Harper earns All-Star start with most NL votes

Nats outfielder headed to third Midsummer Classic, weighing Derby participation

Harper earns All-Star start with most NL votes

WASHINGTON -- After dominating the headlines in the first half of the 2015 season, Bryce Harper is taking his show to one of baseball's grandest stages. Harper has been voted into the 2015 All-Star Game as a starter by the fans, marking his third All-Star appearance and his second as a starter. He garnered more votes (13,864,950) than any other National League player.

• Tune in to the Esurance All-Star Selection Show tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramos' homer sends Nats to sweep of Giants

Ramos' homer sends Nats to sweep of Giants

WASHINGTON -- Off the bat, Wilson Ramos thought he caught all of his sixth-inning solo home run. After seeing a replay of the shot -- his eighth of the year -- the Nationals catcher realized the ball barely found the right-center-field seats. Either way, the home run proved the difference in Washington's 3-1 win over San Francisco on Sunday, which completed a three-game sweep of the World Series champions.

"Next time I hit it," Ramos said, "I need to hit it harder and run a little bit more hard."

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NL ASG starters' highlight-reel plays

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NL ASG starters' highlight-reel plays

If you thought July 4 was full of fireworks, just wait until July 14 in Cincinnati when baseball's biggest stars converge on Great American Ball Park for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. 

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Strasburg placed on DL with strained oblique

Reliever Jordan recalled from Triple-A; Roark headed back to rotation

Strasburg placed on DL with strained oblique

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals placed Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique and recalled right-hander Taylor Jordan from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.

Strasburg had an MRI early Sunday and the results revealed the injury.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats look to avenge earlier sweep by Reds

Nats look to avenge earlier sweep by Reds

The Washington Nationals, owners of a 46-36 record and a 4 1/2-game cushion at the top of the National League East, have been swept twice in three-game series this season.

The first winless series came in late April against the Marlins. The second came at the end of May in Cincinnati and started a 3-11 tumble, one of the worst stretches of baseball for the Nationals this season.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats' bats provide Fourth of July fireworks

Nats' bats provide Fourth of July fireworks

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals displayed their own set of fireworks in the batter's box and defeated the Giants, 9-3, in Saturday's Independence Day matinee at Nationals Park.

Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner was on the mound when the Nationals scored three runs in the first inning on homers by Michael Taylor and Bryce Harper. By the time Bumgarner left the game, he had allowed six runs over five-plus innings.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper, Moore pace July 4 offensive onslaught

Harper, Moore pace July 4 offensive onslaught

WASHINGTON -- Fourth of July fireworks are usually reserved for after the sky gets dark and the grills go cold. But on Saturday in the nation's capital on its 239th birthday, the Nationals shot a few off early.

The Nats smacked four hits and two home runs in the first inning off San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner and never looked back, pummeling the Giants 9-3 at Nationals Park.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roark is there to pick up the Nationals again

Roark is there to pick up the Nationals again

WASHINGTON -- Once he saw manager Matt Williams and assistant athletic trainer Steve Gober go to the mound to check on Stephen Strasburg during Saturday's 9-3 victory over the Giants, Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark had a feeling he would enter the game.

Roark entered the game with two outs in the fourth inning. After warming up for about 10 minutes, Roark was solid, pitching 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out three batters and picking up his fourth victory of the season.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Span serves coffee to raise funds for his foundation

Span serves coffee to raise funds for his foundation

WASHINGTON -- Hours before Denard Span extended his on-base streak to 23 games with a leadoff single on Friday night, the Nationals' center fielder padded his resume for a potential career after baseball.

If Span chooses to become a barista after his playing days are over, it would surely turn more than a few heads. But on Friday morning, the eight-year veteran spent the better part of an hour behind the counter of a Peet's Coffee in D.C., in a fundraising effort for the Denard Span Foundation.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gio outpitches Peavy with help from homer

Gio outpitches Peavy with help from homer

WASHINGTON -- Left-hander Gio Gonzalez and right-hander Jake Peavy found themselves in a pitchers' duel Friday night at Nationals Park. When it was over, Gonzalez won the battle as the Nationals edged the Giants, 2-1.

After the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning on a Buster Posey home run, the Nationals answered back in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a two-run homer by Clint Robinson.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robinson gets curtain-call moment with homer

Longtime Minor Leaguer clubs game-winning shot for Nationals

Robinson gets curtain-call moment with homer

WASHINGTON -- Since Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list, Clint Robinson has been given the opportunity to play often at first base for the Nationals, and he has been productive. Robinson is 17-for-61 (.279) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and a .371 on-base percentage in his last 18 games.

"Every day in the big leagues is a good day," Robinson said after having a big game in the Nationals' 2-1 victory over the Giants on Friday night at Nationals Park. "As long as I'm up here, I'm going to do the best I can to help this team win and, hopefully, take us in the playoffs."

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gio unfazed by long layoff in beating Giants

Nationals lefty allows just Posey's solo homer over seven stellar innings

Gio unfazed by long layoff in beating Giants

WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez's start last Saturday in Philadelphia won't show up in any record books. It lasted 18 pitches and, with the game being postponed after a little more than one inning due to rain, officially, it never happened.

So, with 10 days between starts, Gonzalez's seven innings of one-run ball against San Francisco in Washington's 2-1 win Friday night is all the more impressive.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Werth feels close to beginning rehab games

Nationals outfielder says he's 'days' away from playing

Werth feels close to beginning rehab games

WASHINGTON -- Jayson Werth's left wrist is getting stronger, he says. While he has not swung the bat, the Nationals left fielder has been swinging a broomstick without any problems.

Werth is hoping to get back on the field by August. Werth suffered two small fractures in the wrist May 15 after he was hit by a pitch thrown by Padres right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne in the top of the second inning.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats flies into stands, fan catches in mid-air

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Bats flies into stands, fan catches in mid-air

It's important to pay attention to baseball games. That's true in general, but especially for baseball games that are taking place right in front of you, as you watch them in-person from the stands.

Case in point: This fan in attendance for the Giants-Nationals matchup in DC on Friday.

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Werth recalls special moment with artist sister

Hillary Werth's bats piece auctioned for $26,000 at Dream Gala

Werth recalls special moment with artist sister

WASHINGTON -- Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth made it known Friday that he was proud of his sister, Hillary Werth, a professional artist.

Take what happened June 6 at the Dream Gala, which was hosted by the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. Hillary Werth's artwork, Maxbat American Flag, was auctioned for $26,000. The piece includes 13 bats and looks like an American flag. The artwork also includes the signatures of every Nationals player.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer goes distance, but Braves walk off in 9th

Scherzer goes distance, but Braves walk off in 9th

ATLANTA -- It took a fortunate hop, but the Braves found a way to conquer Max Scherzer, courtesy of a one-out, walk-off single that Cameron Maybin bounced over the third-base bag to conclude Thursday night's 2-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

Scherzer entered the ninth having retired 10 straight batters, going back to Andrelton Simmons' fifth-inning RBI single. But the tide turned when Pedro Ciriaco opened the bottom of the ninth with an infield single. Two batters later, Maybin bounced his game-winning hit over the third-base bag and into left field. Against Washington manager Matt Williams' wishes, the umpires didn't review the play because it was a ruling that occurred in front of the bag.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Nationals stayed on the field longer than most losing teams Thursday night, after the Braves' 2-1 walk-off victory in the series finale at Turner Field, but only because of a close call on Cameron Maybin's game-winning hit down the third-base line.

Maybin went down in the zone and connected with a low slider from Max Scherzer with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, driving the ball into the dirt just in front of home plate and then watched it bounce over Yunel Escobar and third base and land in foul territory past the bag.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer named NL Pitcher of the Month

Nationals ace earns second straight honor after no-hitter in June

Scherzer named NL Pitcher of the Month

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Max Scherzer was clearly the ace of the Nationals' pitching staff during the month of June.

After a slow start to begin June, Scherzer became virtually unhittable, finishing with a 3-2 record and a 2.33 ERA on the month, and it earned him the National League Pitcher of the Month Award. It marked the second straight month he won the award.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Desmond sits out, makes mechanical changes

Desmond sits out, makes mechanical changes

ATLANTA -- After a second straight 0-for-4 night on Wednesday, Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond got the day off Thursday to work on mechanical adjustments at the plate.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said that Desmond worked late Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday on his hand placement, which had started to drop in recent at-bats.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats sign int'l free agent Soto for $1.5 million

Club also agrees to terms with nephew of former Washington shortstop Guzman

Nats sign int'l free agent Soto for $1.5 million

The Nationals have agreed to terms with 16-year-old outfielder Juan Soto of the Dominican Republic on a $1.5 million signing bonus.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Soto, who is ranked No. 22 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is considered one of the most dominant hitters and polished bats on the international market this year.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryce Harper appears in ESPN the Mag's Body Issue

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Bryce Harper appears in ESPN the Mag's Body Issue

Bryce Harper is a pretty strong dude.

Actually, no, let us rephrase: Bryce Harper is the MLB equivalent of that kid from your Little League days, the one so physically different you'd swear he was actually in college already. He makes baseball bats look like twigs, his swing could provide enough wind power to keep the lights on in D.C. for a decade and he's spent all season raining dingers with reckless disregard for the welfare of upper decks. Even his popups turn into home runs

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Homers hurt as Fister derailed by 1 big inning

Nationals starter cruises before allowing four runs in fourth, including consecutive dingers

Homers hurt as Fister derailed by 1 big inning

ATLANTA -- Nationals right-hander Doug Fister cruised through his first three innings against the Braves on Wednesday night, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced.

Unfortuantely for Fister, the fourth inning came along, and with it came a barrage of Atlanta runs, thanks largely to back-to-back home runs from catcher A.J. Pierzynski and third baseman Juan Uribe, which led to a 4-1 loss.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giolito tosses 7 no-hit innings for Potomac

Nationals No. 1 prospect strikes out 7, walks 1; team loses no-no bid in 9th

Giolito tosses 7 no-hit innings for Potomac

The Class A Advanced Potomac Nationals nearly recorded their first combined no-hitter since 1995 on Wednesday, with No. 1 prospect (No. 4 overall) Lucas Giolito providing the heavy lifting in a 4-0 win over Frederick.

Rehabbing big-leaguer Aaron Barrett got through the first inning before Giolito took over. The 6-foot-6 right-hander proceeded to blank the Keys for seven innings, allowing just one walk while striking out seven in that span. In all, Giolito tossed 84 pitches -- 52 for strikes -- before getting pulled prior to the ninth inning.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats unable to bail out Fister in loss to Braves

Bats unable to bail out Fister in loss to Braves

ATLANTA -- Matt Wisler validated his status as a highly regarded pitching prospect and recorded his first career hit and RBI during a four-run fourth inning that propelled the Braves to Wednesday night's 4-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

Wisler's two-out RBI single capped the fourth inning, which was highlighted by the back-to-back homers A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe hit off Doug Fister. But most of the 22-year-old right-hander's most valuable contributions came in the process of limiting the Nationals to one hit, while recording six strikeouts and issuing five walks over 5 1/3 innings.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner launches his first Triple-A dinger

Nationals No. 3 prospect breaks 0-for-18 skid with two-run blast in Chiefs' win

Turner launches his first Triple-A dinger

Trea Turner hit his first Triple-A home run on Wednesday, a third-inning shot during Syracuse's 10-1 win over Louisville that broke up an 0-for-18 start to his tenure with the Chiefs.

The Nationals' No. 3 prospect (No. 51 overall) has had quite a year. In December, he was the "player to be named later" in a three-team trade that included the Nats, Rays and Padres, Turner's former organization. League rules would not allow Turner to make the switch to Washington's farm system until this month, so he raked -- .322/.385/.471, five homers and 35 RBIs -- for the Padres' Double-A team, the San Antonio Missions, until June 13.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Calvin Coolidge is the Nats' newest Racing President

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Calvin Coolidge is the Nats' newest Racing President

Everyone knows that the best gig on the planet is former president: You get all of the glory with none of the stress or responsibility. And, in the annals of American politics, the greatest honors that can be bestowed upon as a person are as follows:

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Zimmermann continues dominance in Atlanta

Right-hander goes 7 2/3 shutout innings after scoreless start in previous outing

Zimmermann continues dominance in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Jordan Zimmermann was back to his Atlanta-stifling ways Tuesday night at Turner Field, just six days after he shut out the Braves over eight innings in D.C.

He came one out shy of shutting the Braves out through eight innings in back-to-back starts, and was forced to settle for 7 2/3 innings of shutout work, while leading the Nationals to a 6-1 victory and their ninth straight win against the Braves.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.