Mystics head west to face Beard, Sparks

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Mystics head west to face Beard, Sparks

I dont have an explanation for it except that people werent ready to play and that is unacceptable and inexcusable.What Im going to do is find the five people that want to play together, that want to play defense and want to play (with) energy for the entire game.That is what Mystics coach Trudi Lacey had to say following the June 8 loss to New York, at the time Washingtons fourth straight setback. It also marked another game the revamped roster opened with a less than full-throated effort and in turn fell behind by more than 20 points in the first half.With a week to prepare before facing Indiana on Friday and Lacey staying true to her lineup shakeup pledge, Washington may have found the right mix at least the result for one night said as much. They stayed in contact early and made enough plays late for a 67-66 home win over the Fever."We have felt like this has been coming for a long time, Lacey said following the Mystics second win of the season. As I try to explain that when you have so many fresh faces to the offense the chemistry takes some time, our defense has been pretty solid. It was a total team effort.Now, starting Monday night in what is a de-facto reunion Los Angeles against Alana Beard, Washingtons all-time leading scorer, Lacey will see if the lessons learned travel as the Mystics (2-5) start a three-game road trip. Dating back to last year and including two games this season, the Mystics have dropped 11 straight away from the Verizon Center.Crystal Langhorne heads west with a streak of three straight games of 20 or more points. That level of production from the All-Star forward is baked into the Mystics winning formula recipe. Its the other ingredients enhancing her post presence that changed the taste from bitter to winning.Assertive wing guard Matee Ajavon, making her first start of the season along in the new-look backcourt with fellow newbie start Jasmine Thomas, scored 15 points, shooting 3-for-5 from three-point range. In the opening lineup for a second straight game, center Michelle Snow, one of the man y newly acquired players added this off-season, pulled down 12 rebounds. Simply new altogether, 5-foot-2 guard Shannon Bobbitt, signed as a free agent on Wednesday, finished with eight points and five assists n 19 minutes of play on Friday.
Well, she maybe the smallest player on the court but shes the toughest player on the court.The Mystics will need some toughness against the Sparks (7-3), winners of all four of their home games this season, but entering Monday on a two-game losing skid.Los Angeles defense has sparked those home wins as opponents are scoring just 68.7 points per game. Offensively, Candice Parker leads the Sparks in scoring with 19.4 points and Kristi Tolliver, Langhornes former teammate at the University of Maryland, averages 16.2 points.The current Mystics will also have to contend with all the ex-Mystics now playing on the left coast starting with Beard. After missing two seasons with injuries, the 30-year-old guard is averaging 9.8 points and shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. DeLisha Milton-Jones, Marissa Coleman and Coco Miller are also part of the Sparks rotation. No matter the players, the two sides have been even over the years. The Mystics and Sparks have split their last seven season series.

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Nationals fall to Padres as four starters sit on the bench

Nationals fall to Padres as four starters sit on the bench

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run homer and the San Diego Padres broke out the bats, beating the Washington Nationals 5-3 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

The Padres had only one run and six hits with 31 strikeouts in back-to-back losses in games started by Washington's Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to begin the series. San Diego bounced back by matching its season high with 14 hits, with 12 coming off starter Joe Ross (2-1).

NL home run leader Bryce Harper was among four starters out of the lineup for Washington. The game was delayed 1 hour, 20 minutes by rain.

RELATED: HARPER AMONG 4 NATS' STARTERS OUT VS. PADRES SUNDAY

Four relievers, including Kirby Yates (1-0), pitched 4 2-3 hitless innings following starter Jhoulys Chacin's latest bumpy road appearance. Brandon Maurer worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Chase d'Arnaud had a two-run single and double for the Padres. Franchy Cordero singled in the third for his first major league hit and later doubled.

Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters also did not start for the Nationals. All three entered as pinch hitters, but were retired. Washington opens a nine-game, 10-day road trip Monday afternoon in San Francisco.

Adam Lind drove in two runs. His RBI double in the fifth off Chacin pulled Washington closer at 5-3.

Chacin surrendered three runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. He also had two singles and an RBI.

Ross, who allowed five in four innings plus three batters in the fifth, certainly had two tough acts to follow. Strasburg struck out a career-high 15 in Saturday's 3-0 win after Scherzer fanned 13 in Friday's 5-1 series-opening victory.

San Diego doubled the amount it scored in consecutive losses after just four batters. Following a two-out walk to Wil Myers, Schimpf hit his 13th homer of the season and second in the series.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RHP Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) remains on track to face hitters this week, manager Andy Green said.

Nationals: Murphy missed the previous two games due to illness, Chris Speier said Saturday. Speier, serving as acting manager with Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, did not meet with the media before Sunday's game.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.50 ERA) faces the Cubs at home on Monday.

Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (4-2, 4.32) opens a three-game road series against Giants LHP Matt Moore (2-5, 5.28)

More Nationals: NATIONALS PLAYERS VISIT LOCAL LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS

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Astros hand Orioles 7th straight loss

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USA Today Sports

Astros hand Orioles 7th straight loss

HOUSTON -- George Springer homered during a six-run second inning, sending Lance McCullers and the Houston Astros over Baltimore 8-4 Sunday for the Orioles' season-worst seventh straight loss.

Springer connected for the second straight game, helping the Astros overcome a 3-0 deficit against Alec Asher (1-3).

McCullers (6-1) allowed five hits and three runs -- two earned -- in six innings. He struck out eight in his fourth straight win.

McCullers' streak of 22 scoreless innings ended when Schoop hit a two-run homer in the first.

Schoop drove in three runs and Mark Trumbo added a solo homer for the Orioles, who have been outscored 38-17 during their skid.

Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run double with one out in the Houston second inning and scored on a double by Yuli Gurriel to tie it at 3.

Springer for his 11th homer with two outs. Asher watched the ball sail over him and put his hands on his knees and shook his head as Springer rounded the bases.

Josh Reddick followed with a triple and scored on a single by Jose Altuve to push the lead to 6-3. Asher finally got the third out when Carlos Correa hit a grounder in his second at-bat of the inning.

Asher gave up six hits in two innings in his first start since replacing struggling right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation. Jimenez, who had a 7.17 ERA in nine games entering Sunday, allowed five hits and two runs in six innings after Asher's early exit.

Up 2-0, the Orioles the bases with one out in the second on a single by Hyun Soo Kim and two errors. Schoop's single with two outs pushed the lead to 3-0 before McCullers retired Manny Machado to limit the damage.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: CF Adam Jones was out of the lineup for a second straight game because of a sore hip. But manager Buck Showalter said he was feeling better and that he expects him to return on Monday.

Astros: Put RHP Charlie Morton on the 10-day disabled list with a strained muscle in the right side of his back and manager A.J. Hinch said there is no timetable for his return. Mike Fiers, who was moved into the bullpen on Saturday in favor of Brad Peacock, will return to the rotation to make Morton's scheduled start on Tuesday at Minnesota.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Dylan Bundy (5-3, 2.92 ERA) is scheduled to start for Baltimore on Monday in the opener of a series against the Yankees. He allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings of a 2-0 loss to the Twins in his last start.

Astros: Brad Peacock (2-0, 0.87) will make his second start of the season on Monday when Houston opens a three-game series at Minnesota. Peacock allowed one hit and no runs while striking out eight in 4 1/3 innings of his last start when he filled in when Dallas Keuchel missed one start with a pinched nerve in his neck.