BASEBALL

Triston Casas hit three home runs and drove in seven runs as the Portland Sea Dogs swept a doubleheader against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 8-3 and 9-2, on Friday in Manchester, New Hampshire.

In the first game, Casas homered twice and drove in five runs, finishing 3 for 4. In the second game, Casas went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run in the fifth.

Also in the second game, Devon Grandberg had three hits and scored four times, while Ronaldo Hernandez had two hits and three RBI.

In game one, Sea Dogs starter Josh Winckowski (7-3) didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, when the Fisher Cats scored all their runs on a bases-loaded double by Vinny Capra.

COLLEGES

FOOTBALL: Braxton Burmeister ran for a touchdown and threw for another and Virginia Tech made Sam Howell look pedestrian in a 17-10 victory over No. 10 North Carolina in Blacksburg, Virginia in the opener for both teams.

Burmeister scored on a 4-yard run and found James Mitchell for an 11-yard scoring strike as the Hokies built a 14-0 lead they took into halftime.

Howell, who’d thrown eight touchdown passes in two prior games against Virginia Tech, was sacked six times and intercepted three times, the last when he threw wildly while in the grasp of Jordan Williams and found Chamarri Conner at the Hokies 40.

The play was reviewed, and when the officials announced that it was an interception, the sellout crowd at Lane Stadium erupted with relief. Many fans joined the team in celebration on the field after the game, which marked the first time since the 2019 season that fan attendance was not limited.

SOCCER

MLS: Matt Polster scored in the first half and the 10-man New England Revolution held off the Philadelphia Union 1-0 in Chester, Pennsylvania.

MLS-leading New England (16-4-4) avoided back-to-back losses for the first time this season after its nine-match unbeaten run – with eight wins – was snapped Saturday. Philadelphia (8-7-8) has won only two of its last nine matches — with four losses.

Polster scored in the 33rd by redirecting Arnór Ingvi Traustason’s free kick at the back post. New England goalkeeper Brad Knighton had his fourth shutout of the season.

The Revolution were reduced to 10 men in the 59th minute when Traustason received his second yellow card near midfield for pulling down Nathan Harriel.

FIFA: After England players faced racial abuse in Hungary, FIFA said Friday it will take “adequate actions” once it has completed its investigation.

The statement from FIFA stopped short of directly condemning Hungary fans for the abuse, which included monkey chanting, in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier at Puskas Arena in Budapest that England won 4-0.

“Following analysis of the match reports, FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings concerning the incidents,” the world governing body said, without specifically referencing discriminatory incidents.

Hungary had recently been ordered to play two matches without fans but the sanction from UEFA didn’t take effect for the visit of England because the game was under FIFA’s jurisdiction. FIFA didn’t explain why it didn’t seek to apply the punishment immediately.

“FIFA would like to state that our position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of racism and violence as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse,” FIFA said in a statement. “We have a very clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviors in football.”

WORLD CUP: UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has “grave concerns” about FIFA’s plans to stage World Cups every two years and is astonished by the lack of consultation by Gianni Infantino’s governing body, according to correspondence obtained by The Associated Press. Responding to a letter from Football Supporters Europe executive director Ronan Evain, Ceferin backed the group’s “extremely valid and important” concerns about the potential damage caused to domestic and regional competitions from doubling the frequency of World Cups.

The push by Infantino to transform the international calendar so every year would feature a men’s or women’s World Cup is opening up a new rift with UEFA at a time when the financial impact of the pandemic is being felt across global football.

“UEFA and its national associations also have serious reservations and grave concerns surrounding reports of FIFA’s plans,” Ceferin wrote to Evain in the letter seen by the AP.

The plans first surfaced in May when Saudi Arabia’s national federation nominally proposed at the congress in May for FIFA to explore biennial men’s and women’s World Cups – despite not having a women’s team to compete in international events.

BOXING

COVID-19: Oscar De La Hoya’s return to the ring will have to wait after the fighter said he tested positive for COVID-19.

The 48-year-old De La Hoya was scheduled to fight on Sept. 11 against former MMA fighter Vitor Belfort in a pay-per-view event at Staples Center in Los Angeles. It would have been his first fight since being stopped by Manny Pacquiao in 2008.

The former boxing champion posted a video online Friday of himself in a hospital bed, saying he caught the virus despite being fully vaccinated.

CYCLING

SPANISH VUELTA: Magnus Cort Nielsen secured his third stage victory at the Spanish Vuelta, while Primoz Roglic’s comfortable race lead remained intact with two days remaining.

Cort Nielsen, a Danish rider for EF Education, won a bunch sprint to claim the 19th stage in 4 hours, 24 minutes, 54 seconds. He also won the sixth and 12th stages.

Eighteen riders broke away early on the 191-kilometer (118-mile) route that started in the coastal town of Tapia on the Atlantic and finished after three climbs in Monforte de Lemos. The peloton appeared to have the attackers in striking distance thanks to the work by Bike Exchange, which had the gap down to under 30 seconds. But a group of seven riders including Cort Nielsen collaborated to perfection over the last kilometers to keep their chasers at bay.

Roglic is on course to win his third consecutive Vuelta. He kept his commanding advantage of 2:30 over Enric Mas, whose Movistar teammate Miguel Ángel López remained third, 2:53 behind.

FIGURE SKATING

CHEN SETS SCHEDULE: Three-time world champion Nathan Chen will begin his preparation for the Winter Olympics at Skate America in late October in Las Vegas. Chen, who has won the last five U.S. titles and is undefeated internationally since not medaling at the 2018 Olympics, is considered a strong favorite for the Beijing Games.

Skate America is the first of six Grand Prix events leading to the Grand Prix Final in December, which Chen has won three times. Vincent Zhou, the second-ranked American man, will join Chen in the Las Vegas field. Also competing at Skate America will be defending national champion Bradie Tennell in the women’s event. Other Americans competing will be Amber Glenn and Audrey Shin.

The ice dance event will feature the top two U.S. couples: Madison Chock and Evan Bates; Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Top pairs Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson, Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, and Chelsea Liu and Danny O’Shea also will compete.

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