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Harper out with ankle injury

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Harper out with ankle injury

Bryce Harper was forced out of the first game of today's doubleheader after fouling a ball off his left ankle, a potentially serious blow to a Nationals club that has been trying to overcome injuries all season.

Harper was attempting to bunt in the bottom of the first inning when he fouled Braves right-hander Ben Sheets' pitch off the top of his back foot, near the ankle joint. The 19-year-old outfielder hobbled around for several minutes while assistant trainer Mike McGowan and manager Davey Johnson tended to him, but convinced the duo to let him return to the batter's box and complete the at-bat.

Harper wound up striking out on Sheets' next pitch, then limped his way out to center field for the top of the second inning. When the top of the third arrived, Roger Bernadina took the rookie's place.

The Nationals announced Harper was removed from the game for precautionary reasons with a "sore left ankle."

Though Harper has been in a bit of a slump at the plate -- he's 5 for his last 31, with a batting average that has dipped into the .260s for the first time since May 25 -- his loss would be a big blow for the Nationals, who in the last three days designated a pair of veteran outfielders for assignment: Rick Ankiel and Xavier Nady.

If Harper had to miss any significant time, the Nationals would likely recall outfielder Corey Brown from Class AAA Syracuse to take his spot. Brown, 26, is hitting .302 with 21 homers, 58 RBI and a .384 on-base percentage in 93 games with the Chiefs.

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Brian Dozier's power on display once again with moonshot HR in Colorado

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Brian Dozier's power on display once again with moonshot HR in Colorado

After a very slow start to the season, Nationals' second baseman Brian Dozier has been seeing the ball a lot better over the past few games.

On Monday, Dozier took Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson deep in the fourth inning to give the Nationals a three-run lead, his third home run in the last four games.

He went deep against Miami twice over the weekend, both solo shots. The first came during Friday's 3-2 loss and the latter in Sunday's 5-0 victory.

This one, though, was a no-doubter. Take a look.

After staring for a brief second, Dozier didn't need to look any longer; he knew the ball was several rows into the seats. That altitude in Colorado definitely helped, as the home run landed 435 feet away.

Dozier has struggled to hit for contact thus far in 2019, posting just a .177 average entering Monday. But when the ball has hit the bat, it's traveled a long way.

For the Nationals sake, hopefully Dozier's power continues. They're counting on better production from the seven-year veteran than they have received thus far in 2019.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Stephen Strasburg saves Nationals from series sweep

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Stephen Strasburg saves Nationals from series sweep

With 11 strikeouts and only two hits in eight innings, Stephen Strasburg contained the Marlins to nothing as the Nationals won 5-0 in Miami. Here are the latest news and notes after Sunday’s victory.

Player notes:

Anthony Rendon remains day-to-day after being hit on his left elbow by a pitch Saturday. He left Saturday’s game and missed Sunday’s outing as well. Howie Kendrick, his replacement thus far, finished the series against Miami going 1-for-3 with a single RBI.

Stephen Strasburg posted double-digit strikeouts for the first time this season (11). Strasburg dropped his ERA by almost 1.5 runs, and is expected to start next against the Padres. That series begins Friday, April 26.

Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with two home runs. He tallied two RBIs as well.

Injuries:

3B Anthony Rendon: Elbow hit by pitch, day-to-day

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-day IL

RP Justin Miller: Back, 10-day IL

SS Trea Turner: Finger, 10-day IL

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Monday, 4/22: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Tuesday, 4/23: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Wednesday, 4/24: Nationals @ Rockies, 3:10 p.m. ET, Coors Field

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