Nationals

With Manningham out, 49ers need others to step up

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With Manningham out, 49ers need others to step up

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Mario Manningham limped through the locker room on crutches, holding a towel around his waist while trying to keep his head high and sport a smile.

That's not easy to do for the San Francisco 49ers right now.

Manningham is out of the season with a left knee injury after getting tackled low by Leroy Hill and fumbling in the third quarter of San Francisco's 42-13 loss at Seattle. The injury to Manningham, one of San Francisco's signature additions in the offseason, is yet another blow to an increasingly thinning wide receiver corps.

Kyle Williams already is lost for the season with a left knee injury and tight end Vernon Davis did not participate in Wednesday's practice while he recovers from a concussion. Davis took a huge hit from Seattle's Kam Chancellor and must be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can return.

With so many injuries to key receivers, the 49ers (10-4-1) will rely more than ever on Randy Moss and first-round pick A.J. Jenkins to support top threat Michael Crabtree, starting Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals (5-10) in the regular-season finale. Niners coach Jim Harbaugh also said Ricardo Lockette or Chad Hall will likely be promoted from the practice squad.

``That group will have to step up,'' Harbaugh said.

The loss of Manningham is a significant setback for a team that counts on Crabtree as its only healthy wide receiver with more than 26 receptions this season.

Crabtree has 77 receptions for 933 yards and seven touchdowns. Manningham's over-the-shoulder catch between two defenders on the sideline in the Super Bowl propelled the New York Giants' winning TD drive against the Patriots last February. He ranks second with 42 catches for 449 yards and a touchdown after missing some time previously with a shoulder injury.

After those two, San Francisco has received limited production from its other wide receivers.

Moss, two months shy of his 36th birthday, has 26 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns. Ted Ginn Jr., has two catches for 1 yard. And Jenkins, drafted 30th overall out of Illinois, has been active for three games and has not been targeted.

About the only positive for San Francisco is that second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick often worked with the backups and practice squad players before being promoted over Alex Smith six weeks ago.

``I think that's why we're not too worried about it,'' said Kaepernick, who is 4-2 since taking over for Smith. ``I've had a lot of practice with those other guys.''

Just not when it counts.

Jenkins couldn't crack the lineup at the outset with Crabtree, Manningham, Williams and Moss ahead of him on the depth chart - not to mention Davis, Delanie Walker and the other tight ends in Harbaugh's complicated version of the West Coast offense. Frank Gore also has 25 catches for 213 yards out of the backfield.

At the most important time of the season, now it's Jenkins and other wide receivers with little experience suddenly being thrust into a bigger role.

The 49ers can still secure a No. 2 playoff seed - and the first-round bye that comes with it - with a win against the Cardinals coupled with a Green Bay loss at Minnesota. If they lose and Seattle (10-5) wins at home against St. Louis, the Seahawks will steal the NFC West and send San Francisco on the road for the first round.

Jenkins admits this year has been one of the most frustrating of his life. He has spent most of the season watching and asking questions of the veterans, and he's eager for the opportunity to show his worth when it matters most.

``Going through my whole career, I never really had to sit out,'' Jenkins said. ``This is my first time doing it. It's different. You never really saw the game from the sideline as much as I did. But now it's my opportunity to play, so I have to be ready for it.''

The most important role of the other receivers in line to help replace Manningham has, until this point, been to simulate the opposition on the scout team.

Lockette is playing the part of Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald this week, a role he also did before San Francisco won 24-3 at Arizona in October. Lockette had two catches for 105 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown, with the Seahawks last season and is likely to be active ahead of Hall on Sunday because of his speed and athleticism.

Lockette said he felt helpless watching the 49ers get whipped in Seattle and Manningham go down with a season-ending injury. He has not been told if he'll play Sunday.

``I wanted to play so bad,'' Lockette said. ``Sitting on the sideline, you feel like you could have done something or you could have helped out right here or there. Hopefully I'll get my chance in the near future.''

NOTES: DL Justin Smith was not on the practice field Wednesday during the portion open to media. His streak of 185 straight starts ended when he sat out with an elbow injury at Seattle, and his status for the playoffs remains murky. ... The 49ers signed DT Lamar Divens and S Curtis Taylor to the practice squad.

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Nationals bats get hot, but not enough vs. Blue Jays

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USA TODAY Sports

Nationals bats get hot, but not enough vs. Blue Jays

TORONTO — Washington Nationals reliever Ryan Madson had spent the past couple of weeks thinking about how long he'd gone between giving up home runs.

He won't have to wonder about it any more after the Toronto Blue Jays burned him with back-to-back blasts.

Teoscar Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte broke a tie with consecutive home runs in the eighth inning, Randal Grichuk added a pair of solo shots and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Washington Nationals 8-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Hernandez and Solarte connected off Madson (1-3) as the Blue Jays won their seventh consecutive home game. Hernandez hit his 12th home run while Solarte's was his team-leading 15th.

"Everybody knows Madson is one of the best relievers in the league," Hernandez said. "We made some adjustments, took good swings, and hit it hard."

Madson last gave up a home run on June 4, 2017, while pitching for Oakland against Washington, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run shot.

"I've been thinking about it a little bit because it seemed like it had been a while," Madson said of his year-plus streak. "It's kind of been on my mind for the last couple of weeks."

Madson, who allowed two home runs in all of 2017, blamed poor fastball command for his rough outing.

"I envisioned the inning going a lot different than that, obviously," he said. "The stuff was good but no command of it."

Hernandez went 3 for 4 and was hit by a pitch, reaching bases four times.

Grichuk went 3 for 3 with a bases-loaded walk. He homered off Tanner Roark in the second and went deep again off Shawn Kelley in the fifth. The homers were the sixth and seven of the season for Grichuk, five of which have come in June.

Kevin Pillar and Kendrys Morales each had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who are 6-2 in interleague play this season.

"Every game we win means a lot," Hernandez said. "We're just trying to get closer to the fight for first and second (wild card) spots."

Washington has lost five of six.

"You never want to get swept but I'm glad we swung the bats today," manager Dave Martinez said. "We haven't been swinging very well. I'll take our chances very time we score six runs."

Grichuk snapped a 5-5 tie with an RBI single off Justin Miller in the seventh but the Nationals answered in the eighth with Brian Goodwin's RBI single off Toronto's Tyler Clippard.

Ryan Tepera (4-2) pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Slumping Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper started as the designated hitter and went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .217.

Harper, who has seven hits in his past 51 at bats, flied out to leave the bases loaded against Tepera in the eighth.

Neither starter lasted more than four innings. Blue Jays right-hander Sam Gaviglio allowed three runs and six hits while Roark allowed four runs and eight hits.

"I stunk today," Roark said.

THIEVERY

Toronto allowed a season-worst five stolen bases, four of them by Michael A. Taylor. The five steals matched Washington's season-high.

CATCH WITH DAD

On Father's Day, the sons and daughters of several Blue Jays tossed ceremonial first pitches to their dads, a group that included Solarte, Pillar, Morales, Aledmys Diaz and pitchers J.A Happ and John Axford.

FATHERHOOD

Gaviglio left before the game was over to fly home to Washington state after learning his wife had gone into labor with the couple's first child.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: 1B Matt Adams (left hand) was out of the lineup for a second straight day. Adams was hit by a pitch while attempting to bunt Friday. Daniel Muprhy made his second straight start at first.

Blue Jays: OF Steve Pearce (strained left oblique) went 2 for 2 with a walk in his second rehab game at Triple-A Buffalo. Pearce went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk Saturday.

UP NEXT

Nationals: Washington returns home Monday to face the New York Yankees. The teams will resume a May 15 game that was suspended with the score tied 3-3 in the middle of the sixth inning. Following the completion of that game, the Nationals and Yankees will make up a May 16 game that was postponed by rain. RHP Erick Fedde (0-1, 5.91) will start the nine-inning game. The Yankees have not named a starter.

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Nationals picking up where they left off in May vs. Yankees with 6th-inning start, makeup game

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Nationals picking up where they left off in May vs. Yankees with 6th-inning start, makeup game

WASHINGTON — On what was supposed to be a day off, the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals will try on Monday to finish what they started in May.

The Yankees travel to Nationals Park to complete a game halted by rain on May 15 with the score tied 3-3 (5:05 p.m ET). The teams will then make up a game that was rained out on May 16 (7:05 p.m. ET).

Slumping Bryce Harper gets the game restarted when he leads off the bottom of the sixth inning.

New York's Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.98 ERA) opposes Erick Fedde (0-1, 5.91) 30 minutes after the completion of the suspended game.

Both teams are coming off a loss, though for the Yankees it's a blip and for the Nationals a trend.

Washington (37-31) completed a five-game trip through American League parks with an 8-6 loss at Toronto. The Nationals went 1-4 on the trip, ending with a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays.

After failing to score in three of their previous five games, the Nationals produced 13 hits Sunday, only to see rare poor performances from a starter and a late-inning reliever.

Tanner Roark lasted just four innings and reliever Ryan Madson allowed two homers in the eighth inning, the first he has given up since June 4, 2017, when he was a member of the Oakland A's and Washington's Ryan Zimmerman homered.

"You never want to get swept, but I'm glad we swung the bats today," Nationals manager Dave Martinez told MASN.com. "We haven't been swinging very well. ... I'll take our chances every time we score six runs, I really will. I'm proud of them, they didn't give up, they fought the whole game."

Roark's short outing came at a particularly bad time. The Nationals used four relievers Sunday and the pitching staff is looking at 12 or more innings of work Monday.

"I stunk today," Roark told MASN.com. "Didn't really have much working for me."

Anthony Rendon, Brian Goodwin and Wilmer Difo each collected two hits, but Harper went 0-for-5. He is now batting .163 (7-for-43) in June with four walks and 20 strikeouts.

The Yankees (46-21) dropped a 3-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday but have won 13 of their last 17. That includes splitting two games with the Nationals last week.

CC Sabathia was the hard-luck loser Sunday when the Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

"Always," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters when asked if he expected three runs not to be enough against his team.

"And that's no disrespect ever to the opponent, it's just I always know that we're some traffic away from popping one," he added. "We had a little traffic and threw some hits out there, but we just couldn't get over the hump. They held us down and kept us at bay today."

The Yankees (.687) remained ahead of the 49-24 Red Sox (.671) in the AL East. New York leads the majors in runs per game, homers, homers per game, slugging percentage and OPS.

That's despite the continue struggles of Giancarlo Stanton (.243), who went 1-for-3 Sunday with a walk and two strikeouts.

"He's still working to be 'on time' and get started to his rhythm of hitting. ... That's what he's struggled with: consistently being on time. That's when you have a tendency to expand or be behind on the fastball or behind on the breaking ball," Boone told MLB.com.

However, Stanton is hitting .279 (34-for-122) with nine homers and 18 RBIs away from Yankee Stadium. And at Nationals Park, he has a career average of .289 with 20 homers and 41 RBIs in 54 games.

Gray is 0-0 with a 4.74 ERA in three starts against the Nationals. He gave up a three-run homer to rookie Juan Soto last Wednesday in a 5-4 loss to Washington when he allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings.

Fedde gave up four runs and six hits in five innings in a no-decision last week at Yankee Stadium.

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