The Rundown for April 21, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 31,197,511 and the nation’s death toll stands at 562.066, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… More than 180 million vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S., with 35.3 percent of the population having received at least one dose and 21.3 percent fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and current Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb said during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” yesterday that he expects COVID-19 vaccine supply to exceed demand in as early as three weeks… Nineteen states and territories have seen a greater than 25 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, compared to the two weeks before. A recent surge in Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to request additional vaccines and ask residents to take a two-week “pause.”

DEFENSE SEC AUSTIN RE-AFFIRMS U.S. SUPPORT OF ISRAEL…Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin yesterday reinforced U.S. support of Israel by declaring the nation’s commitment “enduring and ironclad.” Austin made the declaration following a meeting in Jerusalem with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz. He is also scheduled to discuss Iran and other regional security issues with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

BUTTIGIEG PRESSES INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN… Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said yesterday that President Joe Biden is hoping to pass his $2 trillion infrastructure plan by Memorial Day. Biden continues to seek Republican support for his American Jobs plan and is facing backlash from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on the Democratic side. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Buttigieg defended the Biden administration’s broad definition of infrastructure in the plan, calling infrastructure “the foundation that allows us go about our lives.”

FED CHIEF OFFERS ROSY OUTLOOK… Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell characterized the U.S. economy as at an “inflection point” during an interview last night on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” Powell based his optimism on the premise that growth and job creation is poised to accelerate. Powell conceded that another wave of COVID-19 could wipe out his rosy outlook and called on people to socially distance and wear masks.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE TO INVESTIGATE TRAFFIC STOP… Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced yesterday that he has directed the Virginia State Police to open an investigation into a December traffic stop in which a uniformed Army lieutenant was threatened, held at gunpoint and pepper-sprayed by two Windsor Police Department officers. Lieutenant Caron Nazario, a Black/Latino Army medic, filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month accusing the officers of using excessive force, violating his First and Fourth Amendment Rights and of illegally searching his SUV. He was driving home in a new car when officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop. In body-camera footage released on Friday, Nazario is seen holding his hands in plain sight out the window, asking why he had been pulled over with guns drawn on him. When Nazario explains that he is scared to get out of the car. “Yeah? You should be!” the officer shouts back.

ENTERTAINMENT
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
… “Godzilla vs. Kong” took in $13.3 million to blow away the weekend box office. “Nobody” finished in a distant second place with $2.6 million. “The Unholy” made $2.4 million to finish third. “Raya and the Last Dragon” came in fourth place with $2.1 million. “Voyagers” debuted at No. 5 with $1.3 million.

BIEBER BACK ATOP ALBUM CHART… Justin Bieber’s “Justice” sold 75,000 copies in returning to the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart. Demi Lovato’s “Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over” opened at No. 2 with 74,000 units sold. Last week’s champ, Rod Wave’s “SoulFly” slipped to third place with 67,000 copies sold. Morgan Wallen’s former No. 1 “Dangerous: The Double Album” finished fourth on sales of 63,000 units. Lil Tjay’s “Destined 2 Win” capped the top five on sales of 62,000 copies.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES

NATIONAL LEAGUE
PITTSBURGH 7 – Chi. Cubs 1
… J.T. Brubaker (1-0) pitched 5-1/3 solid innings and helped himself at the plate with three RBIs in the Pirates’ win over the Cubs. Pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo homered with a runner aboard.

Milwaukee 9 – ST. LOUIS 3… Avisail Garcia went deep for the second day in a row and the Brewers also got homers from Travis Shaw and Manny Piña in their drubbing of the Cardinals.

SAN FRANCISCO 4 – Colorado 0… Four Giant pitchers scattered eight hits in shutting out the Rockies. Starter Anthony DeSclafani (1-0) went the first six innings. Alex Dickerson and Brandon Belt smacked solo homers for San Francisco.

ARIZONA 7 – Cincinnati 0… Luke Weaver (1-0) pitched one-hit ball over seven innings and reliever Matt Peacock completed the Diamondbacks’ shutout of the Reds. David Peralta belted a three-run homer for Arizona. Eduardo Escobar added a two-run shot.

L.A. DODGERS 3 – Washington 0… Clayton Kershaw (2-1) outdueled Max Scherzer in a strong six-inning effort and got help from three relievers in the shutout. McKinstry doubled home Max Muncy in the bottom of the second inning and homered with a runner aboard in the seventh.

Philadelphia 7 – ATLANTA 6… Didi Gregorius connected for a three-run homer and lifted a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Phillies over the Braves. Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper smacked solo homers.

Florida – N.Y. METS (susp.)… Yesterday’s Marlins-Mets game was suspended after nine pitches due to rain in New York. It was be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on August 31.

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston 14 – BALTIMORE 9
… J.D. Martinez belted three home runs and drove in four runs in his return from the COVID-19 list and the Red Sox slugged their way past the Orioles. Rafael Devers added a three-run homer and a two-run shot. Alex Verdugo also went deep.

CLEVELAND 5 – Detroit 2… The Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Franmil Reyes went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Logan Allen (1-1) allowed just a run on two hits over five innings.

N.Y. Yankees 8 – TAMPA BAY 4 (10 innings)… Rougned Odor’s RBI single in the top of the 10th inning sparked a four run rally that pushed the Yankees past the Rays. Gio Urshela homered and knocked in three runs.

Kansas City 4 – CHI. WHITE SOX 3 (10 innings)… Michael A. Taylor scored the decisive run in the top of the 10th inning when White Sox reliever Garrett Crochet threw away Andrew Benintendi’s bunt attempt. Carlos Santana’s ninth-inning solo homer forced the extra inning.

Seattle 8 – MINNESOTA 6… The Mariners came from six runs down to upend the Twins. Kyle Seager’s second homer of the game was a three-run shot in the top of the ninth inning. Taylor Trammell also connected for a three-run blast.

L.A. Angels – TORONTO (ppd)… Rain in Dunedin, Florida, forced postponement of yesterday’s Angels-Blue Jays game. It will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on August 10 in Anaheim.

INTERLEAGUE
San Diego 2 – TEXAS 0
… Seven pitchers combined on a five-hitter as the Padres blanked the Rangers. Starter Adrian Morejon left after the first inning with an arm injury. Trent Grisham and Manny Machado homered for San Diego.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
NATIONAL LEAGUE
San Diego (Yu Darvish, 0-0) is at Pittsburgh (Trevor Cahill, 0-1)…
the N.Y. Mets (David Peterson, 0-1) host Philadelphia (Chase Anderson, 0-1)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 0-1) is at Atlanta (Max Fried, 0-0)…
Milwaukee (Freddy Peralta, 1-0) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Adbert Alzolay, 0-1)…
Washington (Stephen Strasburg, 0-0) is at St. Louis (John Gant, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Aaron Sanchez, 0-0) hosts Cincinnati (Wade Miley, 1-0)

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston (Martin Perez, 0-0) is at Minnesota (J.A. Happ, 0-0)…
Baltimore (Dean Kremer, 0-1) hosts Seattle (Justus Sheffield, 0-1)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 1-0) are at Toronto (Hyun Jin Ryu, 0-1)…
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow, 0-0) hosts Texas (Dane Dunning, 1-0)…
the L.A. Angels (TBA) are at Kansas City (Brady Singer, 0-1)…
the Chi. White Sox (Carlos Rodon, 1-0) host Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 0-1)…
Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-0) is at Houston (Zack Greinke, 1-0)

INTERLEAGUE
Oakland (Chris Bassitt, 0-2) is at Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-1)

NBA SCOREBOARD
Atlanta 105 – CHARLOTTE 101… The Hawks rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to top the Hornets. Bogdan Bogdanovic made eight 3-pointers on his way to 32 points. Clint Capela had 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Boston 105 – DENVER 87… The Celtics mounted a 31-3 run spanning the third and fourth quarter to erase a 14-point deficit and blow away the Nuggets. Jayson Tatum scored 28 points and grabbed 10 boards. Jaylen Brown tossed in 20 points. The loss was Denver’s first in seven games.

New Orleans 116 – CLEVELAND 109… The Pelicans came on strong in the second half to rally past the Cavaliers. Zion Williamson scored 25 of his game-high 38 points in the first half.

Milwaukee 124 – ORLANDO 87… The Bucks built a big lead early and never looked back in their rout of the Magic. Kris Middleton scored 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack. Bobby Portis delivered 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

NEW YORK 102 – Toronto 96… The Knicks recovered to down the Raptors after blowing an 18-point third-quarter lead. Julius Randle led all scorers with 26 points. Nerlens Noel pulled down 14 boards.

San Antonio 119 – DALLAS 117… DeMar DeRozan knocked down a jumper with less than a second remaining to send the Spurs past the Mavericks. 27 of DeRozan’s game-high 33 points came in the second half. Dejounte Murray added 25 points.

Indiana 132 – MEMPHIS 125… The Pacers jumped out to a 45-31 lead after the first quarter and held on to beat the Grizzlies. Caris LeVert pumped in 34 points. Malcolm Brogdon scored 29 points and dished off 11 assists. Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and 15 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 121 – Chicago 117… The Timberwolves held off the Bulls in the second half to escape with the victory. Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell scored 27 points apiece. Towns also had 10 boards.

Miami 107 – PORTLAND 98… The Heat caught fire after a slow start and handled the Trail Blazers. They got 22 points from Bam Adebayo and 20 from Jimmy Butler.

L.A. CLIPPERS 131 – Detroit 124… The Clippers were too much in the fourth quarter and fought off the Pistons in a back-and-forth contest. Marcus Morris scored 33 points and Paul George tossed in 32 to lead seven players in double figures.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
the L.A. Lakers are at New York…
Dallas hosts Philadelphia…
San Antonio is at Orlando…
Minnesota hosts Brooklyn…
Chicago is at Memphis…
New Orleans hosts Sacramento…
Washington is at Utah…
Golden State hosts Denver…
Houston is at Phoenix

NHL SCOREBOARD
Buffalo 5 – PHILADELPHIA 3… The Sabres scored three straight goals late in the third period to pull past the Flyers. Rasmus Asplund netted the go-ahead goal with 2:38 left. Jeff Skinner scored the tying goal just 25 seconds earlier.

VEGAS 1 – Arizona 0… Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury faced only 14 shots in shutting out the Golden Knights. Tomas Nosek netted the game’s only goal midway through the third period.

Colorado 4 – ANAHEIM 1… Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and had an assist to run his points steak to nine games and the Avalanche cruised past the Ducks. Jonas Johansson stopped 24 shots at goal.

Pittsburgh 5 – NEW JERSEY 2… Colton Sceviour scored back-to-back goals early in the first period and Jake Guentzel accounted for the Penguins’ other three goals in the win over the Devils. Bryan Rust and Mike Matheson each set up two goals.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 3 – N.Y. Rangers 2 (OT)… Ryan Pulock lit the lamp 1:13 into overtime to lift the Islanders over the Rangers. Goals by Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Gabriel Pageau gave the Islanders a two-goal lead after the first period but they couldn’t hold it.

Washington 8 – BOSTON 1… Conor Sheary and T.J. Oshie netted two goals apiece to lead the Capitals in their romp over the Bruins. Goalie Vitek Vanecek made 34 saves.

NASHVILLE 3 – Dallas 2 (SO)… Ryan Johansen scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Predators outlasted the Stars. Ryan Ellis and Takov Trenin scored in regulation for Nashville.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Carolina…
Columbus hosts Chicago…
Toronto is at Montreal…
Ottawa hosts Winnipeg…
St. Louis is at Minnesota…
Colorado hosts Arizona…
Vegas is at Los Angeles…
San Jose hosts Anaheim

GOLF NEWS… Hideki Matsuyama became the first male golfer from Japan to win a major championship yesterday when he shot a 1-over 73 to take a one-stroke victory over Will Zalatoris at The Masters. Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele finished three strokes off the lead in a tie for third place.

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