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Nats and Cubs round out their rosters ahead of NLDS clash

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Nats and Cubs round out their rosters ahead of NLDS clash

WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Lackey is on the World Series champion Chicago Cubs' roster for their NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals.

Lackey was not among the starting pitchers that Cubs manager Joe Maddon had announced for the NLDS that begins in Washington on Friday night, so his status was in doubt. Lackey, a right-hander, has won three World Series titles, but he was only 12-12 with a 4.59 ERA this season for the NL Central champions.

Also in Chicago's bullpen, in a mild surprise, is left-hander Justin Wilson, who had a 5.09 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Cubs after arriving from the Detroit Tigers in a trade. But he also has this key career stat: Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy is 0 for 6 against Wilson with three strikeouts.

RELATED: NATS NAME STRASBURG STARTER FOR GAME 1 VS. CUBS

The Cubs chose to go with two catchers instead of three, with Alex Avila backing up Willson Contreras. They kept Rene Rivera off the roster even though he came up big down the stretch, going 15 for 44 after Chicago selected him off waivers from the New York Mets in August. Outfielder Kyle Schwarber could catch in a pinch.

The Nationals also kept only two catchers, starter Matt Wieters and backup Jose Lobaton, while dropping Pedro Severino.

In the bullpen, Washington dropped right-hander Joe Blanton and kept a total of four lefty relievers, including Enny Romero and Sammy Solis.

RELATED VIDEO: CLIFF FLOYD- NATS ARE AN OPPORTUNIST TYPE OF TEAM

Washington put two reserve rookie outfielders on the roster, 20-year-old Victor Robles and Brian Goodwin.

Robles made his big league debut Sept. 7 and has 24 career at-bats in the majors. Goodwin hasn't played for the Nationals since mid-August because he went on the disabled list with a groin injury.

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Lobaton’s sacrifice fly lifts Mets past Nationals in 12

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USA TODAY Sports

Lobaton’s sacrifice fly lifts Mets past Nationals in 12

Jose Lobaton hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly against his former team in the 12th inning and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Thursday night.

Lobaton, who spent the previous four years in Washington before signing with the Mets in December, lofted a one-out fly ball off Jefry Rodriguez (3-3) with the bases loaded to score Amed Rosario.

Jacob Rhame (1-2) worked two scoreless innings, and Paul Sewald pitched the 12th for his second save.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was ejected in the 12th for arguing home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn’s called third strike.

Washington starter Max Scherzer pitched seven innings, allowing three runs while striking out 13. He has 290 strikeouts this year, the most for a National since the franchise relocated from Montreal before the 2005 season. Scherzer set the previous mark of 284 in 2016.

However, he never held a lead Thursday. Michael Conforto smashed a two-run homer to left in the third, his 27th of the season. It was also his fourth home run in 23 career at-bats against Scherzer.

Four pitches later, Jay Bruce crushed his ninth home run of the season. It was the sixth time this season New York has hit back-to-back homers.

Washington’s Trea Turner led off the sixth with an infield single. Two batters later, Anthony Rendon golfed Jason Vargas’ changeup to deep left for his 100th career home run to narrow the deficit to 3-2. Vargas allowed two runs and struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings.

Jeff McNeil led off the eighth with a triple and scored two batters later when Bruce punched a single to right past a drawn-in infield. But the Nationals responded with Rendon’s run-scoring groundout and Juan Soto’s RBI double off Robert Gsellman in the bottom half of the inning.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing after Reyburn ruled McNeil had offered on a bunt attempt.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores will miss the rest of the season with soreness in both knees. Callaway said Flores has early onset arthritis in both knees and will receive injections to alleviate the pain. “It’s not like surgery is recommended at this time,” Callaway said. “I think rest and a couple injections is supposed to knock this out pretty good.”

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (8-9, 1.78 ERA), who is 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA lifetime at Nationals Park, gets the nod for New York as the four-game series continues.

Nationals: RHP Joe Ross (0-0, 3.60) makes his second start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year.

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Anthony Rendon reaches home run milestone

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USA Today Sports

Anthony Rendon reaches home run milestone

For a guy whose nickname reflects how many doubles he hits, Anthony Rendon has quite the power as well.

Rendon, referred to as "Tony Two Bags" by the Washington Nationals' faithful, hit his 100th career home run on Thursday night. 

The home run came off New York Mets pitcher Jason Vargas, who has been magnificent in his two starts against the Nationals this season. Vargas had not allowed a run against the Nationals in 2018 until Rendon took him deep.

The home run was Rendon's 22nd of the season. This is the third consecutive year that Rendon has posted 20 or more home runs, and the fourth time in the 28-year-old's career that he has reached that milestone.

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