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Nats get another crack at Foltynewicz, look to secure second straight win

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USA Today

Nats get another crack at Foltynewicz, look to secure second straight win

WASHINGTON -- Having already beaten one of the Washington Nationals' star pitchers last week, Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz will try to top the other one Tuesday night.

Foltynewicz, who outpitched Max Scherzer in the Braves' 7-1 win last Wednesday in Atlanta, opposes Stephen Strasburg in the second game of a three-game series at Nationals Park.

The right-hander snapped his eight-game winless streak when he allowed four hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings against Washington (5-5) while striking out eight and walking two. He added a two-run double as Atlanta handed Washington its first loss of the season.

Foltynewicz overcame two walks, two wild pitches and a hit batter.

"On a team like this, that's so good it's easy to get pumped up and spiral out of control (emotionally)," Foltynewicz told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I've learned over the past few years to kind of slow things down, just get where you're comfortable and know your game out there."

The win improved Foltynewicz's record to 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA in seven starts against Washington.

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Strasburg (1-1, 3.65) didn't pitch against the Braves (6-4) in Atlanta but is looking to bounce back from a rough outing against New York in which he allowed four runs and five hits -- including two home runs -- in six innings of an 8-2 loss to the Mets.

He struck out six, walked two and balked in a run.

"I think it's, for me, it's trying to keep it close, try to keep the team in the game as long as I can," Strasburg told MASN.com. "I was still able to do that, but at the same time, I know mistakes were made and I paid the price for it. Sometimes you get away with them. But this time I didn't and that's baseball."

Strasburg is 10-9 with a 4.06 ERA in 27 games against the Braves.

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Scherzer (2-1) bounced back from last week's loss and dominated Atlanta on Monday night in the series opener, tossing a two-hit shutout as Washington won 2-0 to snap a five-game losing streak.

"Just tried to make a little mechanical tweak tonight," Scherzer told The Washington Post. "But really the biggest thing was that on the first pitch, 0-0, I collected a lot of first-pitch outs. They were aggressive early in the count."

Atlanta had beaten Scherzer in three of his last five starts against the Braves.

It was Scherzer's ninth career complete game. He struck out 10 batters without a walk in outdueling Julio Teheran (0-2).

Scherzer added his first career stolen base for good measure.

Nationals catcher Pedro Severino doubled and has reached base safely in 12 of 21 plate appearances (six hits, four walks, twice hit by a pitch) since joining the team. Anthony Rendon doubled and scored on Howie Kendrick's two-run double in the first inning. Rendon has seven hits in his last 14 at-bats.

Washington outfielder Bryce Harper walked three times to raise his OPS to 1.519.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman continues to struggle as an 0-for-4 night lowered his average to .097.

Teheran allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in six innings while striking out seven for Atlanta, which had won four of five. Last Tuesday, he surrendered five runs in 2 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Washington.

"I felt a lot better today," Teheran told the Journal-Constitution. "All my pitches were on point. Other than the first inning, I think I made a couple of good pitches and just got unlucky on that one he hit pretty good and he found a spot to get that double."

Atlanta's Nick Markakis is 9-for-28 against Strasburg and Freddie Freeman is 15-for-40 with four homers and 13 RBIs.

Washington's Brian Goodwin is 5-for-8 with two homers against Foltynewicz, Trea Turner is 5-for-12 and Harper is 3-for-11, each with a home run.

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Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

WASHINGTON -- The rain was heavy and relentless. As the puddles grew deeper on the tarp at Nationals Park, the Baltimore Orioles were left to wonder if their bid for a rare road victory would be thwarted by, of all things, the weather.

During a season in which very little has worked in their favor, the Orioles withstood a long rain delay to beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.

Baltimore led 2-0 after four innings when play was stopped. After a wait of 2 hours, 43 minutes, the game resumed with a few hundred fans from the announced crowd of 32,153 sprinkled around the lower seating bowl.

Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, and Andrew Cashner and four relievers combined on a five-hitter in a game that ended long after midnight.

"It was nice," Trumbo said. "I'm glad that we actually kept the game going. Had we not been able to, it might have been a wash. But it ended up being pretty big for us."

Baltimore ended a six-game losing streak to Washington that began last May, won for only the fourth time in 20 games and improved the majors' worst road record to 10-28.

This one was worth the wait.

"It's never easy, especially when you get over the hour mark, two-hour mark," Trumbo said. "Then you have to restart. It's almost two games in one, so, great job by our guys tonight."

The Nationals managed only two hits following the delay, both in the ninth inning.

"It happens. You can't do anything about the rain," manager Dave Martinez said. "You've got to come out and get yourself ready to play. I'm not going to make any excuses."

The rain delay cut short a solid pitching performance by Cashner, who allowed three hits and no walks over four innings in his return from an 11-day stay on the disabled list with back spasms.

Miguel Castro (2-2) followed with two hitless innings, Darren O'Day pitched a perfect seventh and Zach Britton got four outs.

Brad Brach allowed the Nationals to load the bases with two outs in the ninth before striking out Mark Reynolds .

Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Gio Gonzalez (6-4), and for a while it appeared the drive would be washed out by the rain.

"One pitch. That was the whole game," Gonzalez lamented. "That was it."

Indeed, it all ended well for the Orioles, who added a run in the sixth when Adam Jones doubled off Shawn Kelley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia .

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The Nationals have had their eyes on Kelvin Herrera for years

The Nationals have had their eyes on Kelvin Herrera for years

On Monday, in the middle of their game with the Yankees, Mike Rizzo did a very Mike Rizzo thing and added another strong arm to the Nationals' bullpen well before the trade deadline.

In a trade with the Kansas City Royals, the Nats dealt prospects Kelvin Gutierrez, Blake Perkins and Yohanse Morel for relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera.

Herrera, who's in his eighth season, has walked only two batters in the last 27 games and is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. 

"We just thought that it was a good idea to strike early," Rizzo said Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies, simulcasted on NBC Sports Washington.

"We thought the closer to the deadline we get, the more competition we'll have for Kelvin [Herrera]. We were able to strike a deal with Dayton Moore quickly and [we] couldn't be happier about it."

But Mike Rizzo didn't just come across Herrera by chance, he's had his sights on him for years.

"He was one of the guys that we kind of kicked the tires on [last year] and obviously the price for Kelvin at that time with a year and a half of control was a lot different than it was with four and a half months of control."

"We did have our eyes on him for years. He's been a great reliever for years. He's one of the guys we talked about when we talked about improving our bullpen." 

Herrera has spent all of his eight seasons in the big leagues with the Royals, even winning a World Series. Trades can bring both joy and angst, but Rizzo knows Herrera is excited to get back to playing meaningful baseball.

"This guy is such a competitor; World Series tested and playoff tested. He's happy to be playing meaningful games. He talked about what it takes to win a World Series, and you know, our guys were all ears. I think he's really thankful for getting the opportunity to get after it again and get another ring."

"At the same time, you know, it's hard for those old relationship to die and to move on, but he was very excited about being with us. I spoke to him after we made the trade and he [was] a little shocked, but really fired up about it. And when he got to the clubhouse, [he] met some of his old teammates - Timmy Collins and Ryan Madson -  and was welcome with open arms by not only the bullpen guys but everyone on the team." 

Herrera will join Sean Doolittle, Brandon Kintzler, and Ryan Madson to make about as deep of a bullpen as any in baseball right now.

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