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Nats try to sweep Bucs

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Nats try to sweep Bucs

Don't look now, but the Nationals are scoring runs in bunches. They've scored 32 runs over their last six games (an average of 5.2 per contest) and produced 58 hits (an average of 9.7). Obviously, Adam LaRoche has played a big role in that, but offensive production is also coming from the likes of Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Xavier Nady and (of course) Bryce Harper.

It kind of got lost in last night's game, but Harper nearly homered for the third straight day, settling instead for his first career triple. He's now slugging .460 in 17 big-league games. Not bad for a 19-year-old. Not bad at all.

The Nationals can only hope to keep this offensive surge going tonight against the Pirates and in the process give Jordan Zimmermann some much-deserved run support. Despite earning a quality start in each of his seven outings this season, the right-hander's record entering tonight is a disappointing 2-3.

Updates to come. Please check the Nats Insider live game thread...

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (23-14)
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Bryce Harper
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Jesus Flores
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

PIRATES (17-20)
LF Jose Tabata
2B Neil Walker
CF Andrew McCutchen
3B Pedro Alvarez
RF Garrett Jones
1B Casey McGehee
C Rod Barajas
SS Josh Harrison
RHP James McDonald

UMPIRES
HP Alan Porter, 1B Larry Vanover, 2B Brian Gorman (cc), 3B Tony Randazzo

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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