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Nats' reliever Casey Janssen ready for big step in rehab

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Nats' reliever Casey Janssen ready for big step in rehab

Reliever Casey Janssen made an appearance at Nationals Park on Wednesday as he trained with teammates in anticipation of his first minor league rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac the following night.

The right-hander has been recovering from right shoulder tendinitis, progressing through a throwing program in Viera, Fla. He is now ready for the next step as he works his way towards making his delayed Nationals debut.

Janssen said he still needs to work on a few things before he will be ready to pitch for the Nats.

"[My stuff] is not major league ready, which is annoying for me, but I’m getting there. It’s good to compete, good to get out there and face hitters and stuff like that. But still need my velocity to pick up a couple ticks and just get things a little bit more sharp with the breaking stuff. But come up here, get a few more outings in and see where I’m at.”

Manager Matt Williams believes the velocity will come back soon.

"I don’t think we’re concerned about it. That’s part of the progression. Once you had an issue and get shut down a while, you have to build strength and that strength comes from competitive innings," he said.

Janssen said he feels much like he usually does when games begin in spring training. He knows he is close, but is trying to stay patient while he finishes his recovery.

“It’s frustrating when you’ve worked the whole offseason to have a healthy spring training and to have a healthy season. I definitely didn’t draw it up to make it look like this," he said. "So that’s disappointing. It’s disappointing to not be here helping. But you’ve just got to deal with it, get through it, get back as fast as you can and try to help this team win some games.”

Janssen expects to throw one inning on Thursday for the Potomac Nationals and from there take several days off before pitching again. He needs to get to the point where he can pitch on back-to-back days.

That is all a matter of building strength, as Janssen believes the discomfort in his shoulder has subsided to the point where it will not return and crop up later in the year.

“I think it’s gone. I guess you never know. But I do think it was one of the those things that once you got past a certain stage in it, I think it just becomes something you’ve done your whole life. By no means do I need to be 100 percent pain-free everywhere. We’ve learned to pitch with a little bit of something. But at that point in spring training, I knew it was something that would be tough to get through for a season.”

Janssen signed with the Nationals on Feb. 2 after eight years with the Toronto Blue Jays. He holds a 3.52 ERA in 389 career appearances.

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Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

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USA Today

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

ATLANTA—Anibal Sanchez outpitched Mike Soroka and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Matt Adams homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Saturday night.

Second-place Washington pulled within 5 games of the NL East-leading Braves, improving to 33-14 since May 24, best in the majors over that span. Atlanta has dropped four of five.

Sanchez (6-6) got a big assist in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Trea Turner turned a bases-loaded double play, leaping to nab Nick Markakis' liner and throwing to first to beat Josh Donaldson back to the bag.

Soroka (10-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He had won 10 straight decisions, best by an Atlanta pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux had a 10-decision streak in 2001.

Sean Doolittle got the last five outs, facing the minimum, for his 21st save in 25 chances. He struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. with a runner at second to end the eighth and breezed through the ninth.

Washington went up 4-1 in the fifth when Sanchez reached on an infield single to third, took second on Donaldson's throwing error and scored on Turner's double. Turner took third on Adam Eaton's single and scored on Anthony Rendon's single. Eaton scored on Juan Soto's single.

The Nationals took a 5-3 lead in the eighth off A.J. Minter as Turner singled, stole second and scored on Eaton's single.

Adams went deep for the 15th time, an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center and into the stands to tie it at 1-all in the fourth.

Sanchez, who pitched for the Braves last year and helped them win the division, allowed three runs and six hits and has a 2.70 ERA in his last nine starts.

Atlanta led 1-0 in the first when Acuna reached on an infield single, stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on Freddie Freeman's single.

Brian McCann's ninth homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, chased Sanchez and cut the lead to 4-3.

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NBC Sports Washington's Michael Stearman contributed to this Associated Press story.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Sean Doolittle seals the deal in victory over Atlanta Braves

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Sean Doolittle seals the deal in victory over Atlanta Braves

Check out the latest news and notes surrounding the Washington Nationals.

Player Notes: 

SS Trea Turner went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI as the Nationals topped the Braves 5-3 on Saturday evening. Turner delivered a go-ahead RBI double off of Mike Soroka in the fifth inning, giving the Nationals a lead they wouldn't relinquish. He also swiped his 20th base of the season in the contest.

1B Matt Adams slugged his 15th home run of the season on Saturday, helping to propel the Nationals to victory over the Braves. For the season, Adams is hitting .235/.273/.519 with the aforementioned 15 homers and 40 RBI.

RP Sean Doolittle recorded the final five outs against the Braves on Saturday night, preserving a two-run advantage to earn his 21st save of the season. The left-hander came on with a man on and a man out in the eighth inning, with the Nationals clinging to a one-run lead. Doolittle retired Charlie Culberson and Ronald Acuna without issue, then stuck around to work a perfect ninth inning as well to seal the deal. 

SP Anibal Sanchez picked up his sixth victory of the season on Saturday night, limiting the Braves to three runs on six hits over his five-plus frames. The veteran right-hander struck out four and walked three on the night. Sanchez allowed an RBI single to Freddie Freeman in the opening inning, then kept the Braves off the board until Brian McCann tagged him for a two-run blast in the sixth, chasing him from the game. Sanchez is now 6-6 on the season. 

Injuries: 

SP Max Scherzer: Back, late July

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, out mid-July 

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

Coming Up:

Sunday 7/21:  Nationals at Braves, 7:08 p.m., SunTrust Park

Monday 7/22:  Nationals vs Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Tuesday 7/23:  Nationals vs Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Source: Rotoworld

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