Triple threat! Drew, Nats walk off on Padres

Triple threat! Drew, Nats walk off on Padres

WASHINGTON -- Stephen Drew had been battling an illness that prevented him from taking an at-bat since Sunday before he roped a walk-off, pinch-hit triple in the ninth inning to lead the Nationals to a 3-2 victory over the Padres on Saturday night at Nationals Park.

It capped off a week where Drew dropped at least seven pounds and received IV fluids earlier in the day Saturday before coming through with Washington's sixth walk-off hit of the season off Padres right-hander Kevin Quackenbush.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Padres on Saturday

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Super sick' Drew strong enough to be a hero

Infielder shakes off illness to deliver walk-off hit vs. Padres

'Super sick' Drew strong enough to be a hero

WASHINGTON -- Nobody knew if Stephen Drew was strong enough to pinch hit. Over the last three days, he had a bad case of the flu and was unavailable to do anything on the baseball field until Saturday night, and it was big.

His pinch-hit, walk-off triple in the ninth inning gave the Nationals a 3-2 win over the Padres at Nationals Park.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.

Top prospect Giolito gets call in finale against Padres

Top prospect Giolito gets call in finale against Padres

Top prospect Lucas Giolito will get another crack at facing a Major League lineup when he pitches against the Padres on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series at Nationals Park.

Giolito, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline.com, made two starts for the Nationals before the All-Star break. In the first, he shut down the Mets for four innings before rain shortened his outing. In a rematch with the Mets on July 7, he could not escape the fourth, allowing seven hits and four runs and issuing four walks.

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats fall on rare off night from Roark

Nats fall on rare off night from Roark

WASHINGTON -- During the past week, Matt Kemp has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. He launched a pair of homers and drove in four runs Friday night at Nationals Park to help lead the Padres to a 5-3 victory over the Nationals, who have lost four of their last five.

Kemp got the Padres on the board with a solo homer in the first inning off right-hander Tanner Roark, and increased San Diego's streak of consecutive games with a homer to 20, extending a franchise record. It was the first homer Roark had surrendered since June 21, a streak of 32 innings.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. He covered the Padres on Friday

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman Nats' top target before Trade Deadline

Chapman Nats' top target before Trade Deadline

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals continue to have Yankees left-hander Aroldis Chapman as their top target before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The Nats and Yankees continue to talk about pulling off a possible deal. However, according to a baseball source, Washington is not willing to give up top prospects such as Trea Turner, Lucas Giolito or Reynaldo Lopez for Chapman.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.

Baker: Changes needed to fix Nats' RISP struggles

Washington held to two runs in Friday's loss to Padres

Baker: Changes needed to fix Nats' RISP struggles

WASHINGTON -- For much of this season, Nationals manager Dusty Baker has bemoaned his team's approach in crucial situations, particularly their seeming inability to collect a two-out hit. His latest and perhaps strongest statement on his team's approach came after Friday night's 5-3 loss to the Padres, Washington's fourth loss in five games.

"At this stage of the game, almost two-thirds of the season gone, we've got to make some changes," Baker said. "We've been waiting and waiting and waiting, and it's getting frustrating on the guys and frustrating on fans and frustrating to us, too. You had to be patient and you hope that we make some changes and some theories and philosophies and getting a good pitch to hit."

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross, Solis set for rehab outings

Nats' lefty reliever could return for series in Cleveland next week

Ross, Solis set for rehab outings

WASHINGTON -- Nationals pitchers Sammy Solis and Joe Ross are expected to go on rehab assignments this weekend.

Solis, who is on the disabled list with right knee inflammation, is scheduled to pitch for Class A Potomac on Friday and Saturday. He is expected to rejoin the Nationals when they play the Indians starting Tuesday in Cleveland. Solis is having a productive season for Washington, going 1-3 with a 2.43 ERA.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.

Strasburg battles, but takes 1st loss of '16

Strasburg battles, but takes 1st loss of '16

WASHINGTON -- The Dodgers showed on Thursday afternoon that right-hander Stephen Strasburg is not invincible, as Justin Turner took the Nats ace deep twice to lead Los Angeles to a 6-3 win at Nationals Park. The Dodgers won two out of three games in the series.

After starting the season 13-0, Strasburg picked up his first loss of the season. The righty lasted six innings, allowed six runs on seven hits and fanned 10 batters. It marked the eighth time this season that Strasburg has struck out at least 10 in a game. Thursday marked just the second game this season that the Nats lost when Strasburg was on the mound. The first was on June 4 against the Reds in a game in which he allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings. The last time Strasburg lost a decision was September 9 against the Mets.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

End of streak just a blip on Stras' masterful run

In first loss of '16, Nats ace K's 10 and sets down 12 of final 13 hitters

End of streak just a blip on Stras' masterful run

WASHINGTON -- Even though Stephen Strasburg had built an unbeaten record through his first 17 starts this season and had not suffered a loss since last September, outings like the one Thursday afternoon have left the Nationals encouraged by what the pitcher has become.

Yes, Strasburg's undefeated run came to an end at the hands of a 6-3 Dodgers victory at Nationals Park that dropped him to 13-1; however, manager Dusty Baker said he came away more impressed by Strasburg's ability to battle through the early damage and still turn in a respectable outing.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy politely shoos away pigeon

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Murphy politely shoos away pigeon

Daniel Murphy is putting together quite a season in his first year with the Nationals, and one enterprising D.C. pigeon wanted to get a better look at the team's new slugger during the Nats' 6-3 loss to the Dodgers on Thursday. Who knows? Maybe they'd hit it off and become fast friends. 

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Nats power up, speed up to down Dodgers

Nats power up, speed up to down Dodgers

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper led the hitting barrage on Wednesday night, and the Nationals pounded the Dodgers, 8-1, at Nationals Park.

It was Harper who put Washington ahead in the first inning off right-hander Bud Norris. After Daniel Murphy doubled with two outs, Harper swung at a 3-1 pitch and launched the ball into the third deck in right field for a two-run homer, his 20th. It marked the fourth time Harper has hit 20 home runs in a season.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Dodgers on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper launches moon shot into third deck

Harper launches moon shot into third deck

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper launched one of the longest home runs ever hit to right field at Nationals Park in the first inning of Wednesday's 8-1 victory over the Dodgers when he deposited a 3-1 fastball from right-hander Bud Norris into the third deck.

The homer, Harper's 20th of the season, traveled an estimated 451 feet, for his longest of the season and his second longest of the Statcast™ era. The ball left his bat at 112.7 mph, the second-hardest-hit ball he has put into play this season. It also gave the Nationals a two-run lead.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner turns on the burners, swipes home

Turner turns on the burners, swipes home

WASHINGTON -- Trea Turner's speed has already had an impact in his brief stint with the Nationals this season, but he joined an elite club during Wednesday night's 8-1 win, pulling off just the third steal of home in team history.

In the sixth, with runners at the corners, Danny Espinosa was caught between first and second base on a pickoff throw from Dodgers right-hander Louis Coleman. Turner made a dash for the plate after first baseman Adrian Gonzalez threw the ball toward shortstop Charlie Culberson, and by the time Culberson turned and fired toward the plate, Turner was sliding in safely.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Newly called up Glover perfect in debut

Newly called up Glover perfect in debut

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals on Wednesday made their second roster move in as many days, selecting the contract of reliever Koda Glover from Triple-A Syracuse and optioning right-hander Reynaldo Lopez to Syracuse. In addition, the Nationals designated left-hander Nick Lee for assignment.

The Nationals needed an extra reliever after using most of their bullpen in an 18-inning affair against the Pirates on Sunday. Enter Glover, who made his debut during Wednesday's 8-1 victory over the Dodgers.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.

Fun for kids and Nats at the PLAY event

Fun for kids and Nats at the PLAY event

WASHINGTON -- Joe Ross does not remember much about his days playing youth baseball, but one event does stand out. His A's youth team got to stand on the field with the Oakland A's during the national anthem one day, and former first baseman Jason Giambi picked him up as he walked by.

That's the kind of memory Ross hoped to create during the Nationals PLAY event at Nationals Park on Wednesday morning, when about 75 children participated in activities designed to promote the importance of an active lifestyle.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lopez's talent shines through in up-and-down debut

Nats' No. 5 prospect fans 9, but allows 6 runs, in loss to Dodgers

Lopez's talent shines through in up-and-down debut

WASHINGTON -- While they have a spot in their starting rotation free, the Nationals wanted to take the opportunity to see what their young pitching prospects could do in the Majors. It started with Lucas Giolito, baseball's top prospect, earlier this month and continued with the debut of hard-throwing right-hander Reynaldo Lopez on Tuesday night.

For stretches during his Major League debut in Tuesday's 8-4 loss to the Dodgers, Lopez showed flashes of the talent that has advanced him so quickly through the Nationals' organization. But the Dodgers were able to lock in on his fastball from the start of the outing and drive him out of the game after he allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings, although he finished with nine strikeouts.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen, OF help priority for Nats at Deadline

Chapman, Bruce among potential targets for Washington

Bullpen, OF help priority for Nats at Deadline

WASHINGTON -- The non-waiver Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away and the Nationals are still looking to acquire an outfielder and bullpen help.

Getting the bullpen help is the top priority, according to a baseball source. The Nationals still have interest in Yankees left-hander Aroldis Chapman, but they are competing against three other teams for Chapman's services. The Cubs, Rangers and Giants are in the mix to land the left-hander. The Blue Jays are another team that is in need of bullpen help.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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' rally falls short in Lopez's debut

Nats' rally falls short in Lopez's debut

WASHINGTON -- There was good news and not-so-good news when it came to Reynaldo Lopez's Major League debut on Tuesday night. He struck nine batters, which was five short of the Nationals rookie record set by Stephen Strasburg in 2010. The not-so-good news was that Lopez was hit hard as the Dodgers beat the Nationals, 8-4, at Nationals Park.

The problems started in the first inning, when Chase Utley hit a leadoff home run as part of a three-RBI night. The next two hitters -- Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner -- reached base on a single and a double, respectively. Lopez managed to get the next two outs, but Kendrick and Turner scored on a single by Joc Pederson. Lopez acknowledged he was nervous when the game started.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Dodgers on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy named Nats' Heart and Hustle nominee

Award recognizes passion, desire and work ethic

Murphy named Nats' Heart and Hustle nominee

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced the 30 preliminary winners of the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday, honoring one player from each of the 30 Major League teams.

The Heart and Hustle Award, given annually, celebrates active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It's the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players, and voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Who should the Nats target at Trade Deadline?

Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers questions from fans

Inbox: Who should the Nats target at Trade Deadline?

What do you think is the Nationals' biggest need before the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
-- Renee L., Washington

I realize the Nationals are looking for bullpen help, but I think they need another bat, especially at the top of the lineup. If they can't acquire a top of the order bat, I would love to see Jayson Werth at the top spot. The guy knows how to work the count and his on-base percentage is currently at .342. Nats leadoff hitters, which have included Ben Revere, Michael Taylor and Trea Turner, were batting a combined .211 with an on-base percentage of .256 entering Tuesday's action against the Dodgers.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002.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.

Longest game in Nats history ends in a loss

Longest game in Nats history ends in a loss

WASHINGTON -- The longest regular-season game in Nationals history -- and the second longest in the Majors this season -- ended up as a 2-1 win for the Pirates after Starling Marte hit a solo homer in the 18th inning on Sunday at Nationals Park. The victory by Pittsburgh ended Washington's five-game winning streak. The Nats are now six games ahead of the Marlins and Mets in the National League East race.

"Too many innings, we were tired, it was time for a home run," Marte said through an interpreter.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Pirates on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper makes a dream come true as a part of Make-A-Wish

Harper makes a dream come true as a part of Make-A-Wish

WASHINGTON -- Earlier this month, Bryce Harper spent an entire day granting the wish of Kaylan, a 16-year-old resident of Gaithersburg, Md., who wanted to meet Harper. The Nats slugger gave Kaylan a tour of Nationals Park and the team's facilities, and they played catch together and took swings in the batting cage, all of which led up to a game between the Nationals and Reds.

In conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Harper and Kaylan's full time together was featured during the 6 p.m. ET edition of "SportsCenter" on Tuesday as part of the 10th anniversary of ESPN's My Wish series.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy delivers game-tying HR off bench

Murphy delivers game-tying HR off bench

WASHINGTON -- Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game Sunday, but he pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth inning and homered off Pirates closer Mark Melancon to tie the game at 1. Washington lost, 2-1, in 18 innings.

"I was trying to get a good pitch to hit and get my 'A' swing off," Murphy said. "That's what it boils down to. Mark is so tough. I just got done seeing him at the All-Star Game. … I was able to work that at-bat and get a good pitch to hit."

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.

Roark pitches Nats to 20 games over .500

Roark pitches Nats to 20 games over .500

WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker may have said it best about Tanner Roark. The skipper called the right-hander a warrior and a competitor who gives his all on the mound.

"If you want to tackle this guy, you better bring a lunch and dinner and some snacks," Baker said.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Pirates on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After delay, rainbow graces Nationals Park

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After delay, rainbow graces Nationals Park

The weather has a way of wreaking havoc with man's puny efforts to play a baseball game -- from the mundane, like your average rainfall to even some occasional hail the size of, well, actual baseballs.

Every once in a while, though, in between the tarps and the ponchos and the elaborate rain delay competitions, Mother Nature decides to smile on us. Luckily for everybody at Nationals Park, the Nats' 6-0 win over the Pirates on Saturday night was one of those times. After rain delayed the first pitch for about an hour, the skies eventually cleared, giving us not only baseball but a pretty breathtaking rainbow to go with it.

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Roark underrated by many, not by Nats

Right-hander has delivered deep, impressive outings for club all season

Roark underrated by many, not by Nats

WASHINGTON -- Much of the attention in the Nationals' starting rotation is commanded by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and with good reason considering they are two of the best pitchers in baseball. But in some ways their presence has allowed Tanner Roark to fly under the radar as perhaps the club's steadiest starter this year and one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball.

He delivered his best outing of the season Saturday night at Nationals Park, inducing weak contact and pitching deep into the game -- a common occurrence for him -- to help guide the Nationals to a 6-0 victory against the Pirates. This time he delivered eight masterful innings of scoreless ball and nearly finished off a shutout, before being pulled after allowing two batters to reach in the ninth.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Drew no longer a pull-only hitter

Infielder finding success in part-time role with Nationals

Drew no longer a pull-only hitter

WASHINGTON -- Nationals infielder Stephen Drew is the first to say that he is still learning how to come off the bench. He is asking questions to teammates such as Chris Heisey and Clint Robinson about being a reserve.

While he is learning, the 33-year-old is producing in the batter's box. Filling in for the injured Daniel Murphy at second base, Drew went 3-for-4 with three doubles, scored two runs and raised his batting average to .263 during the Nationals' 6-0 win against the Pirates on Saturday. Of the 25 hits he has collected this season, 15 of them have gone for extra bases -- eight doubles and seven home runs.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.