BASEBALL

Elehuris Montero and Sean Bouchard each drove in a pair of runs as the Hartford Yard Goats snapped the Portland Sea Dogs’ five-game winning streak with an 8-4 win on Tuesday night at Hartford, Connecticut.

Frank German took the loss for Portland, which hadn’t lost since its season opener, allowing six runs (two earned) on five hits, walking two and striking out two. Portland made five errors.

Pedro Castellanos had a two-run home run for the Sea Dogs.

Reliever Jake Bird pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

OLYMPICS

The Tokyo Olympic torch relay is being pulled off the streets in Hiroshima prefecture as COVID-19 cases rise in Japan barely 10 weeks before the opening ceremony. Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki said that a ceremony next week without the relay is likely to still take place. This is at least the sixth change to the relay – from rerouting to cancellation – in the last several weeks.

Organizers warned before the relay began that changes and delays were expected in the face of the pandemic.

“It is certain there will be no relay on public streets since we are all trying to reduce going out, and how to do the ceremony without the relay on the streets is still being discussed with the organizers,” Yuzaki said Monday.

The relay began on March 25 in northeastern Japan and is to end on July 23 at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Tokyo and other areas are under a state of emergency until May 31. Japan has attributed about 11,000 deaths to COVID-19, but new cases of the virus and its variants are now increasing in Tokyo and the second largest metropolitan area of Osaka.

The relay is heavily sponsored by Toyota and Coca-Cola and has proceeded despite some calls a year ago to cancel it to save money. It involves 10,000 runners crisscrossing Japan with organizers trying to keep crowds off the streets and urging them to maintain social distancing.

International Olympic President Thomas Bach was forced this week to call off a trip to Hiroshima to greet the torch, an embarrassing move with the IOC and local organizers saying the Olympics will be “safe and secure” for fans and athletes.

Yuzaki said the cases were rising at such a rapid pace that it could become an emergency situation unless people curbed their activities.

SOCCER

PREMIER LEAGUE: Manchester United handed the Premier League title to fierce rival Manchester City on Tuesday by losing 2-1 to Leicester, which ignited its bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League. United needed to avoid defeat at Old Trafford to delay City’s title celebrations for at least two more days, but Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to field a weakened lineup amid a congested fixture schedule proved costly.

Leicester took full advantage and Çağlar Söyüncü’s 66th-minute winner lifted the team above Chelsea into third, eight points above fifth-place West Ham in the race for a top-four finish.

City holds an unassailable 10-point lead over second-place United with three games remaining for each team. It has won the league for the third time in four seasons — and seventh time in total.

Liverpool and West Ham, the teams fighting with Leicester for an automatic Champions League qualifying spot, would have been unhappy to see their rival get an easier ride at Old Trafford owing to Solskjaer’s team selection that saw stars like Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba start on the bench.

Fifth-place West Ham must win its final three games and hope Leicester slips up in its remaining matches, against Chelsea and Tottenham. Liverpool, in sixth place, might have a better shot as the deposed champion has four games left. If Liverpool wins all of them, Leicester would likely need to pick up four points against Chelsea and Tottenham.

GERMANY: German soccer federation president Fritz Keller has signaled he will resign following criticism for comparing a colleague to a Nazi-era judge.

The federation said Tuesday that Keller expressed “that he is ready in principle … to leave office” on May 17.

Keller compared federation vice-president Rainer Koch to Nazi-era judge Roland Freisler at a federation meeting on April 23. That prompted state and regional officials to express a vote of no confidence in Keller’s leadership.

Freisler, a participant in the Wannsee Conference of 1942, was one of the Nazis responsible for the organization of the Holocaust. He became president of the People’s Court, where he issued around 2,600 death sentences to opponents of the Nazi regime.

Koch, who is a judge at a court in Munich, and another vice-president, Peter Peters, will be joint interim presidents for a transitional period.

ENGLAND: Tottenham will have fan representation on its board in an effort to improve trust and relations with disgruntled supporters following the club’s aborted effort to join the European Super League. The chair of an advisory panel comprising elected representatives from the fanbase will be appointed annually on the club’s board, Tottenham said Tuesday.

“We believe this provides for authentic, genuine representation and will ensure fans are at the heart of club decision-making, something we greatly welcome,” Tottenham said in a statement.

Six English clubs were involved in last month’s attempt to set up a closed-off breakaway league also including six other leading teams in Europe. The English teams then pulled out of the proposed competition following opposition from the British government and fans.

The clubs appear keen to re-engage with the supporters. Chelsea announced last week that three fans, referred to as supporter advisers, will attend board meetings from July 1 to ensure “supporter sentiment” is considered in decision-making. Manchester United co-owner Joel Glazer pledged in an open letter to dramatically improve his relationship with supporters by holding talks on “fan share ownership” and investing in upgrades to Old Trafford.

Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool were the other English teams involved.

BASKETBALL

WNBA: The Atlanta Dream have hired La’Keshia Frett and Daynia La-Force as assistant coaches on interim coach Mike Petersen’s staff. Frett, a former player and assistant at Georgia, worked as an assistant at Auburn in the 2019-20 season. She also served for six seasons on Virginia’s staff.

La-Force is a former coach at Rhode Island, Northwestern and New Haven.

Frett and La-Force join Darius Taylor on Petersen’s staff. Peterson was hired as the interim replacement for Nicki Collen, who was hired as Baylor’s coach on May 4. Petersen said Frett “is one of the all-time great players in our sport” and added that La-Force “has had an excellent career both as a player and a coach. They bring a depth of knowledge that will help both our players and our staff immensely.”

TRACK AND FIELD

DIACK RELEASED: Disgraced former world athletics head Lamine Diack returned home to Senegal late Monday after a local soccer club paid a bond of just over $600,000 to allow him to leave France. Diack, the president of world athletics from 1999-2015, was convicted in Paris in September on multiple charges of corruption during his tenure, some of it related to the Russian doping scandal. He was sentenced to four years in prison, with two of those years suspended.

But French justice authorities said Diack, who is 87, was unlikely to spend any time in jail because of his age. He had been under house arrest in France since 2015. The bond is related to a separate case against him.

Simon Ndiaye, a lawyer for Diack, said he was allowed to leave France after posting bail in a case involving alleged bribery in the buildup to the vote for the host city for the 2016 Olympics. Diack was handed preliminary charges in that case and his passport was confiscated, but a French judge lifted the ban on him leaving the country on condition he pay 500,000 euros and continue to answer court summons, Ndiaye told The Associated Press.

BOXING

JOSHUA-FURY: The all-British fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury for the undisputed world heavyweight title will take place in Saudi Arabia, promoter Eddie Hearn said on Tuesday.

Hearn, who represents Joshua, said the fight is likely to take place on Aug. 7 or Aug. 14. He said Aug. 14 is his preferred date because the Olympic Games in Tokyo will have finished, making the Joshua-Fury fight a bigger “global spectacle.”

“It’s a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia,” Hearn told British broadcaster Sky Sports. “To be honest with you, I don’t mind giving you that information.”

Fury’s U.S. promoter, Bob Arum, has previously said Saudi Arabia would be the location of the fight. Hearn has yet to respond to The Associated Press’ request to confirm the details of the fight. It would be Joshua’s second fight in the kingdom. He reclaimed his WBA, IBF and WBO belts from Andy Ruiz there in December 2019.

Joshua’s only fight since saw him retain his titles by knocking out Kubrat Pulev in December. Fury hasn’t fought since beating Deontay Wilder in February last year to capture the WBC title.

CYCLING

TOUR D’ITALIA: American cyclist Joseph Dombrowski held off the rest of the breakaway pack to win the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday for his first victory in a Grand Tour, and Alessandro De Marchi took the leader’s pink jersey.

Dombrowski, who rides for UAE Team Emirates, attacked on the first uphill finish of this year’s race and crossed the line 12 seconds ahead of De Marchi. It was the 29-year-old Dombrowski’s first pro win outside of the United States.

“I was feeling good in the last 50K and was just trying not to do too much work and be conservative, because I knew the last climb was really a tough one,” Dombrowski said. “I was able to get a gap, and it wasn’t enough for the pink jersey but I think the stage win is a nice way to finish the day.”

Filippo Fiorelli was third, 27 seconds behind Dombrowski at the end of a wet and windy 187-kilometer (116-mile) ride through the Apennines from Piacenza to Sestola.

De Marchi took over the lead from Filippo Ganna, who had led the the Giro since winning the time trial that opened the race on Saturday. The 34-year-old De Marchi has a 22-second advantage over Dombrowski and 42 seconds over third-place Louis Vervaeke.

TENNIS

ITALIAN OPEN: Top-ranked Novak Djokovic shouted at the umpire before regaining his cool to see out his rain-delayed second-round match against Taylor Fritz at Rome.

With conditions worsening during the second set and rain getting heavier, Djokovic’s temper boiled over and he roared, “How much more do you want to play?” at the umpire before adding “I asked you three times and you are not checking anything” as his remonstrations with the chair continued.

Djokovic went on to beat the American 6-3, 7-6 (5).

“I was stressed out in the end obviously, but I think it was the right call to stop the match,” Djokovic said.

“When I came back, I thought we were quite even actually till the last point. I’m glad that I managed to finish off this match in straight sets. I know I can play better, and I’m going to work tomorrow trying to make sure I do that in two days.”

Djokovic, back in action after sitting out the Masters in Madrid, had taken the opening set 6-3 before moving a break ahead in the second to lead 5-4.

However, he failed to serve out for the match and play was then suspended for approximately three hours. Fritz held his service game after the resumption to force the tiebreak, but Djokovic closed out the win on his first match point.

Djokovic will next play a qualifier in either Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who upset 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6 (2) in his first-round match on Tuesday, or Cameron Norrie.
All the remaining matches on Tuesday were postponed including Daniil Medvedev’s showdown with fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev.

Earlier, ninth-seeded Matteo Berrettini rallied to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 – less than 48 hours after losing the final in Madrid. Fellow Italian Lorenzo Sonego is also through to the second round after celebrating his birthday by beating 14th-seeded Gael Monfils 6-4 5-7 6-4.

Kei Nishikori was handed a walkover in his second-round match against 11th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta. Eighth-seeded Diego Schwartzman was beaten 6-1 6-3 by Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who moves into the third round.


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