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Nats even Beltway Series

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Nats even Beltway Series

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Edwin Jackson took a one-hitter into the seventh inning, Adam LaRoche homered, and the Washington Nationals beat rookie Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 on Saturday night. Michael Morse had two hits and scored a run for the NL East-leading Nationals, who improved to 10-7 in interleague play and 2-3 against Baltimore. Adam Jones hit his team-high 19th home run for the Orioles, whose six-game home winning streak ended. Jackson (4-4) gave up one run, four hits and a walk in 6 1-3 innings. He retired the first 12 batters he faced and permitted only one runner past first base through six innings. After Jones ruined Jackson's shutout bid by leading off the seventh with a homer, the right-hander retired Matt Wieters on a deep fly before giving up successive singles. Former Oriole Michael Gonzalez came in and got pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to line into an inning-ending double play. Sean Burnett worked the eighth, and Tyler Clippard got three straight outs for his 12th save in 13 tries.

Chen (7-3) allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits in five innings. The Taiwan native won his three previous starts, over Boston, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Chen is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in his two outings against Washington and 7-1 in his other 12 starts. The game attracted 46,298 fans, the fifth sellout at Camden Yards this season. The first was on opening day, and the Phillies and Nationals each drew two packed houses. Washington went up 2-0 in the second inning. With runners at second and third and two outs, Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit ranged to his left to grab a grounder by Xavier Nady, then bounced a throw to first that eluded Mark Reynolds. Nady received credit for an RBI single, and the other run came home on the throwing error. LaRoche led off the fourth with his team-leading 13th homer, a towering fly that dropped over the center-field wall. Eleven of his last 16 hits have been for extra bases. Baltimore's first runner came when Jones reached on an error by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman leading off the fifth. He took third on a one-out single by Wilson Betemit, and after a walk loaded the bases with two outs, Jackson retired Steve Pearce on a popup. NOTES: Jackson is 6-1 lifetime against Baltimore, 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA over the last four seasons. ... The Orioles released 49-year-old LHP Jamie Moyer at his request. Moyer pitched in three games for Triple-A Norfolk after signing a minor league contract on June 6. ... The Orioles and Nationals wrap up the series, as well as interleague play, on Sunday. Jake Arrieta (2-5 with a 6.85 ERA at home), starts for Baltimore. Ross Detwiler (4-3) goes for Washington. ... Baltimore's Chris Davis went 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 28 at-bats. ... Chen has allowed nine homers this season, seven of them solo shots.

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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.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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

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Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported, the next step in our long journey to Opening Day is the spring training games themselves. Not every game is televised, so get ready to follow along with your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll still be exciting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Bryce Harper homered again, or if Max Scherzer is perfect through 4 innings (spoiler: both of these will happen).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing contracts in the next few weeks. The Nats are always willing to make a big splash, and even beyond the available free agents, have been linked to impact players like J.T. Realmuto in trade rumors.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the roster has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be happening while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for their seasons, so bookmark this page to check on the Nationals spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Nationals 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Braves at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Feb. 26 - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 1 (SS) - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Tigers at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Monday, Mar. 5 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 6 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Nationals at Tigers, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 13 (SS) - Mets at Nationals, 7:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 (SS) - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Mar. 17 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (ESPN2) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Nationals at Mets, 6:10 pm
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 - Nationals at Marlins, 7:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 27 (at Nationals Park) - Twins at Nationals, 4:05 pm