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Another surgery latest setback in Adam Eaton's tenure with Nationals

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USA TODAY Sports

Another surgery latest setback in Adam Eaton's tenure with Nationals

PHOENIX  -- Washington Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton had surgery on his troublesome left ankle Thursday with no timetable given for his return.

The arthroscopic surgery was performed in Green Bay by the Packers' orthopedist, Dr. Robert Anderson, an expert in the field of ankle injuries. Anderson was the third doctor Eaton visited.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says no injury was apparent from MRIs, prompting Anderson to do the exploratory operation. Rizzo says Anderson found and repaired "a little tear" known as a chondral flap that was irritating the ankle when Eaton moved.

"The good thing is, there was something that needed to be done for him to rehab at 100 percent," Rizzo said.

The general manager, speaking before the Nationals opened a four-game series at Arizona, said the injury is believed to have happened when Eaton slid hard into home plate early this year.

Eaton has been on the disabled list with what was listed as a bone bruise since April 9. He is expected back this season.

"We had images three different times, two MRIs and a bone scan throughout this process, and there was nothing seen," Rizzo said. "But because each and every time he got out of the immobilized boot, there was consistent pain."

He said that the operation discovered "an unstable chondral flap, which is a little cartilage flap, so a little tear, but it was a flap. But on the images, the cartilage was always flat. But when he was in the process of doing things, running and moving, the flap would get stuck into the lateral gutter of the ankle. It would cause inflammation and pain.

"That's why we could never get him over the hump when we got him out of the boot, because this flap kept interfering and causing inflammation and pain,"

The Nationals don't believe this injury is at all connected to the torn ACL that cost Eaton his entire first season with the Nationals last year.

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Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

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Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

Sean Doolittle has gotten his wish - the Washington Nationals will now have a bullpen cart for the remainder of the 2018 season. 

In a release on Thursday, the Nationals announced that they will unveil a the WGL Energy Bullpen Cart on their upcoming Friday night game against the Miami Marlins. The cart will be at all remaining home games at Nationals Park.

Both the Nationals’ pitchers and opponents will be able to utilize the cart to enter a game as a reliever. The cart will transport the relief pitcher from the bullpen to their dugout instead of the traditional long trout out to the mound. 

Players are not required to use the vehicle if they do not want to. 

Earlier this season, Doolittle was the first National ever to use the bullpen cart at Chase Field, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Afterward, he noted that although he had less time, he was not out of breath and “loved it.”

In addition to the Diamondbacks and the Detroit Tigers, the Nationals are the third active team to have a bullpen cart. Per the release, this is the first season that the bullpen cart has been used in MLB since 1995.

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Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

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Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

St. Louis has won a season-high eight straight. The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30.

Gomber (3-0), in his fourth start of the year, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by interim manager Mike Shildt.

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after colliding with Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Bryce Harper in the fourth.

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decision, Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.