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Anthony Rendon to take big step in rehab; Werth progressing

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Anthony Rendon to take big step in rehab; Werth progressing

Anthony Rendon will begin a minor league rehab assignment with the Single-A Potomac Nationals on Saturday night, Matt Williams revealed before the team's quasi-doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rendon will play third base as he recovers from a strained left quadriceps muscle. The P-Nats host the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at 6:35 p.m. in Woodbridge, Va.

"Rendon right now is playing third. It's the easiest position for him to play as he gets going," Williams explained. "He doesn't have to go as far, he's a step and a dive either way. The movement is more limited at third base, so the initial thought is to get him out there and get him some reps at third and get him some game situations and then we'll act accordingly after that."

Rendon is expected to bat second and will likely be followed in the lineup by Jayson Werth, who is working his way back from a broken left wrist.

Werth was the designated hitter for Potomac on Friday night after playing in left field on Thursday night. Williams expects Werth to be back in the field on Saturday.

"He's looking to play the field today. He DH'd last night, three at-bats. He came out of it fine. He's actually here after. I spoke to him. He's planning on going again today depending on how the body feels. We'll go from there. As they have it right now, I believe that they're both hitting two-three in their lineup today," he said.

Rendon has been on the disabled list since June 25 and has appeared in just 18 games this season. Werth has been on the DL since May 16 and is hitting .208 with two homers and 12 RBI in 27 games.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.