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Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hits walkoff single to beat Orioles

Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hits walkoff single to beat Orioles

WASHINGTON -- It was payback time for Matt Wieters and the Washington Nationals.

Wieters hit a winning, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning against his former team, and the Nationals rallied to beat Baltimore 7-6 on Wednesday night and end the Orioles' six-game winning streak.

After losing twice in Baltimore, the first-place Nationals trailed 6-2 in the seventh inning at their own ballpark and were in danger of extending their losing streak.

"We certainly didn't want to lose four in a row," manager Dusty Baker said. "That would have negated all the work we'd done prior to that."

Instead, Washington used a three-run ninth to earn a feel-good victory.

"We needed a win, we had played poorly the first two games all around," Wieters said. "The fact they kicked our butts there, you want to come back and beat them."

Down by two in the ninth, the Nationals rallied against Brad Brach (0-1), who is serving as Baltimore's closer while Zach Britton is on the disabled list.

Jayson Werth led off the ninth with a homer to end an 11-pitch at-bat and begin Brach's downfall.

Bryce Harper doubled, and with one out, an intentional walk and a single loaded the bases. Wieters stepped in and hit a liner to right to win it.

Wieters signed with Washington in February following an eight-year run with Baltimore. Suffice to say he knew all about Brach, his former batterymate.

"It's tough facing a guy you threw so many innings to. He kind of knows everything you're throwing," Brach said. "He put a good swing on it."

Brach was wildly successful as a setup man last season, but now he's Baltimore's closer. He's eight for 10 thus far, and it hasn't been easy.

"I've been trying to do my best to not think about the inning," he said. "I just think it's not really executing more than anything else."

Matt Albers (2-0) -- another former Oriole -- struck out three straight batters for the win.

Mark Trumbo and Manny Machado homered for the Orioles, who built a seemingly comfortable lead against Stephen Strasburg.

Trumbo struck out twice against Strasburg before launching a two-run shot to deep center to put Baltimore on top 5-1 in the fifth. It was only the fourth long ball of the season for Trumbo, the defending major league home run leader.

Machado hit his ninth homer off Blake Treinen in the seventh.

Orioles starter Wade Miley needed 119 pitches to get 15 outs, but he left with a 5-2 lead after striking out five and walking four. In his previous start, the left-hander was pulled in the first inning after consecutive batters struck him with line drives.

Strasburg struck out nine over six innings but gave up five runs and eight hits, both season highs.

Michael Taylor homered and had three RBIs for the Nationals.

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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.

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

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USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

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