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Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

Nationals Roundup: Washington splits four-game stand with Diamondbacks

The Washington Nationals moved to 33-38 after splitting the four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. Now, Bryce Harper and the rival Philadelphia Phillies come to town for a four-game stretch that can prove vital to Washington and the team's better play.

Player Notes:

Stephen Strasburg gave up six runs over five innings on nine hits over five innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday. His ERA is now 3.75 with 115 strikeouts in 96 innings with a 1.06 WHIP, but can rebound Thursday against the Phillies.

He's not yet 21, but Juan Soto is playing like he's been in the league for years. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with his 11th homer on Saturday. He now has 41 RBI on the season to go along with an OPS of .885 over 62 games.

Adam Eaton went 3-for-3 with an RBI, two walks and a run scored in the Nationals’ lopsided 15-5 win on Sunday. The 30-year-old outfielder is fully healthy, hitting .280/.365/.398 with 41 runs scored, 19 RBI and five steals in 302 plate appearances.

Superstar Anthony Rendon went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three runs scored in the Sunday win, which included his 16th longball of the season. He'shitting .321/.415/.660 with 52 runs scored, 50 RBI and one stolen base across 246 plate appearances this season.

Injuries:

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, could return mid-June

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

C Kurt Suzuki: Clavicle, sidelined

RP Kyle Barraclough: Biceps, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Monday 6/17: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Tuesday 6/18: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Wednesday 6/19: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Thursday 6/20: Nationals vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

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Source: Rotoworld

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Orioles Roundup: O's get swept by Red Sox

Orioles Roundup: O's get swept by Red Sox

The Baltimore Orioles are now on a five-game losing streak after getting swept by the Boston Red Sox over the weekend.

Here's the latest news about the Orioles, who are now 21-50:

Player Notes

ORIOLES:

In adding to his All-Star caliber season, Trey Mancini hit his 15th home run of the season on Friday. Mancini is averaging .305/.358/.564 this season with the aforementioned 15 home runs and 34 RBI.

RHP Luis Ortiz was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after surrendering four runs on four hits over 3 1/3 innings of work on Friday. He has a 10.80 ERA and a 2.70 WHIP.

To add to the Orioles' pitcher woes, RHP David Hess is being moved the starting rotation into the bullpen. He is 1-9 on the season with a 7.20 ERA in 13 starts and one relief appearance.

Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion) will go out on a short rehab assignment before rejoining the Orioles later this week.

Mychal Givens gave up the game-tying solo home run in the ninth inning to blow the save in Sunday's 10-inning loss to the Red Sox. The 29-year-old right-hander has converted just 6-of-11 save opportunities this year and owns an undesirable 5.28 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 29 innings.

Hanser Alberto went 3-for-6 with a pair of RBI singles in Sunday's loss to the Red Sox. The infielder is hitting .310/.327/.384 with three home runs and 16 RBI over the course of 56 games played. 

RED SOX:

Marcus Walden blew his second save of the season by allowing one run over 1 2/3 innings in Sunday's win. In 39 2/3 innings this season, Walden is pitching to a 2.50 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 43/10 K/BB ratio and has gone 1-of-3 in save chances.

Marco Hernandez went 1-for-5 with a solo home run in Sunday's 10-inning win over the Orioles. Hernandez has now picked up six hits (four of the extra-base variety) in 24 at-bats since being called up from Triple-A on June 8.

Chris Sale delivered another dominant performance in Saturday's victory over the Orioles, racking up 10 strikeouts over six innings. Sale now has a 3.49 ERA to go with a 0.97 WHIP and 130/21 K/BB ratio across 90 1/3 innings. 

Injuries

RP Josh Lucas: Shoulder, 10-day IL

SP Andrew Cashner: Knee, sidelined

OF Dwight Smith Jr.: Concussion, 7-Day IL

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-Day IL

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up

Monday 6/17: Orioles @ Oakland Athletics, 10:07 p.m. ET, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Tuesday 6/18: Orioles @ Oakland Athletics, 10:07 p.m. ET, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Wednesday 6/19: Orioles @ Oakland Athletics, 3:37 p.m. ET, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Source: Rotoworld

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Mystics’ Natasha Cloud holds strong on media blackout amid gun reform calls

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Mystics’ Natasha Cloud holds strong on media blackout amid gun reform calls

Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud spoke for her team Friday night after their loss to the Seattle Storm and was the only player who did, following through on her promise for a “media blackout.”

“We’re talking about the loss of a game. There’s a lot more losses going on within our community, especially within this community, Ward 8,” Cloud said. “So we as a team want to only bring light to the issues going on within this community, and that is the violence around kids going to school.”

Before Friday’s game against the Storm, Cloud said she and the team had decided she “will be speaking for the entire team” tonight and would not be taking any basketball questions.

Cloud’s stand came after she announced on Instagram Thursday night that she was upset about recent gun violence incidents at Hendley Elementary School, which is less than two miles from where the Mystics practice and play.

Hendley Elementary was placed on lockdown Wednesday as a bullet went through the upper lobby window --  the second shooting incident in two weeks. As a result, the school’s field day was canceled.

Cloud then took to Instagram and her more than 24,000 followers to challenge Ward 8 representative Trayon White and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to talk to her and make a change.

"Our kids can't even feel safe to go to school right now!" Cloud said. "What are we doing?"

She continued, "And let me tell you something else, Tray, Mayor Bowser. If I don't get a response by tomorrow morning with a solution and/or a sit-down for a solution, because y'all have had a month now to figure this out, we have a rematch of the WNBA Finals tomorrow (June 14th). I will be sure to use all of my media privileges as a blackout and I will only discuss this topic until it gets fixed."   

The Mystics' organization said in a statement it "respects the right of our players to speak out in a manner that promotes positive dialogue."

“Together, we aspire to work with civil leaders and elected officials to find ways to better the communities where we play,” the team said before the game.

“Mayor Bowser went to the community on Thursday evening to meet with community leaders, their MPD Captain and outreach staff to discuss their concerns and talk about recent incidents. That dialogue will continue as we work to end the senseless violence that has been fueled by the ­unfortunate presence of too many illegal guns," the mayor's office said in a statement.

Head coach Mike Thibault said postgame that his “only comment” about it is that the team wants to be “part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

“So if we’re going to have our players talk about it and they want to talk about it, then my thoughts to them is that you have to follow up and be part of the process, to do those things. We’re here in Ward 8 to be a part of the community, and we’re having those kids from the schools come here … That’s got to be an ongoing thing, that cannot be a one-off thing,” Thibault added.