CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,723,122 and the nation’s death toll stands at 605,567, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Pandemic restrictions on travel between Canada and the U.S. began to loosen for some Canadians yesterday, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said plans to totally reopen the border would be announced over the next few weeks. Restrictions barring all non-essential trips between Canada and the United States, including tourism, will remain in place until at least July 21.
TOWER DEATH TOLL RISES… Another victim was pulled from the rubble of the collapsed Champlain Towers South building yesterday, raising the death toll to 28. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine said 117 people remain unaccounted for. What remained standing of the structure was demolished Sunday night ahead of of approaching Tropical Storm Elsa.
IRAQ MILITIA LEADER VOWS RETALIATION… The leader of an Iran-backed Iraqi militia is vowing retaliation against the U.S. over the deaths of four of his men in a U.S. airstrike along the Iraq-Syria border last month. Abu Alaa al-Walae, commander of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, told The Associated Press in Baghdad that the electoral victory of Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi as president will strengthen Iran-backed militant groups throughout the Middle East for the next four years. U.S. Air Force planes carried out airstrikes near the Iraq-Syria border on June 17 against what the Pentagon said were facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups to support drone strikes inside Iraq.
ELSA HEADS FOR FLORIDA… Tropical storm Elsa produced heavy rain as it moved across central and western Cuba later last night and is expected to pass near the Florida Keys early this morning. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was carrying maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour. Tropical storm warnings and watches were extended along the west coast of Florida.
ARREST FOLLOWING FIREWORKS EXPLOSION… Police in California have arrested a 27-year-old man on federal charges of illegally transporting tons of illegal fireworks following an explosion that rocked a Los Angeles neighborhood last week. Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested the suspect Saturday on charges of transporting explosives without a license, which carries a statuary maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. Last Wednesday, police attempted to seize about 10 pounds of the fireworks inside a bomb disposal trailer but they blew up, destroying the truck and injuring 17 people, including 10 law enforcement officers.
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR RICHARD DONNER DIES… Hollywood producer and director Richard Donner, who was best known for his work on the “Lethal Weapon” franchise and “The Goonies,” died yesterday of undisclosed causes. He was 91. Donner’s career in film and television spanned six decades. His directing credits include 1978’s “Superman,” 1985’s “Ladyhawke” and 1988’s “Scrooged.”
‘THE VOICE’ COACHES MARRY… “The Voice” coaches Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton married in Oklahoma over the Fourth of July holiday during a weekend wedding in Oklahoma. The two singers announced their engagement in October after meeting as judges on the singing competition show. Shelton was previously married to Miranda Lambert. Stefani divorced her former husband Gavin Rossdale in 2015.
St. Louis 5 – SAN FRANCISCO 3… Matt Carpenter opened the scoring with a two-run triple in the top of the seventh inning and the Cardinals went on to top the Giants. Kwang Hun Kim (3-5) pitched three-hit ball over seven innings in outdueling Kevin Gausman (8-3).
MIAMI 5 – L.A. Dodgers 4… Jorge Alfaro cracked a two-out, tie-breaking homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to send the Marlins past the Dodgers. Jazz Chisholm, Jr., had a couple of hits, including a run-scoring single.
PITTSBURGH 11 – Atlanta 1… Ben Gamel went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and six RBIs to lead the Pirates in their romp over the Braves. Ke’Bryan Hayes homered with a runner aboard.
N.Y. METS 4 – Milwaukee 2… Pete Alonso doubled home two runs and scored on Michael Conforto’s single in the bottom of the seventh inning to push the Mets past the Brewers. Five New York pitchers racked up 13 strikeouts.
Philadelphia 13 – CHI. CUBS 3… Odubel Herrera’s three-run homer highlighted a six-run top of the seventh inning that put away the Cubs. Rhys Hoskins homered with a runner aboard. Andrew Knapp and Eric Bohm added solo shots.
Washington 7 – SAN DIEGO 5… The Nationals jumped out to an early five-run lead and held of the Padres. Trea Turner and Josh Bell hit solo homers. Starting pitcher Jon Lester’s RBI single sparked a four-run top of the second inning.
TAMPA BAY 9 – Cleveland 8… The Rays came from three runs down to upend the Indians after blowing a 5-1 fifth-inning lead. Wander Franco tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning and Yandy Diaz’s infield grounder scored Randy Arozarena with the wining run. Brandon Lowe unloaded a grand slam for Tampa Bay.
MINNESOTA 8 – Chi. White Sox 5… Max Kepler homered twice and knocked in three runs as the Twins downed the White Sox. Nick Gordon legged out a two-run triple. Bailey Ober (1-1) limited Chicago to two hits over five scoreless innings.
Detroit 7 – TEXAS 3… Wily Peralta (2-1) blanked the Rangers on three hits over seven innings and the Tigers cruised to the win. Zack Short hit a two-run homer and lifted a sacrifice fly.
Boston 5 – L.A. ANGELS 4… Rafael Devers singled home a run and homered with a runner aboard in leading the Red Sox past the Angels. Christian Arroyo also went deep. Martin Pérez (7-4) surrendered two runs on eight hits over 5-1/3 innings. One of the runs was unearned.
Cincinnati 6 – KANSAS CITY 2… Nick Castellanos smacked a game-tying leadoff homer and Eugenio Suarez added a three-run shot during a four-run top of the seventh inning that carried the Reds past the Royals. Victor Gutierrez (4-3) allowed two runs on five hits over six innings.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
Milwaukee (Brett Anderson, 2-5) is at the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom, 7-2)…
Pittsburgh (Chad Kuhl, 2-5) hosts Atlanta (Ian Anderson, 5-4)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin, 1-0) are at Miami (Pablo Lopez, 4-5)…
the Chi. Cubs (Jake Arrieta, 5-8) host Philadelphia (Aaron Nola, 5-5)…
Colorado (Jon Gray, 5-6) is at Arizona (Merrill Kelly, 5-7)…
San Francisco (Johnny Cueto, 6-4) hosts St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 6-5)…
Washington (Patrick Corbin, 5-7) is at San Diego (Ryan Weathers, 3-2)
Toronto (Steven Matz, 7-3) is at Baltimore (TBA)…
Texas (Dane Dunning, 3-6) hosts Detroit (Jose Urena, 2-8)…
the Chi. White Sox (Carlos Rodon, 6-3) are at Minnesota (Jose Berrios, 7-2)…
Houston (Framber Valdez, 5-1) hosts Oakland (Chris Bassitt, 9-2)…
Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 9-4) is at the L.A. Angels (Shohei Ohtani, 3-1)…
Seattle (Justus Sheffield, 5-7) hosts the N.Y. Yankees (Jameson Taillon, 3-4)
Cincinnati (Luis Castillo, 3-10) is at Kansas City (Kris Bubic, 2-4)
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCOREBOARD…
MONTREAL 3 – Tampa Bay 2 (OT)… The Canadiens killed off most of a four-minute penalty before Josh Anderson’s second goal of the night gave them a Game 4 victory after they dropped the first three games. Alexander Romanov’s third-period goal gave Montreal a lead that it held for five minutes. Goalie Carey Price made 32 saves. The series returns to Tampa for Game 5 tomorrow.
NBA FINALS UNDERWAY TONIGHT… The Phoenix Suns visit the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals. The Suns never have won an NBA championship and are their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993 and their third overall (they also made it in 1976). The Bucks won their only NBA championship 50 years ago (1971), in the franchise’s third season. This is their first NBA Finals appearance in 47 years (1974) and their third overall. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, who suffered a knee injury in the conference finals, is listed as doubtful for tonight.