Dodgers come up short in latest replay of rivalry with Padres

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws to the plate during the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Padres at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on against the San Diego Padres in the first inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Ryan Weathers #40 of the San Diego Padres throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws to the plate against the San Diego Padres in the second inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws to the plate against the San Diego Padres in the first inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Leftfioelder AJ Pollock #11 of the Los Angeles Dodgers catches a drive by Wil Myers (not pictured) of the San Diego Padres in the second inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws to the plate against the San Diego Padres in the second inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Second baseman Sheldon Neuse #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers catches a fly ball by Jake Cronenworth (not pictured) of the San Diego Padres in the second inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after striking out looking against the San Diego Padres in the third inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres high fives teammate Wil Myers #5 after scoring on a RBI single by teammate Manny Machado (not pictured) against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres scores on a RBI single by teammate Manny Machado (not pictured) against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres singles against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks toward the plate after giving up a Rbi single to Manny Machado (not pictured) of the San Diego Padres in the third inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres steals second base as Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers can???t handle the trow in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws to the plate against the San Diego Padres in the second inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Manny Machado #13 RBI single as teammate Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres scores against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after striking out looking against the San Diego Padres in the third inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Manager Dave Roberts, right, of the Los Angeles Dodgers not happy with a call by home plate umpire umpire Tony Randazzo #11 in the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres scores on a RBI single by teammate Manny Machado (not pictured) against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Manager Dave Roberts, right, of the Los Angeles Dodgers not happy with a call by home plate umpire umpire Tony Randazzo #11 in the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Luke Raley #62 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is out at first after running inside the lines and being hit by the throw against the San Diego Padres in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fans socially distanced look on during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Trent Grisham #2 of the San Diego Padres high fives teammate Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • The Padres’ Trent Grisham, right, is congratulated by teammate Manny Machado after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of Thursday night’s game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres looks on against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres and teammate Eric Hosmer #30 look on against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks at the baseball as Trent Grisham #2 of the San Diego Padres rounds second base after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Trent Grisham #2 of the San Diego Padres high fives third base coach after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers flips the baseball after giving up a solo home run to Trent Grisham (not pictured) of the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outfielders Jurickson Profar #10 and Trent Grisham #2 of the San Diego Padres look on as Sheldon Neuse (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run to tie the game in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • AJ Pollock #11 of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives third base coach Dino Ebel #91 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting a solo home run against the San Diego Padres in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • AJ Pollock #11 of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting a solo home run against the San Diego Padres in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Sheldon Neuse #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run to tie the game against the San Diego Padres in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outfielders Jurickson Profar #10 and Trent Grisham #2 of the San Diego Padres look on as Sheldon Neuse (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run to tie the game in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fans reach for the baseball as Sheldon Neuse (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run to tie the game against the San Diego Padres in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Sheldon Neuse #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds second base after hitting a solo home run to tie the game off relieve pitcher Emilio Pagan #14 of the San Diego Padres in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Leftfielder Jurickson Profar #10 of the San Diego Padres dives for a baseball hit by Will Smith (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Dodgers that was ruled foul than overturned for a ground rule double in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Closer Mark Melancon #33 of the San Diego Padres high fives catcher Victor Caratini #17 of the San Diego Padres after striking out Mookie Betts (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game as the San Diego Padres defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • San Diego Padres celebrate after getting out of the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Starting pitcher Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes his way to the dugout prior to a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 22, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

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LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers and San Diego Padres pulled their budding rivalry back off the shelf and took another swallow Thursday night.

Yep – still good.

After last weekend’s exciting three-game series at Petco Park, everyone just wanted a replay. They got two in the eighth inning Thursday night. The Dodgers split the pair and came up short, losing 3-2 to the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

Tied after seven innings, the Padres pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth.

Justin Turner led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and Will Smith followed by lofting a high fly ball down the left-field line. Jurickson Profar raced over and made a diving attempt as the ball bounced off the chalked line.

Umpire Jim Reynolds signaled the ball had landed foul but a replay review overruled him. Smith was awarded a double, pumping life into a potential Dodger rally.

After Max Muncy grounded out, A.J. Pollock was intentionally walked to load the bases for Sheldon Neuse, a late addition to the lineup after both Chris Taylor and Zach McKinstry were scratched with lower back stiffness.

Neuse hit a bullet, a 108.7-mph one-hopper that Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth somehow smothered and tossed to shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to start an inning-ending double play.

That went to replay as well but the call was confirmed and the Dodgers’ rally was snuffed out.

The dramatic finish followed a slow build as Walker Buehler and Ryan Weathers dominated hitters, allowing a total of five hits through the first six innings.

The youngest pitcher in the majors this season, Weathers made his major-league debut in the postseason (one of only two players in baseball history who can say that). Counting that relief appearance in the NL Division Series, the 21-year-old left-hander has pitched in six big-league games, half of them against the Dodgers. He hasn’t allowed a run in 10-2/3 innings against them.

Held to two hits in Seattle on Wednesday, the Dodgers managed just one against Weathers – a leadoff single by Buehler in the third inning. On a chilly night at Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers hit three long fly balls that died short of the fences – a 380-foot fly out to center field by Will Smith, a 361-foot drive to the wall in left by Pollock and a 377-foot fly out to right-center by Neuse.

Buehler, meanwhile, was rediscovering his putaway pitch and striking out a season-high nine in seven innings (he had no more than four strikeouts in any of his first three starts). But the Padres put three singles together for a run in the fourth and Trent Grisham sent a 1-and-0 fastball deep into the right field pavilion for another.

The Dodgers swallowed that 2-0 lead with two swings in the seventh inning off Padres reliever Emilio Pagan. Pollock and Neuse hit back-to-back home runs. It was the first major-league homer for Neuse.

Those back-to-back blows were the last of the 21st-century offense for the night.

The Padres put together the winning rally in the eighth against Blake Treinen. Profar and Victor Caratini led off with back-to-back singles, Profar going to third on Caratini’s hit. When Tatis hit a ground ball to short, the Dodgers turned a double play as the winning run scored.

After Cronenworth short-circuited their potential rally in the eighth, Padres closer Mark Melancon struck out the side in the ninth.

More to come on this story.

Anthony Davis rusty in return as Lakers fall to Mavericks

As the buzzer sounded above him, Anthony Davis shuffled off to the baseline, kicking the display screen as if he had already lost.

LeBron James, clad in street clothes, received him as Davis shook his head and looked up at the display board. There were still 24 minutes to play, but the 28-year-old All-Star’s night was done. His expression was glum, as if he had just been the last cut from the varsity squad.

It had been an up-and-down 17 minutes preceding that moment, and Davis’ emotions seemed to rise and fall with his game. Warming up in the layup line, his giddiness was visible, and the playful jawing with the Mavericks bench drew grins from both teams.

“I wasn’t nervous at all,” said Davis. “I mean, I was upset that I was missing shots that I normally make, so that was probably the most frustrating part.”

There’s a long way to go, as Davis showed in a rusty 2-for-10 shooting night after his two-month, 30-game injury layoff. And there’s plenty of work to do for the Lakers, who were blitzed by the Mavericks and their multi-faceted young star Luka Doncic, 115-110. They’ll get another crack at Dallas on Saturday, but Davis’ mere presence clearly won’t make it simple to win.

“Any time you integrate a player of that caliber,” Coach Frank Vogel said, “there’s gonna be an adjustment period.”

They had their chances, thanks to efforts like the one given by Dennis Schröder, who fouled out with 18.3 seconds left having emptied his clip: 25 points and 13 assists. But the Lakers missed six shots in the last 2½ minutes of the game when they were already behind, and could not catch up when they fouled out of desperation.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a season-best 29 points, including six 3-pointers. But the game’s best player was Doncic, the gear-shifting, sleek-passing Slovenian who racked up 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

During one second-quarter stretch, Doncic helped engineer a run when the Mavericks dunked on three consecutive possessions, despite sharing the floor with Davis and Andre Drummond, the Lakers’ two best rim protectors.

The result sets up a season series rubber match on Saturday, when the Lakers could have the benefit of more minutes from Davis, and the Mavericks could have the disadvantage of no Kristaps Porzingis (19 points). The Latvian twisted his ankle in the third quarter and did not return. Coach Rick Carlisle later said he didn’t think the injury was too serious.

It took Davis six attempts to hit his first shot, a high-arcing jumper from near the free-throw line. He shook his head afterward, as if to say: about time. But all in all, his conditioning held up better than he thought.

“My wind felt better than I expected,” he said. “I got good looks; I missed. That comes with game reps. But I felt good out there.”

Davis had more consistent success on defense, where he blocked the jump-shot of the 7-foot-3 Porzingis, and in a subsequent possession smothered Doncic to force a late shot. But overall the Lakers couldn’t figure out how to take advantage of their returned star – who has been laid up with a right calf injury – as Dallas outscored them by 11 in his minutes.

The biggest upset of the evening was Davis pressing his own coach to stay out on the floor. While Vogel had outlined a 15-minute restriction, Davis checked back in with four minutes to go in the second quarter after he had already played 13 – with a mischievous look plastered on his face. He later explained that the recommended minutes was a range between 15 and 20.

But that second half was hard, as he was stuck on the bench in a gray hoodie. Patience will have to be a virtue in the coming weeks, as the Lakers (currently fifth in the Western Conference standings) try to win to stay out of the play-in slot at No. 7, but be responsible with Davis’ minutes.

“No matter where we fall in the playoffs, we’re going to come out and I think we’re going to be a challenge for anybody and that’s how we look at it big-picture, obviously,” Davis said. “But we still want to make sure that we control our own destiny and be able to make the playoffs one through six and not fall to that seven through 10.”

In the third quarter, the Lakers looked as if they might not need Davis to win. They wasted less than two minutes erasing the 11-point halftime gap, as Schröder scored 14 points in the third quarter alone. Vogel called it “arguably his best game as a Laker.”

One huge gap was on the free-throw line: The Mavericks took 36 to the Lakers’ 17, and besides Schröder, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Drummond were all in foul trouble.

Afterward Schröder rejected Vogel’s plaudits.

“If it’s my best game of the season, then I’m going out with a W,” he said. “So, it wasn’t good enough.”

Whicker: Lakers’ Anthony Davis doesn’t look great, but you have to re-start somewhere

Anthony Davis came walking through that door Thursday night. It might be a while before he recaptures the room.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel gave him 16:45 in the first half at Dallas to jab the memories of his muscles. That was enough time for Davis to hit the deck five times, and for Vogel to recover from arrhythmia whenever Davis got up.

Otherwise, it was a tepid shakedown session. Davis missed 10 of 12 shots, got to the foul line twice (in the last half-minute of the half), was noticeably careful defensively, and looked as if he hadn’t played an NBA game since Valentine’s Day. The Lakers were better without him, but they still lost, 115-110.

He did start, and Vogel left him out there for the first 7:45 of the game. In that segment, he went 1 for 6, with a nice 20-footer on a stepback, and had three rebounds. The Lakers were within 22-20 at the time he came out.

Davis was somewhat more comfortable in the second quarter, attacking Dorian Finney-Smith with a spin move and a bucket, and finding Ben McLemore on a cross-court assist. Later he reached out and blocked a shot by Kristaps Porzingis, who replied on the next possession with a dunk over Davis, who moved out of the picture frame just in time.

Davis gave the scorer’s table a faint kick at the end of the half. He took a permanent seat with 2-for-10 shooting and a minus-11, if you put any stock into that. If there was a number that screamed, it was the zero in the foul column. All that means is Davis was taking a test drive Thursday night. Relentlessness will come later. The league should keep its conclusions to a minimum.

Has it dawned on everyone that this is not Strat-O-Matic basketball, that there is nothing automatic, or immediate, about what Davis and LeBron James can bring?

The Lakers lost to Denver the night Davis went down with his calf injury, and then lost 16 of their next 30 games. They were 7-7 until James sprained his ankle, and were 7-10 thereafter, until Thursday.

Before Davis’ injury they were 1½ games behind Utah in the Western Conference standings, but it was easier to find a palming violation than to find a fan, any fan, who didn’t think the Lakers were inevitable repeaters.

Since then, the Lakers have plunged into fifth place in the West and are highly unlikely to finish above fourth. They are seven games out of second place, which is what they would need to face the survivor of the 7-through-10 play-in tournament in the first round.

Utah is still on top, still winning on long bombs and defense. Counting its eight-game win streak in last year’s bubble in Florida, Phoenix has won 50 of its last 67 games. The Nuggets have lost Jamal Murray for the season but have simply rearranged themselves around probable MVP Nikola Jokic.

The Clippers are playing their best basketball in a couple of seasons, and it doesn’t seem to matter if Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are in the Barcalounger or not.

That’s probably the best thing the Lakers have going for them, in this season of surgery.  The deeper they get, the more chances remain for somebody else to get hurt.

“It’s not an ideal situation by any stretch,” Vogel said beforehand, “as far as having enough time to get conditioning, rhythm and timing. It’s an imperfect season. But it’s the hand that we’re dealt.

“With A.D., the biggest thing is that the return to play has to happen the right way. Ideally, we’d have three or four practices. We don’t have that. So we’ll be super careful.”

The Lakers will have two days off, between games, only twice between now and the regular-season finale on May 16. Between Saturday (at Dallas) and May 3 (Denver, at home), they have six games in nine days. That is everyone’s reality, of course. But they only have five games left against teams with .500-plus records. They come consecutively, beginning May 3: Denver, the Clippers, Portland, Phoenix and the New York Knicks.

The assumption is that James will return near the end of that run, which would give him one week until the playoffs. If anybody can remember the words, it’s him. He also could have the freshest legs in the postseason once he gets comfortable.

And there’s Andre Drummond, a massive X-factor. He should be the defensive border guard the Lakers haven’t had all season.

The nitty and gritty converged on Thursday, a night when Davis brought nothing familiar except his face. The Lakers will take it. Patience becomes easy when there’s no other choice.

Donna Manfredi appointed new principal at Golden Oak Adult School in Santa Clarita

 

Donna Manfredi has been named as the new principal at Golden Oak Adult School in Santa Clarita. (Photo courtesy of William S. Hart Union High School District)

 

Donna Manfredi, an almost 30-year educator in the William S. Hart Union High School District, has been named as principal of the Golden Oak Adult School in Santa Clarita.

Manfredi has been the interim principal at the school since July 2020. She was an assistant principal at Canyon and West Ranch high schools. She began her association with the school district as an English teacher in 1992 at Hart High School and later taught English and theater at Valencia High School. Manfredi, with a background in theater arts, founded the Valencia Theater program and the Valencia Drama Club.

The educator has a BA degree in Speech Arts and Dramatics from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She also earned a Masters degree in Educational Management/Administrative Credential from the University of La Verne.

Golden Oak Adult School offers classes and programs for ages 18 and older. Programs include high school diploma, high school equivalency certificate preparation, English as a second language, a citizenship class, and training for medical assistant, pharmacy technician and hotel and restaurant operations.

Online registration opens on Aug. 1 for a new semester. The school is located at 23201 Dalbey Drive, Santa Clarita. 661-253-0583. www.goldenoakadultschool.com

 

Alex Cobb, Mike Trout knocked out early in Angels’ loss

  • The Angels’ Mike Trout grimaces in pain after being hit by a pitch by the Astros’ Cristian Javier during the fourth inning of Thursday night’s game in Houston. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Alex Cobb #38 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, right, strikes out during the first inning of a baseball game against as Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado handles the pitch Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Cristian Javier #53 of the Houston Astros reacts after getting out of the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker (30) strikes out with the bases loaded to end the first inning of a baseball game as Los Angeles Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki handles the pitch Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman is hit by a pitch thrown by Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Alex Cobb during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Alex Cobb throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Houston Astros’ Myles Straw, right, hits a triple to score Aledmys Diaz from second as Los Angeles Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki reaches for the pitch during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Houston Astros’ Myles Straw, right, dives toward third base after hitting an RBI triple as Los Angeles Angels third baseman Jose Rojas waits for the throw during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Houston Astros’ Myles Straw (3) celebrates after hitting an RBI triple as Los Angeles Angels third baseman Jose Rojas, left, looks away during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Alex Cobb throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros hits a two-run single in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman hits a two-run single against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Houston Astros’ Michael Brantley (23) scores as Los Angeles Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki covers home plate during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa, right, hits a RBI single as Los Angeles Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki reaches for the pitch during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Angels starting pitcher Alex Cobb shows his frustration after walking the Astros’ Yuli Gurriel during the second inning of Thursday night’s game at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Cobb had not started in 10 days, and he gave up five runs in 2-2/3 innings. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts while batting during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels looks at his bat during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts while batting during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels flies out during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kurt Suzuki flips his bat after hitting a foul ball against the Houston Astros during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Cristian Javier #53 of the Houston Astros reacts to striking out Jose Iglesias of the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels grimaces in pain after being hit by a pitch during the fourth inning from Cristian Javier of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels grimaces in pain after being hit by a pitch during the fourth inning from Cristian Javier of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout reacts after being hit by a pitch thrown by Houston Astros’ Cristian Javierp during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels grimaces in pain after being hit by a pitch during the fourth inning from Cristian Javier of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Yuli Gurriel #10 of the Houston Astros looks on during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols watches his two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels heads home on his two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Alex Claudio #58 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Aledmys Diaz #16 of the Houston Astros throws out Jose Rojas of the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 22: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros forces out David Fletcher #22 of the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, right, avoids Los Angeles Angels’ Jose Rojas (18) at second base during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. Rojas was out at second on a ground ball by David Fletcher. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts after hitting a foul ball against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kurt Suzuki (24) jumps after being hit by a pitch thrown by Houston Astros relief pitcher Bryan Abreu as catcher Martin Maldonado, left, reaches for the pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Junior Guerra #41 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

  • Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, left, congratulates teammate Kyle Tucker following their 8-2 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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Alex Cobb waited a long time to have a short night.

The Angels right-hander went 10 days between starts because of last weekend’s postponements, and when he pitched on Thursday night in Houston he was knocked out in the third inning of an 8-2 loss to the Astros.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, Mike Trout also came out of the game with a left elbow contusion after he was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning.

Trout and Manager Joe Maddon both said they hoped he could return to the lineup on Friday.

“Getting better, getting treatment on it,” Trout said. “Hopefully I’ll be good to go tomorrow.”

Trout said he thought the pitch was a slider so he was surprised when it rode in on him. Trout remained in the game for one more inning of defense before coming out.

When Trout came out of the game the Angels already trailed 7-0, with five of the runs being charged to Cobb.

In his previous start on April 12, Cobb was dominant for stretches, striking out 10 in the first five innings. But his next scheduled start was lost when the Minnesota Twins’ games against the Angels were postponed because of the Twins’ COVID-19 cases.

Cobb did face hitters in a workout at Angel Stadium on Sunday, but it didn’t seem to knock off the rust when he took the mound on Thursday night.

“It’s probably a little bit of a challenge, but you know when you’re out there and your bullpen’s kind of been eaten up a little bit the day before, you’ve got to try to find a way to get deeper in the game,” Cobb said.

In the first inning, he gave up two singles and a walk, but left the bases loaded. In the second, the Astros got him for three runs. Cobb retired the first two hitters of the third before giving up two more hits, both of which led to runs, and getting pulled.

Cobb walked three and hit one. First baseman Albert Pujols made an error that led to an unearned run in the second, but second baseman David Fletcher made a nice catch of a ball in shallow right field that saved two more runs.

“It was just really maddening from the sidelines, because I thought he actually threw the ball pretty well,” Maddon said. “He did. It’s just one of those nights where everything they hit found grass. It’s the kind of approach I’d like to get us to be able to eventually accomplish ourselves. They just moved the baseball. It’s not like Alex was bad. He wasn’t. I can’t say that he pitched badly. He threw the ball well. They just they did a nice job of moving the ball around and it just happened to find some spots.”

It continued after Cobb was out. Alex Bregman had two soft hits, against Alex Claudio and Junior Guerra, that drove in the last three Astros runs.

Pujols put the Angels on the board with a two-run home run down the right-field line. It was Pujols’ first homer to right field since Aug. 31, 2019.

The Angels other offensive highlight was Jose Rojas, who had a double and a single after coming into the game with one hit in 21 at-bats.

“This is more what we saw on camp and what he’s been in the past,” Maddon said. “I believe this is what he’s going to look like. He just needs to exhale and settle into his big league skin and he’ll be able to do this stuff. He’s really good. He’s a good hitter. He’s a good athlete. He’s a good baseball player. It was good to see him do that tonight and we’ll see if he can hold on to it.”

Lakers, Mavericks feel intensity of 2-game series with playoff implications

This weekend marks the last time the Lakers will play an opponent twice in a row before the playoffs begin, which is a detail in itself that speaks to the urgency of their series with Dallas.

Is it a little bit like a mini-playoff series? Coach Frank Vogel was reluctant to lean into that framing.

“I think there is a little bit of that,” he said. “We understand what the standings look like. But our guys have had the mindset where it doesn’t matter who is in front of them. We need to win as many games as we can during this stretch.

With the Lakers currently in fifth place in the Western Conference and the Mavericks in seventh, there’s still a lot to play for with just over a dozen games to go in the regular season – especially since neither team wants to be left in the play-in games to start the postseason.

The NBA updated their standings with a mock bracket this week, giving a picture of what the playoffs would look like if they ended today: The Lakers began Thursday 3½ games ahead of Dallas, headed toward a 4-5 matchup with the Denver Nuggets. The Mavericks are currently slated for a double-elimination play-in spot, the first of which would be a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

No less a Dallas authority than Mark Cuban protested, calling the play-in tournament “an enormous mistake.” But it’s injected a dose of intensity down the stretch of the regular season as teams are scrapping to stay above the No. 7 spot. The winner of the 7-vs-8 game will be the seventh seed, but the 7-8 loser has to play the winner of a 9-vs-10 game for the eighth seed.

The Mavericks, of course, had their chance: In the stretch without LeBron James or Anthony Davis, it appeared the Lakers might have a moment of weakness and slip in the standings. But of course, they did not, and Portland and Dallas didn’t exactly pounce, either. The Mavericks gained ground, going 10-7, but the Lakers’ 7-10 record has been enough so far to keep them afloat.

“They’ve done a great job. That’s what you gotta say,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is a great opportunity for their supporting cast to step into roles of greater responsibility. I think everybody looked at it, and said, well there’s an opportunity here for somebody. But they’ve really been the story of how well they’ve played.”

The spoils of the series are potentially huge if the Lakers and Mavericks somehow wind up tied in the standings: With the Lakers taking the Christmas matchup in a blowout, they entered Thursday evening with the inside track on earning a tiebreaker with Dallas, with the play-in tournament spot potentially on the line.

It speaks well to the coaching of Vogel, Carlisle said, who has helped instill a defensive culture that has lasted beyond the availability of its stars. Carlisle called himself a “longtime admirer” of Vogel’s style, especially his origins in the film room.

“The evolution has been great to see, because what we all learn in this profession is that it’s a profession of adaptation and evolution,” he said. “You gotta always try to be on the inventive side, but you always gotta adapt to the personnel you inherit. … He’s done a great job of putting those guys in their sweet spots, bringing defense as their identity.”

National Merit Scholarship Awards 2021 corporate-sponsored high school winners in LA County

 

A high school senior’s decorated graduation cap message. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

 

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of high school students in Los Angeles County on April 21 who are recipients of corporate-sponsored scholarships in 2021.

The corporate-sponsored awards are financed by about 140 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations. The NMSC estimates that about one thousand seniors nationwide have won this year’s corporate awards.

Nationwide, about 7,500 high school students are competing for a share of scholarships worth nearly $30 million in the three levels of the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship awards.

Corporate-sponsored merit scholarships are mostly renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients may use the awards at any accredited college or university of their choice.

Corporate sponsors provide scholarships to finalists who are children of their employees, residents of the communities in which the company serves or students who plan to pursue college majors that the sponsor wants to encourage.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation will announce on May 12 the recipients of the $2,500 scholarships.

The college-sponsored scholarship winners will be announced on June 2 and July 12.

The competition process began when high school juniors, 11th graders, in about 21,000 high schools in the United States entered the academic competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The highest-scoring students in each state represent the pool of semifinalists who, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, represent less than 1% of United States high school seniors.

The next step for a semifinalist to become a finalist is to complete the required application that includes their SAT or ACT scores, an essay and a letter of recommendation by a high school official.

Finalists are then chosen on the basis of academic record, their participation in community and school activities, how they have demonstrated leadership ability, employment, awards and honors received.

From a group of about 17,000 semifinalists identified in September 2020, about 16,000 advanced to finalists. Students were notified in February if they were finalists and half of those win a scholarship.

The National Merit Scholarship winners, chosen on the basis of accomplishments, skills and potential for college success, are selected from this last group.

High school students interested in applying in future years need to talk to their school counselor to make arrangements to take the PSAT/NMSQT test. Registration is through the high school and not by the students. For information on the competition, bit.ly/2lOoQr3

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation was established in 1955 and is an independent, not-for-profit group that does not operate with government assistance. Since its founding it has awarded about 432,000 scholarships worth over $1.7 billion.

The goals of the organization are to reward academically-dedicated students, encourage academic excellence at all levels of education, promote a deeper respect for learning in general and to encourage individuals and organizations to sponsor scholarships. nationalmerit.org; bit.ly/2kyowfH

Here is the list of recipients awarded corporate-sponsored scholarships in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program in Los Angeles County by school location, school and the corporate sponsor’s scholarship.

 

CARSON

California Academy of Mathematics and Science

  • Zoe D. Storaasli, Raytheon Co.

 

CERRITOS

Gretchen Whitney HS

  • Ryan S. Muraliraj, Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

CLAREMONT

Webb School of California

  • Marshall Olmos, Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

DIAMOND BAR

Diamond Bar HS

  • Sritaran S. Bondada, Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s Henry Taub Memorial

 

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE

Flintridge Preparatory School

  • Claire A. Senft, Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

LA CRESCENTA

Crescenta Valley HS

  • Prashanth S. Bhaskara, Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s Henry Taub Memorial

 

LOS ANGELES

Brentwood School

  • Dylan S. Kane, The PwC Charitable Foundation

Hamilton HS

  • Elizabeth A. Cushnir, National Distillers Distributors Foundation

Loyola HS

  • Nicholas James George, Pfizer Inc.

 

NORTH HOLLYWOOD

North Hollywood HS

  • Aiden C. McCarthy, ViacomCBS

 

REDONDO BEACH

Redondo Union HS

  • Madeleine Mercy Bloomer, Raytheon Co.

 

Former Kentucky guard Terrence Clarke dies following car accident in L.A.

Terrence Clarke, a freshman guard for Kentucky this past season, died following a car accident in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon. Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul confirmed Clarke’s death in a statement provided to ESPN.

Police told WKYT in Lexington, Kentucky, that Clarke, 19, was taken to Northridge Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Clarke’s mother was at his side when he died, according to ESPN.

“We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke,” Paul said in his statement. “Terrence was an incredible, hard-working young man. He was excited for what was ahead of him and ready to fulfill his dreams. Our prayers go out to Terrence and his family, who ask for privacy during this difficult time.”

Clarke announced last month that he was entering this year’s NBA draft and he had signed with Klutch Sports.

WKYT in Lexington reported that Clarke was working out with former Kentucky teammate and Sierra Canyon High standout BJ Boston, who also recently signed with Klutch, before the crash.

LAPD told WKYT that Clarke was traveling at a high rate of speed when he ran a red light, hit another car turning left, and continued on to then hit a pole and block wall at 2:10 p.m. on Winnetka Avenue.

Police told WKYT that Clarke, who was the only person in the car, was not wearing his seatbelt properly. Boston was reportedly in a car behind Clarke.

“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari told WKYT. “A young person who we all love has just lost his life too soon, one with all of his dreams and hopes ahead of him. Terrence Clarke was a beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy. People gravitated to him, and to hear we have lost him is just hard for all of us to comprehend right now. We are all in shock.”

This past season, Clarke played in the first seven games for Kentucky but was sidelined with an ankle injury that kept him out until the season finale against South Carolina. He finished the season averaging 9.6 points and scored a career-high 22 in a loss to Georgia Tech.

“As an adolescent, having the privilege to put on the Kentucky uniform and play in front of the BBN was always a lifelong goal of mine,” Clarke said in a statement on social media last month. “Although it was hindered due to things out of my own control, the experience is something I will keep with me forever. I have grown a lot with this experience and I will never take it for granted.”

A former five-star prospect from Boston, Clarke was a projected lottery pick before the season.

Clarke is survived by his parents, Osmine Clarke and Adrian Briggs, and his three siblings, Tatyana Gray, Gavin Clarke and Madison Adrianne.

After turbulent year, owners of San Fernando yoga studio aim to adapt to post-lockdown world

It was supposed to be the beginning of a new era for sisters Daniela and Alexandra Del Gaudio. After nearly 10 years of working long shifts and multiple jobs, they finally saved enough money to open the Wild Plum yoga and wellness studio in San Fernando just two years ago.

But the pandemic wreaked havoc on their business venture.

They closed the Wild Plum in March of last year certain they would reopen in two weeks. But the closure dragged into months amid strict health orders.

A year later, after amassing $70,000 in debt, the sisters are left to pick up the pieces of their business while figuring out how to adapt to the post-pandemic world.

“I feel like a Rocky Balboa,” Alexandra Del Gaudio, 36, said. “I got a big swollen eye. I’m squinting. I’m bruised. I’m missing teeth. I can barely stand up but I’m still going. I’m still here.”

In a 2020 survey of 6,300 small businesses nationwide conducted by social-networking company Alignable, nearly 40% of respondents said they were at risk of closing for good by the end of the year.

In Los Angeles, the pandemic’s toll on small businesses has been brutal. Nearly 15,000 businesses shut down across Los Angeles County in the last 12 months. Thousands of small companies have been driven out of business.

For the Del Gaudios, it was a longtime dream to open a yoga and wellness space in the heart of the low-income predominantly Latino neighborhood of San Fernando near their native Pacoima where sisters grew up watching many in their community suffer from stress and anxiety.

“You go to the Westside and they got yoga studios and juice bars and here all we got is Del Taco and a 7-Eleven store,” Alexandra Del Gaudio said.

  • Daniela Del Gaudio gives a spa treatment to ICU nurse Adrianne Gonzales, who is pregnant with her second child, at The Wild Plum Holistic Spa & Yoga Center she founded with her sister Alex in San Fernando on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The sisters saved for 10 years to open their business debt free three years ago and had to take an SBA loan to save it after they were shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. “We have hope, we see people wanting to come back and people are making their health and wellness a priority,” said Daniela of her underserved community which was also hit hard by the pandemic. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/, SCNG)

  • Alex Del Gaudio shows on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 her empty yoga studio at The Wild Plum Holistic Spa & Yoga Center she founded with her sister Daniela in San Fernando. The sisters saved for 10 years to open their business debt free three years ago and had to take an SBA loan to save it after they were shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/, SCNG)

  • Sisters Daniela and Alex Del Gaudio, who saved for 10 years to open their business debt free three years ago, say on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 that they had to take an SBA loan to save The Wild Plum Holistic Spa & Yoga Center in San Fernando after they were forced to shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and still had to pay rent. Their dream was to bring heath and wellness to their underserved community which was also hit hard by the pandemic. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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While building their yoga and wellness space, they tried to do everything right by “being frugal and and self-funding everything,” Alexandra Del Gaudio said.

The sisters managed to build their business without investors, contractors or any government help. Their relatives and family members offered help to build their entire studio with their hands. Most importantly, they managed to launch their business with no debt.

“I know for some people that’s like not a big accomplishment but for us this it was tremendous,” Alexandra Del Gaudio said.

At the end of 2019, the sisters finally quit their full-time jobs to live off of their business only to lose a huge chunk of their income in less than three months when the health orders kicked in last March.

Selling merchandise and teaching classes via Instagram didn’t prove to be very effective.

“We’re servicing a low-income, underserved community,” Alexandra Del Gaudio said. “These people are suffering too. They were barely surviving.”

To cut their expenses and save on rent, Alexandra and her daughter moved in with her parents while Daniela, a mother of a toddler, moved into a trailer.

The stress of facing months of uncertainty has taken an emotional toll on both sisters.

Alexandra says her biggest motivation to keep going has been creating financial stability for her 18-year-old daughter with special needs. As she speaks about the last months of closures, her voice cracks with emotion.

“My biggest fear is when I die — I think about that a lot — I don’t see her living an independent life on her own and it’s the one thing that I fear the most,” she said, “so I just spent the last 18 years working and working and working so that she has some foundation under her.”

It angers them, the sisters said, to see large corporations receiving government-sponsored loans and flourishing while small businesses are left to scramble for survival.

“Ten years of our savings gone in a year and now we’re buried in debt while you read about these big corporations and all this money they so easily got,” she said.

Even during nearly 12 months of closure, they managed to keep paying rent for their empty studio, even after their rent went up in August.

“Can you imagine if you were told you have to pay $5,000 a month for your house or your apartment but the government’s telling you you can’t live in it?” Daniela Del Gaudio, 33, said. “That’s what it was for us. That’s what it was for all small businesses.”

Federal officials have offered some financial support but when the sisters didn’t qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided aid for small businesses to pay salaries but the Del Gaudios, whose business mostly works with subcontractors, said the largest portion of their expenses involves rent.

Before the sisters amassed $70,000 in dept, their relatives advised them to take the loss, close the door and start all over again but it “felt impossible,” sisters said.

“I look around and I see so many businesses closed and we would be there too if we didn’t take this loan,” Alexandra Del Gaudio said.

In March, they were finally allowed to reopen at 25% capacity, a move that offered a glimpse of hope even though they are making about one-tenth of what we were making last year around this time.

These days, the Del Gaudios work seven days a week, 12 hours a day. They are considering subleasing parts of their 3,000-square-foot space to bring in additional revenue.

In the meantime, another rent spike is coming in August.

But with the vaccine and reopening, they finally see a light at the end of the year-long tunnel.

“We have each other and have to figure out a way to make it work and save it,” Daniela Del Gaudio said.

How surge in hate crimes is pushing Asian Americans to stand up for mental health

In late March, Jackie Vu posted a typewritten, racist letter sent anonymously to her family’s nail salon in Riverside. She said she posted the letter not to draw attention to the business or how her family was affected, but to make the point that racism of any form is unacceptable.

“It’s 2021. I don’t have time to figure out why we still hate each other, or worry about my neighbors hating me because I’m Asian,” said the 32-year-old co-owner of Top 10 Nails & Spa. “The only thing people can’t take away from you is your peace.”

But for other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who find themselves the targets of racist incidents or hate crimes, peace remains elusive. For victims of such acts — as well as those who advocate for their communities through activism or nonprofit work, and those who fear for their own safety and that of their loved ones — the latest wave of hate crimes targeting AAPI community members has taken a severe mental toll.

  • Jackie Vu, 32, has a photo of the anonymous anti-Asian hate letter, filled with curse words and grammatical errors in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. The letter was sent to the family owned Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon in Riverside. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, uses a Gua Sha, Bian Stone to help her destress and relax while at home after all the reports of Asian hate and attacks which her family has experienced. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, paints her nails as one of many therapeutic self-care activities she does. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Thursday, April 8, 2021 Family photos with her children’s artwork fill the side of Jackie Vu’s refrigerator on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Vu is proud of her family and Asian heritage while being afraid for them after an anonymous anti-Asian hate letter was recently sent to the family owned nail salon in Riverside. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, paints her nails as one of many therapeutic self-care activities she does. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, uses a Gua Sha, Bian Stone to help her destress and relax while at home after all the reports of Asian hate and attacks which her family has experianced. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, paints her nails as one of many therapeutic self-care activities she does. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, right spends time with best friend since 5th grade Natoya Miller, 32, of Riverside as they visit in Vu’s home in Riverside. Vu’s family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, paints her nails as one of many therapeutic self-care activities she does as her dog Charlee stays close when Vu is home. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, paints her nails as one of many therapeutic self-care activities she does to deal with stress while being able to laugh and visit with friend Natoya Miller. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jackie Vu, 32, sits in her friend chairs with a beverage while listening to a White Reaper record playing on her turntable to relax and destress. Her family owns Top 10 Nails and Spa nail salon which have been recently attacked with a vicious, spiteful anonymous anti-Asian hate letter in Riverside on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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The issue has sparked a national call to end to violence targeting the AAPI community, with the U.S. Senate on Thursday, April 22, overwhelmingly passing a bill denouncing anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.

Long before Asian American residents found themselves blamed for the coronavirus pandemic or the March 16 Atlanta spa shootings that killed eight people, including six Asian women, many in the AAPI community were living in constant stress and fear, according to activists and community members. Perceived as the “model minority,” they are hyper-sexualized and viewed as perpetual foreigners, and taught to stay silent. Stigma, traditional values and cultural pressures, meanwhile, prevent many in the AAPI community from making their mental health a priority.

Serious mental illness rose from 2.9% to 5.6% in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders ages 18-25 between 2008 and 2018, according to a 2018 national survey on drug use and health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. An older (2010) survey from the National Latino and Asian American Study found that only 8.6% of Asian Americans sought mental health services and resources, compared with 18% of the general U.S. population.

Breaking stigmas

Vu, a Navy veteran who has been in therapy her whole life, said she wants to break the cultural stigmas surrounding mental health treatment. She takes medication and talks to her relatives and children about mental health. She prioritizes self-care activities such as spending time with friends, working out, tending to her houseplants, and doing her own and others’ nails. Vu said these things have helped her, as a victim of racism, process and express things more cohesively, including her thoughts on the letter sent to her family’s salon.

“Doing nails is not only therapeutic for me, but also for people who just want someone to talk to, or who need to be heard,” Vu said, likening the nail salon service to her counseling sessions. She enjoys the intimate conversations and different perspectives. “Going to therapy has given me a microphone for my inner dialogue.”

The Asian Pacific Counseling and Treatment Centers, which has locations in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire, offers free mental health services — including counseling and therapy — for victims of hate attacks during the pandemic, with no health insurance requirement.

Dr. Sheila Wu, the centers’ director and a psychologist, said that hate attacks targeting Asian Americans “trigger intense emotional reactions, particularly when the attacks are against the most vulnerable elderly, children and women.” Intense emotions — anger, fear, panic, helplessness, even numbness — are “common, traumatic reactions that could be compounded by a history of trauma in different Asian American and Pacific Islander groups,” Wu said.

From the the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to the experiences of Koreans during the 1992 Los Angeles riots to the attacks that targeted South Asian and Asian Muslim communities after Sept. 11, Wu said trauma from these and other events are a lot to unpack.

Repetitive historical events — paired with the stress of immigration and assimilation, language barriers, cultural isolation, economic struggles, and lack of access to health care — all are “psycho-social stressors” experienced in Asian communities, Wu said.

These events can exacerbate both physical and mental problems prompted by racist behaviors and hate attacks and lead to “more serious depressive, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders” across generations, she added.

File photo of Mary Anne Foo, executive director of the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, speaking at a SoCal Policy Forum event in January 2020. (File photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance has received three times the number of calls for mental health services over the last year compared to the year before, said executive director Mary Anne Foo. With just 10 clinical counselors, 15 case managers, and a growing number of calls from adults who are afraid to leave their homes, Foo said there’s now a waiting list for services.

“These are already people who were impacted by COVID-19,” she said. “The vaccine gave them a little hope. But, now, they are worried about who is going to protect them … especially after the Atlanta mass shootings, we’re seeing women who work in massage parlors, nail salons or caregiving talking about how they’re going to protect themselves.”

Foo said the past year has been a “rude shock,” especially in Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian communities, where elders fled war and strife in their countries of origin in search of freedom and security in the United States. The fear is palpable among all age groups, she said.

Foo said she has been working with several other community partners that work in Korean, Vietnamese and other Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Orange County to get people the help they need. There’s no question that recent events have brought up issues for community members, and this is the time to get help if they need it, she said, regardless of cultural stigma.

“With COVID-19 and the hate incidents, (people) feel the need to talk to someone,” she said. “People need to understand that this doesn’t mean they are mentally ill. You are simply seeking mental well-being. And that’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

Triggering past trauma

survey published in March by the Southeast Asia Resource Center found that 29% of participants had trouble finding mental health services, because of a lack of multi-lingual resources or understanding of the mental health-care system. The survey included about 250 Asian Americans, largely Vietnamese and Cambodian respondents, across California.

The report found that Southeast Asian refugees and their children experience higher rates of mental health challenges than others because of past experiences of war, genocide and displacement.

File photo of Tricia Nguyen, CEO of Southland Integrated Services, a health clinic that serves the Vietnamese population in Orange County. (File photo by Joshua Sudock, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Tricia Nguyen, CEO of Southland Integrated Services, a health clinic serving Orange County’s widespread Vietnamese community, shared a recent experience when White women ran over cones at the clinic’s COVID-19 vaccination sites, yelling: “Do you know why we have the vaccines? It’s because you guys caused the virus.”

Nguyen said this and other recent incidents have taken an emotional toll on staff at the clinic, which also provides mental health services to the community. Patients have said they’ve become more paranoid, losing their appetites and sleep.

“In our refugee community, people are already suffering from war-related PTSD. They feel stressed out, and like they’ve lost the freedom that they came here for in the first place. Some are wondering if they were safer in Vietnam,” Nguyen said. “The thought that someone can shoot you or physically assault you because you’re Asian – that brings the trauma right back.”

Dr. Kien Vuu, an assistant clinical professor at UCLA Health, said years of experiencing hate and discrimination growing up in Chinatown put him on a path to poor physical and mental health. At 37, Vuu was diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes, which turned out to be a “wake-up call” for him.

“I was ashamed of my Asian, immigrant heritage. It led to depression and anxiety, but also poor health – and I’m a doctor,” Vuu said. “Our thoughts, our mindset, sense of purpose – all of it plays a part in our well-being. Hate has killed more people in this world than any virus.”

Members of the Chinese American Volunteer Association hold signs as people gather for a candlelight vigil against Asian hate crimes at Eastvale City Hall on Friday, March 19, 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

‘It’s OK to reach out’ 

On March 19, three days after the Atlanta shootings, 18-year-old Annie Nguyen helped to organize a candlelight vigil in her hometown of Eastvale. She said that she was upset about the attacks, but that embracing emotions in a healthy way can prompt people to grieve, then take action.

“Asian Americans oftentimes feel silenced and overlooked — now we’re talking openly about this. When we mourn together, there is power in that,” said Nguyen, a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School and president of the Associated Student Body. “We understand that we’re going through not just a tough time, but a tough system. Now there are more Asian American stories in media, and that’s the first step. Then we recognize it’s OK to reach out for help.”

Like Nguyen, many young Asian Americans have been emotionally affected by the recent attacks. A 2020 report, “They Blamed Me Because I Am Asian” by the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign, surveyed nearly 1,000 Asian American youth nationwide, finding that eight out of 10 expressed anger over the current anti-Asian hate. The rise in racist incidents and attacks during the pandemic have caused feelings of self-doubt, lack of confidence, fear for families, even self-harm and depression, the report found.

From left to right: Janet Wang, Melody Cheng and Helen Wu, hosts of the podcast Asian Boss Girl. (Photo courtesy of Helen Wu)

Melody Cheng, co-host of the Los Angeles-based podcast Asian Boss Girl, said that when she heard about recent racist attacks on elderly Asian immigrants, she was reminded of her grandparents in the Bay Area and feared their safety.

“It hits me straight to the heart, to see people who look like my grandparents at the center of attacks,” Cheng said. “Asian grandparents are precious because they’re the ones who have been through so much. As immigrants, they silently went through their own pain, but they don’t ever put it on their (grandchildren). So for us, as this generation, we are their voice to protect them by using our platforms.”

Cheng and her co-hosts, Helen Wu and Janet Wang, discuss mental health and lifestyle topics on their weekly podcast for Asian American men and women. In February, they released an episode talking about the #StopAsianHate movement, and how to prioritize mental health amid the heavy headlines.

“Anyone who is constantly absorbing all of this information and news, it’s important for you to take care of yourself, or else it’s going to be hard for you to show up, to try and make change,” Wu said.

Wang said Asian Americans often “glaze over” and “repress” racist incidents, no matter the scale, because culturally they are taught to keep their head down and move forward. But emotions are important, she and her co-hosts said.

“Number one is to feel — feel all the fear, the sadness, the anger,” Wang said. “You need to feel to understand and develop your perspective. The first act of changing things is for you to recognize what’s happening, and then have the confidence to speak up.”

AAPI mental health resources


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