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Bye, bye Hanley: A Nats killer

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Bye, bye Hanley: A Nats killer

When the Miami Marlins traded former All-Star Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, it represented a sort of shift for the franchise. After opening a new stadium and escalating their payroll in the offseason, the Marlins have apparently seen enough of their 2012 roster and want to go in a different direction.

The Marlins beginning to blow things up means lots for the N.L. East as a division, it is now clearly a two-team race between the Braves and Nationals. It could, however, help the Nationals more than anybody.

Ramirez may not be the MVP candidate he was in 2009, but perhaps no team felt the wrath of Hanley more than Washington. Ramirez has hit more home runs (27) and RBI (74) against the Nationals than any other team in his career. He also carries a career average of .342 against the club, part of a 1.067 OPS.

Hanley may have regressed back into mediocrity over the last few years, but against Washington that hasnt been the case. This season he has a .355 average with two homers and five runs in nine games against the Nats.

Having him out of the division should be a positive for Washington, especially with a 42-74 record against the franchise since Ramirez became an everyday player in 2006. He does, however, boost a Dodgers lineup that could find itself playing the Nationals in October if both teams qualify for the postseason.

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Trea Turner hits for the cycle despite freezing Colorado temperature

Trea Turner hits for the cycle despite freezing Colorado temperature

DENVER (AP) -- Trea Turner has hit for the third cycle in Washington Nationals history against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Turner also has a career-high seven RBIs on a cold night in the Mile High City.

He had a single in the first, a two-run double in the second, a two-run homer in the sixth and a bases-loaded triple in the seventh.

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The field temperature was a balmy 37 degrees when Turner recorded the final part of his cycle in the seventh inning.

It was the first cycle by the Nationals since Cristian Guzman on Aug. 28, 2008.

Overall, this was the ninth cycle in Expos/Nationals history.

In addition, Turner's seven RBIs are tied for the second-most in a single game in Nationals history.

The Nationals hung on to beat the Rockies 15-12 after giving up seven runs in the final three innings.

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Bryce Harper named National League Player of the Week

Bryce Harper named National League Player of the Week

If you've understandably been caught up with the Capitals and Wizards in their respective playoff series, you might not be aware of just how hot Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is right now. Fresh off a three-game sweep of the rival Mets in New York, Harper was named National League Player of the Week. 

For the whole week, Harper hit .550 (11-for-20) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, seven walks and 10 runs scored. 

He is now leading all of baseball in batting average (.400), he's tied for second in homers (7), and he's alone in second in RBI (20). He's also amassed a blistering 1.340 OPS through the team's first 18 games. 

Harper's biggest game of the past week came in Atlanta when he went yard twice, with his second homer being a grand slam. He finished the game 4-for-4 with two homers, one double, five RBI, one walk and four runs scored. 

With Harper's injuries from last season behind him (even though he won't completely admit to being hurt), the Nationals' right fielder is back to, or even better than, his 2015 form that ended with his first career MVP award. During that season Harper took home player of the week honors three times. 

The Nationals as a team have the best record in baseball at 13-5, and already have a three-game lead in the NL East. 

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