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Braves-Nationals lineups

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Braves-Nationals lineups

By Rich Dubroff
CSNwashington.com

The Nationals are hosting the Atlanta Braves in the first of an abbreviated two-game series. Fridays night game was rained out and will be made up this summer when the Braves return for series in July and August. Game time is 4:05 p.m.

Here are the starting lineups:

Braves

Michael Bourn-CF
Martin Prado-3B
Brian McCann-C
Dan Uggla-2B
Freddie Freeman-1B
Jason Heyward-RF
Andrelton Simmons-SS
Brandon Beachy-RHP
Jose Constanza-LF

Nationals

Steve Lombardozzi-LF
Bryce Harper-CF
Ryan Zimmerman-3B
Adam LaRoche-1B
Michael Morse-RF
Ian Desmond-SS
Danny Espinosa-2B
Jesus Flores-C
Stephen Strasburg-RHP

Its not a misprint. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez occasionally bats
his pitcher eighth.

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Strasburg, Nats bats power past Cubs 8-4

Strasburg, Nats bats power past Cubs 8-4

Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 in seven innings, Bryce Harper had two doubles and two RBIs, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-4 on Wednesday night.

Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters hit back-to-back homers against John Lackey (5-9) during Washington's four-run second inning. After the Cubs pulled within three at 6-3, Daniel Murphy went deep in the fifth.

It was a rough day for the Cubs, who cut veteran catcher Miguel Montero after he criticized pitcher Jake Arrieta for his role in the Nationals' seven steals in Tuesday's 6-1 win over the World Series champions. Then reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant departed with an apparent right ankle injury.

Bryant awkwardly clipped third base while catching a foul pop off the bat of Wieters in the sixth. He walked around gingerly before being helped off the field.

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Did Bryce Harper just hint at his future with this Instagram caption?

Did Bryce Harper just hint at his future with this Instagram caption?

With Bryce Harper's free agency approaching in 2018, the Nationals slugger has kept his options open as everyone is speculating about where he'll end up when his contract with the Nats has come to an end.

From the Yankees to the Cubs, the rumor mill simply isn't stopping. And, perhaps, another clue about his plans has appeared.

Before Tuesday night's matchup against the Cubs, Harper posted an Instagram with his wife, Kayla, along with childhood friend and Cubs third baseman, Kris Bryant, and Bryant's wife, Jess.

That was nothing unusual as the pair grew up playing baseball together in their hometown of Las Vegas. However, the caption is what stuck out.

RELATED: THE NATIONALS PLAYED A HUGE ROLE IN A CUB BEING RELEASED

"Just two Vegas boys living out our dream with the ones we love! This is what it's all about..What a time to be alive🙌🏻#MLB #702 #Back2BackOneDay"

Social media went into a frenzy over what seemed like an allusion to Harper's future: he wants to eventually join back up with his childhood buddy Kris Bryant, just like the good ol' days. 

Adding to the worry is that Harper's dog is named Wrigley. 

Are the Cubs a shoo-in for Bryce Harper with the appeal of his childhood best friend and his dog's name?

Could this allusion mean heading up the windy city and a reunion for Harper and his pal?

Did Harper just hint at his future with the Cubs with an Instagram hashtag?