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Zimmerman keeps wins and losses in perspective

During the Nationals’ five-game losing streak, the Nationals managed six runs. Since that spiral, the Nationals have won three in a row, and have scored at least eight runs in each of the wins, outscoring opponents 26-5 in that span. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-5 with two-run home run in the eighth off of the Cardinals’ Jason Motte as the Nationals went on to

September call-ups can help Nationals win games now

Manager Davey Johnson announced today that left-hander John Lannan, catcher Sandy Leon and outfielder Eury Perez will join the team tomorrow. Lannan won two games for the Nationals this season, and has recently come on strong at Triple-A Syracuse. He had not surrendered a run in his last two outings, scattering 11 hits in 18 innings, both victories. “It’s great,” manager Davey Johnson said of

Jackson’s fast start fuels big win for Nats over Cardinals at home

Former Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson got his old buddies Thursday with an 8-1 victory for the Nationals over visiting St. Louis. The right-handed Jackson (8-9) struck out 10 hitters, allowed no earned runs, four hits, and lasted eight innings with a season-high 123 pitches, notching his eighth win of the season. It also marked his first win at home since July 4 and snapped a

Matt Skole “excited” to receive South Atlantic League MVP honor

Nationals prospect Matt Skole was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Year today, after racking up 27 home runs and 92 RBIs for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns this season. Skole told reporters in Zebulon, N.C., what an honor it was to receive the Most Valuable Player award. “I was really excited. It felt great,” he said. “I was happy for myself and

Storen’s stopper routine stuns Marlins

It was his seventh hold of the season. He managed to get three straight outs. Oh, yes, and did I mention the Marlins had two men in scoring position? And it was the eighth inning? And the Nationals had watched their 5-0 lead dwindle away until they led 6-4 as they looked to snap a season-high five-game losing skid? And the heart of the Marlins

Anthony Rendon leads Nationals’ contingent to Arizona Fall League

Nationals top infield prospect Anthony Rendon will get to extend his season against the best competition in the Arizona Fall League with the Salt River Rafters. Rendon joins Jason Martinson, Brian Goodwin and one other yet to be named infielder from the Nationals organization. Pitchers selected from the Nationals are Paul Demny, Ryan Perry, Christian Garcia and one other pitcher to be named. Martinson will

Hagerstown’s Caleb Ramsey named South Atlantic League Player of the Week

Hagerstown Suns All-Star outfielder Caleb Ramsey was named South Atlantic League Player of the Week for Aug. 20-26 following an incredible six-game run. Ramsey hit .556 (10-for-18) with two doubles, three triples, 10 RBIs, five runs, two walks and one stolen base. He struck out just once. From Aug. 19-23, Ramsey smacked 11 hits and had 10 RBIs in a five-game span. Ramsey joins former

Nationals decide to rest Alex Meyer with six games left; AFL next?

The Nationals have shut down a pitcher for the season. Well, this team only has six games remaining, plus a possible postseason run, but still. After reaching 129 innings between low Single-A Hagerstown and high Single-A Potomac, the Nationals don’t want to push it with right-hander Alex Meyer and his season is done. At least with Potomac. Meyer could very easily be selected to pitch

Skole reaches 100 RBIs, Ortega gets close to cycle in N.C. wins for Nats affiliates

High Single-A Potomac got a big win in North Carolina Tuesday. The squad is now 1-16 in the Tar Heel State this season following a 4-1 win at Carolina. Matt Skole, Adrian Sanchez and Kevin Keyes had two hits apiece. Keyes hit his 20th homer of the season and added a double. Sanchez also had a double and scored two runs. But Skole’s two RBIs

Potomac goes on road in search of postseason bid

After Sunday’s 10-7 loss to Frederick, the high Single-A Potomac Nationals are now three games back, behind Wilmington with seven games to play. Tonight, the P-Nats (29-33) begin a four-game set at Carolina (29-34). The final three games are at Wilmington (33-31). So, if the P-Nats can stay within three games of the Blue Rocks, they will have a chance at the second-half division title.

During losing string, bullpen having trouble bridging

One reason for the Nationals’ four-game losing streak is the bullpen’s inability to hold the game at one or two runs. In every one of the four games the Nationals have lost since Wednesday, relievers have allowed at least one run. On Thursday, the Braves scored three runs in the ninth to extend a 2-1 lead to 5-1. Atlanta won the game by that score.

Potomac has chance to move closer to playoffs tonight versus Frederick

High Single-A Potomac Nationals shut out Frederick 3-0 in a rain-shortened affair Saturday night to move within one game of the Keys and two games of the division with a week to play. Tonight, in an early 6:05 start, the P-Nats can complete the sweep of the Keys. Left-hander Robbie Ray (4-11, 4.52 ERA) gets the call against left-hander Tim Berry (4-5, 4.52). On Saturday,

Potomac Nationals name 35th anniversary team

The fans voted for the Potomac Nationals’ 35th anniversary team, and it is an impressive lineup, featuring home run hitters Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla, and pitchers Andy Pettitte and Dan Haren. Potomac Franchise 35th Anniversary Team C - Jorge Posada (1993) 1B - Albert Pujols (2000) 2B - Adam Kennedy (1997-78) SS - Rafael Belliard (1981) 3B - Roberto Bonilla (1985) OF

Potomac, in playoff form, grabs first game against Frederick

It seemed like a must-win situation Friday for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals, down three games to the Frederick Keys with three scheduled games over the weekend. One down, two to go after a 6-4 win over Frederick on Friday night. Displaying his best stuff since the beginning of the season, right-hander Robert Gilliam (1-1) came up clutch and kept the Keys at bay, going

Meyer back to grooving; notes on Garcia and Perez

Just in case you were worried Alex Meyer’s six runs allowed in his last start would be habit forming, the 6-foot-9 right-hander was back to his normal self Thursday. Meyer allowed just one run on five hits in six innings, notching the victory over Carolina, 7-5. Meyer struck out three batters and walked two, leaving with a 6-1 lead. He is now 3-2 with a

Even with Phillies down, Nats know journey to pennant goes through Philly

The Nationals head on the road to Philadelphia and Miami for the next six days, but they have felt right at home living out of a suitcase this season. Another major component of why the Nationals are so good this year has been their ability to play their best baseball on the road. The 41-23 record (.641) is six victories better than their nearest competition.

Suns’ Ramsey and Dykstra get decisive hits in wins over Kannapolis

A nice couple of games for outfielder Caleb Ramsey and third baseman Cutter Dykstra, as they continue to play consistent baseball for the Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns. On Tuesday, Ramsey went 3-for-3 with two triples and three RBIs in the Suns 7-6 win over Kannapolis. Then Wednesday night, Ramsey hit another triple, this one in the fourth, to plate three runs in helping the Suns

Davey thinks half-dozen likely called up in September

Nationals manager Davey Johnson commented on the upcoming roster expansion, which will occur in about 10 days with September call-ups. Johnson said he looked forward to calling up players last year and that need is not as urgent this season. “I really was last year, much more so than this year,” Johnson said. “I don’t know how many we had last year, but we couldn’t

Rizzo confirms Giolito likely needs Tommy John surgery (with audio)

It is almost time to begin the Tommy John clock for right-hander Lucas Giolito. Appearing on the “Holden & Danny Show” on Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed that first-round selection Giolito will likely need Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow. “It looks like he is going to need Tommy John surgery,” Rizzo said

Desmond surge a good sign, even if he still isn’t 100 percent

Shortstop Ian Desmond went 0-for-11 in his return from a left oblique strain that forced him to miss 25 games on the disabled list. But in the last two games Desmond has returned to his All-Star form with home runs in his first at-bat. Desmond smacked a two-run shot off of Braves’ starter Tim Hudson in the first inning Monday, capping a four-run inning that

Davey says bullpen is good to go in Game 2

Despite using all seven relievers in Monday’s 5-4, 13-inning marathon win over the Atlanta Braves, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said they will all be available for Tuesday’s Game 2. Even Craig Stammen, who went two full innings, will be available. “He is probably good to go too,” Johnson said. “He is the strongest one out there.” Johnson said the bullpen, which includes three lefties and

Prospect Ricky Hague’s shoulder “feels great”

High Single-A Potomac Nationals shortstop Ricky Hague is putting together a full season after missing most of last year with a shoulder injury. Hague has worked very hard to strengthen the shoulder and game repetition has helped him maintain his range of motion. “The shoulder feels great,” Hague said recently. “It has given me no problems. It feels strong. No pain at all.” Hague has

Details on how Nationals’ AFL roster will break down

The Nationals’ selections for participation in the Arizona Fall League will be decided in about one week, according to a club source. The Nationals will partially stock the Salt River Rafters, alongside the Rockies, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and White Sox. AFL play begins Oct. 9. As reported last week, with the new guidelines for roster allocation in place this season, each team can send two

Big challenge awaits Suzuki as Braves runners arrive

A key match-up in the Braves series is the running game. The Nationals must focus on monitoring the progress of Braves speedsters Michael Bourn and Jason Heyward. The two have combined to steal 50 bases. Bourn has stolen 33 bases this season, which ranks No. 1 in the National League and No. 3 overall in the majors. He has been caught stealing only eight times

Potomac’s Martinson passes 100-run, 100-RBI plateaus

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals used the longball to trip up Salem 7-4 on Saturday. Kevin Keyes, Steven Souza Jr. and Jason Martinson connected on homers for the P-Nats, who have erupted for 32 hits in the past two games. Shortstop Martinson continued to add to his milestone of 100 runs and 100 RBIs in the same season, split between low Single-A Hagerstown and Potomac.

Rendon to D.C. for September call-up? (plus news on Perry, Wang and Pucetas)

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon spent just nine games with high Single-A Potomac before being called up to Double-A Harrisburg. He has played only four games for the Senators, but with September call-ups just around the corner, manager Davey Johnson was asked about the possibility of Rendon getting some at-bats at the major league level before the season ends. “He hasn’t had many at-bats,” Johnson said.

Detwiler battles through tough first inning, controls sinker to notch win

Friday’s start was certainly the measure of how far Ross Detwiler’s career has advanced. In the past, two runs, three hits and 23 pitches in the first inning would have been the beginning of the end. In this game it was his sinker. It wasn’t sinking. And that caused problems. But Detwiler was able to diagnose that the Mets were realizing they could get hits

Johnson: Chien-Ming Wang’s delivery “cleaner”; minor leaguer suspended

Manager Davey Johnson got a good report on rehabbing right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who started Thursday for Double-A Harrisburg. Nursing hip soreness, Wang went 4 2/3 innings, allowed three hits, two runs, both earned, two walks and struck out three. It was the fewest number of earned runs he had allowed in four rehab starts since July 23. Wang was back in the clubhouse Friday and

Alex Meyer transitioning well to new challenge in Potomac

Nationals right-handed prospect Alex Meyer toes the rubber in his sixth start tonight for high Single-A Potomac at Salem. Meyer has gone 2-1 with a 0.93 ERA in five outings so far for the P-Nats, striking out 26 while allowing just 17 hits and three walks in 29 innings. Recently, I got the chance to sit down with Meyer and see how his first season

Lombardozzi and Espinosa hot as Desmond nears return

Nationals infielders Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi have become quite a pair on defense the last two weeks. They have also delivered at the plate, combining for 34 hits. Espinosa said he doesn’t even think twice about Lombardozzi at second base. That is the best compliment he could give to his gifted teammate. “Good, it is comfortable,” Espinosa said on “Nats Xtra” recently. “I don’t

Potomac’s Ray struggles early in loss, but team maintains drive

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- Potomac Nationals left-hander Robbie Ray had his shortest outing of the season Wednesday in a 9-1 loss to Wilmington. Ray managed to get only two of the first eight batters out as the Blue Rocks scored seven runs in the first inning. Ironically, before the game manager Brian Rupp said one rocky inning had been the southpaw’s undoing recently. Unfortunately, that inning

Under new rules, Rendon eligible to play in Arizona Fall League

The Nationals announced Tuesday that top infield prospect Anthony Rendon has been promoted to Double-A Harrisburg. In years past, players had to be on the Double-A roster by Aug. 1 to be eligible to participate in the Arizona Fall League. But under new roster guidelines, teams can send seven players to the AFL. The seven appointments can include two low Single-A or first-year draft picks

Beasley: Perez “fun player to watch” in Syracuse outfield

Center field prospect Eury Perez continues to excel at Triple-A Syracuse since his call-up from Double-A Harrisburg. Perez has played 25 games and is hitting .330 with a .374 on-base percentage for the Chiefs. Syracuse manager Tony Beasley said they have liked what they have seen from the speedy outfielder in his first month with the squad. “He has been doing a nice job,” Beasley

Rendon promoted to Double-A Harrisburg (updated)

A Nationals source has confirmed that third baseman Anthony Rendon has been promoted from high Single-A Potomac to Double-A Harrisburg. The 22-year-old Rendon was Washington’s first pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, taken sixth overall. He was rated Baseball America’s 19th best prospect heading into the 2012 season. Rendon was informed of the promotion after the P-Nats’ 4-3 home loss to Wilmington on Monday

Prospect Meyer building on consistent starts at Potomac

Right-hander Alex Meyer was bumped to high Single-A Potomac on July 20 and has become even more consistent than he was at low Single-A Hagerstown. On Sunday, Meyer went six innings again, striking out seven hitters, allowing one earned run with no walks. He threw 87 pitches, 56 for strikes, in a loss, but that was because the offense was unable to score a run.

Hip soreness puts Wang’s season in jeopardy; Garcia possible call-up?

Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang has been removed from the Double-A Harrisburg roster and remains on the disabled list. He has reportedly continued to have issues with hip soreness, so his minor league injury rehabilitation assignment has been halted. He left his start four days ago after just 4 2/3 innings when the hip issue returned. Now that he is no longer on the 30-day rehab clock,

Michael Gonzalez bridges gap, fights through eighth to help hold win

Speaking with left-hander Sean Burnett last week, I asked him if it was surprising that the Nationals carry three southpaws in their bullpen. Burnett said, “Our left-handers can get both lefties and righties out. We are not just lefty specialists. I think (Michael) Gonzalez has been a huge part of the bullpen and saves my arm. (Tom) Gorzelanny eats up innings, too. We got some

Upon further review, Nationals have really gotten to those Phillies

The Nationals have become a machine. Rolling through the National League, they have amassed 70 wins, the first team in the majors to do so. With Jayson Werth back in the lineup and Michael Morse swinging the hottest of bats, the Nationals have added consistent offense to what has been the best pitching in the league for the first 100 games. And then there are

Beasley: Syracuse’s Christian Garcia is like having Strasburg in the bullpen

The amazing statistic almost defies reality. One earned run allowed in 19 appearances. In a span of 23 1/3 innings, the right-hander has allowed one earned run. He has not allowed a run since June. While in the Yankees organization, he underwent Tommy John surgery...twice - in 2006 and in 2010. And he can throw his fastball consistently from 95-97 mph. Right-hander Christian Garcia has

Nationals’ schedule turns in their favor after San Francisco (with notes)

After the Nationals finish this 10-game, three-city tour, they will have 27 regular season home games left and 17 on the road. Put another way, the Nationals will have 27 of their final 44 regular season games at Nationals Park. That will be big as they drive to control the NL East. The home schedule includes visits from the Dodgers, Cardinals and Phillies to end

Syracuse’s Rivero realizing the time is now, hits stride at plate

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs third baseman Carlos Rivero is hitting his stride at just the right time. These next two months are critical to Rivero’s career. Out of options and only 24 years old, Rivero is close to getting his shot, either with the Nationals or with another team next season. And sensing the importance, Rivero is not shying away from the challenge but relishing it.

Five Auburn players invited to NY-Penn All-Star game

Several Single-A Auburn Doubleday players have had great starts to their seasons with five of them being rewarded with invites to the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. The game is August 14 at Mahoning Valley. The five invitees are right fielder Wander Ramos, left fielder Estarlin Martinez, first baseman Shawn Pleffner, shortstop Wes Schill and catcher Craig Manuel, according to Auburn manager Gary Cathcart. Pleffner,

Chris Marrero could return to Syracuse lineup in one week (updated)

Good news this week for Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs first baseman Chris Marrero, who has been slowed the last month as he recovers from an offseason torn hamstring. Manager Tony Beasley said Marrero has made big progress the last few weeks. “He has been running the bases,” Beasley said. “He will run them again (today). He has been taking batting practice. He is feeling pretty good

In minor league updates, Rendon and Meyer deliver, Wang does not

Anthony Rendon made his first start for high Single-A Potomac since early April, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs in the Nationals’ 5-1 victory at Myrtle Beach. Right-hander Alex Meyer was meticulous in his execution again on the mound, improving to 2-0. The Kentucky star went six innings, allowing just two hits, with five strikeouts, one walk and one run surrendered on a

Beasley: Maya pitching “lights out” for Triple-A Syracuse

Right-hander Yunesky Maya has had experience with the Nationals in the past, and was sent to Triple-A Syracuse to start the season to build on his command and control on the mound. Maya is 9-8 with a 3.54 ERA in 22 starts and has really turned it on since July 22, winning three straight games. In the last three starts, Maya has shown he can

Rendon joining Potomac at Myrtle Beach, expected to play Tuesday

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon has been moved from short-season Single-A Auburn back to high Single-A Potomac. Rendon completed his rehab assignment at Auburn by playing 21 innings in the field and nine as the designated hitter in the past four days. Included in that span was a hit by pitch on, of all places, his surgically repaired ankle. But in an example that he is

Strasburg back to basics, beats Marlins

Look out Major League Baseball. Stephen Strasburg could be starting to figure this thing out. On July 25, the Nationals right-hander, relying on his lethal fastball, fired 11 strikeouts, allowing one run in a seven-inning win over the Mets in New York. On July 31, going with a similar game plan, the Phillies jumped on Strasburg, notching eight hits and scoring six runs in handing

Suzuki getting comfortable, excited about new challenge with Nationals

Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki started his Sunday morning with a stroll through the clubhouse. Wearing a Nationals workout shirt and athletic long shorts with two white batting gloves, he was ready for work. Suzuki headed to the indoor batting cage for a session with Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein. Although Suzuki admitted he is not quite where he wants to be at the plate (.215),

Martinson, Goodwin, Perry, Rendon and Walters notes and more

Potomac Nationals shortstop Jason Martinson is an RBI machine. Martinson collected his 100th RBI of the season Saturday in a 10-8 loss at Winston-Salem. Martinson hit his 21st homer of the season in the fourth and had an RBI single in the ninth, which was his 100th RBI of the season between two teams. Martinson started the season at low Single-A Hagerstown. Outfielder Steven Souza,

Skole’s walk-off grand slam highlights amazing season in Hagerstown

Third baseman Matt Skole connected on a walk-off grand slam, his third homer in as many games, to lift low Single-A Hagerstown over the Lexington Legends, 6-3, Saturday night at Municipal Stadium. The grand slam completed a five-RBI night for the Georgia Tech product. He has three homers and 11 RBIs in his last three games. His season statistics are getting ridiculous. Skole now has

Zach Walters promoted to Triple-A Syracuse

Making his second move of the season, shortstop Zach Walters has been promoted to Triple-A Syracuse, Nationals director of player development Doug Harris confirmed to MASNSports.com. Walters hit .293 in 43 games for Double-A Harrisburg, smacking 11 doubles, four triples, six homers and 19 RBIs. He scored 23 runs and walked eight times with one stolen base for the Senators. But what is more important

Solid rehab start for Chien-Ming Wang in Harrisburg

A very good showing for right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (hip) Thursday in a no-decision for Double-A Harrisburg in a 4-3, 12-inning loss to the Binghamton Mets. Wang went 6 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits, three runs, a solo homer, only one walk (which was intentional) and two strikeouts. Pitching coach Paul Menhart always monitors the groundouts for his pitchers, and Wang netted 12 grounders for outs

Rendon’s ankle “fine” after hit-by-pitch; goes 3-for-4 with two doubles, RBI

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon had one of his best all-around games of his rehab stint Thursday, going 3-for-4 with three runs, two doubles and an RBI in short-season Single-A Auburn’s 11-3 rout of the Staten Island Yankees. Rendon played third base until there were two outs in the bottom of the seventh, replaced by Khayyan Norfork. Rendon was hit by a pitch on his surgically

Werth primed for return, leads off and notches two hits at Potomac

Jayson Werth is another step closer to returning to the Nationals following another successful rehab stint. Werth led off and played center field for high Single-A Potomac in its game versus the Salem Red Sox on Wednesday night in Woodbridge, Va. The game was called due to rain in the ninth inning. The game will be resumed at 5:05 p.m. Thursday with the score tied

Rendon schedule heats up through weekend

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon’s rehab from a fractured left ankle is gaining momentum, and this week will become a bigger test for the young third baseman to see how the injury reacts to sustained play in the field. Short-season Single-A Auburn manager Gary Cathcart confirmed that Rendon will play six innings tonight and Thursday morning at third base. He will be the designated hitter Friday.

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