Werth injured on checked swing, leaves game (Nats win 14-4)

ATLANTA - Jayson Werth had to depart tonight’s game after injuring himself on a check-swing in the top of the third inning, the latest Nationals player to go down in the season’s first month.

Werth checked his swing on a 1-0 pitch from the Braves’ Julio Teheran in his second at-bat of the night and appeared to grimace, his left leg perhaps tweaked. After stepping out of the batter’s box, he signaled to the dugout for Nationals director of athletic training Paul Lessard, who came out to talk with the veteran left fielder.

werth-head-down-sidebar.jpgWerth retreated back to the dugout and walked down the steps toward the visitors clubhouse, while Chris Heisey quickly gathered his equipment to take over the at-bat.

The Nationals typically don’t provide injury updates in-game, leaving Werth’s status (not to mention which specific body part he hurt) a mystery for several hours.

If the injury is severe enough to force Werth to the disabled list, he would join shortstops Trea Turner and Stephen Drew (who each have strained hamstrings) as key position players to get hurt in the season’s first 2 1/2 weeks.

Werth, who turns 38 next month, is off to a strong start at the plate, hitting .283 with three homers, seven RBIs and a .340 on-base percentage through 14 games.

The Nationals also placed reliever Sammy Solís on the 10-day DL today with left elbow inflammation.

Update: With five innings down, the Nationals lead 7-3. They rode Bryce Harper’s two early homers off Julio Teheran (including a grand slam) to take a 6-2 lead, then saw Freddie Freeman (who else?) take Joe Ross deep in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 6-3. Freeman has now reached base in all six plate appearances he’s had vs. the Nats this season, not to mention 12 in a row overall dating back to the weekend. He is a beast.

The Nats got the run back, though, in the top of the fourth when with Harper at the plate seeking his third homer of the night, Teheran uncorked a wild pitch to bring Adam Eaton home. That gave the Braves reason to intentionally walk Harper, so he’s stuck on two homers for now.

Ross, meanwhile, has settled in nicely after a ragged start to his evening. The right-hander has retired eight in a row since the Freeman homer and is sitting at 74 pitches through five innings.

Update II: One grand slam wasn’t enough for the Nationals tonight. They decided they needed another, courtesy Ryan ZImmerman. He took old pal Ian Krol deep to right-center in the top of the eighth, turning a 7-3 lead into an 11-3 rout. Make that 12-3 after an RBI groundout by Wilmer Difo.

Update III: That’s a final. 14-4 Nats. I’d tell everyone here to drive home safely, but pretty much everyone from the announced crowd of 22,101 departed a long, long time ago.

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