Murphy ties club records for hits, doubles (Nationals lose 7-3)

ATLANTA - Daniel Murphy's remarkable first season with the Nationals is now cementing its place in the club's record book.

With a third-inning double this afternoon against the Braves, Murphy tied a pair of Nationals records. His 184 hits have matched Denard Span's total from 2014. And his 47 doubles have matched Ryan Zimmerman's total from 2006.

Oh, by the way, there are still 14 more games on the schedule for Murphy to claim both records for himself and then tack on some insurance.


Murphy achieved both marks this afternoon with a bullet off the right field wall. He had to sprint hard to narrowly beat Nick Markakis' throw to second base, and he appeared to be shaken up on his headfirst slide into the bag.

Head athletic trainer Paul Lessard and manager Dusty Baker both came out to check on Murphy, but the second baseman remained in the game.

Murphy is now batting .350 (tops in the NL) with 316 total bases (second only to Colorado's Nolan Arenado). He's tied with Arizona's Jean Segura for the league lead in hits, and is tops in doubles and slugging percentage (.601).

Murphy's 104 RBIs rank a distant second to Arenado (121), but he's only six shy of Zimmerman's club record (also set during his rookie season of 2006).

The Nationals and Braves were tied 1-1 through three innings today. Trea Turner led off the game with yet another home run (his sixth against Atlanta this season and 10th overall) but the Nationals have been unable to push across anything else despite countless opportunities against right-hander Josh Collmenter, who loaded the bases via walks in the top of the second.

Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, gave back the early run Turner provided via a first-inning double, hit batter and RBI single to Nick Markakis. The left-hander tossed a 1-2-3 second inning, but fell back into trouble in the third, giving up four straight singles. He escaped with only two runs crossing the plate after a double-play grounder and a 399-foot flyout to center, but the Nationals now trail 3-1 after three.

Update: The good news: Turner has homered. Again. It's his third of this series, his sixth in 11 games vs. the Braves this season, his 11th overall this season. He's now slugging .583, which (if he had enoug plate appearances to qualify) would trail only Murphy in the NL.

The bad news: Gonzalez couldn't make it out of the fifth inning. He wound up charged with six runs on nine hits and two hit batters. Yet another ragged outing for the left-hander, at a time when the Nats simply can't afford for this to keep happening. Joe Ross' start tomorrow sure is big, isn't it? He's got three starts to prove he deserves to be the No. 3 starter in the playoffs. Nats trail 6-2 after five innings.

Update II: Make it 7-3 Braves after seven innings. Rookie Koda Glover gave up another insurance run, leaving his ERA at 4.76 through 16 big league appearances. The Nats did get a run in the top of the inning on Jayson Werth's RBI groundout, but it's been a struggle all afternoon for the lineup.

Update III: That's a final. Nats lose 7-3. Their magic number remains six, with the Mets still playing the Twins later tonight.

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