Sports Digest: Sea Dogs routed by Fisher Cats, 12-4 – pressherald.com

BASEBALL

Gabriel Moreno and LJ Talley each drove in three runs to lead the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to an 12-4 win Friday night against the Portland Sea Dogs in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Ryan Fitzgerald hit his second home run of the season for the Sea Dogs, who were held to six hits. Triston Casas and Joey Meneses both were 2 for 3.

AUTO RACING

INDY 500: Photogate spilled over to a second day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when all three of Bobby Rahal’s cars were idled on pit lane at the start of Friday’s practice as punishment for their ill-timed effort to take a team picture on the famed speedway.

The punishment didn’t seem to hold the trio back, though.

Two-time and defending race winner Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal and Santino Ferrucci, who crashed late Thursday and wore a brace on his leg Friday, were all fast enough once their penalty had been served.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars were parked for the first 30 minutes of practice on a day when IndyCar allows a horsepower boost so teams can get a feel for their speed ahead of Indianapolis 500 qualifying this weekend.

The punishment was doled out by IndyCar because Sato, Rahal and Ferrucci attempted a three-side photo staging in the opening minute of Thursday’s practice. At the time, the track was open to all teams. By blocking the track, they caused Colton Herta to hit both the wall and the car of Scott McLaughlin as he frantically tried to slow from 220 mph to around 100 mph to avoid a collision.

Bobby Rahal said the team should have asked IndyCar for time to do the photo.

“We should have made a formal request. I don’t think there’s any question of that,” Bobby Rahal acknowledged. “We’ll pay our penalty. We’ll take our medicine and go on.”

The missed practice time didn’t disrupt RLL when they finally got on track. Graham Rahal had the second-fastest lap without the aid of a tow – that slipstream of air that flows off a leading car – behind overall leader on the day Alexander Rossi.

Sato ended the day eighth in best four-lap average, and Ferrucci was briefly near the top of the board a day after he became the first and only driver to crash this week at Indy. Some of his crew members worked through the night to repair his car.

GOLF

LPGA: Sarah Kemp shot a 4-under 67 at firm and fast Kingsmill Resort to take a one-stroke lead into the weekend in the Pure Silk Championship at Williamsburg, Virginia.

Kemp, a 35-year-old Australian, is winless in 14 season on the LPGA Tour.

Stacy Lewis scrambled for a closing bogey after driving into the water and finished with a 69. She wa tied for second with Jessica Korda and Ana Belac.

SOCCER

ARGENTINA: All soccer in Argentina was suspended for nine days ahead of a strict shutdown decree for much of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes about three weeks before the June 13 start of Copa America, the continental soccer championship scheduled to be played in Argentina.

The suspension is yet another blow for Copa America organizer CONMEBOL. The South American soccer body decided Thursday to drop Colombia as co-host amid a wave of protests against the country’s president, Iván Duque. Argentine President Alberto Fernández said this week that Argentina could host the entire Copa America if needed, but CONMEBOL has not yet said where the matches initially scheduled for Colombia will be played.

SPAIN: Lionel Messi might have played his final game for Barcelona.

The Argentina star has been given permission to skip the team’s final game of the Spanish league season – at Eibar on Saturday – so he can have extra rest ahead of the Copa América, Barcelona said.

Barcelona is out of contention for the league title. His contract expires at the end of this season, and he hasn’t given an indication he will sign a new one. Messi, 33, has been with Barcelona for his whole career, but he tried to leave following the 2019-20 season, saying he wasn’t happy with the direction the club was taking.

EUROPA LEAGUE: Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is likely to miss the final against Villarreal on Wednesday.

United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer downplayed expectations about Maguire returning from an ankle injury in time to play in Gdansk, Poland.

“He’s walking, but it’s a long way from walking to running,” Solskjaer said Friday. “So, to be honest, I don’t think we’ll see him in Gdansk, no.”

The England center back damaged ligaments in his ankle in a Premier League match at Aston Villa on May 9 when Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi landed on him.

TENNIS

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN: Coco Gauff reached her first clay-court final by beating Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 in Parma, Italy.

It’s the second career WTA final for the 17-year-old American, who won her only previous final in Lienz, Austria, in 2019. She made the semifinals last week at the Italian Open.

In Saturday’s final, Gauff will face 48th-ranked Wang Qiang, who defeated former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 7-6 (3).

FRENCH OPEN: Third-ranked Simona Halep withdrew from the French Open because of a calf injury. The 29-year-old Romanian, who won the title at Roland Garros in 2018, tore a muscle in her left calf at the Italian Open and said it needs more time to heal. The French Open begins May 30.

Halep is a three-time finalist at the French Open. She beat Sloane Stephens in the 2018 final in Paris for her first major title.

GENEVA OPEN: Denis Shapovalov will face Casper Ruud in the final in Switzerland after both advanced with straight-set wins.

The second-seeded Shapovalov beat Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 7-5, and the third-seeded Ruud won 6-3, 6-2 against Pablo Andujar as the two 22-year-olds both defeated 35-year-old opponents.

HOCKEY

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Matiss Kivlenieks made 38 saves and host Latvia beat Canada 2-0 in their opening game at the World Championships.

Miks Indrasis opened the scoring with 1.5 seconds left in the first period, beating goaltender Darcy Kuemper between the pads. Oskars Batna made it 2-0 on a tip-in midway through the second period.

Canada will face the United States on Sunday. The United States opens Saturday against Finland.

PRO WRESTLING

WWE PLANS TOUR: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., which saw the pandemic quash its lucrative touring business last year, is going back on the road. The wrestling league will begin a 25-city tour in July in front of capacity crowds, the company said. The tour begins July 16 in Houston, followed by events on July 18 in Fort Worth, Texas, and July 19 in Dallas. It will last until early September.

Confidence in hosting live events with fans is soaring due to the growing number of vaccinated people in the U.S. and a reduction in virus cases. Concert promoters have announced plans for major festivals and shows throughout the summer and fall, while the basketball playoffs are taking place with a limited number of fans in arenas.

WWE suspended its touring shows in March 2020 and has staged its two weekly events, Raw and SmackDown, without fans for 70 straight weeks. It offered a limited number of tickets for its biggest annual attraction, WrestleMania, which sold out two nights at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, in April.

CYCLING

TOUR D’ITALIA: Riding the Giro d’Italia for the eighth time in his career, Giacomo Nizzolo finally claimed his first stage win in his home Grand Tour, while Egal Bernal’s overall lead remained unchanged.

Nizzolo won a mass sprint at the end of the almost entirely flat 123-mile 13th stage from Ravenna to Verona.

Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France champion, remained 45 seconds ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov and 1 minute, 12 seconds ahead of Damiano Caruso.

A big challenge awaits on Saturday with a punishing climb to Monte Zoncolan concluding the 14th stage.


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