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Clubhouse chatter from Harper, Zimmerman, Desmond and Zimmermann after 7-3 win

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper returned to the lineup for the first time since April 25 and contributed an RBI single and a run scored in a 7-3 win over Colorado. He said he was really pumped up when he scored on Ian Desmond’s three-run game-changing double in a five-run sixth inning. “I was fired up. I crossed the plate and looked out and Desi

Bryce Harper and the Nationals take the field (Nats win 7-3)

It was subtle, but Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper made his presence felt early in his first game back in the lineup since April 25. Harper, who had missed 57 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb, fired a laser beam to first base after Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau connected on a base hit towards him in the first inning. The throw

Harper glad to be back, but thinks Zimmerman should be playing left field

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is back for the first time since April 25. Harper is batting sixth and playing left field. With his team in first place on June 30, Harper is enjoying where the Nationals are as he returns from a torn ligament in his left thumb. “They played well when I was gone,” Harper said. “Be able to come back and enjoy this

Morrow on Taylor: “I think he will be a future starter and possible All-Star for the Nationals”

Double-A Harrisburg Senators center fielder Michael Taylor continues a very impressive season at the plate to go a long with spectacular defense. A high-ranking American League scout told me Taylor has all the tools defensively to play in the majors right now. On Sunday’s “Nats Insider” heard on 106.7 The Fan, PennLive.com and Harrisburg Patriot-News Senators beat reporter Geoff Morrow told me Taylor’s defense is

Harper crushes three home runs on road back to D.C.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper slammed three homers in his fifth rehab game as Double-A Harrisburg defeated Akron 10-4. Harper has been recovering from a torn ligament in his left thumb. Harper hit two of the homers off of Akron right-handed starter Duke von Schamann in the third and fifth innings. The other was a three-run shot in the eighth. Four of his RBIs on Saturday

Bryce Harper plays center field again, has two RBIs for Harrisburg

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper went 1-for-2 with two RBIs in Double-A Harrisburg’s 4-3 win at Akron. He has now completed four minor league rehab games as he recovers from a surgery to repair torn ligament in his left thumb. It was an eventful night for Harper on the basepaths. He stole two bases and was caught stealing in a rundown that allowed Michael A. Taylor

Bryce Harper went 1-for-3 with a double for Harrisburg

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been added to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators roster as he continues to rehab from thumb ligament surgery. Harrisburg plays at Akron tonight. Harper’s brother Bryan Harper is a left-handed reliever for the Senators. So Bryce is reunited with his brother at least for the weekend on a professional team. Harper has gone 3-for-4 in two games with high Single-A Potomac,

Strasburg looks to complete sweep in Milwaukee (Brewers win 9-2)

The Nationals have recently done an excellent job of getting off to good starts on road trips against first place teams. Two weeks ago, after winning a series in San Diego, the Nationals took on a then 42-21 San Francisco team and won three straight games. This week, facing a 47-30 Milwaukee team, the Nationals won the first two games of the series and held

Harper “felt great” after three-run homer, Ramos drives in two for Potomac

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper slammed a three-run homer in his second game of the rehab process on Tuesday for Single-A Potomac Nationals. Harper went 2-for-3 with a single, homer, walk, scored a run and drove in four. In his final at-bat, facing Salem right-hander Kyle Kraus, Harper crushed a 3-1 pitch over the right center field fence for a three-run shot to

Harper has single, walk and run scored, Ramos three-run homer for Potomac

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper played three innings in left field for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals in his first minor league rehab game as he recovers from a left thumb ligament injury. Wearing jersey No. 32, Harper went 1-for-1 with a single, a walk and a run scored. He came home on a three-run shot by catcher Wilson Ramos in a four-run

Espinosa widens stance at plate to help improve batting numbers

Second baseman Danny Espinosa has rebounded from a difficult month of May to have a positive month of June so far at the plate. In May, Espinosa struggled to a .125 batting average (10-for-80) before hitting .303 (20-for-66) so far this month. In April, he struck out only 20 times. In May, that ballooned to 37 whiffs. In June, he is back down to 25

Williams on Roark, Espinosa, Werth, Desmond, beating Atlanta

Nationals manager Matt Williams was proud the team was able to bounce back after losing the first two games of its series with Atlanta to earn a pair of victories on Saturday and Sunday and remain atop the National League East. “After the first two, I am proud of the guys for staying in there and battling,” Williams said. “We have talked about it many

Roark, Zimmerman, Stammen, Espinosa know importance of split against Braves

The Nationals earned a much-needed 4-1 win over the Braves Sunday to split the series between the top two teams in the National League East. Craig Stammen got five outs in relief to help the cause and said the Nationals are too good to not be able to stay competitive with the Braves, despite their recent struggles in the series. “I think the odds were

Nationals hit Santana and Braves early to grab lead (Nats win 4-1)

Braves right-hander Ervin Santana has lost two in a row, to the Rockies and the Phillies. He has given up 10 runs, nine of them earned during those stints. He came in 0-0 with a 3.67 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals, allowing 11 runs and 24 hits in 27 innings with 27 strikeouts and 10 walks. On Sunday, the Nationals jumped on

Williams impressed with how Fister “controlled the strike zone”

Nationals manager Matt Williams was impressed with Doug Fister’s 117 pitches over eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 shutout of the Braves Saturday night and what it meant to a tired bullpen. “Really good. Picked up the bullpen,” Williams said. “We pushed his pitch count a little bit, but he felt great. Pitched really well. Controlled the zone all night.” Williams said Fister’s start prevented

Hearing from Rendon, Fister, Zimmerman and Lobaton after 3-0 win over Braves

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon continued his clutch hitting in the last two games with a 3-for-4 performance, with a double and two RBIs in a 3-0 shutout of the Braves. “It was good. We executed the small things,” Rendon said. “Small ball comes into play. That is how you play the game.” Winning pitcher Doug Fister went eight innings and threw 117 pitches, allowing

Nationals look to get on the board in series vs. Braves (Nats win 3-0)

The Nationals step into Game 3 of their series against the Braves searching for a win. They have not defeated Atlanta since a 2-1 win on April 6. Starter Doug Fister got out a jam in the first inning with some sterling defense from second baseman Danny Espinosa. With men on first and third and two out, Espinosa grabbed Jason Heyward’s hot shot right up

Hearing from Blevins, Rendon, Strasburg and LaRoche

Third baseman Anthony Rendon smacked a dramatic two-run homer in the ninth Friday that erased Atlanta’s lead and tied the game at 4-4. The Braves ended up winning the game 6-4 in 13 innings. Rendon’s blast came against the Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who arrived with 21 saves. “I was just looking for a ball to barrel up and that one just happened to go

Even vs. Strasburg, Braves start with upper hand (Atlanta wins 6-4 in 13th)

The Nationals need their stopper to come through. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg is attempting to slow the Braves roll against his team. The Nationals have lost four straight against the Braves, and six of their last seven overall. I won’t mention 2013. You’re welcome. Strasburg has made 13 starts against Atlanta. His last win against the Braves was August 21, 2012. The Braves got the first

Williams won’t let recent difficulty against Braves cloud preparation

The Braves have now won six of the first seven games against the Nationals this season following Thursday’s 3-0 series-opening win. The Nationals have lost four straight against Atlanta, with their only victory a 2-1 decision April 6. Nationals manager Matt Williams said he takes the series with the Braves one game at a time and will not let the recent downslide against Atlanta cloud

Ryan Ripken one of 24 players agreeing to terms with Nationals

The Nationals announced they have agreed to terms with 24 players drafted in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, including five of the top seven they selected. The most recognizable name of those is Ryan Ripken, the son of Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Cal Ripken, Jr. Ryan Ripken is a first baseman who was selected in the 15th round. The 20-year-old is a left-handed

LaRoche and Zimmermann on if the Braves have psyched them out

The Nationals lost their sixth game in seven attempts against the Braves on Thursday, a 3-0 shutout at Nationals Park. First baseman Adam LaRoche does not know the answer as to why Atlanta has had the Nationals’ number recently, besides the obvious of playing a little better baseball at the right time. “I don’t know what it is,” LaRoche said. “You got to think losing

Nationals and Braves under way in NL East battle (Braves won 3-0)

The much anticipated Nationals versus Braves series is upon us. Atlanta has won five of the first six meetings between the two clubs this year and had held the top spot in the division until a recent downward turn. The Nationals bounced back from a four-game skid to post a pair of 6-5 wins against Houston to begin the homestand. But this is the Braves,

Harper crushes homers in batting practice, Williams details rehab progression

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper completed batting practice Thursday prior to the team’s game against the Braves. Harper came out of it with a positive update on his thumb. He has been on the disabled list since April 26 with a left thumb sprain. “I feel good,” Harper said. “But still trying to see where my swing’s at and trying to get in shape in the

Gonzalez and Span speak after sweep of Astros

The Nationals’ advance scouting saw that Astros starter Scott Feldman was slow to the plate. They felt they could run on Astros catcher Jason Castro. The strategy worked, playing a key part in the Nationals scoring two early runs. They lost that lead, but eventually ended up beating the Astros 6-5, going 5-for-5 in stolen bases, all off Feldman. But Denard Span said after the

Williams on Gonzalez’s return and Harper’s progress

Before Wednesday’s game, Nationals manager Matt Williams provided the reasoning behind having Sandy Leon catch left-hander Gio Gonzalez’s return from the disabled list against the Houston Astros. “Just getting (Leon) in there. He’s got some experience with Gio, has caught Gio. Nothing in particular,” Williams said. “Just get him in against the righty.” Gonzalez got to 79 pitches in his last minor league rehab start.

Hearing from Roark and Rendon after win over Astros

The Nationals had only one extra base hit against the Cardinals over the weekend. They lost all three games and managed three total runs. On Tuesday, the Nationals edged the Astros 6-5 thanks in a pair of doubles each from Ryan Zimmerman, and Anthony Rendon. The duo combined to go 4-for-8 with two runs, four doubles, a walk and five RBIs. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel

Strasburg emotional in remembrance of Gwynn

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was noticeably emotional this afternoon when speaking about the death of his boyhood idol and college baseball coach, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died Monday of salivary gland cancer at 54. “It’s tough because the last couple of weeks, no one really knew what was going on,” Strasburg said. “I mean, just from my perspective, he was like a god

Six Hagerstown Suns invited to tonight’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game

Six low Single-A Hagerstown Suns are invited to play in tonight’s South Atlantic League All-Star game in Hickory, N.C. The six Suns players matches the number invited from the Greensboro Grasshoppers as the most for any team from the Northern Division. Right-hander Nick Pivetta, left-hander Jake Walsh, right-hander Austin Voth, catcher Spencer Kieboom, infielder John Wooten and second baseman Wilmer Difo were the Nationals prospects

Despite hard-luck loss, Giolito hits 99 mph and commands fastball

The Single-A Hagerstown Suns came back to defeat Greenville 8-5 to finish the first half of the season with 44 wins. But because Greensboro won earlier in the day, the Suns did not win the first half of their Northern division in the South Atlantic League. Despite a big lead out of the gates, the Suns lost seven of their final 10 games of the

Wrapping up long road trip, Braves looming next week

Two losses in a row for the Nationals? Not concerned. This road trip has still been a rousing success. Travel from San Francisco to St. Louis and then back to the diamond did not result in a win thanks to the outstanding pitching of Lance Lynn. The Cardinals right-hander has given up an important postseason home run to the Nats in a relief role, but

Jose Lobaton breaks up Lance Lynn no-hit bid (St. Louis wins 1-0)

Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams had been on the disabled list since May 28 with a strained left calf. In his first six career games against the Nationals when healthy, he had at least one hit in each contest and batted .391. Facing one of the Nationals’ hottest hurlers, Adams announced his return with authority in his first at-bat. Adams crushed the first pitch he

Nationals option Treinen to Triple-A Syracuse, paving way for Gonzalez to return

The Nationals paved the way for the return of left-hander Gio Gonzalez by optioning right-handed starter Blake Treinen to Triple-A Syracuse on Friday. Treinen went 0-2 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts in his most recent stint. Overall, he is 0-3 with a 2.80 ERA in eight major league games, including four starts over 30 1/3 innings. In Thursday’s 7-1 loss to the Giants,

Gonzalez and Kobernus contribute to P-Nats’ clinching victory

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez made another firm step forward toward returning to the Nationals rotation with his second rehab start at high Single-A Potomac on Thursday night before 4,176 at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. Gonzalez twirled 79 pitches over four innings, striking out seven, allowing one run on two hits with four walks in a 3-2 victory over Winston-Salem. He induced four groundouts and faced

Nationals lineup provides little relief for opposing pitchers

I remember focusing on it last Saturday night as the Nationals battled the Padres. Down 2-0 in the top of the seventh, the Nationals got a rally going against San Diego reliever Nick Vincent. With one out, Adam LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman smacked back-to-back doubles. Zimmerman’s hit made it Padres 2-1. Wilson Ramos was next and forced Vincent to throw five pitches. Vincent threw Ramos

Nationals take advantage of Cain’s control problems early (Nats win 6-2)

The Nationals stepped into AT&T Park Wednesday night winners of nine of their last 11 and looking to hand the Giants their first three-game losing streak at home this season. Matt Cain was a more than gracious host in the first inning, struggling with his command and walking the first three batters he faced. Adam LaRoche made him pay with a single just to the

Giolito to start again June 14, Kobernus reports to P-Nats

The low Single-A Hagerstown Suns list right-hander Lucas Giolito as their starter for the June 14 home game against Greenville at Municipal Stadium. Giolito is 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA. He went four innings in his last start, so I would expect the target to be five innings for this start. * Double-A Harrisburg right-hander A.J. Cole will start Thursday night for the Senators at

Fister and Bumgarner dueling by the Bay (Nationals win 2-1)

One would probably expect a matchup between Doug Fister and Madison Bumgarner, with the way they are pitching the last few starts, to be a good old fashioned pitchers’ duel. So far, that is exactly the case. The Nationals got their first base hit from third baseman Anthony Rendon, a single in the first. It is Rendon’s first appearance in three games since hurting his

Roark another example of Nationals system helping pitcher get better

Right-hander Tanner Roark has been a key to the Nationals rotation coming together as a consistent, cohesive unit. It is hard to believe Roark lost 17 games in 2012. He slowly but surely made progress and then in 2013, after going 9-3 with a 3.15 ERA for Triple-A Syracuse, got his chance with the Nationals. While with the Nationals, he went 7-1 with a 1.51

Giolito expected to start Monday night, plus other notes

High Single-A Potomac right-hander John Simms won his first game as a professional Saturday. He went seven innings, struck out a career-high 14 batters and allowed one run and two hits in a 6-1 win over Wilmington. Winning your first game as a professional is a big deal for any player, but is an especially big deal for Simms, the former Rice Owl who had

Nationals waste Werth’s first-inning double (Padres win 4-3 in 11)

The Nationals let a good opportunity get away from them in the top of the first of tonight’s game against the Padres at Petco Park. Two hard-hit balls with one out and the Nationals were in business. Kevin Frandsen singled to right and Jayson Werth, looking fresh after a getting Friday’s game off, raked a double to deep right field. Frandsen went to third. But

Despite rough outing, Gonzalez felt rehab start was progress

Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez had his first rehab start for high Single-A Potomac on Friday night. Gonzalez allowed eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings, but Potomac rallied with five runs in the ninth to stun Wilmington 11-10. Despite getting roughed up, Gonzalez said his arm and shoulder feel good after the start. “Good, really good,” Gonzalez told reporters. “It was more fatigue. just (my)

Fedde “expects to be competitive on the mound at all times”

UNLV right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde said Friday that he is thrilled about the opportunity he has in front of him with the Nationals and that he’s pleased to be selected in the first round, despite undergoing ligament replacement surgery Tuesday. “After Tommy John, I just was hoping going into the draft that I get selected hopefully in the first round still,” Fedde said on a

Fedde’s college coach: “The guy sold out for me”

UNLV baseball coach Tim Chambers managed the Nationals’ 2014 first round selection right-hander Erick Fedde for three seasons. He had nothing but the highest of praise for the No. 18 selection in Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft. “The Nats couldn’t have gotten a better kid and a better worker,” Chambers said. “I’ve never had one like him. I want you to know that. He was with

Rizzo on first-round selection Erick Fedde: “He is a plus-stuff guy”

Nationals President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo talked about what the team’s first-round pick Erick Fedde brings to the table. “He is a plus-stuff guy,” Rizzo said. “We scouted him intensely over the last three years. He has got two plus-plus pitches and his third pitch, changeup, is on the come. We think that is going to be an above average pitch. Big physical guy.

Nats select UNLV’s Erick Fedde in first round of First-Year Player Draft (updated)

The Nationals selected UNLV right-hander pitcher Erick Fedde with the No. 18 selection in the First-Year Player Draft. Fehde underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday, according to media reports. The 6-foot-4, 180-lb., right-hander was highly regarded by his college coach. “Great competitor with tremendous work ethic,” UNLV coach Tim Chambers said of Fedde. “He is the hardest worker I have ever coached in 27 years.” Update:

Fister’s flexibility aids in fourth straight win, LaRoche cranks two-run shot

Nationals right-hander Doug Fister won his fourth consecutive start Thursday in a 4-2 victory over the Phillies. It is the first time a Nationals pitcher has won four straight decisions since Jordan Zimmermann accomplished the feat in September 2013. Fister allowed only four hits for a second straight start. Fister has issued only two walks in six starts this season. But the media really wanted

Utley gives Phillies first lead of series (LaRoche homers, Nats win 4-2)

The Phillies have lost five in a row and needed to at least start off their final game of the series with the Nationals well. Veteran Chase Utley answered the bell. In the top of the first, following a leadoff double by Ben Revere and a sacrifice that moved him to third, Utley delivered a run-scoring single past starter Doug Fister into center field to

Harper in positive mood as rehab continues, won’t rush return

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper met with the media prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Phillies and appeared upbeat and in a positive mood as he recovers from left thumb surgery. Harper has been on the disabled list since April 26. “It’s in a good spot right now,” Harper said of his thumb. “I think every day it’s getting a little bit better. Just

Williams on Desmond’s day off and Zimmerman’s status

Nationals manager Matt Williams gave shortstop Ian Desmond the day off in Thursday’s series finale with the Phillies. It marked the first time in 58 games Desmond will not start a game for the Nationals. Williams has said for a few weeks he has wanted to give all his regulars a day off and Thursday seemed a natural spot to give Desmond the breather. Wednesday

Nationals could select UNLV pitcher in first round of tonight’s draft

The Nationals have hit the pot of gold when it comes to the First-Year Player Draft. Three recent first-round picks, two of them No. 1 overall selections, are starters for the team right now. Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon are considered by many, including ESPN’s Jim Callis, the best three-year run in the First-Year Player Draft ever. The Nationals have built their system

First game under his belt, tests get tougher now for Zimmerman in left field

Nationals left fielder Ryan Zimmerman caught two balls in his first game in the outfield Tuesday, a 7-0 win over the Phillies. The first game worked out the way manager Matt Williams might have drawn up. Zimmerman contributed two doubles and a RBI, raking the first hit of the game for the Nationals. Williams believes that Zimmerman will play hard in left field, will need

Zimmerman and Zimmermann team up to down the Phillies 7-0

If Ryan Zimmerman dreamed about getting back on the field with his teammates and helping out with the bat and in the field, Tuesday might have been one sequence that actually came true. In a 7-0 victory over division rival Phillies, the new Nationals left fielder clubbed a pair of doubles good for an RBI, making two nice catches to help the Nationals secure the

Zimmerman smacks double in first at-bat since April 13 (Nats win 7-0)

The Nationals and their fans welcomed back Ryan Zimmerman to the lineup Tuesday in their series opener against the Phillies. Playing left field for the first time in his major league career, Zimmerman slapped the first offering from Phillies starter David Buchanan in the second into left field for a double. It was the Nationals’ first hit of the game. Both pitchers have been solid

Solis placed on the disabled list with elbow discomfort

Double-A Harrisburg Senators left-hander Sammy Solis is back on the disabled list, this time with elbow discomfort, a club source confirmed to MASNSports.com. Solis missed the beginning of the season due to a back issue. He made one start for the Senators, but lasted only 3 1/3 innings, giving up nine runs, eight of them earned. He was scheduled to pitch late last week, but

Williams says Zimmerman will play majority of upcoming games in left field

Ryan Zimmerman is back, activated from the disabled list after being out since April 13 with a broken right thumb. Outfielder Tyler Moore was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Zimmerman on the 25-man roster. Zimmerman will bat fifth tonight against the Phillies, and will play left field for the first time in his major league career. He played three games in left

Span steals another base, wants 30 for the season

One of the top reasons Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had his eyes on center fielder Denard Span while he was with the Minnesota Twins was his ability to not only get on base, but while he was on base, steal some, and get in a spot where his team can get him home. Recently, Span has been able to take an extra base and

Span, LaRoche and Roark on the mastery of Darvish in 2-0 setback

Nationals center fielder Denard Span went 2-for-4 against Rangers winning pitcher Yu Darvish Sunday. The rest of the team managed three hits. Texas ended up with the 2-0 shutout. Span believes Darvish’s windup and delivery can mess up guys’ rhythm in the box. “I think it just throws your timing off,” Span said. “He has that long, dramatic leg kick. He pitches to both sides

Dual first-inning challenges go Nationals’ way (Rangers win 2-0)

The Nationals are seeking their first series sweep since April 30 at Houston, facing off against Yu Darvish and the Rangers on Sunday. Darvish has not pitched since May 22 at Detroit. He missed his last scheduled start against the Twins due to a stiff neck, but has gone at least seven innings in three consecutive starts. Washington’s Tanner Roark is trying to break out

Zimmerman plays five innings in left field for Potomac, goes 1-for-3

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (right thumb fracture) went 1-for-3 with a single in his second rehab game for high Single-A Potomac Saturday night, playing for the first time in left field. He played five innings. There was a standing room only crowd of 7,000 at Pfitzner Stadium. “It felt good,” Zimmerman said. “I think just getting my legs back under me

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