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Puig's 5 RBIs help Greinke and Dodgers beat Nationals 5-0

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Puig's 5 RBIs help Greinke and Dodgers beat Nationals 5-0

LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig drove in a career high-tying five runs with a homer and a triple, Zack Greinke pitched six sharp innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 5-0 Tuesday night to snap a season-worst four-game skid.

Greinke (12-2) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked four to remain unbeaten in his last 10 starts, going 7-0 in that span. He lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.65.

Puig homered into the left-field pavilion in the fourth to score Andre Ethier, whose leadoff triple stood up after the Dodgers challenged the call. Replays showed third baseman Yunel Escobar didn't tag Ethier's leg before he reached the bag.

Puig struggled Monday in the Dodgers' 8-3 loss in the series opener, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. In his first at-bat against rookie Joe Ross, he flied out to center with two runners on in the second.

Puig extended the lead to 5-0 in the fifth with a bases-loaded triple that right fielder Clint Robinson misplayed. It scored Jimmy Rollins and Alberto Callaspo, who reached on singles, and Yasmani Grandal, who walked. That chased Ross (3-4), who gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out one.

It was Puig's second five-RBI game, equaling his performance on June 14, 2013, in his second major league game.

Greinke bounced back from a struggle in his last start at Philadelphia, where he allowed five runs before retiring a batter but eventually earned the victory.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: OF Bryce Harper was held out of the lineup with a sore left knee. He hurt it while making a sliding catch Monday and it swelled up overnight, limiting his mobility.

Dodgers: RHP Joel Peralta went on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, with a right neck sprain. He has appeared in 25 games this season, going 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA and three saves. "I can't finish my pitches and the release point is an issue," Peralta said. "I haven't been able to command the fastball and the split-finger." ... INF Justin Turner, on the 15-day DL with a skin infection on his right thigh, returned to Los Angeles from Arizona, where he took live batting practice. The team hopes he will be back in the lineup by this weekend.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-7, 3.44 ERA) was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 2013 and 2014 at Dodger Stadium. He never allowed more than two earned runs and pitched into at least the seventh inning every time.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.51) had his 37-inning scoreless streak snapped in the first inning of his last start against Pittsburgh. He is 8-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 12 career games against the Nationals.

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How to entice Bryce Harper in to re-signing with the Nationals? With food, of course!

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AP Images

How to entice Bryce Harper in to re-signing with the Nationals? With food, of course!

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… and if that leads us to Bryce Harper’s potential landing spot, then I present to you the yummiest reasons he should stay with the Washington Nationals.

In a video from TMZ, a paparazzi follows Harper to baggage claim and implores him for any hints toward where he is signing this offseason. The only true answer he got was that Harper likes a place called Steak 48 in Chicago. This surf-and-turf hot spot in the River North neighborhood of downtown Chicago has the audacity to serve “Maryland STYLE lump crab cakes.” Really, Bryce? Will the real thing convince you?!

On that note, let’s start off with the seafood we have to offer. This is the Mid-Atlantic, after all.

How can you work here April-September without eating local crabs in some form? I think that’s impossible. You can choose from hard shell or soft shell, but no shame in either game.

Live Chesapeake blue crabs can be bought at Captain White’s Seafood and other vendors on The Wharf off Maine Avenue. Otherwise, you can sit down and have them steamed for you at Quarterdeck, Ivy City Smokehouse, Bethesda Crab House or Captain Pell’s.

If Harper is more of a soft shell guy, all of those places also serve out-of-the-park crab cakes, but you can’t go wrong with Hank’s Oyster Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill, Chris’ Marketplace, or Clyde’s.

If the star really wants to dive in to local taste, he should eat Chesapeake Bay oysters from the largest estuary in America. My personal favorite selection is at Whaley’s (seafood tower on me, Bryce), but Rapphanock Oyster Bar, The Dabney, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black’s Bar & Kitchen can’t be beat.

I find it hard to believe the team hasn't had an outing at The Salt Line, the lively seafood spot just a short throw from Nats Park where teammate Ryan Zimmerman is an investor and co-owner.

Now that we’ve satisfied Harper’s iron intake, let’s break down his protein. In order to keep the superstar here, I want to make sure he knows that D.C. cares about providing a well-rounded diet.

Barbecued meats in general around here are delectable. Sitting in juxtaposition between the north and south, D.C. restaurants bring a mash-up of styles of smoked and sauced meats. Favorites are Federalist Pig, Hill Country, Fat Pete’s and Hardy’s BBQ truck.

However, if Bryce Harper show he’s as invested in authentic Nationals fans as our season tickets are in him, he should really pick up a half-smoke, the district’s original recipe for a spicy, thicker pork and beef dog that’s aggressively seasoned and sometimes served with chili sauce.

Could you imagine Harper making his announcement to stay over a half-smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl? I think even the panda statue would cry tears of joy.

Another hyper-local taste is mumbo sauce. While proven not originally from here, D.C. natives are enthusiastic about the special sauce. Yum’s is pretty well-known for carrying it.

Time for dessert! I think we can all agree that in the past 10 years, cupcakes have become iconic in the district with Georgetown Cupcakes, Baked & Wired and Sprinkles all having a home in Georgetown. To settle the debate, Baked & Wired is best. They are ranked #1 on Yelp if you don’t believe my own palette.

But what if it’s game night, you ask? D.C. has it’s hearty share of restaurants that are open even after extra innings. The Diner, Kramerbooks, Mandu, New Big Wong, Old Ebbitt Grill, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Amsterdam Falafelshop and Jumbo Slice are all here to keep you warm at night no matter what you’re craving post-victory. Need I go on?

Bryce reassured Nats fans and TMZ that he is “still a National right now.” Better eat these while you can, Bryce, or you’ll be sorry you didn't sign in one of the best food cities in the MLB.

Do you have any local food or restaurants you think will convince Bryce Harper to stay with the Washington Nationals this offseason? Send them to @NBCNationals or @rmhopmayer. Maybe we can throw together a friends-giving or holiday dinner for those that want him to stay our beloved Guest of Honor.

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Here's why one writer voted for Max Scherzer over Jacob deGrom for NL Cy Young

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USA Today

Here's why one writer voted for Max Scherzer over Jacob deGrom for NL Cy Young

Jacob deGrom could've been a unanimous Cy Young award winner Wednesday. Instead, he won with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

The only voter who chose not to give deGrom a first-place vote was John Maffei of the San Deigo Union-Tribune

"What is stunning to me is the blowback from the fans, especially in New York," wrote Maffei. "Dozens of emails — some venomous — ranging from 'hey dumbass,' 'incompetent,' 'idiot,' 'moron' and 'clown.' Several called for my head, my job."

Shocking. Keyboard warriors furiously typing out their frustration and overreacting to something they didn't like.  

Maffei joined Steve Somers of WFAN in New York as well, which ended up being the shortest interview in the history of interviews.

Maffei points out that he chose to vote for Scherzer over deGrom for many reasons. One being, despite a 1.70 ERA over 217 innings, he had 10 wins and nine losses.

After he talked with other baseball experts, looked at Scherzer's 2.53 ERA and his historic 300-strikeout season — making him one of only 17 pitchers to do that since 1900 — Maffei says his vote was swayed in the direction of the Nats' ace.

One thing's for sure, Maffei may not have made any friends in New York, but he's made plenty of new ones in Washington.