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Two of D.C.'s brightest stars show their support for U.S. women's soccer team

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Two of D.C.'s brightest stars show their support for U.S. women's soccer team

BY PETER HAILEY

The US Women's soccer team will take the field tonight against Nigeria with a chance to win their group as the World Cup's opening stage is coming to a close.

So far, the Americans beat Australia 3-1 and registered a scoreless tie against Sweden. They're not at risk of being eliminated, but a win would put them in the best position to succeed in the future rounds. It's an important match, and many fans will be anxiously waiting the result -- including Robert Griffin III and Bryce Harper.

The Redskins quarterback and Nationals outfielder both recently took to social media to declare their love for their country and show their support for Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and co. A few days ago, Griffin sent out this picture on Twitter, in which he's sporting a sweet custom jersey:

The "Reese's Dad" uniform is of course in reference to Griffin's new baby daughter, who was born on May 22nd. It also seems that he decided to keep the number he wears on Sundays the same as the number he puts on his personally customized jerseys. Smart move.

And as was covered last week, Harper posted a snapshot on Instagram of him in a Leroux jersey, where he wished the team luck before their first game, saying "Bring it home ladies!" It's easy to see why Harper picked Leroux's jersey as the one he wants to wear: she's one of the team's more aggressive players, a quality that Harper has as well.

Unfortunately for Bryce, he'll be playing against the Rays when kick off happens at 8 p.m. As for Griffin, he had OTA's earlier today, but he should have made it home in time for the start of the match -- even if Beltway traffic was horrendous.

UPDATE, 10:13 P.M. : Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall joined Griffin and Harper on the USWNT bandwagon, as he tweeted this picture of him after the game, which the U.S. won 1-0:

The jersey Hall is wearing belongs to Ali Krieger, who, like Hall, is in the business of preventing opponents from scoring; she's a defender for Jillian Ellis' American squad.

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Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

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USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals announce the addition of a bullpen cart

Sean Doolittle has gotten his wish - the Washington Nationals will now have a bullpen cart for the remainder of the 2018 season. 

In a release on Thursday, the Nationals announced that they will unveil a the WGL Energy Bullpen Cart on their upcoming Friday night game against the Miami Marlins. The cart will be at all remaining home games at Nationals Park.

Both the Nationals’ pitchers and opponents will be able to utilize the cart to enter a game as a reliever. The cart will transport the relief pitcher from the bullpen to their dugout instead of the traditional long trout out to the mound. 

Players are not required to use the vehicle if they do not want to. 

Earlier this season, Doolittle was the first National ever to use the bullpen cart at Chase Field, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Afterward, he noted that although he had less time, he was not out of breath and “loved it.”

In addition to the Diamondbacks and the Detroit Tigers, the Nationals are the third active team to have a bullpen cart. Per the release, this is the first season that the bullpen cart has been used in MLB since 1995.

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Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

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USA Today Sports Images

Ozuna homers, Cardinals beat Nationals for 8th straight win

Marcell Ozuna homered and Austin Gomber tossed six shutout innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

St. Louis has won a season-high eight straight. The Cardinals, who are 18-9 since the All-Star break, captured their sixth successive series after taking the first three of the four-game set.

Daniel Murphy homered in the ninth for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of nine to fall below .500 and nine games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The current skid began with a loss to the Cubs on a two-out, walk-off grand slam.

Ozuna homered in the second inning, his 14th of the season and his first since July 30.

Gomber (3-0), in his fourth start of the year, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four.

Bud Norris pitched the ninth to pick up his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina added run-scoring hits for St. Louis, which improved to 19-9 since Mike Matheny was fired and replaced by interim manager Mike Shildt.

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a walk in the fifth. It's the longest current streak in the majors. Carpenter left the game in the seventh after he was hit on the hand by a pitch from Matt Grace, but X-rays were negative.

Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) left in the fifth inning after colliding with Bader on a play at the plate following a wild pitch. Hellickson gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Bader, who had three hits, also made a diving catch of a liner off the bat of Bryce Harper in the fourth.

The Cardinals, who have an NL-best 12-2 mark in August, remain one game behind Philadelphia for the second wild card spot. They are four games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg threw a simulated game on Wednesday. He threw around 70 pitches and could be ready to return early next week, manager Dave Martinez said.

Cardinals: LHP Brett Cecil was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. Cecil, who had been sidelined with inflammation in his right foot, pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances with Triple-A Memphis. LHP Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis.

UP NEXT

RHP Tanner Roark (7-12, 4.12) will face RHP Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Roark has won his last four decision, Weaver is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in nine career games against NL East foes.