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Rendon out again, this time with tight side

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Rendon out again, this time with tight side

ATLANTA — Anthony Rendon is out of Class AA Harrisburg’s lineup for the third straight day, this time after complaining of tightness in his side, according to Nationals manager Matt Williams.

Rendon, on a rehab assignment with the Senators while recovering from a sprained left knee, played five innings at third base on Friday, then seven innings at second base on Saturday before taking a scheduled day off Sunday. He was due to play at least seven innings at second base on Monday but was scratched from the lineup after having trouble with his knee during batting practice.

“It was a little chilly there, and he had a little issue getting loose with the knee,” Williams said Monday night. “So we just decided to be safe with that.”

The Nationals hoped Rendon would return to play Tuesday, but he reported to the ballpark with tightness in his side, so the club decided to give him another day off.

“We want to make sure we don’t mess with stuff like that,” Williams said. “I think he’s fine, it’s just a question at this point of not rushing him too fast.”

Williams said Rendon reported no issues Tuesday with his knee, which was feeling better. He has been out since early March with a sprained MCL. The Nationals hope he’ll be ready to play Wednesday, when Harrisburg hosts a matinee.

“We just made sure they’re treating him down there aggressively, doing some modality stuff,” Williams said. “So I think he’ll be good tomorrow.”

Even if this is only a minor setback, it will delay Rendon’s season debut at least a few days. The Nationals want him to play a full nine innings in the field at least once, possibly more than that, before activating him off the DL. It’s still possible he’ll join the club before the end of this weekend’s series in New York, but his debut could be pushed back to early next week in Washington.

MORE NATIONALS: Scherzer on track to return Friday vs. Harvey

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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.