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Harper cleared to play, Zimmerman still out

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Harper cleared to play, Zimmerman still out

PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper was back in the Nationals lineup Monday, having passed multiple concussion tests administered to him over the previous 24 hours following his collision with Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich.

“He’s fine,” manager Matt Williams said. “No issues from yesterday. And he didn’t have any issues last night. He’s good to go. He’s ready and anxious to get back out there.”

Harper had been removed from Sunday’s game in Miami after his first-inning collision with Dietrich as he rounded second on Jayson Werth’s grounder to short. Though he didn’t appear to hit his head on the play, Harper reported some dizziness to Nationals head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz, who decided to pull him from the game.

Harper passed a concussion test during the game, though, and again passed tests administered Sunday night after the club arrived in Philadelphia and again Monday afternoon after he went through some early conditioning drills. The club planned still planned to monitor him closely during pregame drills.

“If he reports anything after batting practice, once he gets hot and going, [we’ll adjust],” Williams said. “He’s done all his pregame work, all his routines in the cage, without any issues. Done some weight work, too, to make sure that increase in heart rate and blood pressure doesn’t get to him. And nothing so far. All indications are that he’s good.”

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman, meanwhile, remained out of the lineup for the sixth straight game, his strained oblique muscle still not healed enough to allow him to swing a bat.

Zimmerman has begun exercises on his abdominal muscles, Williams said, but has not advanced to the oblique, which still hurts when he rotates and coughs.

With only three weeks remaining in the season, Zimmerman could be running out of time to play again in 2015, but the Nationals aren’t ready to make that determination yet.

“I know he’s trying everything he can to get back and get in the lineup for us,” Williams said. “We just don’t know. You have an injury like that, you know oblique injuries are difficult. And the nature of that oblique is to either start the swing or stop the swing, depending on what side it’s an issue. If he starts feeling better the next few days, we can start getting him some reps and getting him some swings and seeing where he’s at and adjust from there. At this point, we just don’t know until he gets back on the horse and starts swinging again.”

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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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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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.