The Rundown for August 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 5,529,437 and the nation’s death toll stands at 173,145 according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Food and Drug Administration has put its emergency authorization for blood plasma as a COVID-19 treatment on hold after top federal health officials warned that evidence for the effectiveness of the treatment was too weak, according to the New York Times. President Trump had previously touted plasma as a “beautiful ingredient” and encouraged its use.

DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION DAY 3… California Senator Kamala Harris accepted the nomination to be the Democratic candidate for vice president last night on Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention. In her acceptance speech, Harris credited her mother’s influence in guiding her into politics and criticized President Trump’s “failure of leadership,” particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Former President Barack Obama spoke live from Philadelphia and warned voters that the Trump administration would “tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes for them to win.”

HOUSE DEMS UNVEIL POSTAL SERVICE LEGISLATION… House Democrats yesterday unveiled legislation that would require same-day processing for mail-in ballots and pump $25 billion into the postal service. The legislation would also cancel recent changes enacted by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed to the post in May despite having no postal or government experience. Ninety House Democrats signed on their names to a letter sent to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors urging DeJoy removal, claiming he had used his stewardship to “sabotage” the agency. A vote on the measure is scheduled for Saturday.

ACA LAWSUIT WON’T BE HEARD BEFORE ELECTION… The Republican-led lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act won’t be decided until after Election Day. The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear the case on November 10. The lawsuit was filed by an 18-state coalition led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. It argues the ACA, also known as Obamacare, was rendered unconstitutional by President Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul, which removed “the only constitutional basis for the law: the tax penalty in Obamacare’s individual mandate.”

MORE BLAZES IN CALIFORNIA… Fire officials say nearly 11,000 lightning strikes in Northern California sparked at least 60 fires. There are now more than 367 wildfires burning across the state and they have consumed more than 300,000 acres and threatened the lives of residents and homes. The fires have spread quickly in parched terrain and prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency.

ENTERTAINMENT
ACTOR BEN CROSS DIES
… Actor Ben Cross, who was best known for his roles in “Chariots of Fire” and 2009’s “Star Trek,” died earlier this week, family members have confirmed. He was 72. Cross starred as Harold Abrahams in the 1981’s “Chariots of Fire,” which won four Oscars, including Best Picture. He will appear posthumously in the upcoming film “The Devil’s Light” and the Netflix movie “Last Letter from Your Lover.”

‘PINOCCHIO’ CAST EXPANDS… Cate Blanchett and Ron Perlman have signed on to the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion musical film “Pinocchio.” The cast already includes Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz and John Turturro. The film will be set during the rise of fascism in 1930s Italy.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES
ST. LOUIS 9 – Chi. Cubs 3
… Matt Carpenter unloaded a grand slam in the top of the first inning and the Cardinals never looked back in taking the opener of a doubleheader.

Chi. Cubs 4 – ST. LOUIS 2… David Bote stroked a tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the seventh and final inning to push the Cubs past the Cardinals for a split of the twinbill.

KANSAS CITY 4 – Cincinnati 0… Brad Keller (3-0) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and reliever Trevor Rosenthal retired the final batter in the Reds’ blanking of the Royals in a doubleheader opener.

Cincinnati 5 – KANSAS CITY 0… Trevor Bauer (3-0) allowed just one hit and struck out nine in shutting out the Royals in the seven-inning twinbill nightcap. Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez and Curt Casali homered for Cincinnati.

Toronto 5 – BALTIMORE 2… Randal Grichuk homered twice and knocked in three runs as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the series.

BOSTON 6 – Philadelphia 3… Rafael Devers homered with a runner aboard and doubled home a run as the Red Sox doubled up on the Phillies for their first win in 10 games.

Tampa Bay 4 – N.Y. YANKEES 2… Mike Brousseau delivered a pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to help the Rays get past the Yankees. Ji-Man Choi and Mike Zunino homered for Tampa Bay.

Cleveland 6 – PITTSBURGH 1… Aaron Civale (3-2) surrendered a run on five hits in a complete game victory over the Pirates. Carlos Santana belted a three-run homer and Domingo Santana lined a bases-clearing double for the Indians.

N.Y. Mets 5 – MIAMI 3… Michael Conforto’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning carried the Mets past the Marlins. Dominic Smith and Luis Guillorme both had a couple of hits and an RBI.

Milwaukee 9 – MINNESOTA 3… Avisail Garcia singled home two runs and homered with a runner aboard as the Brewers cruised past the Twins. Christian Yelich also hit a two-run homer. Ryan Braun and Keston Hiura added solo shots.

CHI. WHITE SOX 5 – Detroit 3… Jose Abreu’s solo homer broke an eighth-inning tie and Edwin Encarnacion followed with his second homer of the game in the White Sox win.

Houston 13 – COLORADO 6… Kyle Tucker homered, legged out two triples and finished with four RBIs in the Astros’ romp over the Rockies. Martin Maldonado, George Springer and Carlos Correa also went deep for Houston.

SAN DIEGO 6 – Texas 3 (10 innings)… Manny Machado connected for a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Padres outlasted the Rangers. San Diego also got homers from Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jurickson Profar.

OAKLAND 4 – Arizona 1… Jesus Luzardo (2-0) pitched four-hit ball over 6-1/3 innings and the Athletics topped the Diamondbacks. Robbie Grossman lined a two-run double and Mark Canha hit a two-run homer for Oakland.

SAN FRANCISCO 7 – L.A. Angels 2… Wilmer Flores blasted a three-run homer and singled home a run to lead the Giants past the Angels. Austin Slater added a two-run blast. Johnny Cueto (2-0) allowed two runs on four hits over 5-2/3 innings.

SEATTLE 6 – L.A. Dodgers 4… Austin Nola opened the scoring with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning and blasted a three-run homer during a four-run bottom of the sixth inning for the Mariners.

ATLANTA – Washington (ppd)… Rain in Atlanta forced postponement of last night’s Braves-Nationals game. It has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on September 4.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Philadelphia (Vince Velasquez, 0-0; Spencer Howard, 0-0) is at Toronto (Chase Anderson, 0-0; Trent Thornton, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
the N.Y. Yankees (James Paxton, 1-1) host Tampa Bay (Ryan Yarbrough, 0-0)…
Detroit (Spencer Turnbull, 2-1) is at the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 1-2)…
Colorado (German Marquez, 2-3) hosts Houston (Cristian Javier, 2-1)…
the N.Y. Mets (Steven Matz, 0-0) are at Miami (Daniel Castano, 0-0)…
Pittsburgh (Trevor Williams, 1-3) hosts Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 0-0)…
Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 1-1) is at Minnesota (Jose Barrios, 1-3)…
Seattle (Yusei Kikuchi, 0-0) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 2-1)…
Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 1-2) is at Baltimore (Asher Wojciechowski, 1-2)…
San Diego (Danielson Lamet, 2-1) hosts Texas (Kyle Gibson, 1-2)…
Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 4-1) is at St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 0-0)…
Oakland (Sean Manaea, 0-0) hosts Arizona (Alex Young, 0-0)…
the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney, 1-1) are at San Francisco (Kevin Gausman, 0-0)

NBA PLAYOFFS (first-round openers)…
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Toronto 104 – Brooklyn 99
… The Raptors used a fourth-quarter rally to overtake the Nets and take a 2-0 series lead. Fred VanVleet scored a 24 points and dished off 10 assists. Normal Powell added 24 points off the bench. Game 3 is tomorrow.

Boston 128 – Philadelphia 101… Jayson Tatum pumped in 33 points as the Celtics handled the 76ers to go up 2-0 in the series. Kemba Walker added 22 points. Jaylen Brown tossed in 20 points. Game 3 is tomorrow.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Utah 124 – Denver 105
… The Jazz put the game away with a big third quarter and evened the series at a game apiece. Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 30 points. Jeremy Clarkson had 26 points off the bench. Game 3 is tomorrow.

Dallas 127 – L.A. Clippers 114… The Mavericks fought off the Clippers to even the series at 1-1. Luka Doncic scored 28 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 23 for Dallas. Game 3 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S FIRST-ROUND NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Indiana vs. Miami in Game 2 with the Heat leading 1-0…
Milwaukee vs. Orlando in Game 2 with the Bucks leading 1-0

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Houston vs. Oklahoma City in Game 2 with the Rockets leading 1-0
the L.A. Lakers vs. Portland in Game 2 with the Trail Blazers leading 1-0

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FIRST-ROUND SCORES
EASTERN CONFERENCE (in Toronto)
Tampa Bay 5 – Columbus 4 (OT)… The Lightning came from two goals down in the third period to eliminate the Blue Jackets in Game 5. Brayden Point found the net 5:12 into overtime. Anthony Cerelli had a goal and an assist.

Boston 2 – Carolina 1… Patrice Bergeron netted a tie-breaking goal with 3.5 seconds left in the second period and the Bruins made it stand in wrapping up the series with a Game 5 victory. Bergeron and David Krejci each had a goal and an assist. David Pastrnak assisted on both goals.

Montreal 5 – Philadelphia 3… Nick Suzuki scored a go-ahead goal midway through the third period and the Canadiens went on to down the Flyers and pull within 3-2 in the series. Joel Armia netted two goals for Montreal. Game 6 is tomorrow.

WESTERN CONFERENCE (in Edmonton)
Colorado 7 – Arizona 1… The Avalanche skated past the Coyotes to capture the series in five games. Nazem Kadri and Nate MacKinnon scored two goals apiece for Colorado. MacKinnon also had two assists.

Vancouver 4 – St. Louis 3… The Canucks scored three straight goals in the second period to take the lead for good on their way past the Blues and have gone up 3-2 in the series. Tyler Motte scored twice. J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist. Game 6 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FIRST-ROUND SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE (in Toronto)
Washington vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Game 5 with the Islanders leading 3-1…
Boston vs. Carolina in Game 5 with the Bruins leading 3-1

WESTERN CONFERENCE (in Edmonton)
Dallas vs. Calgary for Game 6 with the Stars leading 3-2

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