CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 36,051,023 and the nation’s death toll stands at 618,114, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Over the past 28 days, there have been 2,059,170 new cases and 9,998 deaths… With the U.S. surpassing 36 million cases yesterday, the percentage of Americans who’ve had a positive test rose to 10.82 percent… Experts say scientific trials from around the world have shown that COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be close to 100-percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths… Local officials are pushing back against the governors of Florida and Texas for their bans against school mask mandates. A number of counties, including Leon, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange and Palm Beach, are defying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ order. In Texas, school districts in Dallas and Austin, have announced mask requirements in opposition to Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order banning such mandates. Meanwhile, the San Francisco school district said its 10,000 employees would be required to be vaccinated or get tested weekly.
SENATE PASSES INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE… The Senate yesterday voted 69-30 in passing a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. The measure got the support of all Democrats and 19 Republicans in advancing to the House. Vice President Kamala Harris then had to cast a tie-breaking vote to initiate debate on a $3.5 trillion spending plan, which includes funding for various social and healthcare measures and climate change.
CUOMO RESIGNS AS N.Y. GOVERNOR… New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is set to take over the state’s first woman governor in 14 days following yesterday’s resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The 63-year-old Hochul was first elected lieutenant governor in 2014 after serving as a U.S. congresswoman from Buffalo. She said she agreed with Cuomo’s decision to step down after a report released last week by New York State Attorney General Letitia James detailed 11 instances of sexual misconduct.
TEXAS TURNS UP PRESSURE ON QUORUM-BREAKING DEMOCRATS… Republicans in Texas yesterday cleared the way for law enforcement to track down and arrest Democrats who left the state last week to block a restrictive Republican voting bill. After the Texas House voted 80-12 to authorize law enforcement to bring the missing Democrats back to the state Capitol, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that officers can detain them. Governor Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan had asked the court on Monday to overturn a state district judge’s ruling that blocked the arrest of quorum-breaking Democrats.
MOON MISSION DELAYED… The Artemis mission that would put U.S. astronauts back to the moon will be delayed until 2025 at the earliest, according to a report from the NASA’s Office of the Inspector General. The COVID-19 pandemic, funding, as well as technical issues were cited among reasons for the delay. The report recommended that NASA create a more appropriate timeline to avoid such development risks.
STEVIE NICKS CANCELS APPEARANCES… Stevie Nicks announced yesterday that she is cancelling all five of her 2021 scheduled appearances. The 73-year-old singer expressed concern for the coronavirus spread and said she looks forward to the days people can gather safely. She had been scheduled to perform at the Jazz Aspen Festival in Colorado, BottleRock Napa Valley, both weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which was canceled on Monday. The remaining festivals are planning to announce replacement acts.
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE DIAGNOSED WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS… Christina Applegate revealed on social media yesterday that she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The 49-year-old actress, who stars on the Netflix series “Dead to Me,” joins her “The Sweetest Thing” co-star Selma Blair and “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and other stars who’ve shared the diagnosis in recent years. Production on the third season of “Dead to Me” has been paused temporarily.
Milwaukee 4 – CHI. CUBS 2 (7 innings)… Wily Adames smacked a leadoff homer and Avisail Garcia added his 20th homer with a runner aboard during a three-run top of the fourth inning that carried the Brewers past the Cubs in the opener of a doubleheader. Lorenzo Cain added a sixth-inning homer. Freddy Peralta (9-3) allowed two runs on five hits over 5-1/3 innings.
Milwaukee 6 – CHI. CUBS 3 (7 innings)… The Brewers did all their scoring in the top of the fifth inning on their way to completing a sweep of the twinbill. Six different batters drove in runs.
St. Louis 4 – PITTSBURGH 1… J.A. Happ (6-6) allowed only a Hoy Park homer over six innings and the Cardinals cruised past the Pirates. Tommy Edman and Paul DeJong hit solo homers for St. Louis.
L.A. Dodgers 5 – PHILADELPHIA 0… Max Scherzer and six relievers combined on a six-hitter as the Dodgers blanked the Phillies in a game delayed an hour and 44 minutes by rain. Corey Seager and Max Muncy slugged solo homers. AJ Pollock singled home two runs.
ATLANTA 3 – Cincinnati 2… The Braves squeaked past the Reds after spotting them a two-run lead. Adam Duval tied the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning and Stephen Vogt drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth. Drew Smyly (8-3) surrendered two runs on two hits over six innings.
SAN FRANCISCO 8 – Arizona 7… The Giants recovered to top the Diamondbacks after blowing a five-run sixth-inning lead and a two-run lead in the ninth. LaMonte Wade Jr. scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth when Diamondbacks first-baseman Christian Walker couldn’t field Kris Bryant’s sharp grounder. Mike Yastrzemski had a couple of hits, including a two-run double.
SAN DIEGO 6 – Miami 5… The Padres overcame an early three-run deficit to edge the Marlins. Austin Nola doubled home a run in the bottom of the first and his seventh-inning single scored Adam Frazier with the decisive run.
Washington – N.Y. METS (susp.)… Rain in New York forced the suspension of last night’s Nationals-Mets game. The game will resume before today’s regularly-scheduled game with Washington leading 3-1 in top of second inning. Juan Soto blasted a first-inning homer.
L.A. Angels 6 – TORONTO 3 (7 innings)… Justin Upton and Phil Gosselin stroked two-run singles and the Angels used a pair of unearned runs to double up on the Blue Jays in the doubleheader opener.
TORONTO 4 – L.A. Angels 0 (7 innings)… Four pitchers combined on a three-hitter and the Blue Jays blanked the Angels to claim a split of the twinbill. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., singled home a run and scored in the top of the first inning. Lourdes Gurriel added a two-run single in the sixth.
Detroit 9 – BALTIMORE 4… Will Castro opened the scoring with an RBI double in the top of the second inning and tripled home two more runs in the third to lead the Tigers past the Orioles. Jeimer Candelario homered with a runner aboard.
Oakland 4 – CLEVELAND 3 (10 innings)… Jed Lowrie doubled home Elvis Andrus with a tie-breaking run in the top of the 10th inning and the Athletics made it stand in outlasting the Indians. Lowrie’s eighth-inning grounder scored Starling Marte with the tying run. Seth Brown homered with the bases empty.
Tampa Bay 8 – BOSTON 4… The Rays came from three runs down in the sixth to get past the Red Sox. Francisco Mejia’s tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the ninth inning sparked a four-run rally. Brandon Lowe homered and singled home a run.
MINNESOTA 4 – Chi. White Sox 3… Willians Astudillo blasted a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Twins hung on to down the White Sox. Griffin Jax (3-1) allowed three runs on five hits and struck out 10 over six innings.
KANSAS CITY 8 – N.Y. Yankees 4… Salvador Perez went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers and three RBIs in leading the Royals past the Yankees. Hunter Dozier doubled home a tie-breaking run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Texas 5 – SEATTLE 4 (10 innings)… The Rangers got run-scoring singles from Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Yonny Hernandez in the top of the 10th inning and held off the Mariners. Jason Martin and Adolis Garcia cracked solo homers.
HOUSTON 5 – Colorado 0… Jake Odorizzi (5-6) limited the Rockies to three hits over five innings and four Astros relievers completed the shutout. Taylor Jones’ two-run double capped a three-run fourth.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 6-10) is at San Diego (Ryan Weathers, 4-4)
Philadelphia (Kyle Gibson, 2-0) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (David Price, 4-1)…
St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 10-6) is at Pittsburgh (Wil Crowe, 3-6)…
the N.Y. Mets (Rich Hill, 6-4) host Washington (Joe Ross, 5-9)…
Cincinnati (Wade Miley, 9-4) is at Atlanta (Touki Toussaint, 1-2)…
the Chi. Cubs (Joe Ross, 5-9) host Milwaukee (Corbin Burnes, 6-4)…
Arizona (Merrill Kelly, 7-8) is at San Francisco (Kevin Gausman, 10-5)
the Chi. White Sox (Lance Lynn, 10-3) are at Minnesota (Bailey Ober, 1-1)…
Kansas City (Brady Singer, 3-7) hosts the N.Y. Yankees (TBA)…
Detroit (Tarik Skubal, 7-10) is at Baltimore (Matt Harvey, 6-10)…
Cleveland (Cal Quantrill, 3-2) hosts Oakland (Frankie Montas, 9-8)…
Tampa Bay (Josh Fleming, 9-5) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 9-7)…
the L.A. Angels (Dylan Bundy, 2-8) host Toronto (Alek Manoah, 4-1)…
Texas (Spencer Howard, 0-3) is at Seattle (Tyler Anderson, 5-8)
Colorado (Antonio Senzatela, 2-8) is at Houston (Framber Valdez, 7-3)