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Varsho hits dramatic double in 11th inning as Blue Jays beat Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Daulton Varsho hit a tiebreaking two-run double in Toronto’s three-run 11th inning, sending the Blue Jays to a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night.

Matt Chapman homered in the eighth for the Blue Jays, who earned their 11th win in 16 games.

Toronto loaded the bases in the 11th on third baseman Chris Taylor’s throwing error and Whit Merrifield’s single before Varsho’s low line drive to right was misplayed by Jason Heyward, who wasn’t charged with an error.

Varsho had been batting .128 (6 for 47) in his previous 16 games before arriving at Dodger Stadium, but he capped his first two-hit game since June 17 with the go-ahead RBIs.

“Obviously it’s been a tough month for me, but you’ve got to keep your head up, keep grinding and help this team win in any way possible,” Varsho said.

Varsho drills clutch double in extras, plates a pair to push the Blue Jays ahead.

Bo Bichette, who was supposed to have a day off, drew a bases-loaded walk from Phil Bickford (2-3) to make it 6-3.

“You know who they have in the bullpen, and luckily enough, I’ve faced a lot of these guys before,” said Varsho, who spent the previous three seasons with Arizona.

Jay Jackson (3-0) pitched two hitless innings of relief, retiring all of the Dodgers’ top hitters. All-Star closer Jordan Romano finished for his 28th save, tying Baltimore’s Félix Bautista for the AL lead.

“Seems like these guys are tested mentally every night,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “Games are close. Games are tight. Hopefully that makes us a little more battle-tested down the road.”

Max Muncy homered in his third consecutive game for Los Angeles, hitting a 435-foot tying shot in the eighth inning. Heyward also homered for the NL West-leading Dodgers, who took their first back-to-back losses since July 2.

Blue Jays’ Chapman takes Dodgers’ Graterol deep for clutch solo homer

After Chapman put the Blue Jays ahead 3-2 with his first homer since July 6, Muncy tied it with a drive off Trevor Richards for his 25th homer of the season. The slugger, who also had an early RBI single, has eight hits, four homers and 13 RBIs in his last five games.

The Dodgers loaded the bases later in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Miguel Rojas flied out.

Michael Grove yielded eight hits with six strikeouts while pitching into the fifth inning for the Dodgers. Grove is one of three rookies currently in LA’s injury-plagued rotation with the trade deadline looming.

Before the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged his team urgently needs starting pitching, even with Clayton Kershaw likely returning in August. Los Angeles’ starters entered Monday ranked 29th in the majors with a 6.12 ERA since Kershaw’s last start in late June.

“Given the experience and the health of the starters, this is probably as forefront of mind, just kind of the (overall) pitching in general, as it’s been in my tenure here,” Roberts said.

Newly acquired Genesis Cabrera sets down Heyward for first Blue Jays punchout

José Berríos yielded five hits and four walks over five innings for Toronto.

Heyward connected in the fourth for his 10th homer with Los Angeles after hitting only nine for the Cubs in the previous two seasons combined.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. delivered a tying RBI single in Toronto’s two-run fifth.

CONFLICTED DEWEY

Drew Doughty threw out the first pitch on L.A. Kings Night in a particularly appropriate matchup for the star defenceman. The Ontario native is a longtime fan of the Blue Jays, whose cap he wears frequently around town, but he also regularly attends Dodgers games.

What does the future hold for Hyun-Jin Ryu after joining the Blue Jays in Los Angeles?

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu joined the Jays in Los Angeles as his return from Tommy John surgery nears. Ryu spent seven years with the Dodgers before joining Toronto on a four-year, $80 million contract that ends this season. He might throw a simulated game before he returns to the major league mound.

Blue Jays’ Schneider elated with unlikely heroics from Jay Jackson and slumping Varsho

Dodgers: All-Star slugger J.D. Martinez missed his second straight game with hamstring tightness. Roberts said Martinez will start Tuesday. … Noah Syndergaard threw at Dodger Stadium between starts in his rehab assignment. He has been out since June 7, ostensibly with a blister, after a series of terrible starts. Roberts said that after Syndergaard makes his third appearance for triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday, “that’s when the rubber meets the road and we’ll have to make a decision.”

UP NEXT

Julio Urías (7-6, 5.02 ERA) makes his first start for the Dodgers since yielding a career-high eight runs in Baltimore last week. He faces Toronto’s Chris Bassitt (10-5, 3.92), who is 3-0 with a 3.68 ERA in his last seven starts.

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LeBron Saves Team USA in Thrilling Exhibition Against South Sudan at O2 Arena

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LONDON — In what could have been one of the most monumental upsets in international basketball history, Team USA narrowly escaped with a 101-100 victory over a spirited South Sudan team at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. This exhibition match, serving as a tune-up for the 2024 Olympics, showcased the rapid rise of South Sudanese basketball and the indomitable spirit of the American team led by LeBron James.

The atmosphere at the O2 Arena was electric, with fans witnessing a game that turned out to be far more competitive than expected. South Sudan, a team composed largely of refugees and players from the diaspora, pushed the heavily favored Americans to their limits.

First Half Highlights:

  • South Sudan came out firing on all cylinders, building a surprising 16-point lead in the second quarter.
  • Team USA struggled with their three-point shooting, missing 12 of their first 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Despite the odds, South Sudan’s players, many of whom have overcome significant personal and professional challenges, played with remarkable cohesion and determination. Their performance was a testament to the rapid progress the team has made under the guidance of former NBA star Luol Deng.

With the game hanging in the balance, LeBron James demonstrated why he remains one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Benched at the start of the third quarter, James returned to the floor with a determination that was palpable.

Key Moments:

  • Third Quarter: Anthony Davis’ defensive prowess helped shrink the deficit. LeBron’s return brought stability and focus back to Team USA.
  • Final Minute: With just 20 seconds left, JT Thor of South Sudan scored over LeBron, giving his team a one-point lead.
  • Game-Winning Shot: LeBron drove to the basket, scoring the decisive layup with eight seconds remaining.

South Sudan’s journey to this point has been nothing short of inspirational. The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and the basketball program, still in its infancy, has quickly become a source of national pride.

Notable Contributions:

  • Carlik Jones: Delivered a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • Wenyen Gabriel: LeBron’s former teammate with the Lakers, contributed 11 points.
  • Marial Shayok: Led South Sudan with 24 points.

The team’s formation and rise have been spearheaded by Luol Deng, who played a pivotal role in recruiting and funding the program. His efforts have culminated in South Sudan qualifying for the Olympics, marking a historic achievement for the young nation.

Stephen Curry: “Wild game. They played really intense. It was nice to see how we responded. LeBron with a great finish down the stretch.”

Steve Kerr: “The whole team was embarrassed at halftime. We were challenged today, and it was good for us to feel that now. This was a reminder that we need to bring our best every game.”

Luol Deng: Expressed immense pride in his team’s performance, emphasizing the significance of their journey and the obstacles they have overcome.

This exhibition game was more than just a pre-Olympic warm-up. It highlighted the potential for underdog stories in sports and underscored the global reach and impact of basketball. Team USA, despite the narrow escape, was reminded of the importance of every game and the challenges that lie ahead.

South Sudan, on the other hand, has cemented its place on the international stage, showcasing that with determination and the right support, even the newest teams can compete with the best in the world.

As both teams prepare for the Olympics, this game at the O2 Arena will be remembered not only for its thrilling finish but also for the remarkable stories of resilience and ambition that played out on the court.

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UFC Vegas 94: Amanda Lemos vs. Virna Jandiroba – Main Event Recap

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In a thrilling main event at UFC Vegas 94, strawweights Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba faced off on Saturday night. After an evenly matched first round, Jandiroba secured a dramatic submission victory in the second round, just moments before the bell.

Fight Summary:

  • First Round: The opening round was highly competitive, with both fighters showcasing their skills and maintaining a close contest.
  • Second Round: In the final seconds of the second round, Jandiroba managed to secure a submission, forcing Lemos to tap out. The win marks an impressive fourth consecutive victory for Jandiroba.

Post-Fight Remarks:

  • In her post-fight interview inside the Octagon, Jandiroba confidently called out UFC President Dana White, declaring, “Dana, I’m the next one. Dana, I’m your next champion.”

Future Implications:

  • With this victory, Jandiroba has positioned herself as a strong contender for the strawweight title. Tatiana Suarez, who was the rightful next contender for Weili Zhang, has been sidelined due to an injury. Jandiroba’s current four-fight win streak and her dominant performance at UFC Vegas 94 make a compelling case for her title shot.

Stay tuned for more updates as the UFC strawweight division continues to evolve, and see if Virna Jandiroba will indeed become the next challenger for the championship belt.

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Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry: Fight Night Updates

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Jake Paul is back in the ring, and he’s promising fireworks as he takes on former UFC star Mike Perry at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The fight will be broadcast live on DAZN. Originally, Paul was set to fight Mike Tyson, but Perry stepped in after Tyson suffered an injury.

Fight Details:

Jake Paul (9-1, 6 KOs)

  • Paul is coming off a first-round TKO of Ryan Bourland in March.
  • He has promised that Perry won’t survive the second round.
  • Paul is more experienced in boxing but still relatively new to the sport.

Mike Perry (0-1)

  • Perry, known as “Platinum,” brings over a decade of fighting experience, mainly in MMA and bare-knuckle fighting.
  • He believes Paul is still green in the fight business and intends to use his experience to pull off an upset.

Main Event:
Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry

Live Updates: Follow DAZN for all the live updates, results, and highlights from the Paul vs. Perry pay-per-view main card.

Main Card Results:

Amanda Serrano def. Stevie Morgan via TKO

  • Round 2, 0:38
    • Watch the finish

Lucas Bahdi def. H20 Sylve via knockout

  • Round 6, 2:27
    • Watch the finish

Corey Marksman def. Tony Aguilar via majority decision

  • Scores: 76-76, 77-75, 78-74

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision

  • Scores: 59-55, 59-55, 58-56
    • Recap

Stay tuned for the main event updates and see if Jake Paul can deliver on his promise of another highlight reel knockout or if Mike Perry will teach him a lesson and pull off a major upset.

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