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Nationals get 2 HRs, beat Reds 7-3


Nationals get 2 HRs, beat Reds 7-3

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Roger Bernadina and Danny Espinosa each hit a two-run homer Friday night in one of Washington's biggest scoring splurges of the season, leading the light-hitting Nationals to a 7-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Washington matched its season high for runs by taking advantage of Mike Leake (0-5), who lasted three innings and remained winless in six starts. He gave up seven hits and six runs, including the homers by Bernadina and Espinosa. It's the second time Leake has failed to last four innings this season. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez (4-1) struck out a season-high nine batters -- including six in a row -- but lasted only five innings because of a high pitch count. His performance came one day after Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 Pirates, including seven in a row, for a 4-2 win. Bernadina also had one of Washington's three homers in the win in Pittsburgh. The Nationals are in first place in the NL East on the strength of their pitching, which had allowed only 93 runs heading into the Cincinnati series -- fewest in the majors. Washington's .237 team batting average ranked near the bottom of the league. Washington got rolling right away against Leake, who gave up Bernadina's homer and Adam LaRoche's RBI double before getting an out. He threw 28 pitches before retiring a batter. Bernadina also singled home a run in the second. Espinosa hit his second homer in the third inning, forcing manager Dusty Baker to get his bullpen working. Gonzalez gave up a pair of runs and didn't allow a homer in one of the majors' most hitter-friendly ballparks. He hasn't allowed a homer in his last eight starts since Sept. 23, a span of 50 innings that is the longest such streak of his career. It's also the longest active streak in the majors. Too many pitches was the problem. Jay Bruce hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and the Reds had a chance to get back into the game when Gonzalez lost his touch in the fifth. Zack Cozart singled home a run to cut it to 7-2, and Cincinnati loaded the bases with back-to-back walks and only one out. Gonzalez threw a fastball past Bruce for a strikeout, then got Scott Rolen to foul out on his 115th pitch of the game. The Reds hurt themselves in the eighth. Brandon Phillips was on third when Rolen hit a grounder to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Phillips couldn't get back in time and was tagged out. The Reds went on to score one run in the inning, on Ryan Ludwick's RBI single off Ryan Mattheus, but left the bases loaded again when Cozart struck out. NOTES: Washington's Jordan Zimmerman (1-3) starts Saturday's game against Mat Latos (2-2), who has won his last two decisions. ... Nationals and former Reds manager Davey Johnson called Reds shortstop Barry Larkin a complete player. "I've managed a lot of great ones," Johnson said. "The way he played, he was arguably the best one I've managed." Larkin goes into the Hall of Fame this summer. ... Rick Ankiel was out on a weird play in the fifth. His grounder hit first base and popped high in the air. Reds 1B Joey Votto caught it barehanded and threw to Alfredo Simon covering the base.

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

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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.