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Yankees Begin a Stretch Against the A’s With a Loss

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Matt Olson and Mark Canha hit back-to-back homers in the first inning to lead the Athletics over the Yankees, 6-2, on Tuesday night for their fifth win in six games.

“I feel like we’ve been doing that lately,” Olson said. “If we give up a run or two, we find a way to come in and respond. To shut down any momentum is nice to do.”

Olson connected on a two-run shot down the right-field line with two outs in the first off Domingo German (16-3) for his 26th homer, and Canha followed with his 19th on a drive to right-center.

That helped carry the A’s to a win in the first meeting between the teams since the Yankees eliminated Oakland in the wild-card playoff last season. These teams could meet again come the postseason with New York holding the best record in the American League and the A’s moving one percentage point ahead of Tampa Bay in the race for the second wild-card spot.

This was the first of six games in less than two weeks between these teams, with Oakland visiting New York next weekend.

“You’d like to start out well, especially at home, knowing we’re going to play them six times in the next 12 days,” Oakland Manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s nice to get a first-game win.”

The early outburst proved to be more than enough for Homer Bailey (11-8), who shut the Yankees down after allowing a solo homer to Gary Sanchez in the first inning. Bailey allowed one run and seven hits in five and two-thirds innings to improve to 3-0 at home since joining Oakland last month in a trade from Kansas City. He walked none and struck out eight.

The Yankees have lost two straight after starting August with 15 wins in 18 games.

“We got a lot of hits, but we just couldn’t get that hit to kind of put us over the top,” Manager Aaron Boone said. “Been a couple days of that where we’ve had some opportunities and haven’t been able to cash in.”

Marcus Semien added a run-scoring double in the second inning, and Stephen Piscotty hit an R.B.I. single in the sixth

German had his career-best seven-game winning streak snapped after allowing six runs — five earned — and eight hits in five and a third innings.

Aaron Judge added a solo homer in the eighth for the Yankees, a 467-foot drive to left field that was the first long ball he has pulled all season.

“Direction doesn’t matter,” Judge said. “As long as they go over the fence and it adds runs, I’m happy with it. Left or right or center. Just glad to get one.”

On Wednesday night, Mike Fiers (11-3) will look to win his 10th straight decision when the A’s take on J.A. Happ (10-7) and the Yankees in the middle game of the three-game series.

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Coronavirus Fears Lead to Closed-Door Soccer Game in Italy

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A soccer match in one of Europe’s biggest tournaments is to be played behind closed doors on Thursday as the authorities in Italy continue to restrict public gatherings amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in the northern region of Lombardy.

The decision to play the game — the second leg of a Europa League knockout match between Internazionale of Milan and Ludogorets of Bulgaria — without spectators comes after the Italian authorities postponed four league games last weekend and as the health crisis has started to affect the European sports calendar.

Sports schedules in Asia, most notably in China, have been decimated since the virus first started to spread. Soccer officials in South Korea and Japan also delayed the start of their domestic soccer seasons this week.

Inter Milan, a top contender for the Italian league title this season, said its decision was the result of several days of talks with health officials in Lombardy and European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, over how to stage the game, which could not be canceled because of the lack of alternate dates.

The decision to go ahead with the match at Milan’s cavernous San Siro stadium was confirmed on Tuesday. Inter was one of the four Italian clubs that postponed a match last weekend; makeup dates for those games have not been announced.

Italy now has more than 200 confirmed coronavirus cases, and while Milan, the country’s economic engine, is not locked down, it is surrounded by several of the towns badly affected by the outbreak.

Inter, which is owned by a Chinese company, had already been taking steps to minimize the risks to its staff members from the virus. Nonessential employees were told over the weekend to stay away from the team’s headquarters.

The game against Ludogorets is believed to be the first time a European soccer match has had to be played behind closed doors because of a health crisis. Usually such conditions are imposed on teams as a punishment for fan violence or racist episodes.

The situation is far worse in parts of Asia. The start of soccer league seasons in China, Japan and South Korea have all been postponed over fears over the spread of coronavirus, and the sport’s governing body in Asia has postponed several games in its regional competitions.

Other sports have been affected, too. The Formula One Grand Prix auto race scheduled to take place in Shanghai in April has been postponed, as have events in sports as varied as snooker, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

Organizers of the Olympic Games that are set to take place in Tokyo this summer have faced a barrage of questions over the status of that event. The International Olympic Committee has so far said only that it is monitoring the situation.



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Stan Wawrinka vs Frances Tiafoe: Incredible Shotmaking and Drama! | Acapulco 2020 Highlights

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Sabrina Ionescu Comes Up Big in Moments On and Off the Court

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Monday was an eventful day for Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, as the star point guard spoke at the memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant in Los Angeles before traveling north to record a triple-double in a win at Stanford.

The presumed No. 1 over all pick in this year’s W.N.B.A. draft, Ionescu is looking increasingly like the future face of women’s basketball.

A star basketball player for the University of Oregon for the last four seasons, Ionescu became even more well known when she spoke at Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial service in Los Angeles on Monday.

Kobe and Gianna went to an Oregon game and met Ionescu afterward. They remained in touch, and Ionescu worked out with Gianna and texted with Kobe, who offered basketball advice.

“I grew up watching Kobe Bryant, game after game, ring after ring. Living his greatness without apology. I wanted to be just like him.”

“His vision for others is always bigger than they imagine for themselves. His vision for me was way bigger than my own.”

“I wanted to be part of the generation that changed basketball with Gigi and her teammates. Where being born female didn’t mean being born behind. Where greatness isn’t divided by gender.”

“I still text him even though he’s not here: ‘Thank you for everything. The rest is for you. Rest easy my guy.’ The last one I sent him said: ‘I miss you. May you rest in peace my dear friend.’ The texts go through, but no response. It still feels like he’s there on the other end. That the next time I pick up my phone he would have hit me back.”

Her parents were born in Romania and emigrated in 1990 after the revolution there. Sabrina was born in California and was one of the most coveted high school recruits in basketball, choosing Oregon.

A 5-foot-11 point guard, she won gold medals with the American under-17 and under-23 teams. At Oregon, she was the college national freshman of the year. As a sophomore, she was named point guard of the year, and as a junior last season she repeated as point guard of the year while also winning both the Wade Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award, which are presented annually to the top collegiate player.

She has been racking up the statistical achievements. She has more triple-doubles, 26, than any collegian, male or female. She holds Oregon’s career records in points, assists and 3-pointers. She surpassed Gary Payton as the Pac-12’s career assists leader.

When she arrived at Oregon, the team had not made the N.C.A.A. tournament in 12 years. With Ionescu in the lineup, Oregon made the final eight of the tournament two straight years and the Final Four last season.

Ionescu flew from the memorial service to Stanford for a game. Oregon won, 74-66, and although she missed the shoot-around and warm-ups, she scored 21 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists.

She also became the first player to reach 2,000 career points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds in a collegiate career.

“That one was for him,” she told ESPN. “To do it on 2-24-20 was huge. I can’t put it into words. He’s looking down and proud of me and happy for this moment with my team.”

Stephen Curry, another friend, watched from the baseline, attending an Oregon game for the second time in four days.

Oregon is 26-2, ranked No. 3 and favored for another trip to the Final Four in Ionescu’s final year. Many are projecting her as the top pick in the W.N.B.A. draft, a pick held by the New York Liberty.



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