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Trout, Harper voted Rookies of the Year

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Trout, Harper voted Rookies of the Year

NEW YORK (AP) Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were teammates on the Scottsdale Scorpions last fall. The outfielders arrived in the major leagues on the same April day this year, both played in the All-Star game and they won Rookie of the Year awards a half-hour apart Monday, the vanguard of baseball's next generation.

The 21-year-old Trout was a unanimous pick as the youngest AL rookie winner, and the 20-year-old Harper edged Arizona pitcher Wade Miley 112 points to 105 to become the second-youngest winner of the NL honor.

``It's pretty neat,'' said Trout, the son of former Minnesota minor leaguer Jeff Trout.

For the first time, players learned the voting results when they were announced on television.

``My heart was beating a little bit,'' Harper said.

Trout, who turned 21 on Aug. 7, received all 28 first-place votes from the AL panel of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The Los Angeles Angels center fielder was the eighth unanimous AL pick and the first since Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria in 2008.

There could be more to come, too. Trout is among five finalists for AL MVP and is considered the chief challenger to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera for that award, which will be announced Thursday.

``It would just top it off,'' Trout said.

Trout hit .326, second-best in the league to Cabrera's .330, with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and he led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. He joined Ted Williams, Mel Ott and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to hit .320 or higher with 30 or more homers in seasons they started as a 20-year-old.

Trout received the maximum 140 points. Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was second with 63, followed by Texas pitcher Yu Darvish (46), who joined Trout as the only players listed on every ballot.

Detroit second baseman Lou Whitaker had been the youngest AL winner in 1978, but he was 3 months, 5 days older than Trout on the day he took home the award.

In addition to Trout and Longoria, the only other unanimous AL winners were Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, Tim Salmon, Sandy Alomar Jr., Mark McGwire and Carlton Fisk.

Trout's father made it to Double-A as an infielder with the Twins in the mid-1980s and watched his son build a career growing up in New Jersey, where the seasons are short and cold.

``He went out and did it and endured it,'' Jeff Trout said.

Added mom Debbie: ``All the hard work paid off.''

Trout, taken by the Angels with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, still lives at home with his parents during the offseason. The award will join others in the family house.

``He gets a lot of good home cooking,'' Jeff Trout said.

Trout spent some time in the majors last year but still retained his rookie status. He began this season in the minors and made his first big league appearance this year on April 28 - the day of Harper's major league debut.

Trout was on a flight from Salt Lake City to Cleveland when he saw on Twitter that Harper was being called up the same day.

Harper turned 20 on Oct. 16 and has been hyped for years. When he was just 16, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline ``CHOSEN ONE.''

``He's been put on the spotlight since he was 15 years old,'' Trout said.

The Washington Nationals outfielder got 16 of 32 first-place votes from the NL panel. Miley was second with 12 first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati slugger Todd Frazier with three firsts and 45 points. Harper appeared on every ballot, and Bill Center of U-T San Diego was the only voter who didn't include Miley.

Harper was the top pick in the 2010 amateur draft and batted .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBIs as Washington brought postseason play to the nation's capital for the first time since 1933. Only Tony Conigliaro (24) hit more home runs as a teenager.

``Every little kid's dream is to be a big league ballplayer or a doctor or a firefighter or whatever everybody wants to be,'' Harper said. ``That was my dream and I wanted to make that dream come true as quickly as possible.''

At 20 years, 27 days on Monday, he was 24 days older than New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden when he won the NL award in 1984.

``This game is unbelievable. I love it with everything I've got,'' Harper said, ``and I'm going to play every single day like it's my last.''

And the admiration of Harper and Trout is mutual, especially after their time together last year with Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, for the game's premier prospects.

``He's one of the best players in baseball, if not the best right now,'' Harper said. ``He's pretty impressive every day he plays.''

For now, each has a rookie award. In the future, they may earn MVPs on the same day.

``We play the game the right way,'' Trout said. ``We're always running out balls. He's always hustling, trying to make that big play.''

NOTES: For winning the award, Trout earned a $10,000 bonus on top of his $482,500 salary. ... Harper became the first Nationals player to win a BBWAA award since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005. ... Under a new format this year, both league's winners are announced on the same day with the winner revealed on the MLB Network. Manager of the Year voting will be revealed Tuesday, followed by the Cy Young Awards on Wednesday and MVPs the following day.

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.