Roark uses breaking pitch to get himself back in the game

Roark uses breaking pitch to get himself back in the game
HOUSTON - Tanner Roark battled with a first place American League lineup Tuesday, taking each punch in the first three innings, but never allowing a knockout blow. The Astros scored three runs in three innings to begin, but then nothing else as the Nationals mounted a comeback 4-3 victory. Matt Wieters' two-run shot erased their final deficit and Roark did not allow a run in his final 2 2/3 innings of work to improve to 10-8. It marks the third season of the past four that Roark has reached...
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Roark taxed early with two-out hits (Nats win 4-3)

Roark taxed early with two-out hits (Nats win 4-3)
HOUSTON - Tanner Roark has been taxed a bit in the first two innings. The Astros started the game with a George Springer single and then a steal of second. With two outs, he came home on a two-out RBI single by Josh Reddick. In the second inning, veteran Carlos Beltrán sent a double into left field that Howie Kendrick attempted to catch up against the wall but could not hold on to. Beltrán came home on a two-out RBI single courtesy of Derek Fisher. Roark has now thrown 46 pitches in two...
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Updates on Scherzer, Madson, Harper, Werth and Turner

Updates on Scherzer, Madson, Harper, Werth and Turner
HOUSTON - It has been a couple of days since the last update on right-handers Max Scherzer and Ryan Madson, so they were a hot topic with Nationals manager Dusty Baker prior to Tuesday night's opener against the Astros. Scherzer was getting treatment with the club at Minute Maid Park and made his way out to the field for batting practice, stretch and warm-ups looking normal. Baker confirmed the treatment plan for Scherzer and is still targeting Friday's home game against the Mets as his...
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Game 123 lineups: Nats at Astros

Game 123 lineups: Nats at Astros
HOUSTON - Welcome to Minute Maid Park, where a pair of first-place teams will do battle in interleague play. The Astros have played two more games than the Nationals, but have recently lost 11 of 14 games. This is a three-game set, with all contests beginning at 8:10 p.m. EDT. The Nationals began their road trip by winning three of four in San Diego and hand the baseball to right-hander Tanner Roark (9-8, 4.70 ERA) to open this series. He is opposed by right-hander Charlie Morton (10-5, 3.69...
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Opposite dugout: Despite injuries, Astros coasting toward postseason

Opposite dugout: Despite injuries, Astros coasting toward postseason
Manager: A.J. Hinch (3rd season) Record: 76-48 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.362 with 171 hits, 29 SB), 3B Alex Bregman (.277 with 15 HR, 48 RBIs), OF George Springer (.303 with 28 HR, 70 RBIs), LHP Dallas Keuchel (11-2, 2.58 ERA, RHP Charlie Morton (10-5, 3.69 ERA). Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (0-4 in 2014) Pitching probables: Aug. 22: RHP Tanner Roark vs. RHP Charlie Morton; 8:10 p.m., MASN2Aug. 23: RHP Edwin Jackson vs. RHP Mike Fiers; 8:10 p.m., MASNAug....
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Opposite dugout: Astros' midsummer doldrums likely temporary

Opposite dugout: Astros' midsummer doldrums likely temporary
Manager: A.J. Hinch (3rd season) Record: 63-32 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.353/.420/.556, 19 stolen bases), CF George Springer (.307/.384/.597, 27 home runs, 66 RBIs), 1B Yuli Gurriel (.292/.320/.479, 47 RBIs) RHP Collin McHugh (13-10, 4.34 ERA in 2016), Lance McCullers Jr. (7-2, 3.28 ERA), Ken Giles (.331 ERA, 20 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 3-0 Pitching probables: July 21: RHP Mike Fiers vs. RHP Ubaldo Jiménez, 7:05 p.m., MASN July 22: RHP Collin McHugh vs. RHP...
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Opposite dugout: First-place Astros aim to continue dominance over Orioles

Opposite dugout: First-place Astros aim to continue dominance over Orioles
Manager: A.J. Hinch (3rd season) Record: 32-16 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.298/.367/.494 with 7 HR, 22 RBIs, 9 SB), RF Josh Reddick (.281 with 6 HR, 20 RBIs), LF Marwin Gonzalez (11 HR, 28 RBIs), LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-0, 1.84 ERA, 0.864 WHIP), RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (5-1, 2.43 ERA), RHP Ken Giles (3.26 ERA, 13 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (6-1 in 2016) Pitching probables: May 26: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. RHP Joe Musgrove, 8:10 p.m., MASN2 May 27: LHP Wade...
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Astros and Rangers hope they have enough pitching to remain top of AL West

Astros and Rangers hope they have enough pitching to remain top of AL West
Spring training is gearing up, and in the American League West, the Astros and Rangers are expected to be the top two teams. But do the Astros have enough pitching? The same question goes for the Rangers. Seattle expects to contend as well, and Oakland, with a healthy rotation and deep bullpen, could be a surprise team. Here's a look at the pitching in the AL West: Houston: The Astros might have the best lineup in the American League, but the rotation appears thin. ... The X-factor is...
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A guide to first week of spring games in West Palm Beach with the Nationals

A guide to first week of spring games in West Palm Beach with the Nationals
The excitement of another baseball season arriving for the Nationals is ramped up with the new spring training facility - The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches - and the ease it will have on travel plans for fans. With the move to West Palm Beach, the Nationals have moved 126 miles south down Interstate 95 and closer to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. The Nationals' first Grapefruit League game on the schedule is Feb. 25 at Port St. Lucie (45 miles northwest) against the Mets. Viera was 83 miles...
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New spring facility will accelerate relations between Nationals and Astros

New spring facility will accelerate relations between Nationals and Astros
The opening of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the new spring training facility shared by the Nationals and Astros, will be extremely beneficial to the preparation for the 2017 season and beyond for both clubs. The 6,500-seat baseball stadium will be state-of-the-art for spring training. The 12 practice fields outside the main diamond - six for each team - will be easy to navigate for players and fans. With a hat tip to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona, shared by the...
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The Ballpark at the Palm Beaches on target for first game on Feb. 28

The Ballpark at the Palm Beaches on target for first game on Feb. 28
Representatives from the Nationals and Astros met this week with Palm Beach County commissioners and told them that the teams' new spring training facility in West Palm Beach, The Ballpark at the Palm Beaches, is expected to open as scheduled on Feb. 28. The Palm Beach Post reported that construction crews are racing to complete the new $148.5 million complex in time for the first scheduled Grapefruit League game. Neither the Nationals nor Astros have released their spring training schedules,...
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Opposite dugout: Astros have failed to recreate mojo from last year's playoff payoff

Opposite dugout: Astros have failed to recreate mojo from last year's playoff payoff
Manager: A.J. Hinch (2nd season) Record: 61-59 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.364/.428/.572 with 19 HR, 72 RBIs, 26 SB), SS Carlos Correa (18 HR, 82 RBIs), RF George Springer (23 HR, 68 RBIs), RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0, 1.47 ERA), RHP Will Harris (12 saves, 2.64 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: 3-0 Pitching probables: Aug. 18: RHP Joe Musgrove vs. RHP Kevin Gausman, 7:05 p.m., MASN2 Aug. 19: RHP Collin McHugh vs. LHP Wade Miley, 7:05 p.m., MASN2 Aug. 20: RHP Mike Fiers vs. RHP...
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Construction continues at West Palm Beach facility, but Astros and Nats making contingency plans

Construction continues at West Palm Beach facility, but Astros and Nats making contingency plans
Construction at The Ballpark at the Palm Beaches, the new spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., that the Nationals will share with the Astros, is progressing. According to photos shot earlier this summer, the outfield walls are taking shape and practice fields are clearly visible on the 160-acre parcel. But according to this article in the Palm Beach Post, both the Astros and Nationals are making contingency plans in case the ballpark is not ready to host workouts in mid-February...
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Opposite dugout: Astros struggling to continue last year's success

Opposite dugout: Astros struggling to continue last year's success
Manager: A.J. Hinch (2nd season) Record: 17-28 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.328/.413/.582 with 9 HR, 27 RBIs), RF George Springer (.254/ with 9 HR, 25 RBIs), SS Carlos Correa (.253 with 7 HR, 20 RBIs), LF Colby Rasmus (8 HR, 31 RBIs), RHP Doug Fister (4-3, 4.22 ERA), RHP Will Harris (0.46 ERA, 11 holds) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (4-3 in 2015) Pitching probables: May 24: RHP Chris Tillman vs. RHP Doug Fister, 8:10 p.m., MASN2 May 25: TBA vs. RHP Collin McHugh,...
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Palm Beach County commissioners approve construction bonds for spring training complex

Palm Beach County commissioners approve construction bonds for spring training complex
Looks like the cost of the spring training complex the Nationals will share with the Astros has gone a little higher than expected. The teams have told Palm Beach County that the budget for the shared facility that is due to open in West Palm Beach for the 2017 Grapefruit League campaign has risen to at least $144 million from the $135 million that was approved in August. Any increase over the original $135 million budgeted for the project will be split between the Nationals and Astros, per an...
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Playoffs game blog: New York hosts Houston in AL wild card game

Playoffs game blog: New York hosts Houston in AL wild card game
The Houston Astros are returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and the New York Yankees for the first time since 2012. New York hosts Houston tonight at 8:08 p.m. in the American League wild card game. The winner advances to meet Kansas City (95-67) starting Thursday in the American League Division Series. Houston (86-76) played well at the end of the year after losing its grip on the AL West lead to finish as the second wild card team. The Astros won six of their last eight....
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Florida governor signs bill, final hurdle for new Nats-Astros spring complex

Florida governor signs bill, final hurdle for new Nats-Astros spring complex
The Nationals will be moving to a new spring training facility in West Palm Beach, likely in time for the 2017 Grapefruit League season. Yesterday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott held a bill signing ceremony that will pave the way for the Nationals and Houston Astros to share a 160-acre facility at the corner of Haverhill Road and 45th Street. Barring any complications, the new complex will be ready in January 2017. The Nationals and Astros previously agreed to a 30-year lease on the proposed...
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Opposite dugout: Will home cooking help Astros avenge earlier series loss to O's?

Opposite dugout: Will home cooking help Astros avenge earlier series loss to O's?
Manager: A.J. Hinch (1st season) Record: 31-20 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.296/.344/.417 with 25 RBIs, 15 SB), LF Colby Rasmus (8 HR, 17 RBIs), RF George Springer (7 HR, 17 RBIs), DH Evan Gattis (11 HR, 31 RBIs), LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-1, 1.76 ERA), RHP Luke Gregerson (3.74 ERA, 13 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 1-2 Pitching probables: June 1: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez vs. LHP Brett Oberholtzer, 8:10 p.m., MASN2 June 2: RHP Mike Wright vs. RHP Collin McHugh, 8:10 p.m., MASN2...
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Opposite dugout: Surprising Astros are a study in statistical contrasts

Opposite dugout: Surprising Astros are a study in statistical contrasts
Manager: A.J. Hinch (1st season) Record: 29-16 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.294/.345/.428 with 5 HR, 25 RBIs, 14 SB), CF Jake Marisnick (.281 with 16 RBIs and 9 SB), LF Colby Rasmus (8 HR, 17 RBIs), LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-0, 1.67 ERA), RHP Luke Gregerson (12 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (3-4 in 2014) Pitching probables: May 25: LHP Dallas Keuchel vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen, 1:35 p.m., MASN May 26: RHP Scott Feldman vs. RHP Chris Tillman, 7:05 p.m., MASN May 27:...
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Palm Beach County joins West Palm Beach in approving land swap for new spring training facility (with teams' statement)

Palm Beach County joins West Palm Beach in approving land swap for new spring training facility (with teams' statement)
Palm Beach County commissioners voted 6-1 this morning to OK a land swap with the City of West Palm Beach and the conceptual plan for a new spring training complex in West Palm Beach that would be shared by the Astros and Nationals. The move means the teams will move a step closer to building a new spring training facility on 160 acres at the southeast corner of Haverhill Road and 45th Street on the site of a former landfill. In exchange for the city-owned parcel, West Palm Beach will receive...
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