ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) _ Police intend to beef up patrols on passenger trains traveling between Moscow and St. Petersburg during the Goodwill Games to combat a wave of robberies, officials said Tuesday.

The overnight trains have become easy targets for criminals, who lull passengers to sleep using drugs or gas to steal their valuables, or simply rob them.

Earlier this year, St. Petersburg police set up special squads to accompany the trains. But they must disembark halfway through the 435-mile trip when they come to the end of their area of authority.

Police of the Kalinin and Moscow regions have been unable to raise funds to take over the escort duty, and the trains are left at the mercy of robbers in the middle of the night.

''We have reached an agreement with our colleagues in Kalinin and Moscow regions to provide guards for the trains through the entire distance from July 11 to Aug. 8,'' said Viktor Korsakov, head of the St. Petersburg railroad police.

The Goodwill Games, to be held at St. Petersburg from July 23-Aug. 7, will be the first major international sports competition in Russia since the Soviet collapse in 1991. ---

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) - Chance and Atalanta, two Division 1 boats out of Seattle vying for the lead in the Victoria-Maui yacht race, gained on the leaders Tuesday in the fifth day of the event.

The biggest move of the day, however, was made by Marda Gras. The Division 1 boat apparently gained an amazing 356 nautical miles and broke away from the coastline early.

The Seattle boat, which took the overall lead, is relying on a Pacific high pressure system staying north, or it could be sitting in a windless expanse.

The top boats are four from Division 4 - Kismet, from Mount Vernon, Wash.; Hooligan and Spectre, from Seattle, and Uncle Juicy, from Olympia, Wash. ---

BOSTON (AP) - Former all-star defenseman Mike O'Connell, a minor league coach for the Boston Bruins, is now the parent team's assistant general manager.

He was a defenseman for the Bruins from 1980-86, and played in the 1984 NHL All-Star game. For the past two seasons, O'Connell has coached the Bruins' minor league affiliate in Providence.

Club president Harry Sinden said Tuesday that O'Connell, a 16-year NHL veteran of three organizations, would be assistant general manager for one to two years. If all goes well, O'Connell would then become general manager. Sinden said he would remain the club's president, but let O'Connell deal with the players. ---

TOKYO (AP) - The Chunichi Dragons got a two-run homer from Dion James in a three-run sixth inning and beat the Yakult Swallows 7-6 Tuesday in the Japanese Central League.

James, formerly with the New York Yankees, has five homers this season.

In another game, Glenn Braggs hit his 17th homer in a losing cause for Yokohama, which dropped a 9-5 decision to Hiroshima.