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Nationals take lead in Atlanta thanks to Detwiler, Desmond (Nats win)

The Nationals were able to get a few hits early on against Braves right-hander Randall Delgado. Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler got off to a good start and contributed offensively for one of the few times in his career. Detwiler's RBI single plated Michael Morse in the second, giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead. In the third inning with two outs, Ian Desmond smacked a single

Potomac's Pfitzner Stadium sustains damage from fire, all employees accounted for

Pfitzner Stadium, home of the high Single-A Potomac Nationals, was damaged by a fire today in Woodbridge, Va. A team official, who was at the stadium when the fire broke out, said the fire originated in the front office area, which is one story above the concession stands. He said the fire began around 4:40 p.m. The fire has been extinguished. "There was a fire

Five Senators invited to Eastern League All-Star game

Five Harrisburg Senators have been invited to play for the Western Division in the Eastern League All-Star Game, known as the Baseballtown All-Star Classic. The game will be July 11 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pa., beginning at 7:05 p.m. The Nationals' Double-A representatives include two pitchers, one infielder and two outfielders. Right-handed pitchers Kevin Pucetas and left-hander Danny Rosenbaum have been invited. Pucetas has

Bryce Harper hopes big hit will be big boost into Atlanta

The Nationals did not win the game, but they did get a key ninth-inning play from an important player that could open the door to a surge before the All-Star break. The Rockies ended up beating the Nationals 11-10 in 11 innings Thursday, but it would not have been that way had it not been for Bryce Harper. Throughout the series against Colorado, Harper wasn't

Ryan Perry and Cole Kimball both start tonight; Destin Hood returns

Right-hander Ryan Perry gets his second professional start tonight as Double-A Harrisburg plays host to Altoona. Perry went three innings in his first start and was very solid. If Perry can have some "easy" innings tonight, as Senators pitching coach Paul Menhart termed them, he will likely be extended to four innings. Harrisburg right fielder Destin Hood returns to the lineup after getting a day

Skole, Hague, Demny and Higley highlight Nats' prospects Wednesday work

News and notes from Wednesday around the Nationals organization. Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns lost to Delmarva 8-4, but got a three-run homer from third baseman Matt Skole, who now has a league-leading 18 round-trippers. Billy Burns swiped three bases to raise his season total to an amazing 28. The lineup is littered with guys buzzing at the plate: Brian Goodwin (.315), Burns (.307), Caleb Ramsey

Clown decision: big oversight not having Bryce Harper in home run derby

OK. It is time for someone to step in here. Please don't let the All-Star Game Home Run Derby go the way of the NBA slam dunk contest. Calling on commissioner Bud Selig or Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. Someone step in with a "sponsor" exemption. Nationals slugger Bryce Harper needs to be in the home run derby. This event needs a kick. Nothing like the

H. Rodriguez to Harrisburg for rehab (update); Hood gets day off

Right-hander Henry Rodriguez continues his path back to the Nationals as he recovers from a finger injury. Today, Rodriguez is expected to make a rehab appearance for the Harrisburg Senators in a relief role. Outfielder Destin Hood went 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a walk in last night's game. It was his first game with Harrisburg in over a month. But for

Nationals' Tyler Moore signals he should stay with another monster blast

This just in. There is another future star in the Nats' clubhouse. He hits home runs that bounce off Pikes Peak and he plays left field like he was born for that position. The thumper. The bulldog. He is Tyler Moore. What a shot. Moore's fifth-inning three-run homer landed 15 to 20 rows up at Coors Field in the left-center stands. A thunderous swing that

Outfielder Destin Hood returns to lineup; Marrero update in Syracuse

Right fielder Destin Hood has recovered from his wrist injury and returns to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators' lineup. Hood completed his rehab assignment with the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays, going 3-for-17 (.176) with a double, two walks and seven strikeouts. Hood was hitting .220 in 41 games with the Senators, but injured his wrist and had a bout with the flu that slowed his season.

Strasburg not affected after hitting Scutaro, but upset with Rockies rally

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg looked pretty good again Monday, but allowed three runs in the 4-2 loss to the Rockies in Denver. A loss by Strasburg is as rare as oxygen at the higher elevations of the Mile High City. It was his first setback since May 15. Fresh off of striking out the side in the fifth and his team clinging to a 2-1 advantage,

Nationals reliever Cole Kimball will start tonight for Potomac (updated)

Right-hander Cole Kimball continues to make his way back to the Nationals. The 26-year-old will start for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals tonight when they host Wilmington. Kimball, recovering from rotator cuff surgery last July, was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA over 14 innings with the Nationals in 2011. He has appeared in two games so far at low Single-A Hagerstown and the Gulf Coast

This one goes to 11: Meyer and Karns shine with spectacular strikeout tallies

High Single-A Potomac right-hander Nathan Karns turned in another sterling performance Sunday for the P-Nats. Karns, with a career high 11 strikeouts in his longest outing of his career, worked eight innings in a 7-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks from Woodbridge, Va. The 24-year-old Karns (2-2) allowed only two hits and just one run in his fourth start with Potomac, dropping his ERA

Hagerstown's Goodwin, Skole shine; Perry solid in Double-A; Marrero optioned to Chiefs

The Single-A Hagerstown Suns put on another offensive show Saturday night with a 10-8 victory over the Lakewood Blueclaws. A big part of that power display was from outfielder Brian Goodwin, the 34th overall selection in 2011, who smashed two homers and drove in four runs. Goodwin has four homers in the past five games with nine RBIs. It was his first four-hit game of

If Jackson is No. 4, then Nationals might have four No. 1 starters

Edwin Jackson didn't have his best stuff Saturday night, but the stuff he had was good enough to hold the Orioles hitless for 4 1/3 innings as the Nationals evened the series following a 3-1 victory before 46,298 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. "It was one of those days when you don't have blow-away stuff," Jackson said. "You just have to just go out

Nationals exude confidence and stability with Davey Johnson at the helm

It has been one year. June 23, 2011, fresh off a hot streak, Jim Riggleman resigned as manager of the Nationals, and Davey Johnson was asked to take over. The Nationals were 38-37. After that day, the team finished 42-44 and have gone 82-72 since Riggleman resigned. Flash forward 365 days. Under the direction of Davey Johnson, the Nationals have gone 40-28 this season and

Nationals' Perry, DeRosa, Perez, Maldonado and Moore news

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Mark DeRosa emailed him and said he "feels great" and would like to return to the roster. Johnson wants DeRosa to spell third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, maybe every once and awhile if he needs to rest his shoulder. Currently, Steve Lombardozzi is the backup for Zimmerman, but has gotten a lot of playing time in the outfield. This is again

Kimball pitches another shutout inning in rehab stint; Rendon update

Nationals right-hander Cole Kimball, recovering from major rotator cuff surgery in his right shoulder, made another successful rehab appearance, this time at low Single-A Hagerstown. Kimball started for the Suns, going one inning, allowing one hit and no runs and striking out two batters. The Suns started him because there were weather concerns in Hagerstown, and they wanted to make sure Kimball got his work

Nationals' Zimmerman on hitting struggles: "I want to get out of this"

Two trends remained the same Friday at Camden Yards, and both didn't help the Nationals' cause. Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel was close to dominant in twirling eight innings against the Nationals for a Friday night win, and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman continued to struggle at the plate. Zimmerman went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and two groundouts. He has now gone 3-for-27 (.111) in his last

Johnson believes Desmond is All-Star quality

Manager Davey Johnson said he voted for shortstop Ian Desmond as a National League All-Star on his ballot for the Midsummer Classic in Kansas City this July. With all the outstanding shortstops to choose from, does Johnson really think Desmond is deserving? "I do," Johnson said. "He made my ballot, so that should tell you something." His batting average isn't eye-popping, but he has shown

Nationals' Burnett and Clippard pose an unstoppable 1-2 punch in win over Rays

The quiet assassins, that is what they are. Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard. This is their fourth season together in the same bullpen. That experience with the Nationals, side by side in the bullpen, is now paying dividends. There is something about how they go about their business - quietly, smoothly and efficiently - that shortens every game they pitch in. They seem to play

Nationals reliever Cole Kimball to rehab in Hagerstown, DeRosa playing third for P-Nats

A club source confirmed that Nationals right-handed reliever Cole Kimball will be reporting to low Single-A Hagerstown on Friday. Kimball had a solid outing with the Gulf Coast League Nationals, going one inning and allowing no runs, one hit and one strikeout on June 19. I visited with several Potomac Nationals today at batting practice in Woodbridge, Va. Shortstop Ricky Hague said he will play

Nationals' Harper and Lombardozzi showcase bat and glove to topple Rays

The Nationals' young tandem of left fielder Steve Lombardozzi and center fielder Bryce Harper haven't had that much time to play together in the outfield, but their defensive play and timely early offense was enough to lift the Nationals past Tampa Bay 3-2, snapping a four-game skid. Might be hard to believe the duo has played all of 69 games in the outfield at the

Rays' Maddon advises future players to reconsider signing with Nats

The war of words in Pine Tar Gate escalated following Tuesday's incident where Rays reliever and former Nationals pitcher Joel Peralta was ejected for an "excessive amount of a foreign substance in or around his glove", according to the umpiring crew. The umpires were tipped off when Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked that Peralta's glove be checked for pine tar. Apparently, Davey found out through

Gonzalez's advice fueled Detwiler to quicker tempo in shutout relief

The Nationals have more left-handers in their bullpen than right-handers. The southpaws: Sean Burnett, Ross Detwiler, Michael Gonzalez and Tom Gorzelanny build a bond as many left-handers do, comparing pitches and game strategies. Detwiler came into a tough situation Tuesday. With starter Chien-Ming Wang struggling from the first three batters on, Detwiler and Gonzalez got the feeling they could be called upon earlier than usual.

Ryan knows Ryan: Nationals' Mattheus believes Perry's transition to starter will be smooth one

Right-hander Ryan Perry is now with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators as he prepares to transition from reliever to starter. The 6-foot-4, 213 lb. pitcher will make his professional debut as a starter Saturday night at the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Perry is slated to pitch three innings, or to a limited pitch count, as he makes his initial attempt pitching as a starter. This will

Nationals' Chris Marrero reports to Triple-A Syracuse

It is obvious that Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero is feeling better and his torn hamstring is not giving him any trouble as he quickly moves up the ranks of the franchise's minor league system. A club source confirmed that Marrero has completed his rehab stint with Double-A Harrisburg and has reported to Triple-A Syracuse. Marrero already made quick stops at Single-A Hagerstown and Potomac.

Nationals confirm trio of promotions, Perry to move to starter

Nationals director of player development Doug Harris has confirmed that infielders Justin Bloxom, Zach Walters and Jason Martinson have been promoted. Bloxom and Walters are moving to Double-A Harrisburg and Martinson heads to high Single-A Potomac. Bloxom has hit .259 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs, while Walters has connected for a .269 average with five homers and 24 RBIs. Harris also announced that right-hander

GCL Nationals open season today, full roster; Perez, Hood rehab updates

The Gulf Coast League Nationals, directed by new manager Tripp Keister, open play today against the GCL Marlins. Right-hander Adam Carr and left-hander Josh Smoker are on rehab assignments with the GCL Nats. Double-A Harrisburg outfielder Eury Perez (oblique) is also listed on the roster on a rehab assignment with the GCL club. Meanwhile, a club source confirmed Harrisburg outfielder Destin Hood (wrist) will join

LaRoche after sweep by Yankees: "We got some work to do"

The Nationals rolled back into town after sweeping six in a row on the road. With the Yankees arriving just as hot, there was anticipation the Nats had a chance to make a statement. This statement would not just be to the mid-Atlantic region, but to the nation, if they could compete and beat the team that usually sets the tone for all of Major

Storen confirms he's on track for All-Star break return

Right-hander Drew Storen is still on track to return by the All-Star break. Storen has been recovering from elbow surgery to remove a bone chip. He said he would actually like to get back into a few games while the team is at home, right before the break in mid-July, maybe against the Giants or Rockies from July 3-8. Storen said he is still in

Nationals Adam LaRoche tells Bryce Harper to "shake it off" after five-strikeout outing

It was a particularly rough afternoon at the plate for Bryce Harper. The talented rookie struck out five times against the Yankees in a 5-3, 14-inning loss before a sellout crowd of 41,287 at Nationals Park. Yankees starter Andy Pettitte used his slider to subdue Harper with three consecutive strikeouts. In his final pair of strikeouts, the frustration started to show as Harper had plenty

Bullpen updates on Mattheus, Storen and Rodriguez

Nationals right-handed reliever Ryan Mattheus said everything went well with his foot in his latest rehab game at Double-A Harrisburg. He is feeling no complications as he recovers from plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Mattheus threw 26 pitches of scoreless ball over one inning. A club source on hand said Mattheus "looked great." Mattheus told me he will have two more rehab assignments on

Nationals' early chances loom large in late stumble against Yankees

The Nationals have been playing good baseball. Tonight, they faced a team playing just as well. When you face a team like the Yankees, it takes more than good starting pitching to win. For six innings, the Nats were in this thing, down 2-1. But a four-run seventh inning decided it, and the Yankees cruised 7-2, with five runs in the final three frames. One

Yankees' Girardi impressed with Nats, Harper and the Park

The Nationals and the Yankees are ready to do battle at Nationals Park for the first time in franchise history. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he has had some experience working games in D.C., and is impressed with the Nationals of today and the new park. The last time he faced the Nationals, they were still playing at RFK Stadium. "I think it is great

Auburn Doubledays release opening day roster

The short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays have released their 29-man 2012 opening day roster. Most of the team was available Thursday for a workout and their mini-camp will continue through the weekend until they open Monday night at Batavia. Notable pitchers include 2007 Nationals sixth-round pick southpaw Jack McGeary, who is recovering from 2010 elbow surgery, and left-hander Bryan Harper, Bryce's older brother. The roster includes

Hagerstown's Purke placed on 7-day DL with shoulder stiffness

Left-hander Matt Purke was placed on the seven-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game due to shoulder stiffness, according to a club source. The Hagerstown southpaw has made three starts, going 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA. He has struck out 14 and walked 12, surrendering one homer. The Nationals' No. 2 prospect spent the first two months of the season in extended spring training, working

The view from mile post No. 61 is impressive

The view from mile post No. 61 is pretty significant for the Washington Nationals. Without the jinx police knocking on my keyboard door, here is the rundown of some powerful team statistics as to where the 38-23 Nationals stand heading into Friday's clash with the equally red-hot New York Yankees at Nationals Park. Both teams arrive with six-game winning streaks, the best in the majors.

Marrero and Mattheus look good in Harrisburg, other minors notes

First baseman Chris Marrero had a nice debut with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators on Wednesday. Marrero went 2-for-3 with a double and run scored in game two of a double dip. Marrero is now batting .450 (9-for-20) with three doubles, one homer and four RBIs in seven minor league rehab games as he recovers from a torn left hamstring in winter ball. Reliever Ryan Mattheus

Hagerstown's Meyer fires six innings of shutout ball

Right-hander Alex Meyer served up his best performance as a professional with six innings of shutout baseball Tuesday night, allowing just two hits. Meyer struck out five Hickory Crawdads and walked just one in a 4-0 Hagerstown victory in a rain-shortened affair at Municipal Stadium. Meyer showed a 93 mph sinker and had better quality on his fastball by keeping it down in the zone,

Buzz in Harrisburg: Marrero, Mattheus and Kobernus join Sens

Some big news at Double-A Harrisburg, as the Senators welcome major league rehabbing players Chris Marrero and Ryan Mattheus, and activate Jeff Kobernus from the disabled list. Marrero went 7-for-17 (.412) with two doubles, one homer and four RBIs in six games with low Single-A Hagerstown and high Single-A Potomac. He has recovered from a torn hamstring suffered in winter ball, as well as a

Harper, like Trout, has energized Nationals' power play

Outfielder Bryce Harper rested for eight innings Sunday. Back in the lineup Monday, he picked up where he left off with an RBI single in the first inning that scored Steve Lombardozzi. Harper finished 3-4 with two runs, a walk, a stolen base and an RBI, and is now hitting .295. .295? Yes, this rookie is here to stay. There was a recent article in

Potomac's Freitas named starter for Carolina All-Star game

Another catcher in the Nationals' system who has had an outstanding start to the season is David Freitas of the high Single-A Potomac Nationals. The 23-year old Freitas leads Carolina League backstops with a .282 average and has hit nine doubles, three homers and 22 RBIs in 46 games. On Monday, Freitas was named a starter for the California-Carolina League All-Star Game, which will be

Watching big three weave magic could be a pennant run preview

The weekend series the Nationals just completed against the Boston Red Sox felt like a playoff test. Sure, the Red Sox are not having the start they are used to. But Fenway Park is always one of the toughest venues for the visiting team. Boston is built to win in this park. The Nationals have had a good start to the season. They have played

Suns' Purke looking to get ahead of hitters in third start (updated)

Left-handed prospect Matt Purke is set to make his third start of the season today at 5:05 p.m. for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns at the Kannapolis Intimidators. Purke is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA in two starts. He has walked eight batters and has nine strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings. The 96th overall selection in the 2011 amateur draft said it will take time

Marrero shows positive progress with two hits in return to high Single-A

Chris Marrero, playing his first game this season with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals, smacked the game-deciding single with two outs in the second inning Friday night, as Potomac downed the Salem Red Sox 5-4 in Woodbridge, Va. Marrero went 2-for-3 in Game 1 of the doubleheader and did not play in Game 2. He had played two games in low Single-A Hagerstown earlier this

Chris Marrero to Potomac, starts at DH tonight

Chris Marrero, recovering from a torn hamstring, played two games with low Single-A Hagerstown this week. Now he is headed to high Single-A Potomac, according to club sources. It was the first baseman's first pro action since he tore his hamstring in winter ball. His recovery was slowed a bit this year because he also had to battle shoulder soreness, spending more time in extended

Hagerstown's Nieto out with ab strain, hopeful for SAL All-Star game

Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns catcher Adrian Nieto was elected to the South Atlantic league All-Star Game earlier this week, but he may not be able to play in the game because of an abdominal strain, according to manager Brian Daubach. Nieto, from Havana, Cuba, is hitting .259 through 37 games with eight doubles, four homers and 25 RBIs. He was voted into the June 19

Dickey's varying speeds on knuckleball befuddled Nationals' bats

There is a reason Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has nine wins already this season: His knuckleball is very good, and Dickey can throw more than one variation of it. His best is a hard knuckleball that caused the Nationals serious trouble in a 3-1 setback Thursday at Nationals Park. In Dickey's first meeting with Bryce Harper, he threw the young phenom seven straight knuckleballs that

Kline: Two of Nats' top four picks already agreed to terms, Rizzo will work on Giolito deal

Nationals director of scouting Kris Kline met with reporters via conference call Thursday to discuss the draft, which wrapped up earlier in the week. The Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito, out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Calif., at No. 16. The 6-foot-6, 230 lb., hurler has an explosive fastball and a power curve. Kline said general manager Mike Rizzo will handle negotiations with Giolito's

Hagerstown's Skole, Ramsey, Nieto and Barrett selected to SAL All-Star game, but more deserving of election

Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns will have four players and their manager represented at the 53rd annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game June 19 at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C. Infielder Matt Skole, catcher Adrian Nieto, outfielder Caleb Ramsey, pitcher Aaron Barrett and manager Brian Daubach have been elected to represent Hagerstown for the Northern Division squad. Skole has been hitting consistently throughout the season, batting

Jackson remains the same, nets first win in 53 days

Nationals right-handed starter Edwin Jackson had not recorded a win in more than a month and a half, but he didn't let that frazzle him. On April 14, Jackson through a complete game, two-hitter to subdue the Cincinnati Reds, 4-1. Since then, Jackson threw five straight no decisions, then lost back-to-back games at Philadelphia and at Miami. So Wednesday, when Jackson went seven innings and

Could interest in Lannan intensify after latest quality start?

The Nationals have spoken to a good amount of teams since the beginning of the season regarding left-hander John Lannan. General manager Mike Rizzo said their had been "mild interest" in early April. Now, Ken Rosenthal of FOXsports.com reports that the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers have had "recent discussions" with the Nationals about their former front line starter. It seems that the talks

Desmond uses inspiration from different place to deliver clutch RBIs

Shortstop Ian Desmond continues to deliver in the clutch. On Tuesday, Desmond produced three straight RBIs, with his team trailing each time. In the eighth frame, Desmond's RBI single tied the game at 4-4. In the tenth, Desmond reached on an error hit so hard that Ryan Zimmerman scored to knot the contest at five. And finally, in the game-changing 12th inning with the Nats

Giolito "speechless" to get call from Nationals

The Nationals' top selection in the 2012 draft, right-hander Lucas Giolito, met with reporters via conference call today and said that his elbow is making good progress as he rehabs the strain. "The doctors have treated me," Giolito said. "I have had some of the best doctors around to treat me. I feel really good. I have thrown off of flat ground. I have thrown

Nationals love pure power and Giolito delivers

The Washington Nationals' first-round selection, right-hander Lucas Giolito, is another in the long line of big power pitchers that general manager Mike Rizzo and his staff covet. And as it seems every year in early June, Rizzo finds a way to get his man. "We have been on this guy from day one," Rizzo said. "The reward outweighs the risk. He is a power body

Baseball America's Callis believes Nats can get quality hitting at No. 16

One guy is a great fielder and has a strong arm. Another hits for average and has great hands. Still another is an outstanding teammate and leader, and despite not having incredible tools, somehow finds a way to get on base almost every time. So which one should the Nationals select in tonight's First-Year Player Draft? After all, the Bryce Harpers of the world don't

Callis: Nationals can find a major league gem at No. 16

The Nationals ride into the 2012 First-Year Player Draft with a different feel about their first-round selection. Gone is selecting first two years in a row, or even sixth last year. This season, the team selects at No. 16, and as Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel Roy Clark told me Sunday, "We want to pick No. 30 every season." It

Wilkie "disappointed and embarrassed" by suspension

Triple-A Syracuse right-handed reliever Josh Wilkie has been suspended 50 games for use of a banned substance, according to a club source. Wilkie said in a text message that he was suspended for a substance called Spice, which was mixed with a flavored tobacco. Spice is sold and distributed legally in some places, although it is increasingly being banned at the state and local levels.

Ramirez back with Potomac and hitting to all fields

Outfielder J.P. Ramirez returned to high Single-A Potomac after showing well again at low Single-A Hagerstown, where he displayed his knack for getting on base and making good contact at the plate. The 22-year old Ramirez has gone back and forth a couple of times between Hagerstown and Potomac, but that is not a signal that he is not worthy of playing at Potomac. There

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