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Nationals return to respectability, but lose final game of series against Phillies

Nationals return to respectability, but lose final game of series against Phillies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Cesar Hernandez bailed out his buddy in a clutch spot. Hernandez hit a broken-bat RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

Pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman delivered a tying, three-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth off closer Jeanmar Gomez, but the Phillies immediately answered to take two of three from the defending NL East champions.

Hernandez and Gomez are close friends, so it was fitting the second baseman turned the blown save into a win.

"Everybody is like a family," Hernandez said. "If not me, someone else would pick him up."

Pinch-hitter Daniel Nava walked to start the bottom of the ninth against Koda Glover (0-1). Nava advanced to third when Freddy Galvis singled to right with one out. After Brock Stassi popped out, Hernandez slashed an opposite-field single to left.

Gomez (1-0) had 37 saves in 43 chances last year, but struggled over the final six weeks. He allowed a two-run homer while getting a save in the season opener at Cincinnati.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he's considering making a change at closer, but wants to talk to Gomez on Monday.

"We're going to discuss it," Mackanin said. "We have to do what's best for the team."

Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg allowed three runs and five hits, striking out eight in seven innings. He wasn't happy with the strike zone early in the game and neither were a couple of Philadelphia's relievers, including Gomez.

"I made some good pitches early, they just didn't call them," Strasburg said. "Just have to keep chipping away and that's all I can do."

Jeremy Hellickson pitched one-hit ball over five innings for Philadelphia before leaving the game because of a cramp in his right forearm. Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek and Hector Neris combined for three scoreless innings before Gomez took over.

Adam Lind singled with one out and Jayson Werth walked. After Stephen Drew struck out, Zimmerman connected to make it 3-all.

Less than 24 hours after setting a team record with 12 runs in the first inning of a 17-3 victory, the Phillies were one out from beating Strasburg for the first time in their ballpark.

"After that drubbing that we got Saturday, Stras, this is why he's Stras, what he's getting paid for, to go deep in games," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Galvis gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single .

The Phillies extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth. Hernandez beat out an infield single to second baseman Daniel Murphy, scoring Andrew Knapp after the rookie catcher led off the inning with a double for his first career hit. Howie Kendrick then ripped a double to left-center to score Hernandez.

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"You can only control what you can control," Gomez said about possibly losing his closer's role.

ROSTER MOVE

The Nationals selected the contract of reliever Matt Albers from Triple-A Syracuse and designated RHP Jeremy Guthrie for assignment. Guthrie allowed 10 runs while getting only two outs in the first inning Saturday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals SS Trea Turner wasn't in the lineup after injuring his hamstring Saturday night. He isn't expected to miss much time.

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Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (1-0, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound in the series opener at home against the Cardinals on Monday. Adam Wainwright (0-1, 3.60) pitches for St. Louis.

Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.70) starts the series opener at home against the Mets on Monday. He is 1-4 with a 2.66 ERA in seven starts against New York. Jacob deGrom goes for the Mets. He tossed six shutout innings in his first outing.

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Harper gets ejected before Nationals offense explodes in win over Brewers

Harper gets ejected before Nationals offense explodes in win over Brewers

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Lind each had two-run doubles in a seven-run eighth inning to help the Washington Nationals rally past the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 on Wednesday night.

Bryce Harper was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Chris Segal after striking out in the eighth inning with runners on the corners. Harper's single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games.

Tied 2-2, Zimmerman immediately picked up his fellow All-Star by lacing a liner into the right field corner. All-Star Daniel Murphy's homer pulled Washington within 2-1 in the seventh.

Jimmy Nelson struck out 10 and allowed one run and four hits in seven innings plus a batter. Jacob Barnes (3-2) entered with a 2-1 lead and surrendered two runs and two hits while recording only one out.

Ryan Madson (1-0) tossed one scoreless inning for the win.

Nelson exited after walking Matt Wieters leading off the eighth. Brian Goodwin's double off Barnes put two runners in scoring position with one out. After Wilmer Difo's single through the right side of the infield drove in the tying run, Harper faced reliever Josh Hader. Two pitches after visibly disliking a called strike, Harper struck out swinging. He slammed his bat to the ground and went nose-to-nose with Segal for his second ejection of the season.

Washington had six hits including four doubles in the eighth. Pedro Severino's RBI double put Washington up 8-2.

Murphy's homer ended a stretch of 17 1/3 scoreless innings for Washington.

Gio Gonzalez surrendered two runs on five hits and had eight strikeouts for Washington.

Santana's first inning blast, estimated at 476 feet, landed on the concourse beyond the left field stands.

Harper finished 1 of 4 and is batting .416 (30 for 72) during his streak. The All-Star also reached base safely in his 26th consecutive game, matching his career-best.

Milwaukee recalled Lewis Brinson from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was hitting .345 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs. He hit .097 in 31 at-bats last month with the Brewers in his only previous major league action. He homered on Wednesday night for his first in the majors.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (4-5, 3.83 ERA) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Sunday with a lower right leg strain. Garza said he was optimistic he would miss only one start.

Nationals: Manager Dusty Baker did not have an update on whether RHP Stephen Strasburg would make his next scheduled start, but said the Nationals were taking a big picture approach. Strasburg left Sunday's appearance after two innings with forearm pain that doctors later diagnosed as a nerve impingement. Washington entered Wednesday with an 11 game lead in the NL East. . The Nationals reinstated OF Ryan Raburn from the bereavement list and promptly placed him on the 10day DL retroactive to July 23 with a left trapezius strain.

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Brewers: RHP Michael Blazek (0-0, 0.00) takes Garza's place in the rotation for the 12:05 p.m. first pitch. It is Blazek's first career start after 108 relief appearances since 2013.

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (11-5, 2,26) allowed five runs and three home runs in his previous start at Arizona on July 21.

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Logo for 2018 MLB All Star Game in D.C. revealed

Logo for 2018 MLB All Star Game in D.C. revealed

The Washington Nationals will host the 2018 MLB All Star Game next July.

On Wednesday, the team officially released the logo for the event.

This will mark the fifth time the All-Star Game has been held in D.C., with the last one dating back to 1969 at RFK Stadium. 

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The logo clearly incorporates the Washington Capitol surrounded by a patriotic red, white and blue theme. 

One of the biggest things to look forward to is Bryce Harper participating in the Home Run Derby.

Harper has avoided participating in the competition in recent years but has committed to playing when the event is in D.C.