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Harper returns to Nats lineup, Taylor still hurting

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Harper returns to Nats lineup, Taylor still hurting

Bryce Harper was back in the Nationals' lineup on Thursday as they prepared to begin a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves after he left the Nats' win over the Cardinals the night before with left glute tightness.

That was the good news. The bad news was that Michael Taylor, who is still nursing a sore right knee, was out after re-aggravating the injury while making a throw in a game against St. Louis.

Taylor could play Thursday off the bench, but in a very limited capacity.

"He's available," manager Matt Williams said. "We may if we get to that situation, if he hits and gets on base, we may have to run for him. Sliding into second, breaking up a double play; things like that are concerns at this point. But he's certainly available to hit. He was last night as well."

Taylor originally hurt his knee on Aug. 27 against the Padres when he collided with the wall in center field at Nationals Park. He missed the following game before returning on Aug. 29 to pinch-hit against the Marlins. Taylor would play the next three days before getting scratched from the lineup before Wednesday's game in St. Louis.

Williams said Taylor's knee started bothering him after he made a throw from center field in Tuesday's game.

"He made a throw the other night and banged the knee again, so it's stiff," he said. "It swelled again. We'll monitor and make sure that we're getting it out of there. One issue for him is stopping. He's okay to run, but if he has to stop, that's where it gives him trouble. That's just swelling in the joint."

Taylor, 24, is batting .238 with 13 homers and 55 RBI in 113 games this season.

Harper was removed from Wednesday's game after popping out to second base with what was described as left glute tightness. He was in the lineup after being examined by head trainer Lee Kuntz and physical therapist Angela Gordon on the field at Nationals Park.

"He wants to play today and we're happy to have him in there if he's ready to go," Williams said.

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.