Portland pitcher CJ Liu, shown pitching on April 8 at Hadlock Field in Portland, on Friday threw a seven-inning no-hitter for the Sea Dogs in an 8-0 win over the RubberDucks in Akron, Ohio. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer


CJ Liu pitched the sixth no-hitter in Portland Sea Dogs history, shutting down the Akron RubberDucks in the opener of an Eastern League doubleheader Friday as the Sea Dogs won 8-0 in Akron, Ohio.

Liu, a 6-foot, 24-year-old right-hander from Taiwan, struck out six and walked two. He threw 91 pitches in the seven-inning game as he joined Henry Owens and Brayan Bello as the only Sea Dogs pitchers to throw complete-game no-hitters. Bello’s no-hitter was exactly one year earlier, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field.

Liu is now 3-1 this season and lowered his ERA to 3.65. He made one start for the Sea Dogs last year after a late-season promotion.

Connor Kokx was the only Akron batter to reach base, drawing walks in the third and sixth.

Niko Kavadas hit a three-run homer – his first of the season – as Portland grabbed a quick 4-0 lead. Ceddanne Rafaela also drove in three runs.


In Game 2, two runs scored on an error in the fourth inning and Akron held on for the 2-1 win. Tyler McDonough had an RBI single for the Sea Dogs. Reliever Rio Gomez took the loss for Portland.


PGA: Tyrrell Hatton shot a 6-under 65 to move into a share of the second-round lead at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, while Rory McIlroy’s bid for a record fourth title hit a major snag.

Hatton played the final four holes at Quail Hollow in 4 under to reach 8-under 134, matching Nate Lashley and Wyndham Clark through 36 holes.

McIlroy, who won at Quail Hollow in 2010, 2015 and 2021, shot 73 and escaped with an impressive par on the par-4 18th to make the cut on the number at 1 under.

LPGA: The semifinal field is nearly set at the International Crown LPGA team event with one day of pool play to go as Sweden, Australia and Thailand all clinched spots and the United States swept both matches Friday in San Francisco to move to the verge of advancing.


Sweden remained perfect in Pool A by winning both matches against China, while Thailand swept defending champion South Korea and Australia beat Japan to advance out of Pool B. The U.S. has three points after two days in Pool A and will clinch the final spot in Sunday’s knockout round by getting at least half a point Saturday against Sweden or if China doesn’t sweep England.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Matthieu Pavon held onto the lead following the second round of the Italian Open, in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy, as the Frenchman seeks his first European tour win.

Pavon shot a 1-under 70 on the course that will hold this year’s Ryder Cup. He was at 9 under overall, with a two-stroke advantage over Julien Guerrier and Adrian Otaegui.

CHAMPIONS: David Toms and Stephen Ames shot 7-under 65 for a one-shot lead after the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on Friday in Duluth, Georgia.

Y.E Yang, Lee Janzen, Rod Pampling and Ken Tanigawa are all one shot back.



KENTUCKY OAKS: Pretty Mischievous took charge in the stretch and survived a late push by Gambling Girl to win the $1.25 million race by a neck at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Brendan Walsh-trained filly started from the No. 14 post at 10-1 odds and stayed within sight of pacesetters Flying Connection and Defining Purpose through the far turn before making her move through the turn for home. Pretty Mischievous held on for her fifth career win in seven starts and gave Godolphin Racing its first win in the premier race for 3-year-old fillies.

Pretty Mischievous covered 1 1/8 mile in 1:49.77 under jockey Tyler Caffalione and paid $22.74, $10.10 and $7.40.

Gambling Girl returned $12.84 and $8.36, while The Alys Look paid $13.80 while finishing 2 1/2 lengths back in third.


NASCAR: Ryan Newman will return to the Cup Series for the first time in nearly two years, joining Rick Ware Racing for occasional starts, beginning with the May 14 race at Darlington.


Newman, 45, won 18 times and made 725 starts in NASCAR’s top series, but his most recent was the Phoenix race to end his 2021 season with Roush Fenway Racing. He made a couple of starts last year in the Whelen Modified Tour.


MADRID OPEN: Carlos Alcaraz celebrated his 20th birthday with a 6-4, 6-3 semifinal win over 17th-seeded Borna Coric.

The second-ranked Alcaraz will face 65th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff in Sunday’s final after the German fought back from a set down to beat Aslan Karatsev.

ITALIAN OPEN: Rafael Nadal won’t be able to play the Italian Open as he remains hampered by a nagging hip injury.

Nadal has won the Italian Open a record 10 times.


The 22-time Grand Slam winner has been sidelined since January by a left hip flexor injury he picked up at the Australian Open. The issue had already kept him from playing at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.


ENGLAND: Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will miss the rest of the Premier League season because of a thigh injury, interim manager Ryan Mason confirmed.

The north London club is on a four-game winless slide and is seventh place with four matches with remaining as it fights for a spot in next season’s Europa League.

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