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Nationals' chaotic day gets even wilder at Great American Ballpark

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Nationals' chaotic day gets even wilder at Great American Ballpark

The Washington Nationals had a chaotic day: They placed an ailing Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list with neck pain.

An hour later, the team announced that slugger Bryce Harper would be scratched from tonight's game against the Reds with lingering soreness after getting hit by a pitch yesterday. 

Things should have calmed down once play got underway at Great American Ballpark. Somehow, the opposite happened. 

It all started in the fifth inning when Cincinnati pitcher Raisel Iglesias beaned Gio Gonzalez in the hip area.

The following inning, rookie Michael Taylor hit a three-run homer to give Washington a 3-2 lead. Gonzalez stepped up to the plate next, only to get hit by Iglesias again. 

The ball struck Gonzalez in the upper left arm. While the plunking didn't appear intentional, the Nationals dugout was unhappy to see their lefty starter hit in the pitching arm. 

Gonzalez returned to the mound for the bottom of the sixth, but gave up a walk and two runs before manager Matt Williams replaced him with Blake Treinen. After the game, Williams said Gonzalez's struggled had nothing to do with the stinger. 

The seventh inning proved just as dramatic as the prior two when Yunel Escobar was called out on strikes. He began arguing with home plate umpire Andy Fletcher and got himself tossed. 

The Nationals went on to lose the game 8-5 after the Reds scored four runs off Casey Janssen in the eighth. 

So, to recap the events of May 30: Strasburg was placed on the DL, Harper was scratched, Gonzalez was hit by pitches twice, Escobar was ejected AND the Nats lost a series for first time in a month. 

The silver lining? Tomorrow brings Washington one more chance to salvage a win in Cincinnati. 

MORE NATIONALS: Harper scratched from tonight's game

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.