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Murphy, Harper lead Nationals to 11-4 rout of Mets

Murphy, Harper lead Nationals to 11-4 rout of Mets

WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy drove in five runs on four hits, Bryce Harper had three hits and two RBIs and the Washington Nationals routed the New York Mets 11-4 on Tuesday.

Murphy improved his career average to .405 against the Mets, his first and only former big league team. This was the third straight victory for NL East-leading Washington.

Joe Ross (5-3) allowed two runs over seven innings for the Nationals in his fourth consecutive start giving up two runs or fewer.

New York's Seth Lugo (3-2) yielded four of his sixth runs in his fifth and final innings, and failed to pitch beyond the fifth for the first time since his return from injury in June.

Jay Bruce hit his 21st home run for New York in the ninth. Jose Reyes and Rene Rivera also homered and Brandon Nimmo had three hits, but the Mets left nine men on and finished 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.

In his fifth start after missing two months with elbow inflammation, Lugo required eight pitches to retire Washington's first five batters. But he eventually walked two and allowed 10 hits, including five straight to open the fifth.

Wilmer Difo singled and scored from first on Bruce's error fielding Harper's single to right. Harper raced to third and scored on Murphy's second single of the game. Two batters later, Ryan Raburn doubled in two runs to make it 6-2.

Murphy drove in two more on a single into shallow right, after relievers Erik Goeddel and Josh Edgin loaded the bases on three consecutive walks, making it 8-2.

Ross allowed eight hits, walked three and let multiple baserunners reach in each of the first five innings. He finally pitched a clean inning in the seventh and finished throwing 114 pitches, his last one a sinking changeup to strike out Lucas Duda on an eight-pitch at-bat.

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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.

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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.

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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