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no closer.Alyssa Thomas added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Jasmine Thomas had 14 points with a career-high 10 assists, and Chiney

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25.09.2018 13:53
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(Sports Network) - Nobody was happier to see the calendar turn to August more than Toronto right-hander Josh Johnson. On Thursday, Johnson tries to put a miserable month of July behind him when the Blue Jays begin a four-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium. Johnson hasnt been particularly effective in any month this season, but July was especially brutal for the one-time Cy Young Award candidate. He lost all five starts in July and pitched to a 7.71 ERA in doing so. "Hes scuffling. Thats an understatement," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "Hes feeling it. Hes human. You feel for the guy. He hasnt struggled a whole lot in his career. Hes trying to settle in, hes trying to contribute, (but) it hasnt gone well for him." Johnsons most recent loss came to hapless Houston on Saturday, as he was ripped for seven runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, dropping him to 1-7 on the year to go along with a 6.08 ERA. "This game will definitely test you," Johnson said. "(My confidence is) not real high, but you have to stay positive. (Youve) got to find a way to stay positive ... find a way to get through it and be better because of it." Johnson has never faced the Angels, but is 0-4 with a 7.66 ERA in five starts away from home this season. Toronto enters this series playing well, despite the fact that it still sits in last place of the American League East, 14 games behind the division- leading Boston Red Sox. The Blue Jays won for the fifth time in seven tries on Wednesday, as Jose Bautistas RBI double in the top of the 10th inning helped them beat the Oakland Athletics, 5-2. "I thought we played a good game," Gibbons said. Los Angeles, meanwhile, is certainly happy to be heading home after suffering three straight walk-off losses to the Texas Rangers. It was the first time that the team dropped three consecutive games in that fashion. In fact, the last team to get swept in a three-game series on three walk-off homers was the Montreal Expos -- now the Washington Nationals -- from May 10-12, 1999, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. "Obviously this last week has been rough for some guys in the pen, but were going to keep going," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "Things will get better as we move forward. Some guys who have been pitching a lot need to recharge a bit." Getting the call for the Angels on Thursday will be righty Garrett Richards, who is 2-4 with a 4.33 ERA. Richards did not get a decision on Saturday in Oakland, but pitched well, scattering three hits over five scoreless innings in his teams 3-1 loss. The Blue Jays and Angels split their eight meetings last season. Hanley Ramirez Jersey . The veteran safety was a starter for the Bengals from 2008-2012. He totaled 41 tackles and three interceptions while starting all but four of the 13 games he played last season. Custom Boston Red Sox Jerseys . Halladay signed a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday that allowed the veteran right-hander to retire as a member of team with which he broke into the majors and spent the bulk of his distinguished 16-year career. . Pierce was ejected in the third quarter of Indianas 103-86 win Monday. George Hill stole a bad pass and was going in for a layup, and Pierce hustled back and appeared to be trying to wrap him up. Jackie Bradley Jr Jersey . The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset against Stanislas Wawrinka. His first stop after the layoff is the clay in Rio as he tests the back and tries to stay healthy for the French Open in three months. Luis Tiant Jersey . The news was first reported on Gonzalezs Twitter account and confirmed by the Rockies. Gonzalez has a six-week window before position players have their first workout at spring training in Arizona. INDIANAPOLIS -- Tamika Catchings scored 16 points in her final regular-season WNBA game and the Indiana Fever locked up the No. 5 playoff seed with 83-60 victory over the Dallas Wings on Sunday.Catchings received a standing ovation when she left the game with 1:33 left in the fourth quarter. She played all of her 15 seasons with Indiana, finishing her WNBA career second in points, first in rebounds and first in steals.During the first quarter, Catchings became the first WNBA player to make 2,000 free throws.WNBA career scoring leader Tina Thompson was on hand to show her support and former Pacers great Reggie Miller received cheers when the video screen showed him wearing one of the special game-day editions of Catchings shooting shirt.The Fever (17-17) tied the Atlanta Dream for fifth place in the overall standings and earned the higher seed by virtue of a 2-1 edge in the season series. Indiana will host Phoenix, for a single-elimination game in the first round.Karima Christmas led the Wings (11-23) with 12 points.STORM 88, SKY 75SEATTLE -- Breanna Stewart scored 18 points, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 16 and the Storm clinched the seventh seed in the WNBA playoffs with a victory over the Sky.Seattle will play at Atlanta in the opening round of the playoffs. Stewart also grabbed 11 rebounds, including her 277th defensive one of the season to pass Lisa Leslies WNBA record of 276 set in 2004.Sue Bird had 14 points and five assists for Seattle (16-18). The Storm needed to win to secure the seed after Phoenix beat the San Antonio Stars earlier. The Mercury will be the No. 8 seed.Jamierra Faulkner and Jessica Breland each scored 14 points for Chicago (18-16), which has a first-round bye.dddddddddddd.MERCURY 81, STARS 65SAN ANTONIO -- Diana Taurasi had all of her 18 points in the first half and the Mercury beat the Stars.Phoenix (16-18) will be the eighth seed in the playoffs and play at Indiana in the first round.The Mercury pulled away with a 10-1 run to end the second quarter ahead 45-33. The Stars (7-27) closed within 64-58 late in the third, but the Mercury went on a 12-0 run to lead by 18 with 6:52 left in the game.Brittney Griner scored 11 of her 15 points after halftime, Candice Dupree added 12 points and DeWanna Bonner 10.Monique Currie led San Antonio with 19 points. Moriah Jefferson scored 16 and Haley Peters added 11.The game marked the end of San Antonio coach Dan Hughes career as well as center Jayne Appel-Marinelli.SUN 87, MYSTICS 78WASHINGTON -- Jonquel Jones had 21 points and seven rebounds and the Sun closed the regular season with a victory over the Mystics.The Sun (14-20) scored 10 straight to lead 81-70 with 5:33 left in the fourth quarter. The Mystics (13-21) responded with four straight points but got no closer.Alyssa Thomas added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Jasmine Thomas had 14 points with a career-high 10 assists, and Chiney Ogwumike had 10 points and 10 rebounds.Washington had the first third-quarter lead of more than four points at 62-57 with 3:32 left in the period. But Connecticut had a 9-0 run and finished the quarter up 71-65.Emma Meesseman and Stefanie Dolson had 18 points each to lead the Mystics. Kahleah Copper had 15, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt 13 and Tayler Hill 10. 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