Martinez will speak to Zimmerman about rehab games

Martinez will speak to Zimmerman about rehab games
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is not on this trip but he is closer to a return from his right oblique strain that has kept him sidelined since May 10. He has now missed 39 games. Manager Davey Martinez said he will speak to Zimmerman about rehab games possibly for next week, even though the veteran may not be too excited about warming up in the minor leagues. "As soon as he's ready to play, I'll have to sit down and talk to him," Martinez said. "I'd like...
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Game 78 lineups: Nats vs. Rays

Game 78 lineups: Nats vs. Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Nationals look to rebound after a very difficult 11-0 loss to open their series against the Rays. The game was dominated by Tampa Bay. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez struggled in facing only 11 batters, allowing six runs. The offense did not fare any better against left-hander Blake Snell, getting only one hit in the seventh inning. So, the club turns to their ace again, right-hander Max Scherzer (10-3, 2.09 ERA), who is seeking his 11th win of the season. His last victory...
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Gonzalez failed to make adjustments in shortest outing of season

Gonzalez failed to make adjustments in shortest outing of season
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Left-hander Gio Gonzalez has made starts where he was off a bit. But Monday night at Tropicana Field, Gonzalez was unable to get into any kind of a rhythm. It got so bad for the southpaw that he faced seven batters in the second inning without recording an out. After walking one batter in the first, he still was able to get out of the frame by inducing flyout and getting former teammate Wilson Ramos on a called third strike. But in the second, the Rays C.J. Cron started...
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Gonzalez unable to find the plate, allows grand slam (Nats fall 11-0)

Gonzalez unable to find the plate, allows grand slam (Nats fall 11-0)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Left-hander Gio Gonzalez got through the first inning allowing only a walk. In the second inning, his night fell apart. Gonzalez could not find the plate, issuing four walks, including three walks in a row to the bottom of the Rays order. A wild pitch scored C.J. Cron. A walk to Willy Adames scored Jake Bauers. Then the biggest hit of the game came off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier, who crushed a 3-2 pitch over the center field wall for a grand slam. It was his first homer...
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Kintzler returns, Rodriguez optioned, Hellickson on track

Kintzler returns, Rodriguez optioned, Hellickson on track
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Nationals reinstated right-hander Brandon Kintzler from the 10-day disabled list this afternoon and optioned-hander Jefry Rodriguez to Triple-A Syracuse. Kintzler had been on the DL since June 10 with a right forearm flexor strain and pitched an inning in a minor league rehabilitation assignment for Single-A Potomac on Sunday. "Yeah, he's ready to go," said manager Davey Martinez. "He did well. But the biggest thing is the arm felt good. So we get him back...
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Opposite dugout: Rays throwing starters, not "openers," at Nationals

Opposite dugout: Rays throwing starters, not "openers," at Nationals
Manager: Kevin Cash (4th season) Record: 37-40 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 3B Matt Duffy (.318 with 23 RBIs), C Wilson Ramos (.289 with 9 HR, 36 RBIs), 2B Joey Wendel (.262), 1B C.J. Cron (16 HR, 38 RBIs), LHP Blake Snell (9-4, 2.48 ERA), Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (3-1 in 2015) Pitching probables: June 25: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4) vs. LHP Blake Snell (9-4), 7:10 p.m., MASN2 June 26 RHP Max Scherzer (10-3) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-3), 12:10 p.m., MASN Inside the Rays: The...
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Opposite Dugout: Skidding Rays hoping to get back to .500

Opposite Dugout: Skidding Rays hoping to get back to .500
Manager: Kevin Cash (4th season) Record: 28-30 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B C.J. Cron (12 HR, 32 RBIs), SS Daniel Robertson (.272), C Wilson Ramos (.301 with 7 HR, 29 RBIs), 3B Matt Duffy (.308), RHP Sergio Romo (5.96 ERA), RHP Ryne Stanek (3.97 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (2-1 in 2015) Pitching probables: June 5: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (9-1), 7:05 p.m., MASN2June 6: TBA vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-6), 1:05 p.m., MASN2 Inside the Rays: The Rays...
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Opposite dugout: Rays starting relievers in all three games vs. Orioles

Opposite dugout: Rays starting relievers in all three games vs. Orioles
Manager: Kevin Cash (4th season) Record: 23-25Last 10 games: 7-3Who to watch: C Wilson Ramos (.301 with 6 HR, 24 RBIs), CF Mallex Smith (.293, 11 SB), OF Johnny Field (.280 with 4 HR, 8 RBIs), RHP Sergio Romo (1-0, 4.34 ERA), RHP Alex Colomé (11 saves)Season series vs. Orioles: 3-3 Pitching probables: May 25: RHP David Hess (1-1) vs. RHP Sergio Romo (1-0), 7:10 p.m., MASNMay 26: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-5) vs. RHP Ryne Stanek (0-0), 4:10 p.m., MASNMay 27: RHP Kevin Gausman (3-3) vs. RHP Sergio...
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Andrew Stetka: Could O's learn from Rays' new pitching strategy?

Andrew Stetka: Could O's learn from Rays' new pitching strategy?
The long-running baseball standard of seeing starting pitchers go deep into games is falling by the wayside. This is not news, as it's been happening for years. Starting pitchers are throwing fewer innings. It used to be that starters would pitch complete games regularly. In fact, the last three full seasons have seen the lowest number of complete games in major league history. There were 104 thrown in 2015, 83 in 2016 and just 59 times did a pitcher go the distance last season. Long gone are...
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Opposite dugout: Rays challenged to be little more than a pesky foe

Opposite dugout: Rays challenged to be little more than a pesky foe
Manager: Kevin Cash (4th year) Record: 15-19 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: CF Mallex Smith (.326/.407/.421 with 8 SB), C Wilson Ramos (.313 with 4 HR, 18 RBIs), 2B Daniel Robertson (.289), 1B C.J. Cron (7 HR, 20 RBIs), LHP Blake Snell (4-2, 2.40 ERA), RHP Alex Colomé (6 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 0-2 Pitching probables: May 11: RHP Jake Faria (3-1) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (2-2), 7:05 p.m., MASN May 12: RHP Chris Archer (2-2) vs. TBA , 3:05 p.m., MASN2 May 12: TBA vs. RHP Alex Cobb...
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Opposite Dugout: Rays are in midst of a rebuild

Opposite Dugout: Rays are in midst of a rebuild
Manager: Kevin Cash (4th season) Record: 8-13 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: CF Mallex Smith (.344/.412/.871) 1B C.J. Cron (5 HR, 13 RBIs), OF Denard Span (17 RBIs), 2B Daniel Robertson (.318), RHP Blake Snell (3-1, 2.54 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (11-8 in 2017) Pitching probables: April 24: RHP Jake Faria (1-1) vs. RHP Alex Cobb (0-2), 7:05 p.m., MASNApril 25: RHP Chris Archer (1-1) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (1-2), 7:05 p.m., MASN2April 26: RHP Blake Snell (3-1) vs. Chris...
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Will revival of Yankees-Red Sox rivalry be top AL East storyline?

Will revival of Yankees-Red Sox rivalry be top AL East storyline?
The trendy analysis for the American League East is that the Boston and New York are going to battle for the title, bringing back the usual intensity that goes with a Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. But when does the obvious ever happen in baseball? The Orioles, who had five consecutive .500 or better seasons before their last-place finish in 2017, will contend if they can rebuild a rotation. The Blue Jays have pitching depth and the Rays are the Rays. Predicted finish: Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox, Blue...
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Where the AL East stands before the Winter Meetings

Where the AL East stands before the Winter Meetings
We are not breaking any news here when we say the Orioles need starting pitching - at least three starters and certainly more - if they are going to be contenders in the 2018 American League East. The Orioles have Kevin Gausman, who pitched well in the second half after a lousy first half in 2017, and Dylan Bundy at the top of the rotation, but after that, it's all question marks. Baltimore is in catch-up mode. The New York Yankees, who unexpectedly came one win away from making the World...
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Opposite dugout: Rays aim to hold off O's and Jays for third place in AL East

Opposite dugout: Rays aim to hold off O's and Jays for third place in AL East
Manager: Kevin Cash (2nd year) Record: 77-82 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: LF Corey Dickerson (.278/.321/.488 with 27 HR, 62 RBIs), 3B Evan Longoria (.260 with 19 HR, 83 RBIs), 1B Logan Morrison (37 HR, 83 RBIs), RF Steven Souza Jr. (30 HR, 78 RBIs), RHP Chris Archer (9-12, 4.18 ERA), RHP Alex Colomé (3.15 ERA with 46 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 8-8 Pitching probables: Sept. 29: LHP Wade Miley vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi, 7:10 p.m., MASN2 Sept. 30: RHP Miguel Castro vs. RHP Chris Archer,...
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Opposite dugout: Third place, .500 mark are Rays' late goals

Opposite dugout: Third place, .500 mark are Rays' late goals
Manager: Kevin Cash (2nd year) Record: 74-78 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: LF Corey Dickerson (.277 with 26 HR, 60 RBIs), 3B Evan Longoria (18 HR, 83 RBIs), 1B Logan Morrison (36 HR, 82 RBIs), RF Steven Souza Jr. (30 HR, 78 RBIs), RHP Alex Cobb (11-10, 3.63 ERA), RHP Chris Archer (9-11, 4.02 ERA), RHP Alex Colomé (45 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 6-6 Pitching probables: Sept. 21: RHP Matt Andriese vs. RHP Gabriel Ynoa, 7:05 p.m., MASN Sept. 22: RHP Alex Cobb vs. RHP: Ubaldo...
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Taking a look at the bizarre AL wild card race

Taking a look at the bizarre AL wild card race
The American League wild card race is bizarre, flawed or mediocre - whatever you choose to call it. In most seasons, teams struggling to stay above .500 would be long gone out of the race. Not this year. Here is what makes the AL wild card race so wild: * The Twins, who lost 103 games in 2016, are contenders even with a rotation that includes Bartolo Colon, Aaron Slegers, Dillion Gee and Tim Melville. Colon is 44 and looks like a sportswriter. Slegers has made one big league start, Gee 23 in...
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Where the American League postseason race stands

Where the American League postseason race stands
With less than two months to go, there's not a lot of drama in the National League races. The Nationals most likely will play either the Cubs, Brewers or surging Cardinals in the Division Series, while the Dodgers will play the winner of the projected Diamondbacks-Rockies wild card game. The American League is more complex. Teams are bunched and a .500 record keeps a team thinking October. The Orioles are contenders even though they were seven games under on July 16. The Orioles' schedule...
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Opposite dugout: Rays very much alive in playoff hunt

Opposite dugout: Rays very much alive in playoff hunt
Manager: Kevin Cash (3rd season) Record: 51-48 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: DH Corey Dickerson (.308 with 18 HR, 117 hits), 1B Logan Morrison (.252 with 26 HR, 61 RBIs), RF Steven Souza Jr. (.270 with .372 on-base percentage), RHP Jacob Faria (4-1, 2.52 ERA), RHP Alex Colomé (3.63 ERA, 28 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 4-5 Pitching probables: July 24: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. LHP Blake Snell, 7:05 p.m., MASNJuly 25: LHP Wade Miley vs. RHP Jacob Faria, 7:05 p.m., MASNJuly 26: RHP Ubaldo...
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Opposite dugout: Rays hitters hope to heat up again after going cold in Pittsburgh

Opposite dugout: Rays hitters hope to heat up again after going cold in Pittsburgh
Manager: Kevin Cash (3rd year) Record: 41-40 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B Logan Morrison (22 HR, 54 RBIs), CF Mallex Smith (9 stolen bases), OF/DH Corey Dickerson (.330/.371/.577), RF Steven Souza Jr. (14 HR, 49 RBIs), RHP Jacob Faria (3-0, 2.10 ERA, 0.974 WHIP), Alex Colomé (20 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 1-2 Pitching probables: June 30: RHP Jacob Faria vs. RHP Dylan Bundy, 7:05 p.m., MASNJuly 1: RHP Jake Odorizzi vs. RHP Chris Tillman, 4:05 p.m., MASNJuly 2: RHP Alex Cobb vs....
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Opposite dugout: Youngsters stepping up to keep Rays in AL East race

Opposite dugout: Youngsters stepping up to keep Rays in AL East race
Manager: Kevin Cash (3rd year) Record: 39-36 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 1B Logan Morrison (21 HR, 51 RBIs), CF Mallex Smith (9 SB), 3B Evan Longoria (18 doubles, 38 RBIs), OF/DH Corey Dickerson (.326/.365/.583), RHP Jacob Faria (3-0, 1.37 ERA, 0.966 WHIP), Alex Colomé (20 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 1-2 Pitching probables: June 23: RHP Chris Archer vs. RHP Ubaldo Jiménez, 7:10 p.m., MASN2June 24: RHP Jacob Faria vs. RHP Dylan Bundy, 4:10 p.m., MASNJune 25: RHP Jake Odorizzi...
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