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Nats' Rizzo on trading Storen: 'Wish him nothing but the best'

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Nats' Rizzo on trading Storen: 'Wish him nothing but the best'

The trade of Drew Storen to the Toronto Blue Jays late Friday night put an end to a tumultuous tenure in Washington for the former first round pick, a six-year run of promising highs and steep, franchise-changing lows.

At times he was a lockdown closer and the perfect option for managers to call in from the bullpen for a big, ninth-inning spot. Then there were his failings in the playoffs and down the stretch of 2015, and his twice losing of the closer job that made his future in Washington almost untenable.

Storen was popular among fans and a homegrown talent, but a change of scenery was probably for the best. On Saturday, GM Mike Rizzo looked back on Storen's Nationals career and wished him luck moving forward:

"Drew and I had a great conversation last night when I talked to him – late [Friday] night, by the way. He’s a guy who we drafted 10th in the country and brought to the big leagues fast. He really performed for us. I’ve got a great affinity for Drew. The one thing Drew and I can say honestly is that we’ve had some difficult conversations but we’ve had them eye-to-eye, man-to-man. This is a guy who really cared about the organization and really handled himself in a professional way every single time. I’m proud to say that he’s a product of the Washington Nationals scouting and player development system and performed admirably for us in the big leagues. Wish him nothing but the best in Toronto unless we play him then we want to beat him."

[RELATED: Nats' GM Rizzo issues a detailed defense of Papelbon]

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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.