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Adrian Sanchez gets hit in chest, still drives in 3 runs as Nationals beat Mets

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Adrian Sanchez gets hit in chest, still drives in 3 runs as Nationals beat Mets

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a decade in the minors, not even a body blow from a hard-thrown baseball was going to keep Adrian Sanchez from taking another swing.

Sanchez shrugged off a 96 mph sinker to the chest and delivered an RBI single to cap off his impressive performance as the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 9-4 on Saturday. The rookie from Venezuela drove in three runs and made a big defensive play to help Gio Gonzalez get the final out of the seventh inning in a game that featured mostly reserves for both teams.

When a pitch from Mets reliever Jeurys Familia struck Sanchez squarely in the chest as he tried to bunt in the eighth, the 27-year-old remained on the ground for several minutes. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Sanchez wanted to stay in the game and continue the at-bat and was glad to see him deliver for an important insurance run.

"I would've had to bring a truck to pull him off the field because he wanted that at-bat," Baker said of Sanchez, who wasn't available for interviews because he was still getting tests. "That picked our team up and it brought the house down, too, because everybody here loves Sanchy and we're all pulling for him big-time."

Sanchez was a big part of Washington's production against New York starter Robert Gsellman (5-6), who allowed six runs (two earned) on nine hits in four innings and was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas afterward. Gsellman's own fielding error made his numbers look better but put the Mets in a hole.

Gonzalez (13-5) allowed two earned runs on six hits and struck out two in 6 2/3 innings and earned a standing ovation from the crowd as he departed. His only blemishes came on Juan Lagares' RBI single in the third that scored Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores' 16th home run in the sixth.

"It's just trying to lock it in, stay focused, try not to get out of my game and try to do too much," Gonzalez said. "Every time I go out there I want to try to go deep in the game and save as much arm in the bullpen as possible."

With only one player starting who was in their opening day lineup, the Nationals also got two RBIs from Adam Lind and a big day from center fielder Michael A. Taylor, who went 3 for 4 with his sixth outfield assist and 11th stolen base of the season.

FAMILIA RETURNS

In his first appearance since May 10 after surgery to repair a blood clot in his right arm, Familia allowed three runs on four hits in a rough eighth inning. Mets manager Terry Collins, who wanted to ease Familia back in a non-save situation, called the right-hander "rusty."

"What's the proper rehab? Nobody knows, be it five innings or five appearances or whatever it might be, there's no guarantees," Collins said. "It just tells you how hard this league is."

Familia said he "tried too much" and didn't have his command. He added that his arm feels 100 percent and he expects to be OK after two more outings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes went on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and will be examined Monday in New York. ... David Wright (cervical disk herniation) played five innings at third base for Class A St. Lucie and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. ... RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) tossed 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton at Portland, allowing five runs (three earned) and five hits. He struck out two, walked one and threw 47 of 72 pitches for strikes. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) threw batting practice in Florida.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was out again after injuring his triceps muscle on a headfirst slide Thursday. Baker expects Zimmerman to play one game during Sunday's doubleheader. ... SS Trea Turner (broken right wrist) and OF Jayson Werth (bruised left foot) continued rehab assignments with Class A Potomac and are close to returning.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Erick Fedde (0-1, 5.61 ERA) makes his second career start against Mets LHP Tommy Milone (1-3, 8.12) in the day game of the split doubleheader. With ace Max Scherzer pushed back to pitch Monday, Washington will start RHP Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.64 ERA) in the night game against RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.85), who has been out with a shoulder injury.

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Strasburg fans 11, Nationals top Marlins 4-2

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Strasburg fans 11, Nationals top Marlins 4-2

Stephen Strasburg matched his season-high with 11 strikeouts and Bryce Harper tied a career-high with five walks as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 Tuesday night.

Anthony Rendon drove in two runs for the Nationals (77-75), who entered Tuesday's game 7 games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves and 7 games back in the race for the final wild-card spot.

Strasburg (9-7) pitched six innings and allowed two runs and five hits with two walks. At one point, he struck out six consecutive batters.

Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 26 opportunities.

Peter O'Brien hit his third home run of the season and J.T. Realmuto had two hits and knocked in a run for the Marlins.

Adam Eaton and Trea Turner had consecutive RBI singles in the second inning to give the Nationals an early lead.

O'Brien's solo homer off Strasburg cut the Marlins' deficit to 2-1.

Rendon's sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 3-1, but Realmuto pulled Miami within 3-2 with a base hit in the fifth.

Rendon's single in the sixth pushed Washington's advantage to 4-2.

Sandy Alcantara pitched four innings for the Marlins and allowed six hits, six walks, and three runs.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.53 ERA) will begin a four-game series against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Marlins: RHP Jeff Brigham (0-2, 7.36) will take the mound on Thursday when Miami begins the final home series of the season, a four-game set against Cincinnati.

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Nationals headed to Fresno, California

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Nationals headed to Fresno, California

The Nationals top minor league affiliate has been the Syracuse Chiefs since 2009 but the Nats brass knew that partnership would end following the 2018 season after the Mets purchased the Chiefs. So the Nats were left scrambling for a new Triple-A affiliate.  The options were limited. In the end, the Nats were stuck with the Fresno Grizzlies. 

“The Washington Nationals are excited to be partnering with the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League,” said President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo via a statement. “Fresno is committed to player development and we hope this partnership will continue to yield success for both clubs on the field and off.”

The Fresno Grizzlies will be Washington’s fourth Triple-A club after being affiliated with Syracuse (2009-18), Columbus (2007-08) and New Orleans (2005-06).

Nationals Park is 2,800 miles away from Chukchansi Park, the home of the Fresno Grizzlies. That type of travel is not ideal for a quick call-up to Washington. Don't expect Victor Robles or Carter Kieboom to spend much time in California.

The big winner of today's announcement...  The Nationals Double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators. 

Harrisburg in only 120 miles away from Nationals Park and it is not unpredecented for a prospect to skip Triple-A (Juan Soto did it this season).

The Senators play in the Eastern League, which ranges from Maine to Virginia. The majority of the Fresno Grizzlies games are played west of the Rockies. 

The other Nationals minor league affiliates are the Potomac (Va.) Nationals (Advanced-A), Hagerstown (Md.) Suns (Class A), and Auburn (N.Y.) Doubledays (Class A Short Season).

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