Bellator 263: AJ McKee submits Pitbull to win $1 million title fight

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, kicks Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, celebrates after defeating Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, punches Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, knees Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, punches Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, kicks Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, celebrates after defeating Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, has his arm raised after defeating Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, celebrates after defeating Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, is choked-out by AJ McKee blue gloves, in the first round during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • AJ McKee blue gloves, celebrates after defeating Patricio “Pitbull”Freire, red gloves, during Bellator 263: Pitbull vs. McKee at the Forum in Inglewood, CA., Saturday, July 31, 2021. McKee defeated Freire to win the 145-pound World Grand Prix tournament million dollar prize and the championship belt. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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INGLEWOOD — A.J. McKee’s call-out finally came home.

The undefeated Long Beach star’s crusade, which started with his professional MMA and Bellator debut in 2016 when he dared to invoke the name of featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull, has been more than six years in the making.

On Saturday night at The Forum, McKee won the $1 million Bellator World Featherweight Grand Prix with a technical submission via standing guillotine choke of Pitbull in the first round to claim the belt and establish his superstar status in the sport.

After the pair largely squared off with little action to start the fight, McKee stunned the champion with a left head kick and dropped him with punches against the cage.

The 26-year-old phenom began to prematurely celebrate before Pitbull began to rise. McKee then pounced and locked in a standing guillotine choke, torqueing with all his might before Pitbull began to fade. Referee Mike Beltran jumped in at 1:57 to kick off a wild celebration in front of the partisan crowd.

Pitbull (32-5) hadn’t lost in five years, winning all seven title fights before Saturday – twice dethroning a champion and five times successfully defending his featherweight title.

McKee (18-0) kicked off his professional MMA career more than six years ago, having just turned 20 and collecting a victory via submission at Bren Events Center in Irvine and calling out Pitbull, who was seven months into his first featherweight title reign.

Pitbull and McKee both started their journeys in the grand prix at Bellator 228 in September 2019 at The Forum — Pitbull dominating top contender Juan Archuleta in a unanimous decision after McKee recorded a highlight-reel 8-second knockout of Georgi Karakhanyan

Three months later against Derek Campos, McKee grinded out a third-round submission win despite tearing his lateral collateral ligament in his left knee at Bellator 236 in December 2019. And in November, he advanced to the final by forcing a tapout via a neck crank/guillotine choke of former Bellator bantamweight champion and NCAA wrestling champion Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 253 in November.

Pitbull, 34, had been regarded by some as the top 145-pounder in the world. The two-time Bellator featherweight champion also boasts the organization’s lightweight title after his first-round knockout of Michael Chandler at Bellator 221 in May 2019, joining Ryan Bader and Joe Warren as the only double champions in Bellator history.

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Clayton Kershaw’s return to Dodgers unclear due to ‘residual soreness’

PHOENIX — After Clayton Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game in San Francisco on Tuesday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts laid out a tentative plan for how and when the left-hander would return to the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Kershaw would throw another simulated game, stretching out to four innings and 50 to 60 pitches, on Sunday in Arizona, Roberts said. Then he would likely rejoin the Dodgers to start next Saturday against the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

That plan has gotten a little fuzzy now with Roberts hedging on whether Kershaw will throw Sunday due to “residual soreness” that followed Tuesday’s workout.

“I wish I had that definitive answer,” Roberts said Saturday when asked if Kershaw was still going to throw the sim game on Sunday. “I think we’re going to get through today and see where he’s at tomorrow to see if that plan stays as is. I can’t confirm that. That’s our plan. But until he gets through it and does it, I can’t confirm.

“There’s no hard date for him to have to throw tomorrow. So we’re just leaving it in his and the training staff’s hands.”

Roberts said the “residual soreness” is just a carryover from the approximately 45-pitch sim game in San Francisco and is not specifically related to the elbow inflammation that sent Kershaw to the Injured List four weeks ago.

“(It’s) not a setback,” Roberts said. “But if we want to move forward, we would like the soreness to be not an issue.”

Roberts said, “I think we’ll know more after tomorrow” about whether August 7 is a realistic date for Kershaw’s return.

“Again, the main thing with Clayton is to get him back so he stays back for the duration and through the postseason,” Roberts said. “So right now, there’s no hard date or deadline.”

BETTS BACK

Mookie Betts is expected to come off the IL on Sunday. The hip issue that sent him to the IL has improved significantly, he said.

“Everything’s good to go. Just have to keep an eye on the hip and we should be fine,” he said Saturday.

The Dodgers have also had to keep an eye on Betts’ lower back and left shoulder this season, injuries he called “nagging things” that have held him back this season. Betts said this is the first season where he’s been plagued by so many physical issues.

“I wish it would have came from I ran into a wall or something instead of out of nowhere. It would have made more sense,” he said. “But it is what it is. You just have to deal with it. … The training staff has done a great job in helping get me to where I am now.”

Betts acknowledged that Roberts has talked to him about playing second base when he returns (though not likely Sunday) much as Cody Bellinger played first base instead of center field in his first two games back from a hamstring injury.

“There’s definitely been some discussion, just trying to limit the miles,” Betts said.

Betts came up in the Boston Red Sox’s farm system as an infielder then moved to the outfield with Dustin Pedroia blocking him at the major-league level. He has played 17 games at second base in the major leagues, 14 of them during his rookie season in 2014.

NOT CLOSE

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged he was “spooked … for a second” by reports mid-day Thursday that the San Diego Padres were “close” to acquiring Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals, not the Dodgers.

Padres GM A.J. Preller was asked about that report after Friday’s trade deadline passed and said he never thought he was close to making a trade with the Nationals.

“Obviously it was not an accurate report,” Preller said. “We hadn’t heard from the Nats in, I don’t know, probably seven or eight hours at that point. It was not a situation where we were on the 2-yard line or anything like that.

“You see a report like that — I think from our standpoint we knew that it wasn’t accurate. Then you kind of start thinking about what that means. But it wasn’t a situation where we were right there with a chance to complete the deal. It didn’t feel like that.

“Ultimately, we were in the room working on other things and really hadn’t been at that spot where we were talking to them that closely. So you see that report come out, it was not something from a completion of a deal standpoint … it wasn’t that type of situation.”

SORE SHOULDER

Right-hander Tony Gonsolin went on the IL Saturday with shoulder inflammation. Gonsolin spent the first two months of the season on the IL with a shoulder injury and didn’t look completely healthy at times after he returned — including Friday night when he walked five of the 11 batters he faced in his abbreviated start.

After the game, Gonsolin admitted his shoulder “has its days where it doesn’t feel great. But for the most part, it feels good on game day.”

In other roster moves Saturday, the Dodgers added left-hander Garrett Cleavinger and right-hander Edwin Uceta from Triple-A and officially added Scherzer to the active roster. Outfielder Luke Raley and right-hander Brusdar Graterol were sent to Triple-A.

Scherzer joined the Dodgers at Chase Field before Saturday’s game and played catch in the outfield briefly. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday with an eye towards making his first start for the Dodgers on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Dodgers (LHP Julio Urias 12-3, 3.54 ERA) at Diamondbacks (LHP Caleb Smith 3-7, 4.61 ERA) Sunday 1:10 p.m., SportsNet LA, 570 AM

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Tokyo Olympics TV schedule for Sunday Aug. 1

Here’s the Tokyo Olympics TV schedule for Sunday Aug. 1. Highlights Sunday include finals in the men’s long jump and women’s 100-meter hurdles live in prime time on NBC. The U.S. men’s water polo team will be show vs. Greece at 5 p.m. on CNBC. Late Sunday TV includes the U.S. women’s basketball team vs. France (9:30 p.m., USA), the U.S. women’s volleyball team vs. Italy (9 p.m., NBC), and the U.S. women’s soccer team vs. Canada in the semifinals (1 a.m. USA).

Complete Olympics TV schedule

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1

(all times Pacific)

5:30 a.m. – Men’s Handball (Denmark-Sweden) – USA Network

5:30 a.m. – Men’s Golf (final round); Fencing; Men’s Tennis (singles final); Men’s Gymnastics; Beach Volleyball – Ch. 4

5:40 a.m. – Women’s Badminton (Singles Gold Medal); Table Tennis; Men’s Field Hockey (Germany-Argentina); Men’s Badminton – NBCSN

7 a.m. – Women’s Water Polo (Hungary-China) – USA Network

7:45 a.m. – Beach Volleyball – USA Network

9:45 a.m. – Men’s Volleyball (U.S.-Argentina); BMX Freestyle; Golf; Fencing; Men’s Gymnastics – Ch. 4

9:45 a.m. – Women’s Water Polo (Netherlands-Canada) – USA Network

10:30 a.m. – Equestrian – NBCSN

10:45 a.m. – Men’s Handball (Germany-Brazil) – USA Network

12:15 p.m. – Wrestling; Boxing; Weightlifting; Tennis – USA Network

4 p.m. – Gymnastics; Track and Field; Diving; Beach Volleyball – Ch. 4

4 p.m. – Wrestling – Olympic Channel

5 p.m. – Track and Field – USA Network

5 p.m. – Men’s Water Polo (U.S.-Greece); Women’s Beach Volleyball (Canada-Spain); Women’s Field Hockey; Badminton (Doubles Medal matches); Diving – CNBC

8:30 p.m. – Canoe (Sprint) – Ch. 4

9:05 p.m. – Women’s Volleyball (U.S.-Italy) – Ch. 4

9:30 p.m. – Women’s Basketball (U.S.-France) – USA Network

11:30 p.m. – Women’s Water Polo (Spain-Croatia) – USA Network

1 a.m. – Women’s Soccer (U.S.-Canada, semifinals) – USA Network

2:15 a.m. – Wrestling (Medal Round) – Olympic Channel

3:45 a.m. – Women’s Weightlifting – NBCSN

4 a.m. – Women’s Soccer (Sweden-Australia, semifinal) – USA Network

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Reverse damage of politicians, special interests: John Cox

For decades California has been run by career politicians and insiders. Together they have created a state that only the wealthy and well-connected can afford to live in.

California has the highest taxes in the country and is one of the country’s least affordable places to live.

Homelessness is out of control. California is home to nearly half of our country’s unhoused people. The politicians have spent billions, but the problem is getting worse every day.

We are facing our worst ever wildfire season. We have a water shortage caused by mismanagement. California is losing population for the first time ever as the middle class flees.

In short, career politicians are running our beautiful state into the ground.

I have a vision of a California run for the benefit of its people, not the politicians. As an outsider, I’ll always put the people first.

We will cut taxes 25% across the board, while closing corporate loopholes that benefit the well connected. We will reduce the cost of housing for the middle class by reforming the rules and regulations that get abused to drive up housing costs. We will squeeze every penny out of  state government to lower taxes and keep them low.

As a CPA, I know how to pinch pennies and make them work for people. That’s the kind of person we need in the governor’s office.

We will also cut homelessness in half by getting the homeless into treatment. We can’t just build housing for the homeless. They’ve proven they won’t use it. We have to address the root causes. That’s something the politicians have refused to do. The result: homelessness taking over our streets. That ends through treatment.

We will reduce wildfires by managing our forests better and better utilizing our government resources used to fight the fires. We can add more reservoirs and use desalination to solve our water shortages. California needs an outsider who will implement creative, yet realistic solutions to fix our problems.

As a businessman and CPA, I’ll make it happen.

Most importantly, we will put an end to the insider back door deals that result in Gavin Newsom attending a lobbyist’s birthday party in violation of his own coronavirus rules. I will bring decency and fairness back to government. I guarantee you that no lobbyists will be inviting me to their parties. And I wouldn’t want to go if they did.

California is the greatest state in our country with the greatest resources. The career politicians and insiders, in both parties, have squandered it. As a businessman and CPA I’ll help bring California back to what it should be.

John Cox is a businessman who ran for governor in 2018.

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Recipe: Corn pudding is a delicious dish you can make with 4 ingredients

Southern-style corn pudding is so delectable, it may be a challenge to eat just a single portion. It’s easy to prepare, boasting only four ingredients plus salt and pepper. I make it in a 1 1/2-quart gratin dish, but any 1 1/2-quart ovenproof casserole will work.

To remove the kernels from the cob, cut the stem off the corn; then stand it, large flat end down on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut kernels off, running the knife from top to bottom next to the cob, rotating when needed to remove kernels on all sides.

Southern Corn Pudding

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

Butter for greasing pan

2 1/4 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 3 ears of corn

2 cups whole milk, heated

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional garnish: Minced fresh parsley

PROCEDURE

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart ovenproof casserole.

2. Mix all ingredients in bowl. Pour into buttered casserole. Place casserole in small roasting pan that is large enough to hold the casserole. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the casserole, being careful not to get any water in the casserole. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until it is firm.

Have a cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at cathythomascooks@gmail.com

 

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Disneyland ‘Blinkin’ Lincoln’ animatronic used to go crazy and smash his chair in a robotic fit

The Great Emancipator who has starred as an audio-animatronic historic figure in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln for a half century at Disneyland got off to a rough start in 1964 when he would go crazy from power surges and smash his chair in a robotic fit.

“Mr. Lincoln would sit in this chair and he would start to get up and all of a sudden he would go into this robotic fit and fling his arms around,” Disney historian Bill Cotter said in a new Disney+ show. “He literally smashed his chair into kindling.”

Walt Disney Imagineering takes a behind-the-scenes look at Disneyland’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in the new 10-episode Disney+ series “Behind the Attraction.”

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SEE ALSO: 7 Disneyland rides made into movies — plus 7 more possible projects

Future episodes will feature Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland and the subsequent Hall of Presidents at Florida’s Magic Kingdom along with It’s a Small World, Disneyland Hotel, Disney theme park castles and Disney trains and monorails. The first five episodes of the new Disney+ show focus on Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Star Tours, Haunted Mansion and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror/Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout.

Walt Disney wanted the Abraham Lincoln animatronic attraction at Disneyland to combine education and entertainment.

“What Walt said was, ‘We have always tried to be guided by the basic idea that in the discovery of knowledge there is great entertainment, but in all good entertainment there is some grain of wisdom, humanity or enlightenment to be gained,’” Disney Imagineer Gary Landrum said in the upcoming “Behind the Attraction” episode.

SEE ALSO: Which Disneyland rides, shows, restaurants and shops remain closed

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Hall of Presidents were inspired by a pavilion exhibit at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair that displayed wax figures of all the U.S. presidents with recorded voice tracks explaining their roles in American history. Walt Disney thought he could bring the presidents to life with Imagineering’s burgeoning audio-animatronic technology in the 1960s.

The Hall of Presidents was originally planned for a Liberty Street expansion off Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland, but the $4.4 million price tag to build animatronic figures of all the U.S. presidents proved too expensive. Disney decided to press forward with a show based around Lincoln.

“Walt was really upset,” Disney Legend Bob Gurr said in the Disney+ episode. “He showed us this Lincoln and it was very heavy and had hydraulic leaks in it. I remember he looked at this thing and he says, ‘Bobby, I want twice as many motions and half as much weight. Can you do that?’ It was obviously another one of the jobs where you say, ‘Yeah, I’ll start.’”

SEE ALSO: Why Silver Dollar City deserves to be ranked among America’s best theme parks

Disney signed an agreement to create a Lincoln animatronic as the centerpiece attraction in the Illinois state pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Despite tireless efforts, the Lincoln animatronic was not ready for opening day of the fair.

“Mr. Lincoln was a terrible disaster,” Disney Legend Marc Davis said in the Disney+ episode.

Imagineers could not get the Lincoln animatronic to move through its programming successfully. Honest Abe kept throwing robotic fits — flailing his arms and smashing his chair to bits. The Imagineers were at a loss for solutions.

“They would go and get him another chair and he worked two or three days in a row,” Cotter said in the Disney+ episode. “They would bring the press and he’d stand up and smash the chair into kindling.”

Finally, the Imagineers figured out the problem. A nearby World’s Fair pavilion called the Tower of Light was shining a giant beam into the sky. The powerful light beam was creating an electronic anomaly that caused the Lincoln animatronic to “go crazy.”

“When they fired this thing up the transient circuits that would go through the ground made Mr. Lincoln get feedback and he’d go crazy and smash his chair,” Cotter said in the episode.

The debugged Lincoln animatronic proved wildly popular among fairgoers, with a newspaper headline declaring: Blinkin’ Lincoln a Fair Wonder. Audience members were convinced the blinking, breathing and even perspiring Lincoln animatronic was an actor rather than a robotic machine.

“In all truth, he really did perspire because there was a migratory oil in the skin that came to the surface and we had to pat that off,” Disney Legend Harriet Burns said in the episode.

The Lincoln animatronic’s troubles weren’t over yet, though. Mischievous children came up with a sure-fire way to prove Robot Abe was a real person. Kids began firing ball bearings through soda straws like spit wads during the show — gathering their ammunition from the free samples handed out at the nearby SFK Industries pavilion.

“People would go into Mr. Lincoln and start shooting Mr. Lincoln with the ball bearings,” Cotter said in the episode. “He’d get one in his cheek and it would stay there for the rest of the show.”

After the New York World’s Fair, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was brought back to the Opera House at Disneyland. Imagineering eventually built Liberty Street — which became Liberty Square when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 complete with a Hall of Presidents.

SEE ALSO: Disneyland rolls out mini parades in preparation for Halloween parade

The “Behind the Attraction” episode ends by making a connection between the Lincoln animatronic and the Spider-Man stuntronic that soars and somersaults over the new Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure.

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Dodgers’ extra-inning frustrations continue in Arizona

PHOENIX — Back on April 16 at Petco Park, the Dodgers scored five times in the 12th inning to beat the San Diego Padres.

If they had known then that it might be their only extra-inning win of the season, maybe they would have savored it a little more.

The Dodgers spotted the Arizona Diamondbacks a three-run headstart, ran them down in eight innings but lost in the 10th, 6-5, on Friday night.

The Dodgers have ventured into the dark alley of extra innings 12 times this season and came out at the other end with a victory just that one time back in the innocent days of April.

This loss kept them in lockstep with the rest of the NL West’s big three. The Giants and Padres also lost, maintaining status quo in the division – the Dodgers three games back, the Padres 5½.

Max Scherzer can’t get here soon enough – literally, they could use a starter Saturday.

The trade that will bring Scherzer to the Dodgers eventually – he is scheduled to join the team in Arizona on Saturday and make his Dodgers debut most likely on Wednesday – cost the Dodgers their Saturday starter, Josiah Gray.

Some bullpen games are planned. Others are thrust upon you.

Starter Tony Gonsolin faced just 11 batters on Friday and walked five of them, putting the Dodgers in an early hole and setting off a conga line of relievers.

Scherzer’s arrival and Clayton Kershaw’s imminent return from the injured list have made Gonsolin’s days in the starting rotation numbered. It’s a spot he has never really had much of a grip on.

Gonsolin spent the first two months of the season nursing a shoulder injury. In 10 games (nine starts), he has only occasionally looked over it.

Gonsolin completed five innings just twice in those 10 games. His fastball velocity has been consistently low – he averaged 93.3 mph on Friday, down from 95.1 mph last season. And his command has been erratic. Friday was the fifth time he walked three or more batters in a game. In total, he has walked 26 batters in 35-2/3 innings this season.

The only damage the Diamondbacks could manage before Manager Dave Roberts got Gonsolin out of the game was a two-run double by Josh Van Meter. They added a single run in the fourth against Phil Bickford and two more against Brusdar Graterol and Alex Vesia in the sixth.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers had just three baserunners in the first five innings against Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen – a walk, an error and a single. From the sixth through the 10th, though, they put 13 runners on base, chipping away with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings. Chris Taylor drove in three of the four runs – one on a home run, two on a triple.

A pinch-hit RBI single by Albert Pujols in the eighth tied the score – and Kenley Jansen nearly untied it in the bottom of the eighth. Jansen loaded the bases before striking out Christian Walker and Carson Kelly.

But the Diamondbacks pushed across the winning run in the 10th against Jimmy Nelson, a double by Asdrubal Cabrera driving in the extra runner from second.

More to come on this story.

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Photos: L.A. Art Show rolls into Convention Center

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Charmaine Harris, 45, walks past a large painting on exhibit at during the L.A. Art Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • John Rowe, 66, a local artist from Los Angeles walks through one of the many art galleries on exhibit during the L.A. Art Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Atossa Nankali, 56, of Los Angeles looks at a wall of art during the L.A. Art Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

  • Art enthusiasts combed through the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall for the L.A. Art Show in Los Angeles on Friday, July 30, 2021. The event featured exhibits of traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art. (Photo by Trevor Stamp, Contributing Photographer)

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The Los Angeles Art Show, which will run through Sunday, kicked off Friday with an eclectic array of creations.

The event features a comprehensive lineup of exhibitors ranging from traditional contemporary, modern, digital and new technology art.

Remaining show hours will be from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are available here.

The show is being hosted at the L.A. Convention Center, West Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles.

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Florida coronavirus cases jump 50% as surge continues

By Terry Spencer and Adriana Gomez Licon | Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s coronavirus cases jumped 50% this week, the state Health Department reported Friday, continuing a six-week surge that has seen it responsible for 1 in 5 new infections nationally, becoming the outbreak’s epicenter.

The release came shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when classes resume next month, saying there is no evidence they prevent outbreaks among students or staff.

More than 110,000 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide over the past week, up from 73,000 last week and 11 times the 10,000 reported the week of June 11, six weeks ago. Case numbers are now back to where they in January, just before vaccinations became widely available.

The Florida Hospital Association also said Friday that statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing last year’s peak. More than 9,300 patients are hospitalized, up from 1,845 a month ago and nearing the record 10,179 set on July 23, 2020. On a per capita basis, Florida now has more people hospitalized than any other state.

The state reported 409 deaths this week, bringing the total to more than 39,000 since its first in March 2020. The state’s peak happened in mid-August 2020, when 1,266 people died over a seven-day period. Deaths usually follow increases in hospitalizations by a few weeks.

DeSantis has blamed the surge on a seasonal increase — more Floridians are indoors because of the hot weather with air conditioning circulating the virus. About 60% of Floridians 12 and older are vaccinated, ranking it about midway among the states. DeSantis said barring mask mandates at schools will improve students’ experience and make it easier for them to focus on learning.

“I have (three) young kids. My wife and I are not going to do the mask with the kids. We never have, we won’t. I want to see my kids smiling. I want them having fun,” DeSantis said at a news conference in southwest Florida a few hours before he signed the executive order. DeSantis is seeking reelection next year and has been positioning himself nationally for a possible 2024 presidential bid. But his critics are blaming his unwillingness to mandate mask wearing, such as his executive order barring mask requirements at public schools.

“We know that masks are a simple and effective way to help prevent virus spread, and from a medical perspective it makes absolutely zero sense to discourage their use,” said Dr. Bernard Ashby, head of Florida’s progressive Committee to Protect Health Care. “DeSantis’ power grab will put the health of kids and teachers alike at risk.”

DeSantis’ decision came after the Broward County school board voted to require masks and other districts and colleges around the state were considering it.

“We will have to change our policy,” Broward board member Debbi Hixon told the South Florida SunSentinel. “I am not looking to defy the governor. I believe it is an irresponsible decision but if it is the law, I will agree to follow it.”

The Florida Education Association, the state’s teachers union, said DeSantis should leave the decision to local officials rather than impose a statewide edict — a position he once held. When the pandemic began in March 2020, DeSantis said local officials should control the response, that the business closures and mask mandates imposed in Miami, Tampa and other big cities wouldn’t work in small, rural counties.

“Gov. DeSantis continues to think that Tallahassee knows best what all Floridians need,” union President Andrew Spar said in a statement. “We reject that kind of thinking. Instead, we ask Gov. DeSantis to allow all Florida’s citizens to have a voice by empowering the elected leaders of cities, counties and school districts to make health and safety decisions locally.”

Meanwhile, Publix, the state’s largest supermarket chain, announced Friday that employees will again be required to wear masks and several hospitals said they are postponing elective surgeries and limiting visitors.

At Tampa General Hospital, the 90-plus patients hospitalized with COVID already exceeds the previous high of 86, said Dr. Seetha Lakshmi, medical director of its Global Emerging Diseases Institute. She said the hospital, like many, can’t hire enough staff and it is leaving those working exhausted.

“It feels like we are getting hit by a train, the pace is so fast and uncontrolled,” Laskshmi said. “I just don’t have any words anymore. This is awful, just awful and it is going to be awful.”

She said last year, her patients’ median age was in the 70s. Now, it is just over 50, with the younger patients getting sicker than in the past.

She pointed to a patient in his early 30s whose lungs “sound like Velcro” being pulled apart. A father of young children, he will likely have permanent damage and might need a transplant eventually, she said.

She said 83% of Tampa General’s COVID patients are unvaccinated while the others have immune-deficiency issues that prevented the vaccine from working.

Gomez Licon reported from Miami.

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Analysis: Lakers face a tricky, expensive path to build around their Big Three

If he’s said it once, he’s said it a dozen times: Frank Vogel loves talking about getting players to “star in their roles.”

Back when the discourse was if the Lakers would ever find a third star, or if one of their other players would rise to be a foundational piece like LeBron James or Anthony Davis, Vogel stressed that the team didn’t need one as long as everyone played their part.

“We need guys like that to star in those roles if you’re going to have the ultimate success,” Vogel said during last season.

Now the Lakers have a third star, pulling the trigger on a trade for Russell Westbrook from Washington to give the Lakers a former MVP and a formidable trio of All-Star players. But with a thinned-out roster, rising salary and intensely competitive market for minimum contract-level players, finding new “star in their role” candidates will be a difficult task requiring more than a little luck and guile for general manager Rob Pelinka and his front office.

While last postseason was disappointing for the Lakers’ supporting cast, waving farewell to longtime role players like Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will probably hurt at points this season, because it will be tough for the Lakers to find equivalent players to fill out the roster.

The Lakers find themselves in a large-scale roster rebuild, even though the pillars are well-established. Outside of James, Davis and Westbrook, only Marc Gasol ($2.7 million) is under contract for next season. And yet the Lakers have about $123.5 million in salary committed to those four players, with their star trio all on max deals. The NBA’s salary cap is about $112.4 million, meaning the Lakers have no money to spend on free agents except the deals they can get signing their own players back, or on exceptions.

Those high salary numbers also mean the Lakers can’t operate under a hard cap as they did last year. With the NBA’s hard cap figure set at about $143 million, the Lakers wouldn’t have space to fill out the 15-man roster on minimums, much less re-sign key players like Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker (who are priority targets, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s offseason goals). That means bringing in another big star like DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry on a sign-and-trade is out, as is using the full midlevel exception (which the Lakers used last season to sign Montrezl Harrell for $9.7 million annually).

Some fans have fixated on the idea that the Lakers can send out Dennis Schröder, now made redundant by Westbrook, in a sign-and-trade to another team to recoup some assets. The biggest problem is that the deal would require Schröder’s consent. The 27-year-old German guard had strong hopes at the beginning of the offseason that he would return to the Lakers, according to a person with insight into his thinking; it might sting to involve himself in a sign-and-trade deal that would make the franchise better without him in the picture.

Schröder has also made no secret that he’s looked forward to going through free agency for the first time in his eight-year career, and it’s more straightforward for him to leave the Lakers for nothing and join a team with cap space, like New York or Chicago. The only exception would be if Schröder and a prospective team without cap space want to make a deal happen and need the Lakers’ help to seal it.

The Lakers can go above the cap to re-sign key pieces: Caruso is one of the team’s best perimeter defenders and has shown a knack for playing alongside James, and even though he could command more than $10 million annually on the market, the Lakers will be motivated to bring him back. The same goes for Horton-Tucker, who is just 20 and is now the best young piece remaining – the Lakers can match any offer he receives in restricted free agency. Both may spur competition for their services, but with limited alternatives, the Lakers will have a lot of incentive to hammer out deals to bring them back.

They could also bring back Markieff Morris, a 2020 title winner who didn’t have a great season last year, but who the Lakers can use to fill out the roster as a stretch big if he can find his shooting touch. Alfonzo McKinnie, who was little used last season, has a non-guaranteed deal worth $1.9 million that can add depth.

From there, it gets tricky – and expensive. The NBA luxury tax figure is $136.6 million, which the Lakers are guaranteed to surpass. Every dollar they spend above that amount adds to their tax bill, which is liable to make them one of the most costly rosters next season. They can use the mid-level exception which is just over $5 million, and then they can sign players to minimum contracts. Expect the team to keep roster spots open to perhaps pluck up someone from the buyout market next season, similar to how they acquired Andre Drummond last season.

One problem for the Lakers is that there will be a number of contenders looking for the same type of player: a minimum-level veteran who can shoot threes and defend. Those players will have their pick of Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and other likely contenders. Without more money to offer, the Lakers may have to dangle other kinds of incentives – like playing roles.

The Lakers added a pair of promising two-way players to their roster Thursday: Gonzaga’s Joel Ayayi and Oklahoma’s Austin Reaves. Both undrafted players could figure into playing mix if the roster winds up light, and it seems telling that both are mature players with lots of college experience.

It’ll be all hands on deck this coming fall, no matter who the Lakers are able to pull into the roster around James, Davis and Westbrook. And hang on through the next week – the seas might get a little choppy.

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