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Revere does something rare, Zim returns, Taylor shines in Nats win

Revere does something rare, Zim returns, Taylor shines in Nats win

Leftover notes and observations from the Nats' 10-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night…

Revere reaches base three times: Ben Revere did something he doesn't often do on Tuesday night and that is walk twice in one game. It was the second time he's walked twice this season in 28 total outings, which is more than the one two-walk game he had in 152 outings in 2015. Revere didn't walk twice in a game once in 2014 in 151 total appearances. He has never walked three times in one game.

Revere has now reached base multiple times in two straight games for the first time since May 21-22 and for just the third time this season. He's been very streaky this year. Before his two recent multi-hit games, Revere went hitless in six straight (23 ABs). Maybe this will get him going.

Taylor has a big night: With all the key contributors in Tuesday's win, it was difficult to pick whom to highlight in the main game story. Michael Taylor didn't make the cut, but his two-hit night deserves some recognition. Taylor singled to lead off the fifth and then drove in two runs on a double to left field off White Sox reliever Matt Albers in the sixth. Those two runs gave the Nats some breathing room at 8-5.

Taylor did make some mistakes on Tuesday. He did ground out to end the second inning with Anthony Rendon on third. He also got tagged in a rundown on a mistimed steal attempt after his fifth-inning single. But all in all, it was a solid night for the Nats outfielder. Taylor's best play may have been a diving grab on a Dioner Navarro line drive to end the bottom of the third.

Zimmerman returns with a bang: In his first game back from the paternity list, Ryan Zimmerman picked up right where he left off with a double - his second in as many games - a walk and two runs. His first run came after he walked in the second inning on a groundout by Danny Espinosa. Zimmerman later scored again Taylor's double. 

Like Taylor, Zimmerman's best play may have been on defense. In the bottom of the seventh, Zimmerman caught a Brett Lawrie flyball deep into foul territory. He caught it over the shoulder 94.2 feet from first base and close to the wall at U.S. Cellular Field. He demonstrated great spatial awareness in a park he hasn't played in since 2011.

Nats face Purke, Duke: The Nationals saw some familiar faces emerge from the White Sox' bullpen on Tuesday night. First, it was lefty Zach Duke, who pitched for the Nationals in 2012 and 2013 and has since resurrected his MLB career.

The other blast from the past was Matt Purke, a former Nats third round pick (2011) who never appeared in a big league game for the organization. Purke, a 25-year-old lefty, spent five years in the Nationals' system before moving on to Chicago. 

Purke had Tommy John surgery and battled other injuries through five minor league seasons with 59 total appearances for Nats affiliates. This year he finally debuted with the White Sox and on Tuesday tossed three scoreless innings with four strikeouts against his former team.

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May the odds be ever in your favor: Vegas sets over/unders for 2018 MLB season

May the odds be ever in your favor: Vegas sets over/unders for 2018 MLB season

The start of spring training is a glimmer of hope during the cold of winter. It means warm weather, cold beers and hot dogs at the ballpark are coming your way.

It's our first chance to get a taste of how our favorite team is shaping up for the 2018 season, and for those who are not quite into just the game itself, betting odds.

CG Technology, a Las Vegas sportsbook operator, has set the 2018 odds for each MLB team.

Specifically, how are things looking for the local teams?


Washington Nationals: 91 1/2 wins

The 2018 season is looked at by many as the last World Series run for some time for the Nationals and their core group of players. Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Gio Gonzalez will become free agents after the 2018 season in addition to general manager and President of Baseball Operations, Mike Rizzo.

In 2017, the team won 97 games and went on to win the NL East, but couldn't make it past the first-round of the National League Division Series. In 2018, Vegas is giving the Nats 7/2 odds of taking the National League title. They are just behind the Chicago Cubs, who knocked them out of contention last season, at 4/1 odds.

As far as winning the World Series, Vegas is giving the guys an 8/1 chance of their first title, tied with the Cubs.

Baltimore Orioles: 77 1/2 wins

The O's finished the 2017 season with 75 wins, which could be considered somewhat of an accomplishment considering their pitching resources.

The same problem will occur in 2018 as the organization hasn't signed any new starting pitchers. Vegas is giving them 50/1 odds of taking the American League title and 100/1 odds of winning the World Series.

The lack of depth in their rotation will come back to bite them as division rival New York Yankees have 5/1 odds of winning the World Series and the Red Sox have 10/1 odds.

A below average season should be expected.

A few other standouts, good and bad, include the Miami Marlins at 500/1 odds of winning the World Series, the Kansas City Royals at 200/1 and current champions, the Houston Astros, at 6/1 odds.


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Former Nationals pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested with more than 40 pounds of suspected cocaine


Former Nationals pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested with more than 40 pounds of suspected cocaine

SAN DIEGO — Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza has been arrested on suspicion of trafficking drugs after packages containing a white powder believed to be cocaine were found at a home he rented in Southern California, officials said Monday.

The 46-year-old former Major League Baseball player was booked Friday on charges involving the possession, transport and sale of 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of suspected cocaine worth an estimated $500,000, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department.

Loaiza played for numerous teams between 1995 and 2008, starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates and concluding with his second stint with the Chicago White Sox. He had a 21-9 record with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 and started in the All-Star Game that year.


He also played one season for the Washington Nationals in 2005 — the team's inaugural season in D.C. after the franchise changed from the Montreal Expos. During his one season in Washington, Loaiza finished with a 12-10 record adn a 3.77 ERA over 34 games played that year.

It was not immediately known if Loaiza had hired a lawyer and the former player could not be reached to comment. He was being held Monday for lack of $200,000 bail pending a court appearance on Wednesday.

Loaiza's agent, John Boggs, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he had no information about the arrest and that he has not spoken to Loaiza recently. He said that Loaiza had called his office early last week but Boggs was unavailable at the time.

"I am shocked and saddened by the news and had no indication he would ever be in this type of situation," Boggs said in a text to the newspaper. "I don't know how he would get himself involved in this, so it's difficult to even comment on it."

Officers stopped Loaiza for a minor traffic infraction Friday after he left the home he started renting recently in the Pacific coast community of Imperial Beach, along the U.S.-Mexico border. Authorities had the vehicle under surveillance on suspicion it was used for smuggling drugs.

When they searched the vehicle, they found a sophisticated compartment used to conceal contraband, authorities said. That led them to obtain a search warrant for Loaiza's rental home, where they found the packages of drugs, according to investigators.

The packages containing a white powder are still being tested but are believed to be cocaine, said San Diego Sheriff's Lt. Jason Vickery.

Loaiza was born in Tijuana, Mexico and was married for two years to the late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. She filed for divorce shortly before she died in a plane crash in 2012.

The 43-year-old Rivera was known as the "Diva de la Banda" and died as her career was peaking. She was perhaps the most successful female singer in grupero, a male-dominated Mexico regional style, sold more than 15 million records, and moved into acting and reality television.

Loaiza sued the aircraft's owners in 2014 for wrongful death but her relatives accused him of trying to profit from her death. He denied the accusations and later retracted his lawsuit.

NBC Sports Washington contributed to this report.