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Escobar, Moore power Nats' offense in blowout win

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Escobar, Moore power Nats' offense in blowout win

When a team scores 13 runs in a game, there are usually plenty of contributors, and that was the case for the Nationals in their win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon. But two players in particular - Yunel Escobar and Tyler Moore, who combined for seven RBI - stood out above all.

Escobar recorded his fourth four-hit game of the season on Sunday. It was his 13th game with three hits or more in 130 total games. That means he's had three hits or more in 10 percent of the games he's played this season.

This performance raised his season batting average from .319 to .324, good for fourth in the National League. Bryce Harper remains in first at .343, but Escobar is not far behind.

Escobar's biggest hit was a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning. He powered a line drive into the gap in right-center field to score Trea Turner, Stephen Strasburg and Michael Taylor.

"His secret to success is the ball hit to right-center field," manager Matt Williams said. "When he's going well, that's what he does. Got a couple of them back through the middle today. Just a really good game. But for him, the ball to right-center is indicative of him seeing the ball well and staying on it."

This is by some measures the best season of Escobar's nine-year MLB career. It's not only coming at the age of 32, but also in his first season with the Nats, who traded for him this past winter.

"He’s not thinking too much about numbers or looking at his stats," Escobar said through a translator. "He’s just going out there, playing the game and having fun and leaves everything up to God. Whatever falls, it’s been fortunate that things have been going well for him."

Escobar continued to explain how he is in a good state mentally and that, he believes, comes from a strong winter of training.

"He’s playing with a clean mind. He prepared himself real well this offseason, playing real relaxed. He said that’s why it’s leading to him having a good year," translator Octavio Martinez relayed from Escobar.

For Moore, the credit goes in part to an increase in playing time. Moore got starts on back-to-back days this weekend and homered in both games. His home run on Sunday as a three-run bomb to left field off Marlins lefty Justin Nicolino.

Before Saturday, Moore hadn't homered in a game since June 12, a span of 47 appearances. Him getting regular playing time surely hasn't hurt.

"The more he plays, the more rhythm he gets," Williams said.

"It feels good. Just to come in and play and be out there with my teammates," Moore added. "It was a fun, good atmosphere out there and two good wins for us."

Moore's three appearances prior to Saturday were either as a defensive replacement, pinch-hitter or pinch-runner. He was happy to make a larger contribution this weekend.

"Any time you get that opportunity, it's fun to get a couple of knocks or drive a guy in or do something small to help us out," he said.

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE