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NL East: Braves name Snitker manager, add Ron Washington to staff

NL East: Braves name Snitker manager, add Ron Washington to staff

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves named Brian Snitker manager on Tuesday, rewarding him for reversing the team's direction in his role as interim manager this season.

The Braves finished last in the NL East but won 20 of their last 30 games under Snitker, who was named interim manager on May 17 after Fredi Gonzalez was fired. Snitker had a 59-65 record, including 37-35 after the All-Star break.

Despite the strong finish under Snitker, the Braves also interviewed former managers Bud Black and Ron Washington.

Washington was named the Braves' third-base coach and Chuck Hernandez was named pitching coach. Snitker's staff also includes bench coach Terry Pendleton, first base coach Eddie Perez, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, assistant hitting coach Jose Castro and bullpen coach Marty Reed.

Snitker, 61, was not given much long-term security. He was hired only for the 2017 season with a club option for 2018.

When Snitker, a longtime manager in the Braves' farm system, was named Atlanta's interim manager, it was widely thought the team would look outside the organization for a new skipper to take the team into its first season in new SunTrust Park.

[RELATED: Nationals beat Dodgers to take 2-1 lead in NLDS]

Instead, Snitker won over the players and front office. Atlanta was 9-28 when Gonzalez was fired and appeared bound for 100 losses at 18-46 before it began a dramatic turnaround under Snitker.

"Brian earned this opportunity through his dedication to the Braves and to our players," general manager John Coppolella said in a statement released by the team. "We are excited for the energy and momentum he will bring into SunTrust Park next season."

The 2017 season will mark Snitker's 41st in the Braves organization. He had been the manager at Triple-A Gwinnett before replacing Gonzalez on an interim basis.

Atlanta's strong finish under Snitker, bolstered by the additions of rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson and veteran left fielder Matt Kemp, boosted expectations for next season.

Braves president John Hart said last week the season had been "spiraling out of control" before Snitker "restored order."

Hernandez, 55, was the Braves' minor league pitching coordinator this season, his 31st as a coach. He was the Marlins' pitching coach from 2013-15. The Marlins' 3.71 ERA in 2013 and 3.78 in 2014 were the two best in franchise history.

"He spent the 2016 season working closely with many of our young, talented pitchers who will be such an important part of our future," Coppolella said.

Washington, 64, spent the last two seasons on Oakland's coaching staff after managing the Texas Rangers from 2007 to 2014.

Coppolella said Washington's experience as a manager "will be an asset to everyone on the club. His tireless work ethic, up-beat attitude and tremendously high baseball IQ will benefit our players and our staff."

[RELATED: Nats manager Baker on how he got the nickname 'Dusty']

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Nationals fall to Padres as four starters sit on the bench

Nationals fall to Padres as four starters sit on the bench

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run homer and the San Diego Padres broke out the bats, beating the Washington Nationals 5-3 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

The Padres had only one run and six hits with 31 strikeouts in back-to-back losses in games started by Washington's Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to begin the series. San Diego bounced back by matching its season high with 14 hits, with 12 coming off starter Joe Ross (2-1).

NL home run leader Bryce Harper was among four starters out of the lineup for Washington. The game was delayed 1 hour, 20 minutes by rain.

RELATED: HARPER AMONG 4 NATS' STARTERS OUT VS. PADRES SUNDAY

Four relievers, including Kirby Yates (1-0), pitched 4 2-3 hitless innings following starter Jhoulys Chacin's latest bumpy road appearance. Brandon Maurer worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Chase d'Arnaud had a two-run single and double for the Padres. Franchy Cordero singled in the third for his first major league hit and later doubled.

Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters also did not start for the Nationals. All three entered as pinch hitters, but were retired. Washington opens a nine-game, 10-day road trip Monday afternoon in San Francisco.

Adam Lind drove in two runs. His RBI double in the fifth off Chacin pulled Washington closer at 5-3.

Chacin surrendered three runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. He also had two singles and an RBI.

Ross, who allowed five in four innings plus three batters in the fifth, certainly had two tough acts to follow. Strasburg struck out a career-high 15 in Saturday's 3-0 win after Scherzer fanned 13 in Friday's 5-1 series-opening victory.

San Diego doubled the amount it scored in consecutive losses after just four batters. Following a two-out walk to Wil Myers, Schimpf hit his 13th homer of the season and second in the series.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RHP Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) remains on track to face hitters this week, manager Andy Green said.

Nationals: Murphy missed the previous two games due to illness, Chris Speier said Saturday. Speier, serving as acting manager with Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, did not meet with the media before Sunday's game.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.50 ERA) faces the Cubs at home on Monday.

Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (4-2, 4.32) opens a three-game road series against Giants LHP Matt Moore (2-5, 5.28)

More Nationals: NATIONALS PLAYERS VISIT LOCAL LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS

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Harper Among 4 Nats' Starters Out Vs. Padres Sunday

Harper Among 4 Nats' Starters Out Vs. Padres Sunday

National League home run leader Bryce Harper is among four starters out of the lineup for the Washington Nationals in their series finale against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters also did not start for the Nationals, who open a nine-game, 10-day road trip Monday afternoon in San Francisco.

Murphy missed the previous two games due to illness, Chris Speier said Saturday. Speier, serving as acting manager with Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, did not meet with the media before Sunday's game.

RELATED: Nationals' Joe Ross to Start Against Team That Drafted Him

Harper is batting .337 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs.

Washington won the first two matchups in the three-game series.

Joe Ross (2-0, 5.32) faces fellow right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.74) on Sunday.