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Gio Gonzalez helps Nationals beat Marlins for eighth time in a row

Gio Gonzalez helps Nationals beat Marlins for eighth time in a row

MIAMI -- With Marlins Park more empty than usual, the menacing approach of Hurricane Irma made for an eerie atmosphere.

Even South Florida native Gio Gonzalez's rooting section was smaller than normal, but he was unfazed. The left-hander and four relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Washington Nationals beat Miami for the eighth consecutive time, winning 8-1 Wednesday night.

Gonzalez (14-6) pitched five scoreless innings but needed 101 pitches. Ryan Zimmerman hit his 31st homer , and Michael A. Taylor added his 14th .


Announced attendance was 14,390, smallest of the year at Marlins Park for the second night in a row. With the area bracing for Irma, a head count at first pitch put the actual crowd size at 799.

"It's weird to get going in Miami knowing what's coming," Gonzalez said. "I was trying to take emotion out of the game, but it's tough. Too much going on."

Gonzalez said his wife and children were back in Washington, and his mother and brother were packed and ready to evacuate. Most of his usual contingent of family and friends skipped the game.

"You understand -- `I'd rather you guys be home preparing for what's coming,'" he said.

Taylor, also a South Florida native, was glad about the timing of the Nationals' visit.

"It has been a little hectic trying to get everything situated with my place and my family," he said. "But I'm kind of glad I'm here. It gives me a chance to help out a little bit before I leave."

The Nationals completed a three-game sweep and have outscored the Marlins 53-12 in their past eight meetings.

"That just means we were hot, and they were cold," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. His team increased its lead in the NL East to 18 games over second-place Miami.

Major league home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 3, and he's 3 for 35 in the past 10 games. All three hits were homers, leaving him at 53 for the season.

The Marlins have lost nine of their past 10 games to fade from the NL wild-card race. They've scored five runs in the past four games.

"Ten days of this -- I wish I had an answer for it," manager Don Mattingly said. "I honestly don't."

Dillon Peters (0-1), who threw seven scoreless innings in his major league debut five days earlier, gave up three runs in five innings.

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.