Dream cruises past mystics

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Dream cruises past mystics

ATLANTA (AP) -- Lindsey Harding and Armintie Price made sure that the Atlanta Dream bounced back from a tough double-overtime loss in their previous game. Harding had 15 points and nine assists, Price scored nine of her 15 in the first quarter and the Dream led by 30 points while cruising to a 93-68 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday. Atlanta (16-14) shot 58 percent, had 29 assists on 40 baskets and scored scored 52 points in the paint. On Friday night, the Dream squandered a 25-point halftime lead against defending champion Minnesota before losing 97-93 in two overtimes. "We're at our best when we share the ball," Harding said. "We didn't play badly at Minnesota. We played well. We wanted to keep that same level of play and the same intensity." Price believes the Dream, who have reached the WNBA Finals in each of the last two years before getting swept in the title round, can take something positive from the tough loss. "We're trying to win a championship," Price said. "We know that we have to learn from every game and keep getting better. We want to get off to good start in every game and that's what we were able to do." Erika DeSouza had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and 10 players scored for Atlanta. Cathrine Kraayeveld had 11 points, Tiffany Hayes added 10 with seven assists. Angel McCoughry, who came in averaging a league-leading 21.1 points per game and had 30 in the loss to the Lynx, scored eight against Washington. "That game on the road at Minnesota was a good proving factor for us," coach Fred Williams said. "We wanted to come out and play hard again." Crystal Langhorne and Noelle Quinn scored 12 points each for the league-worst Mystics (5-24), who lost their eighth straight. Monique Currie and Jasmine Thomas added 10 points each, and Ashley Robinson grabbed 13 rebounds. Washington committed 19 turnovers while shooting 37 percent. "I think it was some mental lapses, especially in the first half," Washington coach Trudi Lacey said. "Just not getting back on defense. We talk about it as part of our game plan and for whatever reason we didn't do it. Against a good playoff team like that you obviously can't make those kind of mistakes." The Dream shot 61 percent in the first half and led 44-20 in the second quarter before settling for a 46-27 halftime lead. Atlanta had 26 points in the paint and scored 14 on the fast break. Washington shot just 28 percent in the first half and committed 12 turnovers. Atlanta made nine of its first 11 shots and led 20-9 before Washington cut the margin to 22-15 at the end of the first quarter. But the Dream went on a 22-2 run in the second quarter to go up 44-20. Price made her first four shots and had nine of her 11 first-half points in the opening quarter. Harding had six assists in the first half. "We wanted to set the tone early," Williams said. "We saw a lot of combination passes, especially in the first half." The Mystics cut Atlanta's lead to 60-45, but the Dream ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run go up by 23 points going into the final quarter. The lead reached 30 points at 88-58. Atlanta beat Washington twice last month without McCoughtry, including an 82-59 home victory on Aug. 30. The teams meet for the final time at Washington on Friday.

How Wilson Ramos' daughter helped key his 4-RBI day in Nats' win

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How Wilson Ramos' daughter helped key his 4-RBI day in Nats' win

Of all the great uses for iPads, from business to education to watching movies on flights, many parents would argue there is no better utility for the Apple product than keeping children entertained.

Kids absolutely love them. The lights, the sounds, the games, the pictures. It's sensory overload and they'll entertain - and often keep quiet - a child for up to hours at a time.

For Wilson Ramos this weekend, it went much further than that. His young daughter - who turns two later this year - was watching cartoons on his iPad on Saturday night when she stumbled across a highlight video of him hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs on May 6 at Wrigley Field. 

"For some reason, she was pointing it out and saying, ‘Daddy, daddy!’ Kinda like saying this is you," Ramos said through an interpreter after Sunday's 10-2 win over the Cardinals.

"For whatever reason, today I took that same approach like I did back then, nice and relaxed. And it worked out."

Nationals hitting coach Rick Schu may have some competition, because Ramos' daughter was on to something, whether intentionally or not. 

The Nats catcher reached base four times on Sunday with three hits - including a two-run homer - and a walk. It was the fifth time in 40 games this season that he's been on base four times.

Ramos' homer came in the eighth inning off Cardinals reliever Tyler Lyons. It was Ramos' sixth home run of the season and his fourth in the month of May. Ramos is now batting .336 this season to lead all MLB catchers. That number ranks ninth in all of baseball and second on the Nationals behind only Daniel Murphy.

Ramos' other big hit Sunday was a two-RBI single in the fourth inning against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. He took a 94 mile per hour fastball the other way to right field to score Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman and put the Nationals up 3-1 at the time.

It was yet another game this season where Ramos has helped lead the way on offense. The 28-year-old backstop has - perhaps quietly - been one of the key cogs for the Nationals so far this season.

Some of it has to do with health, as well as the LASIK surgery he had during spring training. But don't forget his daughter.

"For some reason she’s learned how to play with it and look up certain files," Ramos said. "I’m going to try to put the same things on, little cartoons for her, and hopefully she takes it away and swipes to my at-bats and hopefully they’re good ones."

Highlights: Sebastian Salazar recaps Week 7 in NWSL

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Highlights: Sebastian Salazar recaps Week 7 in NWSL

Week 7 of the National Women's Soccer League season is in the books - and what a week it was.

We saw the Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit match postponed due to weather, and got a glimpse at how NWSL squads will deal with their U.S. Women's National Team absences later this summer. 

CSN's Sebastian Salazar takes you around the NWSL for highlights from all four league matches this weekend as well as last week's international friendly between Seattle Reign FC and Arsenal Ladies.

WATCH ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS OF WEEK 7 IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

Stats you need to know in advance of Nationals' road trip

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Stats you need to know in advance of Nationals' road trip

BY RICH GOLDBERG (@GoldyStats)

After dismantling the Cardinals 10-2 in the series finale on Sunday, the Nationals hit the road for a nine-game road trip that will see them take on their N.L. East rival Philadelphia Phillies, the N.L. Central cellar-dwelling Cincinnati Reds and the suddenly ice-cold Chicago White Sox.

CSN researcher Rich Goldberg details the five stats you need to know before the Nats start June off on the road.

RELATED: CONSISTENCY KEY TO STRASBURG'S HISTORIC START

1. Bryce Harper has a 6-game home run streak at Philadelphia.

The only other visiting player to do that in Philadelphia? Hall of Famer Ernie Banks back in 1955.

 

2. Wilson Ramos is hitting .336 and leads all MLB catchers.

The previous 5 seasons, Ramos batted .270, .246, .250, .265 and .252 through the end of May.

 

3. Daniel Murphy has a career .406 batting average (26 for 64) at Great American Ballpark.

That is Murphy’s highest BA at any ballpark with a minimum of 4 games played.

 

4. Tanner Roark is 1-4 with a 8.27 career ERA in 5 road games (4 starts) at Philadelphia.

Roark has the fifth worst ERA by a visiting player at Citizens Bank Park, with a minimum of 4 starts. Roark pitches Monday against the Phillies.

 

5. Stephen Strasburg is the first pitcher in Nationals/Expos history to begin a season 9-0 and he’s 9 strikeouts away from his 1000th career K.

Strasburg is scheduled to start Saturday against the Reds.