Revere begins running, taking light swings

Revere begins running, taking light swings
MIAMI - Ben Revere has begun running and taking light swings, his first baseball-related activities since straining his right oblique muscle on opening day 2 1/2 weeks ago. Revere, who suffered the injury on his very first swing with the Nationals, ran in the outfield at Marlins Park this afternoon, then also took some light, right-handed swings in the cage to test his side. He emerged feeling confident about his recovery, albeit sore from the layoff. "Everything felt good. I just need to get...
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Game 14 lineups: Nats at Marlins

Game 14 lineups: Nats at Marlins
MIAMI - Two trends to watch tonight as the Nationals face the Marlins in the third of this four-game series under the roof: Can Joe Ross continue the rotation's dominant start to the season, and can this lineup continue to thrive against left-handed pitching? We'll start with Ross, who has been lights-out through his first two starts of the season (2-0, 0.61 ERA, .160 opponents' batting average). It's easy to forget the right-hander is only 22, with 15 big league starts on his resume,...
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With dominant start to 2016, Strasburg putting it all together

With dominant start to 2016, Strasburg putting it all together
MIAMI - Stephen Strasburg was utterly dominant last night against the Marlins, tossing eight innings of scoreless, three-hit ball. This, however, shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone who has watched Strasburg pitch so far in 2016. He's now 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA, after all. But, if you've really been paying attention to Strasburg for a while, you still shouldn't be surprised by all this. Because he has been this good since last summer. In 16 total starts since returning from the neck...
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Inside the Nationals' historic home run barrage

Inside the Nationals' historic home run barrage
MIAMI - The first home run was a laser off Jayson Werth's bat, a line drive that made a beeline for the gaudy sculpture that sits beyond the fence in left-center at Marlins Park and required some deft work by stadium workers to retrieve. ("Did it lodge in one of the dolphins?" Werth asked later.) The second home run came before anyone could point out that Werth's blast was the 200th of his career. Wilson Ramos pounced on the very next pitch Adam Conley threw in the top of the seventh,...
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Nats break pitchers' duel with four-homer seventh

Nats break pitchers' duel with four-homer seventh
MIAMI - What for six innings was shaping up to be a classic pitchers' duel between Stephen Strasburg and Adam Conley instead turned into the most dramatic barrage of home runs the Nationals have ever hit during a stunning top of the seventh that propelled them to a 7-0 thumping of the Marlins. Jayson Werth, Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman all homered during a stretch of eight batters in the decisive top of the seventh, Harper's coming with the bases loaded. It's the first time...
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Strasburg, Conley duel in Miami (Nats win 7-0)

Strasburg, Conley duel in Miami (Nats win 7-0)
MIAMI - Stephen Strasburg's early season mastery is continuing early on tonight at Marlins Park, but Adam Conley is matching his counterpart pitch-for-pitch, leading to a scoreless game through four innings. He put one man on base in each of his first three innings, but Strasburg kept the Marlins from stringing together anything remotely resembling a rally. He pitched around a two-out walk of Christian Yelich in the bottom of the first, battling back to strike out Giancarlo Stanton with a 2-2...
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Why it may be awhile before Nats promote Trea Turner

Why it may be awhile before Nats promote Trea Turner
MIAMI - Trea Turner's red-hot start to the season has ignited one of the biggest hot-button topics facing the Nationals early in 2016: When will the organization promote the young infielder to the majors? The answer to that question, though, is more complicated than it might appear at first glance. And it involves matters beyond his actual playing performance at Triple-A Syracuse. Turner was named Monday as the International League's first Player of the Week after hitting .433 with a homer,...
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Game 13 lineups: Nats at Marlins

Game 13 lineups: Nats at Marlins
MIAMI - The Nationals tonight find themselves in a position they have not yet faced this season: Trying to halt a losing streak. OK, so it's only a two-game losing streak, but this is new ground for them in 2016. The good news: They've got Stephen Strasburg on the mound and they'll get a rare opportunity to bat against a left-hander. Strasburg is seeking his third victory in as many starts this season, his 11th victory in his last 15 starts dating back to last June. Marlins Park, however,...
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Baker not enjoying results of replay challenges so far

Baker not enjoying results of replay challenges so far
MIAMI - Dusty Baker wasn't worried the game had changed at all during his two-year hiatus between managerial gigs. Well, except for one new wrinkle: expanded instant replay. Baker acknowledged that baseball's new challenge system (instituted in 2014 shortly after he was fired by the Reds) would take some getting used to, especially for a man who spent nearly five decades as a big league player, coach or manager without ever having to consider such a tact. Well, 12 games into his first season...
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Little things add up in Nats' loss to Marlins

Little things add up in Nats' loss to Marlins
MIAMI - There was no one singular moment that defined the Nationals' 6-1 loss in the opener of a four-game series at Marlins Park. But compile a list of small moments throughout the 2 hour, 43 minute affair, and you'll wind up with a detailed account of a ballgame that might have looked far different than it did. Like Christian Yelich's hard grounder that squirted through the Nationals' drawn-in infield to bring home the night's first run. Or the risky double play first baseman Ryan...
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Roark digs early hole, can't escape in 6-1 loss to Marlins

Roark digs early hole, can't escape in 6-1 loss to Marlins
MIAMI - The Nationals' plan of attack going into tonight's game against Jose Fernandez was to try to build up the young ace's pitch count and force the Marlins to turn to their bullpen. In that regard, the Nationals did exactly as they hoped. They worked the count against Fernandez and ultimately knocked him out of the game after only six innings thanks to an elevated pitch count of 103. Problem is, they didn't make Fernandez actually suffer much at all for his excess work. And so they...
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Marlins get to Roark early again (Nationals lose 6-1)

Marlins get to Roark early again (Nationals lose 6-1)
MIAMI - Something about the sight of Marlins batters in the first inning doesn't seem to agree with Tanner Roark, who for the second time in this brief season dug the Nationals into an early hole against Miami. The Marlins scored three runs in the first off Roark, then added another in the second to take a 4-0 lead for ace Jose Fernandez in tonight's opener of a four-game series at Marlins Park. This wasn't the first time Roark has dealt with first-inning struggles against the Marlins. This...
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Baker sees encouraging signs from struggling regulars

Baker sees encouraging signs from struggling regulars
MIAMI - The numbers aren't pretty. Two full weeks into the season, three members of the Nationals' everyday lineup - Michael A. Taylor, Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa - are sporting batting averages under .172 and on-base percentages under .290. Manager Dusty Baker, though, has seen encouraging signs from all three and is committed to each remaining in the lineup and in his current role for the foreseeable future. That applies in particular for Taylor, who, despite his 6-for-41 one-walk...
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Bryce Harper is named co-NL Player of the Week

Bryce Harper is named co-NL Player of the Week
MIAMI - Bryce Harper's weekend power surge in Philadelphia earned him his first official honor of 2016 - though he'll have to share with a fellow All-Star. Harper was named co-National League Player of the Week this afternoon along with Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, the league office unable to deem one slugger's performance over the last seven days more dominant than the other. Harper and Arenado each hit four homers and drove in 12 runs last week, Harper's homers coming once apiece...
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Game 12 lineups: Nats at Marlins

Game 12 lineups: Nats at Marlins
MIAMI - Hello from the one and only (and praise the deity of your preference for that) Marlins Park. Baseball's biggest amusement park (albeit one that will be three-quarters empty all night) hosts the Nationals over the next four days to wrap up this season-opening stretch of 15 games against only three opponents (the Braves, Phillies and Marlins). The Nats split their rain-shortened series with Miami at home, and the man on the mound for them tonight will be looking to avenge his loss in the...
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MLB partners with D.C. Grays to bring RBI program to town

MLB partners with D.C. Grays to bring RBI program to town
It's Jackie Robinson Day, which means every player and every coach in the major leagues today is wearing a nameless No. 42 jersey. All sorts of other honors are planned to commemorate the 69th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier, and all of them will deservedly receive plenty of attention. This annual occasion, though, also serves as a reminder that for all the progress baseball (and society as a whole) has made since April 15, 1947, there still is so much more progress...
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Friday morning Q&A from D.C.

Friday morning Q&A from D.C.
This has been quite a way for the Nationals to open the season. Not only are they 7-1, matching both the franchise and D.C. records for the first eight games of a baseball season, but they've done it in impressive fashion. Bryce Harper has three homers already, including his 100th career blast yesterday (on a grand slam, to boot). Daniel Murphy is hitting .480 and slugging .880. The starting rotation has collectively given up just 13 earned runs in eight games. The bullpen sports a collective...
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Seizing the moment once again, Harper joins the century club

Seizing the moment once again, Harper joins the century club
Bryce Harper had all week to hit the 100th home run of his career. He could've done it Sunday against the Marlins against a pitcher he has owned (Tom Koehler). He could've done it Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights against the Braves, perhaps lofting a solo shot into the bleachers. He could've done it in any number of mundane ways. But that, of course, isn't the way Harper does these things. He picks just the right moment and adds just enough extra drama to the situation to make you take a...
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Harper's first grand slam is 100th career homer (Nats win 6-2)

Harper's first grand slam is 100th career homer (Nats win 6-2)
Bryce Harper's 100th career homer was as grand as they come. Harper launched his first major league grand slam this afternoon, blasting a 1-0 fastball from Julio Teheran in the bottom of the third off the façade of the second deck in right-center at Nationals Park. That blast gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead over the Braves, a worthy development in its own right. That it also happened to bring Harper to the century mark for his career only sweetened the moment. The crowd saluted Harper with a...
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Baker wants slumping Taylor to relax, show more patience

Baker wants slumping Taylor to relax, show more patience
He was the hottest hitter on the roster all spring, arguably the hottest hitter in the Grapefruit League. But Michael A. Taylor is finding out now what so many have found out before him: Hitting in April isn't the same as hitting in March. Taylor enters play today sporting a .138 batting average (4-for-29), with a .133 on-base percentage that's actually lower (something possible only when you've got a sacrifice fly but zero walks). It's a far cry from his performance this spring, when he...
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