Nats, Gio look to finish off M's in early start

Nats, Gio look to finish off M's in early start

The Mariners hope to help out left-hander Ariel Miranda against the Nationals' powerful offense Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park, while the National League East leaders try to complete a three-game Interleague sweep.

Miranda (3-2), who holds a 4.28 ERA this season, allowed just one run and struck out nine in seven innings on Friday -- his second straight start of giving up one run and taking a no-decision. The Mariners lost Miranda's most recent start vs. the White Sox, 2-1, due to a struggling offense that has led to losses in 10 of Seattle's past 13 games.

Continue Reading

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rendon, Nats jump out early, cruise vs. M's

Rendon, Nats jump out early, cruise vs. M's

WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon continued his hot streak at the plate, hammering a three-run homer in the first inning to help guide the Nationals to a 5-1 victory against the Mariners on Wednesday night at Nationals Park. Washington jumped on Seattle for four runs in the first and added another in the second against rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio.

The early runs provided a cushion for Nats righty Tanner Roark, who rebounded from a rough stretch with seven innings of one-run ball and eight strikeouts.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Daniel Shiferaw is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Koda moment: Glover named Nats closer

Koda moment: Glover named Nats closer

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have been searching for answers with their struggling bullpen through the first two months of this season, but they are starting to find some stability in the back end. Koda Glover, who tossed a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation to seal Wednesday's 5-1 victory over the Mariners, has been officially named the closer by manager Dusty Baker.

"Koda was kind of lobbying for that in the first place," Baker said. "We wanted to break him in slowly because this guy's ... Shoot, he's only a year and a half out of college. So he had said that's the job he wanted, and so it's his now."

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roark loosens grip, grabs hold of strong start

Adjustment helps righty avoid high pitch count, last 7 innings

Roark loosens grip, grabs hold of strong start

WASHINGTON -- No pitcher in the National League had thrown more pitches with two strikes than Tanner Roark entering this game, driving up his pitch count and hindering his ability to last deep into starts. That difficulty in putting away hitters quickly, or at all, has been one of the main reasons Roark has struggled this year after a strong 2016.

But the righty was as effective as he has been all season in the Nats' 5-1 victory Wednesday night against the Mariners, completing seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts. He filled up the strike zone with his two-seam fastball, the command of which was the biggest takeaway from this outing, Roark said. It was the benefit of an adjustment he made in between starts.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heisey lands on DL with biceps rupture

Goodwin, who was ticketed for Triple-A when Ross returned, remains in DC

Heisey lands on DL with biceps rupture

WASHINGTON -- Chris Heisey's shoulder has been bothering him all season, but when the Nationals' pinch-hitter extraordinaire struck out in his lone at-bat against the Mariners on Tuesday night, he could tell he damaged his arm.

Heisey received treatment when he arrived to the clubhouse before Wednesday's 5-1 Nats win, but he grimaced and limped out of the cage after one batting practice swing, experiencing a pain he said he's never felt before. The Nationals found that Heisey tore his biceps tendon, and they placed him on the 10-day disabled list. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound outfielder will receive an MRI exam on Thursday to confirm the injury and reveal if there's more damage.

Continue Reading

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marmolejos looks to stay hot for Harrisburg

Marmolejos looks to stay hot for Harrisburg

Hitter to watch: Jose Marmolejos (Nationals' No. 25), Harrisburg at Erie (11:05 a.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

Marmolejos, 24, connected on his third homer in a 3-for-4 performance on Wednesday, hitting a two-run shot in the third inning that would prove the difference in Double-A Harrisburg's 6-5 win over Erie. After opening the season on the disabled list with a hand injury, Marmolejos has notched hits in 10 of 11 games, including eight straight, for the Senators, during which he's batting .413/.451/.696 with seven extra-base hits and 12 RBIs.

Continue Reading

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper, Rendon #ASGWorthy in 8-run 4th

Sluggers, Werth all homer in Nats' big frame; infielder finishes with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs

Harper, Rendon #ASGWorthy in 8-run 4th

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals entered Tuesday night's game in a brief slumber, averaging just 2.8 runs in the previous five games, but their Major League-leading offense has shown to be capable of outbursts at any point.

In a rain-soaked fourth inning of this 10-1 victory against the Mariners, the Nats scored eight runs and hammered nine hits, none louder or more voracious than a mammoth homer from Bryce Harper.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Back to old tricks, Nats hit 4 HRs in rout of M's

Back to old tricks, Nats hit 4 HRs in rout of M's

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals' Majors-best offense awakened from its brief recent slumber, breaking out for eight runs during a rain-soaked fourth inning at Nationals Park to cruise to a 10-1 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night.

Washington had averaged 2.8 runs per game during their previous five games, before its lineup erupted for nine hits in the fourth inning, matching a Nats team record. That included back-to-back home runs -- a two-run homer from Jayson Werth followed by a 450-foot moonshot from Bryce Harper -- and a three-run homer from Anthony Rendon, who also went deep in the second inning for his second career multi-homer game. He had five RBIs on the night.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Daniel Shiferaw is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross has career night, familiar help in return

In 1st start back from Minors, righty goes 8 strong, sets record for run support

Ross has career night, familiar help in return

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals weren't certain what Joe Ross would give them Tuesday night.

After an inconsistent start to the season, when Ross recorded a 7.47 ERA through his first three outings, the Nationals sent the right-hander down to Triple-A Syracuse to improve his velocity and arm slot.

Continue Reading

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Nats make trade for closer soon?

Beat reporter Jamal Collier fields Nationals fans' questions

Inbox: Will Nats make trade for closer soon?

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are coming off what qualifies as a modest rough patch, but certainly their first funk of the season, after a 2-4 road trip that included a season-long four-game losing streak against two teams under .500. Still, Washington owns a commanding seven-game lead in the National League East entering this week's six-game homestand against the Mariners and Padres.

This seemed like a good chance to answer some questions from the fans about the state of the team, many of which surrounded their concern about the bullpen. And understandably so, considering the 5.40 ERA from Nats relievers is the worst in the NL.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marmolejos hits go-ahead slam in ninth

Marmolejos hits go-ahead slam in ninth

After showing flashes of dominance during his first four starts, left-hander Cionel Perez put it all together on Monday for Class A Quad Cities with an unhittable performance.

The Astros' No. 16 prospect was electric in his best professional start, tossing seven hitless frames with 10 strikeouts, both career highs, as Quad Cities defeated Peoria, 5-1. He issued one walk en route to facing one over the minimum, while throwing 54 of his 87 pitches for strikes.

Continue Reading

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stras' deep start, 11 K's crucial for Nats

Nationals starter records 86 strikes, the most by a pitcher this season

Stras' deep start, 11 K's crucial for Nats

ATLANTA -- As Stephen Strasburg was in the midst of dominating the Braves on Sunday afternoon, filling the strike zone with fastballs and unleashing a fury of devastating curveballs and changeups just out of the reach of opposing batters, Braves manager Brian Snitker turned to his hitting coach, Kevin Seitzer.

"I told him we could have had Hank [Aaron], Murph (Dale Murphy) and some of those guys in the lineup, and I don't think it would have mattered because he was really good," Snitker said.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stras, Murphy lift Nats over Braves

Stras, Murphy lift Nats over Braves

ATLANTA -- Stephen Strasburg delivered his best start of the season and Daniel Murphy homered off an effective Jaime Garcia as the Nationals snapped their longest losing streak of the season (4 games) with Sunday afternoon's 3-2 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.

Strasburg notched a season-high 11 strikeouts and surrendered two runs over 7 2/3 innings while helping the Nationals avoid being swept by the Braves, who lost for just the third time in their past 10 games.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats can't rally vs. Braves' bullpen after delay

Nats can't rally vs. Braves' bullpen after delay

ATLANTA -- Rio Ruiz hit a memorable first career home run and Matt Kemp also took Max Scherzer deep before stellar bullpen work helped the Braves claim a 5-2 win over the Nationals on Saturday at SunTrust Park.

The Braves took an early lead on the way to winning for the seventh time in their past nine games and extending the Nationals' season-long skid to four games. Ruiz, who sneaked a two-out, two-run homer over the right-field wall in the second inning, and Kemp, who was 5-for-40 against Scherzer before leading off the fourth with a shot into the left-field seats, put Atlanta ahead, 3-0.

Continue Reading

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer labors, struggles with FB command

Scherzer labors, struggles with FB command

ATLANTA -- The Nationals were hoping for a deep outing from right-hander Max Scherzer to provide a breather for their taxed relief corps. They have not had a starter complete the sixth inning in any of their past three games and were hoping Scherzer could help them reset their bullpen and stop a brief skid.

However, Scherzer struggled with his fastball command as he labored through five innings in Saturdays' 5-2 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park. He battled through 106 pitches to make it that far into the game, and even if he had anything left to push into the sixth, a one-hour, 50-minute rain delay knocked him out.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez lent a hand to grounds crew

|
Perez lent a hand to grounds crew

Rain wreaked havoc throughout Saturday afternoon's action, affecting games in ChicagoMinnesota, and Atlanta. The skies opened up in the fifth inning of the Braves' game against the Nationals, but Mother Nature made this delay extra problematic.

The wind was chaotic at SunTrust Park, and it was getting to be almost too much for the grounds crew to handle. One member simply used his body to keep the tarp from blowing away.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Taylor stepping up in center field for Nats

Taylor stepping up in center field for Nats

ATLANTA -- Michael Taylor has made the most of his chance as the Nationals' starting center fielder since they lost Adam Eaton to a torn ACL.

He was one of the few bright spots in the Nats' 7-4 loss to the Braves on Friday night at SunTrust Park, collecting a pair of hits and an outfield assist. Taylor has a seven-game hitting streak, in which he has hit .407 with two doubles, a triple and a pair of home runs.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy's homer not enough as Nats falter late

Murphy's homer not enough as Nats falter late

ATLANTA -- Needing to pick up some of the slack with Freddie Freeman sidelined for at least the next two months, Nick Markakis delivered a go-ahead single and Kurt Suzuki homered to further enrich the three-run eighth inning the Braves constructed during Friday night's 7-4 win over the Nationals at SunTrust Park.

Brandon Phillips drew a walk off Enny Romero and then notched his second stolen base of the game before scoring on Markakis' RBI single. Suzuki extended Romero's woes when he drilled a two-run homer into the left-field seats, his third home run of the season and second in as many days.

Continue Reading

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Baker's son ready for next step in baseball

Darren doesn't recall famous scene when he was saved from collision

Baker's son ready for next step in baseball

ATLANTA -- Darren Baker's baseball career at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, Calif., is over. The Marauders lost a first-round playoff game earlier this week, ending their 2017 season.

Darren, the only son of Nationals manager Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker Jr., could be heading this fall to play college ball at Cal Berkeley. But then again, he might not. There's a little thing called the 2017 MLB Draft on June 12-14.

Continue Reading

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robles enjoys birthday bash with Potomac

Robles enjoys birthday bash with Potomac

Nationals No. 1 prospect (No. 5 overall) Victor Robles had a 20th birthday to remember on Friday, going 4-for-5 with a triple and a two-run homer in Class A Advanced Potomac's 11-7 loss to Lynchburg. Robles raised his season average by 28 points with the performance to .283.

"We got off to a rough start tonight and got down a bunch, but he goes out and hits an opposite-field homer and then the triple," Potomac manager Tripp Keister told MiLB.com. "When he hit it, you really didn't think he'd get three out of it, but he's so fast and does so many things that make you say, 'Wow.'"

Continue Reading

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pitch count remains nagging issue for Roark

Nationals starter allows seven runs to Pirates in just five-plus innings

Pitch count remains nagging issue for Roark

PITTSBURGH -- Before his Nationals played the Pirates on Thursday afternoon, manager Dusty Baker emphasized the need for quality innings, and plenty of them, from starter Tanner Roark. It was a task the right-hander had not been up to lately because of high pitch counts.

"We'd like him to go deep today," Baker said. "We got four [relievers] that are throwing two days in a row apiece. We're spinning a little bit in our bullpen. We need him to go deep today."

Continue Reading

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roark, bullpen tagged as Nats drop series

Roark, bullpen tagged as Nats drop series

PITTSBURGH -- With a struggling, depleted bullpen, the Nationals needed innings from Tanner Roark on Thursday at PNC Park. He got through five, but the Pirates powered past him and a trio of relievers and won the series finale, 10-4.

The Pirates racked up 13 hits, including three from leadoff man Adam Frazier and two from Andrew McCutchen, as they cruised to a series victory. After losing six straight last week, the Bucs have won four of their last five games.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner impresses on mound in spot start

Turner impresses on mound in spot start

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole shut down the powerful Nationals lineup Wednesday, which wasn't a huge surprise considering that Cole was an All-Star in 2015 and is flashing the same ace-like skills this season.

But for five innings, Nats manager Dusty Baker said his own starter, the far less-heralded Jacob Turner, "was matching" Cole in the club's 6-1 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday.

Continue Reading

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense quieted in loss to Pirates

Offense quieted in loss to Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Backed by rare run support and strong defense, Gerrit Cole held the high-powered Nationals offense to a season-low three hits over seven innings and led the Pirates to a 6-1 win at PNC Park on Wednesday night.

After an injury-filled season a year ago, Cole has seemingly discovered his top form. The right-hander has been charged with two earned runs or fewer in each of his last seven starts, and his ERA has dropped to 2.84 after Wednesday night's performance. Cole struck out three hitters as he efficiently worked seven innings on 98 pitches, but he effectively shut down the Majors' highest-scoring lineup.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nationals place Blanton on 10-day DL

Nationals place Blanton on 10-day DL

PITTSBURGH -- The Washington Nationals put veteran reliever Joe Blanton on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation Wednesday, recalling pitcher Matt Grace from Triple-A Syracuse for a fourth time this season to take his place.

A right-hander, the 36-year-old Blanton has struggled with the Nationals after appearing in a career-high 75 games with the Dodgers last season, when he posted a 7-2 record and a 2.48 ERA.

Continue Reading

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Treinen put in tough spot, rises to the challenge

With two on and no outs, reliever preserves lead with clean 7th inning

Treinen put in tough spot, rises to the challenge

PITTSBURGH -- Sometimes it's easy for observers to "get lost in the numbers," Washington Nationals reliever Blake Treinen said, and for Treinen the numbers have not been good this season. Actually, they have been abysmal, notably an 8.10 ERA entering Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.

But it was Treinen who answered the call for a beleaguered Nats bullpen in the seventh inning of an 8-4 victory. The Pirates had cut a 6-1 deficit to 6-4. Another late-game implosion appeared to be taking form. None out, runners on first and second, Josh Harrison at the plate.

Continue Reading

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper homers late as Nats hold on vs. Bucs

Harper homers late as Nats hold on vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- After right-hander Blake Treinen put out a fire in the seventh inning, Bryce Harper scorched another home run to put the game away. Harper's 13th home run of the season eased a potentially stressful situation for the Nationals' bullpen and sealed an 8-4 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

"We're still in the process of trying to figure it out and get it together, but in the meantime, our offense is doing the job," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "That was a huge home run that Harp hit, because that made a two-run game into a four-run game, and as you see, they could have had the tying runs on base had he not hit that."

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.