Nick Northcut broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the fifth inning and finished with three RBI as the Portland Sea Dogs earned their fourth consecutive win over Richmond, beating the Flying Squirrels 5-2 Friday night at Hadlock Field.

Bryan Mata (3-2) allowed only five hits in six scoreless innings, with six strikeouts and no walks. Tyler Danish, on a rehab assignment from the Red Sox, allowed a run in the seventh inning, and Kike Hernandez played center field and was 0 for 3 as he continues his rehab from a hip injury.


NASCAR: Bubba Wallace and 23XI Racing announced a multiyear contract extension that keeps Wallace in the No. 23 Toyota that was the foundation of Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s Cup Series team. The organization was launched around the only Black driver competing at NASCAR’s top level and the many partners Wallace signed in 2020 when he became a central figure in the national reckoning on racial and social justice issues.

Wallace needs a win in one of the next three races to have a chance to qualify for the 16-driver field for the Cup Series playoffs for the first time. He’s coming off his first pole of the season last week at Michigan International Speedway and then a second-place finish, falling just short of his second career win.



DJOKOVIC STATUS: Novak Djokovic pulled out of next week’s hard-court tournament in Cincinnati because he has not gotten any COVID-19 vaccine shots and is not allowed to travel to the United States.

That’s also why Djokovic is not expected to be able to enter the U.S. Open, the year’s last Grand Slam tournament, which begins in New York on Aug. 29.

NATIONAL BANK OPEN: Two-time champion Simona Halep beat Coco Gauff 6-4, 7-6 (2) to reach the semifinals in Toronto.

Halep, who won the event in Montreal in 2016 and 2018, next face Jessica Pegula, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Yulia Putintseva.

• Fourth-seeded Casper Ruud routed hometown favorite Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals in Montreal.



SPAIN: Working against the clock, Barcelona sold off even more of its club assets so it could meet the Spanish league’s financial rules and clear Robert Lewandowski and other summer signings to play in its season opener.

The troubled Spanish club was able to ensure that Lewandowski, its star signing, will be available against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday after it sold 24.5% of its Barca Studios production hub to Orpheus Media in a deal worth 100 million euros ($103 million).

That improved its financial balance enough to satisfy the Spanish league, which added Lewandowski and fellow newcomers Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen to the list of players eligible to play following a transfer to a Spanish club this summer.

But, by late Friday, the league had yet to declare eligible all the players that Coach Xavi Hernandez wanted at his disposal. France defender Jules Kounde, who arrived from Sevilla last month, and Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto, who are considered new players by the league because they signed new contracts after their old deals expired, still haven’t been cleared to play.

BALLON D’OR: Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi was omitted from the 30-man list of nominees for the prestigious award for the first time since 2005.


The Argentina great edged out Poland striker Robert Lewandowski last year but wasn’t nominated this time after an underwhelming first season at Paris Saint-Germain.

ENGLAND: West Bromwich Albion striker Daryl Dike will be sidelined for at least two months after a scan confirmed a torn thigh muscle.

The injury is a blow to the 22-year-old American’s hopes of earning a roster spot with the United States at the World Cup, which starts Nov. 20.


NHL: The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to one-year contracts with defenseman Caleb Jones and forward Philipp Kurashev.

Jones and Kurashev were restricted free agents. Jones’ deal carries a $1,350,000 salary-cap hit, and Kurashev’s contract is worth $750,000.


Jones, 25, set career highs with five goals and 10 assists in 51 games in his first season with Chicago. Kurashev, 22, had six goals and 15 assists in 67 games last season.


MEN’S BASKETBALL: The NIT is moving out of Madison Square Garden.

The NCAA announced that the NIT semifinals and finals will be played in Las Vegas in 2023 and at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis the following year.

The NIT has been played at Madison Square Garden in New York every year but one since 1938.

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