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Instant Analysis: Nats blast past Mets


Instant Analysis: Nats blast past Mets

Game in a nutshell: After an 8-2 road trip, the Nationals returned home to a fired-up crowd and a healthy Ian Desmond, who made his first appearance in nearly a month. There was some early tension in the air when the Mets pounced on Ross Detwiler for two runs in the top of the first and Johan Santana set down the first nine batters he faced. But then the suddenly deep Nationals lineup went on a rampage. The first four batters to step to the plate in the fourth all recorded hits, capped by Morse's grand slam. One inning later, Bryce Harper launched a two-run bomb to pad the lead. Those two extra runs proved important, because Detwiler gave one back in the sixth and Craig Stammen gave one more back in the seventh. No worries, because Drew Storen bounced back from a rough outing in San Francisco to toss a scoreless eighth, and Tyler Clippard finished off the ninth to start this homestand off in impressive fashion and catapult the Nationals to 29 games over the .500 mark.

Hitting highlight: Though Harper's home run might have been a more significant development in the big picture -- perhaps that was the blast the rookie needed to get his season back on track -- how can we not highlight Morse's grand slam? Like so many of his previous blasts, this one was hit to the opposite field, over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center. Unlike all the previous ones, this one came with the bases loaded, the first grand slam for the Nationals this season. And it sparked another rarity at Nationals Park: a curtain call. Morse lumbered up the dugout steps and offered a double fist pump to the adoring masses, quite a moment for the slugger and the crowd of 34,827.

Pitching highlight: Detwiler's evening did not get off to a strong start. He allowed three consecutive, two-out hits in the top of the first, then walked Ronny Cedeno on four pitches to bring pitching coach Steve McCatty out of the dugout for a chat. Whatever McCatty said must've hit home, because Detwiler was extremely effective and efficient after that. He wound up retiring 13 of the last 16 batters he faced on only 62 pitches, though he did give up another run in the top of the sixth. At 84 total pitches, Detwiler could have returned for the seventh, but Davey Johnson decided not to take any chances and pulled his No. 5 starter after that. All in all, it was solid outing for the left-hander, who now sports a 3.25 ERA for the season.

Key stat: Since throwing a 134-pitch no-hitter on June 1, Santana is now 4-7 with a 6.98 ERA over his last 11 starts.

Up next: The series continues with a Saturday night tilt on South Capitol Street. Edwin Jackson faces left-hander Jon Niese at 7:05 p.m.

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Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series


Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series

Bryce Harper homered, Max Scherzer struck out seven in six innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Sunday.

Anthony Rendon also had two hits and drove in two runs for Washington, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and helping the Nationals earn a split of the series after Saturday's game was rained out. Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each had three hits.

Two days after a heated exchange with teammate Stephen Strasburg during Friday's 8-5 loss, Scherzer (13-5) allowed two runs and eight hits in his third straight win. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has pitched six or more innings in his last 19 starts.

Kelvin Herrera got five outs for his first save with Washington.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 55 minutes by rain, and another downpour stopped play for almost 100 minutes between the sixth and seventh innings.

Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz (7-6) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Harper singled in Eaton to give Washington a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Matt Adams added another RBI single in the seventh, and Harper added a solo drive in the eighth for his 24th homer.

Scherzer was staked to an early 3-0 lead and then got some help from his defense.

Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the third with a drive off the wall in center, but he was thrown out by Harper while trying for a double. With a runner on first in the fifth, Freddie Freeman's blast to right was chased down by Eaton on the warning track.

Then in the seventh, Michael A. Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall in center to rob Dansby Swanson of extra bases with one runner on.

Washington got off to a fast start with three runs in the first. Rendon drove in Eaton and Harper with a triple down the right-field line, and then scored on Soto's groundout.

Swanson drove in Atlanta's runs with a groundout in the second and a single in the fourth.


Braves: All-Star 2B Ozzie Albies, who left Friday's game with right hamstring tightness, got the day off.

Nationals: RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) experienced extended soreness after throwing off the mound Friday. An MRI Saturday revealed a stress reaction, comparable to a bone bruise, in the bridge of his foot and he is wearing a walking boot. ... RHP Koda Glover (right shoulder tendinitis) was reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.


Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (8-5, 3.51 ERA) pitches the opener of a two-game series in Miami on Monday. He already has beaten the Marlins twice this season, allowing one run in 12 innings.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.72 ERA) opens a three-game series in Milwaukee on Monday night. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career starts versus the Brewers.

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.