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Nats lose second consecutive series in 13-2 loss against Braves

Nats lose second consecutive series in 13-2 loss against Braves

The Atlanta Braves had dropped three straight before this week's series against the Washington Nationals.

That only makes their rare series victory against the defending NL East champs even sweeter.

Julio Teheran earned his third consecutive victory, Kurt Suzuki homered and Atlanta defeated Washington 13-2 on Wednesday to take two of three from the Nationals.

"It's a tough place to win," manager Brian Snitker said. "It's a very good team and we were coming off a rough series at home. Guys responded well. We started swinging the bats and the bullpen did a great job. It was a good series for us."

Brandon Phillips had four hits and three RBIs for the Braves, who had dropped seven consecutive road series against the Nationals and had lost 23 of their last 25 games in Washington before this series. It was Atlanta's first series victory at Washington since taking two during a three-game set April 4-6, 2014.

Teheran (6-4) matched a season-high with seven innings, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out three against a lineup that did not include resting regulars Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters.

"Even if I give up a homer or something, I just have to stay focused and execute pitches," Teheran said. "That's something I was doing really good -- getting ahead in counts and throwing strike one. It was big today."

Washington lost its second consecutive series and finished 2-5 on its homestand.

"It was a tough homestand," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "This is not the kind of homestand you want to exhibit in front of your home fans."

Atlanta was in control from the start against Washington starter Tanner Roark (6-4), who gave up two runs before he recorded an out and three total in the first inning.

The Braves would add three more in the third, with Nick Markakis scoring from third after Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton's pickoff attempt of Matt Kemp caught first baseman Ryan Zimmerman off guard and sailed into right field. Kemp was thrown out at third and left the game the following half-inning as a precaution after experiencing hamstring tightness.

After a walk to Matt Adams, Suzuki hit his fourth home run of the season to make it 6-2.

Teheran yielded a two-run homer to Brian Goodwin in the second inning, but otherwise encountered little difficulty. He did not allow a runner past second base after Goodwin's home run.

"Julio pitched a really good game," Kemp said. "He made one mistake but other than that he was money."

Roark surrendered nine hits while matching a season-high with seven runs allowed over five innings.

MORE NATS: NATIONALS DRAFT DUSTY BAKER'S SON 

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.

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Nats' Max Scherzer wins second straight NL Cy Young Award

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Nats' Max Scherzer wins second straight NL Cy Young Award

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has coasted to his third Cy Young Award and second straight in the National League.

Scherzer breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The honor was announced Wednesday on MLB Network.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit. He became the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs.

RELATED: WIETERS WILL RETURN TO NATS IN 2018 

Scherzer was 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and a league-leading 268 strikeouts for the NL East champion Nationals.

Kershaw has already won three NL Cy Youngs, and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts.

Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians easily won his second AL Cy Young Award earlier in the day. He got 28 of the 30 first-place votes, with Boston's Chris Sale second and Luis Severino of the New York Yankees third.

Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball.