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Not even the Nationals can slow down Giancarlo Stanton

Not even the Nationals can slow down Giancarlo Stanton

WASHINGTON -- Giancarlo Stanton hit his career-high and major league-leading 38th home run of the season and drove in three runs as the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Stanton crushed a first-pitch fastball from A.J. Cole (1-2) deep into the center-field stands in the fifth for a 4-1 lead following singles by Miguel Rojas and Dee Gordon.

Derek Dietrich also homered and drove in three runs for the Marlins, who scored seven runs on six hits. Gordon's RBI double and Dietrich's two-run single put Miami up 7-1 in the seventh.

Vance Worley (2-2) thwarted the Nationals for the second time in nine days. He allowed one run on six hits over six innings after holding Washington to two hits during seven shutout frames in Miami's 7-0 win on July 31.

Bryce Harper went hitless but drove in two runs for Washington. Miami, 53-58 overall, leads the season series with the NL East leaders 6-5.

Stanton's hit 37 home runs in 2012 and 2014. The slugger has 31 home runs all-time against Washington and his 18 at Nationals Park are the most by any visiting player.

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is second in homers this season with 35.

Worley and Cole faced off Wednesday in Miami with Cole surrendering five runs in five innings. He fared better in the rematch, but the result remained the same. Cole struck out three of the first five batters and held Miami without a hit for 3 2-3 innings until Dietrich's homer. The right-hander allowed four runs in five innings with five strikeouts.

Washington put two runners on in three of the opening five innings in the rematch, but couldn't deliver a big hit against Worley.

All-Star Ryan Zimmerman grounded into an inning-ending double play with two runners on in the fifth. The All-Star finished 0 for 4 and is batting .076 (2 for 27) since July 31.

Harper knocked in runs with a third-inning grounder and sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Adrian Sanchez had three hits including an RBI single off Dustin McGowan during Washington's two-run seventh inning, but he was doubled off first base following Ichiro Suzuki's sliding catch in left field. Brian Goodwin also had three hits.

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Nationals look to avoid sweep against Phillies on Sunday night

Nationals look to avoid sweep against Phillies on Sunday night

WASHINGTON -- Having already won their first series at Nationals Park since April 2016, the Philadelphia Phillies will go for the sweep of Washington on Sunday night.

Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta (4-6, 4.08 ERA) faces Nationals right-hander Jefry Rodriguez (0-0, 4.66).

Pivetta was drafted by the Nationals in 2013 and went to the Phillies in 2015 as part of the Jonathan Papelbon trade.

After struggling for three straight starts -- giving up 13 runs in 14 innings -- Pivetta allowed two runs and four hits in 7 1/3 innings of a no-decision against the St. Louis Cardinals last time out, striking out a career-high 13 batters.

"That's some of the best stuff I've seen him have all year," catcher Andrew Knapp told mlb.com. "The curveball was electric."

Pivetta got 11 swings and misses with the curveball.

"It was nice to have it back," Pivetta told mlb.com. "It all started with my delivery. I was staying up through it, not trying to rush too much and it worked out."

It his first start -- and second big-league appearance -- the 24-year-old Rodriguez picked up a win against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. He allowed five runs, four hits and three walks in five innings.

Rodriguez and Satuday's losing pitcher, Erick Fedde, are filling in for injured starters Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson.

The Phillies have outscored the Nationals 17-5 in the fist two games of the series. On Saturday, Maikel Franco had four hits and Carlos Santana homered to back Aaron Nola in a 5-3 victory.

"That was just a tremendous all-around baseball game," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Franco. "It's so interesting how we've been looking for him to be not just a hitter but a defender and a baserunner and an all-around athlete."

Franco drove in a run and scored twice, including the go-ahead run when he scored just ahead of the tag on Jesmuel Valentin's sacrifice fly.

The Phillies, who have won six of seven, pounded out double-digit hits for the second day in a row in Washington.

"They have a lot of patient hitters," Fedde said of the Phillies. "I think that's what makes it tough. Guys aren't swinging at bunch of junk, so you have to attack them."

The Phillies have now won four straight series for the first time since May 2016 and are 2-0 in what will be a stretch of 10 games against the Nationals and the New York Yankees.

Anthony Rendon homered and Daniel Murphy had a two-run single for Washington, which has lost three of four while scoring nine runs.

"Look, I've got all the confidence in the world we're going to start hitting," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "We'll start scoring some runs. Right now, the bullpen is a little beat up. We've got to get them going again."

Rendon is doing his part. In his las 15 games, he is batting .382 with seven doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs.

Hellickson (right groin strain) will make a rehab start Sunday for Class A Potomac and then is expected to rejoin the Nationals' rotation.

Hernandez said first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (right oblique strain) is about a week from beginning a rehab assignment.

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Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

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USA Today Sports

Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

It’s happening.

When the 2018 All-Star Weekend comes to Washington, D.C. in the middle of July, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will compete in the 2018 Home Run Derby, but only on one condition: He has to be a member of the 2018 National League All-Star Team.

Though Harper is having a down year, only hitting .213 thus far, he leads the NL in home runs with 19.

In the June 18 update of All-Star game voting, Harper sat second among all outfielders with just north of 1,000,000 votes.

That means he’s not only going to make the All-Star team, but he’ll likely start in the outfield.

Harper, a five-time All-Star, competed in the Home Run Derby once before. He was the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013, losing by just one long ball, 9-8.

The 2018 Home Run Derby will take place on July 16 at Nationals Park.

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