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Instant Analysis: Nats 4, Rockies 1

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Instant Analysis: Nats 4, Rockies 1

Game in a nutshell: The Nationals took an early lead with a solo home run to opposite field by Ian Desmond in the second inning. Colorado tied the game in the fourth on a sacrifice fly, but Washington found their stroke in the 6th inning by scoring three runs. Gio Gonzalez threw a lot of pitches, but ended up with another gem as he now heads to Kansas City to represent the Nationals in the 2012 All-Star game.

Hitting highlight: The Nationals scored three runs in the sixth inning due to some unusual plays. Danny Espinosa led the inning off with a double off the right-center field wall. Then Bryce Harper advanced him to third on a bloop single he almost got thrown out on trying to stretch a double. Ryan Zimmerman singled Espinosa home and sent Harper to third. Josh Roenicke then threw a wild pitch that Zimmerman tried to steal on, catcher Wilin Rosario threw it off the mark and Harper was able to score from home. Then another error later in the inning, this time trying to pick off Ian Desmond at first, sent Zimmerman home from third.
Pitching highlight: Gio Gonzalez threw 102 pitches (60 strikes) in 6.0 innings but allowed only one earned run and three hits. He walked three batters and struck out six for another overall solid outing by the Nationals lefty.
Key stat: Ian Desmond now has homers in three of his last five games and 16 overall on the season. Thats first for shortstops in the National League and sixth overall in the N.L.

Up next: The final game before the All-Star break as Jordan Zimmerman goes for the series win vs. Jeremy Guthrie and the Rockies. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m.

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Nationals avoid arbitration, reach deal with Bryce Harper and three others

Nationals avoid arbitration, reach deal with Bryce Harper and three others

The Washington Nationals avoided arbitration and agreed to one-year deals today with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Tanner Roark and newly acquired catcher Derek Norris.

If team's and players didn't agree to contracts by today's 1 p.m. ET deadline, an independent arbitrator will rule on the contract at a later date and decide how much the player will play for in 2017. 

Harper and the Nationals agreed to a $13.625 million deal, which was significantly more than the $9.3 million contract that was projected by MLB Trade Rumors. Last season, coming off his 2015 MVP campaign, Harper made $5 million. The 24-year-old will be a free agent after the 2018 season. 

Harper is coming off a disappointing season by his standards, in which he hit just .243 with 24 homers, which was way down from his total of 42 dingers in 2015. 

According to multiple reports, Rendon signed for $5.8 million, Roark signed for $4.315 million and Norris' deal was for $4.2 million.

Roark made just $543,400 last season, which he vastly out-performed. Roark was one of the most consistent pitchers in the National League last year as he won 16 games and posted a 2.83 ERA in 210 innings of work. 

With today's signings, all of the Nationals' arbitration-eligible players are under contract for 2017. 

Related: Tanner Roark to replace Max Scherzer on World Baseball Classic roster

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LOOK: Bryce Harper got married in suit jacket lined with pictures of wife

LOOK: Bryce Harper got married in suit jacket lined with pictures of wife

Nationals star Bryce Harper has a bold fashion sense, that's for sure. Just take a look at that hair. But he a more romantic fashion risk for his own wedding with a custom suit jacket. 

He opted for a navy blue tuxedo with black piping. It was the lining that really stood out as special. 

If you look closely, you'll see photos of Harper and his wife, Kayla, decorating the lining of the jacket. 

There's also the date of wedding and script reading "Mr. and Mrs. Harper." 

He credited the makers of his tuxedo, Stitched, in the tweet. 

MORE NATIONALS: Nationals’ Bryce Harper ecstatic to see bride on wedding day