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Tanner Roark helps Nationals end 7-game skid with 3-2 win over Brewers

Tanner Roark helps Nationals end 7-game skid with 3-2 win over Brewers

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Tanner Roark did a stellar job in taking the place of Stephen Strasburg.

Roark, called on to replace the Nationals' injured ace, held the Brewers without a run over seven innings and Washington ended a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

"We had the off day so I was on five days' rest anyway, so I felt good," Roark said.

Roark (7-5) held the Brewers to seven hits and struck out seven while walking just one. Strasburg was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with an upper back strain.

"His last two starts on this road trip were outstanding," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of Roark.

Strasburg said after the game that he felt soreness in his back while running prior to Saturday's game.

"There's still a lot of baseball to play. I know the team needs me in big spots," Strasburg said. "I'm going to keep working at it and get back as soon as I can."

Roark also played a part in forcing Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson from the game by drawing a pair of walks, only the third pitcher in the majors to accomplish the feat this season.

Roark was lifted after throwing 95 pitches on top of the 38 he tossed in a bullpen session on Saturday.

"My warmup pitches kind of stunk, but after that and I went out and got it loose again I felt fine," Roark said.

Jose Lobaton hit his first homer of the season in the seventh off Milwaukee reliever Jacob Barnes (0-1). Clint Robinson hit a two-run shot in the eighth.

I don't really care about homers. I care about wins," Lobaton said.

"That was unbelievable. He's a guy that likes to fight. I love those kind of pitchers," Lobaton said of his team's starter.

Shawn Kelley retired four batters for his third save. He gave up a solo home run to pinch-hitter Martin Maldonado with two outs in the ninth. Jonathan Villar then lofted a fly to left that Jayson Werth lost in the sun. Villar ended up on third with a triple.

Scooter Gennett flied out to shallow left to end it, with Werth again fighting the sun but making the catch this time.

Washington won despite being seemingly held without a hit into the sixth inning, when Anthony Rendon bounced a single over second base with one out.

The official scorer originally charged Gennett, the Brewers second baseman, with an error on a sharp grounder hit by Ben Revere with two outs in the third. The play later was ruled a hit.

Nelson, who is winless in his past five starts, gave up one hit through five innings. He walked three consecutive batters with two outs in the fifth, including Roark, but retired Bryce Harper on a warning-track drive to center. Harper fired his helmet to the ground after the catch was made.

Nelson, who thought he still had a no-hitter intact, was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.

Aaron Hill had two doubles for the Brewers, who scored their first run on Jonathan Lucroy's RBI groundout in the eighth.

POWER SOURCE

With Lobaton's home run, the Nationals reached the 100 home run mark in 76 games, the fewest games since the franchise moved to Washington. It broke the mark of the 2006 team, which hit its 100th home run in game No. 93.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: Hot-hitting catcher Wilson Ramos got the day off. Manager Dusty Baker said he wanted to rest Ramos, who had six hits in 10 at-bats in the first two games of the series.

Brewers: Ryan Braun, who was hit on the left foot by a pitch on Saturday, legged out an infield hit and a triple on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Washington begins a 10-game homestand on Monday with a three-game series against the New York Mets. Washington announced after the game that Joe Ross (6-4, 3.11 ERA) will start the series opener.

Brewers: Chase Anderson (4-7, 5.13) will take the mound as the Brewers open a three-game series at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Anderson is 1-2 with a 5.05 ERA in seven starts against the Dodgers.

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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