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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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Astros' Carlos Correa on the negative fan reaction in spring training debut: 'I didn't hear anything'

Astros' Carlos Correa on the negative fan reaction in spring training debut: 'I didn't hear anything'

For the first time since the Astros sign-stealing scandal broke, Houston infielders Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, and Yuli Gurriel took the field in spring training on Monday.

As expected, they were showered by a bunch of 'boos' from the crowd.

Correa was asked by Astros' beat reporter Chandler Rome about the reaction the players received, and the third baseman claimed he could not hear anything.

"What reaction?" Correa said. "I didn't hear anything."

As seen by the videos above, the 'boos' would have been certainly hard to tune out.

The Astros played their first spring training game on Saturday against the Nationals, who they share a complex with, but none of the players that were on the World Series team in 2017 played. They were still booed, and multiple signs by fans needed to be removed by stadium employees.

All four infielders had three plate appearances on Monday before being removed from the game. Correa finished 0-2 with a strikeout, walk, and grounded into a double play. Altuve was hit by a pitch, but it was on a breaking ball that got away. He was not intentionally thrown at. 

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Ryan Zimmerman 'couldn't be happier' for Alex Ovechkin scoring 700 career goals

Ryan Zimmerman 'couldn't be happier' for Alex Ovechkin scoring 700 career goals

Two of the longest-tenured athletes in Washington, D.C. are Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin and Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman and Ovechkin made their respective MLB and NHL debuts within nearly a month of each other; Zimmerman's first game with the Nationals was on Sept. 1, 2005, while Ovechkin's first game with the Capitals was Oct. 5. Since then, both have spent their careers with the same organization, becoming legends in the nation's capital and being an integral part of a championship team.

Ovechkin scored his 700th career NHL goal on Saturday, a feat only seven other players have done in the history of the league. Zimmerman, who has had a relationship with the goal-scorer for years and is an avid Capitals fan, was thrilled to see Ovechkin continue to climb in the record books.

"[Ovechkin's] commitment to that organization, his work ethic, his character, the way he's gone about his business, just his longevity, his consistency has been unbelievable," Zimmerman told NBC Sports Washington. "I couldn't be happier for him."

The two teams have an incredible bromance with one another.

Throughout the Capitals' Stanley Cup run in 2018, Zimmerman and his Nationals teammate Max Scherzer were often seen in the stands showing support. When the Caps boarded a plane to Nashville ahead of the Nationals Game 5 clash with the Dodgers in the NLDS this past season, the whole Caps team sported Nats gear. The Capitals have a Nationals batting helmet in their locker room that's given to the de-facto player of the game. The list goes on and on.

By being in Washington, D.C. for the past 15-plus seasons, Ovechkin and Zimmerman have each been able to see the other grow both on and off the playing field. 

"I appreciate the entertainment for 15 years on and off the ice, I guess you could say," Zimmerman said. "You're talking about one of, if not the best goal scorer of all-time. So it's been fun to watch. He's just one of those guys who competes every day. He plays with passion and it's fun to watch him play."

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