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Braves push Kershaw, Dodgers to brink – TSN

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Clayton Kershaw made the slow trudge to that lonely spot in the dugout once again, this time just a few miles from his hometown.

The longtime ace of the Dodgers just can’t shake his playoff curse, not even on friendly turf in a neutral-site NL Championship Series.

Kershaw faltered at the start of the sixth inning against Atlanta, allowing three straight hits before watching the rest of a six-run outburst in the Braves’ 10-2 win in Game 4 on Thursday night.

Kershaw’s franchise-high 12th post-season loss put Los Angeles down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series at the home of the Texas Rangers, on the brink of a second straight defeat in the NLCS after posting the best record in the majors during the pandemic-shortened season.

Pitching two days after he was scratched from a Game 2 start because of back spasms, Kershaw allowed four runs in five-plus innings, boosting his career playoff ERA to 4.31.

While the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner is also the club’s career leader in post-season wins with his 11-12 record, his October resume simply doesn’t match his stellar regular-season numbers: 175-76 with a 2.43 ERA.

In LA’s seven trips to the NLCS over Kershaw’s 13 seasons, the Dallas native is 3-6 with a 4.84 ERA. And now the left-hander has been outpitched by a rookie making his post-season debut: Atlanta’s 22-year-old Game 4 winner, Bryse Wilson.

“I think that he came out and five innings, one run, again, what happened right there in that sixth inning, he gave us a chance to win the baseball game,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We couldn’t put any runs up early and get a lead, or hold a lead. That narrative couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Kershaw was handed a 1-0 lead on Edwin Ríos’ homer in the third, but gave it up on Marcell Ozuna‘s solo shot in the fourth, the first of two for Ozuna.

In the sixth, Ronald Acuña Jr.’s high chopper eluded the glove of a leaping Kershaw behind the mound for an infield single. Freddie Freeman and Ozuna followed with consecutive RBI doubles, and Kershaw was done in Los Angeles’ third loss in four games since winning its first five in the playoffs.

“It would have been nice to get Acuna out,” Kershaw said. “Just part of playing on turf. He kind of chopped that one up. Freddie, I had two strikes on him. Probably just went one too many pitches inside.”

Kershaw had never pitched near his Dallas home before doing so twice in a week and a half in this unusual post-season, first without fans in an NL Division Series sweep of San Diego and then a pandemic-reduced crowd in the NLCS.

The eight-time All-Star recorded his 11th post-season win in the Dodgers’ 6-5 victory in Game 2 of the NLDS, but he was far from dominant. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer hit back-to-back homers to cut into a 4-1 deficit.

A night after becoming the first team to score 11 runs in an inning and the first with 15 runs and five homers in the first three innings of a post-season game, the Dodgers had just three hits. Ríos’ homer was their only hit before Kershaw exited.

“Every time Kershaw gets on that mound, you want to score 20,” Ríos said. “You want to score as many runs as we can for him. It was unfortunate we weren’t able to do that tonight.”

If the Hall of Fame is in his future, Kershaw won’t be alone among star pitchers who struggled in the playoffs.

Greg Maddux was 11-14 in the post-season, most of those decisions when Atlanta won just one World Series during a run of 14 straight NL East titles. Randy Johnson was 7-9, and fellow lefty Steve Carlton just 6-6.

Another lefty, David Price, was 2-9 before winning his final three decisions for Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series two years ago.

Each of those pitchers has at least one title, though. Kershaw still doesn’t have one despite the club record in playoff starts (28) and innings (177 1/3).

Kershaw now has 11 career post-season starts of allowing at least four runs, tied with Maddux for the second-most. Only Andy Pettitte, another lefty, has more.

Ozuna’s first homer in Game 4 was the 27th Kershaw has allowed in the playoffs, breaking a tie with Justin Verlander for second-most, also behind Pettitte (31).

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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3-on-3 hockey league plans to start in June – TSN

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NEW YORK — A few years after a 3-on-3 basketball league took the court, 3-on-3 hockey is launching next summer.

The 3ICE league is set to announce lThursday it’s planning to start its inaugural season on June 20. The league is expecting to make nine barnstorming stops around North America during the summer of 2021.

It has narrowed the list of cities to 13, including U.S. NHL markets Boston, Buffalo, Las Vegas, Nashville, Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio, and plans to finalize those locations by Thanksgiving. Toronto and Quebec City are the Canadian cities in the running, along with American Hockey League markets Hershey, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Providence, Rhode Island.

Six of the eight teams are to be coached by Hockey Hall of Famers: Brian Trottier, Grant Fuhr, Guy Carbonneau, Joe Mullen, Larry Murphy and Angela Ruggiero.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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'Joey was a lifer': Gretzky shares inside look at Moss and the Edmonton Oilers – Edmonton Sun

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Article content continued

“I didn’t think it make a lot of sense that an 18-year-old with a handicap was standing all day, taking a bus to work in 40-below weather. I remember thinking there must be something we can do to make his life easier and more comfortable. That’s when I went to Glen with the idea.”

And just like that, Moss was in. The chemistry was almost instant.

“In some ways, I was surprised how quickly he fit in,” said Gretzky, adding everyone set the tone from the start that this wasn’t charity, that Moss would have to pull his weight and do things the Oilers way.

“Glen didn’t treat him as a child who was working in our locker-room with a handicap. If something was out of place, I remember Glen yelling at Joe and Joe would jump up and do what needed to get done.

“He fit in right from the get go. Everyone treated him with a great deal of respect. We loved having him around. It was as simple as that.”

Edmonton Oilers locker room attendant Joey Moss hugs his good friend LA Kings captain at Rexall Place on March 25, 1993. Postmedia, file

It had to be intimidating for a mentally challenged kid to walk into an NHL dressing room and be part of a regimented process where everything must run smoothly, but Moss never flinched. He didn’t have any reason to. All any team asks is that you can do the job and fit in with the guys.

Moss, of course, was a natural at both.

“The only way it wasn’t going to work was if he didn’t fit in,” said Gretzky. “He was comfortable, he knew his responsibilities. And he was genuinely excited to come to work every single day.

“It worked out from Day 1 that he was great for us and I like to think that we were great for him. He was never out of place. We treated him like everyone else in the locker-room. If we were teasing Barrie Stafford or Lyle, we’d tease Joey, and he loved being part of that.

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MLB slams Dodgers' Justin Turner for returning to field after positive COVID-19 test – CBC.ca

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Justin Turner violated coronavirus protocols when he celebrated on the Globe Life field with his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and he refused instructions from security to leave the field, behaviour that Major League Baseball said risked the safety of others.

The commissioner’s office said Wednesday that it is starting a full investigation of the 35-year-old third baseman.

The Dodgers won their first World Series championship since 1988 with a 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Turner was pulled from the game following the seventh inning after MLB was notified that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was quarantined in a doctor’s office off to the side, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.

Turner later returned to the field with a mask to celebrate the Dodgers’ title. He then took down his mask and posed for a team photo on the field.

WATCH | Justin Turner celebrates with teammates:

Justin Turner was removed from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays after registering Major League Baseball’s first positive test in 59 days, but he returned to join the celebrations about an hour after the game. 2:16

“Immediately upon receiving notice from the laboratory of a positive test, protocols were triggered, leading to the removal of Justin Turner from last night’s game,” MLB said in a statement Wednesday.

“Turner was placed into isolation for the safety of those around him. However, following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others. While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”

Turner became a free agent when his $64 million US, four-year contract expired following the victory.

Turner’s agent, Greg Genske, did not immediately respond to a text from The Associated Press seeking comment.

On Wednesday, both teams were still at the Dallas area hotel where they had spent the World Series.

“Last night, nasal swabs were conducted on the Dodgers’ travelling party,” MLB said. “Both the Rays and Dodgers were tested again today and their travel back to their home cities will be determined after being approved by the appropriate authorities.”

Both teams were travelling home from the Dallas area on Wednesday in co-ordination with their local health authorities, a person familiar with the arrangements said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.

No additional players received positive results from rapid PCR tests early Wednesday, the person said, but the wife of one Rays player tested positive, the person said. The wife and the player did not travel with the team and were to travel on their own, the person said.

A private plane was being arranged for Turner’s travel, the person said.

Players’ association gathering facts

The commissioner’s office said it will consult with the players’ association as part of its investigation. The union was in the process of gathering facts on the events.

Turner hit .307 with four homers and 23 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened season and .293 (17 for 58) with three homers and six RBIs in the post-season, including .320 with a pair of solo homers in the World Series.

“Having a mask on and staying socially distanced, he want to come out and take a picture with the trophy, which can’t state strongly enough how big of a role he’s played in the success of this organization,” Friedman said.

“But I think for him, just being a free agent, not knowing exactly how the future is going to play out. I don’t think there was anyone that was going to stop him from going out,” he said. “I think from at least my perspective and not watching it super closely with everything going on, but I think he was mindful of other people, especially other people that he hadn’t already been in contact with. This is something that we’re going to wrap our arms around tonight and in the morning and figure out where we’re going from here.”

Turner, however, was visible on the field without a mask during the celebration. And Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was nearby, also not wearing a mask.

“I haven’t seen the pictures,” Friedman said. “If there are people around them without masks, that’s not good optics at all. I haven’t seen them, so it’s hard for me to speak to it specifically.”

“But I think from our standpoint, I think the people who were around him were people that would be in the contact tracing web, anyway, with just how closely a lot of us have been around each other,” he said. “And so now I think the subsequent tests we’re going to take are really important to figure out what we do and to make sure that any of us that are potentially positive do not spread it to other people.”

Turner has served as a player representative on the union executive board and spoke about the protocols on Sept. 29, a day ahead of the Dodgers’ post-season opener.

“Obviously there’s a lot of protocols and things that we’re allowed to do and not allowed to do in getting tested every day, and I would say it’s been a pretty successful season getting to this point and getting to the playoffs,” he said then.

“I was probably in that category where I was optimistic that we were going to have a season, but there was definitely some doubt whether or not it was going to happen. So to be sitting here today watching playoff baseball as the American League kind of kicks off their wild-card round, I would say that we did a good job and I commend everyone for taking it serious and being responsible and making good choices and allowing us to get to this point.”

He addressed the success of reaching the World Series despite the pandemic on Oct. 19, a day before Game 1.

“I think it’s ultimately a testament to the players for being responsible and making good choices and doing everything that we had to do to ensure that the season was able to go on,” he said. “So I tip my cap to every player who put the uniform on and took that risk of playing and was responsible about it and did it the right way and enabled us to have a full season and now be able to participate in a World Series.”

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