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Detwiler settling into long role, solidifying bullpen

It was a crucial moment for the Nationals Saturday against the New York Mets. Starter Yunesky Maya had slightly hurt himself running the base paths after five seamless innings on the hill. In the top of the sixth, with the Nationals clinging to a 3-0 lead, manager Davey Johnson had considered pulling Maya when he saw him come up lame. But Maya convinced Johnson to

Solis says newest Nats prospect Walters is “textbook player”

The Nationals acquired minor league shortstop Zach Walters from the Arizona Diamondbacks for starting pitcher Jason Marquis early this afternoon. Potomac Nationals pitching prospect Sammy Solis lived in the same dormitory as a freshman with Walters at the University of San Diego, and they spent three seasons as teammates on the Toreros. “Walters is a textbook player,” Solis said. “He has got the build, the

Johnson eyes Triple-A Syracuse to call up top pitching talent

Following the Nationals’ sixth consecutive loss Friday night, manager Davey Johnson admitted the organization is seriously considering calling up some of its talent from the pitching staff at Triple-A Syracuse. Johnson referenced both starters and relievers that would be available either to replace a struggling pitcher here, or fill a roster spot of a player that was traded. But make no mistake, Johnson was clear

Despite loss, Johnson impressed with Wang’s effort

Despite the 8-5 loss to the New York Mets Friday, manager Davey Johnson came away impressed with right-hander Chien-Ming Wang and his debut with the Washington Nationals. What may be more amazing is that we are even talking about Wang pitching again in the major leagues after such a serious shoulder surgery and an extended rehabilitation process. “I thought he threw the ball pertly,” Johnson

Wang struggles early, Mets take advantage over Nationals, 8-5

Following major shoulder surgery two years ago, it was a major accomplishment for Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to pitch in a major league game again. In his first game as a National, Wang hit 89 to 93 mph with his fastball, but had difficulty missing bats in the first inning and the New York Mets were quick to take advantage. New York scored four times

Wang goes four as Nats trail Mets

Nationals’ right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang suffered through a taxing first inning as the New York Mets were able to pound out four straight hits and take a 4-0 lead. Then in the fourth, the Mets went to work again with three hits and a fielding error by Danny Espinosa. Pitcher Dillon Gee had an RBI single off of Wang, who left after four innings. The

Mets add to lead against Nationals’ Chien-Ming Wang (updated)

The New York Mets greeted Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang with big opening inning. The Mets drew a walk and then slapped four straight hits off Wang. Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan with RBI singles. Jason Bay added an RBI groundout and Lucas Duda a sacrifice fly to score two more runs. Bay’s out was the first for Wang after five straight hitters reached base. He

Johnson looking for some way to rest overworked bullpen

Even with the changes recently in the outfield, Nationals manager Davey Johnson was quick to point out that his biggest concern at this moment is the status of the pitching staff. A great deal of focus recently has been on the outfield with the acquisition of left fielder Jonny Gomes from Cincinnati, today’s pending option of center fielder Roger Bernadina to Syracuse and various reports

With Wang reinstated, Bernadina optioned to Triple-A Syracuse

With right-hander Chien-Ming Wang set to be activated to pitch tonight against the New York Mets tonight, the Nationals will have to make a roster move before first pitch. Outfielder Roger Bernadina was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse prior to first pitch. Manager Davey Johnson said he was impressed with Bernadina’s work in D.C. but believes the outfielder has a few things to work on. “I

Mets-Nationals lineups for Friday

Here are the starting lineups for tonight’s Mets-Nationals game, in which right-hander Chien-Ming Wang makes his first major league start since July 2009. For the Mets: SS - Reyes 2B - Turner 1B - Murphy 3B - Wright CF - Pagan LF - Bay RF - Duda C - Paulino P - Gee For the Nationals: CF - Ankiel 2B - Espinosa 3B - Zimmerman

Destin Hood’s overall game lifting P-Nats during second-half run

Single-A Potomac Nationals left fielder Destin Hood has played well both offensively and defensively so far this season. His name is always mentioned when the conversation turns to the top prospects in the organization, and for good reason. Hood combines top speed and excellent hands with good contact at the plate. The P-Nats have started the second half with a nice run as they look

Tyler Moore best example of prospect depth at first base

BOWIE, Md. - Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore loves this time of year. July and August seem to be the months that the 24-year old out of Mississippi State heats up at the plate. In 2010, Moore shook off a slow start to crank out 31 homers and 111 RBIs for the Single-A Potomac Nationals. This season, the 16th-round selection in the 2008 draft

Johnson shakes up lineup for game two against Florida

In a three-game skid and following a listless performance in their 11-2 loss to the Marlins in the opener, manager Davey Johnson shook up the lineup for game two. Johnson benched starters Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Wilson Ramos and Roger Bernadina. He inserted Jerry Hairston Jr., Alex Cora, Jesus Flores and Rick Ankiel into the starting nine, shifting Laynce Nix to right field. Johnson will

Bryce Harper cranks first Double-A home run in Harrisburg win

BOWIE, Md. - Eerily similar to Monday’s matchup against Bowie’s Zach Britton, Baysox left-hander Mike Ballard was cruising along until Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper ignited a game-changing rally in the seventh inning. Harper crushed his first home run in Double-A, a solo shot to deep right-center field, leading Double-A Harrisburg to a 6-3 victory over the Bowie Baysox before 3,763 at Prince George’s stadium.

Bryce Harper has single, SB with Harrisburg and Bowie 1-1 midway

BOWIE, Md. - Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper has gone 1-for-2 with a single and a stolen base in a pair of plate appearances Wednesday afternoon at Prince George’s Stadium. Harper’s base hit was the first off of Former University of Virginia left-hander Mike Ballard of the Bowie Baysox. He stole base in that inning but Ballard got out of it with a strikeout in

Harrisburg’s lineup against Bowie

BOWIE, Md. - Double-A Harrisburg’s lineup against the Bowie Baysox at Prince George’s Stadium in series finale. Each team has won a game in the three-game set. Josh Johnson 2B Leonard Davis RF Chris Rahl CF Tyler Moore DH Bryce Harper LF Tim Pahuta 1B Devin Ivany C Stephen King 3B Chris McConnell SS LHP Oliver Perez (2-2, 3.75) vs. Bowie’s LHP Mike Ballard (6-0,

Bryce Harper getting defensive in left field for Harrisburg

Much has been written concerning Nationals’ top prospect Bryce Harper’s hitting, with the 14 homers and 46 RBIs in Single-A Hagerstown and a mild start in Double-A Harrisburg at the plate. Recently, Harper has started to get something going in the batter’s box with three doubles in the last two games, including a pair of extra base hits in the same inning against Orioles’ lefty

Marlins send Nationals into last place with 11-2 setback

The Florida Marlins continued their dominance over the Washington Nationals with an 11-2 victory Tuesday in the series opener before 24,650 at Nationals Park. The loss sent the Nationals into last place in the National League East for the first time since June 15. The Marlins’ Omar Infante triple and run in the first, and Logan Morrison’s two-run blast off of Nationals’ starter Jordan Zimmermann

Bryce Harper’s two doubles bookend big inning as Harrisburg wins 13-2

BOWIE, Md. - Nationals’ top prospect Bryce Harper delivered a pair of doubles to bookend the biggest inning of the season for the Senators, an eight-run outburst in the fifth inning, as Double-A Harrisburg cruised past the Bowie Baysox 13-2 before 6,375 Monday night in Bowie. Harper, playing his closest professional game to date to his future home at Nationals Park, smacked two doubles off

Slight adjustment in approach lifts Bryce Harper out of slump

BOWIE, Md. -- With two doubles off of a pitcher who made 18 starts with the Baltimore Orioles, and three doubles in a seven at-bat span, the Nationals’ No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper continues to hit the ball hard, and now is getting some of the positive results he saw during the first two months at Single-A Hagerstown. Harrisburg Senators hitting coach Troy Gingrich said

Bryce Harper’s two doubles highlight eight-run fifth inning for Harrisburg

BOWIE, Md. - The Nationals No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper crushed two doubles off of Bowie’s Zach Britton, and bases-clearing extra base hits from Stephen King and Bill Rhinehart, lifted the Harrisburg Senators to an 8-1 advantage midway through Monday’s game at Prince George’s Stadium. With Britton seemingly cruising and up 1-0, Harper led off the fifth inning with a double off the left center

Bryce Harper: “quicker game, quicker guys” at Double-A level

BOWIE, Md. - The Nationals’ No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper spoke with reporters before the opening game of the Harrisburg Senators’ series against Bowie on Monday and talked about fighting through his recent struggles at the plate. Recently, Harper fought through a 1-for-25 streak to collect five hits in his last 18 at-bats. He said before the game that he can definitely see the difference

Tarp is off the field, Harrisburg at Bowie on schedule (updated)

BOWIE, Md. - Standing by for game one of the three game set at Prince George’s Stadium, with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators preparing to take on the Bowie Baysox. Left-hander Zach Britton, looking to return to the Orioles, goes for the Baysox against the Senators’ right-hander Tanner Roark (4-7, 6.29), who is looking to snap a five-game losing skid It was absolutely pouring from 3:30

Peacock serves notice with bounceback win in second Triple-A start

Syracuse Chiefs right-hander Brad Peacock could really feel the difference in his pitching from his Triple-A debut to his second start Friday. In his first chance at Triple-A, he allowed seven runs, including a three-run homer. But July 22, he came in with his fastball hitting the spots and rolled to a five-inning victory in which he allowed only one run. “I needed that one,”

Rehab completed, Wang to start Friday for Nationals

In what was his last rehab start, right-hander Chien Ming-Wang struggled Sunday in his first loss in six minor league rehab assignments. Wang allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings, the big hit a three-run home run by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s Gustavo Molina. The Nationals reported Wang will start Friday night against the New York Mets. He otherwise dominated with a 2-1 record and a

Lefty Bronson will go tonight for Harrisburg following rain out

The Washington Nationals have announced that left-hander Evan Bronson has been called up to make his Double-A debut for Harrisburg in tonight’s Game Two of a doubleheader at Richmond. The game will be the back end of a pair of seven-inning affairs. Saturday night’s Game Two was rained out so Shairon Martis will pitch tonight’s first contest, followed by Bronson’s debut. Bronson has worked between

Hand injury slows Gilbert’s fantastic season with Senators

Archie Gilbert has landed on the disabled list with a sore right hand, pausing momentarily what has been a very consistent season at the plate for the talented Double-A Harrisburg Senators outfielder. Infielder Sean Nicol has been promoted from Single-A Hagerstown to Harrisburg and veteran pitcher Matt Chico has been released. Gilbert has been in the Red Sox, White Sox and Athletics organizations in recent

Aggression on the hill biggest difference for Smoker this season

Left-handed reliever Josh Smoker continues on a tear with the Single-A Potomac Nationals, keeping opponents off the base paths and not allowing runs. His ERA continues to dive with each successive scoreless inning, now reading 1.75 ERA. His velocity has even hit an astounding 97 mph. The Calhoun, Ga., native has allowed only one run in his past 10 appearances. But with any good relief

Early aggression: Werth connects with three extra base hits in Houston finale

Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth had his best offensive game in almost a month in Wednesday’s finale against the Houston Astros. Werth went 3-for-5 with two doubles and the Nats’ only offense, a two-run homer, that erased an early deficit and got the team eventually to extra innings, before Houston won it, 3-2 in 11. Manager Davey Johnson said he believes Werth’s aggressiveness has helped

Bryce Harper not in lineup today for Harrisburg, just a “day off”

Nationals No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper is not in the starting lineup for the Harrisburg Senators’ afternoon game today at home versus Bowie. Harper was a late game defensive replacement in left field, and walked in his only plate appearance. Harper has been scuffling recently at the plate, going 1-for-25 since July 6. He is batting .171 for the Senators, with no extra-base hits. He

P-Nats’ Olbrychowski makes move from bullpen to starter; gains momentum

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Single-A Potomac Nationals right-hander Adam Olbrychowski found himself in a jam and it was only the first inning. He could not get his first pitch over for a strike. With one out, he gave up a triple to Lynchburg shortstop Andrelton Simmons. But Olbrychowski did not panic, he settled down and got the two outs. Second inning, same trouble, the 6-foot-3 Olbrychowski

Marrero’s steady progress at first base paying dividends in Syracuse

The Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs were rained out Monday, so this is a good opportunity to check out first baseman Chris Marrero as he continues to swing a hot bat. Marrero is batting .305 through 91 games, with 20 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs. He has hit 44 homers in the last two and a half seasons and increased his average from .284 in 2009

Solano responding as everyday catcher in Syracuse

With the promotion of Jesus Flores to the big leagues, the door opened for catcher Jhonatan Solano to get every day work with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, and he has responded. Before Sunday, he had hit safely in eight of his last nine games, including three multi-hit games. The right-handed-hitting Solano is batting .315 in his last 41 games with six doubles, three homers and

Peacock falls in Triple-A debut; Solis wins; Wang update

Right-hander Brad Peacock took the loss in his debut for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs on Saturday night. He got roughed up a bit in the first inning against Lehigh Valley, allowing two homers, one a three-run shot, in a five-run initial frame. Lehigh Valley won the game 8-6. Peacock was left in and made it to the fifth inning. He posted zeroes in innings two

Hector Nelo clocked in mid-90s, leads talented Potomac bullpen

Nationals prospect reliever Patrick Lehman was rolling early on this season and quickly got his promotion to Double-A Harrisburg. So, as is the case all the time in minor league baseball, when a player advances, an opportunity is made available to allow another top prospect a shot to shine in the organization. With a vacancy in the closer role, the Potomac Nationals have turned to

Peacock focused on job at hand, earning promotion to Syracuse

Right-hander Brad Peacock capped off a whirlwind week with a well-deserved promotion to Triple-A Syracuse. Peacock started the week in the XM All-Star Futures Game, was invited to the Eastern League All-Star Game and then got the call to the Chiefs. The Miami, Fla., native went 10-2 with a career-low 2.01 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) for Double-A Harrisburg, including a career-high 129 strikeouts

Rhinehart and Gilbert with base hits as West rolls in All-Star game

Double-A Harrisburg Senators outfielder Bill Rhinehart, who smacked a double and scored a run in the Eastern League All-Star Game for the West, finished the first half of the season on a surge. The Western All-Stars beat the Eastern All-Stars 8-3 on Wednesday in Manchester, N.H. Rhinehart has gone 8-for-18 the last five games, including three straight multi-hit games. He has crushed six homers in

Wang to now pitch Thursday for Double-A Harrisburg

Nationals right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang will now make his fourth rehab start on Thursday for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, confirmed a team source. Wang was scheduled to pitch Wednesday night for the Single-A Potomac Nationals, but the game was postponed due to inclement weather in Woodbridge, Va. Wang has looked very good so far as he recovers from a right shoulder surgery in July 2009.

Prospect Moore excelling at next level after historic Potomac season

Double-A Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore has continued his solid play all season, seeking to match his defense with the power he displayed last season on the way to the Carolina League Player of the Year honor. No one will forget his amazing run in 2010, where he ended up with 31 homers and 111 RBIs, leading the Single-A Potomac Nationals to the Mills

Wang set for fourth rehab start Wednesday at Potomac

Nationals right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang will make his fourth rehab start Wednesday for the Single-A Potomac Nationals against the Kinston Indians at 7:05 p.m. in Woodbridge, Va. Wang has looked very good so far as he recovers from right shoulder surgery in July 2009. Wang has gone 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings, allowing two earned runs and two walks and striking out

Antonelli added to International League All-Star team

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs second baseman Matt Antonelli began the season with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and played just four games before being promoted. He has not missed a beat at the next level, batting .308 at Triple-A. This week, Antonelli was named to the International League All-Star squad alongside teammate and pitcher Tom Milone in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game from Salt Lake City, Utah. The

VanAllen is major part of first-place Senators’ relief corps

It is an extremely noteworthy accomplishment for the franchise to see five All-Star invites for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. Even prior to the arrival of heralded No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper, the Senators were 13 games above .500 and cruising along in the western division of the Eastern League. Harrisburg stands at 53-36 at the All-Star break, with a 5½-game lead over Richmond atop the

Prospect Ramirez sees bat wake up just in time for Potomac to get going

Single-A Potomac Nationals outfielder J.P. Ramirez crushed his first career grand slam this week as he continues to swing a hot bat with the second half of the Carolina League season underway. You will remember this is the time of year the P-Nats got on an incredible roll last season en route to their second Mills Cup championship in three seasons. The team raced out

Kimball’s surgery set for Wednesday in New York

Nationals right-handed relief pitcher Cole Kimball is scheduled to undergo surgery for a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder Wednesday in New York, performed by Dr. David Altchek. Kimball said it will be a full year of rehabilitation and he hopes to be back to 100 percent during the All-Star break in 2012. Kimball was called up May 14 and pitched very well in

Mattheus makes rare early appearance, fights for five outs

It certainly was not the situation Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus expected so early in Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies. His teammate, Nationals starter John Lannan, had gone down after getting hit in the face on a single up the middle by the Rockies’ Ty Wigginton. Lannan left the game immediately with assistance from trainer Lee Kuntz. But as a reliever, you are expected to

Johnson looking to alter Sean Burnett’s role in bullpen

As he had said before, Nationals manager Davey Johnson has complete confidence in left-hander Sean Burnett, despite his recent struggles. Thursday, Burnett allowed a game-tying two-run shot to the Cubs’ Carlos Pena after inheriting a man on first with the Nationals leading 8-6 in the seventh inning. Burnett has now allowed four earned runs and seven hits in his last four appearances, and was pretty

Burnett says a bad slider brought the Cubs back

Left-hander Sean Burnett said it was his slider that the Cubs’ Carlos Pena turned on and tied the game up at 8-8 in the seventh. It was a major turning point in the series finale that Chicago trailed 8-0, coming all the way back to stun the Nationals, 10-9. Burnett said the location of the slider was not where he wanted it to end up

Rodriguez likely headed to disabled list with strained oblique

Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez suffered a strained right oblique during batting practice Thursday against the Chicago Cub, and the injury is likely to send the veteran backstop on the 15-day disabled list. “Those things happen just like this and got me today,” Rodriguez said. “I have never experienced this kind of injury. It never happens to me. We will see what happens tomorrow. We will

Slaten strengthening arm as rehab from elbow injury continues

Nationals left-handed reliever Doug Slaten has been on the disabled list since June 4 with a left elbow injury. Recently, he has started throwing again. Slaten said he has been building up arm strength and throwing from short distances, but has yet to throw off the mound. “It is speeding up as of late,” Slaten said. “So that is a good sign. “I am just

Martis controlling games, on pitching hot streak for Harrisburg

Right-hander Shairon Martis continued a hot streak of consistent pitching for Double-A Harrisburg on Wednesday, showing the form that got him time most recently with the Nationals in 2009. The difference now is how well he is controlling games, dropping his ERA from 5.25 to 2.68. Martis went seven strong innings in notching the victory as the Senators dispatched the Erie SeaWolves, 4-3 at Metro

Bryce Harper three singles and RBI as Senators win, 4-3

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Senators left fielder Bryce Harper displayed some diversity and creativity in his offensive game Wednesday, as Double-A Harrisburg edged the Erie SeaWolves 4-3, before 3,052 at Metro Bank Park. Many fans have gotten used to the 32 extra base hits Harper produced at Single-A Hagerstown. But in his third game at the Double-A level, Harper showed how he is growing into a

Harrisburg lineup is in; Bryce Harper batting sixth again

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Double-A Senators lineup is in for tonight’s game versus the Erie Seawolves. It is a beautiful night for baseball, the sun setting in a hazy sky, with little or no wind, and 91 degrees at Metro Bank Park. Here is Tony Beasley’s lineup for Harrisburg tonight: Josh Johnson SS Adam Fox 2B Bill Rhinehart DH Tyler Moore 1B Chris Rahl CF

Prospect Tyler Moore on Bryce Harper in Double-A: “I am glad he is here”

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Nationals’ No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper is well into his first week playing left field for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. In his first game, Harper had a pair of singles. In his second contest, he threw out two runners from left field trying to stretch singles into doubles. The transition for Harper from low Single-A to Double-A is in its infancy

Solis nets victory with “awesome” debut in Potomac

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Left-hander Sammy Solis took another step forward with a quality debut for the Single-A Potomac Nationals in a 12-3 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Pfitzner Stadium. You could hear the smack of Sandy Leon’s catcher’s mitt when Solis’ fastball would smoke in there, and he worked the mound at an up tempo, but controlled pace. Solis went six innings, scattering

Solis promoted to Single-A Potomac, will start tonight

The Nationals announced that left-hander Sammy Solis has been promoted to the Single-A Potomac Nationals and will make his first Carolina League start tonight at home against Wilmington. Solis went 2-1 with a 4.02 ERA in seven starts for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns, recording a victory in his last game June 30 versus Lakewood. He also put up 40 strikeouts to 12 walks. Solis was

Milone named International League Pitcher of the Week

Syracuse Chiefs left-handed starter Tom Milone has been named International League Pitcher of the Week after going 14 1/3 innings in two starts and allowing only one run. Milone said the last few weeks have been going smoothly on the mound. “I can’t complain,” Milone said. “I am throwing the ball well. Everything is working with all four pitches. I am throwing strikes, which is

Bryce Harper goes 2-for-3 with run scored in Double-A debut

Nationals No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk in his Double-A debut Monday night with Harrisburg, as the Senators cruised past Erie SeaWolves 8-1. Derek Norris and Bill Rhinehart each hit a pair of home runs and Brad Peacock won his 10th game, going six innings, allowing a single run and striking out nine. Harper singled to center

Is Johnson considering Nix at first base Tuesday due to injuries?

Laynce Nix could get the start at first base Tuesday with Matt Stairs and Michael Morse ailing, manager Davey Johnson announced after Monday’s 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Stairs replaced Morse, who sat out today’s game with an arm contusion. Johnson said Stairs then banged up his bad knee running down the line on a foul ball into the stands, and was replaced by

Nationals make sure Harper will be comfortable in Harrisburg

No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper will be in good hands again in Double-A Harrisburg as he was in Hagerstown, said Nationals’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo on 106.7 The Fan. Harper will play mostly in left field in Harrisburg, according to Rizzo. He said that the coaching staff was one of the reasons the organization felt comfortable in selecting

Top Nationals prospect Bryce Harper promoted to Harrisburg Senators

The Nationals’ No. 1 prospect, Bryce Harper, has been promoted from the Single-A Hagerstown Suns to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, according to general manager Mike Rizzo. “We feel that he’s had plenty of time at the Single-A level. ... He’s dominated it pretty well,” Rizzo said on “The Extended Pregame Show” on 106.7 The Fan. Rizzo said Harper will report to Harrisburg tonight, and will

Prospect Moldenhauer smacks another HR; makes strides at 1B

Former University of Texas star Russell Moldenhauer is doing well at the plate again this season as the Nationals try to find a home for him at first base. Sunday, he hit a two-run shot and finished with three RBIs in NY/Penn league short-season Auburn Doubleday’s 10-4 victory over State College. Moldenhauer is batting .312 with six doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs in 16

Mattheus relishes first major league win as Nats come back again

Nationals right-hander Ryan Mattheus earned his first major league victory by holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to no runs in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 4-3 game two victory. Mattheus got the first two outs in the inning, allowed two singles and then induced a pop out to third by Pirates clean up hitter Garrett Jones. “It is awesome,” Mattheus said. “Of course, my first win

Lannan’s long outing provides opportunity Nationals needed to split

The Nationals split a doubleheader with the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday, 4-3, on an RBI base hit from Ivan Rodriguez. But the reason the Nationals were in the game again for some late inning magic was the starting pitching. Lefty John Lannan went seven strong innings on only 80 pitches, scattering six hits, allowing three runs and allowing no walks with one strikeout. It is the

Rodriguez’s pinch-hit RBI single finishes off Pirates in nightcap, 4-3

The Nationals new field manager continues to push the right buttons and his team again finds a way to come back late in the game for another stunning victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3, before 39,638 at Nationals Park, earning a split of the Saturday double dip. Davey Johnson pinch hit veteran Ivan Rodriguez in the bottom of the eighth inning with two men on.

Wang reaches 91 mph with four scoreless innings in second rehab start

Nationals right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang tossed four scoreless innings for the Single-A Potomac Nationals against Wilmington in his second rehab start Saturday night in Woodbridge, Va. Wang, continuing recovery from major shoulder surgery, tossed 38 pitches with 24 for strikes. He allowed two hits, two walks, no runs and struck out two batters. According to reports from the field, all seven of his pitches in

Johnson still has confidence in Burnett after loss to Pirates in Game 1

The Nationals dropped the doubleheader opener to the Pirates, 5-3, on a pair of home runs in the late innings that broke open a close contest. Livan Hernandez had kept the Nationals close, but unlike Friday, it was Pittsburgh that had the late game heroics. Manager Davey Johnson was pleased with the way Hernandez stayed in the game. He was able to get to the

Pena gets call to Eastern All-Star game; Peacock will attend but not pitch

Double-A Harrisburg reliever Hassan Pena has been added to the Western Division roster for the 2011 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star game, July 13. Pena has a record of 1-1 with a 2.10 ERA, five saves, 29 strikeouts over 25 2/3 innings for the Senators. Pena replaces Brad Peacock, who will be in uniform, but will not pitch because of his participation in the

Ian Desmond at the plate: “I just need to be free and easy up there”

Nationals manager Davey Johnson pinch hit for shortstop Ian Desmond in the ninth inning of Friday night’s 2-1 victory in the home series opener versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. Johnson said he told Desmond before the switch that he expected his young infielder “to get hot so this doesn’t happen again.” Pinch hitter Matt Stairs smacked an RBI single off the right field wall to plate

Gorzelanny’s seven innings finally pays off for Nationals

This game could have very easily gotten away from starter Tom Gorzelanny. But Gorzelanny beared down when it mattered most, notching eight strikeouts, most of them in the game’s deciding moments. Because of his seven innings and only one unearned run allowed, the Nationals were in the game they eventually won in the bottom of the ninth, 2-1, over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park.

LaRoche says shoulder “feels really good” as post-surgery rehab commences

Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche had shoulder surgery 10 days ago and reports the rehab process is off to a positive start, and that the shoulder is surprisingly mobile. “It feels really good, actually,” LaRoche reported with a protective cast and sling around his left arm. LaRoche even took off the sling at one point to sign a baseball and then put the velcro protective

Johnson sees where the Nationals can improve

The Nationals’ new field manager Davey Johnson conducted his first pregame news conference at Nationals Park Friday before their homestand opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Johnson officially replaced Jim Riggleman Monday in Los Angeles. Riggleman resigned eight days ago following a 2-1 home series finale over the Seattle Mariners. Johnson said he sees a lot of good things from the way the team is set

Doubledays manager: Fifth-round pick Skole “impressive” so far

There is something about Atlantic Coast Conference third basemen and the Nationals. The team grabbed a guy by the name of Ryan Zimmerman from Virginia in 2005 and now have signed Matt Skole out of Georgia Tech in 2011. Skole signed his deal quickly and is already playing baseball in the New York-Penn League. The Nationals’ highest signed draft pick so far is making a

Dominican players starting to fortify GCL and Auburn rosters

The Gulf Coast League Nationals roster includes several draft picks from this season’s first-year haul. But Nationals director of player development Doug Harris is particularly excited about how the franchise’s baseball academy in the Dominican Republic is now graduating several players to the GCL Nationals and the New York-Penn League Auburn Doubledays. Harris said the GCL squad has a couple of Dominican players that have

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