Nationals

Quick Links

Nationals tweak left side of bullpen

feliperivero060115.png

Nationals tweak left side of bullpen

The Nationals have recalled left-hander Felipe Rivero from Class AAA, optioning Matt Grace to Syracuse to address a bullpen that was overworked and ineffective during this weekend's sweep in Cincinnati.

Rivero made his major-league debut April 17 for the Nationals but had to be placed on the disabled list after only one appearance when it was discovered he had gastrointestinal bleeding. Once that serious condition was treated, the 23-year-old was optioned to Syracuse, where he made five appearances, allowing two runs in four innings of work.

The Nationals needed a fresh arm in their bullpen after a rough weekend against the Reds in which the relief corps collectively gave up 14 runs on 19 hits and six walks over 11 2/3 innings. Grace was among the biggest culprits, allowing four runs without retiring a batter during Sunday's loss.

Grace impressed upon making his MLB debut, taking the roster spot that opened when Rivero went on the DL, with eight consecutive scoreless appearances to begin his career. He had labored more recently, though, retiring only two of the last 11 batters he faced.

The Nationals made another minor transaction Monday, acquiring right-hander P.J. Walters from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations. Walters, 30, has spent time with five different organizations over the last three years and posted a 4.70 ERA in four starts with Class AAA Oklahoma City this season. He'll report to Syracuse and likely join the Chiefs' rotation.

[MORE NATIONALS: THE NATS HAVE A ROUGH WEEKEND IN CINCINNATI]

Quick Links

Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

usatsi_11087562.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

St. Louis has won a season-high eight straight. The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30.

Gomber (3-0), in his fourth start of the year, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by interim manager Mike Shildt.

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after colliding with Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Bryce Harper in the fourth.

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decision, Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.

Quick Links

Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson exits game after collision

usatsi_11087111.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson exits game after collision

Washington Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was removed from Wednesday night's game in St. Louis in the fifth inning after colliding with Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader at the plate.

Hellickson was covering home after a wild pitch. He stumbled over Bader as Bader slid home safely.

Hellickson was charged with three runs, two earned, on three hits in his 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.