sterling-gives-england-opening-win-over-croatia

Sterling gives England opening win over Croatia

Raheem Sterling finally found his tournament touch when his 61st-minute goal gave England a deserved 1-0 win over Croatia at Wembley on Sunday as they began a European Championship with a victory for the first time in nine attempts.

Sterling, something of a surprise starter after a flat end to the domestic season but a favourite of manager Gareth Southgate, slid home after great work by Kalvin Phillips to end an individual drought that had run through England’s three previous major tournaments.

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“It feels good… I’ve always said that if I play at Wembley in a major tournament I had to score. I grew up two minutes down the road, so I knew I had to score here, and it was a great feeling to do it,” said the Manchester City forward.

“There are a lot of different reasons I’ve not been scoring with my club, but that’s irrelevant now. It’s great to get off to a win, that was the most important thing. It’s been a long season for me, I couldn’t wait to get here, to get started, I knew it was going to be a positive one.”

On a boiling hot day England started strongly, lost their way for a while but regained control as Croatia barely managed a shot, giving the home side the early advantage in Group D that also includes Scotland and the Czech Republic.

Both those sides will have renewed hope of progress after seeing the disjoined and toothless display of Croatia, for whom, conversely, this was a first opening Euro defeat in their six tournaments.

The game lacked the drama and jeopardy of the teams’ 2018 World Cup semi-final, won by Croatia, and losing on Sunday was no disaster for them given the way the draw pans out, but it was a morale-boosting victory for England as they set off once again in search of their first title since 1966.

Roared on by a noisy 22,500 crowd –- a quarter of Wembley’s capacity — England started full of bright intentions and put huge pressure on the visitors, pinning them deep in their own half. Phil Foden, his bleached hair channelling Paul Gascoigne from Euro 96, almost gave them a dream start when he cut in from the right and curled a low shot beyond Dominik Livakovic but agonisingly saw it come back off the post after the slightest of deflections from the toe of Josko Gvardiol. Phillips, impressive all afternoon, had a 25-yard shot blocked but, instead of riding the early momentum, England lost their way. Croatia’s classy midfield trio of Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic began to stroke the ball around and, with the sun beating down, the pace and energy seeped out of the game.

England eventually shook themselves out of the torpor and struck when Phillips drove through the retreating defence, rode two tackles and played the ball expertly into the path of the darting Sterling who, under pressure, just got enough on the ball to steer it home.

Sterling had looked lively all day and celebrated his first major tournament goal with gusto, though he should have added a second 13 minutes later but blazed wildly over the bar.

Another bright spot for England was the introduction of substitute Jude Bellingham who, at 17 years and 349 days, became the youngest player to appear in the European Championship finals.

Croatia also threw on their attacking subs as they tried to show a bit more ambition but though England’s defence looked a little shaky at times there were few chances for an equalizer.

Scotland and the Czech Republic get their Group D campaign underway on Monday before England welcome the Scots to Wembley on Friday, with Croatia playing the Czechs in Glasgow on the same day. 

‘eriksen-suffered-cardiac-arrest-but-test-results-are-normal’

‘Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest but test results are normal’

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest when he collapsed during his side’s Euro 2020 opening match against Finland, his team’s doctor confirmed on Sunday, but the reason remained unclear.

“He was gone; we did cardiac resuscitation, it was a cardiac arrest. We got him back after one defib (defibrillation),” Morten Boesen told a news conference, adding that Eriksen remained in hospital for further tests after his collapse on Saturday.

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“The exams that have been done so far look fine,” Boesen added. “We don’t have an explanation to why it happened.”

Eriksen, 29, collapsed suddenly in the 42nd minute of the match while running near the left touchline after a Denmark throw-in. As a hush fell over the 16,000-strong crowd, his team mates gathered around him while he was treated on the pitch and then carried off on a stretcher.

The Danish players had been in contact with Eriksen via a video conference, said Peter Moller, director of Danish football association DBU.

Coach Kasper Hjulmand said Eriksen had told him he did not remember much from Saturday’s collapse and that he was eager to get back on to the pitch.

Hjulmand quoted the midfielder as saying: “I think you are feeling worse than I am. I feel as if I’m about to go training now, boys.”

“Christian is in good spirits and it’s a huge relief for the players after all this uncertainty,” Hjulmand said. “There is no doubt that we have been on the ropes.”

Messages of support for Eriksen, who plays for Inter Milan, have poured in.

The Group B game was halted and eventually restarted an hour and 45 minutes later. Finland went on to win 1-0.

abahani-back-to-winning-ways,-mohammedan-win-sans-shakib

Abahani back to winning ways, Mohammedan win sans Shakib

Abahani Limited bounced back to winning ways following their defeat to Mohammedan to defeat Prime Bank by 30 runs as per DL method in the Bangabandhu Premier Division T20 Cricket League match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today. The win saw them go level on 12 points with table-topper Prime Bank after eight matches.

Abahani’s top-order had not fired this tournament but opener Munim Shahriar’s bat blazed during a 50-ball 92, laced with nine fours and five sixes as Abahani posted 183 for three. Mohammad Naim (29), Najmul Hossain Shanto (30 off 21), Mushfiqur Rahim (14) and Afif Hossain (13 not out) were the other notable scorers for Abahani. Shoriful Islam bagged two wickets for 38 runs.

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In reply, Prime Bank opener Tamim Iqbal’s 41-ball 55 was not enough to inspire his side in a rain-marred chase. With the run-rate spiking all the time, Tamim departed in the 11th over. After rain interrupted proceedings, the match was halted after 13.4 overs were played. A revised target of 174 were given in 19 overs but except Mohammad Mithun’s 27-ball 34, no one else was able to provide the boost needed to chase down the big total as Prime Bank managed 143 for six in 19 overs. Pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib and leggie Aminul Islam bagged two wickets each.

Mahmudullah Riyad’s unbeaten 48-ball 58 saw Gazi Group chase down Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity’s 138 for 8 with five wickets in hand at BKSP. Mominul Haque bagged two wickets for 27 runs in three overs for Gazi while Khelaghar’s Mehedi Hasan Miraz was the pick of their bowlers with two wickets for 21 runs in 2.3 overs.

In another afternoon match at BKSP, Mizanur Rahman hit an unbeaten 56-ball 79, laced with 10 fours and two sixes saw Brothers Union seize narrow one-run victory after DL method came into as no further play was possible due to wet pitch.

Brothers reached 132 for four in 18 overs before rain stopped play after Shinepukur Cricket Club had posted 150 for three. Tanvir Islam bagged three for 13 in four overs for Shinepukur.

Mohammedan Sporting won the morning match at Savar without talisman Shakib Al Hasan, who was handed a three-match suspension for showing contempt at refereeing decisions and kicking and uprooting stumps during his side’s previous match against Abahani. Irfan Shukkur’s unbeaten 42-ball 68, accompanied by three fours and five sixes, helped Mohammedan post 159 for 5 against OLD DOHS. OLD DOHS were 100 for three when rain interrupted proceeding after 13.4 overs and a revised target of 125 in 16 overs were given to them. OLD DOHS managed 15 more runs in the 14 deliveries, losing one more wicket as Mohammedan win by 9 runs courtesy of DL.

In another morning match at BKSP, Prime Doleshwar chased down Partex Sporting Club’s 134 for 7 with five wickets in hand and four balls remaining as Fazle Mahmud struck 71 off 57.

Nurul Hasan Sohan once again guided Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi with a breezy 30-ball 44 as Sheikh Jamal reached 127 for four in 18 overs before they were handed a seven-run win by DL after Legends of Rupganj posted 137 for six at BKSP.

south-africa’s-garrick-higgo-wins-palmetto-championship-for-1st-pga-tour-victory

South Africa’s Garrick Higgo wins Palmetto Championship for 1st PGA Tour victory

Garrick Higgo won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree for his first PGA Tour victory Sunday when leader Chesson Hadley blew a two-shot lead with bogeys on his final three holes.

South African golfer Garrick Higgo poses with the trophy after winning on the 18th green during the final round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree on Sunday. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Garrick Higgo won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree for his first PGA Tour victory Sunday when leader Chesson Hadley blew a two-shot lead with bogeys on his final three holes.

The 22-year-old South African shot a 3-under 68 and finished at 11 under in his second career tour event. Get ready to see more of him. The victory, along with $1,314,000, gives him PGA Tour status through the 2023 season.

“It’s amazing,” Higgo said. “I just stayed patient all week.”

It was a heartbreaking finish for Hadley, seemingly in control at 13 under with three holes to play. But he drove into a waste area on the 16th and could not get up and down after missing the 17th and 18th greens to give away victory.

“I can only imagine what it looked like on TV because it looked freaking awful from my view,” Hadley said. “I mean, I could barely keep it on the planet.”

WATCH |  Higgo claims 1st PGA Tour victory at Palmetto Championship:

The 22-year-old South African finished strong as the leaders crumbled around him to win the Palmetto Championship on Sunday. 1:18

Hadley finished with a 75 after opening 65-66-68. He fell into a tie for second at 10 under with England’s Ty—After an even par front-nine, Higgo had an eagle on the par-5 12th and birdie on the 14th to get to 11 under — two shots in back of Hadley.

Higgo also saved par from 10 feet away on the 71st hole after missing the fairway with his first two shots.

When Higgo tapped in for par on the 18th, he headed off to wait for a potential playoff. Turns out, he didn’t need the extra reps as Hadley missed a 10-footer for par to fall to give the rising young player his first signature win.

Higgo took off his sunglasses and grinned when told of his victory, then hugged his caddie to celebrate.

To-ranked Dustin Johnson made a run at the top late in the round, coming within a shot Hadley after birdies on the 10th, 12th and 13th holes. His chances ended with a triple bogey on the 16th hole and he finished with a 70 to tie for 10th.

Hudson Swafford came close to playing next week at the U.S. Open. A win at Congaree Golf Club would’ve meant a cross-country flight to Torrey Pines. He, too, came close and was within two shots of the lead before finishing tied for fourth.

The tournament at Congaree filled in for the RBC Canadian Open, which was canceled for a second straight year due to COVID-19.

The run capped an unprecedented stretch of golf in the Palmetto State.

It began in April with Stewart Cink winning his third RBC Heritage title at Harbour Town Golf Links and continued last month with 50-year-old Phil Mickelson becoming the oldest major winner at the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island.

WATCH | Challenging punishments for inappropriate sports fans:

Hosts of Bring It In Morgan Campbell, Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin discuss the punishments set in place for inappropriate fan behaviour at North American sporting events. 11:37

canada-women’s-soccer-coach-bev-priestman-hopes-for-improved-play-against-brazil

Canada women’s soccer coach Bev Priestman hopes for improved play against Brazil

After taking a “little bit of a step backwards” in a scoreless draw against the Czech Republic, Canada coach Bev Priestman wants to see improvements against Brazil on Monday.

Canada’s draw against the Czech Republic on Friday was, “a little bit of a step backwards,” according to coach Bev Priestman. (Rui Vieira/The Associated Press)

After taking a “little bit of a step backwards” in a scoreless draw against the Czech Republic, Canada coach Bev Priestman wants to see improvements against Brazil on Monday in her team’s final outing before the Olympic roster is finalized.

Preparations for the Canadian women’s friendly in Cartagena, Spain, were affected by the harrowing scene Saturday in Copenhagen where Danish star Christian Eriksen collapsed in a Euro 2020 game against Finland. The Danish team doctor said Eriksen, now recovering in hospital, had suffered a cardiac arrest on the field.

Priestman said the incident occurred just as her players were finishing dinner.

“We were due to have a preview meeting on Brazil. I took the decision to delay that meeting until [Sunday] because I just felt it really struck home,” Priestman told a virtual news conference. “If I’m a player and I’m watching that, that could be me.

‘There’s decisions to be made all over the pitch’

Priestman has 28 players in camp, not counting injured forward Janine Beckie. She plans to cut that down to the mandated Olympic roster of 18, plus four alternates, as soon as possible after the Brazil match.

The coach was disappointed in what she called a poor showing against the 27th-ranked Czech Republic, unhappy at her team’s inability to finish chances. She attributed that in part to some new partnerships in the lineup but said she wanted more.

Priestman will likely field a more senior lineup to start Monday, but says she will introduce other players as the game wears on to help with her final team selection.

“I have to answer those questions by the end of this camp,” she added. “There’s a whole other game to play for. I think all the players know that. Training sessions have been intense, in a good way.”

She said her message to the players, however, is they’re not being judged on just one game.

‘We’ve got to punish teams’

The eighth-ranked Canadian women are 8-9-7 all-time against the seventh-ranked Brazilians, a record that includes a 2-1 Canada victory in the bronze medal match at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Canada lost 2-0 to Brazil last time out at the SheBelieves Cup in Florida in February.

“They’re a big threat but as the same time I get excited about what we could do with the ball against Brazil, if we’re brave and do better than what we did against the Czech,” said Priestman. “For me it was a little bit of a step backwards in what I saw against the Czechs — ball speed, bravery to play forward, to run forward. But I would like to take a step forward with the ball, in us punishing Brazil.”

“We’ve got to punish teams,” she added.

Priestman said Beckie, who has gone home, will be ready for the Olympics. “She felt something,” she said of the injury, without elaborating.

Once the Olympic roster is named, Priestman will reconvene the squad for a camp at the end of the month before heading to Japan and potentially one final warmup match. Canada opens the Tokyo Olympics on July 21 against host Japan before facing Chile and Britain.

islanders-edge-lightning-to-take-early-lead-in-stanley-cup-semifinal

Islanders edge Lightning to take early lead in Stanley Cup semifinal

Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock both scored goals to give the visiting New York Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and first blood in their Stanley Cup semifinal series.

New York Islanders’ Ryan Pulock scored in the third period to seal New York’s 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in game one of the third round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Semyon Varlamov and the New York Islanders are on a roll.

The veteran goaltender made 30 saves to outplay Andrei Vasilevskiy, and the Islanders got goals from Mathew Barkov and Ryan Pulock to hold off defending champion Tampa Bay 2-1 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup semifinals.

The Lightning lost a series opener for the first time this postseason. It’s also the first series deficit they’ve faced since dropping Game 1 of last year’s Cup final to the Dallas Stars.

“In our minds Varly is one of the best goalies in the league. When there is a chance against him he’s been there all year for us,” New York’s Jordan Eberle said, adding the Islanders are building confidence by the victory.

Varlamov won his fourth straight playoff start, joining teammate Ilya Sorokin as only the third pair of goaltenders from the same team to have personal winning streaks of at least four games in a single postseason.

Sorokin won four in a row during New York’s first-round victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Varlamov won four games in the second round, including the final three as the Islanders rallied to eliminate the Boston Bruins.

“Goaltending is all about timely saves. We’ve got two that have done that for us,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “They have done it all year.”

Barzal opened the scoring when he took a pass from Josh Bailey and skated in just ahead of pursuing defender Jan Rutta to slip the puck through Vasilevskiy’s pads at 12:32 of the second period.

Pulock sent a shot past the Vezina Trophy finalist from just inside the blue line for a two-goal lead at 5:36 of the third.

WATCH | Pulock’s 3rd period goal lifts Islanders to Game 1 win over Lightning:

The New York Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lighting 2-1 in game 1 thanks to Ryan Pulock’s 3rd game-winning goal of the playoffs. 1:00

The best-of-seven series, which continues in Tampa Tuesday night, is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference final won by the Lightning in six games.

Most of the players are the same, including Varlamov and Vasilevskiy, and the Lightning are very familiar with Trotz, who has faced them at this stage of the playoffs three of the past four seasons.

“It’s frustrating to lose. … But this team is no different than the team we basically played in the bubble,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We just made too many mistakes, unforced errors. Managing the puck is a big thing against this team.”

The Islanders helped themselves by staying out the penalty box for most the afternoon, limiting the Lightning to just two power-play opportunities — the last coming with 1:38 remaining and producing Tampa Bay’s only goal.

With Vasilevskiy on the bench, the Lightning who already had six skaters on the ice when New York’s Brock Nelson drew a penalty for high-sticking, took advantage on 6-on-4 to get on the board with Braden Point’s ninth goal this postseason with 53 seconds to go.

The Islanders are the first team since the 1980 Philadelphia Flyers (Phil Myre, Pete Peeters) to have two goaltenders with win streaks of at least four games in the same playoff year. The Bruins (Eddie Johnston, Gerry Cheevers) were the first team in 1972.

“We dropped a few last year in the playoffs as well, including in the Final. We’re fine in this position,” Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos said.

“It’s not ideal, but they did what we have done to teams so far and get one on the road so far, so we have to get one in front of our fans and we’ll take it from there,” the Lightning captain added. “There’s no panic in the room. That’s a really good team over there. Sometimes they have a say, and they played really well. We’ll make some adjustments and come back even hungrier.”

WATCH | Canadiens continue improbable playoff run:

Rob Pizzo breaks down the team’s shocking run to the final four. 4:59

bucks-even-series-against-undermanned-nets-behind-antetokounmpo’s-big-game

Bucks even series against undermanned Nets behind Antetokounmpo’s big game

Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 34 points and 12 rebounds as the host Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 107-96 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals over the Brooklyn Nets, who lost Kyrie Irving to a sprained right ankle.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 34 points and 12 rebounds in the Bucks’ 107-96 Game 4 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton finally are getting a little more help, while Kevin Durant keeps seeing his superstar cohorts get hurt.

And now a second-round playoff series that once looked like a Brooklyn Nets runaway suddenly is up for grabs.

Antetokounmpo scored 34 points and the Bucks rolled to a 107-96 Game 4 victory on Sunday to tie their series with the Nets, who lost Kyrie Irving to a sprained right ankle.

“We’re very happy, but we’ve got to keep getting better, keep playing together and hopefully we can go into Brooklyn and take one,” Antetokounmpo said.

Brooklyn’s immediate concern is the health of its superstar trio.

Irving got hurt midway through the second quarter and didn’t return. The Nets already are missing nine-time All-Star and 2018 MVP James Harden, who hasn’t played since the opening minute of Game 1 due to right hamstring tightness.

That puts even more pressure on Durant, who has carried the Nets this series and provided 28 points and 13 rebounds Sunday. The only other Net in double figures was Irving, who had 11 points before leaving.

Nets coach Steve Nash said after the game that X-rays taken on Irving’s ankle were negative and that the seven-time All-Star’s status for Game 5 is uncertain at this point.

“We’ll have to see how it goes,” Nash said. “We’ll cross our fingers.”

After Irving made a basket in the paint to cut the Bucks’ lead to 44-40 midway through the second quarter, his left leg hit the right leg of Antetokounmpo on his way down. Irving landed awkwardly, his ankle rolled and he clutched at it as play briefly continued on the other end of the floor.

P.J. Tucker from his spot. 🎯

13 PTS, 7 REB, 3 3PM, and hustle plays all day from P.J. Tucker to help the @Bucks even the series.#ThatsGame #PhantomCam pic.twitter.com/6JudHEbYE3

@NBA

When play stopped due to a change of possession, team officials went to check on Irving, who appeared in pain on the floor before walking to the locker room. The Nets announced at halftime that Irving wouldn’t return.

The Bucks already had taken the lead for good even before Irving’s injury.

They got more balance Sunday after eking out an 86-83 victory in Game 3, when Middleton and Antetokounmpo combined for 68 points, 79 per cent of the Bucks’ scoring output. That marked the highest percentage of a team’s points that a duo had combined to score in any NBA playoff game ever.

Middleton scored 19 points, Jrue Holiday had 14, P.J. Tucker got 13 and Bryn Forbes added 10 for the Bucks. Holiday had nine assists and Middleton had eight.

After the Nets scored 13 straight points to take a 34-23 lead early in the second quarter, Milwaukee responded with a 19-4 run to take the lead for good. That stretch featured a 12-0 spurt including a four-point play from Middleton, two corner 3-pointers from Tucker and a dunk from Antetokounmpo.

“They went on a run,” forward Jeff Green said, “and we just didn’t bounce back.”

The Nets removed their starters as the Bucks led 99-84 with 4:28 left.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Fiserv Forum crowd changed, “Bucks In Six!” That’s been a rallying cry among the fan base ever since former Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings incorrectly predicted his eighth-seeded Bucks would win a 2013 first-round series over the top-seeded Heat in six games.

“Now it’s a three-game series,” Nash said. “We’ve got to get home, rest up and get our minds and bodies ready. Stay positive.”

WATCH | Expectations for Canadian women’s basketball team in Tokyo:

Vivek Jacob, Jevohn Shepherd, and Meghan McPeak discuss the WNBA’s #WearOrange initiative, Kia Nurse’s emergence with the Phoenix Mercury, and Team Canada’s lofty expectations heading into the Olympics. 13:07

blue-jays-explode-for-8-home-runs-in-dominant-win-over-red-sox

Blue Jays explode for 8 home runs in dominant win over Red Sox

Teoscar Hernandez belted a pair of three-run homers over the Green Monster — two of Toronto’s eight longballs — and Marcus Semien extended his road hitting streak to 26 games as the Blue Jays pounded the Boston Red Sox 18-4 on Sunday.

Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of the Blue Jays’ dominant 18-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Teoscar Hernandez belted a pair of three-run homers over the Green Monster — two of Toronto’s eight longballs — and Marcus Semien extended his road hitting streak to 26 games as the Blue Jays pounded the Boston Red Sox 18-4 on Sunday.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, Rowdy Tellez and Semien also went deep for the Blue Jays, a day after they belted five homers in a 7-2 victory. Guerrero’s was his major league-leading 21st.

“It’s unbelievable,” Hernandez said. “I’m hoping it can be like that every day so we can have fun and laugh the whole game.”

Bichette had four of Toronto’s season-high 20 hits, and Guerrero, Hernandez and Gurriel each had three. The Jays also reached a season high for runs.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” winning pitcher Robbie Ray said, when asked what he’d do if he was facing Toronto’s lineup. “Maybe try to make them hit the ball right at somebody. The way that we were swinging it today was really impressive.”

Xander Bogaerts and Bobby Dalbec homered for Boston, which captured the series opener before Toronto’s power surge.

Semien’s club-record streak is the majors’ longest since Dexter Fowler hit safely in 27 straight road games for the Cubs from September 2015 to May 2016.

Vlad Guerrero Jr. is the fastest @BlueJays hitter to reach 21 HR in a season (63 games) since Carlos Delgado in 2000. pic.twitter.com/X4AqdMzp0M

@MLBStats

Toronto hit five homers in two straight games for the third time in team history, also in 2020 and 2017.

Ray (4-2) struck out 10 over six innings, giving up three runs, four hits and three walks.

The Blue Jays grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first against Martin Perez on Hernandez’s three-run homer and a solo shot from Gurriel.

Semien’s drive into the batters’ eye in center made it 5-0 in the second, prompting loud boos from the Fenway Park crowd. Those quickly turned to mock cheers when Red Sox manager Alex Cora came out to pull Perez after the next batter, Bichette, singled.

The Red Sox have given up 53 runs in their last six games.

Perez (4-4) retired only four batters, getting tagged for five runs on six hits. In his last two starts, he’s allowed 11 runs in 3 1/3 innings, ballooning his ERA from 3.09 to 4.52.

“I’m not locating the ball where I want to,” he said. “The last two they have been hitting good against me, that’s part of the game.”

Toronto broke it open with four runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth, making it 13-1. Hernandez hit his second three-run shot, a drive estimated at 440 feet that left Fenway in the fourth, after Guerrero’s RBI single.

Bo Bichette is the 3rd player in @BlueJays history with 4 H and 5 R in a game (Josh Donaldson 2015, Orlando Hudson 2004). pic.twitter.com/gQb49TUGaR

@MLBStats

In the fifth, Bichette’s three-run shot also left the park.

In the last two games, Toronto has hit nine homers over the fabled left-field wall.

“It’s really fun, when you hit a fly ball that’s a regular fly ball in other parks, here it [can be] a base hit, maybe a double,” Hernandez said. “Some fly balls that don’t go for base hits in other parks are a single. I like to play here.”

RHP Ryan Weber, recalled from Triple-A Worcester before the game, went 5 2/3 innings, allowing 11 runs on 11 hits and striking out seven.

Boston utility player Marwin Gonzalez worked a perfect eighth, bringing cheers from the crowd with most of his pitches in the mid-40s mph range.

Second baseman Christian Arroyo pitched the ninth, giving up two unearned runs on Tellez’s homer.

Trainer’s room

Blue Jays: Placed Saturday’s winning pitcher, Steven Matz, on the COVID-19-related injured list. “He’s still going through additional testing,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “The guys that were around him that are vaccinated came back negative, and that’s good news.”

Red Sox: Bogaerts was in the lineup after missing the last two games with a sore left knee. … 3B Rafael Devers got the day off, with 1B Dalbec moving across the diamond.

canadian-women’s-basketball-team-improves-to-2-0-at-americup-with-win-over-brazil

Canadian women’s basketball team improves to 2-0 at AmeriCup with win over Brazil

Canada’s women’s basketball team held on to beat Brazil 71-67 on Sunday, and improve to 2-0 at the AmeriCup, the team’s first international tournament in more than a year.

After opening the tournament with a 101-41 rout of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Canadian women’s basketball team defeated Brazil 71-67 in AmeriCup action Sunday. (Twitter/@CanBball)

A day after trouncing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada’s women’s basketball team faced a stiff challenge in Brazil – exactly the type of game head coach Lisa Thomaidis says her team needs just six weeks before the Tokyo Olympics tip off.

Nirra Fields scored 17 points, while Kayla Alexander had 11 points and seven rebounds as the Canadians held on to edge Brazil 71-67 on Sunday and improve to 2-0 at the FIBA AmeriCup, their first tournament in more than a year.

“That was such a great game for us, to challenge ourselves against a tough Brazil team,” Thomaidis said. “I thought they did a great job taking us out of our things, it really forced us to get to a Plan B and we’re not at that place right now where we’re seamless, where they take away our first option we can get into our second one.

Clarissa Dos Santos had 25 points to lead 15th-ranked Brazil.

The Canadians had opened the tournament with a 101-41 rout of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada’s first game together since they clinched a Tokyo Olympic berth in February of 2020.

“I feel just excited and happy to be back as a group,” said Alexander, a 6-4 forward from Milton, Ont. “It’s been so long since we’ve been able to be on the court together, competing with one other, so I think there’s a lot of excitement and joy there . . . Also just excited about the learning and the growing throughout these games. We’re not where we want to be yet but I think we’re continuously building to get to that point.”

WATCH | Nirra Fields leads Canada to close win over Brazil in AmeriCup action:

Nirra Fields had a team-high 17 points, including a big three late, as Canada beat Brazil 71-67 at the FIBA women’s Americup. 1:13

Sunday, the two undefeated teams played to a 21-21 tie to end the first quarter. Canada started to pull away and took a 45-37 lead into the halftime break, but Brazil rallied to tie it up late in the third and led 59-58 with one quarter left.

The Brazilians had cruised by El Salvador and Colombia in their first two games.

Canada plays El Salvador on Monday and Colombia on Tuesday. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals. The final is Saturday.

The top four teams advance to World Cup qualifying tournaments, Feb. 6-14, 2021. The top three from each qualifier earn a berth in the World Cup, in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 22-Oct. 1, 2022.

The Canadians are without WNBA players Natalie Achonwa, Kia Nurse and Bridget Carleton who will join the team in Tokyo.

Following the AmeriCup, the Canadian women will return to Tampa, Fla., to continue Olympic preparations. The women normally call Edmonton their home base, but couldn’t gather there due to COVID-19 protocols and quarantine rules, and so are training out of the Toronto Raptors temporary home in Tampa.

WATCH | North Courts panel on Olympic expectations for Canadian women:

Vivek Jacob, Jevohn Shepherd, and Meghan McPeak discuss the WNBA’s #WearOrange initiative, Kia Nurse’s emergence with the Phoenix Mercury, and Team Canada’s lofty expectations heading into the Olympics. 13:07

liberty-hold-off-mercury-behind-laney’s-big-night

Liberty hold off Mercury behind Laney’s big night

Betnijah Laney had 23 points and 10 assists, and the New York Liberty held on to beat the Phoenix Mercury 85-83 on Sunday.

New York Liberty guard Betnijah Laney scored 23 points to go along with seven rebounds and 10 assists in the New York’s 85-83 win over the Phoenix Mercury Sunday. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images/File)

Betnijah Laney had 23 points and 10 assists, and the New York Liberty held on to beat the Phoenix Mercury 85-83 on Sunday.

The Liberty (6-4) never trailed after taking a 12-11 lead in the first quarter and led by 16 in the first half. The Mercury (5-6) tied it at 51 and 72 and had a chance to tie or go ahead on the final play.

Phoenix’s Skylar Diggins-Smith rebounded Laney’s missed 3-point attempt with six seconds left and tried to take it the length of the court. But, as she crossed the 3-point arc, she lost control of her dribble and the Liberty’s Rebecca Allen scooped it away to secure the win.

Jazmine Jones scored 14 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Liberty. Sami Whitcomb added 14 points and Kylee Shook scored 10.

ABSOLUTELY. Hand down, (wo)man down. 👑🐝 @BetnijahLaney pic.twitter.com/hkfITVH4Uz

@nyliberty

Brittney Griner had a season-high 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Mercury. Diggins-Smith added 25 points.

The Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu was a late scratch due to an ankle tendonitis.

Courtney Williams scores 21 to help lift Dream over Mystics

Courtney Williams scored 21 points to help the Atlanta Dream beat the Washington Mystics 101-78 on Sunday.

Odyssey Sims added a season-high 20 points for the Dream, who made 13 of 29 from 3-point range and 36 of 71 overall from the field.

Atlanta (5-6), which trailed for most of the first half and by 11 early in the second quarter, took a 51-49 lead into the break and pulled away with a 17-3 run after the Mystics tied it at 51 to open the third quarter.

Been a bucket 💯#CountIt pic.twitter.com/fz8o13kPep

@WNBA

Tiffany Hayes made 3 of 7 from 3-point range and scored 18 points, Cheyenne Parker added 11 and Tianna Hawkins 10 for the Dream.

Myisha Hines-Allen led the Mystics (4-6) with 16 points. Ariel Atkins scored 15 points, Tina Charles added 13 and Theresa Plaisance 10.

Seattle storms past Sun

Breanna Stewart had 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists to help the Seattle Storm beat the Connecticut Sun 89-66 on Sunday.

Connecticut was without Jonquel Jones, who left for Europe to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina at EuroBasket. Jones averaged 21.6 points and 10.4 rebounds over the first 10 games of the season, the only WNBA player currently averaging a double-double.

THREEANNA STEWART 🗡️@breannastewart x #TakeCover pic.twitter.com/bVXkGEdubn

@seattlestorm

Sue Bird made 3 of 4 3-pointers and added 13 points for Seattle, which pulled away with 14-2 run in the second quarter. The Storm led by no less than 14 in the second half.

DeWanna Bonner and Kaila Charles had 14 points each for the Sun. Brionna Jones added 12 points.

WATCH | Nurse’s buzzer beater and more from 2021 season:

If you love buzzer-beaters, the WNBA has provided more than you could imagine through its first month. 1:02