BASEBALL

Luke Tendler’s pinch two-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning lifted the Portland Sea Dogs to a 7-5 victory over the Hartford Yard Goats in the opener of a five-game series at Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday.

After Jantzen Witte drew a one-out walk, Tendler hit a drive to center off Logan Cozart (6-3) to snap a 5-5 tie.

Jordan Weems (2-2) got the final two outs of the eighth and then worked out of a two-out, two-on jam to seal it for Portland (32-51).

Danny Mars gave the Sea Dogs a 5-4 lead with an RBI single in the sixth. Sam Hilliard pulled Hartford (41-42) even with a homer in the eighth.

NECBL: Christ Capeda pitched seven shutout innings, Matt Koperniak had two hits and two RBI, and the North Adams SteepleCats cruised to a 4-1 win over the Sanford Mainers at North Adams, Massachusetts.

Sanford’s run came on a sacrifice fly by John Rizer in the eighth.

EPBL: Angel Garced drove in three runs to lead the Puerto Rico Islanders (9-7) to a 7-2 win over the Old Orchard Beach Surge (9-9) at Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Collin Carroll and Dalvin Ramos each drove in a run for Old Orchard.

CYCLING

TOUR DE FRANCE: Chris Froome has asked fans to let him race in peace, even if they doubt the recent ruling that cleared him of doping allegations.

The British cyclist has been targeted by spectators in the past. During the 2015 Tour, he said a man threw a cup of urine at him while yelling “doper”.

With the latest edition beginning on Saturday, five days after the International Cycling Union finally ruled Froome had won last year’s Spanish Vuelta cleanly, the four-time Tour winner suggested fans support the sport in a positive manner by wearing a jersey of a team they do support.

BASKETBALL

NBA: Amir Johnson is going back to the Philadelphia 76ers on a one-year deal according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.

The 6-foot-9 Johnson was primarily a reserve for the 76ers last season, when he averaged 4.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Philadelphia is the fourth club for the 31-year-old, who will be entering his 14th season.

The NBA estimates an increase of 40,000 miles of travel in the postseason if it scrapped its current conference format and took the top 16 teams.

Calls to change the system were renewed this week when LeBron James left Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers, which could create another strong Western Conference team, where both Houston and Golden State finished above .700.

Houston and Golden State met in a thrilling West final before the Warriors swept the Cavaliers in the NBA finals.

Commissioner Adam Silver has said ideally there would be a format allowing the two best teams to meet for the title, but he has expressed concern about the additional travel that would be created if teams were seeded 1 to 16 instead of taking the top eight teams in each conference.