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Sports Digest: Somerset tops Sea Dogs in 10th inning, 2-1


BASEBALL

Mickey Gasper had an RBI single in the 10th inning Tuesday as the Somerset Patriots beat the Portland Sea Dogs 2-1 at Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, in an early-season showdown between the top two teams in the Eastern League’s Northeast Division.

The Patriots took over first place with the win as ghost runner Derek Dietrich scored from second on the hit.

Portland, which had a four-game winning streak end, took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Izzy Wilson. The Patriots tied it in the seventh on a home run by Andres Chapparo.

Portland starter Chris Murphy allowed no runs in six innings, allowing two hits. He walked one and struck out six.

AUTO RACING

NASCAR: NASCAR ordered Denny Hamlin to begin sensitivity training this week after he posted an anti-Asian meme from the television comedy “Family Guy” to criticize Kyle Larson’s driving on the last lap at Talladega Superspeedway over the weekend.

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Hamlin deleted the tweet Monday night and apologized.

“I took down a post I made earlier today after reading some of the comments,” he wrote. “It was a poor choice of memes and I saw how it was offensive. It came across totally wrong.”

Hamlin is good friends with Larson, the reigning Cup Series champion who was suspended by NASCAR almost all of the 2020 season for using a racial slur during an online race. He is half-Japanese.

On Sunday at Talladega, Larson was in second exiting the final turn when he made his move for the win. He moved up the track multiple lanes in an aggressive move that caused 23XI driver Kurt Busch to crash – a wreck that also collected Wallace.

In the meme, an Asian woman speaks in choppy English before moving across six lanes of traffic with no warning, reflecting a racist stereotype about Asian drivers. It has long been removed from the episode on all streaming platforms but the clip can still be found on YouTube. Larson’s name was superimposed over the female driver in the meme.

Hamlin’s tweet was up nearly seven hours before he deleted it right before midnight.

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INDY 500: Roger Penske has tweaked qualifying for next month’s Indianapolis 500 to add a shootout that will determine the first four starting rows for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Penske told The Associated Press the tweaks will create a high-pressure atmosphere on the second day of qualifying.

“We’re going to have all 33 qualify on Saturday and then come back on Sunday, and take two hours at the best time of the day and send the top 12 out and then the top six,” Penske told AP. “I really want to do this, we already do it at other races.

TENNIS

WIMBLEDON: Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title at Wimbledon, despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19, because the shots are not required to enter Britain, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said.

Djokovic, a 34-year-old Serb who is ranked No. 1, missed the Australian Open in January after being deported from that country because he was not vaccinated against the illness caused by the coronavirus that has led to the deaths of millions during the pandemic that began in 2020.

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BMW OPEN: American Maxime Cressy ended a seven-match losing streak at tour-level by beating sixth-seeded Daniel Evans of Britain 6-4, 6-4 in the first round  at Munich.

He will next face Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.

Belarusian player Ilya Ivashka defeated American Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with fourth-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Hugo Gaston defeated another American, Marcos Giron, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-5 to progress.

Also, Germany’s Oscar Otte eased past Serbian qualifier Marko Topo 6-1, 6-2 and will next face third-seeded Reilly Opelka.

DAVIS CUP FINALS: Serbia and Spain will square off in the group stage, organizers said after holding a draw.

That could mean a matchup of Novak Djokovic against Rafael Nadal when their nations play as part of Group B along with Canada and South Korea in Valencia from Sept. 14-18. Nadal did not play for Spain last year; Djokovic helped Serbia reach the semifinals.

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Group A, hosted by Bologna, will include Croatia – last year’s runner-up – along with Italy, Argentina and Sweden.

Group C, in Hamburg, will pit Germany against France, Belgium and Australia.

Britain, the United States, Kazakhstan, and the Netherlands will play in Group D in Glasgow.

SWISS INDOORS: Roger Federer intends to return to tournament tennis after what will have been more than a year away from the tour by playing at the Swiss Indoors in October.

Federer’s first match there is scheduled for Oct. 25.

COACHING CHANGE: U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu has parted ways with Coach Torben Beltz six months after hiring him.

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The 19-year-old British player said she’s seeking “a new training model” despite rising to a career-high ranking of No. 11 this week after reaching the quarterfinals at the Stuttgart Open.

HOCKEY

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Russia was removed as host of the 2023 world championship in men’s ice hockey that was to be played in Vladimir Putin’s home city St. Petersburg.

Citing “concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media, and fans,” the International Ice Hockey Federation announced the decision after its ruling council met.

A new host will be picked during the men’s world championships which starts next month in Finland, the governing body said.

DOPING

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RUSSIA: Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed support for figure skater Kamila Valieva, saying she did not compete “dishonestly” after her doping case dominated this year’s Winter Olympics.

Valieva was on the gold-medal winning Russian squad for the figure skating team event at the Beijing Olympics but no medal ceremony has been held because she is facing an unresolved doping case resulting from a positive test at the Russian national championships in late December.

“Through her work, she raised the sport to the level of true art,” Putin said. “It is impossible to achieve that kind of perfection dishonestly, with the help of some kind of extra substances or manipulations.”

Russia competed at the Beijing Olympics without its flag or anthem following years of doping sanctions and legal battles across numerous sports. Russia denies any doping was state-sponsored.

FRANCE:  The doping suspension of French middle-distance runner Ophelie Claude-Boxberger has been extended to four years, France’s highest administrative court said.

The case had been referred to the Conseil d’Etat after the country’s antidoping agency appealed an initial decision by its sanctions commission to give a two-year suspension to Claude-Boxberger.

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The athlete tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO before the 2019 track and field world championships.

GOLF

BRITISH OPEN: The 150th edition of the British Open is expected to attract a record-breaking crowd of 290,000 when St. Andrews hosts in July, organizers said.

The R&A received more than 1.3 million ticket applications, leading to the highest-ever number of general admission tickets being issued to fans for the world’s oldest major championship.

The expected attendance, organizers said, will surpass the record 239,000 fans for the 2000 Open that Tiger Woods won at St. Andrews.

SOCCER

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: In a wild match, Manchester City beat Madrid 4-3 in the first leg of the semifinals.

City, looking to reach the final for a second straight year, was 2-0 ahead after 11 minutes – through goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus – and should have been further clear before Karim Benzema steered in a volley in the 33rd.

Phil Foden restored City’s two-goal lead in the 53rd, Vinicius Junior replied two minutes later for Madrid and the chances kept coming for both teams before Bernardo Silva curled a shot inside the near post after the referee played the advantage following a foul on Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Benzema had the final say on the night by converting a penalty after Aymeric Laporte’s handball to become the competition’s top scorer on 14 goals.


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