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Tanner Roark, Daniel Murphy lead Nationals to dominant game-one win over Cubs

Tanner Roark, Daniel Murphy lead Nationals to dominant game-one win over Cubs

CHICAGO -- Daniel Murphy hit two home runs to back Tanner Roark, and the Washington Nationals won the opener of a series between division leaders by beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on a chilly Friday afternoon.

With the game-time temperature at 63, Murphy hit a two-run homer in the first and connected off Kyle Hendricks leading off the sixth for a 3-0 lead.

Roark (9-7) didn't allow a run until Javier Baez chased him with a two-run homer with one out in the seventh. Roark allowed five hits while improving to 3-1 in his past four starts.

Hendricks (4-4) gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings. Chicago has lost three straight after winning 14 of 17 following the All-Star break.

Murphy hit a two-run drive halfway up the bleachers in right-center in the first, then went the opposite way in the sixth, driving his 19th home run to left-center. That gave him two multi-homer games this season and five in his career.

After Baez cut the lead to one in the seventh with his 15th home run, Brian Kintzler got the final two outs of the inning.

Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly against Carl Edwards Jr. in the eighth.

Ryan Madson worked the bottom half, and Sean Doolittle finished for his fifth save in as many chances since he was acquired from Oakland on July 16. He gave up a leadoff single to Jason Heyward before striking out Baez and getting Ian Happ to ground into a double play.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: Two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez will miss their scheduled starts this weekend. Manager Dusty Baker decided to give Scherzer at least an extra day rather than have him pitch Sunday after the right-hander exited Tuesday's game against Florida because of neck spasms. Gonzalez won't pitch Saturday with his wife expects to give birth to their second child within the next few days. ... Baker said RHP Stephen Strasburg (elbow) is getting better, but Baker did not say when he will make his next start. ... The Nationals placed LHP Enny Romero on the 10-daydDL on Friday because of forearm tightness.

Cubs: SS Addison Russell was placed on the 10-day DL on Friday because of a strained right foot. The Cubs recalled LHP Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa.

UP NEXT

Cubs RHP John Lackey (8-9, 4.87 ERA) looks to improve to 4-0 since the All-Star break when he starts Saturday, while RHP Edwin Jackson (2-1, 2.84) gets the ball for Washington in Gonzalez's place.

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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.