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Zimmermann faces Halladay tonight

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Zimmermann faces Halladay tonight

PHILADELPHIA -- The Nationals always have trouble scoring runs for Jordan Zimmermann, right? Well, they're in luck tonight, because the man on the mound opposing Zimmermann will be the very hittable ... Roy Halladay. Good luck with that.

Actually, Halladay hasn't pitched quite up to his usual standards this season; he enters this game with a pedestrian 3.22 ERA (though that number plummets to 2.29 if you throw out the right-hander's eight-run fiasco at Atlanta earlier this month).

Point is, the Nationals have their work cut out for them tonight. Davey Johnson will stick with the same lineup that last night produced two runs against Kyle Kendrick: Steve Lombardozzi leading off in left field, Ian Desmond hitting fifth, Danny Espinosa hitting sixth. Zimmermann, meanwhile, will hope to do his thing against a Phillies lineup that remains without Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins (the latter of which was placed on MLB's paternity leave list today).

Updates to come, so please check the Nats Insider live game thread...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Chance of storms, 74 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (25-17)
LF Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
C Jesus Flores
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

PHILLIES (21-22)
LF Juan Pierre
3B Placido Polanco
CF Shane Victorino
RF Hunter Pence
C Carlos Ruiz
1B Hector Luna
SS Freddy Galvis
2B Mike Fontenot
RHP Roy Halladay

UMPIRES
HP Gary Cederstrom (cc), 1B Lance Barksdale, 2B Fieldin Culbreth, 3B Adrian Johnson

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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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