon, 09 Apr 2018 20:10:47 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Jordyn+Wieber2.jpg

    Olympians who were abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar spoke in support of legislation Monday that would make California the first state to require doctors to tell their patients if they are on probation for wrongdoing, including sexual misconduct.

    "Every effort must be made to make sure patients have every piece of information that is vital to their health and safety," Jordyn Wieber, who won a gold medal in gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics, told reporters at the California Capitol. 

    The measure could help protect women from being abused by doctors, said Wieber, who was joined by gymnast and 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher, several other female athletes and other women who say they have been sexually abused by doctors. 

    Patients can find information online about which doctors are on probation if they know where to look. The measure from Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill would force doctors to tell patients about their probation status and the basic details of its terms.

    It comes after Nassar, a former sports doctor who worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, the organization responsible for training Olympians, was sentenced this year to decades in prison. He has admitted sexually abusing women and girls under the guise of medical treatment. 

    Hill pointed to the increased attention around sexual misconduct from the #MeToo movement in advocating for the measure that has not yet been heard by a committee. 

    Versions of the proposal have failed twice before. It died in the Assembly last year after Hill refused to support changes he said eviscerated the reporting requirements. The previous year, it failed in the Senate. 

    The California Medical Association has opposed past versions, arguing it would be unfair and overly burdensome on doctors' time. Hill criticized the group's opposition Monday. 

    "This is another unfortunate attempt by Senator Hill to score political points and collect headlines through unscrupulous attacks on the medical profession," group President Theodore M. Mazer said in a statement. The California Medical Association "has long been dedicated to real solutions that properly investigate and remove bad actors from our profession." 

    On average, 124 doctors are placed on probation every year in California for misconduct such as sexual assault or serious medical errors, Hill said. He cited several California doctors on probation for touching patients' genitals after they came in for unrelated ailments. 

    "Currently, doctors have to notify their insurer, their hospital or clinic about their probation status, but patients receive no notice," the Silicon Valley Democrat said. "They are left in the dark and susceptible to future abuse." 

    Tiffany Thomas Lopez said Nassar had already been reported to Michigan State University officials by the time she began playing softball for the school but that the complaints had been ignored and she was never told.

    She said legislation like Hill's that require more disclosure of misconduct could have helped people like her. 

    "Bills like this could have helped save so many of our sister survivors," said Jeanette Antolin, a former member of the U.S. gymnastics team. "We should be doing everything in our power to make sure people feel safe going to the doctor."



    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[PHOTOS: 'Pups at the Park' at Dodger Stadium]]>Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:46:57 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/165*120/GettyImages-477927818.jpgEvery year, man's best friend is invited to grab a ticket and head on over to a Dodgers game, and this year is no different.

    Photo Credit: tephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Will the Newest Rams Actually Make Them Better?]]>Mon, 09 Apr 2018 11:51:10 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_RAMS_ADDITIONS_040818_1200x675_1205969475766.jpg



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    The Rams made noise this offseason with the defensive acquisitions of Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. But FS1’s Rob Parker argues their egos will be too much for Head Coach Sean McVay to keep the ship afloat. KPCC’s A Martinez tells Fred Roggin they now have the swagger to carry them to the Super Bowl. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 8, 2018.


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    <![CDATA[Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram Out For The Season?]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 23:54:15 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lonzo-Ball-out-for-season.jpg

    Prior to Sunday night's loss to the Utah Jazz at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton effectively ruled out both Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram for the remainder of the 2017-18 season, i.e. the final two games.

    Walton shared that the injury to Ball, a knee contusion, being of the physical variety versus the injury to Ingram, a concussion, being more of the mental variety offerred different approaches to reintegration into the team.

    "The fact that neither one of them has played basketball for a while would be a little concerning, but if those were the two scenarios in the middle of the season, then, yea, we'd feel much more comfortable throwing the one, once he got cleared, from concussion back on the court."

    Considering the team is down to the final two games, Walton immediately faced  the question of whether the coach was "not comfortable" with Ingram and Ball returning for the final two games considering the team is not in the middle of the season.

    Walton answered, "No, I would not be very comfortable with the fact that there's one day left without a game and then a back-to-back."

    Though he may not have explicitly said so, Walton effectively ruled out both Ingram and Ball for the final two games of the 2017-18 season.

    For the 2017-18 season, Ingram played in 59 games, with 59 starts. The 20-year-old averaged 16.1 points on 47.0 percent shooting from the field and 39.0 percent shooting from three. Ingram also averaged 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his sophomore season and often featured as a point forward.

    The Kinston, North Carolina native improved in every traditional metric and also popped out on the eye test when exploding to the basket. Durability will obviously continue to be a question considering his slight frame, and Ingram's inability to feature in even three-quarters of the season will even bring up more concerns.

    However, Ingram's improvement, skill level, length and overall talent are undeniable.

    In his rookie season, Ball played in a total of 52 games with 50 starts. Ball shot 36.0 percent from the field, 30.5 percent from three and a stunning 45.1 percent from the foul line. Following an awful start to the season, Ball's shooting seemed to find a hot streak in the middle, but ultimately, his long range shot fell apart late in the season.

    Whether or not the team looks to change Ball's unorthodox shot should be a discussion entering the Chino Hills native's first summer as a professional.

    Despite the poor shooting, the Lakers will likely view Ball's rookie season as a success. Ball's talents are far better highlighted by the point guard's two triple-doubles, 13 double-doubles and season averages of 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game. Ball's 1.7 steals per game and 0.8 blocks per game also serve as a reminder that the 20-year-old is a two-way player.

    Like Ingram, durability is bit of question for Ball due to the number of missed games. Also like Ingram, one should keep in mind that Ball is still only 20 years old, so both players should naturally grow stronger over the coming years.

    Beyond Ingram and Ball, Kyle Kuzma missed Sunday's game with an ankle sprain. Theorhetically, Kuzma could return to the court for the final two games since he only missed one game. The time off isn't a concern for Kuzma like it is for Ball and Ingram. However, Kuzma had already been toughing out a right ankle sprain sufferred on Mar. 13 when he sufferred the left ankle sprain on Friday.

    While Kuzma could return for the final two games on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Lakers probably don't need to crawl past the finish line on "two bad tires," which is what Kuzma called his injured ankles.



    Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
    <![CDATA[Josh Hart Steps Up But Lakers Lose to Jazz]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 16:41:59 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Donovan-Mitchell-Lakers-vs-Jazz.jpg

    Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram all sat out Sunday's game at STAPLES Center with various injuries, so the Los Angeles Lakers losing to the Utah Jazz, 112-97, hardly came as a shock.

    In fact, the Jazz outscored the Lakers 19-4 over the first six minutes of the contest. Suprisingly, the Laker got back into the game and only trailed by six points at halftime. That second quarter resurgence had a great deal to do with backup guard Tyler Ennis scoring nine points off the Lakers' bench in the first half.

    Ennis continued his recent run of strong performances with a career-high 22 points, along with six rebounds, three steals and two assists in 29 minutes on the day.

    Typically strong performances from Josh Hart and Julius Randle also helped the Lakers' effort, but resistence against a playoff team like Utah proved to be futile. Randle eventually finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes of work, while Hart tabbed a team-high 25 points in the losing effort. Hart only missed his own career-high by a single point.

    "When guys are out, it gives other guys the opportunity to step up," Hart referenced the injured contingent after the game.

    "He's done a nice job of just figuring out what the NBA game's about," Lakers coach Luke Walton said about Hart following the defeat. "I think he's another one of these guys that's going to have a big offseason now that he's got to experience guarding James Harden, guarding other team's best players, elite scorers and also figured out where he can get his shots and things of that nature."

    The elite scorer on the day was Rookie of the Year candidate Donovan Mitchell, who played his part with a game-high tally of 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the victory. At one point, though, Hart did manage a highlight block of the Jazz's top young talent.

    Beyond Mitchell, Joe Ingles stepped up for the visitors with 22 points on 9/12 shooting to go along with 10 assists and four rebounds in the victory. Also, Derrick Favors recorded the other double-double of the day with 10 points and 13 rebounds in 33 minutes. Royce O'Neale, 15 points, and Jae Crowder, 18 points, also made notable contributions to the victory off Utah's bench.

    With the defeat, the Lakers fell to 34-46 and now only have two games remaining. Next, the Lakers play on Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets before wrapping up the 2017-18 season on Wednesday night againsts the LA Clippers.



    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[Did the Lakers Exceed Expectations?]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 18:25:12 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_LAKERS_040818_1200x675_1205840963575.jpg



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    The Lakers will wrap up the season missing the playoffs yet again, but have a promising future with a young core backed by Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle. But FS1’s Rob Parker argues that Lonzo Ball is not a star, while KPCC’s A Martinez tells Fred Roggin Laker fans need to let Ball run the show. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 8, 2018.


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    <![CDATA[Is Something Wrong With Kershaw?]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 18:24:31 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_DODGERS_KERSHAW_040818_1200x675_1205839427831.jpg



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    The Dodgers are off to a slow start with Clayton Kershaw struggling to get off on the right foot. KPCC’S A Martinez argues that the Dodgers may need to trade their ace, while FS1’s Rob Parker tells Fred Roggin, “No Way!” Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 8, 2018.


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    <![CDATA[Clippers: Start from Scratch?]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 18:22:02 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_CLIPPERS_040818_1200x675_1205843011626.jpg

    After missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years, do the Clippers need to change everything? FS1’s Rob Parker and KPCC’s A Martinez tell Fred Roggin that parting ways with DeAndre Jordan and Doc Rivers might not be enough. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 8, 2018.


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    <![CDATA[Bet The Farm! Farmer Rescues Dodgers in Extras]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 17:06:17 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-943505888.jpg

    Bet the Farm.

    Kyle Farmer hit a go-ahead double in the top of the 10th, and the Los Angeles Dodgers turned the tables on the San Francisco Giants, winning 2-1, in extra innings on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park. 

    Farmer is gaining a reputation as a Giant killer after he famously hit a walk-off single in his first career MLB at-bat against San Francisco last season.

    "I just keep finding myself in these situations," Farmer told the media. "I was the last guy on the bench, I don't think they had any other choice. When my opportunity comes, I'm going to make the most of it."

    On Sunday, Farmer entered the game as a pinch-hitter with one out and runners on first and second. 

    Farmer worked a 3-1 count, and then sent an 89MPH fastball from Pierce Johnson off the brick wall in right field to give the Dodgers the 2-1 lead.

    "I knew he had a cutter, curveball and a four-seam fastball," said Farmer of Johnson. "I saw they were throwing me in the past few games. 3-1, I was looking for a cutter and I was able to put a good swing on it."

    Cody Bellinger led off the inning with a double despite battling food poisoning after eating a steak quesadilla at the team hotel the night before.

    Clayton Kershaw was terrific in his third start of the season, but once again got little or no support as he left the game in the eighth inning leading 1-0.

    Kershaw allowed a leadoff single to Hunter Pence to start the inning, and then got beat on a bunt single by Kelby Tomlinson to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs.

    J.T. Chargois entered the game in relief, and promptly surrendered an RBI single to Buster Posey that tied the game. Kershaw was charged with the run, and is still in search of his first win of the season.

    "That 8th inning was frustrating," Kershaw told reporters after the game. "Obviously, you want to get through that and give the ball to Kenley. It wasn't pretty today, but we'll take it today. We needed this win and we got it."

    Kershaw did not factor in the decision, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks in seven strong innings.

    "I didn't really have a ton in the tank today," admitted Kershaw. "Guys made some awesome plays defensively behind me. Today I was fortunate."

    More importantly, Kershaw went deep into the game, providing some much needed rest for the already exhausted bullpen after all 24 players on the roster were used in a 14-inning game on Saturday.

    Matt Kemp knocked in the only run of the game off San Francisco starter Ty Blach with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning.

    Kemp has a history of success at AT&T Park, batting .458 in 87 games played in San Francisco, second among all active players against the Giants.

    The rain-shortened two-game series snapped a four-game losing streak for the Dodgers.

    Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th inning, earning his first save of the season.

    "We needed this one," Jansen told Spectrum SportsNetLA "It was great. I'm going in the right direction. I feall really good. I never lost my confidence."

    Happy Flight

    The Dodgers improved to 10-22 at AT&T Park since 2015. Their worst record in any stadium over that span, but they are happy to leave the Bay with a split-series.

    Up Next:

    The Dodgers will have an off day on Monday (their third in five days), before hosting the Oakland Athletics for a pair of games at Dodger Stadium. LHP Sean Manaea will square off against LHP Alex Wood. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST. 

    If you can't view the embdedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



    Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[NHL First Round Playoff Schedule Set for Ducks, Kings]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 13:30:16 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ducks+kings.jpg

    The Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings now know who their NHL playoff opponents will be.

    The Ducks will play the San Jose Sharks in the first round, while the Los Angeles Kings will be pitted against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. While the Atlantic Division is still undecided, the NHL released its preliminary first round schedule Sunday, with the Ducks opening up play at home and the Kings kicking things off on the road.

    Because the Ducks finished the regular season with 101 points to sneak past San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division, Anaheim will host the first two games of the best-of-seven series at the Honda Center.

    The Kings finished in fourth place in the division and will travel to Las Vegas for Games 1 and 2 of their series. The Golden Knights enjoyed tremendous regular-season success in their inaugural season as an NHL franchise, winning the Pacific Division.

    Here's what the playoff schedule will look like for both the Ducks and the Kings, as well as the arenas where the games will be played (* if necessary):

    Anaheim Ducks

    • Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. at the Honda Center
    • Saturday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.: at the Honda Center
    • Monday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.: at the SAP Center
    • Wednesday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.: at the SAP Center
    • *Friday, April 20, TBD: at the Honda Center
    • *Sunday, April 22, TBD: at the SAP Center
    • *Tuesday, April 24, TBD: at the Honda Center


    Los Angeles Kings

    • Wednesday, April 11, 7 p.m.: at the T-Mobile Arena
    • Friday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.: at the T-Mobile Arena
    • Sunday, April 15, 7:30 p.m.: at the Staples Center
    • Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m.: at the Staples Center
    • *Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.: at the T-Mobile Arena
    • *Saturday, April 21, TBD: at the Staples Center
    • *Monday, April 23, TBD: at the T-Mobile Arena



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Isaiah Thomas Says He'll Be Ready For Free Agency]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 10:55:33 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Isaiah-Thomas-out-for-season.jpg

    Roughly a week after undergoing surgery on his hip, which Isaiah Thomas described as "They scoped my hip and fixed my labrum," the Los Angeles Lakers' backup point guard gingerly walked around STAPLES Center with the assistance of a crutch.

    Officially, Thomas' recovery time is listed as four months, which would mean the veteran point guard would still be rehabbing the injury when NBA free agency gets going in July. Thomas, of course, is a free agent, so the timing of his recovery and a medical evaluation may play a significant role in teams taking the leap and signing the 29-year-old Seattle native to a contract.

    "I'll be healthy by then," Thomas insisted with a confident smirk when asked about whether he was targeting a full recovery by the start of NBA free agency.

    Thomas insisted, "I should be fully recovered between three to four months."

    At three months, Thomas would be healthy by the start of free agency. At four months, he'd be fighting for attention after teams had already spent the bulk of their money. However, based on his social media, the explosive point guard is already doing work on an exercise bike, and he confirmed that enough time had passed following surgery that he had started his rehabilitation process.

    Thomas joined the Lakers via a mid-season trade that served to primarily free up salary cap space and also landed LA a draft pick. Thomas's arrival was celebrated as an expiring contract more than as an addition of an All-Star guard to the roster. Eventually, the point guard played 17 games with the purple and gold before suddenly leaving the team and opting for surgery.

    "The decision I made just felt like it was the best decision for me personally, individually as a basketball player," Thomas explained that the soreness in his hip refused to subside, so he eventually opted to go under the knife after seeking medical advice from experts.

    The former University of Washington Huskie also explained that he was thankful for his time with the Lakers and spoke highly of the players and the coaching staff.

    "I think it was a success," Thomas said about his time in LA. "I came in here. I had nothing in my agenda, nothing in my plans. I just wanted to play basketball and get my joy back, and being the Lakers brought that joy back from having a tough couple months to coming here and having fun and Luke [Walton] saying 'We want you to be who you are,' to be around a good group of guys was also pretty good to end the season." 

    Thomas added, "These guys are special. They're a special group of young group of talented guys. Coaching staff is special too. I thanked them for the opportunity. You never know what can happen."

    Thomas has been around the NBA long enough to know that he may have played his final game for the Lakers and that the NBA is a cold business when it comes to making player personnel decisions. Specifically, Thomas played through his hip injury for the Boston Celtics only to have Boston turn around the trade the point guard in the same summer.

    "No, I don't regret it because at that time, I was going through something way bigger than basketball," Thomas answered when asked if he regretted playing injured for Boston in the 2017 NBA playoffs. "So basketball was the only thing that could numb that at that point in time."

    Thomas lost his sister in a car crash on Apr. 15, 2017 and opted to keep playing basketball, which he seemingly used as a distraction from the grief of losing a loved one.

    Thomas added, "Basketball was the only thing to keep my mind off something so big."

    Regardless of where Thomas ends up or when he recovers, his time with the Los Angeles Lakers should be considered a success for both sides. According to Thomas, he regained the joy of playing basketball and being part of a team. For the Lakers, Thomas provided ephemeral excitement in a season that never expected to land LA into the post season, while also providing veteran leadership that the Lakers desperately needed in the locker room and on the court.



    Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
    <![CDATA[Déjà vu? Dodgers Lose Another Extra Innings Heartbreaker]]>Sat, 07 Apr 2018 21:12:48 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-943185666.jpg

    It's Déjà vu all over again.

    Andrew McCutchen hit a game-winning, walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the 14th inning and the San Francisco Giants rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5, at AT&T Park on Saturday night.

    McCutchen fell behind Wilmer Font 1-2 before fouling off seven pitches. He then turned on a 2-2 pitch and drove it into the seats in left field, scoring Kelby Tomlinson and Joe Panik, who both singled off Font (0-2).

    "Finally showed up today. Finally," McCutchen said. "It's only what, Game 7, but when you're not getting hits, it feels like it's forever. Feels good to show up today and do the job."

    Font's other loss was just six days ago when he also allowed a walk-off, game-winning hit in the bottom of the 15th, despite taking the mound with the lead.

    The Dodgers had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the 14th when Logan Forsythe singled in Yasiel Puig to snap a six-inning scoreless streak by both teams.

    The back and forth battle began five hours earlier when Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI double that scored Joe Panik to give the Giants an early, 1-0 lead.

    The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the third on an RBI single by Chris Taylor that scored Chase Utley.

    Buster Posey put the Giants back on front in the bottom half of the fourth inning with a two-run home run off Rich Hill.

    The Dodgers got off the mat in the top of the 6th when they loaded the bases with one out off relief pitcher Cory Gearrin.

    Buster Posey couldn't handle a Gearrin sinker and the Dodgers cut the lead to one on a passed ball. A few pitches later, they would tie the game on a groundout by Enrique Hernandez.

    San Francisco recaptured the lead with an RBI double by Brandon Belt in the bottom of the sixth, but Chase Utley tied the score again in the top half of the 7th with his first home run of the season.

    The two teams would take turns throwing up zeros for the next six innings until Forsythe finally broke through with his second RBI of the game.

    The game lasted 5 hours, 16 minutes after beginning two hours later than originally scheduled due to heavy rains that forced the postponement of Friday's game. It was the sixth rainout in AT&T Park history and the first since 2006.

    Wrong Side of History

    The Dodgers are 2-6, matching their worst start since 1976.

    Up Next:

    LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 2.25) of the Dodgers faces LHP Ty Blach (1-1, 5.79) on Sunday in a rematch of opening day starters. Kershaw lost the first round despite allowing one run over six innings while Blach owns a career 1.41 ERA against Los Angeles. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05PM PST.

    If you can't view the embdedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



    Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Kyle Kuzma Joins Injured Contingent in Loss to T-Wolves]]>Sat, 07 Apr 2018 00:29:43 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kyle-Kuzma-heavy-minutes-12-26-17.jpg

    On Friday night at STAPLES Center, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 113-96, following an elaborate ceremony that revealed a statue in honor of Lakers' legend Elgin Baylor. With Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and numerous other greats of Lakers' past in attendance, the night featured star power off the court, even if the Lakers couldn't keep their best players on the court.

    Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball were in the building, but neither was available to play. With Jack Nicholson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among the courtside fans, Kyle Kuzma suffered a sprained left ankle after struggling through a left ankle sprain for the better part of the past month.

    "It's kind of hard to move around on two flat tires," Kuzma would say after the game in reference to the two injured ankles.

    But Kuzma isn't the type of player to ask for out of a game, so when the second half started, Kuzma was back on the court. With the 22-year-old noticeably limping, Lakers coach Luke Walton sent Josh Hart to the scorers' table to take out the visibly hobbled forward.

    "The timeout happened and I had someone coming in for him, and as he walked by, he's like, 'Coach, you got to get me out,'" Walton shared his third quarter interaction with Kuzma. "Kuz plays through a lot. He wants to stay out on the floor, so he was struggling with it."

    Kuzma's night was done, and the Lakers proceeded to wilt away without their best players available. LA went on to be outscored 62-38 in the second half after leading the Timberwolves by seven points in the first half intermission.

    Kuzma's absence didn't help the cause, obviously, and the question of whether or not to shut down the former University of Utah Ute had to be asked. Kuzma said he didn't have an answer to the question but made it clear that he had asked to keep playing through the first ankle injury suffered on Mar. 13 and also asked to keep playing at halftime of Friday night's game.

    "My body feels great," Kuzma tried to be positive about potentially playing the final three games of the season. "At the end of the day, it's just my ankles."

    Notes: X-rays on Kuzma's ankle came back negative, and the forward is officially listed as day-to-day.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Lakers' Tyler Ennis Will Block You Online]]>Fri, 06 Apr 2018 14:48:16 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Tyler-Ennis-Lakers-social-media-block.jpg

    Los Angeles Lakers backup point guard Tyler Ennis doesn't have a personality that begs for attention, but the 23-year-old, who was born in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, draws an abnormal level of hate on social media considering his limited role on the team.

    "Oh yea," Ennis laughs, as NBCLA.com mentions that he seems to draw the ire of fans on social media more so than any other member of the Lakers' locker room. "I've never had a fan come up to me personally, just social media. I have a family that watches it during games, and they tell me about it. I'm not really big into it."

    Prior to joining the Lakers via trade during the 2016-17 season, Ennis got his first taste of the dark side of irrational NBA fandom in Houston.

    "In Milwaukee, the market's not that big, so I didn't really experience it, but Houston was huge," Ennis says. "Everybody was all James (Harden) and everyone else. If you didn't win, it was everyone else's fault. Talking to other players around the league, I realized that everyone goes through it."

    After arriving in Los Angeles, the social media volume grew notably louder, though. The point guard argues that the fans can't blame the young core of players for losses, so the frustrated fans watching a team with a losing record opt to sling arrows at the Canadian's chest instead.

    "I think the Lakers' fans kind of just have to look for something," Ennis says. "If that's me, then it is what it is. We always talk about the negative people, but there're also a lot of positive guys that personal message me or just comment good stuff, but obviously, the ones you remember are the bad, people talking crap."

    The 6-foot, 3-inch guard adds, "Most of them are people that have no idea of what's going on. Other basketball players, or GMs or coaches realize to come off the bench to play is probably a lot harder than starting in most situations. You wouldn't know that if you never played, and a lot of fans never played, so they wouldn't know."

    Ennis concludes, "It's not like I'm going to plead my case to fans."

    In his fourth NBA season, Ennis is a young player on his fourth NBA team and simply trying to find his place in the league after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the no. 18 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. So, it's curious that a young player with such a polite demeanor, who only averages 11.7 minutes per game, would become a central target for the Lakers' fan base.

    After all, Ennis has rarely enjoyed an extended run of regular, meaningful minutes on any of the teams he's played for. In the grand scheme of the NBA, Ennis is a still a young player, and he's played well in pockets when provided the opportunity.

    In fact, when Ennis did get regular playing time at the end of the 2016-17 season, the point guard played a vital role in the Lakers winning five of their last six games.

    Only, that winning run upset Lakers' fans and didn't help Ennis' standing with the team's supporters because the Lakers were in the lottery chase, which led to the bizarre practice of fans celebrating losses to help the Lakers' odds of keeping their draft pick. In effect, when he was playing well, Ennis earned even more negative attention from the fans on social media.

    "It's placing the blame on somebody who is, I mean, I don't even play 20 minutes per game," Ennis points out. "Obviously, there're mistakes we make, everybody. There're great games, bad games. I don't think me playing 15 minutes, 12 minutes per game on average is the do-or-die of why we didn't make the playoffs."

    Few could argue that Ennis is the reason the Lakers missed the playoffs in 2018. Frankly, even the delusional few that could make the argument would be quickly quieted when one points out that Ennis logged over 20 minutes only three times before the Lakers were mathematically eliminated from the postseason.

    "Usually, it's a laugh," Ennis shares his response to seeing the, um, colorful comments on social media. "I'll show my girlfriend, my boys. There are a few that you respond to. I haven't run into somebody that I respond to and they continue. They tell you, 'You suck!' and you respond to them, and they usually apologize like, 'You know, I'm just a mad Lakers fan. Can't wait to see you guys play.' That's usually what it is."

    Obviously, though, Ennis isn't responding to everyone--or even most people. Instead, he usually takes a different approach.

    "I block everybody," Ennis laughs. "I block a lot. I do, just because if it's continuous. If I do play bad, I expect fans to get on me about it because that's just the professional thing. But if it's a game that I played good in and it's ridiculous or I just never want to see them again, I block them. So, I do have a huge list of blocked people, but that's just because I'm not into keeping negativity around, and I'd rather see the positive fans and respond to them."

    With Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Isaiah Thomas out injured, Ennis played two straight games of 22-plus minutes for the first time during the 2017-18 season on Tuesday and Wednesday. Provided an opportunity, Ennis played well and drew praise from his coach on Wednesday night.

    In Utah on Tuesday and in San Antonio on Wednesday, Ennis averaged 27.0 minutes, 10.0 points, 6.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block. On social media, though, Ennis may lead the NBA in blocks.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Legend Elgin Baylor Finally Gets Statue on Friday]]>Fri, 06 Apr 2018 19:22:04 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Elgin-Baylor-statue.jpg

    On Friday, perhaps the most underrated Lakers' great, Elgin Baylor, finally gets his statue in Star Plaza at LA Live outside STAPLES Center over 40 years after he was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.

    From the start of his career, Baylor's greatness was undeniable. Drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers with the no. 1 overall pick in the 1958 draft, Baylor won Rookie of the Year in his first season by averaging a 24.9 points and 15.0 rebounds.

    Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma is having an historic season and ranks fifth all-time in points as a Lakers' rookie with 1,240 entering Friday night's game. No. 1 on that list is Baylor, of course, with 1,742 points. As a reminder, the NBA did not even have a three-point line back in those days, so Baylor's record is even more impressive nearly 60 years later.

    After two seasons in Minneapolis, the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, and Baylor served as the star of the team in those early years in LA. In fact, Baylor averaged over 30 points per game in each in the team's first three seasons in Los Angeles, including the 1961-62 season when the Washington D.C. native put up numbers that numb the mind: 38.3 points, 18.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.

    To this day, Baylor still holds the NBA Finals single-game scoring record for a 61-point performance in Boston on Apr. 14, 1962.

    Fittingly, the Lakers opted to give the man that helped move the Lakers from Minneapolis to Los Angeles a statue on the night the Minnesota Timberwolves travel to face the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Baylor's long overdue statue will be unveiled at approximately 6:20 p.m. Pacific Time, while the ceremony to honor the 83-year-old living legend will begin at 5:30 p.m.

    The ceremony is free and open to the public.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images for Sports Spectacular]]>
    <![CDATA[New L.A. Rams WR Brandin Cooks Wants to Stay Long Term]]>Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:56:30 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/AP_18095751562074.jpg

    Brandin Cooks has been traded twice in the past 13 months despite being one of the NFL's most productive receivers over the past three years, so the Rams' new top target knows he probably shouldn't get completely comfortable in Los Angeles.

    He's still grateful to be joining another talented team with a shot at another Super Bowl — and perhaps he can still find a long-term future at home in California, too.

    "It would be an extreme blessing to be here for a long haul, coming in here to be with a special group of guys," Cooks said Thursday at the Rams' training complex. "At the end of the day, it's not something I'm pressing. I just want to come in here and be the best that I can be."

    Los Angeles coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead praised Cooks' character and talent when they formally welcomed him to the defending NFC West champions, who had the NFL's highest-scoring offense last year.

    They've been interested in acquiring Cooks since before his first trade from New Orleans to New England last March. After Cooks posted another 1,000-yard season and reached the Super Bowl with New England, the Rams finally got him Monday.

    "I'm hard-pressed to remember a player that's got so many positive things said about him from different people he's been exposed to," McVay said. "You're talking about a special person and a special player. Clearly he's going to be a big part of our offense, being able to play our 'X' receiver (position) and do a variety of things."

    Cooks' ability as a deep threat makes him a strong replacement for Sammy Watkins, who was acquired by the Rams last season after they failed to get Cooks. Watkins parlayed his single season in McVay's high-powered passing game into a lavish free-agent deal with Kansas City.

    Cooks also can be a free agent next year, but the Rams were willing to take the risk because they're determined to build a Super Bowl contender with the payroll space available while Jared Goff is still in his rookie contract.

    "Simply put, 2018 is important," Snead said. "We definitely want to repeat as NFC (West) champions, but ... a lot of the players we've acquired are young and have evolved to be in the prime of their careers, and we would love to take advantage of that over not just '18, but '19, '20, '21 and moving forward."

    The Rams' trades for Watkins and Cooks have left them without a pick in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft, but Snead doesn't sound terribly worried about the potential loss of organizational depth.

    The Rams would rather have Cooks, who has already put together three seasons that were more productive than anything Watkins has done in the same four-year stretch. Cooks also is still three months younger than Cooper Kupp, who just finished an impressive rookie season for the Rams.

    Cooks' 1,082 yards receiving with the Patriots last season were 11th-most in the NFL. He was seventh in the league with 1,173 yards in 2016 during his final season with New Orleans, and he is one of just three active players with 1,000 yards and at least five touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

    Cooks had the benefit of catching passes from Drew Brees and Tom Brady. He already seems confident in Goff's ability to provide him with similar service.

    Cooks did have to playfully bat down one rumor that had already excited Rams fans: Although he has met Goff several times, and although they share the same agent, they haven't already had throwing sessions before the trade.

    There's plenty of time for that now.

    "I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to be able to grow with a young guy," Cooks said. "I'm young myself, so to be able to start that rapport this offseason is going to be extremely huge. I look forward to getting to work right away."



    Photo Credit: Greg Beacham/AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Kyle Kuzma Plays Through Fatigue, Injury To Beat Spurs]]>Thu, 05 Apr 2018 03:01:42 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kyle-Kuzma-Lakers-vs-Spurs.jpg

    When the locker room opened to the media on Wednesday night, Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Kyle Kuzma sat straight-faced in a chair in front of his locker.

    Kuzma led the Lakers to a 122-112 victory in a 43-minute performance against the San Antonio Spurs, but he didn't look like a 22-year-old rookie soaking in his 30-point night.

    Instead, Kuzma's tweaked right ankle was soaking in a tub of ice, after the former University of Utah Ute had played 36 minutes the night before on the same hurt ankle that has bothered him since he injured it against the Denver Nuggets on Mar. 19.

    In fact, Wednesday night proved to be the sixth time in the past eight games that Kuzma had played 39 or more minutes.

    "He plays to exhaustion and then, most times, plays through it," Lakers coach Luke Walton said about Kuzma following Wednesday's win. "They have the saying, 'Fatigue makes a coward of us all.' And that’s true, except for a few special players. And they know how to fight through that. I thought Kuz did that tonight."

    The coach added, "There's been some nights when he'll tell me, like, 'I need a break. I just need one.' And I'll get him out, but tonight I could tell, he wasn't going to ask to come out of that game. He was going to fight through it."

    At one point late in the game, Kuzma fell down and stayed there. The television cameras caught his chest puffing up with every inhale and collapsing with every exhale. He just lay on the hardwood for a what seemed like an eternity until the cameras caught him mouthing the words, "I'm just trying to catch my breath."

    Playing through injury and playing through exhaustion are building the lore of the Flint, Michigan native, and both of those qualities were on display Wednesday night.

    With his foot soaking in the yellow tub of frozen water, a voice said, "I couldn't tell if you were limping or strutting at the end of the game."

    "Probably a bit of both," Kuzma offered one of his usual sharp responses.

    After pushing the bucket of ice away, Kuzma sat with a serious look and waited while veteran Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished up his postgame interview for the throng of reporters and cameras huddled inside the Lakers' locker room.

    Then, rookie Josh Hart stepped up to take the spotlight as Kuzma listened intently and waited to interrupt with a needling comment. On this night, one play in particular stood out, of course: Hart missing the potential game winner at the end of regulation.

    "That was kind of the second option if they denied Kuzma," Walton explained the play at the end of regulation. "We were going to Kuzma at the end of the game, but the shot Josh ended up getting was as good of a shot as you could possibly ask for."

    Hart missed a lay-up, a "gimme" that would drop 99 out of 100 times.

    "He closed his eyes and got scared," Kuzma interrupted Hart's press conference to explain how Hart missed the chance.

    Hart returned serve, "If I would've tried to dunk it and missed it, I would've been you."

    Hart won this round of postgame jabs, as both Lonzo Ball and Kuzma have been known to miss dunks to provide locker room comedy material. Once Hart finished answering questions, Kuzma stood up and faced the bright lights on his night.

    "Just kill," Kuzma responded, when asked about his mentality at the start of overtime. "Just to try to win. I didn't want to lose that game. We have been losing the past couple of games, so I just tried to kill."

    In the overtime period, Kuzma scored the first five points. He finished with six points over the added five minutes, while the entire Spurs' team scored four points.

    Kuzma killed the Spurs. Then, he limped to the showers on a beat up ankle with only four games remaining in the Lakers' 2017-18 season.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Kings Playoff Tickets Go on Sale to General Public Thursday]]>Wed, 04 Apr 2018 22:28:42 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/164*120/AP_18093194417082.jpg

    Single-game tickets for the Los Angeles Kings potential four home games for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Thursday.

    Tickets are expected to sell out quickly. In the days leading up to a game, more tickets may be released so the club suggests checking back frequently for availability.

    Complete ticket information is available at LAKings.com/playoffs or by calling (888) KINGS-LA.

    Private event suites and tickets for groups of 15 are also available for the first four home games of round 1.

    The playoff schedule will be announced this weekend. The 2017-18 regular season concludes with one game Sunday.

    The Kings were assured of a playoff berth Wednesday when the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the St. Louis Blues, 4-3, tonight in St. Louis.

    The Kings and the Kings Care Foundation, the team's charity, announced they will conduct a charitable initiative during the playoffs, dubbed #PlayOffItForward. The initiative will begin with the Kings partnering with Bikes for Kids to surprise every student in a grade of an elementary school with a bicycle.



    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Corbin's Slider Helps D-Backs Sweep Dodgers]]>Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:39:53 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-939899768.jpg

    This isn't what we meant when we said, "Let things slide." 

    Patrick Corbin struck out 10 of his career-high 12 batters with the slider and the Arizona Diamondbacks swept the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-0, on Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field.

    Corbin grew up playing basketball in North Syracuse and did not pick up a baseball until his junior year of high school. A quarterback on the football team, his teammates urged him to try his hand at baseball.

    So at 17 years old, Corbin showed up to baseball tryouts in jeans and a t-shirt. He did not have a glove. After a coach leant him he glove, he put him on the mound to see if he could throw. Corbin reared back and threw an 80MPH fastball. The rest is history.

    On Wednesday, Corbin outpitched All-Star Alex Wood and recorded two hits at the plate as the Snakes got a little payback for the National League Division Series sweep by the Dodgers last October.

    Wood allowed leadoff doubles in each of the first three innings as the Diamondbacks recorded a run in each of the first three frames.

    "It was a little bit more of a battle today," said Wood of his start. "When you give off a leadoff double to start the inning, its tough against that lineup to taper it down."

    Wood (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in six innings. For the second straight start, he received no run support. 

    "I thought Alex competed really well today," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts to reporters. "Even without his best stuff he still made pitches when he needed to. Really good job by him, but we have got to put some runs on the board for him anyway."

    Corbin (2-0) retired the first 14 batters he faced before allowing a bloop double to Matt Kemp in the fifth inning.

    "That slider was tough," Chris Taylor told the media. "He was locating it well and it made his fastball play up. We're just not playing our best baseball right now."

    The 28-year-old left-hander allowed just one hit with one walk and a career-high 12 strikeouts in 7 and 1/3 innings as he stymied Dodger hitters all day long.

    At the plate, Corbin was 2-for-2 with a double, and a run scored.

    The Dodgers have had just one hit in two different shutouts this season. Both came on games started by Alex Wood.

    "It's April 4th," said Wood when asked why it's not time to panic yet. "We got off to a little slow start last year. Once everything clicks, we're going to get rolling."

    The Dodgers are now 2-5 to start the season, their worst seven-game start since 1998.

    Up Next:

    The Dodgers will have an off-day on Thursday before heading to San Francisco for a three-game series with the Giants over the weekend. RHP Kenta Maeda will start opposite LHP Derek Holland. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15PM PST.

    If you can't view the embdedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



    Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Kershaw, Dodgers Snakebit by D-Backs]]>Tue, 03 Apr 2018 21:48:41 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-941614662.jpg

    At least it didn't last six hours. 

    Daniel Descalso, David Peralta and John Ryan Murphy all hit solo home runs as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-1, on Tuesday night at Chase Field. 

    Clayton Kershaw surrendered two of those home runs as he fell to 0-2 on the season.

    "This one is on me tonight," Kershaw told reporters following the loss. "That first inning, throwing that many pitches set me up to only go six. After a night like last night, six is not going to cut it. That's a tough situation to put your bullpen in."

    Daniel Descalso—who always seems to be a thorn in the Dodgers side—hit the first home run off Kershaw in the bottom of the second inning.

    The Dodgers tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third after a sac fly by Chris Taylor scored Austin Barnes who led off the inning with a double.

    David Peralta punished Kershaw a half-inning later when he sent a four-seam fastball over the wall in right-center in nearly the same spot as Descalso's.

    The Diamondbacks have homered six times off Kershaw in their last two games, dating back to Game 1 of the NLDS last October.

    Kershaw has allowed three runs this season, all coming by way of the solo home run. Additionally,  all three home runs have been by left-handed batters.

    "I kinda went through this last year early on against lefties," Kershaw said of the homer runs to left-handed hitters. "I made two mistakes, and hopfully mistakes stay in the ballpark, and tonight they didn't and it cost us the game."

    Kershaw (0-2) allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings.

    Zack Godley (1-0) allowed just one run on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in seven strong innings for the Snakes.

    John Ryan Murphy hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning off Zach Neal who was making his Dodger debut after being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier in the day.

    The Dodgers have lost their last eight consecutive regular season games against Arizona.

    Where's The Support?

    In his first two games to start the season, Kershaw has been handed just one run of support.

    And I Would Walk 500 Miles

    The Arizona Diamondbacks scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, all via basesloaded walks. Dodgers relief pitcher Scott Alexander walked opposing pitcher Jorge De La Rosa who entered the game to bunt. Pedro Baez issued the other two basesloaded walks with both pitchers combining for four walks in the inning.

    Up Next:

    LHP Alex Wood gets the call on getaway day as the Dodgers will try to beat LHP Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40PM PST.

    If you can't view the embdedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



    Photo Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Lakers Drown in Salt Lake, Lose to Jazz]]>Tue, 03 Apr 2018 22:45:37 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Ricky-Rubio-Lakers-vs-Jazz.jpg

    SALT LAKE CITY - On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Utah Jazz, 117-110, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena for their eighth defeat in the past 10 contests, as the injury-plagued Lakers wind down what has been widely considered a successful season.

    With Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Isaiah Thomas all out injured, Lakers coach Luke Walton seemed to employ a point guard by committee mentality since Ball, Ingram and Thomas played as the team's primary playmakers when healthy.

    Against the Jazz, Julius Randle took on a great deal of the creative burden and finished the night with a near triple-double: 12 points, nine assists and 12 rebounds. Also, Tyler Ennis, who averages only 11 minutes per appearance, played 22 minutes and put up 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a standout performance for the 23-year-old.

    "Guys like Tyler, who haven't had a chance, I thought he was really good tonight," Walton said after the game. "It's great to see those guys get an opportunity. We tried running Julius at some point tonight, and he actually looked pretty good at it. He made some plays for us, but then, I think that kind of got him out of his beast mode rhythm that he's been in later in the game."

    Randle referred to the experiment as "point guard by committee" and instead lamented his five turnovers.

    "I can still find the balance," Randle said about playmaking for his teammates versus attacking on his own. "I just had too many turnovers."

    Truth be told, the Lakers started the game on fire and made their first eight field goals, with rookie Kyle Kuzma, who attended the University of Utah, making his first four shots.

    Kuzma had a healthy contingent supporting him in the arena with University of Utah supporters, Laker fans and Kuzma's friends all seranading the rookie with chants of "Kuuuuz" and cheering his every basket.

    "It's always cool coming back here," Kuzma said after the game. "I really, pretty much grew up here, maturity wise being here in Utah. It just has a place in my heart, so it's just really special to have a reception like that." 

    By the end of the first quarter, the Lakers held a seven-point advantage, but Ricky Rubio seemed to be getting into an offensive groove. The Spaniard scored 10 points in the first quarter to tie Kuzma for game-high honors at that stage.

    In the second quarter, Rubio stepped up to another level and scored 15 points with a perfect quarter that included five free throws, two three-pointers and four field goals overall. Rubio did not miss a shot in the quarter and led all scorers with 25 points at the intermission.

    Rubio eventually ended the night with 31 points to lead all scorers. Fueled by the Spaniard's hot shooting, the Jazz outscored the Lakers 41-29 in the second quarter despite the Lakers shooting 50 percent from the field in the period.

    Leading by five points, the home team came out with energy in the third quarter and built up a 15-point lead early in the second half. The Jazz still held the same advantage with 3 minutes remaining in the third period, but the Lakers rode their second unit to a 14-4 run over the final three minutes of the quarter.

    Suddenly, the Lakers only trailed by six points with 12 minutes remaining, and the result seemed in doubt. The Lakers cut the difference to five points for a moment, and the Jazz led by as many as nine points, but when the six-minute mark came about, the Lakers still trailed the Jazz by six points.

    Heading down the home stretch, too many defensive breakdowns and a lack of offensive execution saw the purple and gold trailing by double digits with two minutes remaining in the game.

    The comeback would not be completed, and the Jazz held on for their 45th win of the season. Meanwhile, the Lakers suffered their 44th defeat and eighth loss in the final 10 games.

    The Lakers now only have five games remaining in the 2017-18 season--all at STAPLES Center.

    Notes: Caldwell-Pope finished with a team-high 28 points. Kuzma finished with 26 points on the night and played 37 minutes.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Rams Acquire WR Brandin Cooks From Patriots]]>Tue, 03 Apr 2018 15:09:14 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/162*120/GettyImages-913128050.jpg

    The Los Angeles Rams have traded for a wide receiver.

    No, it isn't who you think. 

    According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Rams have acquired WR Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots in exchange for two draft picks. 

    Cooks, a former first-round pick in 2014, was acquired for a first and sixth-round pick. The Rams will also receive a fourth-round pick from the Patriots. 

    Cooks had 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns last season with the Patriots and has 280 receptions for 3,943 yards and 27 touchdowns in his career which started with the New Orleans Saints. 

    The move likely means that the Rams are out on the Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes as the mercurial New York Giants receiver has been rumored to the Rams in recent trade talks. 

    The trade for Cooks also likely means that the Patriots will hold on to tight-end Rob Gronkowski who flirted with the idea of retirement after New England lost in the Super Bowl to the Philadephia Eagles, 41-33, in February. 

    More to follow. 



    Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Alex Caruso: From Tryouts to Starting for the Lakers]]>Tue, 03 Apr 2018 07:35:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Alex-Caruso-Lakers.jpg

    Alex Caruso may not have the typical NBA story, but he's proving game-by-game that his is an NBA player.

    On Sunday night, the 24-year-old from College Station, who was born and bred to be a Texas A & M Aggie, earned his first start for the Los Angeles Lakers. With Brandon Ingram out due to a concussion and Lonzo Ball recovering from a left knee contusion, Caruso got the call to start at point guard only hours before tip-off against the Sacramento Kings.

    This was the first start of Caruso's NBA career, but the sudden nature of the news didn't even register as a shock because of the twists and turns it took to land the point guard into the Lakers' starting lineup.

    A couple nights earlier, for example, after playing 31 minutes in an overtime game, Caruso was on his way to the airport to play in a G-League playoff game for the South Bay Lakers in Oklahoma City.

    "Flight was at 12:55 and it was a red-eye," Caruso shared, providing a clear reminder that the G-League still flies commercial airlines. "I was going to connect through Dallas to OKC."

    Fearing Ingram's absence and Ball's unavailability, Lakers coach Luke Walton and company made a last second decision to call off the trip. Walton said, "He got a call on the way to the airport to not continue his drive and to go home and get some sleep."

    The South Bay Lakers won without Caruso on Saturday, which meant the team would be playing a single-elimination playoff game in Reno on Tuesday night. Even after making his first career NBA start on Sunday night, though, Caruso kept his guard up when a question assumed he would be starting for the Lakers on Tuesday night in Utah.

    "Assuming that I'm going to Utah in the first place is kind of just up in the air," the point guard responded. "It's still late, and I'll find out tonight what my schedule is tomorrow to see which team I'm flying out with."

    The Lakers opted to take Caruso to Utah, where he's considered the likely starter for the second straight game. This may not be the typical NBA story, but the undrafted rookie doesn't seem to mind.

    "Not many people get to experience what I've gotten to experience in a year's time," Caruso said. "I mean, a year ago, I was done. I had just lost a playoff game in the (D-League) after playing a full season. [I was a] free agent not knowing what I was doing, going to a G-League showcase to try and find something for myself."

    Caruso added, "So, to see how far I've come in a year is really special. I'm really humbled to be in this position and just really excited for the future."

    The point guard first registered on the radar of Lakers' fans when he had a few impressive performances in the NBA Summer League. At one point, Caruso had the pro-Lakers crowd in Las Vegas losing its mind against lottery draft pick De'Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings. A fan seemingly conjured an impromptu sign that read "Fox fears Carusso."


    Caruso's name was spelled wrong on the sign, but the standout performances landed the feisty guard a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-way contract placed a maximum number of days that Caruso could spend with the parent club before having to return to the G-League's South Bay Lakers. Caruso expended the maximum number of days on his contract and returned to the G-League with no promise of a return.

    "At that point, I kind of had an earshot from my agent and the coaches and front office that I was going to spend the rest of the year with South Bay until we were done," Caruso told NBCLA.com. "Obviously, that changed, but that's kind of the theme of the year for me is I thought I was going to do one thing and I was with the other team or something happened and I got flipped."

    Caruso's been a standout performer in the G-League and proven he can be a capable backup in the NBA. After scored 41 points, recording 12 assists, pulling down eight rebounds and swiping three steals in a G-League game in December, Golden State Warriors all-star Draymond Green even took notice on social media. After calling out Caruso's "Amazing game," Green proceeded to ridicule the then 23-year-old for his thinning hair, saying "It's a must he cut his hair off though…pathetic."

    Caruso kept the hair, and he kept his head down in the G-League to the tune of 19.0 points, 7.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game in 29 appearances.

    Once the G-League regular season wrapped up, Caruso was available for a call-up back to the NBA, and a series of injuries now have him as the primary point guard on the Lakers' depth chart.

    "[I'm] just trying to stay present for these last couple weeks, as hard as that is to do knowing a big summer is coming ahead of me and I've had such a good year," Caruso said on the topic of approaching a likely second NBA start in Utah. "I'm just really trying to stay present."

    He added, "Really wish we'd gotten a win, so I could be 1-0 in my starter career, but [I'm] just happy that I got to play the game at the end of the day."

    Asked what it meant to be the Lakers' starting point guard after all he's been through, Caruso told NBCLA.com, "Right now is probably the first time I've thought about this year and the experiences and it's almost up—how fast it's gone."

    Caruso concluded, "It's been crazy, you know, from the journey that I've taken, but I think it's been special, and I don't think I'd trade it for anything. It kind of built me into the person that I am."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Dodgers Run Out of Gas in Loss to D-Backs]]>Tue, 03 Apr 2018 02:49:53 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-941215738.jpg

    It's easy to run out of gas in the desert.

    Wilmer Font ran out of gas in the 15th inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks outlasted the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-7, in a 5-hour and 45-minute marathon on Monday night. 

    Font threw five innings of shutout baseball and laid down two perfect sacrifice bunts at the plate, including one that lead to the go-ahead run in the top of the 15th, but he was running on fumes by the time he returned to the mound in the bottom half of the inning, and Snakes rallied for the win. 

    "You don't know what to expect and he was the last guy in the pen," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Font. "He's never been in that situation. Such a gutty performance. He picked up our entire ball club.

    Nick Ahmed tied the game with an RBI double off Font and Jeff Mathis followed with the game-winning walk-off single two pitches later. 

    While most of the sports world was transfixed on Villanova's blowout victory over Michigan in the NCAA National Championship game, baseball fans were witnessing the Dodgers' third consecutive win in the season.

    The Boys in Blue continued their hot-hitting in the first inning as Joc Pederson doubled to start the game, and scored one batter later on an RBI single from Corey Seager. 

    Two batters later, Grandal hit his first home run of the season, a two-run blast that put the Dodgers ahead 3-0.

    Grandal went 3-for-6 with a single, double, home run and two walks as he reached base safely five times. It was the third time Grandal has reached base safely five or more times in a game.

    The Diamondbacks would not go quietly into the desert night as they chipped away at the three-run lead, scoring runs in the first, third, and fourth innings before tying the game on an RBI triple by Ketel Marte.

    Marte finished the game 3-for-7 with two triples, an RBI and a run scored. It was only the second time a Diamondback player tripled twice in a game against the Dodgers since Miguel Montero did it in 2010. 

    Hyun-Jin Ryu started the game for the Dodgers, but did not factor in the decision, allowing three runs on five hits with five walks and two strikeouts in just 3 and 2/3 innings.

    Arizona starter Taijuan Walker faced the Dodgers for the first time since he was hit hard in Game 2 of the National League Division Series last October.

    Walker also did not factor in the decision, allowing three runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

    Forsythe broke the 3-3 tie in the top of the sixth inning when he sent a four-seam fastball from Yoshihisa Hirano over the wall in left-center.

    Chris Ownings hit the game-tying home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra-innings. Kenley Jansen walked back-to-back batters after recording the first two outs of the inning. 

    "It happens. I tried to just go out there and attack and it didn't my way today," said Jansen.

    Jansen has allowed four runs in two innings, surrendering two home runs, with a loss and a blown save to start the season.

    "Nobody wants to get beat. Nobody wants to blow saves. Nobody wants to lose games, but it happens," said Jansen. "It's a slow start. It sucks. Nobody is going to feel sorry for me."

    The score would remain tied at 6-6 into the 15th inning when Cody Bellinger led off with an infield single. After Font sacrificed Bellinger into scoring position, Chase Utley brought him home with an RBI single to give the Dodgers the 7-6 lead.

    The lead would be short-lived as Arizona would rally for two runs in the bottom half for the victory. 

    According to Major League Baseball, the game was the longest in the history of Chase Field.

    Give Yasiel Puig The Gold Glove

    Yasiel Puig made the play of the game in the bottom of the 14th inning when he tracked down a ball on the run near the right field line, spun, and threw out the tagging Ketel Marte at second base. 

    Up Next:

    Clayton Kershaw makes his second start of the season on Tuesday opposite RHP Zack Godley for the Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40PM PST.

    If you can't view the embdedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.



    Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[March Madness Memes as Villanova Dominates Michigan]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 21:37:50 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-941206634.jpg

    Villanova won its second national Championship in three years on Monday when they defeated Michigan, 79-62, in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game.

    The Wildcats dominated the tournament, including Michigan in their final game, proving why Jay Wright is one of the best coaches in the country, and why Villanova is one of the top programs.

    Donte DiVincenzo scored 31 points off the bench, providing many memes and jokes on Twitter.

    Here are the best memes of the game:

    Kevin Durant's next chapter:

    Villanova Jeopardy question:

    Villanova coach Jay Wright's Rocky moment: 

    Philadelphia is 2-0 against Tom Brady's alma mater in 2018: 

    Donte Divincenzo was on fire:

    Mercy Rule:

    A Flutist redeemed:

    Ohio State fans trolling Michigan:

    Live look at Donte DiVincenzo:

    It's not delivery, it's DiVincenzo:

    Who did this to Sister Jean?

    The Internet Never Forgets:

    If for some reason you can not view the images on your mobile device, click "VIEW FULL MOBILE SITE" at the bottom of the article.



    Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Clippers Donation Will Renovate LA Basketball Courts]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 19:11:48 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/06-18-2015-clippers-new-logo.jpg

    Hundreds of public basketball courts across Los Angeles will be renovated over the next three years with funds donated by the L.A. Clippers and team Chairman Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, it was announced Monday.

    Mayor Eric Garcetti and other leaders joined the Ballmers and Clippers guard Lou Williams for the announcement at the Jim Gilliam Recreation Center in South Los Angeles, which is one of the roughly 350 courts that will be renovated though the $10 million gift to the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.

    "Los Angeles is a city that embraces opportunity -- and every kid in this city should have every opportunity to grow up to be the next Lou Williams, or DeAndre Jordan," Ballmer said.

    "Mayor Garcetti asked if the Clippers would play a role and help give opportunity to kids, and we were happy to step up," he said. "We believe every kid should have a shot at the American dream, and youth sports opportunities can absolutely play a role in that."

    The city's Department of Recreation and Parks conducted a detailed assessment of basketball courts early in Garcetti's administration and determined that the floors of 108 indoor courts and 236 outdoor courts are in need of restoration.

    "Sports have always been an incredible vehicle for social change, and this gift is an extraordinary investment in our children and communities," Garcetti said. "The Ballmers and the Clippers organization reflect the best of Los Angeles, and I'm grateful to them for their leadership and generous commitment to our city's future."

    The donation will cover the renovation of every court that is in need of repair in Los Angeles, according to the team.

    The Clippers also said the donation could help increase the participation of girls in basketball in Los Angeles, where participation is roughly 25 percent female and 75 percent male. Nationally, the statistics are 40 percent female and 60 percent male.

    A large number of the courts being renovated are located in communities where Garcetti's Girls Play L.A. initiative is driving higher participation by young women in the city's youth sports programming, team officials said.

    Renovation of the courts will include installing new flooring, backboards, frames, rims and scoreboards, while each project will be customized to update each court in line with the needs of the local community, the Clippers said.



    Photo Credit: Los Angeles Clippers]]>
    <![CDATA[Male Cheerleaders, Sir Mix-A-Lot and LiAngelo Ball]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:30:12 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_RAPID_FIRE_040118_1200x675_1200577091987.jpg

    Another fun-filled Rapid Fire: The Rams are the NFL's first team with male cheerleaders in their dance routines: KPCC’s A Martinez wants in. And new contributor Mike Critelli argues why he'd pick LiAngelo Ball as high as possible in the upcoming NBA Draft. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 1, 2018.]]>
    <![CDATA[The Conversation: Kirk Gibson]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:09:18 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ROGGIN_GIBSON_MARCH_2018_1200x675_1200678979749.jpg

    Before Kirk Gibson's triumphant return to Dodger Stadium last week, he sat down with Fred Roggin for an eye-opening exclusive interview. Gibson talked about his historic home run in the 1988 World Series and about his battle with Parkinson's. Originally aired on Going Roggin, April 1, 2018.]]>
    <![CDATA[Rams Defense = Destiny?]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:28:14 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_RAMS_040118_1200x675_1200582211640.jpg



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    The Rams have made noise this offseason acquiring defensive standouts Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Will these additions put the team in a place to fight for a Super Bowl? KPCC’s A Martinez and the winner of “The Choice” Mike Critelli tell Fred Roggin that this team looks ready to go all the way. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 1, 2018.


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    <![CDATA[Is This the Dodgers' Year?]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:26:26 -0700https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_DODGERS_040118_1200x675_1200581187954.jpg



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    The Dodgers finished last season one win short of a World Series title, but do they have enough pieces to get another shot at the Fall Classic? KPCC’s A Martinez and the winner of “The Choice,” Mike Critelli, tell Fred Roggin that the boys in blue are going to need that “clutch factor” they were missing last postseason. Originally Aired on Going Roggin on April 1, 2018.


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