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Nats look to take out Mets

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Nats look to take out Mets

It's another scorcher on South Capitol Street, with the temperature (as I type this at 3:30 p.m.) reading 101 degrees and the heat index a very comfortable 109. There are, however, some serious thunderstorms approaching from the west, and the grounds crew is already preparing the tarp to be rolled out over the infield.

As this is happening, Jayson Werth and Chad Tracy are taking batting practice, the first such round for Werth since he broke his left wrist on May 6. Tracy, meanwhile, is getting close to returning from his groin surgery.

As for tonight's game, it'll be Jordan Zimmermann making his second start of the second half of the season, looking to build off a fantastic outing in Miami on Friday. Chris Young gets the nod for the Mets, who have now lost five straight to fall seven games back in the NL East.

I'm back at the park tonight, so look for plenty of updates and analysis throughout...

NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 186
Weather: Thunderstorms, 95 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (52-36)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Michael Morse
LF Tyler Moore
SS Danny Espinosa
C Jesus Flores
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

METS (46-44)
SS Ruben Tejada
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
RF Lucas Duda
LF Jason Bay
CF Andres Torres
C Josh Thole
RHP Chris Young

UMPIRES
HP Mark Carlson
1B Chris Conroy
2B Tim Timmons
3B Angel Hernandez

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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.