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Scherzer strikes out 11 in Nationals' 4-2 win

Scherzer strikes out 11 in Nationals' 4-2 win

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 11 to bounce back from his worst outing this season, and the Washington Nationals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Thursday.

Scherzer (4-2) allowed one run and two hits in seven innings. He also was 2 for 3 at the plate, driving in Washington's first run with a second-inning infield single that pitcher Braden Shipley could not pick up with his bare hand.

The NL Cy Young Award winner struck out the side in the fourth and the seventh, the only two innings he allowed a hit. He gave up Jake Lamb's homer in the seventh.

In his previous outing, Scherzer gave up five runs on Travis d'Arnaud's two homers in a 7-5 loss to the Mets last Friday.

Matt Albers pitched the eighth, Joe Blanton gave up Paul Goldschmidt's leadoff homer in the ninth and Enny Romero finished the four-hitter for his second major league save. Washington won the three-game series and finished its homestand 3-3.

Shipley (0-1), making his first big league start this year after five outings at Triple-A, gave up three runs, five hits and six walks in four-plus innings, throwing just 49 of 92 pitches for strikes. The walks matched his career high.

Anthony Rendon hit a two-run double in the third that sailed over left fielder Chris Herrmann, who made a poor read.

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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.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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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