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Updated: Nats' Escobar injures neck in loss to Brewers

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Updated: Nats' Escobar injures neck in loss to Brewers

[Updated: 11:25 p.m.]

Yunel Escobar was forced to leave Friday night's loss to the Brewers in the top of the first inning after the Nationals third baseman collided with both the railing and a fan seated down the left-field line trying to chase a foul popup.

The injury was diagnosed as a hyper-extended neck, according to Matt Williams. Escobar is considered day-to-day.

"He ran into a fan trying to catch that ball. As he went to reach for it, he kinda leaned over with his upper body," Wiliams explained. "The fence caught him at the waste and hyperextended his neck a little bit. So he’s a little sore. We’ll see how he istomorrow. For now, he’s day to day."

Escobar ran about 75 feet in search of Ryan Braun's popup behind third base, missing an over-the-shoulder catch by a few inches before slamming into the short wall along the warning track. He also slammed face first into a fan seated in the first row behind the wall, knocking the man to the ground and leaving Escobar dazed.

Williams and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz emerged from the Nationals' dugout to check on Escobar, who after being examined slowly walked off the field and back down the dugout steps.

Anthony Rendon shifted from second base to third base in Escobar's absence, while Danny Espinosa came off the bench to take over at second base. Top prospect Trea Turner, just called up from Class AAA Syracuse earlier in the day, was left as the club's lone backup infielder.

That forced Williams to get creative and in the bottom of the fifth he called on starting pitcher Max Scherzer to pinch-hit.

"We’re short anyway. Anytime your short and you lose that guy early, you’re a man down at that point. It’s easier if your starter goes long and he’s deep into a game but that didn’t happen tonight. We got through it though. We had enough guys," Williams said.

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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.