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Nats likely to face Double-A pitcher

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Nats likely to face Double-A pitcher

The Nationals had an offensive breakthrough Tuesday night at Coors Field with three home runs and a total of 12 runs scored. The scoring surge has a good chance to continue Wednesday night as the Colorado Rockies plan to start 24-year-old rookie Edwar Cabrera, a late-blooming pitcher who last pitched in Double-A.

The left-handed Cabrera will make his major league debut against Jordan Zimmermann the Nationals as he takes the rotation spot of Alex White, another Rockies' top pitching prospect. White was 2-6 on the season with a 6.45 ERA in 51.2 innings pitched. Cabrera has an 8-4 record at Double-A Tulsa with a 2.94 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 98 innings. White will now be demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Leaping from Double-A to the majors to start the next day isn't something we see every day, but Cabrera has been consistent in the minors and the Rockies need pitching help. It presents a sort of wild card for the Nats who will have to face a lefty they have little time to prepare for with film and scouting reports.

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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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