The Rundown for September 25, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,975,087 and the nation’s death toll stands at 202,738, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Results of a new study published in the Washington Post yesterday found that the Covid-19 virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic. Experts believe it is probably becoming more contagious, as coronavirus cases in the U.S. are again rising. The study did not find that mutations of the virus have made it more lethal or changed its effects.

SENATE COMMITS TO PEACEFUL TRANSITION… The Senate yesterday unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its commitment to a peaceful transition of power following President Trump’s refusal to do so if he loses the election. The measure was authored by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and warns ”that there should be no disruptions by the President or any person in power to overturn the will of the people of the United States.” Yesterday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted, “The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”

PROTESTS CONTINUE… Protests continued for a second night last night in major cities throughout the U.S. following Wednesday’s grand jury decision that no officers would be charged directly in the death of Breonna Taylor. The 26-year-old EMT was fatally shot by three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who executed a no-knock search warrant and entered her apartment. Unlawful assembly was declared in Louisville. New York City and Philadelphia were among other cities hosting major events.

BIDEN RACKS UP ENDORSEMENTS… Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden yesterday picked up the endorsement of a group of 489 retired generals and admirals, as well as former national security officials and diplomats. Those signing a letter of endorsement included former CIA and FBI Director William Webster as well as former defense secretaries William Perry, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta and Ash Carter. The signees described themselves as Democrats, Republicans and Independents who believe Biden’s positions “are rooted in sound judgement, through understanding and fundamental values.” Former Secretary of the Coast Guard Secretary Admiral Paul Zukunft said he signed the letter due to an “insurgency” on Americans’ constitutional rights that has occurred under the Trump administration.

TRUMP BOOED WHILE VISITING GINSBURG CASKET… President Trump was loudly booed yesterday while visiting the casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside the Supreme Court. Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, stood behind a column as the public jeered his appearance and began chanting, “Vote him out!” The casket will be moved today to the Capitol building where Ginsburg will lie in state.

FEDERAL INMATE EXECUTED… The U.S. government executed a 40-year-old man convicted in the 1999 murders of a married couple in Texas. Christopher Vialva became the seventh federal inmate to be executed this year after he was administered a lethal injection at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Vialva’s attorneys were unsuccessful in their appeal to the Supreme Court earlier this week.

ENTERTAINMENT
CHRIS ROCK TO HOST ‘SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’ PREMIERE
… NBC announced yesterday that comedian and actor Chris Rock will host “Saturday Night Live” on its October 3 46th annual season premiere. Rock stars in the fourth season of the FX series “Fargo,” which centers on Midwest mob bosses in the 1950s. Rapper Megan Thee Stallion has agreed to serve as musical guest of the “SNL” premiere.

LIV TYLER LEAVES ‘LONE STAR’… Actress Liv Tyler has left the Fox first-responder drama “911: Lone Star” after one season. She reportedly asked to be released from her multi-year contract due to pandemic-related concerns about traveling back and forth from her home in Britain to the U.S. where the show is filmed. Tyler’s character, Emergency Medical Services Captain Michelle Blake, is not expected to be recast or killed off.

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
L.A. Lakers 114 – Denver 108
… The Lakers fought off the Nuggets to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Anthony Davis scored a game-high 34 points. LeBron James added 26 points. Game 5 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Boston vs. Miami in Game 5 with the Heat leading 3-1

MLB SCORES
PITTSBURGH 7 – Chi. Cubs 0
… Chad Kuhl (2-3) pitched two-hit ball over seven innings and got help from two relievers in the blanking of the Pirates. Adam Frazier, Colin Moran, Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds all hit home runs for Pittsburgh.

Colorado 5 – SAN FRANCISCO 4 (11 innings)… Raimel Tapia’s sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th inning scored Garrett Hampson with the tie-breaking run and the Rockies held on to outlast the Giants. Tapia also singled home a run.

N.Y. Mets 3 – WASHINGTON 2… The Mets held off the Nationals to keep their playoff hopes alive. Robinson Chirinos drove in all three runs with a two-run homer and infield single.

CLEVELAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 4… Cesar Hernandez singled home two runs and Jose Ramirez added a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning as the Indians came from behind to top the White Sox. The victory gave Cleveland a sweep of the four-game series.

TORONTO 4 – N.Y. Yankees 1… The Blue Jays cruised past the Yankees to clinch a playoff spot. Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-2) scattered five hits over seven shutout innings. Vladimir Guerrero homered. Alejandro Kirk stroked a two-run double.

Miami 4 – ATLANTA 2… Jon Berti went 3-for-4 with a two-run double and Jose Aguilar homered for the Marlins in their win over the Braves.

Baltimore 13 – BOSTON 1… The Orioles pounded out 18 hits in their dismantling of the Red Sox. Jose Iglesias, Pat Valaika and Austin Hays homered. Hanser Alberto lifted a sacrifice fly and doubled home two runs.

Houston 12 – TEXAS 4… George Springer and Jose Altuve blasted three-run homers in the Astros’ romp over the Rangers. Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick added two-run shots.

KANSAS CITY 8 – Detroit 7… Salvador Perez belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, Maikel Franco added a solo blast and the Royals downed the Tigers. Adalberto Mondesi went 4-for-4 with a two-run single.

ST. LOUIS 4 – Milwaukee 2… Dylan Carlson homered with a runner aboard and lined a run-scoring double in leading the Cardinals past the Brewers. Kwang-Hyun Kim (3-0) allowed a run on five hits over five innings.

L.A. DODGERS 5 – Oakland 1… Corey Seager homered and lifted a sacrifice fly for the Dodgers. Six pitchers combined on a three-hitter.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 4-2; Daniel Ponce de Leon, 0-3) is at Milwaukee (TBD; TBD) for a doubleheader…
Arizona (Zac Gallen, 2-2; Taylor Clarke, 2-0) hosts Colorado (Antonio Senzatela, 5-2; Antonio Santos, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
San Diego (Danielson Lamet, 3-1; Chris Paddack, 4-4) is at San Francisco (TBD; TBD) for a doubleheader…
Atlanta (Kyle Wright, 2-4) hosts Boston (Chris Mazza, 1-2)…
Baltimore (TBD) is at Toronto (TBD)…
Washington (Max Scherzer, 4-4) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 1-6)…
Philadelphia (Vince Velasquez, 1-1) is at Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton, 2-2)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Sandy Alcantara, 3-2) host Miami (J.A. Happ, 2-2)…
Pittsburgh (Mitch Keller, 1-1) is at Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 3-4)….
Kansas City (Brad Keller, 4-3) hosts Detroit (Spencer Turnbull, 4-3)…
Houston (Jose Urquidy, 1-1) is at Texas (Kyle Cody, 1-1)…
Minnesota (Jose Berrios, 5-3) hosts Cincinnati (Tyler Mahle, 2-2)…
the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 7-3) are at the Chi. White Sox (TBD)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 6-2) host the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney, 4-3)…
Seattle (Yusei Kikuchi, 2-4) is at Oakland (Chris Bassitt, 5-2)

NFL SCORE
Miami 31 – JACKSONVILLE 13
… Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another as the Dolphins (1-2) handled the Jaguars (1-2). In beating Jacksonville, Fitzpatrick became the first NFL quarterback to notch six wins over the same opponent with six teams.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Chicago (2-0) is at Atlanta (0-2)…
Buffalo (2-0) hosts the L.A. Rams (2-0)…
Washington (1-1) is at Cleveland (1-1)…
Minnesota (0-2) hosts Tennessee (2-0)…
Oakland (2-0) is at New England (1-1)…
the N.Y. Giants (0-2) host San Francisco (1-1)…
Cincinnati (0-2) is at Philadelphia (0-2)…
Pittsburgh (2-0) hosts Houston (0-2)…
the N.Y. Jets (0-2) are at Indianapolis (1-1)…
Carolina (0-2) is at the L.A. Chargers (1-1)…
Denver (0-2) hosts Tampa Bay (1-1)…
Detroit (0-2) is at Arizona (2-0)…
Seattle (2-0) hosts Dallas (1-1)…
Green Bay (2-0) is at New Orleans (1-1)

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Kansas City (2-0) is at Baltimore (2-0)

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay vs. Dallas in Game 4 with the Lightning leading 2-1

PAC-12 TO PLAY FOOTBALL… The Pac-12 Conference announced yesterday that it will play a seven-game conference football season beginning November 6. The conference said men’s and women’s basketball can begin November 25 while other winter sports can begin in line with their respective NCAA seasons. No fans will be allowed to attend Pac-12 games taking place on campuses.

The Rundown for September 24, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,943,071 and the nation’s death toll stands at 201,930, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, told a Senate panel yesterday that he believes the U.S. will have enough doses of a coronavirus vaccine to distribute to every American by April. Fauci’s testimony before the Senate appropriations subcommittee is more optimistic than the late summer/early fall 2021 prediction offered last week by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield… Missouri Governor Mike Parson and his wife have both tested positive for COVID-19, according to state health officials. Parson, an outspoken critic of mask mandates, decided to get tested after experiencing symptoms.

BREONNA TAYLOR PROTESTS… There was outrage in the streets of several cities last night following the announcement that no Louisville police officers were charged for the death of Breonna Taylor. Taylor, an EMT, was fatally shot in her own home on March 13 when three plainclothes Louisville police officers executed a “no-knock” warrant at the wrong address. No officers were charged directly with her death. One of the officers involved was indicted on first-degree wanton endangerment charges. Two officers were shot last night at a protest and a suspect has reportedly been taken into custody.

TRUMP WON’T COMMIT TO PEACEFUL POWER TRANSFER… President Trump yesterday refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he looses the November 3 election. When asked for the commitment by reporter Brian Karem, Trump responded, “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens, you know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.” Pressed by Karem, Trump continued, “Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation.” Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney was among many who criticized the remarks. “Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” Romney posted on Twitter. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”

TRUMP APPOINTS INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WATCHDOG… President Trump has appointed Allen Souza as the next inspector general of the intelligence community. Souza, a former aid to Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, will be tasked with investigating Trump’s national security staff. Legal experts likened the move to foxes guarding hen houses, since Nunes was the House Intelligence Committee Chairman who accepted “dirt” from a Ukraine official who then was sanctioned by the U.S. for being an active Russian asset. Souza replaces Michael Atkinson, who was fired in April for turning over to Congress a 2019 Ukraine whistleblower complaint.

ERIC TRUMP TO BE DEPOSED… A New York state judge has given President Trump’s son Eric until October 7 to sit for a deposition in the attorney general’s fraud investigation. The investigation centers on whether the Trump Organization improperly inflated certain assets to obtain tax benefits it otherwise would not have been entitled to receive. Eric Trump, who is executive vice president of the company, previously abruptly canceled an interview with New York Attorney General Letitia James in July and the Trump Organization refused to comply with subpoenas last month.

REPUBLICAN REPORT FINDS NO BIDEN WRONGDOING… The Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees found no wrongdoing by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in their investigation into his son’s relationship with a Ukrainian energy company. Their report released yesterday found that Hunter Biden had “cashed in” on his father’s name to close lucrative business deals around the world and also concluded that his work for Burisma Holdings had given the appearance of a conflict of interest since his father was U.S. vice-president at the time. Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who boasted for weeks that the report would prove Joe Biden’s “unfitness for office.” Instead, it merely spread disinformation U.S. intelligence officials have traced to Russia.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS GAS-CAR BAN… California Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday signed an executive order that will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in California by 2035. “We don’t need to drill things or extract things in order to advance our economic goals and advance our mobility needs,” the governor said at a press conference. The order aims to reduce the state’s carbon emissions and combat climate change, Newsom emphasized. The order does no prohibit Californians from owning cars that run on gasoline or from reselling them.

ENTERTAINMENT
ELTON JOHN TO RESUME TOUR
… Elton John announced yesterday that he plans to resume his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” in North America on January 19, 2022. The tour kicks off in New Orleans and also includes stops in Houston, Detroit, New York City, Miami, Toronto and Montreal. John’s global tour will officially return on September 1, 2021 in Berlin.

DISNEY POSTPONES FILM RELEASES… Disney has postponed three major fall film releases. Marvel’s “Black Widow,” along with Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Kenneth Branagh’s “Death on the Nile” will be shelved for several months, the studio announced. Disney has kept the late November release date of Pixar’s “Soul.”

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Miami 112 – Boston 109
… The Heat turned away a fourth-quarter rally to down the Celtics and take a 3-1 lead in the series. 20-year-old rookie Tyler Herro came off the bench to score a game-high 37 points. Jimmy Butler added 24 points and Goran Dragic tossed in 22. Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 12 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

the L.A. Lakers vs. Denver in Game 4 with the Lakers leading 2-1

NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCORE
Tampa Bay 5 – Dallas 2
… The Lightning skated past the Stars to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Victor Hedman scored a goal and assisted on two others. Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist. Game 4 is tomorrow.

MLB SCORES
L.A. Angels 5 – SAN DIEGO 2
… The Angels scored four runs in the top of the second inning to erase an early 2-0 deficit and cruised past the Padres. They got homers from Justin Upton, Anthony Bemboom and Shohei Ohtani. David Fletcher went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Philadelphia 13 – WASHINGTON 3… Bryce Harper homered twice and the Phillies also got round-trippers from Andrew McCutchen, Didi Gregorius and Andrew Knapp in their pounding of the Nationals.

CLEVELAND 3 – Chi. White Sox 2… Jordan Luplow’s homer in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Indians over the White Sox. Carlos Santana also went deep for Cleveland.

ARIZONA 7 – Texas 3… The Diamondbacks rolled past the Rangers after spotting them a three-run lead. Wyatt Mathisen connected for his first two career homers. Tim Locastro also circled the bases.

TORONTO 14 – N.Y. Yankees 1… The Blue Jays pounded out 16 hits and took advantage of four errors in their rout of the Yankees. Danny Jensen went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.

CINCINNATI 6 – Milwaukee 1… Eugenio Suarez belted a three-run homer, Joey Votto added a two-run blast and Winker connected for a solo shot in the Reds’ win over the Brewers. Trevor Bauer (5-4) held Milwaukee to a run on four hits and struck out 12 in eight innings.

SEATTLE 3 – Houston 2… The Mariners held off the Astros to keep their playoff hopes alive. Nick Margevicius (2-3) pitched three-hit ball over six scoreless innings. Ty France doubled home a run and added an RBI single.

PITTSBURGH 2 – Chi. Cubs 1… Adam Frazier and Ke’Bryan Hayes hit back-to-back homers leading off the bottom of the first inning and the Pirates held on to clip the Cubs. Trevor Williams (2-8) allowed a run on three hits over 5-2/3 innings.

ATLANTA 9 – Miami 4… Dansby Swanson cracked a three-run homer to cap a five-run bottom of the fourth inning that carried the Braves past the Marlins. Adeiny Hechavarria knocked in two runs with a pair of singles.

Tampa Bay 8 – N.Y. METS 5… The Rays downed the Mets to clinch their first NL East title in 10 years. Randy Arozarena hit a pair of solo homers. Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe also went deep.

BOSTON 9 – Baltimore 1… The Red Sox put away the Orioles with a six-run bottom of the third inning. Rafael Devers capped the uprising with a bases-clearing double. Kevin Plawecki went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. Nathan Eovaldi (4-2) scattered seven hits over six shutout innings.

MINNESOTA 7 – Detroit 6… The Twins hung on to edge the Tigers and take over first place in the AL Central. Jake Cave homered twice and knocked in three runs. Eddie Rosario homered with a runner aboard.

KANSAS CITY 12 – St. Louis 3… Salvador Perez and Franchy Cordero both homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the Royals in their romp over the Cardinals. Danny Duffy (4-4) gave Up a run on six hits over 5-2/3 innings.

Oakland 6 – L.A. DODGERS 4… Ramon Laureano blasted a tie-breaking two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to send the Athletics past the Dodgers. Laureano also knocked in a run with an infield single.

SAN FRANCISCO 7 – Colorado 2… Evan Longoria smacked a solo homer and Mauricio Dubon added a three-run shot as the Giants breezed past the Rockies. Brandon Belt went 3-for-3 with an RBI.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
the Chi. Cubs (Alec Mills, 5-4) are at Pittsburgh (Chad Kuhl, 1-3)…
San Francisco (Kevin Gausman, 3-3) hosts Colorado (Chi Chi Gonzalez, 0-2)…
the N.Y. Mets (David Peterson, 5-2) are at Washington (Patrick Corbin, 2-6)…
Cleveland (Zach Plesac, 4-2) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 6-2)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Jeff Montgomery, 2-2) are at Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu, 4-2)…
Atlanta (Ian Anderson, 3-1) hosts Miami (Pablo Lopez, 5-4)…
Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-5) is at Boston (Martin Perez, 3-4)…
Kansas City (Kris Bubic, 1-6) hosts Detroit (Michael Fulmer, 0-2)…
Houston (Cristian Javier, 4-2) is at Texas (Lance Lynn, 6-2)…
St. Louis (Kwang-Hyun Kim, 2-0) hosts Milwaukee (Corbin Burnes, 4-0)…
Oakland (Mike Fiers, 6-2) is at the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 1-0)

The Rundown for September 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,894,586 and the nation’s death toll stands at 200,724, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising against traditional trick-or-treating this year, calling it a higher risk activity. The agency is also discouraging “trunk-or-treat” events, where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots; crowded costume parties held indoors; and visiting indoor haunted houses, where people may crowd together and scream.

TOPICS CHOSEN FOR PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE… Moderator Chris Wallace has selected the topics for next Tuesday’s first 2020 presidential debate. The event will air live from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Wallace announced that topics will include: The Trump and Biden Records; The Supreme Court; Covid-19; The Economy; Race and Violence in our Cities; and The Integrity of the Election. Critics complained that climate change wasn’t included in the discussion.

CIA ASSESSES PUTIN BEHIND BIDEN DISINFORMATION… The Washington Post reported yesterday that a top-secret CIA assessment has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “probably directing” a disinformation campaign designed to damage Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The report, later confirmed by NBC News, cited two unnamed sources who reviewed the assessment. The highly classified report builds upon intelligence gathered by the FBI and the NSA. It was published internally at the end of August.

REPUBLICANS HAVE VOTE TO FILL SUPREME COURT SEAT… Republicans appear to have the votes they need to support filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Yesterday, Utah Senator Mitt Romney and his Republican colleague from Colorado, Corey Gardner, announced they would vote to fill the seat. President Trump vowed yesterday that he will announce his nominee on Saturday.

HOUSE PASSES FUNDING BILL… The House voted 359-57 last night to pass a stopgap funding bill that keeps the government running through December 11. The legislation faces another shutdown threat in eight days if it fails in the Senate. The bill had been held up by questions about federal farm assistance until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached agreement with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Republicans.

ENTERTAINMENT
JOHN LENNON KILLER APOLOGIZES
… The man who fatally shot John Lennon 40 years ago has apologized to the late Beatle’s widow, Yoko Ono. 65—year-old Mark Chapman was convicted of shooting Lennon four times outside his New York Manhattan apartment in 1980. He was denied parole for the eleventh time following a hearing last month. Chapman said at the hearing that he killed Lennon for “glory” and was deserving of the death penalty.

FOUR SEASONS SINGER DIES… Tommy DeVito, a member of the 1960s doo-wop group Four Seasons, has died from COVID-19 complications. He was 92. DeVito, along with bandmates Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi, were best known for the song “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Their story of growing up in New Jersey, complete with drug issues and run-ins with the mafia, inspired the 2005 Broadway hit, “Jersey Boys.”

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Denver 114 – L.A. Lakers 106… The Nuggets built an 18-point lead after three quarters and cruised past the Lakers to pull within 2-1 in the series. Jamal Murray pumped in 28 points. Jerami Grant added 26 points. Nikola Jokic finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Game 4 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Boston vs. Miami in Game 4 with the Heat leading 2-1

MLB SCORES
ATLANTA 11 – Miami 1… The Braves rolled past the Marlins to clinch their third straight NL East title. Marcell Ozuna went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers and five RBIs. Freddie Freeman, Oscar Albies and Dansby Swanson also went deep.

CLEVELAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 3 (10 innings)… Jose Ramirez connected for a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Indians outlasted the White Sox to clinch a playoff spot. Cesar Hernandez added a solo shot for Cleveland.

PITTSBURGH 3 – Chi. Cubs 2… Jacob Stallings smacked a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Pirates sunk the Cubs. Despite the loss, Chicago clinched a playoff spot after Philadelphia dropped both games of a doubleheader.

WASHINGTON 5 – Philadelphia 1… Austin Voth (1-5) allowed just a run on three hits in going the distance and the Nationals took the opener of the doubleheader. Brock Holt doubled home two runs during a four-run bottom of the third inning.

WASHINGTON 8 – Philadelphia 7… Yadiel Hernandez belted a walkoff two-run homer in the bottom of the eight inning to give the Nationals a sweep of the twinbill. Juan Soto cracked a three-run blast.

N.Y. Yankees 12 – TORONTO 1… The Yankees pounded out 15 hits in their pounding of the Blue Jays. Aaron Hicks tripled home a run and stroked a two-run single. Gerrit Cole (7-3) surrendered a run on five hits over seven innings.

Milwaukee 3 – CINCINNATI 2… Eric Sogard’s double in the top of the seventh inning scored Jedd Gyorko with a tie-breaking run and the Brewers made it stand in edging the Reds. Tyrone Taylor homered with the bases empty.

N.Y. METS 5 – Tampa Bay 2… The Mets got home runs from Robinson Cano, Pete Alonso and Guillermo Heredia in preventing the Rays from clinching the AL East title. Seth Lugo (3-3) gave up a run on four hits over 6-1/3 innings.

BOSTON 8 – Baltimore 3… Christian Vazquez belted a three-run homer to lead the Red Sox past the Orioles. Nick Pivetta (1-0) held Baltimore to a run on four hits over five innings.

MINNESOTA 5 – Detroit 4 (10 innings)… Max Kepler came through with a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning and added a game-winning RBI single in the 10th to send the Twins past the Tigers. Byron Buxton and Mitch Garver also homered for Minnesota.

St. Louis 5 – KANSAS CITY 0… Cardinals starter Austin Gober (1-1) pitched four-hit ball over six innings and three relievers completed the shutout of the Royals. Dylan Carlson went 3-for-4 with a two-run double.

ARIZONA 7 – Texas 0… Caleb Smith and reliever Riley Smith combined on a six-hitter and the Diamondbacks blanked the Rangers. Carson Kelly cracked a three-run homer.

Houston 6 – SEATTLE 1… Maldonado’s three-run homer capped a five-run top of the sixth inning that carried the Astros past the Mariners. Michael Brantley sparked the uprising with a leadoff homer.

L.A. Angels 4 – SAN DIEGO 2… Angels starter Griffin Canning (2-3) limited the Padres to a run on two hits and struck out 10 over six innings. Max Stassi went 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and three RBIs.

L.A. DODGERS 7 – Oakland 2… Corey Seager singled home a run and homered as the Dodgers cruised past the Athletics. Max Muncy added a two-run blast. AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo homers.

SAN FRANCISCO 5 – Colorado 2… Pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a tie-breaking homer and Brandon Belt added a pinch-hit two-run double as the Giants put away the Mariners. Austin Slater homered to lead off the first.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
the L.A. Angels (Jaime Barria, 1-0) are at San Diego (Mike Clevinger, 3-2)…
Washington (Erick Fedde, 2-3) hosts Philadelphia (Zach Eflin, 3-2)…
Texas (Wes Benjamin, 1-1) is at Arizona (Alex Young, 2-4)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 8-1) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-3)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 3-2) are at Toronto (Robbie Ray, 2-5)…
Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3) hosts Houston (Zack Greinke, 3-2)…
Milwaukee (Adrian Houser, 1-5) is at Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 4-4)…
Pittsburgh (Trevor Williams, 1-8) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 6-4)…
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow, 4-1) is at the N.Y. Mets (Michael Wacha, 1-3)…
Atlanta (Max Fried, 7-0) hosts Miami (Sixto Sanchez, 3-2)…
Baltimore (Dean Kremer, 1-0) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 3-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 5-1) hosts Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-2)…
St. Louis (Carlos Martinez, 0-2) is at Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 3-4)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Julio Urias, 3-0) host Oakland (Sean Manaea, 4-3)…
Colorado (Ryan Castellani, 1-3) is at San Francisco (TBD)

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay vs. Dallas in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1

NOTRE DAME HALTS FOOTBALL… Notre Dame announced yesterday that it is pausing all football-related activities after seven players tested positive for coronavirus out of the 94 tests performed Monday. 13 Fighting Irish players now are in isolation. Saturday’s game against Wake Forest has been postponed and schools are trying to reschedule the game for October 3.

The Rundown for September 22, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,833,722 and the nation’s death toll stands at 199,818, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A public affairs aide at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has announced retirement plans after he was caught making derogatory comments he made towards the agency and its director, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Bill Crews, who served as an editor at the right-wing news site RedState, was accused of spreading disinformation about efforts to combat the coronavirus, referring to it as an anti-Trump conspiracy.

GINSBURG TO LIE IN STATE… Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first woman in history to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Friday when her casket is placed in National Statuary Hall. She will lie in repose at the Supreme Court tomorrow and Thursday. Ginsburg died Friday at age 87 from pancreatic cancer.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IDENTIFIES ‘ANARCHIST JURISDICTIONS’… The Justice Department has identified New York City, Seattle and Portland as “anarchist jurisdictions” as part of a plan to cut off federal funding from the three cities. The move comes in response to protests against systemic racism and police brutality. Attorney General William Barr hasn’t said what federal funding is likely to be cut from the cities.

MUELLER WAS INTIMIDATED, ACCORDING TO MEMOIR… A forthcoming memoir by federal prosecutor Andrew Weissman claims President Trump successfully bullied ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller during the investigations into Trump’s collusion with Russia. Weissmann claims Mueller was intimidated away from subpoenaing the president or his son Donald Trump Jr. over the June 2016 Trump Tower “dirt” meeting with a Russian official. Mueller also allegedly decided not to pursue Trump’s financial dealings despite conclusive evidence that Trump has been laundering Russian mafia and intelligence money since the early 1980s. Weissmann also says Mueller also made the mistake of trusting his old friend, Attorney General William Barr, who publicly distorted Mueller’s 2019 findings to portray them falsely as “exonerating” Trump.

MANAFORT TIED TO DIRTY TRANSACTIONS… Documents leaked with other evidence of major banks turning an eye to dirty money transactions indicated President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort managed to shuttle tens of millions of dollars around the world for years despite his transactions being flagged as early as 2012. Manafort, who was convicted last year of fraud and tax evasion, allegedly processed more than $50 million in payments over a decade through JPMorgan. The Guardian reported that in 2017, the bank filed a report on wire transfers of more than $300 million involving shell companies in Cyprus that had done business with Manafort.

JUDGE ORDERS POSTAL SERVICE TO SPEED IT UP… A federal judge yesterday ruled that the U.S. Postal Service must give election mail first-class preference and make other changes to compensate for “managerial failures” that risk the security of mail-in voting. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in the Southern District of New York follows the move by a federal judge on Thursday to impose a temporary block on operational changes that caused a slowdown in mail delivery. The rulings stem from a lawsuit brought by attorneys general in 13 states.

DuVOS UNDER INVESTIGATION… The Office of the Special Counsel is investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for potentially violating the Hatch Act. The probe centers on DeVos’ comments about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a Fox News interview that was promoted through official channels. The OSC says at least 12 Trump senior officials have violated the Hatch Act but only a case involving former senior counselor Kellyanne Conway was sent to President Trump for action. He took none. The Hatch Act prohibits most political activity by federal employees.

HOUSE DEMS UNVEIL FUNDING BILL… House Democrats yesterday unveiled a stopgap bill to extend federal funding past the September 30 deadline and avoid a government shutdown weeks before the November 3 presidential election. Republicans immediately opposed the bill because it didn’t include a $30 billion commitment supported by President Trump and Republican lawmakers to refill a bailout for farmers through the Commodity Credit Corp. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell vowed GOP senators would fight the bill.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘SCHITT’S CREEK’ AIRINGS
… “Schitt’s Creek” is riding the momentum generated by its nine Emmy wins on Sunday night. Netflix has announced that it will stream the sixth and final season of the series beginning October 7. The streaming service already carries the first five seasons. Additionally, Comedy Central has announced that it will air all six seasons beginning October 2. The sixth season ended in April.

PEACOCK ACQUIRES ‘MR. MERCEDES’… NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service has acquired the Stephen King crime drama series “Mr. Mercedes.” The first two seasons will start streaming on October 15. The Season 3 premiere will be announced later. The series aired on AT&T’s Audience Network before the station ceased operations. The story is based on King’s bestselling “Bill Hodges” trilogy of novels and stars Brendan Gleeson as a retired detective who is tormented by a serial killer, portrayed by Harry Treadaway.

SPORTS
NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCORE

Tampa Bay 3 – DALLAS 2
… They Lightning scored all three goals in the first period and hung on to edge the Stars and even the series at 1-1. Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov each had two assists. Game 3 is tomorrow.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
LAS VEGAS 34 – New Orleans 24
… The Raiders (2-0) celebrated their debut in Las Vegas by pulling away in the second half to top the Saints (1-1). Derek Carr passed for 282 yards and three touchdowns. Darren Waller had 12 receptions for 103 yards and a score.

MLB SCORES
L.A. ANGELS 8 – Texas 5
… Jared Walsh unloaded a grand slam to highlight a seven-run bottom of the fourth inning that carried the Angels past the Rangers. Max Stassi sparked the uprising with a two-run single.

WASHINGTON 5 – Philadelphia 1… Anibal Sanchez (3-5) limited the Phillies to a run on four hits over five innings. Asdrubal Cabrera and Brock Holt both had two hits and an RBI.

CLEVELAND 7 – Chi. White Sox 4… The Indians put away the White Sox after letting a 4-0 fifth-inning lead slip away. Carlos Santana blasted a tie-breaking two-run homer. Jose Ramirez also went deep.

CINCINNATI 6 – Milwaukee 3… Curt Casali homered to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning and Mike Moustakas added a three-run shot as the Reds downed the Brewers. Eugenio Suarez homered with a runner aboard. Luis Castillo (4-5) allowed a run on four hits and struck out nine in 6-2/3 innings.

Chi. Cubs 5 – PITTSBURGH 0… Jon Lester (3-2) pitched four-hit ball over six innings and got help from three relievers in the blanking of the Pirates. Kyle Schwarber stroked a two-run double.

TORONTO 11 – N.Y. Yankees 5… Vladimir Guerrero drove in three runs with a pair of doubles and the Blue Jays got solo homers from Randal Grichuk and Alejandro Kirk in their pounding of the Yankees. Kirk was 4-for-4 on the night.

ATLANTA 5 – Miami 4… The Braves eased past the Marlins after spotting them an early 3-0 lead. Riley stroked a two-run double to cap a four-run bottom of the first and Ronald Acuna’s second-inning double scored Dansby Swanson with the decisive run.

Tampa Bay 2 – N.Y. METS 1… Brandon Lowe scored on Manuel Margot’s sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning and homered in the fourth as the Rays held off the Mets and lowered their magic number for clinching the AL East to one. Six pitchers combined on a four-hitter.

KANSAS CITY 4 – St. Louis 1… Maikel Franco delivered a tie-breaking two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Royals got past the Cardinals. Six pitchers held St. Louis to six hits.

SEATTLE 6 – Houston 1… Marco Gonzales (7-2) scattered seven hits over eight scoreless innings and the Mariners cruised past the Astros. Evan White blasted a three-run homer.

Colorado 7 – SAN FRANCISCO 2… Elias Dias lined a two-run single, Kevin Pillar homered with the bases empty and the Rockies breezed past the Giants. German Marquez (3-6) allowed a run on five hits over six innings.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 5-3; TBD) is at Washington (Austin Voth, 0-5; TBD) for a doubleheader…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 8-1) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Reynaldo Lopez, 1-2)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 6-3) are at Toronto (Tanner Roark, 2-2)…
Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 5-3) hosts Milwaukee (Brett Anderson, 3-3)…
the Chi. Cubs (Jose Quintana, 0-0) are at Pittsburgh (Steen Brault, 1-3)…
the N.Y. Mets (Seth Lugo, 2-3) host Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 4-1)…
Miami (Jose Ureña, 0-2) is at Atlanta (Bryse Wilson, 0-0)…
Boston (Nick Pivetta, 0-0) hosts Baltimore (Keegan Akin, 1-1)…
Detroit (Tarik Skrubal, 1-3) is at Minnesota (TBD)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 7-3) hosts St. Louis (Austin Gomber, 0-1)…
the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning, 1-3) are at San Diego (Zach Davies, 7-3)…
Seattle (Ijay Newsome, 0-1) hosts Houston (Framber Valdez, 4-3)…
Texas (Jordan Lyles, 1-5) is at Arizona (Caleb Smith, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May, 1-1) host Oakland (Frankie Montas, 3-4)…
Colorado (Kyle Freeland, 2-2) is at San Francisco (Drew Smyly, 0-0)

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

L.A. Lakers vs. Denver in Game 3 with the Lakers leading 2-0

The Rundown for September 17, 2020

A-LIST PREP LATE EDITION
Today is Thursday, September 17…
the 259th day of the year… 107 days remaining
47 days until the 2020 presidential election

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,625,560 and the nation’s death toll stands at 196,650, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield yesterday told a Senate committee that he believes face masks are “the most important, powerful public health tool we have” to fight COVID-19—and even better than a potential vaccine. Redfield also told the panel that most Americans probably wouldn’t be vaccinated against COVID-19 until summer or early autumn 2021.

BARR SEEKS FEDERAL CHARGES AGAINST PROTESTERS… The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Attorney General William Barr advised U.S. attorneys via a conference call to get aggressive in charging protesters who may have committed violent acts at demonstrations. Barr allegedly urged prosecutors to charge protesters with harsh federal crimes, such as impeding a law-enforcement officer or plotting to overthrow the U.S. government. In advising the prosecutors, Barr also predicted Black Lives Matter protests will intensify as the election nears. More than 200 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the protests this year. The FBI has previously said those people were mostly opportunists taking advantage of Black Lives Matter protests.

TROOPS ARMED HEAVILY TO CONFRONT LAFAYETTE SQUARE PROTESTERS… An Army National Guard major claims federal officials considered deploying a heat ray that makes human skin feel like it’s burning on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square in June. Federal troops also amassed thousands of rounds of ammunition as they prepared to clear the crowd to enable a photo op for President Trump holding a Bible. Major Adam DeMarco made the claims in written House testimony and described himself as one of the senior National Guard officials on the scene.

ROMNEY OPPOSES BIDEN INVESTIGATION… Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney came out against the Senate GOP-led investigation into Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s ties with Ukraine. Romney called the investigation a “political exercise” from the get-go. The probe has been led by Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who has vowed to release a report summarizing his investigation in the coming weeks.

HHS SPOKESMAN TAKES LEAVE… Department of Health and Human Services top spokesman Michael Caputo has voluntarily taken a 60-day leave of absence in order to “focus on his health and well-being of his family,” according to an HHS statement released yesterday. Caputo’s leave comes days after he posted a bizarre Facebook rant filled with false claims, including “deep state” scientists want America to be sick, the CDC is guilty of “sedition” and leftists are gearing up for a post-election armed revolt. He apologized for the rant on Tuesday.

SALLY MAKES LANDFALL… Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, yesterday morning as a Category 2 storm but weakened later in the day to tropical depression strength. The National Hurricane Center said last night that the center of the storm was about 30 miles south-southeast of Montgomery, Alabama. There was a tropical storm warning in effect for the Okaloosa-Walton County, Florida, line eastward to Indian Pass, Florida. Forecasters said Sally could produce as many as 30 inches of rain in some areas between Florida and western Alabama.

ENTERTAINMENT
JIM CARREY TO PLAY BIDEN ON ‘SNL’
… Jim Carrey has signed on to play former Vice President Joe Biden on “Saturday Night Live” when the show returns for its 46th season on October 3. NBC says the show will be performed before a “limited in-studio audience.” Three new featured players have joined the cast of the new season. They are: Lauren Holt, a comedian who has been a house performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles; Punkie Johnson, a comedian and writer whose credits include the shows “Space Force and Corporate”; and Andrew Dismukes a stand-up comic and ‘SNL’ staff writer since season 43. Alec Baldwin has agreed to return and portray against Carrey’s Biden in the five consecutive episodes that will precede the 2020 election. Former cast member Maya Rudolph will return as Kamala Harris and current cast member Beck Bennett will continue to play Mike Pence.

BONNAROO OFFERING VIRTUAL EVENT… The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will feature new and archived performances in a virtual event that will stream on YouTube September 24-26. A complete schedule will be announced later. Archival performances include Alabama Shakes from 2015, Beastie Boys from 2009, Dave Matthews and Friends from 2004, Jack White from 2014, James Brown from 2003, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit from 2016, Metallica from 2008, My Morning Jacket from 2011, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats from 2016, Nile Rogers and Chic from 2018, Run the Jewels from 2015, Tears for Fears from 2015, The White Stripes from 2007 and The XX from 2017.

ABC CANCELS ‘UNITED WE FALL’… ABC announced yesterday that it is canceling the family comedy “United We Fall” after just one season. The series starred Will Sasso and Christina Vidal who try to raise their two children amid family differences. The series premiered in July and ran for eight episodes.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES
St. Louis 4 – MILWAUKEE 2
… The Cardinals rallied past the Brewers in the doubleheader opener after spotting them a two-run lead. Tyler O’Neil lifted a sacrifice fly and homered. Brad Miller also went deep. Adam Wainwright (5-1) allowed two first-inning runs on four hits over seven innings.

MILWAUKEE 6 – St. Louis 0… Four pitchers combined on a two-hitter as the Brewers blanked the Cardinals to claim a split of the doubleheader. Ryan Braun’s 350th career homer was a three-run shot. Jacob Nottingham homered with a runner aboard.

Washington 4 – TAMPA BAY 2 (10 innings)… Rookie Luis García belted a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to send the Nationals past the Rays. Asdrubal Cabrera homered with a runner aboard in the sixth.

Oakland 3 – COLORADO 1… Mike Fiers (6-2) held the Rockies to a run on seven hits over six innings. Jake Lamb had a couple of hits and knocked in a run

L.A. Dodgers 7 – SAN DIEGO 5… The Dodgers held off the Padres to become the first team in the pandemic-shortened season to clinch a berth in the expanded playoffs. AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo homers. Will Smith drove in three runs.

MIAMI 8 – Boston 4… Jorge Alfaro connected for a pair of two-run homers and the Marlins doubled up on the Red Sox. Garrett Cooper also homered with a runner on.

CINCINNATI 1 – Pittsburgh 0… Reds starter Luis Castillo limited the Pirates to three hits and struck out 10 over seven innings. Shogo Akiyama singled home Jose Garcia with the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

N.Y. YANKEES 13 – Toronto 2… Kyle Higashioka slugged three of the Yankees’ seven home runs and drove in five runs to lead the rout of the Blue Jays. DJ LeMahieu homered twice. Luke Voit and Clint Frazier also went deep.

N.Y. Mets 5 – PHILADELPHIA 4… The Mets came from four runs down in the fourth inning to upend the Phillies. Andres Gimenez singled home pinch-runner Amed Rosario with the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. J.D. Davis hit a two-run homer.

Kansas City 4 – DETROIT 0… Brady Singer (3-4) pitched two-hit ball over six innings and three relievers completed the shutout of the Tigers. Salvador Perez drilled a two-run homer and doubled home a run.

BALTIMORE 5 – Atlanta 1… Orioles starter Keegan Akin (1-1) limited the Braves to three hits over five scoreless innings and fanned nine. Renato Nunes gapped a two-run double.

Minnesota 5 – CHI. WHITE SOX 1… Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano connected for two runs homers as the Twins cooled off the White Sox. Eddie Rosario added a solo shot.

Texas 1 – HOUSTON 0… Kyle Gibson (2-5) tossed a complete-game four-hitter in outdueling counterpart Lance McCullers and the Rangers edged the Astros. Joey Gallo’s double in the top of the ninth inning scored Leody Taveras and broke a scoreless tie.

CHI. CUBS 3 – Cleveland 2 (10 innings)… Javier Lopez singled home Ian Happ with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Cubs outlasted the Indians. Cameron Maybin went 2-for-3 with an RBI single.

Arizona 9 – L.A. ANGELS 6… Kole Calhoun blasted a two-run homer and David Peralta added a solo shot as the Diamondbacks rolled past the Angels. Nick Ahmed and Daulton Varsho stroked two-run singles.

San Francisco 9 – SEATTLE 3… The Giants used a 15-hit attack to crush the Mariners. Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer and Evan Longoria followed with a solo shot in the top of the fourth inning. Alex Dickerson went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 4-1; Trevor Richards, 0-0) is at Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-4; Dean Kremer, 1-0) for a doubleheader…
Miami (Jose Urena, 0-1) hosts Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 2-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 5-1) is at the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 6-2)…
Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3) hosts San Francisco (Tyler Anderson, 2-3)…
Arizona (Alex Young, 2-3) is at the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning, 0-3)…
Pittsburgh (Seven Brault, 0-3) hosts St. Louis (Dakota Hudson, 3-2)…
the N.Y. Mets (Seth Lugo, 2-3) are at Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 5-3)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 2-2) host Toronto (Chase Anderson, 0-1)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 7-1) is at Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-1)…
Houston (Framber Valdez, 3-3) hosts Texas (Jordan Lyles, 1-4)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Julio Urias, 3-0) are at Colorado (Kyle Freeland, 2-1)

MLB PLAYOFF PICTURE… Major League Baseball announced an expanded postseason format in 2020, which will include eight teams in each league. The top two teams in each division qualify, and the two teams with the next-best records in each league make it as Wild Cards. All ties will be resolved mathematically, without tiebreaker games.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
The Rays lead the Yankees by three games for the division title and lead the A’s by a half-game for the AL’s second seed. Tampa Bay is one game behind the White Sox for the top AL seed and has a magic number of four to clinch a postseason berth

The Yankees are 1-1/2 games ahead of the Blue Jays for the division’s No. 2 playoff berth and hold the AL’s fifth seed.

The Blue Jays trail the division-leading Rays by 4 1/2 games and are 1-1/2 games behind the Yankees for the division’s No. 2 playoff berth.

The Orioles are five games back of the Indians for the AL’s No. 8 playoff spot.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
The White Sox lead the division by two games over the Twins and six games over the Indians, and lead the Rays by one game for the top seed in the AL. The A’s are 1-1/2 games back. Chicago’s magic number is three for a postseason berth

The Twins lead the Indians by four games for second place in the AL Central, trailing the White Sox by two games for the division lead. They hold the AL’s No. 4 playoff seed. Minnesota’s magic number is five for a postseason berth

The Indians are in third place in the AL Central, four games behind the Twins and six games behind the White Sox. They currently hold the eighth and final AL playoff seed.

The Tigers are 4 1/2 games behind the Indians for the eighth and final AL playoff spot, a half-game behind the Orioles and Mariners.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
The A’s are 6 1/2 games ahead of the Astros for the division lead and 1 1/2 games behind the White Sox for the top AL playoff seed. Oakland’s magic for a postseason berth is four.

The Astros are 6 1/2 games behind the A’s for the division lead but two games ahead of the Mariners for the second guaranteed playoff spot in the AL West.

The Mariners are two games behind the Astros for the AL West’s second playoff spot and are four games behind the Indians for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Angels are 6 1/2 games behind the Indians for the eighth and final playoff spot.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
The Braves lead the division by 2-1/2 games over the Marlins and are a game behind the Cubs for the NL’s second seed.

The Marlins are 2-1/2 games behind the Braves for the division lead, and are 1-1/2 games ahead of the Phillies for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot.

The Phillies are four games behind the first-place Braves and 1-1/2 games behind the Marlins for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot.

The Mets are 3-1/2 games behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Nationals are 5-1/2 games behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
The Cubs lead the division by 5-1/2 games over the Cardinals and hold the No. 2 NL playoff seed.

The Cardinals trail the Cubs by 5-1/2 games for the division lead and lead the Reds by a half-game for the NL Central’s second guaranteed playoff berth.

The Reds are tied with the Cardinals for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot, and they are also a half-game behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot, with the Brewers a half-game and Rockies a game behind.

The Brewers are a game behind the Reds and one game behind the Cardinals for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot. They are also 1-1/2 games behind the Giants for the eighth and final playoff spot.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
The Dodgers became the first team to clinch a postseason spot. They lead the Padres by 3-1/2 games in the division race and lead the Cubs by five games for the NL’s best record.

The Padres trail the Dodgers by 3-1/2 games for the division lead and lead the Giants by 6-1/2 games for the NL West’s second guaranteed playoff spot. San Diego’s magic number is three for postseason berth.

The Giants are a half-game ahead of the Reds and 1-1/2 games ahead of the Brewers and Reds for the NL’s No. 8 playoff seed.

The Rockies trail the Giants by two games for the eighth and final NL playoff berth.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE (games in Orlando)
Boston vs. Miami in Game 2 with the Heat leading 1-0

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay vs. the N.Y. Islanders in Game 6 with the Lightning leading 3-2

BIG TEN FOOTBALL HOPES TO OPEN PLAY NEXT MONTH… Big Ten Conference administrators announced yesterday that they will attempt to play football games next month after reversing its decision to call off the fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league’s schedule is likely to be announced this week and is expected to be an eight-game, conference-only slate beginning the weekend of October 24. An all-inclusive championship week and ninth game is scheduled for December 19. Under the plan, the two division winners will play each other in the conference title game per normal, with the second- through seventh-place teams from each division facing off. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who leads the conference’s scheduling subcommittee, noted that the conference will try to avoid having teams play each other twice and said it’s not been determined where the additional championship week games will be played.

The Rundown for September 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,606,561 and the nation’s death toll stands at 195,942, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S.’ response to the pandemic has lowered the nation’s image to a record low in six countries. A poll released yesterday found that Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Australia never have viewed the U.S. so unfavorably.

TRUMP STRUGGLES WITH ANSWERS AT TOWN HALL… President Trump struggled to answer tough questions about his coronavirus response, health care plans and the nation’s racial injustice last night at a town hall hosted by ABC News in Philadelphia. Trump declared before socially-distanced undecided voters that the COVID-19 pandemic has been his biggest challenge president and expressed doubt more could have been done to reduce its impact. He also blamed current U.S. problems on Democratic leadership.

GOVERNMENT DEPORTS WITNESS IN ASSAULT INVESTIGATION… The U.S. government on Friday night deported a key witness in investigation of sexual assault and harassment at an El Paso immigrant detention center overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The 35-year-old woman, who had been held in the facility for about a year, told lawyers about a “pattern and practice” of abuse there. She claimed guards systematically assaulted her and other detainees in areas that were not visible to security cameras. Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department inspectors general last month launched an investigation into the allegations. At least two more women have since come forward with similar assault allegations.

JUDGE RULES DHS ACTING SECRETARY SERVING UNLAWFULLY… A federal judge in Maryland has ruled that Chad Wolf is likely unlawfully serving as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and temporarily barred the Trump administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions on members of two immigration advocacy groups. In issuing her ruling on Friday, Judge Paula Xinis wrote that the two groups are “likely to demonstrate (former acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin) McAleenan’s appointment was invalid under the agency’s applicable order of succession, and so he lacked the authority to amend the order of succession to ensure Wolf’s installation as Acting Secretary.” Subsequently, she ruled, Wolf didn’t have the authority to impose the asylum rules that are being challenged. There is no indication that Wolf and his top deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, will be leaving their leadership roles but they are facing greater scrutiny.

LOUISVILLE SETTLES WITH BREONNA TAYLOR FAMILY… The city of Louisville, Kentucky, yesterday agreed to pay $12 million and settle a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the family of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman fatally shot dead by police in a botched raid on her apartment in March. Mayor Greg Fischer promised that the settlement will be accompanied by reforms of the Louisville Metro Police Department, including a requirement that commanders approve search warrants before they are put to a judge. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is investigating police actions in the shooting amid calls for the officers involved to be arrested.

SALLY APPROACHES SLOWLY… Sally slammed the Gulf Coast with flood waters last night as it crawled toward a potential landfall between the Florida Panhandle and Mobile Bay. The National Hurricane Center said earlier this morning that the storm strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane with winds topping 100 mph. Landfall was expected later this morning along the Alabama-Florida coastline.

ENTERTAINMENT
CARDI B FILES FOR DIVORCE
… Rapper Cardi B has reportedly filed for divorce from fellow musician husband Offset after nearly three years of marriage. Neither performer has issued a statement, but their legal names are listed in the filing in Fulton County Superior Court. Reports indicate Cardi wants the divorce to be as amicable as possible and seeks joint custody of the couple’s 2-year-old son.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN LAID TO REST… A death certificate made public yesterday revealed that actor Chadwick Boseman was laid to rest on September 3 near his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina. The actor died last month at age 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer. According to the death certificate, he is buried at Welfare Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, South Carolina.

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFF SCORE (games in Orlando)

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS OPENER
Miami 117 – Boston 114
(OT)… The Heat erased a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and outlasted the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals opener. Goran Dragic led a balanced scoring attack with 29 points. Jae Crowder added 22 points. Jimmy Butler tossed in 20 points. Game 2 is tomorrow.

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Denver Nuggets 104 – L.A. Clippers 89
… The Nuggets pulled away in the second half to down the Clippers and advance to take on the L.A. Lakers in the Western Conference Finals beginning tomorrow. Jamal Murray poured in 40 points. Nikola Jokic totaled 16 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists.

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
N.Y. Islanders 2 – Tampa Bay 1 (2OT)… Jordan Eberle scored on a two-on-one break 12:30 into the second overtime and the Islanders avoided elimination with the Game 5 victory. Ryan Pulock opened the scoring with a first-period goal. Game 6 is tomorrow.

CAPS HIRE LAVIOLETTE AS NEW HEAD COACH… The Washington Capitals have hired Peter Laviolette as their next head coach. He replaces Todd Reirden, who was fired just three days after the Capitals were eliminated by the New York Islanders in the playoffs. The 55-year-old Laviolette was dismissed as head coach of the Nashville Predators in January after leading the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016-17 season.

MACKINNON WINS LADY BYING TROPHY… Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has been awarded the Lady Byng trophy as the player who “exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability” over the past season. Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Finalists in the voting included Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

MLB SCORES
CINCINNATI 4 – Pittsburgh 1
… The Reds cruised past the Pirates for their fourth straight win. Tucker Barnhart smacked a solo homer.

Boston 2 – MIAMI 0… Red Sox starter Tyler Houck (1-0) pitched two-hit ball over five innings in his major-league debut and three relievers completed the blanking of the Marlins.

TAMPA BAY 6 – Washington 1… Manuel Margot and Kevin Kermaier delivered two-run singles during a four-run bottom of the fifth inning and the Rays breezed past the Nationals. Nate Lowe homered and drew a bases-loaded walk.

N.Y. YANKEES 20 – Toronto 6… DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit each homered and knocked in five runs as the Yankees walloped the Blue Jays. Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier also went deep.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – N.Y. Mets 1… Adam Haseley lined a two-run double and Didi Gregorius homered with a runner aboard in the Phillies’ win over the Mets. Jake Arrieta (4-4) allowed a run on eight hits before leaving with a leg injury after 5-1/3 innings.

DETROIT 6 – Kansas City 0… Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (2-6) limited the Royals to two hits over 5-2/3 innings and got help from three relievers in the shutout. Miguel Cabrera and Willi Castro hit solo homers for Detroit.

Atlanta 5 – BALTIMORE 1… Adam Duvall matched a franchise record with his 10th homer in September and the Braves rolled past the Orioles. Freddie Freeman had three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles.

MILWAUKEE 18 – St. Louis 3… Daniel Vogelbach went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and four RBIs to lead the Brewers in their romp over the Cardinals. Keston Hiura blasted a solo homer and drew a bases-loaded walk. Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun also went deep.

CHI. WHITE SOX 6 – Minnesota 2… Dane Dunning (2-0) held the Twins to a run on three hits over seven innings and the White Sox extended their winning streak to six games. James McCann doubled home a run and homered. Tim Anderson also went deep with the bases empty.

HOUSTON 4 – Texas 1… Alex Gregman stroked a tie-breaking two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Astros topped the Rangers. George Springer and Martin Maldonado homered. Jose Urquidy (1-1) gave up a run on three hits over seven innings.

CHI. CUBS 6 – Cleveland 5… Indians reliever Nick Wittgren hit Willson Contreras and Cameron Maybin with back-to-back pitches to force home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Javier Baez homered for Chicago.

COLORADO 3 – Oakland 1… Antonio Senzatela (4-2) surrendered a run on six hits in his first career complete game and the Rockies tripped the Athletics. Elias Diaz belted a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning.

L.A. Dodgers 3 – SAN DIEGO 1… Tony Gonsolin (1-1) held the Padres to a run on four hits over seven innings and the Dodgers clipped the Padres. Edwin Rios homered. Justin Turner went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Arizona 9 – L.A. ANGELS 8… The Diamondbacks recovered to beat the Angels after blowing a pair of seven-run leads. David Peralta smacked a decisive solo homer in the top of the eighth inning. Kole Calhoun homered twice and drove in five runs. Carson Kelly and Daulton Varsho also went deep.

San Francisco – SEATTLE (ppd)… Poor air quality in Seattle caused by the West Coast wildfires forced postponement of last night’s Giants-Mariners game. The game will be made up on tomorrow in San Francisco.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 4-1; Austin Gomber, 0-0) is at Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 2-3; Eric Lauer, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
Houston (Lance McCullers, 3-2) hosts Texas (Kyle Gibson, 1-5)…
Washington (Austin Voth, 0-0) is at Tampa Bay (Josh Fleming, 0-0)…
Colorado (German Marquez, 2-5) hosts Oakland (Mike Fiers, 5-2)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May, 1-1) are at San Diego (Joey Lucchesi, 0-0)…
the Chi. Cubs (Jon Lester, 2-2) host Cleveland (Aaron Civale, 3-5)…
Pittsburgh (J.T. Brubaker, 1-1) is at Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 2-5)…
Miami (Trevor Rogers, 1-1) hosts Boston (Chris Mazza, 1-1)…
Toronto (Tanner Roark, 2-1) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 5-3)…
Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 5-3) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom, 4-1)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 2-4) is at Detroit (Tarik Skubal, 1-2)…
Baltimore (Keegan Akin, 0-0) hosts Atlanta (Cole Hamels, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Jake Odorizzi, 0-0) is at the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-2)…
the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy, 5-2) host Arizona (Caleb Smith, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Drew Smyly, 0-0) is at Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3)

The Rundown for September 15, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,550,629 and the nation’s death toll stands at 194,411, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A federal judge in Pennsylvania yesterday declared Governor Tom Wolf’s coronavirus restrictions unconstitutional. The ruling stems from a case brought on by four Pennsylvania counties, challenging executive orders that closed non-life sustaining businesses.

TRUMP-BIDEN DIFFER ON CLIMATE CHANGE… President Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden expressed their differences yesterday over climate change’s role in Western wildfires. The blazes over the past month have killed 35 people in three states, destroyed thousands of homes and a half-dozen small towns, and charred more than 4 million acres. Trump insisted that the impact of the fires could be controlled through management programs that include removing dead leaves and trees that can “explode” from the forests. Biden on Monday called Trump a “climate arsonist” for failing to acknowledge the global warming’s role. Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration highlighted record heat in its global climate report released yesterday. The report found that this summer has been the hottest on record for the Northern Hemisphere and the month of August was the second-warmest in history for the entire globe, behind 2016. Scientists believe that “2020 is very likely to rank among the five-warmest years on record,” the NOAA said.

WATCHDOG TO INVESTIGATES BARR’S ACTIONS ON STONE CASE… The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation into Attorney General William Barr’s unusual intervention in the criminal case against President Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone. The investigation centers on Barr’s efforts in February to seek a lighter sentence after prosecutors and an acting U.S. attorney chosen by Barr had already recommended a sentence of seven to nine years in prison following Stone’s conviction on seven felony counts. Barr faced widespread backlash for what was perceived as a political maneuver.

HOUSE PANEL TO INVESTIGATE HHS… The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has launched an investigation into allegations that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have sought to review and alter weekly scientific reports issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the coronavirus pandemic. Members on the committee are seeking voluntary testimony from seven officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, including Michael Caputo, the agency’s spokesman, and Paul Alexander, his senior adviser. The two have been accused of altering or halting the release of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. In some cases, emails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Trump’s optimistic messages about the pandemic. Caputo met severe backlash over a bizarre rant that he posted on social media yesterday. He warned that government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic and accused the CDC of conspiring to murder him. Caputo also claimed that armed, left-wing militants are being trained “all over the country” for armed revolt, among other conspiracies. During his rant, Caputo conceded he was having a tough time dealing with the media and that his mental health had failed.

WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT TARGETS IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTER… A whistleblower complaint filed by several legal advocacy groups on behalf of a nurse claims that immigrants in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Georgia are being subjected to horrific conditions and treatment, including “jarring medical neglect” and a high rate of hysterectomies among women. Negligence includes poor safety precautions surrounding Covid-19 and generally hazardous and unsanitary conditions, according to the complaint. The nurse, Dawn Wooten, has been employed for the past three years at the privately-operated Irwin County detention center.

DAIMLER SETTLES EMISSIONS-CHEATING CASE… German automaker Daimler AG and its U.S. subsidiary Mercedes-Benz yesterday reached a $1.5 billion settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and California Air Resources Board over alleged emissions cheating. Daimler has reportedly agreed to pay $875 million in civil penalties and $70,300,000 in other penalties. It also agreed to recall and repair emissions systems in Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016 for a projected cost of $436 million and pay another $110 million to fund mitigation projects in California. The settlement stems from the discovery that Daimler manufactured, imported and sold more than 250,000 diesel vans and passenger cars with so-called “defeat devices” to circumvent emissions control software.

SALLY ARRIVING… Sally strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane yesterday and is expected to strike the Gulf Coast tonight into tomorrow morning. The storm is forecast to make landfall along the Mississippi/Alabama border. It is expected to bring up a storm surge of up to 11 feet and as much as two feet of rain. Hurricane warnings have been issued across eastern Louisiana, coastal Mississippi and Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

ENTERTAINMENT
WARRANT SERVED AT ‘CHEER’ STAR’S HOME
… FBI agents executed a search warrant yesterday afternoon at the Napierville, Illinois, home of Jerry Harris, who stars in the Netflix docuseries “Cheer.” Harris has been accused of soliciting sexually explicit photos and sex from minors, but not charges had been filed by last night. The investigation stems from information provided by a private company that dominates the cheerleading industry. The company, Varsity Brands, informed police in Florida and Texas last week that the 21-year-old Harris had been accused of “inappropriate sexual conduct.”

MACY’S PARADE TO BE VIRTUAL… The 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, there will be a live parade and a re-imagined parade will be created for television and online viewing. Macy’s says the TV broadcast-only parade will be filmed over two days and have about 25 percent of the usual number of participants. The parade will air November 26 on NBC.

SPORTS
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Pittsburgh 26 – N.Y. GIANTS 16
… Ben Roethlisberger found Ju Ju Smith-Schuster with two of his three touchdown passes and the Steelers fought their way past the Giants.

Tennessee 16 – DENVER 14… Stephen Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining sent the Titans over the Broncos. Ryan Tannehill hit Mycole Pruitt and Jonnu Smith with 1-yard touchdown tosses.

MLB SCORES
CINCINNATI 3 – Pittsburgh 1
… Rookie Tyler Stephenson hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to power the Reds past the Pirates in the opener of a doubleheader.

CINCINNATI 9 – Pittsburgh 4… Mike Moustakas blasted a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Reds completed a sweep of the twinbill. Brian Goodwin homered with a runner aboard and Joey Votto added a solo shot.

MILWAUKEE 2 – St. Louis 1… The Brewers scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to upend the Cardinals in the doubleheader opener. Keston Hiura’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth scored Avisail Garcia with the winning run after Ryan Braun stroked an RBI double.

St. Louis 3 – MILWAUKEE 2… The Cardinals eased past the Brewers after spotting them a two-run lead and claimed a split of the twinbill. Paul DeJong singled home Tommy Edman with a tie-breaking run in the top of the ninth inning.

SEATTLE 6 – Oakland 5… The Mariners rallied from five runs down in the fourth inning to edge the Athletics in the opener of a doubleheader. Tim Lopes doubled home the tying run and came around to score the go-ahead run on Kyle Lewis’ bases-loaded walk. Lewis also homered with a runner aboard. Luis Torrens and Jose Marmolejos added solo blasts.

Oakland 9 – SEATTLE 0… Mike Minor (1-5) tossed a complete-game two-hitter and the Athletics cruised past the Mariners in the nightcap. Mark Canha singled home a run and hit a two-run homer. Jake Lamb also went deep.

MIAMI 6 – Philadelphia 2… Marlins starter Pablo Lopez (4-4) held the Phillies to a run on three hits over seven innings. Miguel Rojas and Starling Marte smacked solo homers. Jesus Aguilar doubled home two runs.

BALTIMORE 14 – Atlanta 1… DJ Stewart and Jose Iglesias belted three-run homers during a nine-run bottom of the third inning. Ryan Mountastle homered with the bases empty and produced a pair of run-scoring singles. Pat Valaika also hit a solo homer. Starter Jorge Lopez (2-0) limited Atlanta to a run on five hits over seven innings.

CHI. WHITE SOX 3 – Minnesota 1… Adam Engel singled home a tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning and scored on Tim Anderson’s double as the White Sox toppled the Twins. Five Chicago pitchers scattered eight hits.

SAN DIEGO 7 – L.A. Dodgers 2… The Padres broke the game open with a five-run bottom of the seventh inning. Jorge Ona sparked the uprising with an RBI single. Trent Grisham and Wil Myers both homered with the bases empty.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Pittsburgh (Josh Musgrove, 0-0) is at Cincinnati (Michael Lorenzen, 1-1)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 2-1) hosts Boston (Tanner Houck, 0-0)…
Washington (Anibal Sanchez, 2-4) is at Tampa Bay (John Curtiss, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Deivi Garcia, 1-1) host Toronto (Taijuan Walker, 2-2)…
the N.Y. Mets (Rick Porcello, 1-4) are at Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta, 3-4)…
Detroit (Matthew Boyd, 1-6) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 3-3)…
Atlanta (Bryse Wilson, 0-0) is at Baltimore (Tom Eshelman, 0-0)…
Milwaukee (Brett Anderson, 2-3) hosts St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 3-1)…
Minnesota (Randy Dobnak, 6-3) is at the Chi. White Sox (Dane Dunning, 0-0)…
Houston (Jose Urquidy, 0-0) hosts Texas (Kyle Cody, 0-0)…
Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 2-4) is at the Chi. Cubs (Yu Darvish, 7-2)…
Colorado (Antonio Senzatela, 3-2) hosts Oakland (Sean Manaea, 4-2)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin, 0-0) are at San Diego (Zach Davies, 7-2)…
the L.A. Angels (Julio Teheran, 0-0) host Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Tyler Anderson, 2-3) is at Seattle (Ljay Newsome, 0-0)

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORE…
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Edmonton)
Dallas 3 – Vegas 2 (OT)… The Stars rallied from two goals down midway through the third period to eliminate the Golden Knights in five games and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. They await the winner of the Tampa Bay-N.Y. Islanders series in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Denis Gurianov found the net 3:36 into overtime. Joel Kiviranta netted the tying goal with 3:47 left in regulation. John Klingberg assisted on two goals.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay vs. N.Y. Islanders in Game 5 with the Lightning leading 3-1

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE (games in Orlando)
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Denver Nuggets vs. L.A. Clippers in Game 7

The Rundown for September 14, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,519,554 and the nation’s death toll stands at 194,073, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A CNBC analysis has found that Covid-19 cases have been growing by at least 5 percent in 11 states. The states are Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

TRUMP SIGNS DRUG-PRICE EXECUTIVE ORDER… President Trump yesterday signed an executive order that aims to lower drug prices in the U.S. by instructing Medicare to not pay more for certain medicines than other nations. The order claims Americans finance much of the biopharmaceutical innovation to the benefit of foreign nations with nationalized public healthcare systems. According to the order, the U.S. government should also pay prices lower than smaller buyers.

WESTERN-STATE GOVERNORS CITE CLIMATE CHANGE IN BLAZES… The governors of Oregon, California and Washington agree that the fires burning across their states are the result of climate change. The National Interagency Fire Center reported that 94 large fires have burned 4.6 million acres on the West Coast as of yesterday. The fires are blamed for the deaths of at least 32 people. Oregon Governor Kate Brown noted during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the fires sprung up amid a combination of poor weather conditions, “decades of mismanagement” of the country’s forests and the effects of climate change. Washington Governor Jay Inslee said climate change has created “apocalyptic” conditions in his state, where more than 500,000 acres have burned. California Governor Gavin Newsom urged, “This isn’t an intellectual debate. This isn’t about ideology. The proof is right in front of our eyes. The impacts of climate change simply cannot be denied.”

SALLY GAINING STRENGTH… Tropical Storm Sally strengthened off the west coast of Florida yesterday and is expected to become a category 2 hurricane on its way to the Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center said the storm was likely to approach the north-central Gulf Coast later today and tomorrow. Hurricane conditions were expected by tomorrow morning from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including New Orleans.

GAS PRICES DOWN 2 CENTS… The average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. rose about 2 cents over the past three weeks to $2.26 per gallon, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations. The Lundberg Survey found the most expensive gas was in San Francisco, where it cost $3.38 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a gallon cost $1.80.

ENTERTAINMENT
BIG SEAN TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Big Sean’s new release, “Detroit 2,” sold 103,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished second after selling 75,000 units. “Juice WRLD”’s “Legends Never Die” came in at No. 3 with 57,000 copies sold. 6ix9ine’s “TattleTales” opened at No. 4 on sales of 53,000 units. Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” dropped to No. 5 with 48,000 copies sold after topping the chart for its first six weeks.

‘TENET’ TOPS WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Tenet” brought in $6.7 million to debut atop the weekend box office. “The New Mutants” remained in second place after bringing in $2 million. “Unhinged” made $1.5 million to stay at No. 3. “The Broken Hearts Gallery” finished fourth with $1.1 million. “Bill & Ted Face the Music” capped the top five with $260,000.

SPORTS
NFL SCORES

Las Vegas 34 – CAROLINA 30… Josh Jacobs rushed for three touchdowns as the Raiders handled the Panthers.

BALTIMORE 38 – Cleveland 6… Lamar Jackson completed 20-of-25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns in the Ravens’ romp over the Browns.

Chicago 27 – Detroit 23… Mitchell Trubisky threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to rally the Bears past the Lions.

Green Bay 43 – MINNESOTA 34… Aaron Rodgers passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Packers past the Vikings.

BUFFALO 27 – N.Y. Jets 17… Josh Allen threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Bills topped the Jets.

Seattle 38 – ATLANTA 25… Russell Wilson completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns as the Seahawks downed the Falcons.

NEW ENGLAND 21 – Miami 11… Cam Newton rushed for two touchdowns in his debut at quarterback for the Patriots.

WASHINGTON 27 – Philadelphia 17… Washington rolled past the Eagles after spotting them a 17-point lead. Peyton Barber ran for two touchdowns. Defensively, Washington recorded eight sacks.

JACKSONVILLE 27 – Indianapolis 20… Gardner Minshew’s third touchdown of the day was a 22-yarder to Keelan Cole in the fourth quarter and proved to be the difference in the win over the Colts.

L.A. Chargers 16 – CINCINNATI 13… Michael Badgley booted three field goals, including a 22-yarder that broke a fourth-quarter tie and sent the Chargers past the Bengals.

Arizona 24 – SAN FRANCISCO 20… Kyler Murray threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and ran for 91 yards and another score as the Cardinals overcome a pair of fourth-quarter deficits to beat the 49ers. DeAndre Hopkins had 14 catches for 151 yards.

NEW ORLEANS 34 – Tampa Bay 23… The Saints got past the Buccaneers to ruin Tom Brady’s debut as Tampa Bay’s quarterback. Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes.

L.A. RAMS 20 – Dallas 17… Malcolm Brown rushed for a pair of touchdowns as the Rams held off the Cowboys.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Pittsburgh is at the N.Y. Giants…
Denver hosts Tennessee

MLB SCORES
SAN DIEGO 6 – San Francisco 0
… Mike Clevinger (3-2) limited the Padres to two hits in a seven-inning shutout to open the doubleheader. Wil Myers and Greg Garcia stroked two-run singles.

SAN DIEGO 3 – San Francisco 2… Wil Myers homered, Jurickson Profar singled home a run and the Padres edged the Giants to sweep the twinbill.

MIAMI 2 – Philadelphia 1… Rookie Sixto Sanchez (3-1) held the Phillies to a run on three hits over all seven innings and the Marlins clipped the Phillies in the doubleheader opener. Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte produced run-scoring singles in the bottom of the third inning.

MIAMI 8 – Philadelphia 1… Braxton Garrett (1-0) pitched three-hit ball over five innings in his major-league debut and the Marlins cruised past the Phillies to sweep the twinbill. Chad Wallach homered with a runner aboard. Miguel Rojas doubled home two runs.

Atlanta 8 – WASHINGTON 4… Adam Duvall and Ozzie Albies blasted two-run homers as the Braves doubled up on the Nationals. Travis D’Arnaud knocked in two runs.

N.Y. YANKEES 3 – Baltimore 1… Gleyber Torres clubbed a tie-breaking two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to send the Yankees past the Orioles.

Boston 6 – TAMPA BAY 3… Vazquez and Arroyo belted two-run homers to help power the Red Sox past the Rays. Martin Perez (3-4) allowed two runs on five hits over five innings.

KANSAS CITY 11 – Pittsburgh 0… Brad Keller (4-2) blanked the Pirates on four hits and got plenty of support in the Royals’ sixth straight win. Salvador Perez hit a solo homer and singled home a run. Hunter Dozier also went deep.

Chi. Cubs 12 – MILWAUKEE 0… Alec Mills (5-3) tossed the second no-hitter of the season and the Cubs dismantled the Brewers. Mills walked three and struck out five. David Bote homered with a runner aboard and lifted a sacrifice fly.

MINNESOTA 7 – Cleveland 5… The Twins got home runs from Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, Ryan Jeffers and Josh Donaldson in downing the Indians to complete a series sweep.

CHI WHITE SOX 5 – Detroit 2… Yoan Moncada went 3-for-5 with an RBI as the White Sox downed the Tigers. Eloy Jimenez smacked a solo homer.

Cincinnati 10 – ST. LOUIS 5… The Reds used a hit batter, a walk and a wild pitch to push three runs across in the top of the seventh inning and put away the Cardinals. Brian Goodwin, Eugenio Suarez and pinch-hitter Aristides Aquino homered for Cincinnati.

TEXAS 6 – Oakland 3… Rougned Odor blasted a three-run homer and Jeff Mathis added a two-run shot in the Rangers’ win over the Athletics. Lance Lynn (3-1) allowed a run on three hits over seven innings and fanned 10.

TORONTO 7 – N.Y. Mets 3… Santiago Espinal smacked a two-run double during a five-run bottom of the sixth inning that carried the Blue Jays past the Mets. Lourdes Gurriel drilled a two-run homer. Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1) held New York to a run on eight hits over six innings.

L.A. Angels 5 – COLORADO 3… Albert Pujols connected for his 660th career homer to move into fifth place on the all-time list. Jared Walsh had a couple of hits and an RBI for the Angels.

Seattle 7 – ARIZONA 3… Donovan Walton knocked in three runs to lead the Mariners past the Diamondbacks. Jose Marmolejos had two hits and an RBI.

L.A. DODGERS 8 – Houston 1… Dodgers got two-run homers from Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor in breezing past the Astros. A.J. Pollock opened the scoring with a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Pittsburgh (Mitch Keller, 1-2; J.T. Brubaker, 1-1) is at Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 4-3; Anthony DeSclafani, 1-2) for a doubleheader…
Milwaukee (Josh Lindblom, 1-3; Corbin Burnes, 0-0) hosts St. Louis (Kwang-Hyun Kim, 0-0; Daniel Ponce de Leon, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
Philadelphia (Vince Velasquez, 0-0) is at Miami (Pablo Lopez, 3-4)…
Baltimore (Javier Lopez, 0-0) hosts Atlanta (Touki Toussaint, 0-0)…
Minnesota (Jose Berrios, 4-3) is at the Chi. White Sox (Dylan Cease, 5-2)…
Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3) hosts Oakland (Mike Minor, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 5-1) are at San Diego (Danielson Lamet, 2-1)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Denver Nuggets 111 – L.A. Clippers 98
… The Nuggets erased a 19-point second-half deficit in taking down the Clippers to force tomorrow’s Game 7. Nikola Jokic had game-highs with 34 points and 14 rebounds. Jamal Murray added 21 points.

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay 4 – N.Y. Islanders 1… The Lightning skated past the Islanders to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat scored 12 seconds apart in the second period to give Tampa Bay the lead for good. Palat also assisted on Brayden Point’s third-period goal.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Edmonton)
Dallas vs. Vegas in Game 5 with the Stars leading 3-1

The Rundown for September 11, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,390,840 and the nation’s death toll stands at 191,612, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A new study from China’s Nanjing University published in PLOS Pathogens has found that “neutralizing” antibodies in the serum of recovered COVID-19 patients decline sharply within a month of hospital discharge. The study notes, however, that the finding doesn’t mean that immunity wanes in a month.

GOP STIMULUS BILL FAILS IN SENATE… The Republicans’ pandemic stimulus package failed to get the 60 votes it needed for passage in the Senate yesterday. The 52-47 vote was along party lines, with Democrats arguing that the bill did not include another round of stimulus checks sent directly to taxpayers and cut weekly federal jobless benefits in half to $300. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer specifically criticized the bill for leaving out funding for lower level governments, food assistance for children, eviction relief, and internet expansion in rural areas.

COURT RULES AGAINST TRUMP IN IMMIGRANT-CENSUS FIGHT… A federal court ruled yesterday that President Trump’s order to exclude undocumented immigrants from census numbers for apportioning congressional districts is unlawful. A three-judge panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York was unanimous in its ruling that Trump’s executive memorandum violates the executive branch’s “constitutional responsibility to count the whole number of persons in each State and to apportion members of the House of Representatives among the States according to their respective numbers.” The ruling prohibits the Department of Commerce from reporting any information regarding undocumented immigrants in its census count that could be used to implement the president’s directive.

MICROSOFT WARNS OF HACKERS… Microsoft has released a warning that hackers connected to Russia, China and Iran are attempting to spy on people and groups involved with the US 2020 presidential election. The tech firm said that the same Russian group that hacked the 2016 Democratic campaign is part of the effort. The campaigns of President Trump as well as his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are among more than 200 organizations that have been targeted by Russian hackers from the Strontium group, Microsoft said in a statement.

WESTERN WILDFIRES… Authorities in California say at least 12 people have died and more than 3,900 structures have been destroyed in the 29 major wildfires burning throughout the state. Another dozen people were reported missing Wednesday in the area of the North Complex fire near Oroville. Fires in Oregon, meanwhile, have prompted the evacuation of more than 500,000 people statewide, which is more than 10 percent of the state’s 4.2 million population. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency to free up resources to battle blazes there. Yesterday, Inslee toured the town of Malden, where more than 80 percent of the homes were destroyed.

ENTERTAINMENT
DIANA RIGG DIES
… Actress Diana Rigg, who played secret agent Emma Peel in the 1960s television series “The Avengers” and rose to international fame as a “Bond” girl, died of undisclosed causes yesterday, according to her agent. She was 82. Rigg played James Bond’s only wife, Tracy, opposite George Lazenby in the 1969 film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” More recently, and she portrayed Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones,” earning Emmy nominations in 2013 and 2014.

‘SNL’ HEADING BACK TO THE STUDIO… “Saturday Night Live” is returning to the studio for its 46th season, which premieres October 3. The show ended live broadcasts after its March 7 episode amid the pandemic. “SNL” returned on April 11 for a virtual episode that was hosted by Tom Hanks following his battle with coronavirus. Two other virtual episodes, which aired on April 25 and May 9, featured Brad Pitt and Alec Baldwin, respectively. A special compilation of Mother’s Day-themed sketches aired on May 10.

SPORTS
NFL SCORE

KANSAS CITY 34 – Houston 20
… The defending Super Bowl-champion Chiefs rolled past the Texans in the NFL Kickoff Classic. Patrick Mahomes passed for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards and a score. Kansas City now has won 10 straight dating back to last season.

SUNDAY’S NFL SCHEDULE
Las Vegas is at Carolina…
Baltimore hosts Cleveland…
Detroit hosts Chicago…
Green Bay is at Minnesota…
Buffalo hosts the N.Y. Jets…
Seattle is at Atlanta…
New England hosts Miami…
Indianapolis is at Jacksonville…
Washington hosts Philadelphia…
the L.A. Chargers are at Cincinnati…
New Orleans hosts Tampa Bay…
Arizona is at San Francisco…
the L.A. Rams host Dallas

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Pittsburgh is at the N.Y. Giants…
Tennessee is at Denver

MLB SCORES
ST. LOUIS 12 – Detroit 2
… Paul Goldschmidt, Rangel Ravelo, Yadier Molina, Tyler O’Neil and Lane Thomas all homered as the Cardinals pounded the Tigers in the doubleheader opener.

Detroit 6 – ST. LOUIS 3… Jorge Bonifacio’s two-run homer capped a five-run top of the seventh inning that gave the Tigers a split of the twinbill. Jeimer Candelario also went deep.

OAKLAND 3 – Houston 1… Sean Manaea (3-1) limited the Astros to a run on two hits over seven innings. Matt Olson homered with a runner aboard. Oakland extended its lead over Houston to 6-1/2 games in the AL West.

L.A. Angels 6 – TEXAS 2… Walsh belted a three-run homer in the top of the first inning and Mike Trout added a solo shot as the Angels cruised past the Rangers. Dylan Bundy (5-2) gave up two runs on four hits over 7-1/3 innings and struck out 12.

Atlanta 7 – WASHINGTON 6… The Braves rallied past the Nationals after spotting them an early 5-0 lead. Freddie Freeman blasted a pair of two-run homers. Ronald Acuna and Dansby Swanson also circled the bases.

Kansas City 11 – CLEVELAND 1… Brady Singer (2-4) took a ho-hitter into the eighth inning and got plenty of support as the Royals crushed the Indians. Maikel Franko hit a three-run homer and singled home two runs. Adalberto Mondesi added a three-run shot. Edward Oliveras also went deep.

Boston 4 – TAMPA BAY 3… Rookie Bobby Dalbec homered for the fifth straight game and the Red Sox held off the Rays. Rafael Devers drove in Boston’s other three runs with a two-run homer and run-scoring single.

MIAMI 7 – Philadelphia 6… The Marlins erased a 6-2 eighth-inning deficit to upend the Phillies in the opener of a seven-game series. Alfaro’s infield single scored Harrison with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Starling Marte slammed a game-tying three-run double in the eighth and finished with four RBIs.

SAN DIEGO 6 – San Francisco 1… Seven Padres pitchers combined to hold the Giants at bay. Mitch Moreland opened the scoring with a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning. Manny Machado and Jorge Ona hit solo homers.

ARIZONA 5 – L.A. Dodgers 2… The Diamondbacks got past the Dodgers after spotting them a two-run lead. Daulton Varsho tripled home Nick Ahmed with the tie-breaking run in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored on Carson Kelly’s two-run homer.

CHI. CUBS 8 – Cincinnati 5… The Cubs came from three runs down to top the Reds in a game delayed for hours by rain. Nico Horener’s two-run double sparked a five-run bottom of the fourth inning. Willson Contreras went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Baltimore – N.Y. YANKEES (ppd)… Rain in New York forced postponement of last night’s Orioles-Yankees game. It will be made up today as part of a doubleheader.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 4-3; Spencer Howard, 1-2) is at Miami (Nick Neidert, 0-0; Trevor Rogers, 1-0) for a doubleheader…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 4-3; Masahiro Tanaka, 1-2) host Baltimore (Alex Cobb, 1-3; Keegan Akin, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom, 3-1) are at Toronto (Chase Anderson, 0-0)…
Washington (Erick Fedde, 1-3) hosts Atlanta (Josh Tomlin, 2-2)…
Oakland (Mike Fiers, 2-2) is at Texas (Jordan Lyles, 1-4)…
Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 3-1) hosts Boston (Andrew Triggs, 0-2)…
Pittsburgh (Steven Brault, 0-2) is at Kansas City (Kris Bubic, 0-5)…
Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 2-3) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Jon Lester, 2-2)…
Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-1) is at the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 4-1) hosts Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 7-0)…
Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 1-5) is at St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 4-0)…
Colorado (German Marquez, 2-5) hosts the L.A. Angels (Griffin Canning, 0-3)…
San Francisco (Johnny Cueto, 2-0) is at San Diego (Garrett Richards, 2-2)…
Arizona (Caleb Smith, 0-0) hosts Seattle (Yusei Kikuchi, 2-2)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

L.A. Lakers 110 – Houston 100… The Lakers eliminated the Rockets in Game 5 and await the winner of the L.A. Clippers-Denver series the Western Conference finals. Anthony Davis scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. LeBron James added 16 points and 15 boards.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Toronto vs. Boston in Game 7

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
the L.A. Clippers vs. Denver in Game 5 with the Clippers leading 3-1

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS (in Edmonton)
Vegas 3 – Dallas 2
(OT)… Alexander Radulov found the net 31 seconds into the overtime period to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead in the series. Jamie Oleksiak opened the scoring with a first-period goal. Goalie Anton Khudobin made 38 saves. Game 4 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay vs. N.Y. Islanders in Game 3 with the Lightning leading 2-0.

The Rundown for September 10, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,358,247, and the nation’s death toll stands at 190,763, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Politico reported yesterday that a Trump administration appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services is trying to prevent Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, from speaking about the risks that coronavirus poses to children. Emails indicated that Paul Alexander, a senior adviser to Michael Caputo, HHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs, tried to control what Fauci said during media interviews. Alexander’s messages contradict mainstream science while promoting political positions taken by the Trump administration.

WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT TARGETS DHS LEADERSHIP… Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is accused in a whistleblower complaint of telling a former senior aide to stop providing intelligence assessments on Russia’s interference in U.S. intelligence. The complaint filed by former acting Homeland Security undersecretary Brian Murphy also claimed that Wolf told him White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien wanted Murphy to begin reporting on Chinese and Iranian interference. Murphy alleged that DHS leaders ordered him to downplay the white supremacist threat and turn up the rhetoric against anti-fascists and other groups protesting systemic racism and police brutality.

TRUMP ADMITS DOWNPLAYING CORONAVIRUS IN RECORDING… Leaked recordings of conversations President Trump had with journalist Bob Woodward capture Trump making multiple damaging statements on a variety of topics. The conversations were recorded over 18 interviews Woodward conducted with the president that were to be included in a book the former Watergate reporter is writing about the president. The book, “Rage,” will be released next week. Trump said in early February that he knew the novel coronavirus was five times more deadly than the seasonal flu but then admitted to playing down its threat in public. Trump also gushes over North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, even referring to it as love at first sight in boyfriend-girlfriend terms. The president is heard complaining that his own generals were “p*ssies” and dismisses Woodward’s efforts to discuss oppression of Black Americans.

BIDEN SPEAKS IN MICHIGAN… Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden yesterday unveiled a proposal to create jobs and punish companies who send them to other countries. Speaking to autoworkers and union representatives in Warren, Michigan, Biden criticized the loss of jobs in the state where the unemployment rate spiked at 24 percent in April. Michigan’s current unemployment rate is 8.7 percent.

FIRES TORCH OREGON, CALIFORNIA… The skies above Northern California turned a disorienting orange yesterday amid wildfires that are raging throughout Oregon and California. At least three people have died and hundreds of homes have been burned in Oregon, where at least 35 active fires have consumed more than 368,029 acres and prompted massive evacuations. Oregon Governor Kate Brown said flames stoked by wind “substantially destroyed” sections of five towns and warned the fires could potentially “be the greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire” in the state’s history. More than 14,000 firefighters are currently battling the blazes across millions of acres in California. The Creek Fire near Fresno has charred at least 163,138 acres and was 0 percent contained.

ENTERTAINMENT
KOOL & THE GANG FOUNDER DIES
… Kool & The Gang founding member Ronald “Khalis” Bell died of unknown causes yesterday at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was 68. Bell was a songwriter, singer and saxophonist while Kool & the Gang became one of the most popular funk bands of the 1970s. The group’s best known songs include “Ladies Night,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Celebration.”

KEVIN SPACEY NAMED IN SEXUAL-ABUSE SUIT… Actor Anthony Rapp and an anonymous plaintiff have filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Kevin Spacey. The suit alleges that both plaintiffs were 14 years old when Spacey Rapp abused them in his apartment. Both men are asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Rapp, who is now 48 years old, plays engineer Paul Stamets in “Star Trek Discovery.”

SPORTS
MLB SCORES
Milwaukee 19 – DETROIT 0
… The Brewers pounded out five home runs and eight doubles in their dismantling of the Tigers. Jedd Gyorko homered twice. Ryan Braun, Tyrone Taylor and Jacob Nottingham also went deep. Corbin Burnes (3-0) pitched one-hit ball over seven innings. Two relievers completed the shutout.

Kansas City 3 – CLEVELAND 0… Royals starter Danny Duffy (3-3) limited the Indians to four hits over 5-2/3 scoreless innings. Adalberto Mondesi’s run-scoring single in the top of the sixth inning provided all the offense Kansas City needed.

N.Y. Yankees 7 – TORONTO 2… The Yankees cruised past the Blue Jays to snap their five-game skid. Deivi Garcia (1-1) surrendered two runs on five hits over seven innings. Gleyber Torres opened the scoring with a solo homer in the top of the second inning and finished with four RBIs. DJ LeMahieu also homered with the bases empty.

Chi. White Sox 8 – PITTSBURGH 1… James McCann knocked in four runs with a pair of homers and a sacrifice fly in leading the White Sox past the Pirates. Dane Dunning (1-0) held the Pirates scoreless on three hits over six innings.

ATLANTA 29 – Miami 9… The Braves set a franchise scoring record with a 23-hit attack that included seven home runs in the romp over the Marlins. Adam Duvall hit three home runs, including a grand slam, in four at bats and finished with nine RBIs. Freddie Freeman had three hits, including a homer, and drove in six runs. Ronald Acuna, Travis d’Aurnaud and Ozzie Albies also homered.

N.Y. METS 7 – Baltimore 6… Pete Alonso’s homer to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning sent the Mets past the Orioles. Jeff McNeil homered for the fourth straight game with a runner aboard. New York also got homers from Michael Conforto and Andres Gimenez.

TEXAS 7 – L.A. Angels 3… The Rangers came up with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put away the Angels. Three of the runs came on a sacrifice fly, walk and a hit-by-pitch. Isiah Kiner-Falefa went 4-for-4 and scored twice.

SAN DIEGO 5 – Colorado 3… The Padres rallied past the Rockies to complete a sweep of the series. Mitch Moreland homered with a runner aboard. Wil Myers tripled home a run and scored the go-ahead run on Jake Cronenworth’s single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mitch Moreland blasted a two-run homer.

Cincinnati 3 – CHI. CUBS 0… Trevor Bauer (4-3) pitched three-hit ball and struck out 10 over 7-2/3 innings and the Reds blanked the Cubs. Mike Moustakas provided the game’s only offense with a three-run homer in the top of the first inning.

OAKLAND 3 – Houston 2… Raul Laureano singled home Tommy La Stella with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Athletics came from behind to upend the Astros. La Stella put Oakland on the board with a two-run double in the seventh.

L.A. Dodgers 6 – ARIZONA 4 (10 innings)… Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock produced run-scoring singles in the top of the 10th inning as the Dodgers outlasted the Diamondbacks. Mookie Betts and Enrique Hernandez smacked solo homers for Los Angeles.

SAN FRANCISCO 10 – Seattle 1… Mike Yastrzemski belted a three-run homer and Evan Longoria drove in three runs as the Giants crushed the Mariners. Tyler Anderson (2-3) shut out Seattle on three hits over six innings.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Detroit (Tarik Skubal, 1-1; Jordan Zimmermann, 0-0) is at St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 2-1; Austin Gomber, 0-0) for a doubleheader…
Oakland (Sean Manaea, 3-2) hosts Houston (Jose Urquidy, 0-0)…
the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy, 4-2) are at Texas (Kyle Gibson, 1-4)…
Washington (Austin Voth, 0-0) hosts Atlanta (Robbie Erlin, 0-0)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 1-4) is at Cleveland (Aaron Civale, 3-4)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 2-1) hosts Philadelphia (Jake Arrieta, 3-4)…
Boston (Mike Kickham, 0-0) is at Tampa Bay (Josh Fleming, 0-0)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 4-3) host Baltimore (Keegan Akin, 0-0)…
Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 5-2) is at the Chi. Cubs (Adbert Zlzolay, 0-0)…
San Diego (Chris Paddack, 3-4) hosts San Francisco (Drew Smyly, 0-0)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May, 1-1) are at Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-0)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Toronto 125 – Boston 122
… The Raptors prevailed in a double-overtime thriller to force tomorrow’s Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Kyle Lowery scored a game-high 33 points. Normal Powell delivered 23 points off the bench. Fred VanVleet tossed in 21 points.

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
L.A. Clippers 96 – Denver 85
… The Clippers held the Nuggets to 12 first-quarter points and took control for good with a 21-5 third-quarter spurt on their way to taking a 3-1 lead in the series. Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Game 5 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

the L.A. Lakers vs. Houston in Game 4 with the Lakers leading 2-1

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCORE…
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay 2 – N.Y. Islanders 1
… Nikita Kucherov found the net with 8.8 seconds remaining to lift the Lightning over the Islanders and give them a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Victor Hedman’s goal tied the game with 1:35 remaining. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves at goal. Game 3 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS (in Edmonton)
Vegas vs. Dallas in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1