CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 33,717,574 and the nation’s death toll stands at 605,526, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… As the Delta variant continues to spread across the country, health officials say Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada and Utah are particularly vulnerable… Just 18 of 50 states reached President Joe Biden’s goal of 70 percent adults vaccinated with at least one dose by the Fourth of July. A total of 173,194,895 Americans, or 67.1 percent, had received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
AMERICANS CELEBRATE THE FOURTH… Americans celebrated the nation’s 245th birthday yesterday after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of nearly all celebrations last year. Two of the largest fireworks displays were on the National Mall in Washington and over New York City’s East River. Reigning champion Joey Chestnut shattered his own world record by downing 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to win the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Brooklyn’s Coney Island. It was expected to be the busiest July Fourth road travel holiday on record, with an estimated 43.6 million Americans traveling by car.
REST OF FLORIDA CONDO BUILDING BROUGHT DOWN… The part of the condominium building in Surfside, Florida, that was still standing following the building’s collapse 10 days ago was brought down last night ahead of Tropical Storm Elisa’s arrival. Crews immediately began clearing debris in efforts to reach parts of the underground garage and find survivors. The bodies of 24 people, including three children, have been recovered from the building, but 121 people are still missing.
TALIBAN ADVANCES CONCERN U.S. MILITARY LEADER… The top U.S. military official overseeing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Army General Austin Scott Miller, warned yesterday that there should be concern about the Taliban advances on the ground there. During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Miller expressed concern that Afghanistan could go the way of Iraq, where terrorist extremists were able to gain power in the country once U.S. troops left, then forcing the U.S. to send troops back. President Joe Biden remains committed to drawing down troops by September 11 but administration officials are worried about the pace of troop withdrawal, the deteriorating security in Afghanistan and long-term U.S. strategy.
ARRESTS AFTER MILITIA STANDOFF… Authorities in Massachusetts have arrested 11 men following Saturday’s armed, nine-hour standoff. Those arrested are members of a militia called “The Rise of the Moors – The Moorish American Arms,” according to the Massachusetts State Police. Members of the group were seen wearing military fatigues and carrying guns as they refueled their vehicles along Interstate 95. When approached by police, some of the men ran into the woods with their guns., prompting a six-hour shutdown of the highway. The men said they were traveling from Rhode Island to Maine to participate in training exercises. Each man arrested this weekend was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, eight counts; unlawful possession of ammunition; use of body armor in the commission of a crime; possession of a high capacity magazine; improper storage of firearms in a vehicle; and conspiracy to commit a crime.
TYLER, THE CREATOR TOPS ALBUM CHART… Tyler, the Creator’s new release, “Call Me If You Get Lost,” sold 169,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Doja Cat’s “Planet Her,” opened in second place with 109,000 units sold. Last week’s champ, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour,” slipped to third place after selling 93,000 copies. Lil Baby and Lil Durk’s “The Voice of the Heroes” finished fourth on sales of 52,000 units. Polo G’s “Hall of Fame” sold 49,000 copies to finish fifth.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “F9: The Fast Saga” brought in $24 million to remain atop the weekend box office. “The Boss Baby: Family Business” opened at No. 2 after taking in $17.3 million. “The Forever Purge” made $12.7 to finish third. “A Quiet Place Part II” finished fourth with $4.2 million. “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” capped the top five with $3 million.
L.A. Dodgers 5 – WASHINGTON 1… Seven pitchers combined to stifle the Nationals and the Dodgers won their ninth straight. Max Muncy knocked in three runs. Matt Beaty homered.
PITTSBURGH 2 – Milwaukee 0… Tyler Anderson (4-8) pitched three-hit ball over seven innings and two relievers completed the shutout of the Brewers. Kevin Newman homered for the Pirates.
CINCINNATI 3 – Chi. Cubs 2… The Reds scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to get past the Cubs. Jonathan Indian got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home the tying run and Jesse Winker added an RBI grounder. Tucker Barnhart doubled home a run.
San Diego 11 – PHILADELPHIA 1… Manny Machado homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the Padres in their thrashing of the Phillies. Eric Hosmer and Webster Rivas added three RBIs apiece.
ATLANTA 8 – Miami 7 (10 innings)… The Braves rallied from four runs down in the bottom of the ninth inning to upend the Marlins. Pinch-hitter Max Fried singled home Starling Marte with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Ronald Acuña blasted a two-run homer.
COLORADO 3 – St. Louis 2… Elias Dias singled home Joshua Fuentes in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Rockies a come-from-behind win over the Cardinals. Trevor Story homered and lifted a sacrifice fly for Colorado.
San Francisco 5 – ARIZONA 2… Darin Ruff singled home a run and hit a two-run homer as the Giants topped the Diamondbacks. Austin Slater also went deep. Anthony DeSclafani (9-3) allowed two runs on six hits over 8-2/3 innings.
Tampa Bay 5 – TORONTO 1… Ryan Yarbrough (5-3) held the Blue Jays to a run on four hits over five innings. Wander Franco homered. Austin Meadows went 3-for-4 with a pair of run-scoring doubles.
Houston 4 – CLEVELAND 3 (10 innings)… Jason Castro’s ground out in the top of the 10th inning scored Yuli Gurriel with a tie-breaking run and the Astros hung on to outlast the Indians. Chas McCormick singled home a run and hit a two-run homer.
DETROIT 6 – Chi. White Sox 5… The Tigers withstood a ninth-inning rally to edge the White Sox. Akil Baddoo had a couple of hits, including a two-run double.
Minnesota 6 – KANSAS CITY 2… Kenta Maeda (4-3) pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings and the Twins cruised past the Royals. Jorge Polanco homered with a runner aboard. Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff added solo shots.
L.A. ANGELS 6 – Baltimore 5… The Angels recovered to down the Orioles after blowing a 4-0 sixth-inning lead. Juan Lagares came through with a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning. Shohei Ohtani connected for his 31st homer. Anthony Rendon also went deep.
Boston 1 – OAKLAND 0… Alex Verdugo scored the game’s only run when Rafael Devers grounded into a double play in the top of the sixth inning. Nick Pivetta (7-3) allowed just two hits over seven innings and struck out 10.
SEATTLE 4 – Texas 1… Chris Flexen (7-3) limited the Rangers to a run on four his over six innings. Luis Torrens blasted a three-run homer for the Mariners. Shed Long, Jr. added a solo shot.
N.Y. Mets 10 – N.Y. YANKEES 5 (7 innings)… Pete Alonso’s leadoff homer sparked a six-run top of the seventh inning that carried the Mets past the Yankees in the opener of a doubleheader. Domonic Smith also homered. Brandon Nimmo drove in three runs.
N.Y. YANKEES 4 – N.Y. Mets 2 (7 innings)… Gio Urshela belted a three-run homer and the Yankees salvaged a split of the twinbill. Reliever Chad Green (3-4) was perfect over the final three innings and struck out six in earning the victory.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
St. Louis (Kwang Hyun Kim, 2-5) is at San Francisco (Kevin Gausman, 8-2)…
Miami (Trevor Rogers, 7-5) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 8-1)…
Atlanta (Max Fried, 5-4) is at Pittsburgh (Chase De Jong, 0-3)…
the N.Y. Mets (Tylor Megill, 0-0) host Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff 7-3)…
Philadelphia (Matt Moore, 0-1) is at the Chi. Cubs (Zach Davies, 5-5)
the Chi. White Sox (Dylan Cease, 7-3) are at Minnesota (Bailey Ober, 0-1)…
Tampa Bay (Rich Hill, 6-3) hosts Cleveland (Logan Allen, 1-5)…
Detroit (Wily Peralta, 1-1) is at Texas (Kolby Allard, 2-4)…
the L.A. Angels (Jose Suarez, 3-1) host Boston (Martin Perez, 6-4)
Cincinnati (Vladimir Gutierrez, 3-3) is at Kansas City (Mike Minor, 6-6)
ALL-STAR ROSTERS SET… Pitchers and reserves have been selected for Major League Baseball’s annual All Star Game July 13 in Denver. Shohei Ohtani of the L.A. Angels achieved a first in the near century history of baseball’s All-Star Game: selection as both a hitter and a pitcher. Ohtani, who leads the majors in home runs, had already been elected by fans to start as the AL’s designated hitter before being chosen yesterday as a pitcher. Boston has the most All-Stars with five.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL STARS
C: Salvador Perez (Kansas City)
1B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto)
2B: Marcus Semien (Toronto)
3B: Rafael Devers (Boston)
SS: Xander Bogaerts (Boston)
OF: Mike Trout (L.A. Angels)*
OF: Aaron Judge (N.Y. Yankees)
OF: Teoscar Hernández (Toronto)
DH: Shohei Ohtani (L.A. Angels)
C: Mike Zunino (Tampa Bay)
2B: Jose Altuve (Houston)
SS: Bo Bichette (Toronto)
SS: Carlos Correa (Houston)
1B: Matt Olson (Oakland)
3B: José Ramírez (Cleveland)
1B: Jared Walsh (L.A. Angels)
OF: Michael Brantley (Houston)
OF: Joey Gallo (Texas)
OF: Adolis García (Texas)
OF: Cedric Mullins (Baltimore)
DH: J.D. Martinez (Boston)
DH: Nelson Cruz (Minnesota)
RHP: Shane Bieber (Cleveland)*
RHP: Gerrit Cole (N.Y. Yankees)
RHP: Nathan Eovaldi (Boston)
RHP: Kyle Gibson (Texas)
LHP: Yusei Kikuchi (Seattle)
RHP: Lance Lynn (Chi. White Sox)
LHP: Carlos Rodón (Chi. White Sox)
RHP: Matt Barnes (Boston)
LHP: Aroldis Chapman (N.Y. Yankees)
RHP: Liam Hendriks (Chi. White Sox)
RHP: Ryan Pressly (Houston)
LHP: Gregory Soto (Detroit)
NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL STARS
C: Buster Posey (San Francisco)
1B: Freddie Freeman (Atlanta)
2B: Adam Frazier (Pittsburgh)
3B: Nolan Arenado (St. Louis)
SS: Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego)
OF: Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta)
OF: Nick Castellanos (Cincinnati)
OF: Jesse Winker (Cincinnati)
C: J.T. Realmuto (Philadelphia)
2B: Ozzie Albies (Atlanta)
3B: Kris Bryant (Chi. Cubs)
SS: Brandon Crawford (San Francisco)
2B: Jake Cronenworth (San Diego)
3B: Eduardo Escobar (Arizona)
1B: Max Muncy (L.A. Dodgers)
SS: Trea Turner (Washington)
OF: Mookie Betts (L.A. Dodgers)
OF: Bryan Reynolds (Pittsburgh)
OF: Kyle Schwarber (Washington)*
OF: Juan Soto (Washington)
OF: Chris Taylor (L.A. Dodgers)
RHP: Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee)
RHP: Yu Darvish (San Diego)
RHP: Jacob deGrom (N.Y. Mets)
RHP: Kevin Gausman (San Francisco)
RHP: Germán Márquez (Colorado)
LHP: Trevor Rogers (Miami)
RHP: Zack Wheeler (Philadelphia)
RHP: Brandon Woodruff (Milwaukee)
LHP: Josh Hader (Milwaukee)
RHP: Craig Kimbrel (Chi. Cubs)
RHP: Mark Melancon (San Diego)
RHP: Alex Reyes (St. Louis)
(*denotes a player who is inactive due to injury)
TONIGHT’S STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE…
Tampa Bay is at Montreal for Game 4 with the Lightning leading 3-0