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Nats not actively pursuing infielder

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Nats not actively pursuing infielder

NEW YORK -- Despite a lack of organizational depth at the position, the Nationals are not actively seeking to acquire a middle infielder in the wake of Ian Desmond's placement on the disabled list.

According to a club source, the Nationals are content to move forward with Danny Espinosa at shortstop, Steve Lombardozzi at second base and Mark DeRosa as their backup infielder until Desmond is ready to return from a tear of his left oblique muscle.

Desmond is likely to miss at least a month, but the source said the Nationals don't believe any potential backup infielders available before next week's trade deadline provide a significant enough upgrade for the price they would cost.

Team officials aren't willing to deal away any top prospects for a two-month rental, and neither are they willing to take on a hefty contract for such a player. That would seem to rule out the likes of Minnesota's Jamey Carroll (still owed about 5 million through 2013) or Colorado's Marco Scutaro (owed about 2 million the rest of this season).

The Nationals are taking a chance neither Espinosa nor Lombardozzi suffers an injury, a development that would force DeRosa (hitting .148 entering tonight's game) into the starting lineup. The organization doesn't have any major-league ready replacements at Class AAA Syracuse or Class AA Harrisburg, so another injury would probably force general manager Mike Rizzo into acquiring another player.

But for now, the Nationals appear content with the status quo, not only at middle infield but at catcher as well. Despite a score of injuries that has plagued the position this season, the club source said they are prepared to continue with Jesus Flores backed up by Sandy Leon and Jhonatan Solano (currently on the DL with an oblique strain).

If anything, the Nationals are surprisingly set at every position on the field for the stretch run, an unusual position for any contender, let alone a club in a pennant race for the first time.

They have inquired about potential major acquisitions, but would only make such a move if such a player was under team control for several seasons and still wouldn't be willing to part ways with most of their elite prospects to make those types of deals.

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Nats beat Mariners behind Joe Ross' career day in return from minors

Nats beat Mariners behind Joe Ross' career day in return from minors

WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon homered twice and drove in five runs, Joe Ross returned from the minors to allow one run over a career high-tying eight innings, and the Washington Nationals routed the Seattle Mariners 10-1 on Tuesday night.

Bryce Harper added his 14th homer and Jayson Werth hit his seventh off Chris Bergman (1-2), who allowed all of the Nationals' runs and 14 of their 15 hits.

Rendon doubled before his second homer -- and seventh of the season -- completed an eight-run fourth inning. Ryan Zimmerman also had three hits.

Mike Zunino homered off Ross (2-0) in his return from his own minor league stint. Robinson Cano was hitless in his first game back from the disabled list following a thigh injury as Seattle dropped its fourth straight.

Ross showed no signs of the late April struggles that ended with a demotion to Triple-A Syracuse. He yielded five hits and a walk while striking out six, and retired 12 straight batters after a leadoff single to begin the game.

By the time Seattle finally put multiple runners aboard, Washington had already opened a 10-0 lead.

Rendon's second-inning shot around the left field foul pole made it 2-0.

Then Werth, Harper and Rendon all connected in the fourth, helping the Nationals score seven of their eight runs in the inning with two outs.

MORE NATIONALS: WATCH: Werth, Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nationals win

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WATCH: Werth and Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nats win

WATCH: Werth and Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nats win

The Nationals had a big day at the plate Tuesday night.

Washington hit four home runs, including three in an eight-run fourth inning, in its 10-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon hit two home runs – the first a two-run blast to left field in the second inning and the second a three-run shot to center in the fourth. He finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs.

Prior to Rendon’s second homer in the fourth inning, left fielder Jayson Werth hit a two-run blast to left field, which was followed by a solo shot from right fielder Bryce Harper in the next at-bat.

Harper’s homer was measured at 450 feet.

At the end of the fourth, the Nationals led 10-0, which also included an RBI single from catcher Matt Wieters and an RBI triple from shortstop Trea Turner.

Tuesday night’s contest was the first of a three-game home series against the Mariners, who play in the American League. The Nationals and Mariners also will play Wednesday and Thursday.

Earlier this season in a 23-5 win over the New York Mets on April 30, Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs to become the first player to accomplish that feat since at least 1913. He now has seven homers this season.

Harper’s homer was his 14th of the season, tying him for first in the National League with the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman. The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge is first with 15.

Though he did not have a home run Tuesday night, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has 13 for the season.

MORE NATIONALS: 2017 MLB Power Rankings: As Bryce Harper goes, so do the Nationals