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Nats set franchise record in win over Braves

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Nats set franchise record in win over Braves

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It's far too soon to know whether Tuesday night's stunning comeback will be the turning point in the Nationals' season. But it's probably safe to say this: It certainly woke this team's bats up.

After pounding the shell-shocked Braves for 13 runs during that record-setting rally, the Nationals came right back out tonight and pounded out 13 more runs (establishing a new franchise record). They got hits from every member of the lineup except for Ian Desmond (who did draw a walk), got five RBI out of Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa and Dan Uggla and got a bases-clearing single from none other than Jordan Zimmermann in the top of the fourth to complete the impressive showing at the plate.

Zimmermann also churned out seven strong innings to give the Nationals' bullpen a much-needed rest, holding the Braves to three earned runs. And so a ballclub that after two innings Tuesday night appeared on the brink of complete disaster has now won two in a row, thanks to an offensive explosion, and heads to New York feeling a whole lot better about itself than it did 48 hours ago.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: This was going to go to Zimmermann, whose 3-run single helped break the game open. But how could we gloss over another big night for the Most Popular Man in Atlanta, Mr. Dan Uggla himself? OK, so he didn't quite duplicate his incredible performance from Tuesday, but he did draw a walk, drive in a run with a groundout and then drive in another run with a base hit to left. So Dan Uggla, who drove in 10 total runs for the Braves last season, drove in eight runs against Atlanta in this series. And was paid handsomely by the Braves to do it.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: Zimmermann still isn't quite in peak form. He's been quite hittable this season, allowing 32 base hits in 27 2/3 innings, and the Braves hit him fairly hard early in this game. But Zimmermann is getting better, and he got better over the course of tonight's outing. He gave up only one earned run on five hits over his final six innings, and he walked only one batter in the entire start. On this night, that was more than good enough for Zimmermann to become the first member of the Nationals' rotation to earn his second win of the season. (Which is a pretty crazy fact in and of itself.)

KEY STAT: Bryce Harper is now on pace to draw 155 walks this season. Only four players in MLB history have done that: Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire and Ted Williams.

UP NEXT: The final leg of this East Coast road trip takes the Nationals to New York, where the first-place Mets await for a big, 4-game series. Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 4.88) faces Jacob deGrom (2-2, 2.96) in Thursday's 7:10 p.m. opener at Citi Field.

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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.