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Nats try to make history tonight in San Diego

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Nats try to make history tonight in San Diego

The last time Edwin Jackson took the mound for the Nationals ... well, he gave up five times as many runs in the top of the first as the last four members of the rotation have given up in total. Think about that. Jackson gave up five runs in that disastrous first inning against the Astros, then Ross Detwiler, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann collectively gave up one run the next four games.

Jackson certainly doesn't want to be perceived as the weak link in the majors' best rotation, so you've got to believe he's motivated to come out tonight and show the Padres who's boss. San Diego sends right-hander Edinson Volquez, the former Reds ace, to the hill. He'll face a Nationals lineup that once again is without Ryan Zimmerman and will feature Chad Tracy at third base and in the No. 3 hole.

A victory tonight for the Nationals would be historic: No D.C. baseball club has ever opened a season 15-4. They have a chance to do just that and sweep the Padres in the process. Enjoy the game and the late-night conversation...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at SAN DIEGO PADRES
Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 10:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WNEW (1580 AM), XM 184
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (14-4)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Chad Tracy
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
CF Rick Ankiel
LF Xavier Nady
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Edwin Jackson

PADRES (5-14)
RF Will Venable
LF Chris Denorfia
3B Chase Headley
C Nick Hundley
1B Yonder Alonso
2B Orlando Hudson
CF Cameron Maybin
SS Jason Bartlett
RHP Edinson Volquez

UMPIRES
HP Scott Barry, 1B Gary Darling (cc), 2B Lance Barrett, 3B Paul Emmel

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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.