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Two three-run innings help Nationals past Brewers

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USA Today Sports

Two three-run innings help Nationals past Brewers

MILWAUKEE — Bryce Harper tied for the NL lead with his 25th home run, Tanner Roark pitched eight scoreless innings to end a seven-start winless streak the Washington Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 on Wednesday.

Harper hit a three-run homer in the fifth against Freddy Peralta (4-2) for a 6-0 lead, matching Milwaukee's Jesus Aguilar, Colorado's Nolan Arenado and St. Louis' Matt Carpenter for the NL home run lead.

Roark (4-12), the NL leader in losses, allowed three hits, struck out a season-high 11 and walked one, helping the Nationals avoided being swept in the three-game series. He had been 0-6 in seven starts since beating Tampa Bay on June 6.

Hernan Perez hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Sammy Solis and Brad Miller reached on an infield hit with two outs before Kelvin Herrera retired Manny Pina on a soft liner to third.

Peralta, recalled from Class A Wisconsin before the game, gave up seven runs, four hits and four walks in six innings.

A pair of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases in the first for Daniel Murphy, who blooped a two-run single. Peralta followed with a run-scoring wild pitch.

Two more walks preceded the home run by Harper, who missed Tuesday's game because of a stomach ailment.

Juan Soto homered in the sixth.

Anthony Rendon went 0 for 4, stopping his career-high 12-game hitting streak.

SENT DOWN

Milwaukee optioned OF Brett Phillips to Triple-A Colorado Springs, opening a spot for Peralta.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (right rotator cuff inflammation) threw to batters on Monday, but Tuesday experienced a recurrence of back stiffness. He is to have an MRI.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-7, 3.90 ERA) faces RHP Dan Straily (4-4, 4.02 ERA) on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series at Miami. Strasburg is 7-0 record in the last seven starts against the Marlins.

Brewers: LHP Wade Miley (1-1, 1.56 ERA) starts at San Francisco in the opener of an eight-game trip. RHP Dereck Rodriguez (5-1, 2.72 ERA) starts for the Giants.

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Juan Soto greets Nationals fans while dressed as Santa Claus

Juan Soto greets Nationals fans while dressed as Santa Claus

The winter can feel like one of the slowest seasons of the year, especially for baseball fans who long for the season to pick back up again.

But Nationals outfielder Juan Soto met with fans on Saturday at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia, and did his best to make them feel merry by getting in the holiday spirit.

Soto already helped give D.C. the greatest gift of all in a World Series title, so maybe he really is Mr. Claus.

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Nationals sign reliever Kyle Finnegan to major-league deal

Nationals sign reliever Kyle Finnegan to major-league deal

The Nationals announced their first move toward rebuilding their bullpen for the 2020 season Sunday, signing right-hander Kyle Finnegan to a major-league deal.

Finnegan, 28, became a free agent for the first time this winter after seven seasons in the Oakland Athletics’ minor-league system. The A’s drafted him in the sixth round of the 2013 Draft out of Texas State, originally developing him as a starter until converting him into a reliever in 2016.

Oakland granted Finnegan an invite to Spring Training ahead of last season, but he never made his way onto the team’s 40-man roster. His breakout season was in 2019, when the organization asked him to lower his arm slot to generate more movement on his pitches.

Finnegan posted a 2.66 ERA with 14 saves over 42 appearances for AA-Midland and AAA-Las Vegas last year. His fastball has touched triple digits in the past but sits in the mid-to-upper 90s. His newfound success has also seen him rack up more strikeouts, as evidenced by his K/9 that jumped from 9.7 in 2018 to 12.8 in 2019.

Prior to signing with Washington, Finnegan joined the Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League. He has a 2.31 ERA in 14 appearances so far this winter.

The Nationals’ 40-man roster now sits at 30 with the addition of Finnegan following non-tenders of Javy Guerra and Koda Glover. It will move up to 32 once the signings of Yan Gomes and Howie Kendrick are made official. The move comes less than 12 hours before the MLB Winter Meetings are scheduled to begin in San Diego.

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