CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,853,614 and the nation’s death toll stands at 607,155, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said yesterday that it’s “almost inexplicable” that some Americans continue to resist getting vaccinated against COVID-19 despite information showing those who have not received their shots are at a higher risk of becoming infected. During an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation, Fauci continued to emphasize the seriousness of the Delta variant spread, which has raised infections and hospitalizations as it became the dominant strain of the coronavirus.
SURFSIDE DEATH TOLL AT 90… The death toll from the Surfside, Florida, condominium building collapse rose to 90 yesterday following the recovery of four more bodies. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says at least 71 of the victims have been properly identified with next-of-kin notifications provided to their families. An estimated 31 people remain unaccounted for.
HEAT WAVE IN SPARKS FIRE FEARS… A heat wave across the West is keeping firefighters throughout the region engaged if not on high alert. Heat advisories were issued across seven western states, with record-setting temperatures expected in California, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Dozens of large wildfires are currently burning in the West. Firefighters struggled in their effort to contain a Northern California wildfire that continued to grow yesterday and forced the temporary closure of a major highway. Two firefighters died Saturday in Arizona after a plane they were in crashed during a survey of a small wildfire in rural Mohave County.
WEAPONS STASH FOUND IN DENVER… Authorities in Denver say a tip from a hotel housekeeper led police to uncover a large arsenal of weapons that prompted police to believe initially that they had thwarted a large-scale attack. The discovery of the weapons occurred about a block from Coors Field, where Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is scheduled for tomorrow. However, FBI officials in Denver said yesterday morning that a preliminary investigation has not turned up any evidence that the episode is tied to terrorism. Three men and a woman were arrested and 16 long guns, body armor and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were seized from two rooms at the Maven Hotel.
SOUTH FLORIDA DOCTOR IMPLICATED IN ASSASSINATION… The Miami Herald reported yesterday that a Haitian doctor who has lived off-and-on in South Florida for 20 years, has been implicated in last week’s assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise. Christian Emmanuel Sanon is suspected of being one of the ring leaders of the hit squad that killed Moise, according to the report. Two other Florida residents of Haitian descent arrested for the killing told investigators that the assassination was part of a plot to install Sanon as president of Haiti. Authorities say 26 people pulled off the attack, with 19 now in custody and the others killed during a police raid.
OLIVIA RODRIGO TOPS ALBUM CHART… Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” sold 88,000 copies to reclaim the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart. Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” remains in second place after selling 68,000 units. Lil Baby and Lil Durk’s “The Voice of the Heroes” jumped one spot into third place with 47,000 copies sold. “Dangerous: The Double Album” jumped to No. 4 on sales of 46,000 units. G Herbo’s “25” sold 46,000 copies to debut at No. 5.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Black Widow” took in $80 million to debut atop the weekend box office. Last week’s champ, “F9: The Fast Saga,” slipped to second place with $10.8 million. “The Boss Baby: Family Business” made $8.7 million to finish third. “The Forever Purge” finished fourth with $6.7 million. “A Quiet Place Part II” capped the top five with $3 million.
NBA FINALS SCOREBOARD…
MILWAUKEE 120 – Phoenix 100… The Bucks took control with a big second quarter and rolled past the Suns to pull within 2-1 in the NBA finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo had game-highs with 41 points and 13 rebounds. Jrue Holiday added 21 points and nine assists. The series remains in Milwaukee for Game 4 on Wednesday.
Pittsburgh 6 – N.Y. METS 5… The Pirates clawed their way past the Mets after spotting them a five-run lead after the first inning. Rodolfo Castro and Michael Perez launched the comeback with back-to-back homers in the top of the fifth inning. Castro added a two-run shot in the sixth. Pittsburgh took the lead in the ninth on run-scoring singles by John Nogowski and Wilmer Difo.
MIAMI 7 – Atlanta 4… Jesus Aguilar slugged a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning and singled home a run in the fourth to lead the Marlins past the Braves. Starter Pablo López (5-5) set a Modern Era record by striking out the first nine batters he faced. He tied the all-time record set by Mickey Welch of the New York Gothams in 1884.
Cincinnati 3 – MILWAUKEE 1… Nick Castellanos came through with a tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to send the Reds past the Brewers. Joey Votto opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first.
SAN FRANCISCO 3 – Washington 1… Curt Casali connected for a three-run homer in the bottom of the second inning and the Giants hung on to own the Nationals. Kevin Gausman (9-3) allowed just a run on four hits over six innings and struck out nine.
L.A. DODGERS 7 – Arizona 4… Max Muncy’s three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning powered the Dodgers past the Diamondbacks. Chris Taylor’s RBI single capped a three-run eighth that erased a 4-1 deficit for L.A. Mookie Betts homered to lead off the first.
Colorado 3 – SAN DIEGO 1… Sonny Gray (6-6) held the Padres to a run on three hits over six innings and two Rockies relievers shut the door. C.J. Cron and Chris Owings smacked solo homers for Colorado.
St. Louis – CHI. CUBS (ppd)… Rain in Chicago forced postponement of yesterday’s Cardinals-Cubs game. It has been rescheduled for September 24.
Chi. White Sox 7 – BALTIMORE 5… Adam Engel’s three-run homer in the top of the 10th inning sent the White Sox past the Orioles after Baltimore’s Trey Mancini homered with a runner aboard in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Andrew Vaughn homered twice and knocked in Chicago’s other four runs.
Toronto 3 – TAMPA BAY 1… Robbie Ray (7-4) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out 11 in dominating the Rays. Danny Jansen homered for the Blue Jays. Santiago Espinal went 3-for-4 with an RBI single.
MINNESOTA 12 – Detroit 9 (10 innings)… Jorge Polanco stroked a pair of run-scoring singles and belted a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Twins outslugged the Tigers. Ben Rortvedt drilled a game-tying solo homer with one out in the ninth. Max Kepler also went deep for Minnesota.
HOUSTON 8 – N.Y. Yankees 7… The Astros erupted to score six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to upend the Yankees. Jose Altuve belted a walkoff three-run homer. Chas McCormick’s two-run double sparked the uprising. Martin Maldonado and Kyle Tucker hit bases-empty homers.
Oakland 4 – TEXAS 1… Chris Bassitt (10-2) limited the Rangers to a run on four hits over seven innings. Matt Olson hit two of Oakland’s four solo homers. Jed Lowrie and Sean Murphy connected back-to-back in the third.
L.A. Angels 7 – SEATTLE 1… Jose Suarez held the Mariners to an unearned run on three hits over five innings and the Angels cruised past the Mariners. David Fletcher went 4-for-5 with a solo homer and four RBIs.
Kansas City – CLEVELAND (ppd)… Rain in Cleveland forced postponement of yesterday’s Royals-Indians game. It has been rescheduled for September 20.
Philadelphia 5 – BOSTON 4… Ronald Torreyes’ three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning proved to be the difference as the Phillies edged the Red Sox. Torreyes and Travis Jankowski scored on J.T. Realmuto’s third-inning single.
MLB ON ALL-STAR BREAK…
Baseball’s second half resumes Thursday following tomorrow’s All-Star Game in Denver.