The Nationals have promoted Anthony Rendon to Class AA Harrisburg, moving their top prospect up a level only one week after he returned from a major ankle injury.
Rendon, the sixth overall pick in last summer's draft, began his professional career at Class A Potomac but fractured his right ankle in his second game and missed the next 3 12 months.
The 22-year-old third baseman played in 13 rehab games in the rookie Gulf Coast League and at short-season Class A Auburn, then was activated off the disabled list and rejoin the roster at Potomac last week.
In only seven games with the P-Nats, he went 7-for-23 with a double, two triples and three walks, prompting the Nationals to bump him up a level to Class AA.
Rendon was widely considered the top amateur talent in the country prior to the 2011 draft, but his stock fell after an injury-plagued season at Rice University and he dropped to the Nationals' draft position at No. 6.
To fill the roster spot Rendon held at Potomac, the Nationals promoted fellow third baseman Matt Skole from low-Class A Hagerstown. The 23-year-old tore up the South Atlantic League this season, hitting .286 with 27 homers and 92 RBI in 101 games.
Stephen Strasburg matched his season-high with 11 strikeouts and Bryce Harper tied a career-high with five walks as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 Tuesday night.
Anthony Rendon drove in two runs for the Nationals (77-75), who entered Tuesday's game 7 games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves and 7 games back in the race for the final wild-card spot.
Strasburg (9-7) pitched six innings and allowed two runs and five hits with two walks. At one point, he struck out six consecutive batters.
Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 26 opportunities.
Peter O'Brien hit his third home run of the season and J.T. Realmuto had two hits and knocked in a run for the Marlins.
Adam Eaton and Trea Turner had consecutive RBI singles in the second inning to give the Nationals an early lead.
O'Brien's solo homer off Strasburg cut the Marlins' deficit to 2-1.
Rendon's sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 3-1, but Realmuto pulled Miami within 3-2 with a base hit in the fifth.
Rendon's single in the sixth pushed Washington's advantage to 4-2.
Sandy Alcantara pitched four innings for the Marlins and allowed six hits, six walks, and three runs.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.53 ERA) will begin a four-game series against the New York Mets on Thursday.
Marlins: RHP Jeff Brigham (0-2, 7.36) will take the mound on Thursday when Miami begins the final home series of the season, a four-game set against Cincinnati.
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The Nationals top minor league affiliate has been the Syracuse Chiefs since 2009 but the Nats brass knew that partnership would end following the 2018 season after the Mets purchased the Chiefs. So the Nats were left scrambling for a new Triple-A affiliate. The options were limited. In the end, the Nats were stuck with the Fresno Grizzlies.
“The Washington Nationals are excited to be partnering with the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League,” said President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo via a statement. “Fresno is committed to player development and we hope this partnership will continue to yield success for both clubs on the field and off.”
The Fresno Grizzlies will be Washington’s fourth Triple-A club after being affiliated with Syracuse (2009-18), Columbus (2007-08) and New Orleans (2005-06).
Nationals Park is 2,800 miles away from Chukchansi Park, the home of the Fresno Grizzlies. That type of travel is not ideal for a quick call-up to Washington. Don't expect Victor Robles or Carter Kieboom to spend much time in California.
The big winner of today's announcement... The Nationals Double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators.
Harrisburg in only 120 miles away from Nationals Park and it is not unpredecented for a prospect to skip Triple-A (Juan Soto did it this season).
The Senators play in the Eastern League, which ranges from Maine to Virginia. The majority of the Fresno Grizzlies games are played west of the Rockies.
The other Nationals minor league affiliates are the Potomac (Va.) Nationals (Advanced-A), Hagerstown (Md.) Suns (Class A), and Auburn (N.Y.) Doubledays (Class A Short Season).
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