Mystics seek freedom from losing ways against Liberty

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Mystics seek freedom from losing ways against Liberty

After two games away from the Verizon Center, the reeling WashingtonMystics return home for a Friday night contestagainst the New York Liberty.Here is what you to know about the Eastern Conference tiltand what the Mystics are up against as they try to snap a three-game losing streak.The matchup: The Mystics (1-4) host the Liberty (2-5), winners of two straight, but losers of fiveconsecutive games in Washington. New York opened with a franchise-record five-game losing streak and had some WNBA observers labeling them the league's worst team before finding a winning formula. However, both of those victories came at home. Beyond simply being winless on the road, the Liberty lost all three games by an average of 21.3 points. New York's issues have been on the defensive end as opponents score 83 points per game, 10 more than the Washington is allowing. If there is such a thing as a must win game this early in the season, this might be it for the Mystics. After the Liberty, they face the 4-1 Indiana Fever before heading out west for a brutalthree-game road swing.Last time out: On the positive side, Washington matched a franchise record for points in a single quarter, scoring 36 in the fourth against with Connecticut. But...the Mystics allowed the Sun to pile up 35 points over those final 10 minutes in a 94-86 loss. The Mystics cut down on their turnovers and used the extra possessions to feed All-Star forward Crystal Langhorne, who finished with a season-high 25 points. Once again, the Sun did the visitors one better as center Tina Charles dropped in 30 points.Jasmine Thomas:Mystics coach has been searching for an answer at point guard throughout the season - well, really, since Lindsay Harding pushed for a trade after the 2010 campaign. Perhaps a new plan of attack can be centered around the hot shooting Thomas, It's at least worth consideration afterlast year's first round pick-in 16 minutes - tallied 17 points, two assists and three steals. Over the last two games, Thomas is shooting a stellar 75 percent (8 of 12) from the field.Washington's fourth leading scorer (7.4) on the season despite playing less than 14 minutes per game, the former Oakton High School star is knocking down a team-high 54.5 percent (6 of 11) from beyond the arc. Lacey needs a distributor more than a scorer at the point and Thomas has that in her game; she finished with over 400 assists at Duke. Right now, any consistent production will do. Milestone: Langhorne grabbed five rebounds against the Sun, including number 1,000 of her five-year career. Capping Pondexter: It may not be as simple as saying "stop Cappie Pondexter, stop the Liberty" - but it's a good start. After failing to score 20 points during any of New York's losses, the assertive guard topped that mark in the two victories, averaging 25.5 points. Pondexter, who finished sixth in scoring (17.4) last season, will see plenty of her former Rutgers teammate Matee Ajavon on the defensive end.

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Dylan Bundy's brilliant night ends with 3-1 loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Bundy's brilliant night ends with 3-1 loss

BALTIMORE---Dylan Bundy had a dreamlike five innings. Everything was working. 

Bundy, in just his third major league start, had the Oriole Park fans excited. He was retiring Colorado Rockies, seemingly at will, and through five, he had a perfect inning. 

No one came close to reaching base. 

In the sixth, the dream ended as the Colorado Rockies hit two home runs and instead of something wonderful, Bundy had a painful defeat. 

The Rockies’ 3-1 win before 20,234 on Wednesday night, was just the second time this season the Orioles have lost a series. 

“He was the reason we were in that game,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

While Bundy was perfect for five innings, the Orioles (58-42) could do little against Jon Gray (7-4). 

Bundy (3-3) retired the first 16 Rockies (49-52) before he walked Mark Reynolds. Nick Hundley ended the no-hitter and shutout with a home run to left, his fifth. 

After DJ LeMahieu grounded back to Bundy, David Dahl hit his first major league home run, and Colorado led 3-0. 

“Just two mistakes, changeups that were up in the zone and they were able to tag them for homers. Maybe just a little more focus or location a little bit better in the sixth inning and you get out of that with six innings pitched and no harm done,” Bundy said. 

Bundy was out of the game after 5 2/3 innings. He struck out a career-high eight batters, including seven of the first 12. 

Chris Davis had the first hit off Gray, and his first hit after 24 hitless at-bats when he dropped a bunt down against the shift to start the second. 

Matt Wieters thought he had given the Orioles a 1-0 lead when he hit a long drive to right. It was ruled foul, and the call withstood a crew chief challenge. 

It wasn’t the only call that went against the Orioles. Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez reached base in the ninth on an overturned call.

"I thought it was a home run. i think everybody felt like it was a home run. I actually thought the guy was out at first, but they overturned that one, too. I was really surprised at that one. He didn't beat the play. At the very best, he tied the play, which is not beating the play,” Showalter said.

In the fourth, Gray hit Adam Jones with a pitch. Jones took third on Hyun Soo Kim’s single, and stayed there on Manny Machado’s short fly to left. Davis walked to load the bases. 

The bases stayed loaded as Mark Trumbo popped out to second nbd Jonathan Schoop flied to center. 

Wieters doubled to start the fifth, but he stayed there. 

Machado hit his 21st home run with one out in the sixth for the Orioles’ only run.

Gray, who gave up one run on five hits in seven innings was replaced by Adam Ottavino for the eighth. 

Jones led off with a single. Kim bounced into what was called a double play, but Showalter challenged the call. Kim was ruled safe, but Jones was called out. Machado struck out, and Boone Logan struck out Davis, who is now 1-for-27.

Carlos Estevez got Trumbo to fly out to left, stretching his hitless streak to 17 at-bats. He quickly retired Schoop and Wieters for his 10th save. 

Trumbo and Schoop have played in each of the Orioles’ first 100 games. But, Trumbo didn’t have an All-Star break, and he doesn’t deny being a bit weary. 

“Doing the best I can to stay fresh. Kind of trying to pick and choose some spots. It’s this time of year where there’s a decent amount of wear and tear. You just have to gut it out. That’s what you have to do every year. You feel fortunate to have the ability to play every game, but this is kind of the grind that they talk about,” Trumbo said. 

You know, we fought through it. It's hard to keep the pace that we were at. Our pitching's been better, and we've been in more games. That's why we have a lead in our division right now because we've had other parts of the game pick it up."

The Orioles have averaged three runs per game over the past 16, and Showalter knows the offense has been lagging.

“You know, we fought through it. It's hard to keep the pace that we were at. Our pitching's been better, and we've been in more games. That's why we have a lead in our division right now because we've had other parts of the game pick it up,” Showalter said. 

NOTE: Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 7.38) faces Kyle Gibson (3-6, 4.67) as the Orioles play a makeup game in Minnesota on Thursday night.  

 

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Suggs insists thought of retiring didn't cross his mind during rehab

Suggs insists thought of retiring didn't cross his mind during rehab

OWINGS MILLS – Not only does 33-year-old Terrell Suggs expect to be back on the field soon, the Ravens’ outside linebacker expects to play at a high level for several more seasons after recovering from his torn Achilles injury.

“It’s a fair question,” said Suggs on Wednesday, when asked what can realistically be expected from him in 2016. “This is 14 years for me. I came here a young 20-year-old, really didn’t know anything. I had some of the greatest Jedi Masters teaching me. It’s a fair question. We’ve seen a lot of Ravens come and go, and I’m one of the last few here. It’s a fair question, but in my eyes, premature.”

Suggs will begin training camp on the PUP list, but vows to be back soon.

“It’s not going to be long,” Suggs said. “We’re close to where we want to be. I can’t be timid, but I got to be smart. I feel good.”

Suggs suffered his season-ending Achilles injury Week 1 of last season, and has torn each of his Achilles once. Is it asking a lot for Suggs to still be an every-down player and double-digit sack artist? Yes. Does he sound up for the challenge? Yes.

MORE RAVENS: SUGGS' SHIRT ENDORSES GAME OF THRONES TICKET IN 2016 ELECTION

”Never did it cross my mind that I wasn’t going to come back,” Suggs said. “I got a lot of promises to keep. Many miles before I can sleep.  I love football. I love the locker room. I love my teammates. I love being out here being confrontational.”

Suggs also made it clear he wanted to silence doubters.

“We hear the gossip,” Suggs said. “We hear what y’all are saying. We’re confident, but motivated, too.”

One of the toughest parts of missing last season for Suggs was watching the Ravens go 5-11, and being unable to help.

“It was very tough to watch, and knowing what the guys went through, and for us to not have the success that we expected,” Suggs said. “It just didn’t feel good. Now we get a chance to kind of make it right. Last year’s gone, but we have to make sure that (same) team doesn’t show up Sept. 11 again. We work too hard. Our fans deserve better and we deserve better. We work our tails off. It takes a lot to be considered a Raven. We just got to get back to that.”

How well Suggs plays this year will play a part in determining his future. But as far as Suggs is concerned, it’s too early to start talking about his last ride.

“It’s not something I want to visit at the end of this year, or the end of next year,” Suggs said. “Maybe the year after that we can talk about it. What will I be, 36 then? But I’m not worried about it right now.”

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PHOTO: Suggs endorses Game of Thrones ticket with 2016 election T-shirt

PHOTO: Suggs endorses Game of Thrones ticket with 2016 election T-shirt

BY JEREMY FIALKOW (@JeremyFialkow)

Who are you voting for — Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Before you answer, let's turn to Ravens' outside linebacker Terrell Suggs for some other options.

Suggs, who's ready to make his triumphant return to football after a couple season-derailing injuries, tossed out his 2016 election endorsement to ... the Stark/Targaryen ticket?

The names, of course, stem from two powerful family names in HBO's hit show 'Game of Thrones.' 

(Screenshot/CSN Mid-Atlantic)

Whether Suggs actually stays up to date with 'Thrones' or if the network gifted him merchandise from all of their shows remains to be seen. Regardless, T-Sizzle is starting a movement, so climb aboard.

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