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Zim starts throwing, Lidge has surgery

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Zim starts throwing, Lidge has surgery

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman began throwing and taking groundballs today for the first time since going on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, and the Nationals are hoping he'll be ready to return Sunday when he's eligible.

Brad Lidge, meanwhile, had surgery today in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia, a procedure that should sideline the veteran reliever about one month.

Zimmerman, who last played April 20, has remained with the club for the last week and today started participating in pregame fielding drills for the first time. He won't be cleared to start hitting until later in the week, but that won't necessarily keep the Nationals from activating him off the 15-day DL when he becomes eligible on Sunday.

"I'd activate him right away," manager Davey Johnson said with a laugh. "That'll be up to Zim, see how he's feeling. In talking to the doctors, I don't think it's going to be something that can be re-injured swinging. I think it's more hitting the ground. I think that's how he aggravated it. I'll wait til later in the week, talk to Zim and the doctors and see how it's going."

Lidge was placed on the 15-day DL Saturday, then flew to Philadelphia Sunday to be examined by a specialist. He had surgery this morning to repair the sports hernia. He'll be cleared to start throwing in three weeks, and he might not need much time on a rehab assignment since he won't need to build his arm up that much as a late-inning reliever.

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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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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.