Upsetting start for seeded women at Citi Open


Upsetting start for seeded women at Citi Open

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Third-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States survived a three-set opening match against Bulgaria's Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in the first round of the Citi Open on Monday.

Second-seeded Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa and fifth-seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic were not so lucky.

American Brian Baker, a shock participant in the round of 16 at Wimbledon earlier this year, dropped the final two sets to Frenchman Florent Serra and was eliminated, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the men's tournament.

Scheepers, ranked No. 42 in the world, fell 6-2, 6-1 to Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia. Zahlavova Strycova was beaten by Romania's Edina Gallovits-Hall, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

After losing the final three games of the second set, including two on her own serve, Stephens opened the third by breaking Karatantcheva twice for a 3-0 lead. The 19-year-old American, who reached the fourth round at the French Open and the third round at Wimbledon this year, tacked on two more breaks of serve to advance.

No. 7 seed Coco Vandeweghe of the United States avoided an upset by defeating Erika Sema of Japan 6-4, 6-1. Eighth-seeded Olga Govortsova topped Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-2, and Leonardo Mayer beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8) to advance to the second round.

The Washington tournament, a staple on the ATP schedule, is combining with the WTA Tour for the first time.

Mardy Fish, the top-seeded men's player, is scheduled to play his opening match on Tuesday.

Fish, the No. 13 ranked player, skipped the Olympics after missing several weeks on tour earlier this year following a procedure to correct a heart problem.

Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is the top seed in the women's draw.

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Giolito decent, but Nats offense falls short in loss to Colorado Rockies

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Giolito decent, but Nats offense falls short in loss to Colorado Rockies

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.

How it happened: Given the circumstances of his start and the lineup he was facing, the Nationals couldn't have asked for much more than they got from 22-year-old rookie Lucas Giolito on Sunday against the Rockies. It wasn't his fault their offense couldn't manage much of anything against Chad Bettis, who took the mound with a 5.29 ERA.

Giolito stared down the best lineup in the National League and made it a career-high five innings with four runs allowed. He gave up six hits and two walks, including a pair of home runs. One was by Charlie Blackmon, the other by Nolan Arenado, who also tripled.

It wasn't the greatest outing, of course, but the Nats have certainly seen worse both lately and against the Rockies. They didn't give him nearly enough support and only scored three runs on the day, all on solo homers.

Trea Turner led off the game with his fifth home run of the season. Wilson Ramos smacked his 20th to lead off the seventh. That gave Ramos a career-high 69 RBI on the year. And Bryce Harper hit his 23rd in the bottom of the ninth. For Harper, he has now reached base in all 15 games since coming back from his neck injury.

The Rockies got another run off reliever Koda Glover. He allowed a one-out double to Daniel Descalso in the top of the eighth. Descalso then scored from second on a wild pitch that drilled home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski in the left shoulder. The ball bounced off the backstop and Ramos turned to check on the ump. That, in part, allowed Descalso to score on what was an all-around bizarre sequence.

The Nats' offense got six hits and a walk off Rockies pitchers. Ben Revere, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman went a combined 0-for-14.

Washington lost their second straight game and have now dropped six of their last eight overall.

What it means: The Nationals fell to 75-55 on the season and lost their first home series since July 22-24 against the Padres. The Marlins lost on Sunday, so the Nats' division lead remains at eight games. The Mets are just behind them at 8 1/2 back after pummeling the Phillies.

Giolito okay, but questions remain: Giolito again saw his fastball top out at around 93-94, which is fine but nowhere near the high-90s and triple-digit heat that helped make him the top prospect in all of baseball. Manager Dusty Baker has been asked about this several times this season and has yet to give a full explanation as to why the team thinks he has lost so much velocity. Baker doesn't seem concerned about it one bit, but it does seem like at least somewhat of a big deal if he's lost, say, five or six ticks off his most oft-used pitch.

Turner sets franchise record: In the same week Turner tied the franchise mark for hits in consecutive plate appearances, he became the sole owner of first in Nats/Expos history with 27 runs in one month as a rookie. His 27th came on his solo homer, which was one of two hits for him on the day. He now has 20 multi-hit games this season in 41 total outings. 

Turner, in fact, has six multi-hit games in a row, which ties the longest streak in MLB this season. Six other players have done that this year. Turner's homer, though, gave him just his first RBI during that stretch, which goes to show how much the bottom of their lineup has struggled in recent games. 

Zimmerman keeps struggling: After looking good initially when he returned from the disabled list on Aug. 20, Zimmerman has fallen back into a major slump. He went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts on Sunday and is now just 1-for-20 with seven strikeouts in his last five games. That one hit was a single and he has no walks during that span. Zimmerman's season OBP has dropped to .276, the lowest it's been since Opening Day.

Up next: The Nats hit the road to play at the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. with Tanner Roark (13-7, 2.99) and rookie Jake Thompson (1-3, 9.78) set to square off.

[RELATED: Harper explains ejection vs. Rockies: 'It's not a strike']


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Gausman gets first road win in more than 2 years


Gausman gets first road win in more than 2 years

NEW YORK---After two blowout losses, and the bullpen chewed up, the Orioles looked toward Kevin Gausman for relief, and he delivered. 

Gausman won his first road start since Aug. 17, 2014, a total of 25 starts on the road without a win.

He had some late offensive help—Steve Pearce, who drove in three runs and Mark Trumbo, who hit his 40th home run as the Orioles beat the New York Yankees 5-0 before 38,002 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

The Orioles (71-59) escape the Bronx with a win after two games when they allowed 27 runs and 36 hits. In their seven games here this season, they’ve won only two—both on getaway days.

Gausman (6-10) has won three straight for just the second time in his career, and the first time since June 2014.


In seven innings, Gausman allowed seven hits and struck out nine without walking a batter. 

The Orioles had to go against CC Sabathia, who owns 19 regular season wins against them. 

Sabathia (8-11) allowed just two singles, to Manny Machado in the first and Pearce in third, and a walk, to Nolan Reimold in the fifth before Pearce’s 12th home run of the season.

It was Pearce’s second home run since he was reacquired by the Orioles on Aug. 1. 

In the seventh, Sabathia loaded the bases with two outs. After Jonathan Schoop singled and Matt Wieters struck out, Reimold had an infield single and Hyun Soo Kim, who is hitless in 17 at-bats against left-handers walked to load the bases. 

Adam Warren replaced Sabathia, and his hitter was Pearce, who bounced a single to center field for a 3-0 lead.

Gausman had one difficult inning, the fourth, when he allowed three hits, but none scored. Gary Sanchez led off with a single, but he tried to advance to third on Mark Teixeira’s single to right, but Pearce’s throw to Manny Machado was in time to nab Sanchez. Teixiera advanced to second on Didi Gregorius’ single, but he couldn’t advance, and was the last New York (68-62) runner to reach second. 

Brian McCann singled to right with one out in the seventh, but Aaron Judge lined to Kim in left and Ronald Torreyes hit a hard grounder to third that Machado fielded on his knees to grab and throw Torreyes out. 

Trumbo hit a two-run home run off Ben Heller in the eighth. It was Trumbo’s 40th home run, and he became the eighth Oriole to hit 40. 

Tommy Hunter, re-signed earlier in the day by the Orioles, pitched a scoreless eighth. 

Zach Britton retired all three batters he faced to complete the Orioles’ fifth shutout of the season, the first since June 25. 

NOTES: Gausman started three of the shutout wins, Chris Tillman has the other two. …The first place Toronto Blue Jays come to Baltimore for three games beginning Monday night. Marco Estrada (7-6, 3.47) faces Wade Miley (8-10, 5.51). 


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Davis is part of a special Orioles power group

Davis is part of a special Orioles power group

NEW YORK---In the midst of the Orioles’ eight-run loss on Saturday, a milestone went unnoticed, the second one in as many days to pass with little attention. 

Chris Davis’ third-inning home run was the Orioles’ 200th of the season, the fifth consecutive year they’ve done that, and the second fastest in team history. Davis and Mark Trumbo hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning, giving the Orioles 202. 

On Friday, Manny Machado hit his 30th and 31st homers of the season, giving the Orioles three 30 homer hitters for the first time in franchise history. Davis has 32, and Trumbo leads the majors with 39.

In spring training once Pedro Alvarez was signed, there was talk of the team’s potential to hit home runs, and it has fulfilled the early predictions.

“I think it is pretty special. I think the most impressive to me is what Pedro has done. You know, the fact he has been so consistent with his power not playing every day. That is a really tough thing to do. As a power hitter, a lot of it is rhythm and timing so when you are not getting consistent at-bats every day, to be able to stay in there and be productive is impressive. It has been fun to be a part of,” Davis said. 

While Davis is happy with the team’s power, he’s hoping for better pitching.

“There’s no doubt. We knew we were going to be able to hit the ball going in. I think one of the advantages is, we have a lot of veteran hitters, guys that have been around and been through the fire, so to speak. You can kind of see the writing on the wall. Our big question going into spring training was pitching. It’s been for the past few years, and it will be until some of the younger guys get experience, until we’re able to consistently field a starting rotation and we don’t have to empty the bullpen all the time. That’s what’s frustrating as a player. You see the potential for the guys that are here. You know it’s not translating, and you know there’s not anything you can do as a position player other than play defense and go out there and try and score as many runs as possible,” Davis said.

RELATED: Hunter: 'Baltimore is special to me'