Luke Williams and Darick Hall lifted two-run homers Sunday as the Reading Fightin Phils (22-16) extended the Portland Sea Dogs’ (12-27) losing steak to six games with a 5-4 Eastern League victory at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Hall gave Reading a 1-0 first-inning lead with a grounder that drove in Mickey Moniak, then extended the lead to 3-0 with his home run in the sixth. The Sea Dogs pulled within 3-1 on Charlie Madden’s solo shot in the top of the seventh, but Williams countered with his homer in the bottom of the inning.

Portland rallied for three runs in the ninth when Jerry Downs singled home Tate Matheny before coming home on Madden’s second home run of the game. Brett Netzer followed with a double but was stranded when C.J. Chatham struck out. Portland has lost 9 of 10 and still hasn’t won on the road this month.


ITALIAN OPEN: After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Rafael Nadal dominated his longtime rival, Novak Djokovic, in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win at Rome for a record-extending ninth title in the event.

In the women’s final, Karolina Pliskova captured the biggest clay-court trophy of her career by beating Johanna Konta, 6-3, 6-4.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Dylan Larkin scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and the United States went on to beat Germany 3-1 at Kosice, Slovakia.

The U.S., which has won five straight after an opening loss, closes the preliminary round Tuesday against Canada and the quarterfinals begin Thursday.


USL2: The Portland Phoenix lost for the first time this season after three victories, allowing two first-half goals and falling 2-0 to Black Rock FC at Yarmouth.

Black Rock, from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is 2-0.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Vincent Kompany, one of the pillars behind Manchester City’s rise, said he’s leaving the club after 11 seasons to become player-manager at his former team, Anderlecht in Belgium.


NFL: Rutgers alumni Devin McCourty and his twin brother Jason, who played key roles as the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, urged graduates of the university in a commencement address to overcome their fears and those of their loved ones to pursue their dreams.

The brothers, the first twins to play on the same team in a Super Bowl, said they dreamed of playing in the National Football League but those around them stressed earning degrees and having a backup plan. While that was practical, Devin said, “If we accept those fears from others, how can we unlock our true purpose on this earth?” The power of positive thinking, he said, “can change your life.”


OXFORD PLAINS: Glen Luce led all the way to win the Super Late Model 50-lap main event Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway. Jeff Taylor started 12th and finished second with T.J. Brackett in third.

Kurt Hewins led all 30 laps to win the Street Stock division, Matthew Kimball took the 50-lap Mini Stock Tour race; Chad Wills captured the 20-lap Bandits division, Kyle Kilgore went from last to first in the Figure 8 race, and Owen Stuart won the 15-lap Rookie feature.

INDYCAR: Simon Pagenaud earned his first career Indianapolis 500 pole, edging three-time pole winner Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot. He’s the first Frenchman to win the Indy 500 pole in 100 years.

– Staff and news services

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