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Zim to begin rehab games; updates on Rendon and Espinosa

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Zim to begin rehab games; updates on Rendon and Espinosa

Ryan Zimmerman will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Sunday with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators as he continues to work his way back from plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Zimmerman will appear with the Senators for the first time since he was a prospect in 2005. The Nationals first baseman has been on the disabled list since June 10.

CSN caught up with Zimmerman on Saturday and he explained how he will play through the injury for the rest of the season. He has a specially-made orthotic insole in his left cleat and said he is getting used to playing with it.

“I’ll play with [the orthotic] for the rest of the season. Those things nowadays are so advanced, it’s almost better than wearing a regular shoe because it’s made for your foot. If you’ve never had problems with your feet then you don’t really mess with them, but if you do it’s a pretty simple fix,” he said.

Zimmerman is batting .209 through 56 games this season.

Rendon checks in after first minor league rehab assignment game

Anthony Rendon was in the Nationals' clubhouse the day after completing his first minor league rehab assignment game with the Single-A Potomac Nationals. Rendon played third base and went 2-for-2 against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

"It’s only been three innings in but at the most part it feels fine right now. I had one ball to my left and felt good. I didn’t die and I’m here the next day so step in the right direction," he said.

Rendon said he feels like his rehab is going well and hopes to return soon from his latest injury, a strained left quadriceps muscle. He has appeared in only 18 games this season due to a host of ailments including a left MCL sprain and tightness in his oblique.

"If I knew what was causing it, I probably wouldn’t be getting injured especially this year. I feel like I haven’t changed my routine over the last couple years and I guess it’s just not my year health-wise," he said.

Espinosa feels fine day after with calf muscle cramps

Danny Espinosa is back in the lineup one day after leaving the Nats' loss to the Dodgers in the ninth inning with cramps in his calf muscles. Espinosa thinks the heat wave sweeping through Washington was a big factor, as he started feeling discomfort in the sixth inning.

"[The heat] caught me. I was cramping in the sixth inning. I had been cramping in the sixth inning. Even when I got the basehit I felt it when I was going down the line, it was tight. Then the following inning with the double off the wall, I went out for the double cut and kind of leaped for the ball and I felt it grab," he said.

Espinosa says he will try and stay hydrated in Sunday's game on an afternoon that could see the temperature eclipse 95 degrees.

"I'll probably take a couple of more IVs before the game to make sure I'm really, really hydrated," he said. "I'm not sore today or anything, I just needed more fluid. Fifteen innings in cleats didn't help either, it isn't easy on your calves and it isn't easy on anything else. I feel fine today."

Espinosa said not playing during the All-Star break could also have contributed to him cramping up.

"Could have. I don't know, never thought about that. It could have. Getting back in cleats, yeah. It could have been strain on the calf."

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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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.