The Rundown for September 4, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,149,265 and the nation’s death toll stands at 186,785, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the state’s State of Emergency until October 1 at 11:59 p.m. The extension follows last month’s rise new cases in every region in Michigan. The state’s percent positivity rate remains below the national average at 3.3 percent, a press release from the governor’s office noted.

TRUMP SUGGESTS VOTING ILLEGALLY… President Trump has slightly backed off his suggestion that voters in North Carolina should illegally try to cast their ballots twice. On Wednesday, Trump told voters to submit a mail-in ballot then also vote in-person to test whether the system is prone to fraud. Yesterday, Trump told voters to sign and mail in a ballot early, then also line up in-person at a local polling place to check that the mail ballot has been tabulated. Twitter slapped warning labels on both posts, claiming the messages violated a policy against advocating illegal election activity. Facebook had earlier said it would remove videos of Trump encouraging voting twice because it “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud.” Election officials in North Carolina issued a memo yesterday reminding voters that intentional double voting is illegal.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO CHARGE GOOGLE… The New York Times reported yesterday that the Justice Department plans to file an antitrust suit against Google as soon as this month. However, lawyers investigating Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, have objected to the DOJ’s deadline to finalize their work by the end of September. A deadline they found arbitrary has reportedly prompted some lawyers to leave the case while others have refused to sign the complaint. The DOJ opened the inquiry in June 2019 and prosecutors have been divided as to where to focus their scrutiny.

FORMER TOP NRA EXECUTIVE SPEAKS OUT… Joshua Powell, the former chief of staff to the National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, calls for universal background checks and red flag laws in a new book detailing decades of mismanagement, abuses of power, and fraud within the NRA. “Gun owners across America should be horrified by what I saw inside of the NRA,” Powell said in an ABC interview yesterday. He said that the NRA is more focused on money and internal intrigue than gun rights. Powell described LaPierre as woefully inept at management but skilled at courting President Trump’s support.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES COULD SET RECORD… The National Guard warned yesterday that California is set to record its worst fire season in recorded history amid wildfires sparked by lightning strikes. Approximately 1,300 National Guard members from five states including California are assisting fire officials in combatting more than 900 wildfires burning throughout the state. In 2018 California recorded its deadliest fire season on record with more than 2 million acres burned. The blazes currently active in the state have burned more than 1.5 million acres as of yesterday.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘BATMAN’ PRODUCTION HALTED AGAIN
… Production on the upcoming film “The Batman” has reportedly been halted after star Robert Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19. The film had just returned to production three days ago following the shutdown during the pandemic. Producers say about a quarter of the film was shot before the shutdown.

QUIBI RENEWS ‘RENO 911!’… The streaming service Quibi has renewed its revival of “Reno 911!” for a second season. Series co-creators Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver will return to write and star on the show, producers said. Lennon, Garant and Kenney-Silver will be joined by Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Cedric Yarbrough and Carlos Alazraqui in Season 2. The revival premiered in May and aired its season finale Wednesday. The show originally ran six seasons from 2003 to 2009 on Comedy Central.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES
PITTSBURGH 6 – Chi. Cubs 2
… Bryan Reynolds blasted a three-run homer in his return from paternity leave and the Pirates cruised past the Cubs. Cole Tucker stroked a two-run single.

HOUSTON 8 – Texas 4… Aledmys Diaz’s three-run homer capped a four-run first inning and the Astros doubled up on the Rangers. Michael Brantley knocked in three runs with a single and a double.

PHILADELPHIA 6 – Washington 5 (10 innings)… Alec Bohm lifted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Phillies completed a four-game sweep. Rhys Hoskins homered with the bases empty.

N.Y. METS 9 – N.Y. Yankees 7 (10 innings)… Pete Alonso led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a game-winning homer as the Mets erased deficits of 4-0 and 7-4 to down the Yankees. Amed Rosario had three hits and knocked in three runs. J.D. Davis and Todd Frazier hit solo homers.

L.A. ANGELS 2 – San Diego 0… Andrew Heaney (3-2) pitched three-hit ball over seven innings and two relievers completed the shutout of the Padres. Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton produced run-scoring singles for L.A.

Toronto 6 – BOSTON 2 (10 innings)… Teoscar Hernandez connected for a three-run homer and Lourdes Gurriel added a solo shot in the top of the 10th inning as the Blue Jays put away the Red Sox.

Chi. White Sox 11 – KANSAS CITY 6… The White Sox mounted five-run rallies in the tops of the fifth and seventh innings on their way past the Royals. Jose Abreu doubled home two runs and singled in another. Tim Anderson went 3-for-4 with a solo homer.

L.A. DODGERS 5 – Arizona 1… Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw (5-1) limited the Diamondbacks to one hit over six innings. The 32-year-old Kershaw struck out Nick Ahmed for the first out of the second inning to become the third-youngest pitcher in MLB history to strike out 2,500 batters, trailing only Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan (31 years, 101 days) and Walter Johnson (31 years, 197 days).

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Washington (TBA; Wil Crowe, 0-0) is at Atlanta (TBA; Josh Tomlin, 1-2) for a doubleheader…
Minnesota (Randy Dobnak, 5-2; TBA) hosts Detroit (Matthew Boyd, 1-4; TBA) for a doubleheader…
Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 0-0; Trever Bauer, 3-2) is at Pittsburgh (Steven Brault, 0-0; Cody Ponce, 1-1) for a doubleheader…
Boston (Tanner Roark, 2-1) hosts Toronto (Zac Godley, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Michael King, 1-1) are at Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-3)…
Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 2-3) hosts Milwaukee (Corbin Burnes, 0-0)…
Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta, 2-4) is at the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 1-4)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 1-3) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dane Dunning, 0-0)…
Boston (Chris Mazza, 0-0) is at Toronto (Ross Stripling, 3-1)…
the Chi. Cubs (Alec Mills, 3-2) host St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Deivi Garcia, 0-0) are at Baltimore (Jorge Lopez, 0-0)…
Seattle (Yusei Kikuchi, 1-2) hosts Texas (Kyle Cody, 0-0)…
Houston (Zack Greinke, 0-0) is at the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May, 1-1) hosts Colorado (Anthony Senzatela, 3-1)…
San Diego (Zach Davies, 5-2) is at Oakland (Jesus Luzardo, 2-1)…
San Francisco (Tyler Anderson, 1-2) hosts Arizona (Taylor Clarke, 0-0)…
Miami (Pablo Lopez, 3-2) is at Tampa Bay (Josh Fleming, 0-0)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Toronto 104 – Boston 103… OG Anunoby’s 3-pointer as time expired lifted the Raptors over the Celtics and brought them within 2-1 in the series. Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 31 points. Fred VanVleet added 25 points. Game 4 is tomorrow.

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
L.A. Clippers 120 – Denver 97… The Clippers outscored the Nuggets 38-20 in the second quarter and coasted to the Game 1 win in the Western Conference semifinal. Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points to lead a balanced scoring attack. Game 2 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL
Milwaukee vs. Miami in Game 3 with the Heat leading 2-0

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
the L.A. Lakers vs. Houston in Game 1

NETS HIRE STEVE NASH AS COACH… The Brooklyn Nets have hired Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash as their next coach. Jacque Vaughn, who served as interim coach through the Orlando bubble, will stay on as Nash’s top assistant. Nash and Nets general manager Sean Marks were teammates for two season on the Phoenix Suns for two seasons and Nash was a part-time assistant for the Golden State Warriors during Kevin Durant’s three seasons there.

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORES
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS (in Toronto)
Philadelphia 5 – N.Y. Islanders 4 (2OT)… Ivan Provorov found the net at 15:03 of the second overtime to send the Flyers past the Islanders and force tomorrow’s deciding Game 7. Carter Hart made 49 saves at goal.

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS (in Edmonton)
Vancouver 4 – Vegas 0… Goalie Thatcher Demko stopped all 48 shots as the Canucks blanked the Golden Knights to set up today’s Game 7. Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller each had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Philadelphia vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Game 6 with the Islanders leading 3-2

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Vegas vs. Vancouver in Game 6 with the Golden Knights leading 3-2