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Instant Analysis: Rockies 4, Nats 3

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Instant Analysis: Rockies 4, Nats 3

Game in a nutshell: Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann got roughed up a little in the second inning, but was able to settle in after the second and finished with one earned run and three hits through seven innings of work. Unfortunately his gem was squandered by uncharacteristic mistakes by the Nationals bullpen. Sean Burnett and Michael Gonzalez combined to let the Rockies tie it in the eighth and then Tyler Clippard allowed the go-ahead run off a wild pitch. Two wild pitches told the story as the Nationals failed to get win No. 50 as they head to the break.

Hitting highlight: Desmond may be hurting, but it sure doesnt show. The Nationals shortstop crushed a two-run shot into the Red Porch in the second inning to score he and Adam LaRoche. Thats two consecutive games with home runs and four in his last six overall.

Pitching lowlight: Sean Burnett relieved Zimmermann to start the eighth inning and played a big role in the Rockies getting back into the game. First he allowed a home run to a pinch-hitting Eric Young, then consecutive singles to put men on first and third. Colorado then scored on a Michael Gonzalez wild pitch to tie the game at 3-3.

Key stat: Ian Desmond now leads all MLB shortstops in doubles (24), home runs (17), RBI (51), and slugging percentage (.506). He also ranks second in OPS (.820).

Up next: The 2012 MLB All-Star Break. Nationals fans should have an entertaining next few days with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Bryce Harper all participating. Check in at CSNwashington and Nats Insider for updates through the week from Mark Zuckerman. They pick up play on Friday July 13 at the Miami Marlins.

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Mike Rizzo on how the Nationals plan to approach the nearing trade deadline

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Mike Rizzo on how the Nationals plan to approach the nearing trade deadline

With the MLB trade deadline only two weeks away, Nationals' general manager Mike Rizzo expects the team to be more focused on acquiring players than trading away any - and that includes third baseman Anthony Rendon, whose contract expires at the end of season.

"Obviously, we’re always listening and we’re always talking to people," Rizzo said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday. "But I don’t anticipate moving Anthony Rendon, no."

Rendon's contract extension of $18.8 million going into the 2018 season will expire at the end of this season, and while Rizzo and the Nationals have made it clear they are actively working to re-sign him, a deal has yet to be made.

Rendon's agent Scott Boras told NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas during the All-Star Break that he and the [Nationals team owners] Lerners have "always worked out things -- usually."

“There are times that they make decisions and we make decisions, and I think they’ve been very good decisions for all parties involved," Boras added at the time. "When they sit down and look at where their franchise is going, that’s a direction they have to give us. Obviously, they have to make those decisions. Rendon is a superstar and that is a major decision in their franchise. I don’t ask. I just go and prepare for our meetings and we talk and kind of listen to what they tell us they want to do. It’s really in their corner as to how we go from there.”

Rizzo told the Junkies that the Nationals plan to keep Rendon, though acknowledged the calls for him from other teams do keep coming in.

‘’[An offer] would have to be something that wouldn’t make sense for us to turn down and probably wouldn’t make sense for them to acquire," Rizzo said on trading Rendon.

Rizzo said the Nationals' front office is prepared to add some players to the roster.

"We’ve been most recently in acquire mode, because, you know, we’ve had the chance to win the last eight seasons and I think we're in that mode again," Rizzo said.

Though, of course, he wouldn't actually rule out making any trades that send some players out of DC.

"We're an aggressive front office, we're an aggressive ownership group, and if there’s a deal to be made that would help us prepare for meaningful games in September and beyond, we’ve shown in the past that we’re capable of doing that and we're not afraid to make a trade," he said.

The Nationals take on the Orioles for game 2 of the Battle of the Beltways Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. 

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Nationals Roundup: Austin Voth paces Nats to victory in Game 1 of annual Beltway Series

Nationals Roundup: Austin Voth paces Nats to victory in Game 1 of annual Beltway Series

The Battle of the Beltway Series kicked off Tuesday night in Baltimore between the Nationals and Orioles inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

For the 31st time in 43 games, Washington emerged victorious with its 8-1 decision over Baltimore. A club that was once 19-31 returning home from a dismal sweep at the hands of New York in late May, has now won 13 of its last 16, 18 of its last 23, and 27 of its last 38 games. The Nationals remain the best team in baseball since May 24, and notched win No. 50 on the season. 

Player Notes:

The Nats have struggled to find a consistent fifth starter throughout much of this season. Is Austin Voth the guy? His six innings of four-hit, one-run baseball jumpstarted his second half of the season nicely Tuesday. The 27-year-old tossed 84 pitches, 57 of which were strikes. 

Prior to Tuesday, only 100 players had hit a ball that landed on Eutaw Street at Oriole Park. Matt Adams became the 101st to do so with his towering, 396-foot blast in the 2nd. 

The 20-year-old phenom continues to dazzle in and outside of Washington. Juan Soto's solo home run broke a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. for the 4th-most home runs before turning 21 in MLB history (39). 

To no one's surprise, 2019 All-Star Anthony Rendon scorched two more doubles Tuesday night. The third baseman now has a total of 25 on the season. 

Injuries: 

SP Max Scherzer: Back, Expected to be out until at least Jul 20

RP Jonny Venters: Back, Expected to be out until at least Jul 18

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 20

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 16

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, Expected to be out until at least Aug 7

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, Expected to be out until at least Jul 17

Coming Up:

Wednesday 7/17: Nationals at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park 

Thursday 7/18: Nationals at Braves, 7:20 p.m., SunTrust Park

Friday 7/19: Nationals at Braves, 7:20 p.m., SunTrust Park 

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