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Scoring change ends Morse's streak

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Scoring change ends Morse's streak

PHOENIX -- Michael Morse left the ballpark in Houston Thursday night with an 18-game hitting streak attached to his name. He arrived at the ballpark in Arizona Friday afternoon with that streak reduced to seven games, even though he hadn't picked up a bat or faced an opposing pitcher in the 18 hours between those two events.

How does that happen? Turns out Major League Baseball overruling the scoring of one of Morse's at-bats from the Nationals' Aug. 2 game, changing a single to an error on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

Thus, what was believed to be an 18-game hitting streak for Morse (the third-longest in Nationals history) has now been split into separate streaks of 10 and seven games, the latter of which will be on the line tonight against the Diamondbacks.

Not that Morse was crestfallen upon receiving the news.

"I didn't even know I had a hitting streak," he said.

That's pretty typical for Morse, who makes it a point not to pay attention to his stats, especially when things are going well. It's a lesson he says he learned in the minor leagues and has served him well since.

"A lot of times, you see a lot of guys looking at the scoreboard, looking at their numbers," he said. "Now you're looking at your numbers, you're pressing, especially if your numbers are dropping. You're swinging at the first pitch. You become a stat rat.

"I think in the minor leagues, I kind of did that for a few years, and I always caught myself. People say don't think about your stats, don't worry about your stats. So for me, I can't look at them. Because in the back of my head, I'll think: 'Oh man, I'm doing this, I'm doing this.'"

The decision to change the ruling on Morse's single from eight days ago came after the Phillies filed a formal appeal to MLB headquarters. Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, is believed to have made the reversal after watching replays of the play, during which Rollins had trouble corralling a hard-hit ball just to his left.

The statistical alterations as a result of the changed scoring: Rollins is charged with an error, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has an earned run taken away from him and Morse sees his batting average drop to .299 from .303.

"I told Mo: 'If I knew that, shoot, I wouldn't have kept playing you all this time," manager Davey Johnson joked.

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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