BASEBALL

The Portland Sea Dogs will open the 2022 season at home against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on April 8 and single-game tickets for the upcoming season will go on sale on Nov. 13, the team announced on Monday.

The Sea Dogs, who play in the Double-A Northeast League, are scheduled to play 138 games, with 69 at Hadlock Field in Portland. Portland will face eight of the 11 Northeast League teams in 2022. The schedule will largely consist of six-game series beginning on Tuesday and ending on Sunday. The season-opening series against New Hampshire, however, will be three games.

The schedule includes five postgame fireworks shows (May 27, July 3, July 15, Aug. 5 and Aug. 26). Additional promotions will be announced at a later day.

Individual tickets are available at Hadlock Field starting at 9 a.m., Nov. 13. Phone orders and online ticket sales will be at noon the same day.

HORSE RACING

BREEDERS’ CUP: Knicks Go is the early 5-2 favorite for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic this weekend at Del Mar.

The two-day world championships drew 169 horses from eight countries, including 46 foreign horses to the seaside track north of San Diego. Del Mar is hosting for the second time in four years.

The Classic will be shown in prime time Saturday on NBC.

Knicks Go drew the No. 5 post in the nine-horse field for the 1 1/4-mile Classic. Trained by Brad Cox, he’ll be ridden by Joel Rosario. The colt has four wins in six starts this year, and won the BC Dirt Mile last year at Keeneland.

Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality is the 3-1 second choice, also from Cox’s barn. The colt is owned by Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

Medina Spirit, controversial winner of the Kentucky Derby, is the co-third choice at 4-1 for embattled trainer Bob Baffert. The colt tested positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone, which isn’t allowed in Kentucky on race day. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has yet to issue a final decision as part of its investigation into the matter.

Also at 4-1 is Hot Rod Charlie, winner of the Pennsylvania Derby. The colt finished third in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Belmont. Nicknamed “Chuck,” he will break from post No. 3.

SOCCER

Mexico will have to play in an empty stadium for its next two home games in World Cup qualifying because of persistent antigay chants by fans, FIFA said Monday.

The Mexican soccer federation was also fined $110,000 for charges of “discriminatory behavior by supporters.” It’s the latest punishment in a long-standing campaign to stop fans from directing slurs at opposing players.

Mexico will host Costa Rica on Jan. 30 and Panama on Feb. 2 in an empty stadium, costing the federation millions of dollars in lost revenue.

The antigay chants were heard last month when Mexico hosted qualifiers against Canada and Honduras. The storied Azteca Stadium drew a combined attendance of more than 130,000 fans for those games.

The Azteca was empty when Mexico opened World Cup qualifying in September against Jamaica because of a previous FIFA punishment.

Mexico is scheduled to host the United States on March 24.

BARCELONA: Striker Sergio Aguero will be sidelined for at least three months after undergoing heart tests.

Aguero was “subjected to a diagnostic and therapeutic process” that won’t allow him to play for a while, the club said.

“The effectiveness of treatment will be evaluated in order to determine his recovery process.”

Barcelona did not give any more detail on the therapeutic process undergone by the 33-year-old Argentine. He had to be hospitalized for tests on his heart after feeling unwell on Saturday in the first half of the team’s 1-1 home draw against Alaves in the Spanish league.

MLS: The Portland Thorns have named former goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc as their new general manager to replace Gavin Wilkinson, who was placed on administrative leave by the team in the wake of sexual harassment and coercion allegations against former coach Paul Riley.

LeBlanc, also a former goalkeeper for the Canadian national team, is currently the head of women’s soccer for CONCACAF, the confederation for North and Central America and Caribbean soccer. She plans to step down from that post to focus on the Thorns.

TOTTENHAM: Booed and heckled by supporters, Nuno Espirito Santo was fired following his fifth loss in 10 Premier League matches in charge of the club.

Now Tottenham has turned again to trying to hire Antonio Conte, one of the coaches it sought to recruit in a chaotic offseason process that ended up with Nuno being far from the first choice for the job.

Nuno’s dismissal, after only four months in the job, followed a 3-0 home loss to Manchester United on Saturday when his decisions were jeered and fans chanted “You don’t know what you’re doing” at the Portuguese coach.

In an increasingly volatile atmosphere, supporters also shouted “We want Levy out” at chairman Daniel Levy, who has now decided change is required again after firing Jose Mourinho in April.

The club said Nuno and his coaching staff had been “relieved of their duties” and that an update on the coaching “will follow in due course,” with no successor announced.

COLLEGES

FOOTBALL: Alabama State has fired Coach Donald Hill-Eley two days after the Hornets’ latest loss to rival Alabama A&M.

Alabama State Athletic Director Dr. Jason Cable announced the “change in leadership.” Defensive coordinator Travis Pearson will serve as interim coach for the rest of the season, starting with Saturday’s game at Prairie View A&M.

Hill-Eley went 20-21 in four-plus seasons after taking over following an 0-5 start in 2017. The Hornets went 5-1 the rest of the way, earning him the promotion.
Alabama State lost for the fourth consecutive season to Alabama A&M, falling 42-28 in last weekend’s Magic City Classic.

• Minnesota has likely lost another running back to a season-ending injury with Bryce Williams the latest to be sidelined for the ground-oriented Gophers.

Coach P.J. Fleck announced the news two months after Mohamed Ibrahim hurt his lower left leg and one month after Trey Potts suffered an undisclosed injury serious enough to keep him hospitalized for six days.

Williams, a fourth-year player with 186 yards and three touchdowns on 37 rushes this season, appeared to hurt his lower left leg during a 19-yard reception in the first quarter at Northwestern.

TENNIS

PARIS MASTERS: Andy Murray blew seven match points and lost his opener to lucky loser Dominik Koepfer of Germany 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (9).

Murray was let down by his serve – nine double faults and landing only 49% of his first serves – and 36 unforced errors.

The two-time Olympic champion got off to a poor start and dropped the opening set with a shanked forehand return. Koepfer led 6-4, 5-3 but Murray raised his game and won four straight games to level the set score.

In the decider, Koepfer saved two match points at 5-4 with a smash and a backhand winner before saving five more in the tiebreaker. They went for three hours.

Ranked 144th in the world, Murray received a wild card in his stuttery quest to come back from hip surgery and improve his ranking and get easier draws next season. His singles win-loss record is 13-13 this year. Murray was initially scheduled to play American qualifier Jenson Brooksby. But Brooksby withdrew because of abdominal pain and was replaced by Koepfer.

Murray’s fellow Briton Cameron Norrie stayed in contention for one of the two remaining ATP Finals spots by cruising past Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-2, 6-1.

Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini have already qualified for the ATP Finals. Norrie, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz and Felix Auger-Aliassime are contending to make the eight-player field.

Also reaching the second round were Sebastian Korda of the United States, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, and Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.


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