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Rizzo fined by MLB for comments

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Rizzo fined by MLB for comments

PITTSBURGH -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has been fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for comments he made about Cole Hamels after the Phillies left-hander admitted he hit rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch on purpose.

Because no suspension was involved, MLB did not publicly announce Rizzo's fine, but a source close to the GM confirmed the punishment.

After plunking Harper with a first-pitch fastball Sunday night, Hamels told reporters: "I was trying to hit him, I'm not going to deny it," and referred to his actions as "old-school."

On Monday, Rizzo fired back at Hamels, telling the Washington Post that he'd "never seen a more classless, gutless chicken bleep act in my 30 years in baseball" and referring to the 28-year-old lefty as "fake tough."

MLB wound up suspended Hamels five games on Monday, and then today fined Rizzo for his words.

Asked today if he felt the Hamels punishment was sufficient, Rizzo replied: "I think I've said probably enough about Cole Hamels. I'm going to stand by my statement and just move from there."

This isn't the first time Rizzo has been punished by the commissioner's office. He also was fined last year after arguing with umpires following a game in New York.

Harper, who has impressed the baseball world with his maturity in the wake of the beaning, wouldn't say much about the Hamels suspension but stood up for his GM.

"Rizzo's always going to have every single guy on this team's back," the 19-year-old said. "Rizzo's a great guy, great GM and he does a lot of things for this organization. It's just really impressive that he's that kind of guy toward every single guy on our club and he's got our back on everything that happens. It's great to have."

Nationals manager Davey Johnson seemed more surprised by the fact Hamels admitted the plunking as opposed to the purpose pitch itself.

"Hamels making those comments, that's kind of a rare thing to ever happen," Johnson said. "That was the most surprising thing. But there have been a lot of things that have changed over the years. I mean, guys get hit in the leg and charge the mound. That part of the game has changed considerably. I think it's all about prevention of injuries and whatever. And the game used to be policed more in-house. Now we have rules and umpires are trying to control the game more than the players. We used to handle it in-house."

Asked if the meaning of "old-school" has changed since he played, Johnson replied: "No doubt about it. Old-school, there was never any comment."

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Nats prospect update: Three minor-leaguers sent to Kansas City for Kelvin Herrera

Nats prospect update: Three minor-leaguers sent to Kansas City for Kelvin Herrera

The biggest story in Nationals prospects this week is the three Washington lost to the Royals in return for closer Kelvin Herrera. Here’s a look at what the Nationals gave up to add more depth to the bullpen.

Kelvin Gutierrez, AA 3B

The infielder, formerly on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, has posted a .285/.344/.388 line through his six-season minor league tenure. One of his greatest strengths is his speed, with 55 career stolen bases and 14 extra-base hits this season. His other notable tool is his powerful arm strength, which may help explain his transition from shortstop to the hot corner.

Blake Perkins, High A OF

The Nationals chose outfielder Blake Perkins in the second round of the 2015 draft. He has quite a bit of room to improve at the plate, batting .234/.344/.290 this season in Hagerstown. However, what he lacks offensively, he makes up for in the outfield. According to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser, Perkins has “plus speed, mature instincts, excellent routes and an above-average arm.”

Yohanse Morel, RHP

The biggest wild card of the group, Morel is a 17-year-old outfielder-turned-pitcher from the Dominican Republic. His fastball reaches 95 mph and he certainly has huge potential for growth. He has not yet pitched in the U.S. since making his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in early June.

So, what did the Nationals gain?

Right-handed closer Kelvin Herrera is a two-time All-Star who is currently in the midst of a stellar season. In his Nats debut, he needed just six pitches to shut down the Orioles in the eight. The team is reportedly (and understandably) thrilled to have Herrera joining the roster. Adam Eaton said, "I'm so happy he's here and he's on my team and I don't have to face him anytime in the near future."

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Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

WASHINGTON -- The rain was heavy and relentless. As the puddles grew deeper on the tarp at Nationals Park, the Baltimore Orioles were left to wonder if their bid for a rare road victory would be thwarted by, of all things, the weather.

During a season in which very little has worked in their favor, the Orioles withstood a long rain delay to beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.

Baltimore led 2-0 after four innings when play was stopped. After a wait of 2 hours, 43 minutes, the game resumed with a few hundred fans from the announced crowd of 32,153 sprinkled around the lower seating bowl.

Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, and Andrew Cashner and four relievers combined on a five-hitter in a game that ended long after midnight.

"It was nice," Trumbo said. "I'm glad that we actually kept the game going. Had we not been able to, it might have been a wash. But it ended up being pretty big for us."

Baltimore ended a six-game losing streak to Washington that began last May, won for only the fourth time in 20 games and improved the majors' worst road record to 10-28.

This one was worth the wait.

"It's never easy, especially when you get over the hour mark, two-hour mark," Trumbo said. "Then you have to restart. It's almost two games in one, so, great job by our guys tonight."

The Nationals managed only two hits following the delay, both in the ninth inning.

"It happens. You can't do anything about the rain," manager Dave Martinez said. "You've got to come out and get yourself ready to play. I'm not going to make any excuses."

The rain delay cut short a solid pitching performance by Cashner, who allowed three hits and no walks over four innings in his return from an 11-day stay on the disabled list with back spasms.

Miguel Castro (2-2) followed with two hitless innings, Darren O'Day pitched a perfect seventh and Zach Britton got four outs.

Brad Brach allowed the Nationals to load the bases with two outs in the ninth before striking out Mark Reynolds .

Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Gio Gonzalez (6-4), and for a while it appeared the drive would be washed out by the rain.

"One pitch. That was the whole game," Gonzalez lamented. "That was it."

Indeed, it all ended well for the Orioles, who added a run in the sixth when Adam Jones doubled off Shawn Kelley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia .

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