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 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 July 29, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 4,349,313 and the nation’s death toll stands at 149,235, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of early signs that indicate a possible outbreak in Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. Higher positivity rates are at the center of his concern, Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America”… The American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.7 million school employees, has authorized its members to strike if schools decide to reopen without proper safety plans in place.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN ACCUSED OF SIPHONING $170M… A non-partisan nonprofit ethics watchdog group has accused President Trump’s reelection campaign of illegally concealing nearly $170 million worth of campaign spending. In yesterday’s 81-page filing with the Federal Elections Commission, the Campaign Legal Center claims Trump’s reelection campaign and campaign committee hid the money by running it through “pass-through” vendors linked to campaign leadership. According to the complaint, firms run by former campaign manager Brad Parscale and associates have essentially served as “clearing houses” that paid subcontractors and vendors without revealing where donor money actually went. Payments have not been reported in disclosure records as being paid by the campaign.

CONGRESS PANEL QUESTIONS WILLIAM BARR… Attorney General faced more than five hours of questioning from members of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Subjects included the Justice Department’s handling of cases involving Trump associates, the federal response to protests and election integrity. In his opening remarks, committee chairman Jerrold Nadler accused Barr of enabling the failings of President Trump and said his tenure “has been marked by a persistent war” against the Justice Department’s “professional core in an apparent attempt to secure favors for the president.” Attorney General William Barr hesitated when asked on Tuesday whether it was proper for an American president to accept foreign interference in an election, claiming at first that it depended on the type of assistance given. In one of the more heated exchanges, Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline struggled to get Barr to admit that it would be “not appropriate” for the president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election. Barr also refused to answer Louisiana Democrat Cedric Richmond’s question about whether a sitting president can move a U.S. election.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO DENY DACA REQUESTS… The Trump administration announced yesterday that it will deny all new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals requests and limit renewal periods for current recipients. The decision follows a June 18 Supreme Court ruling the Trump administration couldn’t rescind DACA because in doing so it did not consider the effect on the people presently in the U.S. as part of the program. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum urging Congress to react.

BIDEN RELEASES RACIAL-EQUITY PLAN… Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden yesterday unveiled a plan to advance racial equity in the rebuilding of the economy. The plan, “Build Back Better by Advancing Racial Equality Across the American Economy,” would help families buy their first homes and build wealth by creating a new tax credit of up to $15,000, Biden said. The former vice president also said that he would invest in affordable housing, and call for more accurate, non-discriminatory credit scoring. The plan also calls for creating a new Small Business Opportunity Fund and legislation that requires the Federal Reserve to report data and trends on racial economic gaps and commit to a “real-time” payment system.

ENTERTAINMENT
EMMY NOMINATIONS
… HBO’s “Watchmen” received 26 nominations to lead the field for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards. The show’s nods included Limited Series, Outstanding Cast for a Limited Series, Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Regina King and Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Jeremy Irons. Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” picked up 20 nominations. Netflix’s “Ozark” and HBO’s “Succession” each had 18 nods. The Emmy Awards show is set to air September 20 live on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel will host the ceremony for the third time.

CHAINSMOKERS CONCERT ORGANIZERS FACE PENALTIES… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed yesterday that local officials could face “civil fines and potential criminal liability” over a packed weekend concert featuring The Chainsmokers in the Hamptons on Saturday night. The “drive-in” charity gig drew a crowd of 2,000 people and they disrespected fellow New Yorkers by defying social distancing restrictions, Cuomo said. Organizers insist they followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the show, despite footage that indicated otherwise.

SPORTS
MLB
MARLINS, PHILLIES GAMES SUSPENDED
… Major League Baseball has suspended Miami Marlins games through Sunday and Philadelphia Phillies games until Friday amid a coronavirus outbreak that infected half the Marlins’ team. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the season could be in jeopardy.

NL
Chi. Cubs 8 – CINCINNATI 5
… Javier Baez homered twice and drove in three runs to lead the Cubs past the Reds.

PITTSBURGH 8 – Milwaukee 6… The Pirates erased a 6-2 deficit after 6-1/2 innings to top the Brewers. Adam Frazier blasted a tie-breaking two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.

San Diego 5 – SAN FRANCISCO 3… Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a three-run homer and Wil Meyers added a two-run shot to send the Padres past the Giants.

AL
CLEVELAND 4 – Chi. White Sox 3
… Francisco Lindor and Bradley Zimmer each homered and knocked in two runs as the Indians held on to edge the White Sox in the doubleheader opener.

CLEVELAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 3… Carlos Santana belted a three run homer and Oscar Mercado singled in two runs to give the Tribe a sweep of the twinbill.

DETROIT 4 – Kansas City 3… The Tigers powered their way past the Royals after spotting them a three-run lead. Jonathan Schoop and Christin Smart connected for two-run homers in the bottom of the third inning.

L.A. Angels 10 – SEATTLE 2… The Angels got home runs from Anthony Rendon, Max Stassi and Albert Pujols in their pounding of the Mariners.

INTERLEAGUE
Toronto 5 – WASHINGTON 1
… The Blue Jays scored three unearned runs on their way to handing the Nationals their fourth loss in five games. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered with the base empty.

TAMPA BAY 5 – Atlanta 2… Yoshi Tsutsugo stroked a two-run single as the Rays scored all five runs in the bottom of the third inning in downing the Braves.

N.Y. Mets 8 – BOSTON 3… J.D. Davis homered with a runner aboard as the Mets dealt the Red Sox their fourth straight loss.

MINNESOTA 6 – St. Louis 3… Jorge Polanco drilled a two-run homer to cap a five-run bottom of the second inning and Josh Donaldson added a solo shot in the third as the Twins doubled up on the Cardinals.

Arizona 4 – TEXAS 1… Righthander Merrill Kelly took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Diamondbacks cruised past the Rangers. Arizona opened with a three-run top of the first.

L.A. Dodgers 5 – HOUSTON 2… The Dodgers got past the Astros in a feisty contest that featured a bench-clearing incident after L.A. reliever Joe Kelly was accused of throwing at Houston batters Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Dodgers scored all five runs in the fifth.

Colorado 8 – OAKLAND 3… The Rockies made it three straight wins with their defeat of the Athletics. Sam Hilliard homered with a runner aboard.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
NL

the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 1-0) are at Cincinnati (Sonny Gray, 1-0)…
Pittsburgh (Joe Musgrove, 0-1) hosts Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff, 0-1)…
San Diego (Chris Paddack, 1-0) is at San Francisco (Johnny Cueto)

AL
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 1-0) are at Baltimore (Asher Wojciechowski)…
Detroit (Matthew Boyd, 0-1) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 0-1)…
the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 0-1) are at Cleveland (Zach Plesac)…
Seattle (Justin Dunn) hosts the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney)

INTERLEAGUE
Washington (Max Scherzer, 0-1) is at Toronto (Hyun-Jin Ryu)…
Atlanta (Mike Soroka) hosts Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton, 0-1)…
N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom) are at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 1-0)…
Texas (Lance Lynn, 1-0) hosts Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-1)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May) are at Houston (TBA)…
Minnesota (Rich Hill) hosts St. Louis (TBA)…
Colorado (German Marquez, 0-1) is at Oakland (Frankie Montas)

NFL… Former All-Pro defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield was found guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment yesterday by a jury in Santa Clara County, California. The 49-year-old Stubblefield, who played for the San Francisco 49ers in seven of his 11 years in the NFL, is facing 15 years to life in prison. Prosecutors accused Stubblefield of committing the crimes at gunpoint against a 31-year-old woman with developmental disabilities in 2015.

NBA REGULAR SEASON RESUMES TOMORROW

NHL STANLEY CUP QUALIFIERS BEGIN SATURDAY