Nationals

Quick Links

Bellinger hits 38th HR to help Dodgers beat Nationals 3-2

ap_17259733617846.jpg

Bellinger hits 38th HR to help Dodgers beat Nationals 3-2

WASHINGTON  -- Cody Bellinger hit his 38th homer to match the National League single-season record for rookies, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 Saturday to inch closer to the NL West title.

Chase Utley had two doubles and scored twice to help the Dodgers reduce their magic number to win the division to five. Rich Hill and five relievers combined on a four-hitter.

Los Angeles also moved seven games ahead of Washington in the race to secure home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. The Dodgers have won four straight since dropping 11 in a row.

Anthony Rendon homered for the Nationals, who have lost four of five since clinching the NL East last Sunday.

Bellinger hit a solo shot off A.J. Cole (2-5) in the second inning and added an RBI single in the third. Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson (1956) are the only other NL players to hit 38 in their first full season in the big leagues. The major league record is 49, by Mark McGwire.

Hill (10-8) allowed one hit in five innings, struck out seven and walked two. He had lost his previous four starts.

In the eighth, the Nationals closed to 3-2 and had the potential tying run on second with two outs. Daniel Murphy hit a sinking liner to right that was snared by a diving Yasiel Puig.

Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth for his 38th save.

Though Washington is assured a postseason berth, that doesn't mean winning isn't important.

"We're past celebrating. That's over," manager Dusty Baker said before the game. "I want to see some more energy. We've been roughed up pretty good this last week."

Bellinger put the Dodgers ahead for good with his second-inning drive and drove in Utley in the third. After Rendon went deep in the fourth, Utley doubled in the fifth and came home on a fly ball by Justin Turner.

Quick Links

Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager

usatsi_9347711.jpg

Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

Quick Links

Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

usatsi_10333033_141983962_lowres.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

It's been a week since the air was sucked out of D.C. in the Nationals Game 5, 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs. 

And now that we've had a few days to decompress from another early D.C. playoff exit, Nats right fielder Bryce Harper decided to take some time to thank fans for their support this season.

Harper posted an Instagram video Wednesday afternoon, with a fresh cut, and thanked fans for continuing to pack Nats Park. In the video he says he looks forward to "chasing that championship" again next spring. 

The 2017 season could be described as a rough one for Harper after missing the last few weeks of the season with a bone bruise in his left knee. 

Harper had a .319 average during the 2017 season, along with 29 home runs, 97 RBI's, 95 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. He is entering the final year of his contract.

RELATED: 20 THINGS SAD D.C. SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT

National Fans. Thank you!💯 #RedLightRecording

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on