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Daniel Murphy looking good for Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 'I feel confident'

Daniel Murphy looking good for Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 'I feel confident'

The Nationals' handling Daniel Murphy's left buttock strain as they approach Game 1 of the NL Division Series has been the definition of taking it day-to-day. Even 24 hours before first pitch, Murphy and his manager Dusty Baker were not ready to commit fully to him being in the starting lineup. The assumption remains that he will be there, but nothing is quite official yet.

"Tomorrow’s not promised to any of us. So there’s always a chance I’m not in there. But I feel confident right now. I’m going to try everything I can to be in there tomorrow," Murphy said.

The Nats second baseman continued to simulate as much as possible in his on-field workout on Thursday. He took batting practice, grounders in the infield and ran sprints, all under the watchful eye of the Nationals training staff. Running, in particular is the biggest test for him right now.

"He looked pretty good. And you know, he says he's ready and so, therefore, you know, we think he's ready," Baker said. "He did about everything that you could do simulating the game. Everything but slide. But yeah, he looked pretty good."

[RELATED: Nats not overly concerned injuries will affect defense]

Murphy ramped up his workout on Wednesday to turn double plays and field grounders hit far to his left and right. Thursday he took a slight step back in the intensity of his workout, but by design.

“I felt really good out there. Harvey [Sharman], the head trainer, put my through a good workout. I think we kind of tapered it down a little bit today, just like a little bit of a recovery day. But it was good to hit the bases, cut and I felt really good out there.”

One other piece of news was shared on Thursday that relates to Murphy and his injury. The Nationals announced that Wilmer Difo has made the playoff roster. He will be on the bench in part as a contingency plan for Murphy, in case he aggravates his injury mid-game.

"[Difo] can play all three infield positions, and with Daniel Murphy still coming off an injury, he gives us a possibility at second base late in the game and run for Daniel Murphy, as well," Baker said.

At this point, it appears Murphy is good to go for Game 1. But that doesn't mean his injury will not be in mind when the Nats take the field on Friday evening.

[RELATED: Wait is tough for several Nats on playoff roster bubble]

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Nats beat Mariners behind Joe Ross' career day in return from minors

Nats beat Mariners behind Joe Ross' career day in return from minors

WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon homered twice and drove in five runs, Joe Ross returned from the minors to allow one run over a career high-tying eight innings, and the Washington Nationals routed the Seattle Mariners 10-1 on Tuesday night.

Bryce Harper added his 14th homer and Jayson Werth hit his seventh off Chris Bergman (1-2), who allowed all of the Nationals' runs and 14 of their 15 hits.

Rendon doubled before his second homer -- and seventh of the season -- completed an eight-run fourth inning. Ryan Zimmerman also had three hits.

Mike Zunino homered off Ross (2-0) in his return from his own minor league stint. Robinson Cano was hitless in his first game back from the disabled list following a thigh injury as Seattle dropped its fourth straight.

Ross showed no signs of the late April struggles that ended with a demotion to Triple-A Syracuse. He yielded five hits and a walk while striking out six, and retired 12 straight batters after a leadoff single to begin the game.

By the time Seattle finally put multiple runners aboard, Washington had already opened a 10-0 lead.

Rendon's second-inning shot around the left field foul pole made it 2-0.

Then Werth, Harper and Rendon all connected in the fourth, helping the Nationals score seven of their eight runs in the inning with two outs.

MORE NATIONALS: WATCH: Werth, Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nationals win

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WATCH: Werth and Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nats win

WATCH: Werth and Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nats win

The Nationals had a big day at the plate Tuesday night.

Washington hit four home runs, including three in an eight-run fourth inning, in its 10-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon hit two home runs – the first a two-run blast to left field in the second inning and the second a three-run shot to center in the fourth. He finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs.

Prior to Rendon’s second homer in the fourth inning, left fielder Jayson Werth hit a two-run blast to left field, which was followed by a solo shot from right fielder Bryce Harper in the next at-bat.

Harper’s homer was measured at 450 feet.

At the end of the fourth, the Nationals led 10-0, which also included an RBI single from catcher Matt Wieters and an RBI triple from shortstop Trea Turner.

Tuesday night’s contest was the first of a three-game home series against the Mariners, who play in the American League. The Nationals and Mariners also will play Wednesday and Thursday.

Earlier this season in a 23-5 win over the New York Mets on April 30, Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs to become the first player to accomplish that feat since at least 1913. He now has seven homers this season.

Harper’s homer was his 14th of the season, tying him for first in the National League with the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman. The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge is first with 15.

Though he did not have a home run Tuesday night, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has 13 for the season.

MORE NATIONALS: 2017 MLB Power Rankings: As Bryce Harper goes, so do the Nationals