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Werth sidelined again with "cranky" shoulder

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Werth sidelined again with "cranky" shoulder

Jayson Werth was out of the Nationals’ lineup Wednesday for the second straight game, his surgically repaired right shoulder still “cranky,” according to Nationals manager Matt Williams.

Werth, who had surgery January 9 to repair the AC joint of his shoulder, missed all of spring training and made his regular season debut one week late. He had been a mainstay in the lineup since then, though, getting only two games off and then starting 11 consecutive games before he was sidelined Tuesday.

Williams described this as “part of the progression” for Werth, who now will get three straight days off, with the Nationals’ next scheduled game Friday night against the Braves.

“It’s going to be cranky from time to time,” Williams said. “You know, surgery five months ago, it’s part of the rehab process, you get through stuff like this over time. So it’s a little cranky. With the off-day tomorrow, this is an opportunity to let it calm down as much as possible.”

Werth, who eluded reporters in the clubhouse prior to Wednesday’s game, was available Tuesday only in an emergency. He did stand in the on-deck circle for a minute during the bottom of the seventh, but he apparently was serving only as a decoy, getting Marlins manager Mike Redmond to bring in a right-handed reliever and allowing Williams to then send up left-handed Clint Robinson to hit instead.

When the Nationals needed a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth, with the tying runner in scoring position, Werth was sitting on the bench. Tyler Moore wound up striking out to end a 2-1 loss to Miami.

Werth is off to a slow start this season, and surely the shoulder injury has played some role in that. He enters Wednesday hitting .176 and slugging .203 with only two extra-base hits in 19 games. He also has looked less than comfortable at times in left field.

“It’s something you go through when you’re coming back,” Williams said. “And at 35 years old, it’s a lot harder than when you’re 22 and younger. He’ll be ready to go Friday.”

RELATED: [Strasburg hopes chiropractor can fix shoulder]

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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.