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Harper out of Nats lineup for 1st time


Harper out of Nats lineup for 1st time

BOSTON -- For the first time since he made his major-league debut six weeks ago, Bryce Harper is not in the Nationals' starting lineup.

The 19-year-old outfielder isn't listed among Davey Johnson's starting nine for today's series finale against the Red Sox. He had started all 37 games since his promotion from Class AAA Syracuse on April 28, playing in all but one inning (after he slammed his bat against the dugout wall in Cincinnati and cut his left eye).

Johnson's decision to sit Harper could be health-related. The veteran manager mentioned Thursday that the rookie had been dealing with a "tender" back, though Harper denied there being any problem at the time.

He certainly didn't appear to be in any pain Friday night when he went 3-for-5 with a homer and a double in the Nationals' 7-4 victory. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts yesterday.

The decision could also be matchup-related, with left-hander Jon Lester starting for Boston this afternoon. Harper, though, has actually hit better against lefties so far, boasting a .357 average (15-for-42) with two homers, seven RBI and a 1.092 OPS.

Here's the Nationals' full lineup for today's game...

2B Danny Espinosa
RF Xavier Nady
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
CF Roger Bernadina
(P Jordan Zimmermann)

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years


Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

WASHINGTON  -- The Nationals have agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with outfielder Howie Kendrick, a deal subject to a successful physical.

Agent Pat Murphy confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Monday. USA Today was first to report the deal.

Kendrick, 34, hit .293 with seven home runs and RBIs in 52 games with Washington after he was acquired from Philadelphia. The versatile right-handed hitter got just three plate appearances off the bench in the playoffs.

In 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Dodgers, Phillies and Nationals, Kendrick is a .291 hitter with a .755 OPS. He's now primarily an outfielder for Washington after playing left field, second base, first base and other positions throughout his career.

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See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

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See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

Ever wonder how you can become one of the Washington Nationals' Racing Presidents or what it takes to get the job?

The team recently detailed the requirements and held tryouts on Sunday for the next group of presidents to carry on the 12-season tradition.

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While the basic requirements are pretty standard — be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, etc. — the specifics are quite unusual compared with a typical job. Among them, presidential candidates need to be at least 5-foot-7 but no taller than 6-foot-6 and able to run from centerfield to first base in a 50-pound costume. Needless to say, those who were invited to try out had to be in pretty good physical shape.

So in bitter cold temperatures, participants raced against each other in a 40-yard dash with the 50-pound costume on. They also danced.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday’s Racing Presidents tryouts.

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