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Trea Turner brings back the Nats, magic number down to five

Trea Turner brings back the Nats, magic number down to five

WASHINGTON -- Trea Turner capped Washington's three-run sixth inning with a two-run single, and the Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Thursday night for their fourth straight win.

Right after his single, Turner got caught in a jam, but proved that his baseball IQ is smarter than the average player.

Adam Lind had two hits and scored a run for Washington, and Michael A. Taylor contributed a terrific catch in center field. Tanner Roark (12-9) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Jorge Alfaro and Tommy Joseph homered for Philadelphia, and Odubel Herrera extended his hitting streak to 20 games, the longest in the majors this season.

The Phillies had a 3-1 lead when Lind led off the sixth with a single and advanced to third on a wild pitch and passed ball. He scored on a one-out double by Matt Wieters that chased Aaron Nola from the game.

Adam Morgan (3-2) came in and walked pinch hitter Howie Kendrick. After pinch hitter Rafael Bautista singled to load the bases, Turner sent a grounder up the middle to make it 4-3 Washington.

Philadelphia's Andres Blanco started the sixth with fly to center that might have cleared the fence, but Taylor made a leaping grab for the out.

Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle combined for three scoreless innings in relief, with Doolittle earning his 16th save since coming to Washington.

Nola was charged with three runs, two earned, and seven hits. He struck out eight and walked two.

Washington jumped in front in the second inning when Taylor reached on an error, stole second, and scored on Alejandro De Aza's single.

Alfaro led off the third with his second homer, and Philadelphia grabbed a 2-1 lead on Joseph's 21st of the season in the fourth. Joseph's drive just cleared the fence in left.

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

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USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

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