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Morse out with bruised hand

Morse out with bruised hand

PHILADELPHIA -- The Nationals suffered a potentially serious blow during the first inning of tonight's series opener against the Phillies when cleanup hitter Michael Morse was struck by a pitch in the right hand and had to be removed from the game.

Morse appeared to be in serious pain after taking Kyle Kendrick's fastball off the outside of his right hand, grimacing as trainer Mike McGowan took off his batting glove and examined him.

Morse quickly departed the field and headed down the tunnel to the visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park where he was expected to have X-rays taken. Two innings later, the Nationals announced he had suffered a contusion (bruise) of the hand but did not reveal results of any X-rays.

The 30-year-old outfielder missed the first two months of the season with a torn lat muscle. In 72 games since, he's hitting .286 with 12 homers, 45 RBI and a .459 slugging percentage.

Roger Bernadina took over Morse's spot in the lineup and in left field. If Morse needs to miss any more time, manager Davey Johnson would probably use a combination of Bernadina, Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore in left field.

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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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