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Looking ahead to September call-ups

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Looking ahead to September call-ups

There are still about two weeks until MLB rosters expand from 25 to 40 players, but during that time Nationals brass will be looking at their minor league teams to see who they want for a September showcase. Some may be brought up to play key, specialized roles for the seasons final month. Some may be called upon to potentially stay on board for the playoffs. And some may simply be called up to gain MLB experience for the future or a possible trade.

Last season the Nats brought up a few familiar names including Steve Lombardozzi who is now a key member of the 2012 club. They also pulled up pitchers Brad Peacock and Tom Milone who, after showing they belonged in the big leagues, were shipped to Oakland for All-Star Gio Gonzalez.

This year the Nats find themselves in a much different position with the best record in the league and likely cant afford handing out starts to minor league pitchers. They may, however, utilize several guys in very specific roles to help boost their team and rest some of their players during the home stretch.

Rosters can be expanded on September 1st, but the Nats' Triple-A affiliate Syracuse Chiefs play until September 3rd so they may not be brought up until then.

Here are some players the Nats may call up:

Position Players

OF Corey Brown

Brown has made two stints with the big league club this season, a three-game visit in May and a six-game spot in July. He was sent back down in lieu of Chad Tracy who returned from injury two games after Brown hit his first major league home run. Brown has power, can play the outfield, and can also help on the basepaths with 16 stolen bases in 107 games with Syracuse.

OF Eury Perez

Perez can help the Nationals defensively as a speedy outfielder, but if he is brought up it will most likely be for his base running. Perez has 43 stolen bases this year in 112 total minor league games this season and has adjusted well to Triple-A pitchers with a .330 average in 25 games.

IF Chris Marrero

Marrero may be called up only because he was with the team last September and proved he can hang at the big league level. He has worked his way back from injury this season and is still finding his swing with Syracuse. The Nats, however, already have Tyler Moore and Mark DeRosa who can do everything Marrero can do at this point and more.

Pitchers

LHP John Lannan

This one you can count on, Lannan will be brought up in September to take the rotation spot of Stephen Strasburg and assume the role of the teams fifth starter. He has been stashed at Syracuse all season, but was brought up twice since the All-Star break and earned the win in both outings. Lannan has pitched better at the MLB level this season than he has at Triple-A and the Nats expect him to jump right in and help continue their quest for a division title.

RHP Christian Garcia

MLB.com reported that Garcia will likely be called up in September as the 26-year-old reliever has been dominant for Syracuse. In 20 appearances with the Chiefs he has a 0.36 ERA and has held opponents to a .107 batting average. He hasnt allowed a run since June and has 33 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. Garcia is expected to see some action in September and there is a slim, outside chance he could stay on for October. If an injury happens to their bullpen or if Drew Storen continues to struggle, a spot could open up.

LHP Zach Duke

Duke is an MLB veteran of seven seasons and has sort of revitalized his career in the minor leagues this year. With Syracuse he is 13-5 with a 3.57 ERA in 23 games, not unbelievable numbers but they suggest he deserves another chance at the highest level. When Strasburg is shut down, he could be the next man up as far as starting pitchers in the event of an injury. Even if the Nats were to call on Tom Gorzelanny in that case, Duke could be the emergency fall back for a left-handed long relief man.

RHP Yunesky Maya

Maya was a September call-up last season, but his chances of being brought up this year are slim. Still, no one has pitched better for Syracuse this season as Maya leads the Chiefs rotation with a 3.52 ERA. He has a 1.11 WHIP through 145.2 innings and is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in the month of August. Nats fans have seen a lot of Maya before and know his tendency to fade in the middle of games, but if you are looking at Syracuses rotation he sure stands out.

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Trea Turner has a career game as Nats clobber Reds

Trea Turner has a career game as Nats clobber Reds

WASHINGTON -- Michael Taylor homered twice among his four hits, Trea Turner finished 5 of 5 with a walk and the Washington Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds 18-3 on Saturday.

Daniel Murphy had four RBIs for the Nationals. His three-run double highlighted the six-run second inning and Taylor's two-run homer capped a four-run fourth inning. Taylor added a solo shot in the sixth.

Turner, Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Wieters each drove in two runs. All of Turner's career-high five hits were singles including run-scoring hits in the second and eighth.

Washington led 13-0 as Joe Ross (4-3) blanked the Reds until Patrick Kivlehan's pinch-hit home run in the sixth. Ross surrendered one run and six hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and one walk.

In his first appearance since Aug. 28, Homer Bailey (0-1) allowed eight runs and six hits with three walks in 1 2/3 innings.

The Reds, who have lost 13 of 14, also gave up 17 runs on May 29 at Toronto.

Washington took the first two games of the series from the Reds after losing three of four.

Cincinnati activated the 31-year-old Bailey from the disabled list before the game. The right-hander had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in his right shoulder on Feb. 28.

Washington made Bailey's first outing of the season uncomfortable from the start. After Turner and Brian Goodwin opened the bottom of the first with a single and walk respectively, Zimmerman hit a one-out double into the right-center gap, scoring both runners.

Trailing 3-0 in the second, Bailey walked two batters to load the bases with two outs. Murphy cleared them with a line drive into the right-field corner and then scored on Anthony Rendon's double.

Reds reliever Lisalverto Bonilla surrendered five runs on eight hits, including both of Taylor's homers.

Bryce Harper had one of Washington's 19 hits, but he struck out three times before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.

Kivlehan added an RBI single in the eighth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: Bailey was diagnosed with right biceps tendinitis following a one-inning start last August and eventually shut down for the season. He allowed two earned runs over 16 2/3 innings during three rehab starts before his recall Saturday. OF Jesse Winker was optioned to AAA-Louisville to make room for Bailey. ... LHP Brandon Finnegan, on the DL since Apr. 16 with a left shoulder injury, will start Monday, Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Nationals: Taylor's first four-hit game of his career came after being held out the lineup the previous two games with an undisclosed injury. The center fielder also tracked down Scooter Gennett's deep fly ball for a leaping catch just shy of the wall in the third.

UP NEXT

Reds: Scott Feldman (5-5, 4.20 ERA) leads Cincinnati with seven quality starts

Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (6-4, 4.88) allowed 13 earned runs in 7 2-3 innings over his last two starts.

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Harper's 10th-inning single lifts Nationals past Reds 6-5

Harper's 10th-inning single lifts Nationals past Reds 6-5

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper singled in the winning run in the 10th inning, Brian Goodwin homered twice and the Washington Nationals got a solid performance from their bullpen in a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy also homered for the Nationals, who trailed 5-2 in the sixth before coming back to deal the Reds their 12th loss in 13 games.

Trea Turner singled off Raisel Iglesias (2-2) with one out in the 10th and took third on a single by Goodwin before Harper hit a liner that struck the right-field wall on one bounce.

Matt Albers (3-1) pitched the 10th to cap an impressive night for the Nationals' bullpen, a maligned group that blanked the Reds on one hit over the final five innings.

Goodwin homered in the first inning and again in the seventh, the first multihomer game of the rookie's career.

Scooter Gennett connected for the skidding Reds.

Seeking his ninth win, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings, walking two and striking out five. It was only the third time in 15 starts the right-hander allowed more than three earned runs, but it was also the third straight start in which he failed to go six innings.

Reds starter Luis Castillo pitched five effective innings in his major league debut and left with a 5-2 lead, but the Cincinnati bullpen deprived him of the victory. Castillo allowed two runs and five hits, walking five and striking out five.

The 24-year-old rookie was replaced by Michael Lorenzen, who promptly served up a home run to Murphy and gave up a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Stephen Drew later in the sixth.

Wandy Peralta took over in the seventh and, like Lorenzen, gave up a homer to the first batter he faced. Goodwin's drive to right made it 5-all.

Early on, Cincinnati dominated.

The Reds batted around in a four-run first inning that featured Gennett's 10th home run, a run-scoring fly ball by Scott Schebler and successive RBI singles from Devin Mesorasco and Jose Peraza.

Goodwin homered in the bottom half, but Mesoraco singled in a run in the third. The two-out bloop landed in front of Wilmer Difo, who was playing center field for the first time in the majors and pulled up as the ball dropped at his feet.