BASEBALL

Sea Dogs out of contention after seventh straight loss

The Portland Sea Dogs were eliminated from the Eastern League playoff race Wednesday while suffering their seventh straight loss, 5-1 to the Trenton Thunder at Trenton, New Jersey.

Rashad Crawford led the Thunder (85-43), scoring two runs and driving in three. He delivered an RBI single during a two-run third inning. In the sixth, he stole third and continued home on an error. And in the eighth he blasted a two-run homer.

Henry Owens (3-5) allowed two runs and two hits in five innings for the Sea Dogs. He walked five and struck out six.

Chad De La Guerra’s homer in the sixth provided the scoring for Portland (59-68), which last made the playoffs in 2014.

After their winless trip, the Sea Dogs return to Hadlock Field on Thursday to start a five-game series against Binghamton.

EMPIRE LEAGUE: The opening game of the league’s best-of-five championship series between the Old Orchard Beach Surge and the Plattsburgh Redbirds in Plattsburgh, New York, was suspended because of darkness Wednesday night.

The game, already postponed from Tuesday because of rain, will resume at 3 p.m. Thursday with the score 9-9 entering the 10th inning.

BASKETBALL

NBA: The expansion of the Los Angeles Clippers’ front office isn’t done yet.

After removing Doc Rivers’ title as president of basketball operations earlier this month, the team reached an agreement with Oklahoma City’s Michael Winger to become its general manager, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Winger will replace Dave Wohl, who is staying with the team as a special adviser, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has yet to be announced.

Winger had been an assistant GM and team counsel for the Thunder for the last seven years. Previously the 37-year-old executive worked for the Cavaliers.

GOLF

MASTERS: Billy Payne is retiring as chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters after 11 years of substantial change that included the club’s inviting female members and supporting the game’s growth with two international amateur tournaments.

Payne officially retires Oct. 16. He will be succeeded by Fred Ridley, a former USGA president and U.S. Amateur champion who heads the Masters competition committee. Ridley will be the first chairman who played in the Masters.

TENNIS

GERMAN FEDERATION: Boris Becker was hired for the new position of head of men’s tennis by the German tennis federation.

The six-time Grand Slam champion will advise all top male players from the country and help its Davis Cup team.

Also, Barbara Rittner will move from Fed Cup captain to head of women’s tennis.

SOCCER

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Liverpool sealed its return to the group stage after a two-season absence by beating Hoffenheim 4-2 at Liverpool, England, producing a devastating attacking display without its star playmaker, Philippe Coutinho.

Emre Can scored goals on either side of Mo Salah’s tap-in as the five-time European champions surged ahead 3-0 after just 21 minutes.

Liverpool advanced 6-3 on aggregate to become England’s fifth representative in Europe’s elite club competition.

Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and the Europa League winner, Manchester United, will be the other English teams in the group stage.

Qarabag became Azerbaijan’s first Champions League group representative after advancing on away goals, following a 2-1 loss at FC Copenhagen. It was 2-2 on aggregate.

Also qualifying were CSKA Moscow, Sporting and Apoel Nicosia.

AUTO RACING

INDYCAR: Sebastien Bourdais will return to competition this weekend after a three-month recovery from an accident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Frenchman fractured his pelvis and right hip during a crash while qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

Bourdais’ rapid recovery gives him his seat back for the final three races of the season, starting Saturday night at Madison, Illinois.

– Staff and news service report