BASEBALL

McAvoy, Sturgeon lead Sea Dogs to victory

Kevin McAvoy pitched seven strong innings and Cole Sturgeon hit a three-run homer Thursday night, leading the Portland Sea Dogs to a 6-1 victory against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Manchester, New Hampshire.

McAvoy earned his fourth win of the season, allowing a run on a walk and six hits, striking out three.

Portland (42-44) took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-run homer by Danny Mars. The Sea Dogs scored four runs in the sixth, three on Sturgeon’s blast, to extend the lead to 6-0. Chad De La Guerra and Jake Romanski each added two hits for Portland against the Fisher Cats (34-55).

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE: Dan Butler had three hits and scored three runs, and Brian Johnson allowed three hits over seven innings as the visiting Pawtucket Red Sox defeated the Syracuse Chiefs, 5-0.

AMERICAN LEGION: Jake Lacroix picked up the win and hit two doubles as Noble (8-5) beat Saco & Biddeford Savings (5-9) 6-1 at Biddeford.

EMPIRE LEAGUE: Michael Krueger had three hits and three RBI, and the Old Orchard Beach Surge (9-9) held off a late rally to defeat the Puerto Rico Islanders (4-14) 8-7 at Old Orchard Beach.

CYCLING

TOUR DE FRANCE: Chris Froome cracked during a grueling climb to the finish and lost the overall lead to Fabio Aru after a demanding stage won by Romain Bardet.

Froome’s teammates perfectly controlled the race until the final kilometer leading to the ski station of Peyragudes, France, but Froome, a three-time champion, fell behind in a final section that featured slopes with a 20 percent gradient.

FOOTBALL

NFL: The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, quietly approved membership for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bundchen.

Brady and Bundchen own a multimillion-dollar mansion next door. But their application languished for two years while other members debated whether they might be a little too high-profile for the club founded in 1882.

SOCCER

DUTCH LEAGUE: Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri was diagnosed with severe and permanent brain damage, five days after he collapsed due to an irregular heartbeat during a friendly game in Austria.

Ajax, of Amsterdam, said on Twitter that it “received very bad news” regarding Nouri’s condition, after doctors at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, woke the player from an induced coma.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Wayne Rooney scored in his first game back with Everton, getting the opening goal for his boyhood club in a 2-1 win over Gor Mahia of Kenya in a preseason friendly at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

HOCKEY

NHL: Veteran defenseman Andrew Ference, who won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011, announced his retirement after 16 seasons.

Ference, 38, spent the past four seasons with Edmonton, where he served as the Oilers’ captain from 2013-15.

TENNIS

NASTASE DIVORCE: Suspended by the International Tennis Federation for his foul-mouthed outbursts, former tennis star Ilie Nastase is facing a divorce.

Romanian media reported that Brigitte Nastase, 40, his fourth wife, was filing for divorce because of financial help that was being given to his previous wife by Nastase, 70.