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Johnson's contract with Nats finalized

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Johnson's contract with Nats finalized

The Nationals and Davey Johnson have finalized details of a contract that ensures the veteran manager will return in the same capacity next season.

The question of Johnson's return was never seriously in doubt, but it had yet to be formalized because of the unusual nature of his employment with the Nationals.

Lured back to the dugout in June 2011 following Jim Riggleman's surprise resignation, Johnson was given a three-year consulting contract. Within that contract were provisions to give him the manager's job, though those provisions had to be enacted on a year-to-year basis, with financial aspects of the deal open to negotiation.

The two sides went through a similar process last fall, with Johnson and the Nationals finally agreeing to terms on October 31. This year's time frame actually was comparable because the Nationals' season didn't end until October 12 thanks to their first-ever playoff appearance.

According to MLB.com Johnson will call it a career as a manager following the conclusion of the 2013 season.

Though financial details weren't disclosed, it's believed the Nationals are paying Johnson far more than any of their previous managers, who all ranked among the lowest-paid in baseball at the time with salaries in the range of $500,000.

Johnson, who turns 70 in January, is the frontrunner to earn NL Manager of the Year honors next week after guiding a Nationals club that had never posted a winning season before to an MLB-best 98-64 record and its first NL East title. Since taking over for Riggleman, he owns a 138-107 record, bringing his career managerial mark over 16 seasons with five franchises to 1,286-995. Johnson's .564 career winning percentage ranks second among all active MLB managers, behind only the Yankees' Joe Girardi (.573 over six seasons). His six career postseason appearances rank second only to the Tigers' Jim Leyland (seven).

 Only one change is anticipated to Johnson's coaching staff in 2013, with a replacement needed for departed third base coach Bo Porter (now manager of the Astros). The Nationals could add a new third base coach (potentially Class AAA manager Tony Beasley) or shift first base coach Trent Jewett to the other side of the diamond and replace his position.  

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Bryce Harper launches mammoth home run into third deck at National Park

Bryce Harper launches mammoth home run into third deck at National Park

Bryce Harper had been in a little bit of a slump heading into Friday's game against the Padres, but in the seventh inning, he got back to what he does best. 

With a full count and a runner aboard, Harper launched an absolute bomb that landed in the third deck down the right field line at Nationals Park. That means a new seat will be painted red where the ball landed. 

Check out the blast for yourself: 

It was the 15th homer of the year for Harper, which leads the National League. 

More Nationals: Scherzer dominates Padres with 13-strikeout game

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Max Scherzer absolutely dominates Padres, piles up 13 strikeouts

Max Scherzer absolutely dominates Padres, piles up 13 strikeouts

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer allowed three hits over 8 2/3 innings, Bryce Harper and Michael A. Taylor hit two-run homers and the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Friday night.

Trea Turner added a solo homer and a double for Washington.

Scherzer (5-3) struck out a season-high 13. He allowed a single to Austin Hodges in the second, Ryan Schimpf's solo homer in the fourth and Allen Cordoba's single in the ninth, throwing 108 pitches, 81 for strikes

Scherzer, who tossed a season-low five innings in a loss to Atlanta last time out, retired 14 straight before Cordoba's single. After a walk to Yangervis Solarte, acting manager Chris Speier visited the mound, but he momentarily left Scherzer in.

However, after a strikeout and a hit batter, Speier called on Koda Glover who struck out pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe to pick up his fourth save.

With Washington leading 3-1 in the seventh, Harper hit a towering shot into the third deck off reliever Kirby Yates, his 15th of the season.

After Schimpf's homer had tied it 1-1, Taylor quickly regained the lead for Washington when he homered with Matt Wieters aboard in the bottom of the inning.

Since taking over for injured center fielder Adam Lind on April 29, Taylor is hitting .307 (27 for 88) with five doubles, three triples, three homers and 10 RBIs.

San Diego starter Luis Perdomo (0-2) allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked two.

In the bottom of the first, Turner sent a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center field the Nationals' first leadoff homer of the season. It was the third of Turner's career.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: OF Manuel Margot, who left Wednesday's game with right calf soreness, was in a walking boot. Manager Andy Green said the boot is a precaution for now. "Becoming increasingly likely that it's a DL stint, but he's active tonight," Green said. . RHP Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) threw on the side Friday. "There's talk of facing hitters again on Monday or Tuesday," Green said.

Nationals: An MRI on OF Chris Heisey confirmed he has a ruptured right biceps tendon. However, he will attempt to rehab the injury without surgery and could return in a relatively short time. Heisey was on the field during batting practice, shagging fly balls in the outfield.

INSPEIERED LEADERSHIP

With manager Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, bench coach Speier is the acting manager. Asked before the game about Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy being out the lineup, Speier deadpanned: "Actually, Zimmerman had a whiffle ball accident with his daughter, sprained his right wrist and Murph's back is blown out." He quickly added: "Just a day off."

UP NEXT

Padres: LHP Clayton Richards (3-5, 4.31) is 1-3 in 10 career appearances, six starts, against the Nationals with a 3.56 ERA

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 3.28) faces his hometown team for the seventh time in his career. He is 5-1 with a 3.50 ERA against San Diego.