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The Washington Mystics. (Courtesy Photo)

BALTIMORE—The Washington Mystics started the 2019 season dealing with several injury issues.

Elena Delle Donne, one of the WNBA’s top players, was out thanks to a knee issue. She did not even travel to Connecticut for the season opener with the Sun. Two other players also did not play due to injuries. Starting guard Kristi Toliver hurt her right leg, causing her to miss almost all of the fourth quarter.

The Mystics, simply put, are short-handed right now, and that’s going to hurt them until everything settles down. The injuries played a huge factor in Connecticut handing the visiting Mystics an 84-69 loss on May 25.

“It’s hard, but everybody goes through it,” Washington Coach and General Manager Mike Thibault. “Luckily for us, hopefully – hopefully – it’ll only last a short amount of time at the start of the year and then we get better as we go. But it’s ugly to watch.”

Toliver spoke to team doctors after the game and did not meet with the media, so the extent of her injury was not known. Missing Delle Donne and Toliver plus two others players, including top draft choice Kiara Leslie (torn meniscus in her right knee), is not the way to start a season. Especially for a team went to the championship round last season.

For now, though, as Thibault said, the Mystics just have to be patient until the players start to heal.

Orioles Drop Two Of Three To Rockies

The Baltimore Orioles’ pitching problems continued when taking a quick trip to Colorado to take on the Rockies in a three-game series last weekend.

The Orioles dropped two of three games to Colorado, with both losses coming in walk-off fashion and against closer Mychal Givens. He gave up a walk that tied the game in the ninth on May 26 and then a walk-off sacrifice fly to Tony Wolters that gave the Rockies an 8-7 victory over the Orioles.

That came two days after Givens gave up a walk-off homer to Trevor Story that gave Colorado an 8-6 victory in the series opener.

And that was one day after Givens allowed a walk with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth that snapped a tie with the Yankees and gave New York a 6-5 victory in Baltimore.

“We just had a tough time closing the door down,” said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde. “(But) we didn’t quit this is a team that battles.”

The question now is what the Orioles will do in the closer’s spot and with Givens, who has the arm and the pitches but can’t find the command and control.

D.C. United Moves Into Eastern Top Spot

Wayne Rooney’s penalty kick late in the second half gave D.C. United a 1-1 tie against the host New England Revolution on May 25.

The tie put D.C. United (7-4-4) into first place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points.

New England scored first on a Juan Agudelo goal in the 62nd minutes. D.C. United had several scoring chances before Rooney came through with time running out.

The Revolution was called for a handball in the box, and Rooney then tied the game with his subsequent shot. That was Rooney’s eighth goal this season.

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