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Nationals' Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos win 2016 Silver Slugger Awards

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Nationals' Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos win 2016 Silver Slugger Awards

Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy and catcher Wilson Ramos were announced as Silver Slugger Award winners Thursday night. This is both player's first time winning the award, and they're the first Nationals at those positions to win the award.

Murphy and Ramos are the 11th and 12th Nationals to win a Silver Slugger, and they extended Washington's streak of having at least one player win the award to five seasons. The Nats are the only team in the National League to boast at least one Silver Slugger in each of the past five seasons.


Murphy led the NL in slugging percentage (.595), doubles (47) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.985). He finished second in batting average (.347), plate appearances per strikeout (10.21), strikeout percentage (9.8%) and go-ahead RBI (31), and he placed in the top five in total RBI (104), hits (184) and multi-hit games (56). He's also a finalist for the NL MVP award, which will be announced Nov. 17.

Murphy's 2016 batting average was the best in Nationals history, and his hits and doubles totals tied Nationals records. He topped NL second baseman in slugging percentage, doubles and RBI, and he was an All-Star. He also earned a spot in the history books alongside Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby as the only other second baseman to record 25 home runs and 104 RBI with at least a .347 batting average and .595 slugging percentage. 

Ramos suffered an ACL injury on Sept. 26 that ended his season, but his 22 home runs, 80 RBI, 25 doubles, 148 hits, .307 batting average, .496 slugging percentage and .850 OPS were all career highs.

Ramos paced all NL catchers in slugging percentage, and he made his first career All-Star appearance. He also had the third best NL catcher ERA with a 3.45.

Ramos is currently a free agent, and because of his knee injury, the Nationals decided against making him a $17.2 million qualifying offer. 


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Nationals offense provides no support in Strasburg's return

Nationals offense provides no support in Strasburg's return

SAN DIEGO -- Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run home run off Stephen Strasburg in the first inning of the right-hander's first start in almost a month and the San Diego Padres beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 Saturday night.

Strasburg (10-4) retired the first two batters he faced before allowing a single to Jose Pirela and then the homer to the switch-hitting Solarte, who drove a 96-mph fastball to right for his 13th.

Strasburg then settled down against his hometown team, retiring 10 straight batters and 13 of 14. He went six innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out eight and walking one.

He hadn't pitched since July 23, when he went only two innings at Arizona. He went on the disabled list with an elbow nerve impingement.

Strasburg pitched at West Hills High in suburban Santee and then at San Diego State for coach Tony Gwynn before going to the Nationals with the No. 1 pick overall in the 2009 draft.

While Strasburg pitched well, the Nationals had only three hits.

San Diego's Travis Wood (2-1) also settled down after laboring through the first inning, when he threw 35 pitches but didn't allow a run. He was unscathed until the fifth, when he allowed a one-out single to Jose Lobaton and a two-out double to Adrian Sanchez. The run was unearned because of Woods' throwing error on Strasburg's sacrifice bunt that advanced Lobaton.

Wood allowed just the unearned run on three hits in seven innings, with two strikeouts and two walks.

Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 11th save.

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Matt Grace, Howie Kendrick lead Nationals past San Diego Padres

Matt Grace, Howie Kendrick lead Nationals past San Diego Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Matt Grace pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in place of injured Max Scherzer and Howie Kendrick hit a leadoff homer and drove in two runs to help the Washington Nationals beat the San Diego Padres 7-1 on Friday night.

Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start and placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sore neck. Grace and five relievers held San Diego to four hits.

Grace, who grew up in the Los Angeles area and pitched at UCLA, made his first big league start and his first start since 2012 when he was with Single-A Potomac. It was his 61st big league appearance.

The left-hander allowed two hits, struck out one and walked one. He retired Cory Spangenberg on a grounder to open the fifth and manager Dusty Baker came out to get him after 52 pitches.

Shawn Kelley came on and with one out allowed Dusty Coleman's solo homer into the second deck in left field, his fourth.

Joe Blanton (2-2) pitched a scoreless sixth for the win.

Kendrick homered to left on the third pitch from Luis Perdomo, his sixth leadoff shot this season and seventh homer overall. Kendrick also hit an RBI single with no outs in the seventh to chase Perdomo and give the Nationals a 5-1 lead. Pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza hit a sacrifice fly one batter earlier.

Adam Lind hit an RBI single in the sixth.

Washington's Michael A. Taylor robbed Yangervis Solarte of a home run with a perfectly timed leap to catch the ball above the 396 sign in center field leading off the second, and right fielder Andrew Stevenson made a nice running catch of Wil Myers' fly ball with a runner on third to end the fourth.

Perdomo (6-8) allowed five runs, three earned, and six hits while striking out five and walking three.