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MLB deciding on Chapman, Reyes & Puig domestic violence cases soon

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MLB deciding on Chapman, Reyes & Puig domestic violence cases soon

By MAUREEN MULLEN

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) -- Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred expects to have a decision within a few days on two of the first three cases covered by the sport's new domestic violence policy.

Major League Baseball has been investigating New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.

Any discipline under the policy must be for "just cause."

"The standards of proof in a labor arbitration and a criminal case are very different," Manfred said Friday.

He did not specify which cases he hopes to decide soon.

"My strong preference would have been to have them decided by this point in the calendar," Manfred said Friday. "More important than the calendar, however, is making sure that we know all the facts before I make a decision. The worst thing that can happen from our perspective is to make a decision and then find out that we decided without knowing everything that happened."

Acquired by the Yankees from the Cincinnati Reds in a December trade, Chapman is under investigation for an incident at his house in Florida in October involving his girlfriend. Chapman is alleged to have fired a gun during the incident.

Prosecutors declined to file charges. Chapman has said he would appeal any suspension to baseball's arbitrator, his right under the policy.

Reyes is allegedly to have assaulted his wife on Halloween in a Hawaii hotel and is scheduled to go on trial April 4.

Puig got into a fight with a bouncer at a Miami bar in November.

"The timing of gathering those facts is not completely within our control," Manfred said. "Obviously, in large measure we're dependent on law enforcement and the activities surrounding the three incidents. I expect that we will have some action on at least two of the three in the next few days."

Under the domestic violence policy, discipline is not contingent on a criminal conviction.

"There's lots of reasons for non-prosecution," Manfred said. "Not all of them relate to the underlying facts. It may be unavailability or unwillingness of witnesses to participate, whatever. That makes the cases difficult.

"Secondly, the policy is pretty explicit. The fact that law enforcement decides either that it is not going to, or cannot because of a lack of proof, proceed doesn't mean that discipline isn't appropriate. The policy is very explicit on that."

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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

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Can slumping Nationals, Gio Gonzalez end losing streak Monday vs. Padres?

When the Washington Nationals visited San Diego on May 7-9, they won the first two games of a three-game series to move within 1 1/2 games of the National League West lead.

At the time, the Nationals were on a bit of a run and the Padres were reeling with a 13-24 record.

Two weeks after that series, the Padres and Nationals meet again in Washington, D.C (7:05 p.m. ET, Monday). And the fortunes of the two teams have changed a bit.

Since winning that series finale at Petco Park to avoid being swept by the Nationals, the Padres have gone 7-4 and are riding a three-game winning streak.

The Nationals have gone 4-4 and just lost a third straight game to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in Washington to slip four games off the lead in their division.

The Nationals are the home team this time for a three-game series that opens Monday night with a matchup of left-handers -- Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.36 ERA) going for Washington with Robbie Erlin (1-2, 3.46) making a spot start for San Diego.

On paper, the pairing clearly favors the hosts.

Erlin, 27, has met the Nationals twice in his career. Both games were at Nationals Park. Erlin is 0-2 in the matchups with a 16.39 ERA.

In Erlin's two previous outings in the nation's capital, Erlin has given up 17 runs, 19 hits and six walks with six strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. The Nationals have hit .413 against Erlin, who has a 2.68 WHIP against Washington.

This will be only the second start of the season for Erlin, who returned this year after having Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery midway through 2016.

Thirteen of Erlin's 14 appearances this season have been out of the bullpen. His one previous start was April 16 against the Dodgers. He gave up six runs (five earned), seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings.

Erlin is filling the vacancy created when rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi went on the disabled list with a slightly strained glute. The Padres are hoping Lucchesi will miss only one start, although it looks like it could now be two or three.

Gonzalez is no stranger to the Padres. He started the May 9 game that the Nationals lost 2-1. Gonzalez allowed one run, five hits and three walks in six innings. Afterward, he said he struggled with his command.

Gonzalez was not involved in that decision. During his career, he has made seven starts against the Padres and has a 3-2 record with a 3.21 ERA, a 1.357 WHIP and a .253 opponents' batting average. Against the Padres, Gonzalez has given up 19 runs (15 earned), 41 hits and 16 walks with 41 strikeouts in 42 innings.

When the Nationals were in San Diego, first baseman-left fielder Matt Adams went 3-for-8 with a double, two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored -- although he got the third game off.

Since leaving San Diego, Adams has hit only .143. Washington's Bryce Harper is hitting .125 in the last eight games with a homer and three RBIs.

Another key player in the first Padres-Nationals series was Howie Kendrick, who was 5-for-12 with a double and two runs scored. But Kendrick has been lost with a ruptured Achilles tendon and on Saturday the Nationals promoted a 19-year-old prospect from Double-A.

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Soto makes debut in Nationals loss to Dodgers

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Soto makes debut in Nationals loss to Dodgers

WASHINGTON  -- Kike Hernandez and Yasiel Puig each hit two-run homers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Hernandez's blast off Stephen Strasburg in the fifth inning put the Dodgers up 3-2. Yasmani Grandal also homered off Strasburg (5-4), who allowed three runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

Alex Wood (1-4) pitched six innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs. Wood came out to start the seventh, but returned to the clubhouse after showing some discomfort during his warm-up tosses.

Trea Turner homered for Washington, which swept Arizona last weekend and then went five days without playing a full game because of rain before getting swept by the Dodgers.

Los Angeles, after losing six consecutive games, has now won four straight overall and five of six over Washington this season.

Washington's Juan Soto, at 19 the youngest active player in the majors, made his debut in the eighth as a pinch-hitter and struck out against Erik Goeddel.

The Dodgers added two runs in the ninth. Josh Fields recorded the final four outs for his second save of the season.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

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- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.