The Rundown for April 21, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 31,197,511 and the nation’s death toll stands at 562.066, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… More than 180 million vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S., with 35.3 percent of the population having received at least one dose and 21.3 percent fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and current Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb said during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” yesterday that he expects COVID-19 vaccine supply to exceed demand in as early as three weeks… Nineteen states and territories have seen a greater than 25 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, compared to the two weeks before. A recent surge in Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to request additional vaccines and ask residents to take a two-week “pause.”

DEFENSE SEC AUSTIN RE-AFFIRMS U.S. SUPPORT OF ISRAEL…Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin yesterday reinforced U.S. support of Israel by declaring the nation’s commitment “enduring and ironclad.” Austin made the declaration following a meeting in Jerusalem with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz. He is also scheduled to discuss Iran and other regional security issues with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

BUTTIGIEG PRESSES INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN… Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said yesterday that President Joe Biden is hoping to pass his $2 trillion infrastructure plan by Memorial Day. Biden continues to seek Republican support for his American Jobs plan and is facing backlash from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on the Democratic side. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Buttigieg defended the Biden administration’s broad definition of infrastructure in the plan, calling infrastructure “the foundation that allows us go about our lives.”

FED CHIEF OFFERS ROSY OUTLOOK… Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell characterized the U.S. economy as at an “inflection point” during an interview last night on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” Powell based his optimism on the premise that growth and job creation is poised to accelerate. Powell conceded that another wave of COVID-19 could wipe out his rosy outlook and called on people to socially distance and wear masks.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE TO INVESTIGATE TRAFFIC STOP… Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced yesterday that he has directed the Virginia State Police to open an investigation into a December traffic stop in which a uniformed Army lieutenant was threatened, held at gunpoint and pepper-sprayed by two Windsor Police Department officers. Lieutenant Caron Nazario, a Black/Latino Army medic, filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month accusing the officers of using excessive force, violating his First and Fourth Amendment Rights and of illegally searching his SUV. He was driving home in a new car when officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop. In body-camera footage released on Friday, Nazario is seen holding his hands in plain sight out the window, asking why he had been pulled over with guns drawn on him. When Nazario explains that he is scared to get out of the car. “Yeah? You should be!” the officer shouts back.

ENTERTAINMENT
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
… “Godzilla vs. Kong” took in $13.3 million to blow away the weekend box office. “Nobody” finished in a distant second place with $2.6 million. “The Unholy” made $2.4 million to finish third. “Raya and the Last Dragon” came in fourth place with $2.1 million. “Voyagers” debuted at No. 5 with $1.3 million.

BIEBER BACK ATOP ALBUM CHART… Justin Bieber’s “Justice” sold 75,000 copies in returning to the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart. Demi Lovato’s “Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over” opened at No. 2 with 74,000 units sold. Last week’s champ, Rod Wave’s “SoulFly” slipped to third place with 67,000 copies sold. Morgan Wallen’s former No. 1 “Dangerous: The Double Album” finished fourth on sales of 63,000 units. Lil Tjay’s “Destined 2 Win” capped the top five on sales of 62,000 copies.

SPORTS
MLB SCORES

NATIONAL LEAGUE
PITTSBURGH 7 – Chi. Cubs 1
… J.T. Brubaker (1-0) pitched 5-1/3 solid innings and helped himself at the plate with three RBIs in the Pirates’ win over the Cubs. Pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo homered with a runner aboard.

Milwaukee 9 – ST. LOUIS 3… Avisail Garcia went deep for the second day in a row and the Brewers also got homers from Travis Shaw and Manny Piña in their drubbing of the Cardinals.

SAN FRANCISCO 4 – Colorado 0… Four Giant pitchers scattered eight hits in shutting out the Rockies. Starter Anthony DeSclafani (1-0) went the first six innings. Alex Dickerson and Brandon Belt smacked solo homers for San Francisco.

ARIZONA 7 – Cincinnati 0… Luke Weaver (1-0) pitched one-hit ball over seven innings and reliever Matt Peacock completed the Diamondbacks’ shutout of the Reds. David Peralta belted a three-run homer for Arizona. Eduardo Escobar added a two-run shot.

L.A. DODGERS 3 – Washington 0… Clayton Kershaw (2-1) outdueled Max Scherzer in a strong six-inning effort and got help from three relievers in the shutout. McKinstry doubled home Max Muncy in the bottom of the second inning and homered with a runner aboard in the seventh.

Philadelphia 7 – ATLANTA 6… Didi Gregorius connected for a three-run homer and lifted a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Phillies over the Braves. Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper smacked solo homers.

Florida – N.Y. METS (susp.)… Yesterday’s Marlins-Mets game was suspended after nine pitches due to rain in New York. It was be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on August 31.

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston 14 – BALTIMORE 9
… J.D. Martinez belted three home runs and drove in four runs in his return from the COVID-19 list and the Red Sox slugged their way past the Orioles. Rafael Devers added a three-run homer and a two-run shot. Alex Verdugo also went deep.

CLEVELAND 5 – Detroit 2… The Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Franmil Reyes went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Logan Allen (1-1) allowed just a run on two hits over five innings.

N.Y. Yankees 8 – TAMPA BAY 4 (10 innings)… Rougned Odor’s RBI single in the top of the 10th inning sparked a four run rally that pushed the Yankees past the Rays. Gio Urshela homered and knocked in three runs.

Kansas City 4 – CHI. WHITE SOX 3 (10 innings)… Michael A. Taylor scored the decisive run in the top of the 10th inning when White Sox reliever Garrett Crochet threw away Andrew Benintendi’s bunt attempt. Carlos Santana’s ninth-inning solo homer forced the extra inning.

Seattle 8 – MINNESOTA 6… The Mariners came from six runs down to upend the Twins. Kyle Seager’s second homer of the game was a three-run shot in the top of the ninth inning. Taylor Trammell also connected for a three-run blast.

L.A. Angels – TORONTO (ppd)… Rain in Dunedin, Florida, forced postponement of yesterday’s Angels-Blue Jays game. It will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on August 10 in Anaheim.

INTERLEAGUE
San Diego 2 – TEXAS 0
… Seven pitchers combined on a five-hitter as the Padres blanked the Rangers. Starter Adrian Morejon left after the first inning with an arm injury. Trent Grisham and Manny Machado homered for San Diego.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
NATIONAL LEAGUE
San Diego (Yu Darvish, 0-0) is at Pittsburgh (Trevor Cahill, 0-1)…
the N.Y. Mets (David Peterson, 0-1) host Philadelphia (Chase Anderson, 0-1)…
Miami (Sandy Alcantara, 0-1) is at Atlanta (Max Fried, 0-0)…
Milwaukee (Freddy Peralta, 1-0) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Adbert Alzolay, 0-1)…
Washington (Stephen Strasburg, 0-0) is at St. Louis (John Gant, 0-0)…
San Francisco (Aaron Sanchez, 0-0) hosts Cincinnati (Wade Miley, 1-0)

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston (Martin Perez, 0-0) is at Minnesota (J.A. Happ, 0-0)…
Baltimore (Dean Kremer, 0-1) hosts Seattle (Justus Sheffield, 0-1)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 1-0) are at Toronto (Hyun Jin Ryu, 0-1)…
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow, 0-0) hosts Texas (Dane Dunning, 1-0)…
the L.A. Angels (TBA) are at Kansas City (Brady Singer, 0-1)…
the Chi. White Sox (Carlos Rodon, 1-0) host Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 0-1)…
Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-0) is at Houston (Zack Greinke, 1-0)

INTERLEAGUE
Oakland (Chris Bassitt, 0-2) is at Arizona (Madison Bumgarner, 0-1)

NBA SCOREBOARD
Atlanta 105 – CHARLOTTE 101… The Hawks rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to top the Hornets. Bogdan Bogdanovic made eight 3-pointers on his way to 32 points. Clint Capela had 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Boston 105 – DENVER 87… The Celtics mounted a 31-3 run spanning the third and fourth quarter to erase a 14-point deficit and blow away the Nuggets. Jayson Tatum scored 28 points and grabbed 10 boards. Jaylen Brown tossed in 20 points. The loss was Denver’s first in seven games.

New Orleans 116 – CLEVELAND 109… The Pelicans came on strong in the second half to rally past the Cavaliers. Zion Williamson scored 25 of his game-high 38 points in the first half.

Milwaukee 124 – ORLANDO 87… The Bucks built a big lead early and never looked back in their rout of the Magic. Kris Middleton scored 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack. Bobby Portis delivered 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

NEW YORK 102 – Toronto 96… The Knicks recovered to down the Raptors after blowing an 18-point third-quarter lead. Julius Randle led all scorers with 26 points. Nerlens Noel pulled down 14 boards.

San Antonio 119 – DALLAS 117… DeMar DeRozan knocked down a jumper with less than a second remaining to send the Spurs past the Mavericks. 27 of DeRozan’s game-high 33 points came in the second half. Dejounte Murray added 25 points.

Indiana 132 – MEMPHIS 125… The Pacers jumped out to a 45-31 lead after the first quarter and held on to beat the Grizzlies. Caris LeVert pumped in 34 points. Malcolm Brogdon scored 29 points and dished off 11 assists. Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and 15 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 121 – Chicago 117… The Timberwolves held off the Bulls in the second half to escape with the victory. Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell scored 27 points apiece. Towns also had 10 boards.

Miami 107 – PORTLAND 98… The Heat caught fire after a slow start and handled the Trail Blazers. They got 22 points from Bam Adebayo and 20 from Jimmy Butler.

L.A. CLIPPERS 131 – Detroit 124… The Clippers were too much in the fourth quarter and fought off the Pistons in a back-and-forth contest. Marcus Morris scored 33 points and Paul George tossed in 32 to lead seven players in double figures.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
the L.A. Lakers are at New York…
Dallas hosts Philadelphia…
San Antonio is at Orlando…
Minnesota hosts Brooklyn…
Chicago is at Memphis…
New Orleans hosts Sacramento…
Washington is at Utah…
Golden State hosts Denver…
Houston is at Phoenix

NHL SCOREBOARD
Buffalo 5 – PHILADELPHIA 3… The Sabres scored three straight goals late in the third period to pull past the Flyers. Rasmus Asplund netted the go-ahead goal with 2:38 left. Jeff Skinner scored the tying goal just 25 seconds earlier.

VEGAS 1 – Arizona 0… Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury faced only 14 shots in shutting out the Golden Knights. Tomas Nosek netted the game’s only goal midway through the third period.

Colorado 4 – ANAHEIM 1… Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and had an assist to run his points steak to nine games and the Avalanche cruised past the Ducks. Jonas Johansson stopped 24 shots at goal.

Pittsburgh 5 – NEW JERSEY 2… Colton Sceviour scored back-to-back goals early in the first period and Jake Guentzel accounted for the Penguins’ other three goals in the win over the Devils. Bryan Rust and Mike Matheson each set up two goals.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 3 – N.Y. Rangers 2 (OT)… Ryan Pulock lit the lamp 1:13 into overtime to lift the Islanders over the Rangers. Goals by Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Gabriel Pageau gave the Islanders a two-goal lead after the first period but they couldn’t hold it.

Washington 8 – BOSTON 1… Conor Sheary and T.J. Oshie netted two goals apiece to lead the Capitals in their romp over the Bruins. Goalie Vitek Vanecek made 34 saves.

NASHVILLE 3 – Dallas 2 (SO)… Ryan Johansen scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Predators outlasted the Stars. Ryan Ellis and Takov Trenin scored in regulation for Nashville.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Carolina…
Columbus hosts Chicago…
Toronto is at Montreal…
Ottawa hosts Winnipeg…
St. Louis is at Minnesota…
Colorado hosts Arizona…
Vegas is at Los Angeles…
San Jose hosts Anaheim

GOLF NEWS… Hideki Matsuyama became the first male golfer from Japan to win a major championship yesterday when he shot a 1-over 73 to take a one-stroke victory over Will Zalatoris at The Masters. Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele finished three strokes off the lead in a tie for third place.

The Rundown for March 15, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 29,438,222 and the nation’s death toll stands at 534,880, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S. has administered 107,060,274 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and distributed 135,847,835 doses as of yesterday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said 69,784,210 people had received at least one dose, while 37,459,269 people were fully vaccinated. A total of 7,547,477 vaccine doses have been administered in long-term care facilities… President Joe Biden is expected to name Gene Sperling to lead the implementation of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan. Sperling was a top economic adviser to former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

BORDER PRESENTS ‘HUMANITARIAN CHALLENGE’… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday characterized the influx of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border as a “humanitarian challenge” and said the Biden administration has inherited a broken immigration system. Pelosi’s remarks on ABC News’ “This Week” came a day after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin sheltering and transferring children who arrive at the southern border. More than 3,700 children were in Customs and Border Patrol custody as of last week, with about 450 being apprehended every day.

STACEY ABRAMS CALLS VOTER-SUPRESSION BILLS ‘RACIST’… Former congresswoman and voting-rights advocate Stacey Abrams called Republicans’ efforts to place restrictions on voting with new proposed bills “racist.” During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Abrams called the restrictive efforts “a redux of Jim Crow, in a suit and tie.” Republican lawmakers in Abrams’ home state of Georgia have introduced a slew of bills that would place would impose new restrictions on absentee voting and end early voting on Sundays, a day when Black churchgoers often head to the ballot box as part of “Souls to the Polls” voting drives. Democrats say Republican suppression efforts in Georgia are a response to surprising Democratic wins last November, when Georgians sided with Joe Biden in the presidential race and elected senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in runoff elections.

PLAINS STATES POUNDED BY BLIZZARD… Plains states are digging out from what the National Weather Service called a “historic and crippling” blizzard over the weekend. southeast Wyoming, northern Colorado and western Nebraska were blanketed under as much as 30 inches of snow amid a storm that is forecast to continue through tomorrow. More than 2,000 flights were canceled over the weekend at Denver International Airport. Colorado Governor Jared Polis last night urged that people “Stay home and stay safe while conditions remain poor.”

2 DEAD IN CHICAGO SHOOTINGS… Gunfire at a party in Chicago’s South Side early yesterday morning left two people dead and 13 others wounded. Police say an unidentified suspect began shooting after a disturbance with other people. Victims ranged in age from 20 to 44. As of yesterday morning, at least one of the victims was in critical condition.

ENTERTAINMENT
GRAMMY AWARDS
… Billie Eilish, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift were the big winners at last night’s 63rd annual Grammy Awards. Eilish took home Record of the Year for her song “Everything I Wanted.” Beyoncé made history at the awards show after winning Best R&B Performance for “Black Parade” and Best Rap Song for appearing on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage.” Her 28 Grammy wins are the most by any artist. Swift won Album of the Year for “Folklore.” H.E.R.’s tribute to George Floyd, “I Can’t Breathe,” won Song of the Year. Trevor Noah hosted the event, which aired live from Los Angeles.

MORGAN WALLEN STAYS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 78,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart for the ninth straight week. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” jumped into second place after selling 40,000 units. Pooh Shiesty’s “Shiesty Season” climbed to No. 3 on sales of 33,000 copies. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” rose to No. 4 with 32,000 units sold. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” capped the top five with sales of 31,000 copies.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

OKLAHOMA CITY 128 – Memphis 122… The Thunder used a big fourth quarter to rally past the Grizzlies. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a game-high 30 points. Aleksej Pokusevski added 23 points.

GOLDEN STATE 131 – Utah 119… The Warriors fought off the Jazz to snap a four-game skid. Stephen Curry led all scorers with 32 points. Andrew Wiggins tossed in 28 points. Draymond Green racked up 11 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.

PHILADELPHIA 134 – San Antonio 99… The Sixers throttled the Spurs in their first game without the injured Joel Embiid. They got 23 points from Tobias Harris and 21 from Seth Curry.

Miami 102 – ORLANDO 97… The Heat pulled past the Magic in the fourth quarter for their fourth straight win. Jimmy Butler led the way with 29 points. Tyler Herro delivered 23 points off the bench.

ATLANTA 100 – Cleveland 82… The Hawks put away the Cavaliers late to win their fifth in a row. John Collins scored 22 points and brought down 12 boards. Danilo Galinari added 20 points.

Boston 134 – HOUSTON 107… Jaylen Brown scored 24 points and Jayson Tatum tossed in 23 as the Celtics dealt the Rockets their 16th straight loss. Tristan Thompson grabbed 13 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 114 – Portland 112… The Timberwolves held on at the end to top the Trail Blazers. Anthony Edwards made six 3-pointers on his way to 34 points.

CHICAGO 118 – Toronto 95… Nine players scored in double figures as the Bulls rolled past the Raptors. Rookie Patrick Williams scored 23 points to lead the balanced scoring attack.

NEW ORLEANS 135 – L.A. Clippers 115… The hot-shooting Pelicans blew the game open in the third quarter and coasted past the Clippers. Zion Williamson made 13 of 16 field goal attempts and finished with a game-high 27 points. Brandon Ingram added 23 points and Lonzo Ball added 20.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Sacramento is at Charlotte…
Washington hosts Milwaukee…
New York is at Brooklyn…
Detroit hosts San Antonio…
the L.A. Clippers are at Dallas…
Denver hosts Indiana…
Memphis is at Phoenix…
Golden State hosts the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCOREBOARD
MINNESOTA 4 – Arizona 1… The Wild put away the Coyotes with a three-goal third period. Kevin Fiala assisted on Nick Bonino’s tie-breaking goal and scored off a power play.

Carolina 2 – DETROIT 1… Nino Niederreiter’s third-period goal proved to be the difference as the Hurricanes held off the Red Wings for their eighth straight win. Dougie Hamilton opened the scoring in the second period.

Dallas 2 – COLUMBUS 1 (SO)… Aleksander Radulov scored in the shootout to send the Stars past the Blue Jackets. Joe Pavelski netted his 14th goal in the first period.

N.Y. Islanders 3 – NEW JERSEY 2 (SO)… Oliver Wahlstrom netted the decisive goal in the tie-breaker as the Islanders outlasted the Devils. Kiefer Bellows and Brock Nelson scored first-period goals. Nelson’s came with two seconds on the clock.

COLORADO 4 – Los Angeles 1… Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri each had a goal and an assist to lead the Avalanche past the Kings. Goalie Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves.

OTTAWA 4 – Toronto 3… The Senators withstood a late rally to edge the Maple Leafs. Drake Batherson scored back-to-back goals 53 seconds apart in the second period. Joey Daccord stopped 33 shots at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Nashville is at Tampa Bay…
N.Y. Rangers host Philadelphia…
Chicago is at Florida…
Pittsburgh hosts Boston…
Vancouver is at Ottawa…
Buffalo hosts Washington…
Montreal is at Winnipeg…
Calgary hosts Edmonton…
San Jose is at Vegas…
Los Angeles hosts St. Louis

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 3 Illinois 91, Ohio State 88 (OT) (Big Ten Tournament final)…
No. 6 Alabama 80, LSU 79 (SEC Tournament final)…
No. 7 Houston 91, Cincinnati 54 (AAC Championship final)

GONZAGA TOP SEED IN MENS COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT… Gonzaga was awarded the top overall seed in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball following their undefeated 24-0 regular season. The Zags await the winner of Thursday’s play-in game between Norfolk State an Appalachian State in the West Region first-round contest on Saturday. Baylor, Illinois and Michigan were given No. 1 seeds in other regionals. Baylor opens against Hartford in the South. Illinois drew Drexel as a first-round opponent in the Midwest. Michigan awaits the winner of Thursday’s play-in game between Mt. St. Mary’s-Texas Southern in the East.

NFL NEWS… New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced yesterday that he is retiring after 20 seasons in the NFL. The 42-year-old Brees leaves the game as the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards (80,358) and ranks second all time in touchdown passes (571) and completion percentage (67.7%). He racked up more than 5,000 yards passing in five seasons, something no other NFL quarterback has done more than once. Brees was named MVP of Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 after leading the Saints past the Indianapolis Colts for the franchise’s only NFL championship.

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES (opening day is April 1)…
DETROIT 5, Baltimore 1…
ATLANTA 8, Tampa Bay 7…
MINNESOTA 5, Boston 5 (tie)…
HOUSTON 5, Washington 0…
Philadelphia 6, PITTSBURGH 5…
N.Y. Yankees 5, TORONTO 1…
N.Y. METS 7, St. Louis 5…
CHI. CUBS 1, L.A. Angels 1 (tie)…
TEXAS 3, Colorado 1…
San Diego 10, CINCINNATI 4…
Chi. White Sox 1, OAKLAND 0…
SEATTLE 5, Milwaukee 4…
San Francisco 6, ARIZONA 3…
Kansas City 8, L.A. DODGERS 4