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Zimmerman, Murphy homer to back Ross in Nats' 7-5 win vs. Padres

Zimmerman, Murphy homer to back Ross in Nats' 7-5 win vs. Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Joe Ross' first start at Petco Park was with the Washington Nationals, not the San Diego Padres, the team that picked him 25th overall in the June 2011 draft.

And it wasn't simply any night on the mound.

"It just made it a little extra special, I guess, more than any start, just to have my parents here and have my brother in the opposing dugout," Ross said after helping the Nationals beat the Padres 7-5 Friday night.

"Other than that, just another game. A few familiar faces on the other side."

Ross (6-4) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two. His older brother, Tyson, was San Diego's opening day starter but hasn't pitched since due to right shoulder inflammation.

"I'll probably get to see him and mess around maybe tomorrow," Joe Ross said.

There wasn't any trash talk Friday night, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer and Daniel Murphy homered and drove in three runs for the Nationals.

"I'm sure Tyson will get on me for some of those at-bats tomorrow," Joe said.

The Padres shipped Ross and shortstop Trea Turner to the Nationals in an 11-player, three-team trade in December 2014 that netted them Wil Myers from Tampa Bay.

Ross made his big league debut on June 6, 2015. He beat the Padres 4-2 on Aug. 27 in Washington.

Manager Dusty Baker said Ross has struggled the third time through the order and against left-handers.

"We hoped he'd get us through the seventh but he had a high pitch count number (95)," Baker said.

"What's next, 105? We didn't want to wait until he got into trouble. We have to really watch Joe because he has the least amount of innings of our starters and we want to take him all the way through September and hopefully into October.

"He was good. He was very good. He just made a couple of mistakes. But those guys can hit."

Zimmerman's homer to left capped a four-run third and gave the Nationals a 5-1 lead against Christian Friedrich (3-2). It was the fourth straight hit with two outs. Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper singled before Murphy hit a two-run double, followed by Zimmerman's 10th homer.

The Nationals added on with Murphy's homer to left-center leading off the sixth, his 12th, and Harper's RBI single in the seventh that made it 7-3.

The Padres closed to 7-5 with two runs off the Nationals bullpen in the seventh.

San Diego's Derek Norris hit a line-shot homer to left with two outs in the sixth, his eighth. Matt Kemp and Jon Jay hit RBI singles for the Padres.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched the ninth for his first save in as many chances, allowing a leadoff single to Myers before retiring the next three batters.

Friedrich allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.

"He gave us six pretty good innings," manager Andy Green said. "The line doesn't show that. I think there's like a couple crucial mistakes, almost all of them with two outs.

"I never felt like he was out of control of the game," Green said. "It just felt like a couple times, like that four-run inning, it just happened quick."


Padres: Tyson Ross is expected to throw a bullpen any day. He's not expected to return until after the All-Star break.


Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (8-4, 3.40) is scheduled to make his first start since taking a perfect game into the sixth inning of a 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs in which he struck out 11 in seven innings.

Padres: RHP Colin Rea (3-3, 5.37) will be looking for his first victory in more than a month. He's 0-2 in six starts since beating the New York Mets 3-1 on May 5.

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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.


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.


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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.


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.