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Instant Analysis: Nats 9, Giants 4

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Instant Analysis: Nats 9, Giants 4

Game in a nutshell: In the first morning game in Nationals history, the home team came out of the gates a bit sluggish. Edwin Jackson gave up three runs in the top of the first, and Giants starter Madison Bumgarner faced the minimum the first time through the order.

But then the Nats' lineup got hot once again, thanks to a few familiar faces. Ian Desmond delivered yet another clutch hit (a two-out, two-run single in the third). Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse delivered back-to-back homers in the fifth, each slugger continuing his torrid pace at the plate. And even Jhonatan Solano chimed in with his second career homer. Jackson settled down after his shaky first inning, and the Nationals cruised to a second straight victory over the NL's second-best club. At 47-32, they're now 15 games over .500, matching their best mark of the season.
Hitting highlight: Lots of candidates to choose from here yet again, including Zimmerman, Morse and Desmond. But let's throw some love to Solano, who has come out of nowhere to provide a potent bat at the bottom of the Nationals' lineup. The rookie catcher -- summoned to the big leagues only after injuries to Wilson Ramos, Jesus Flores, Sandy Leon and Carlos Maldonado -- blasted an opposite-field homer to right and added a single and a stolen base in this game. "The Onion" is now hitting .423 with two homers and six RBI in limited playing time but sure is making a case to get more regular at-bats.
Pitching highlight: What is it about Jackson and his aversion to the first inning? He's now allowed 17 earned runs in 16 first frames this season, equating to a 9.56 ERA. In every other inning, that number plummets to 2.64. Whatever the reason, the right-hander just seems to have trouble locating his pitches early in games, but he manages to quickly find it after that. Jackson was very sharp from the second through the fifth innings today, retiring 12 of 14 batters.Key stat: How clutch has Desmond been? Well, 25 of his 47 RBI this season have come with two outs. That doesn't sound like an anomaly.
Up next: Both teams will have plenty of time rest (or catch some fireworks) before they return for tomorrow night's series finale. Ross Detwiler faces Matt Cain at 7:05 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