Handy man: Rendon dangerous in any count

Nats 3B has uncanny ability to foul off tough pitches

Handy man: Rendon dangerous in any count

The first thing anyone mentions about Anthony Rendon are his hands. Then you shake one, cavernous and workman-like, and it swallows yours whole.

"For me, they are how I can control the bat," the Nationals' third baseman said one recent afternoon, his right hand clamped over the barrel of his Marucci maple bat. "I don't have 250 pounds ... coming from my frame. If I can manipulate this barrel, I can be successful."

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

Scherzer loses no-no, Raburn homers in loss

Scherzer loses no-no, Raburn homers in loss

MIAMI -- Max Scherzer was on the brink of joining historical pitching company, but instead, he was victimized by a two-out error that led to an agonizing loss on Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park.

A.J. Ellis broke up Scherzer's no-hit bid with a one-out infield single in the eighth inning, and the Marlins ended up rallying for a 2-1 win over the Nationals, scoring the go-ahead run on Giancarlo Stanton's two-out RBI single to left.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Nationals on Wednesday.

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

No regrets staying with Scherzer in 8th

Baker says righty was 'still throwing the ball great' after losing no-no

No regrets staying with Scherzer in 8th

MIAMI -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker didn't need to take much time on his decision to leave one of the National League's best pitchers in the ballgame.

After Max Scherzer's no-hitter was broken up by A.J. Ellis with one out in the eighth inning of the Nationals' 2-1 loss to the Marlins at Marlins Park, Baker didn't flinch. Scherzer was at just 106 pitches, nothing crazy for a guy that entered with an average of 106 per start this season.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Taylor a late scratch with undisclosed injury

Rendon (sore neck) returns to lineup

Taylor a late scratch with undisclosed injury

MIAMI -- Just as the Nationals can exhale knowing Anthony Rendon's neck injury isn't that serious, another starter is out due to injury.

Center fielder Michael Taylor was a late scratch from Washington's lineup against the Marlins in Wednesday's 2-1 loss with an undisclosed injury. Nationals manager Dusty Baker wouldn't say what the injury was, but he did say Taylor was sore on Tuesday.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Scherzer is Nats' best late-innings option

Baker sticks with ace even after losing no-hit bid in 8th

Scherzer is Nats' best late-innings option

Nationals manager Dusty Baker made the right call in sticking with Max Scherzer in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday afternoon. That it didn't work out is beside the point. Life in the fast lane, etc.

Baker has made maybe 10,000 tough decisions in 22 seasons as a Major League manager, but this wasn't one of them. Unfortunately for him, he watched a one-run, eighth-inning lead in Miami turn into a 2-1 loss to the Marlins.

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stevenson stays hot for Syracuse

Stevenson stays hot for Syracuse

With one no-hitter already under his belt this season, Lucas Giolito made a bid at a second one on Wednesday for Triple-A Charlotte.

Starting game two of a doubleheader versus Gwinnett, Giolito, the White Sox No. 4 prospect (No. 30 overall), tossed four no-hit frames before permitting a leadoff single in the fifth inning.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strasburg goes for 9th win as Nats host Reds

Strasburg goes for 9th win as Nats host Reds

Two of the best hitters in the Major Leagues will be on the same field in opposition on Friday when Joey Votto and the Reds visit Washington to face Bryce Harper and the Nationals.

Both Harper and Votto -- who are both former National League MVPs -- are among the National League leaders in several offensive categories like home runs, on-base-percentage and slugging.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryce age: Harper catching fire once again

Outfielder extends hit streak to 13 games with RBI single vs. Marlins

Bryce age: Harper catching fire once again

MIAMI -- Bryce Harper walked into the clubhouse after Tuesday's 12-3 win against the Marlins feeling free and easy. The Nationals star outfielder may have taken a liking to Miami's weather -- something he might get used to during July's All-Star break.

Harper once again showed why he deserves to start the Midsummer Classic, knocking a two-run single in the third inning that did more than get Washington on the board. It extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games, dating back to June 8.

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

Usual suspects: Zim, Bryce, Murph lift Nats

Usual suspects: Zim, Bryce, Murph lift Nats

MIAMI -- Protecting a big lead wasn't a problem for the Nationals on Tuesday night, thanks to their three primary All-Star candidates. Bryce Harper had a two-run single, Ryan Zimmerman added three RBIs and Daniel Murphy homered and drove in two in Washington's 12-3 win over Miami at Marlins Park.

A night after watching a six-run lead disappear in an 8-7 setback, the Nats' pitching came through, as Gio Gonzalez gave them seven strong innings, allowing three runs while striking out eight.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Nationals on Tuesday.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Matthew Leach

Scherzer elevates game with stellar slider

Scherzer elevates game with stellar slider

How does the best pitcher east of Clayton Kershaw get better? Because Max Scherzer has done just that this year.

Scherzer is on his way to career-best marks in ERA, strikeout percentage, strikeouts per nine innings and WHIP. He's on pace for his second-best walk percentage, his second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio and his best opponent batting average.

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Matthew Leach is an executive editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmerman holding lead on NL All-Star ballot

Zimmerman holding lead on NL All-Star ballot

MIAMI -- Ryan Zimmerman still leads all first basemen in voting for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game presented by MasterCard for the third consecutive week, but he may need help if he's going to hold off Anthony Rizzo for the starting job in Miami.

Zimmerman leads Rizzo by about 157,000 tallies in the fourth Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot fan voting update. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, who are the top two vote-getters in the National League, also lead their positions.

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

Nats suffer ugly loss in opener to Marlins

Nats suffer ugly loss in opener to Marlins

MIAMI -- The Marlins erased a six-run deficit and capped an improbable 8-7 comeback victory over the Nationals on Monday on Marcell Ozuna's walk-off single in the ninth inning off Enny Romero.

In need of a strong homestand after dropping two of three at Atlanta, the Marlins took the series opener against the National League East-leading Nationals. They trailed by six after three innings. The walk-off win came on Ozuna's liner into the left-center-field gap with the bases full in the ninth. The count was 0-2 but he crushed a 97-mph fastball for the game-winning hit. It's Miami's biggest come-from-behind win since winning after being four runs down against the A's on June 14.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.

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

Nats have no timetable for Werth's return

Nats have no timetable for Werth's return

MIAMI -- Still unable to perform baseball activities because of a left big toe injury, Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth is still not ready to return to the big league club.

"We were hoping he would join us here," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "But he's still receiving therapy and we'll see him when we get home. I'm hoping he's getting better."

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

Trea ties franchise mark with 4 SBs in a game

Trea ties franchise mark with 4 SBs in a game

NEW YORK -- Trea Turner sprinted his way into Nationals history Sunday by stealing four bases, which stands as the team record since the franchise moved to D.C. in 2005.

Turner now has 26 stolen bases on the season and tied the Expos/Nationals single-game record. Marquis Grissom swiped four bags for Montreal on July 21, 1992, against San Francisco.

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Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based out of New York and covered the Nationals on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats finally silenced by Mets in series finale

Nats finally silenced by Mets in series finale

NEW YORK -- The Mets fell into a familiar pattern over the first two months of this season, playing well at times only to lose difficult games on Sunday afternoons. Some of their most memorable losses came with the sun up on Sundays, including a blowout in Washington on the final day of April.

Behind Jacob deGrom's dominant outing and first career homer, the Mets reversed that script on a sunny Father's Day Sunday at Citi Field, winning a 5-1 game over the Nationals to avoid a series sweep.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based out of New York and covered the Nationals on Sunday.

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

Nats place Kelley on DL, recall righty Cole

Reliever felt discomfort Friday night due to right trapezius strain

Nats place Kelley on DL, recall righty Cole

The Nationals placed right-hander Shawn Kelley on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a right trapezius strain (retroactive to June 17) and recalled right-hander A.J. Cole from Triple-A Syracuse.

Nats manager Dusty Baker expressed concern about Kelley's condition on Saturday after he pitched the ninth inning of Washington's 7-2 victory over New York on Friday, in which he allowed a solo home run to Jay Bruce. That's when Kelley first felt discomfort.

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Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based out of New York and covered the Nationals on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer, wife Erica, announce baby girl on way

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Scherzer, wife Erica, announce baby girl on way

All throughout the league, players have been extending well wishes to their dads in celebration of Father's Day. Several big leaguers are experiencing their very first Father's Day as fathers, too, which is naturally pretty exciting.

But what about those who will be fathers soon? Well, today is for them too, and as such, Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica May-Scherzer, saw fit to make a pretty big announcement on the day: A baby girl will enter the world in November!

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Three-HR day sends Nats to third straight win

Three-HR day sends Nats to third straight win

NEW YORK -- The Nationals tightened their hammerlock on the National League East with a 7-4 triumph over the Mets on Saturday, remaining unbeaten at Citi Field this season and clinching another series victory there.

Trea Turner hit a leadoff home run off Mets righty Seth Lugo, Jose Lobaton added a solo shot, and Stephen Strasburg delivered 5 1/3 effective innings, holding the Mets to two runs. Initially viewing this series as a chance to climb back into contention, New York has not led at any point over its first three games.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based out of New York and covered the Nationals on Saturday.

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

Embattled Nats bullpen effective vs. Mets

Embattled Nats bullpen effective vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- It's no secret that the weakest link on this first-place Nationals team is its bullpen. But when the club needed the unit to come through during the Nationals' 7-4 win over the Mets on Saturday, four relievers ultimately got the job done.

Manager Dusty Baker needed his bullpen to record the final 11 outs after starter Stephen Strasburg left with a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning.

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Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York and covered the Nationals on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Becoming a father changed Gio's perspective

Nats left-hander welcomed baby Enzo in March 2016

Becoming a father changed Gio's perspective

WASHINGTON -- It's the happiest memory of Gio Gonzalez's life, and he remembers it all so vividly. On a Spring Training morning of March 17, 2016, he got the call and sprinted into manager Dusty Baker's office.

"I told Dusty, 'I gotta go, man'," Gonzalez recalled with a wide smile. "'This is it. Léa's about to give birth,'"

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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.

Robles swipes a pair for Potomac

Robles swipes a pair for Potomac

Bobby Bradley's season got off to a rough start as he went hitless in seven of his first 10 days and batted just .176 over the month of April.

However, Bradley picked it up by hitting .271 in May, and after another strong performance on Saturday, the Indians' No. 4 prospect is batting .309 in June and .250 for the season.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baker a leader in prostate cancer awareness

Baker a leader in prostate cancer awareness

NEW YORK -- Every 20 minutes, a man in the United States dies of prostate cancer.

Dusty Baker could have been one of those men. Diagnosed with the malicious disease in December 2001, Baker has been cancer-free for more than 15 years. And for the second consecutive year, all MLB players are wearing specially designed uniforms and caps on Father's Day weekend to raise awareness and funds for the fight against prostate cancer. The uniforms incorporate baby blue into the clubs' regular logos, while the caps are highlighted by a blue shadow-tech heather crown and graphite visor.

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Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York and covered the Nationals on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Backed by trip jacks, Scherzer makes Mets fold

Backed by trip jacks, Scherzer makes Mets fold

NEW YORK -- The Mets entered this weekend's four-game series against the Nationals hoping to pull closer to contention in the as-yet uncompetitive National League East. Instead, it's the Nats who have taken advantage of the opportunity, widening their division lead back to double digits with a 7-2 win Friday night at Citi Field.

Allowing just four hits and leaning on a career-high-tying three double plays, Max Scherzer delivered eight dominant innings to win his eighth game. He threw a season-high 118 pitches, striking out at least 10 batters for the fifth straight game.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Nationals on Friday.

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

Scherzer keeps K streak going, but DPs key

Nats ace induces 3 double plays while striking out at least 10 for 5th straight game

Scherzer keeps K streak going, but DPs key

NEW YORK -- The latest Max Scherzer line looks like so many others the Nationals have seen from their right-handed ace.

Eight innings, one run, four hits, 10 strikeouts. And three double plays.

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Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Righty Jackson signs Minors deal with Nats

Righty Jackson signs Minors deal with Nats

NEW YORK -- Edwin Jackson was a solid starting pitcher for the first Nationals team to win a National League East title.

Five years later, Jackson returned to the organization Friday, this time on a Minor League contract that will have him joining the rotation at Triple-A Syracuse. If all goes well, the 33-year-old right-hander could provide depth for the Major League team down the line.

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Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DC's night: Bryce thrills, even in NYC

Statcast of the Day: HR leaves bat at 116.3 mph

DC's night: Bryce thrills, even in NYC

NEW YORK -- It didn't take long for Bryce Harper to announce his presence to the Mets faithful at Citi Field during the Nationals' 8-3 win on Thursday night -- and the home run he smacked was even faster.

On the fifth pitch of his first at-bat of the night, Harper tattooed a fastball from Robert Gsellman a projected 406 feet down the right-field line to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead in the first. With a 116.3-mph exit velocity, it was Harper's hardest-hit ball of the Statcast™ Era (since 2015). The ball cleared the fence in an estimated 3.8 seconds, just missing a fan in the right-field seats, and caromed back onto the field. Harper now is tied with Texas' Joey Gallo for the fourth-hardest hit home run of 2017. The Yankees' Aaron Judge holds the top three spots on that list.

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Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy has no mercy on Mets as Nats roll

Murphy has no mercy on Mets as Nats roll

NEW YORK -- Few themes around baseball have been as consistent the past two seasons as Daniel Murphy's superhero act and the Mets' injury woes. So it came as little surprise that on a day in which the Mets absorbed troubling news on four of their players, Murphy took no mercy with another standout performance against his former team.

Murphy collected hits in each of his first three at-bats on Thursday, including a two-run triple, to pace the Nationals' 8-3 thumping of the Mets at Citi Field. In 26 career games against his old team, Murphy has 28 RBIs.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Nationals on Thursday.

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