Sports Digest: Casas homers again as Sea Dogs beat Yard Goats


BASEBALL

Triston Casas blasted a three-run homer – his third home run in two games – to highlight a four-run fifth inning, and the Portland Sea Dogs (7-2) held on for a 6-5 win Thursday night against the Hartford Yard Goats (2-7) in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Sea Dogs took the lead in the first inning when Jeisson Rosario scored on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice, but Hartford answered with two runs in the second.

Ronaldo Hernandez’s first home run of the season tied the game in the fourth. A throwing error allowed Rosario to score the go-ahead run in the fifth before Casas homered to right-center.

The Yard Goats got two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth but left the potential tying run at third.

Matthew Kent picked up the win in relief of Thaddeus Ward, allowing two runs in 3 2/3 innings. Jose Adames got the last four outs for a save.

GOLF

PGA: Jordan Spieth made a 55-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to complete a 9-under 63 on the new home course of the AT&T Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas, giving him a share of the first-round lead with J.J. Spaun.

Spieth, Spaun and plenty of others had little trouble with TPC Craig Ranch north of Dallas. There were 132 players in the field of 156 under par, with 94 in the 60s.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Robert MacIntyre started with five straight birdies and finished with another two to shoot a 6-under 66 and take a share of the lead after the second round of the British Masters in Sutton Coldfield, England.

MacIntyre was level with fellow Scotsman Calum Hill (70) and English veteran Richard Bland (69) on 7-under 137, with three players a shot behind – including 2018 winner Eddie Pepperell. MacIntyre’s run of birdies ended with a bogey on the sixth hole at The Belfry after hitting his tee shot into the water. He finished with eight birdies and two bogeys.

At 48, Bland is twice MacIntyre’s age but still looking for his first European Tour title at the 478th attempt.

SOCCER

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The all-English final will be held in Porto, Portugal, with 12,000 fans from Chelsea and Manchester City, UEFA confirmed.

The May 29 showpiece was moved from Istanbul to the 50,000-capacity Estádio do Dragão because of England’s pandemic travel restrictions on Turkey that would have prevented fans from flying in for the match.

ENGLAND: Jurgen Klopp won at Old Trafford for the first time and Liverpool breathed life into its top-four push with a 4-2 win in a rescheduled match against Manchester United.

After anti-ownership protesters got into the ground and onto the pitch 11 days ago, further demonstrations could not stop Thursday’s game from taking place.

Liverpool moved into fifth place in the Premier League, four points behind Chelsea with a game in hand.

GOLD CUP: The United States will play its three group stage matches of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Americans open Group B play July 11 against the qualifying winner from among Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala and Guyana.

The U.S. plays Martinique on July 15 and closes the first round against Canada on July 18.

SPAIN: Real Madrid won 4-1 at Granada to stay within range of leader Atletico Madrid entering the final two rounds of La Liga.

Luka Modric and Rodrigo scored in the first half and Alvaro Odriozola and Karim Benzema added goals in the second to leave the defending champions two points behind Atletico.

• ESPN is taking over U.S. English- and Spanish-language rights to La Liga next season as part of an eight-year agreement.

GERMANY: Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho both scored twice as Borussia Dortmund beat Leipzig 4-1 in the German Cup final.

Captain Marco Reus was involved in all four goals as Dortmund won the cup for the fifth time and denied bitter rival Leipzig a first title.

FRANCE: Monaco routed fourth-tier Rumilly-Vallieres 5-1 to set up a French Cup final against title holder Paris Saint-Germain.

TENNIS

ITALIAN OPEN: Nearing his 35th birthday, Rafael Nadal showed he’s still got the stamina to withstand much younger challengers in a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) comeback win over 22-year-old Denis Shapovalov that secured a spot in the quarterfinals.

Nadal roared back from 3-0 down in the second set and then saved two match points on his serve at 6-5 in the third. Nadal, who will be aiming for a record-extending 14th French Open title next month, was also pushed at times in a straight-set win over 19-year-old Jannik Sinner that ended late Wednesday.

Nadal, a nine-time champion in Rome, will next face Alexander Zverev, the 2017 Rome champion and the winner of last week’s Madrid Open. Zverev also won in a comeback, beating Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“I have to do things better for tomorrow,” Nadal said.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic seemed to enjoy every moment of his 6-2, 6-1 win over Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Djokovic will next face Tsitsipas, the Monte Carlo Masters champion who eliminated Madrid finalist Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (3), 6-2 in a matchup of top-10 players.

Also reaching the quarterfinals was 6-foot-11 American Reilly Opelka, who eliminated Aslan Karatsev, an Australian Open semifinalist, 7-6 (6), 6-4. Opelka next faces Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis, who beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (3), 6-1.

In the women’s draw, top-ranked Ash Barty beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-3 and will next face American teenager Coco Gauff, who defeated Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-3. French Open champion Iga Swiatek beat Barbora Krejcikova 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5.

SERENA WILLIAMS has accepted a wild-card invitation to play at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma starting this weekend. The move came immediately after Williams lost in straight sets to Nadia Podoroska at the Italian Open on Wednesday in her first match in nearly three months.

Williams is preparing for the French Open, which starts at the end of the month. Venus Williams, Serena’s sister, also accepted a wild-card invitation, organizers said. The clay-court event in Parma, which was added to the calendar amid the coronavirus pandemic, starts Sunday.

AUTO RACING

NASCAR: NASCAR has lifted its mask mandate for competitors when outdoors in the garage and pit areas starting this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Masks will still be required when competitors are inside any buildings or team haulers, NASCAR said.

NASCAR says its focus is on encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and preventing indoor spread of COVID-19.

NASCAR last weekend had a soft re-opening of the garage area and allowed 350 fully vaccinated sponsors and guests into the competition footprint at Darlington Raceway. It was a trial run to set policy moving forward. The garage is closed at Dover this weekend but will be open to 550 sponsors and guests at Circuit of the Americas in Texas next week.

NASCAR is not requiring its competitors be vaccinated, only guests and media who enter the garage area. NASCAR was one of the first major sports to resume competition last May at the start of the pandemic. It was also the first to complete its full schedule in November.

• Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage is stepping down after overseeing the track since it opened 24 years ago. Gossage, 62, said his final event will be NASCAR’s All-Star race June 13, the first at TMS. He has worked for 32 years for Speedway Motorsports and Bruton Smith.

HIGH SCHOOLS

RHODE ISLAND: More high school athletes in Rhode Island will be allowed to unmask this spring, according to the governing body of scholastic sports in the state. Golf and tennis won’t require masks at all, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League posted on its website Wednesday, The Providence Journal reported.

For baseball and softball, catchers, batters and home plate umpires will be required to wear face coverings. Everyone else may remove them during games. In track and field, masks will be required only at the start of the 800-, 1,500- and 3,000-meter races. Athletes in all other events will not be required to wear masks.

Participants in wrestling, lacrosse, and volleyball will be required to wear face coverings at all times because those athletes cannot “easily, measurably and continuously maintain 3 feet of distance” during competition.

CYCLING

GIRO D’ITALIA:  Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder won the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia for his first victory in a Grand Tour, and Attila Valter took the leader’s pink jersey. Mäder, who rides for Team Bahrain Victorious, was part of a quartet leading the race up the summit finish and the 24-year-old attacked with three kilometers remaining to cross the line 12 seconds ahead of his fellow escapees.

Egan Bernal was second, just ahead of Daniel Martin and Remco Evenepoel at the end of the sternest test yet of this year’s Giro. There were three classified climbs along the 160-kilometer (99-mile) route from Grotte di Frasassi to Ascoli Piceno and the stage was made even trickier by the weather conditions, which were wet and cold.

Valter took over the lead from Alessandro De Marchi. The Hungarian cyclist has an 11-second lead over Evenepoel and 16 seconds ahead of Bernal – two of the favorites for the overall win. The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with an individual time trial.


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