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Harper after playing nine innings: "I really think I could help the team" (plus audio)

BOWIE, Md. - Left fielder Bryce Harper is anxious. That is the best sign of all that the knee is not bothering him and he is ready to get back with his teammates. On Saturday, he played nine innings for Double-A Harrisburg in what is likely his final rehab game before returning to the Nationals. Harper has been recovering from left knee bursitis since late

Harper completes nine innings in rehab game for first time, likely to return Monday

BOWIE, Md. - Left fielder Bryce Harper played nine innings in what is likely his final rehab game before returning to the Nationals. Harper has been recovering from left knee bursitis since late May. On Saturday night, he faced off against Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, also on a rehab assignment. Harper went 0-for-3 with a walk, a run and a pair of strikeouts. Bowie won

Left-handed prospect Purke allows one hit, strikes out eight for Hagerstown

Left-hander Matt Purke had his best outing to date this season for low Single-A Hagerstown Suns Friday night against Lexington. Purke went six innings and allowed one hit, no runs and struck out eight hitters. Lexington scored three in the ninth to come back and win, 3-2, so Purke finished with a no-decision. But that does not hide that Purke has 17 strikeouts in his

Harrisburg manager Lecroy on Harper: "He looked good"

BOWIE, Md. -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper appears ready to return to the big league club as he rehabs from bursitis in his left knee. Harper played left field for Double-A Harrisburg on Thursday night in the 11-6 Senators win over the Bowie Baysox. It was his third rehab game of the week. He was supposed to play nine innings. If a regular game averages

Taylor Jordan's "funky" arm action has ability to deceive hitters

BOWIE, Md. - Right-hander Taylor Jordan appears to be the choice for Saturday's Nationals game at the New York Mets, the next opening where the team needs a starter. Jordan has been more than impressive at the Double-A level with Harrisburg, going 7-0 with a 0.83 ERA in eight starts. He has two shutouts and two complete games with 43 strikeouts to nine walks in

Bryce Harper with two-run triple, walk in first two trips to plate at Bowie (updated twice)

BOWIE, Md. - Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has continued to look ready to return to the big league club as he rehabs from bursitis in his left knee. Harper walked in the first inning against the Bowie pitcher Devin Jones. He scored from first on a Justin Bloxom double one batter later to give Double-A Harrisburg a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, Harper tripled

Johnson: Rendon is "a good-looking young hitter"

Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon is enjoying his second opportunity of the season back with the big club. On Wednesday, Rendon smacked a double and two singles while scoring a run in a 3-for-4 night, helping the Nationals edge the Diamondbacks 3-2. Rendon looks right at home in the batter's box. "That is where I feel most comfortable," Rendon said. "That is what I have

Johnson, Zimmerman on 3-2 victory over D-backs (with Harper update)

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the early matchup between starter Jordan Zimmermann and Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill was a battle that helped the Diamondbacks score first. Hill walked in front of Paul Goldschmidt, who slapped a run-scoring single to give the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 advantage. "We had a really tough at-bat with Hill, an 11-pitch or 12-pitch at-bat," Johnson said. "But (Zimmermann) misses

Diamondbacks jump out early vs. Zimmermann (Nats win 3-2)

Arizona came out swinging in the first inning against Nationals ace Jordan Zimmermann, scoring two runs. Paul Goldschmidt smacked a RBI double and Martin Prado added an run-scoring single. Then quickly in the bottom of the first, Anthony Rendon started things with a single followed by a Ryan Zimmerman run-scoring double to cut the Diamondbacks lead to 2-1. Update: The Nationals tied the game in

Updates on Harper, Ramos, Garcia and Zimmerman

Nationals manager Davey Johnson did not get a full report on outfielder Bryce Harper's first rehab game. Harper had a double, a walk, a run scored and ran the bases hard. Johnson knew that Harper was not going to take it easy, even playing only three innings. "I knew he was going to do that," Johnson said. "Have you ever seen him jog to first?

Nationals lineup vs. Arizona for Game 2

The Nationals look for a series win tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks with third baseman Ryan Zimmerman back in the lineup. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann goes for the Nationals. Zimmermann is 10-3 with a 2.26 ERA. Arizona counters with left-hander Wade Miley, who is 4-6 with a 4.70 ERA. The Diamondbacks are 41-35 and have won four of their last six games. Martin Prado has hit

Could LaRoche's power display be precursor to offensive burst? (with pitching note)

It was a changeup. All he was trying to do was get the ball in the air to get the runner home from third. The results were quite different. First baseman Adam LaRoche's three-run shot lifted the Nationals to a 5-0 advantage early versus the Diamondbacks last night. That kind of rush of offense, and runs for Gio Gonzalez, had been rare so far this

Bryce Harper 1-for-1 with a double, walk in Potomac rehab return (updated)

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper went 1-for-1 with a double, walk and run scored in the high Single-A Potomac Nationals' 7-5 win over Myrtle Beach. It was Harper's first rehab game and first professional game since May 26 when he was placed on the disabled list with bursitis in his left knee. Harper did not have to make any plays in the outfield. One ground-rule

Johnson's thoughts on Gonzalez, Werth and offense in 7-5 victory

The Nationals held on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5 on Tuesday in the first game of their three-game series at Nationals Park. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez went 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs for his first win since May 5. Manager Davey Johnson said the 90-degree game-time temperature might have taxed his starter a bit, but Gonzalez did a nice job fighting through. "Gio

Pitchers' battle early between Nationals and Diamondbacks (Nats win 7-5)

Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez allowed a base hit in each of the first two frames against Arizona, but was able to pitch out of it. In the first, it was a double for Willie Bloomquist, but then Gonzalez retired three straight. It got more interesting in the second, with Martin Prado at second base and with two away, A.J. Pollock had a sharp single up

Haren's MRI comes back clean

Right-hander Dan Haren said he underwent treatment, which included a cortisone shot, on his shoulder today as he began his stint on the 15-day disabled list. Haren said he also underwent an MRI that showed only inflammation, and his shoulder was clean otherwise. Some players might appreciate the time to rest on the DL and get better. Haren is the exact opposite. "I hate being

Johnson says Nats need fifth starter for Saturday, updates Harper's return

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the team will decide sometime during the Arizona series who will replace injured starter Dan Haren. "We have (Ross) Ohlendorf here," Johnson said. "We also have a couple of young pitchers down (in Double-A Harrisburg) like (Nathan) Karns, and there is also a teammate of his." Johnson did not mention anyone from Triple-A Syracuse, saying the candidate will "more than

Zimmerman given a day off, Werth back in lineup, Moore returns to D.C.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will not start the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Manager Davey Johnson wanted to give him two days off. Johnson said Zimmerman is fine, but he was feeling a little bit of soreness in his shoulder. "He is going to be available to pinch hit if I need him," Johnson said. "It is nothing different than I was doing

Zimmerman out of Nationals lineup vs. Diamondbacks

The Nationals open a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez takes on right-hander Trevor Cahill. Gonzalez is 3-3 with a 3.34 ERA and Cahill steps in at 3-8 with a 3.92 ERA. Cahill is 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in his last six starts. The Nationals lineup has been announced and Chad Tracy is playing third base instead of

Harrisburg pitching coach Menhart: Barrett "brings it every day"

Double-A Harrisburg right-hander Aaron Barrett continues to have success as their closer, racking up six consecutive save opportunities. Barrett has 14 saves in 31 games spanning 30 1/3 innings, with 41 strikeouts and just nine walks. He is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA and has not allowed an earned run in nine straight appearances. That works out to a 0.93 ERA in the last 10

Frustrated Detwiler believes Rockies "didn't hit the ball that hard today"

Left-hander Ross Detwiler got in trouble early against the Rockies, and they rolled to seven runs in the first four innings. That was just enough to hold up in a 7-6 Colorado victory that dropped the Nationals back below .500 at 37-38. Manager Davey Johnson said Detwiler needed to mix up his pitches better to beat the Rockies. But Sunday, Detwiler did not have confidence

Could Ohlendorf's solid work pave way for future starts?

Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf relieved struggling starter Dan Haren on Saturday, putting together a good performance to help keep the Rockies off the board for most of his outing. Ohlendorf, who had not pitched since June 12, tossed 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run on a solo shot by Rockies Nolan Arenado. He struck out four and walked none on 77 pitches. The

Player, manager have differing ideas about when Harper should start rehab

Prior to Saturday's game against the Rockies, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper told reporters he believes that he will need six or seven rehab games to get back to 100 percent as he recovers from bursitis in his left knee. He also said he felt Tuesday might be too early for his return and said Wednesday could be the better day for his initial rehab game

Patience beginning to be rewarded in Nationals' offense

The Nationals struck out 11 times against Rockies veteran starter Roy Oswalt on Thursday, yet found a way to scratch out four runs. On Friday, Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, recalled from Triple-A on April 24, did not allow a run in the first five innings. The Nationals mustered only two hits in that span, but they found a way to scratch out a couple of

Ryan Mattheus believes he is four weeks away from returning

Right-hander Ryan Mattheus was able to throw two sets from 60 feet to test his right hand, which he broke in San Diego back on May 20. Mattheus was upbeat following the workout. "It is a step in the right direction," Mattheus said. "To catch the last few days has been better than I thought it would be. No issues with the hand. Not really

Nationals announce signing of three more draft picks

The Nationals announced Friday that they have signed three more picks from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. They are right-handed pitcher Nicholas Pivetta (fourth round), right-handed pitcher John Simms (11th round) and right-handed pitcher Andrew Cooper (12th round). That brings the number to 13 of the top 14 draft picks for the Nationals who are signed and ready to go. Washington's top selection, right-hander Jacob

LaRoche hoping his hits, team offense will help "spark something"

First baseman Adam LaRoche would be the first to admit the last couple of weeks have not been very much fun for him at the plate. Heading into Thursday's game against Colorado, LaRoche was batting .156 (5-for-32) in those past 10 games. Manager Davey Johnson sensed his veteran was scuffling a bit at the plate and gave him Monday's game at Philadelphia off. He did

Injury updates for Wilson Ramos and Ryan Mattheus

Manager Davey Johnson had injury updates for catcher Wilson Ramos and right-handed pitcher Ryan Mattheus. Ramos has been on the disabled list since May 16 with a hamstring injury. He had a setback last week running the bases but Johnson said the catcher is making better progress this week. "I keep reading the reports every day that he is catching bullpens, taking batting practice, he

Harrisburg's Taylor Jordan displays mental toughness during current win streak

Double-A Harrisburg right-hander Taylor Jordan won his sixth straight Eastern League game Wednesday in a 3-1 win at Bowie. Going eight innings, Jordan demonstrated again he has the stuff to get batters out. But critical to his maturation at this level is also the mental side of the game and Jordan is having success keeping himself focused and on target. Harrisburg pitching coach Paul Menhart

Taylor Jordan goes to 6-0 as Harrisburg defeats Bowie 3-1 (updated)

BOWIE, Md. - Double-A Harrisburg right-hander Taylor Jordan allowed his first earned run in four games, but remained solid on the hill with eight strong innings, defeating Bowie 3-1 at Prince George's Stadium. Jordan recorded his sixth consecutive Double-A victory to no losses, allowing three hits, one earned run, two walks and three strikeouts. He tossed 96 pitches, 64 for strikes. Manager Matt Lecroy said

Battle of a pair of undefeated starters with Harrisburg at Bowie tonight

BOWIE, Md. -- The Double-A Harrisburg Senators face off against the Bowie Baysox at Baysox Stadium tonight here at Prince George's County. It is right-hander Taylor Jordan (5-0, 0.66) taking on Bowie's right-hander Mike Wright (6-0, 3.92). This will be Jordan's seventh start and ninth appearance. He has two complete games and two shutouts with 39 strikeouts to only six walks. Opponents are batting .181

Hagerstown's Anderson earns win as South Atlantic League North All-Stars triumph

In the low Single-A South Atlantic League All-Star Game, several Nationals prospects played a part in the North All-Stars defeating the South All-Stars 2-1. Suns right-fielder Brandon Miller reached second base on a throwing error in his first at-bat and popped up to go 0-for-2. The Suns' Tony Renda contributed a pinch-hit single in the fifth inning. Catcher Pedro Severino went 0-for-1. Suns right-hander Dixon

Potomac's A.J. Cole wins pitcher of the week for second time

High Single-A Potomac Nationals right-hander A.J. Cole has been named the Carolina League's Pitcher of the Week for the second time in the 2013 season. Cole helped the P-Nats clinch the Northern division for the first half of the season with an 8-0 shutout victory over the Frederick Keys on June 13 at Harry Grove Stadium. The 21-year-old Cole tossed seven scoreless innings and only

Tracy hits another clutch home run, but Nationals come up short

Chad Tracy is "Mr. Clutch" for the Nationals this season. He has only two hits in his last 10 games, but both were home runs to tie games in the late-going. He also hit the first pinch-hit home run of the season in San Diego. Each home run felt, at the time, that it might be one of those hits that could change the season.

Syracuse's Walters honored as Batter of the Week in International League (plus Auburn roster)

Triple-A Syracuse shortstop Zach Walters has really gotten hot at the plate in the past nine games. Especially the most recent six games, where he has connected for 12 hits. Walters has done so well that the International League announced today that Walters has been named Batter of the Week for the period from June 10-16. Walters is the first member of the Chiefs to

Potomac and Hagerstown clinch first-half crowns

It is not the most important goal of the minor league system, but when the Nationals get one team into the postseason, it is a good measure of the talent and ability of the players to come together as a unit. The Nationals did that one better - they had two teams clinch first-half crowns Sunday. Both Single-A squads, the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns and

Inability to produce clutch hit haunts Nats vs. Cleveland

Even with though he was struggling with his command, Stephen Strasburg gave the Nationals a chance. But in the end, the offense could not deliver the clutch hit, and the Nationals fell 2-0 at Cleveland on Sunday. The Nationals had no outs and runners on first and third in the sixth, but could not score. A Ryan Zimmerman strikeout and an Adam LaRoche double play

Nationals-Indians lineups (Strasburg returns, Cedeno back to Syracuse)

It's a Father's Day special at Progressive Field, as the Nationals seek their third straight series win. Last night, the Nationals come back to beat the Indians 7-6 on the first major league home run by Anthony Rendon. Sunday is special in many ways, but for the Nationals, the top return of Stephen Strasburg (3-5, 2.54 ERA) is at the top of the list. Xavier

Strasburg flashback: June 13, 2010, Nationals 9, Indians 4

The last time the Nationals ventured to Cleveland was 2010. The weekend series was June 11-13, 2010, almost the exact same time of the year. Cleveland was hoping LeBron James would stay with the Cavaliers and the Indians were a below-.500 ball club. The Indians won the first two games of the series pretty easily - 7-2 and 7-1. The Nationals' first two starters were

Nationals' power display answers many questions

Saturday's thrilling 7-6 comeback victory over the Indians reveals a lot about what this 2013 version of the Nationals are capable of. Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Chad Tracy and Anthony Rendon all hit homers. All of them solo shots. That power is both a strength and a weakness. There have not been enough two-run or three-run homers this season as compared to last

Espinosa and Moore updates from Syracuse

Second baseman Danny Espinosa has played two games for Triple-A Syracuse as he recovers from a wrist injury. He has been subbed out after two or three at-bats in each game by Will Rhymes. Espinosa is hitting .200 (1-for-5) in two games with two runs, no walks and two strikeouts. Left fielder Tyler Moore has started three games, and is hitting .182 (2-for-11) with a Continue reading ....

Inconsistent offense needs spark Rendon provides

The Nationals' only run in Friday's opening series 2-1 loss to the Indians came on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the third inning. Cleveland's Justin Masterson was able to strike out 10 batters. Indians pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts. The Nationals managed just two hits, from Ryan Zimmerman and Steve Lombardozzi. Neither of those hits came after the third inning. The Nationals had their chances,

Zimmerman to DH; Nats lineup tonight vs. Indians

For only the fifth time in his career, Ryan Zimmerman will be the designated hitter as the Nationals take on the Cleveland Indians. Ironically, on June 13, 2010, Zimmerman was the designated hitter and batted third as the Nationals beat the Indians, 9-4, in Cleveland. The game was Stephen Strasburg's second start of his career and his second win. The lineup also has Steve Lombardozzi

Jordan, Martinson and Cole shine in Nats minor league wins

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals clinched the first-half division crown with a 8-0 win at Frederick. Jason Martinson hit three homers with four RBIs. He has 11 homers on the season. Right-hander A.J. Cole went seven innings, scattered four hits, no runs, two walks and struck out 10. He fired 92 pitches, 60 for strikes. Cole is now 4-2 with a 4.16 ERA. He has

Rendon mixing up his tendencies to confuse pitchers

Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon continues to prove he can hit at the big league level. In just 14 games, Rendon is hitting .306 (15-for-49) with five doubles, five RBIs, six walks and 12 strikeouts. In the last 10 games, Rendon is hitting .382 (13-for-34) with four RBIs, seven strikeouts and all six of his walks. So that shows he is getting used to pitches

Minor league notes on Hill, Purke and Burns

High Single-A Potomac Nationals right-hander Taylor Hill has performed well in his last two starts, following his two roughest starts of the season. On back-to-back starts, May 24 and 29, Hill allowed a combined 20 hits and 14 runs in nine innings of work. But, on June 3 and 9, Hill rebounded to go 14 2/3 innings and gave up only one earned run. He

Sammy Solis has shoulder fatigue, injury does not appear serious

Left-hander Sammy Solis was placed on the disabled list Monday with "shoulder fatigue," according to Nationals director of player development Doug Harris. Solis is 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals. He has thrown 16 innings and allowed 15 hits, six earned runs, five walks and nine strikeouts. In a text message, Harris said Solis' injury "does not

Potomac's Sammy Solis placed on the disabled list

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals announced late Monday that left-hander Sammy Solis has been placed on the disabled list. Right-hander Brian Rauh was called up from low Single-A Hagerstown Suns to take the roster spot. Solis, ranked as the No. 8 Nationals prospect by Baseball America, has started four games this season for the P-Nats since his return from rehabbing Tommy John surgery: May 21,

Strasburg return would change a lot for the Nationals

The Nationals need their leader back. Injuries hit the Nationals pretty hard this season. Bryce Harper being out has made it difficult for the offense to look scary. Every opposing pitcher has to contend with how to pitch Harper or pitch around him. Several times when others were not rolling, Harper was the igniter for the offense. His homer when others can't even connect on

Bullpen success a big part of series win over the Twins

One theme that helped the Nationals stay in, and then eventually win, the series against the Minnesota Twins was the bullpen getting the job done. In Game 1 and Game 3, the Nationals went to their bullpen 13 separate times. On Saturday, the Nationals used everyone in the bullpen but Xavier Cedeno. After Gio Gonzalez pitched through six innings, manager Davey Johnson employed, in order,

Detwiler rehab goes well, on track for June 13 return

Left-hander Ross Detwiler's injury rehab assignment for high Single-A Potomac went well Saturday in Woodbridge, Va. Detwiler went 3 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and allowing one earned run with no walks and four strikeouts. He tossed 60 pitches, 38 for strikes. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the rehab was a positive step for Detwiler. "Yeah, he felt good during the start and after

Nationals draft selections for Rounds 16 through 33

Following the selection of center fielder William Ballou in the 15th round, the Nationals picked another center fielder in the 16th round. At No. 496, the Nationals picked Willie Allen out of Western Oklahoma State College. The 6-foot-2, 191-pounder, is in his second season at the JuCo level, and throws and bats right-handed. In the 17th round, the Nationals selected catcher Geoffrey Perrott out of

Nationals go after Division I talent as final draft day continues

Following the selection of Cody Gunter, the Nationals have made these selections: At No. 226 in the seventh round, the Nationals selected University of Delaware first baseman James Yezzo, the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year. The 21-year-old Yezzo is 6-foot-1 and 190 lbs., bats left and throws right. Yezzo hit .410 and slugged .714 for the Blue Hens this past season. At No.

Potomac sends three players to California-Carolina All-Star game

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals announced that three of their players have been selected to play in the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star game on June 18 in San Jose, Calif. Left-hander Robbie Ray, right-hander Blake Schwartz and outfielder Billy Burns will represent the P-Nats in California. The 21-year old Ray leads the Carolina League with 81 strikeouts over 12 starts. He is 4-2 with a

Nationals select two more pitchers and two third basemen in early rounds

After the selection of pitcher Jake Johansen Thursday night at pick No. 68, here are thumbnails on the Nationals' next four selections - a pair of right-handers and two third basemen. One of the infielders can also pitch. With pick No. 105, the Nationals selected third baseman Drew Ward from Leedey High School in Oklahoma. The 18-year-old is graduating high school early so he could

Kline: Johansen more than just a fastball pitcher

The Nationals' No. 68 selection in the First-Year Player Draft is a big boy - 6-foot-6, 235-pounds right-hander Jacob Johansen, from Dallas Baptist University, has a 99 mph fastball and tallied 75 strikeouts as a redshirt junior. Some believe that fastball is all Johansen can throw, and that it is a straight pitch. Nationals scouting director Kris Kline disagrees, and believes the 22-year-old from Allen,

Johnson says Detwiler rehab June 8 for Potomac

Manager Davey Johnson said left-hander Ross Detwiler felt good today after yesterday's bullpen session, and he's been given the green light to go on a rehab assignment. Detwiler, on the disabled list with a back strain, will pitch for high Single-A Potomac Nationals on Saturday night against the Frederick Keys in Woodbridge, Va., at Pfitzner Stadium. "He is doing fine," Johnson said. "He is on

Report: Hagerstown Suns to Fredericksburg possible in 2015

The discussion of the future of the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns and possible stadium deals in Virginia or Maryland steered toward Fredericksburg, Va., today. According to a report by Zac Boyer in the Free-Lance Star, Suns ownership said if Fredericksburg can approve a new stadium deal, the Suns will move there and begin play in 2015. It is no secret that Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown

Draft always a big event for the Nationals (updated)

How important is the draft to the makeup and success of a major league team? The Nationals are the best current example. Being able to draft No. 1 overall two years in a row to get pitcher Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper completely altered the outlook for the Nationals. Even with his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Strasburg was a difference-maker in 2012. Harper

Krol on major league debut: "I didn't take a breath until the seventh inning"

One highlight in a 10-1 loss to the Mets was the major league debut for left-handed reliever Ian Krol. After allowing a double to lead off the sixth inning, Krol struck out the side. The three hitters he struck out? Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda - the heart of the Mets order. The three combined for five hits, five runs, two doubles and

Report: Ohlendorf will start Saturday for Nationals

Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum and right-hander Ross Ohlendorf are two solid candidates to take Stephen Strasburg's Saturday start. Strasburg will be placed on the disabled list Wednesday, retroactive to June . He would be eligible to come off the list June 16. The Nationals said they will call up a starter for Saturday, and could even add a reliever for the next three days, but that

Lombardozzi: "Those are the situations you dream of"

The Nationals had a few scoring chances in their series opener against the Mets, but were never able to sustain a rally, managing just four hits in the first eight innings. New York led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth and suddenly, the Nationals bats came alive against Mets reliever Bobby Parnell. Ryan Zimmerman started the rally with a leadoff double. After a

Rendon has tough Monday at second base, but turns a pair of double plays

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs second baseman Anthony Rendon had a tough game Monday, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts at Pawtucket in an 11-inning 6-5 victory. Rendon committed an error on a throw, his second error in as many games. He was involved in turning two double plays between shortstop Will Rhymes and first baseman Chris Marrero. Rendon is now batting .182 (2-for-11) in three games for

Werth, Rendon and Garcia updates

Right fielder Jayson Werth made the biggest noise Sunday, crushing a pair of three-run homers in high Single-A Potomac's 10-6 win over Lynchburg. It was the best offensive output Werth had contributed this week, having played five consecutive games with the P-Nats as he recovers from a tender hamstring. Werth had made a rehab appearance on May 15, but his hamstring did not feel good

McCatty: Karns set for next step in series finale versus Braves

Right-hander Nathan Karns gets his second major league start for the Nationals today in Atlanta. After yesterday's excruciating 2-1, 10-inning setback against the Braves, a solid outing and a win are huge to the psyche of a banged-up team. His opening start was solid, as he went 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs. He kept his team in the game and the Nats eventually won.

The importance of Nathan Karns

Right-hander Nathan Karns made it through his first start with the Nationals and did his job, keeping his team in the game. Karns gets his second start Sunday in Atlanta. With lingering injuries to Ross Detwiler (oblique) and now Stephen Strasburg (oblique), Karns is not going anywhere. Suddenly, the right-hander with only 10 starts above high Single-A ball is critical to the Nationals, who are

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