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Yankees get to Nats' bullpen again

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Yankees get to Nats' bullpen again

The Nationals were swept by the New York Yankees on Fathers Day Weekend despite a quality start by their starting pitcher each game and an overall ERA of 3.50 from their rotation. Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Edwin Jackson all labored through their starts with high pitch counts, but each left the game with their team in position to win the game. The patience of the Yankees lineup, however, paid off as their offense was able to come alive late in each outing while the Nationals bats continued to struggle.

Jackson allowed just two runs in six innings in Sundays 4-1 loss, but threw 110 pitches along the way. He said afterwards the outing was harder than your usual six-inning start.

They made me work today, I threw 100 pitches in six innings and thats what they are notorious for doing, make the pitcher work the pitch count, he said.

Facing a lineup as deep as New Yorks, you cant really ask for much than what Jackson did. He left the team in good shape moving into the later innings, but the Yankee approach was steady.

Jackson explained what makes them so tough:

They arent afraid to hit with strikes on them, theyre not afraid to hit with two strikes. They make you throw strikes and make you continue to throw strikes, he said.

They get two strikes and they still feel like they are able to come and get a hit off you.

New York broke through in the very next inning after Jackson was relieved. Robinson Cano hit a home run into center field off left-hander Tom Gorzelanny as the second batter. Then, Mark Teixera scored on a passed ball from reliever Ryan Mattheus to catcher Jhonatan Solano. It became the same story seen the two previous games as the Yankees ran away with the victory.

Overall the Nationals relievers allowed eight runs in 14 innings of work in the series, a total ERA of 5.14. Manager Davey Johnson said he had a tough time managing as there really is no letup in the Yankees batting order. Even on a day opposing skipper Joe Girardi played his backup catcher Chris Stewart, the guy got two hits.

They are a little hard to match up against, they have a lot of power and guys that can hit for average, Johnson said.

It is a tough offense. When you try and go create match-ups for your pen, it is a lot tougher.

Johnson said he tried to pitch around Cano for most of the series, but even he got to them in Sunday. Curtis Granderson hit another home run, this time off a right-handed Jackson, but on Friday hit an RBI double and a home run off Nationals lefties. The balance of the Yankee order and their ability to hit all types of pitchers was impressive to Johnson.

Their left-handers are not really susceptible to lefties, they can hit them just as good as right-handers. It is a tough lineup, he said.

The Yankees currently hold the best record in the American League and showed this weekend they are at least a little better than the Washington ballclub. But as an A.L. team, they really have no effect on the Nats moving forward. The only other time they could meet would be the World Series.

But despite all that, Johnson and the Nationals see themselves as in the same category, that they are in a race with all of the leagues best teams.

They got a good ballclub, they will be tough to catch, he said.

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Bryce Harper launches mammoth home run into third deck at National Park

Bryce Harper launches mammoth home run into third deck at National Park

Bryce Harper had been in a little bit of a slump heading into Friday's game against the Padres, but in the seventh inning, he got back to what he does best. 

With a full count and a runner aboard, Harper launched an absolute bomb that landed in the third deck down the right field line at Nationals Park. That means a new seat will be painted red where the ball landed. 

Check out the blast for yourself: 

It was the 15th homer of the year for Harper, which leads the National League. 

More Nationals: Scherzer dominates Padres with 13-strikeout game

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Max Scherzer absolutely dominates Padres, piles up 13 strikeouts

Max Scherzer absolutely dominates Padres, piles up 13 strikeouts

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer allowed three hits over 8 2/3 innings, Bryce Harper and Michael A. Taylor hit two-run homers and the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Friday night.

Trea Turner added a solo homer and a double for Washington.

Scherzer (5-3) struck out a season-high 13. He allowed a single to Austin Hodges in the second, Ryan Schimpf's solo homer in the fourth and Allen Cordoba's single in the ninth, throwing 108 pitches, 81 for strikes

Scherzer, who tossed a season-low five innings in a loss to Atlanta last time out, retired 14 straight before Cordoba's single. After a walk to Yangervis Solarte, acting manager Chris Speier visited the mound, but he momentarily left Scherzer in.

However, after a strikeout and a hit batter, Speier called on Koda Glover who struck out pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe to pick up his fourth save.

With Washington leading 3-1 in the seventh, Harper hit a towering shot into the third deck off reliever Kirby Yates, his 15th of the season.

After Schimpf's homer had tied it 1-1, Taylor quickly regained the lead for Washington when he homered with Matt Wieters aboard in the bottom of the inning.

Since taking over for injured center fielder Adam Lind on April 29, Taylor is hitting .307 (27 for 88) with five doubles, three triples, three homers and 10 RBIs.

San Diego starter Luis Perdomo (0-2) allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked two.

In the bottom of the first, Turner sent a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center field the Nationals' first leadoff homer of the season. It was the third of Turner's career.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: OF Manuel Margot, who left Wednesday's game with right calf soreness, was in a walking boot. Manager Andy Green said the boot is a precaution for now. "Becoming increasingly likely that it's a DL stint, but he's active tonight," Green said. . RHP Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) threw on the side Friday. "There's talk of facing hitters again on Monday or Tuesday," Green said.

Nationals: An MRI on OF Chris Heisey confirmed he has a ruptured right biceps tendon. However, he will attempt to rehab the injury without surgery and could return in a relatively short time. Heisey was on the field during batting practice, shagging fly balls in the outfield.

INSPEIERED LEADERSHIP

With manager Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, bench coach Speier is the acting manager. Asked before the game about Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy being out the lineup, Speier deadpanned: "Actually, Zimmerman had a whiffle ball accident with his daughter, sprained his right wrist and Murph's back is blown out." He quickly added: "Just a day off."

UP NEXT

Padres: LHP Clayton Richards (3-5, 4.31) is 1-3 in 10 career appearances, six starts, against the Nationals with a 3.56 ERA

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 3.28) faces his hometown team for the seventh time in his career. He is 5-1 with a 3.50 ERA against San Diego.