Roark activated for start against Braves

Fills in for Strasburg after pair of Minor League starts

Roark activated for start against Braves

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals activated Tanner Roark on Friday afternoon, a few hours before his seventh start of the season against Atlanta.

Roark was optioned to Class A Potomac on Aug. 25 with plans for the right-hander to make two starts and stretch out to a starter's pitch count. Questions about Stephen Strasburg's health arose, however, and Roark's second start of the rehab stint on Aug. 31 was limited to two innings so he would be fresh to take Strasburg's spot on Friday.

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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.

Barrett begins recovery from surgery

Reliever likely to return in 12 months from Tommy John procedure

Barrett begins recovery from surgery

WASHINGTON -- Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday, manager Matt Williams announced Friday, beginning the long road back to a Major League mound.

Barrett, 27, last pitched on Aug. 5, when he was tagged for four hits and three runs in one-third of an inning against Arizona. He was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse the following day, but that transaction was quickly voided, and he was placed on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow.

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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.

Zimmerman, Nationals jump out early, drub Braves

Zimmerman, Nationals jump out early, drub Braves

WASHINGTON -- Led by the planet's hottest hitter in Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals hammered their way to within six games of the Mets in the National League East with a 15-1 win over the Braves on Thursday night.

The Nats chased Braves starter Matt Wisler after 1 2/3 innings and seven runs, but they kept on slugging. By the end, the Nationals collected 17 hits, drew eight walks (four by Bryce Harper alone) and clubbed five doubles, which tied a season high.

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

Zeroic: Harper feat not seen in 100 years!

Nats' star first in modern history to score 4 runs with 4 walks, 1 RBI

Zeroic: Harper feat not seen in 100 years!

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper's bat is one of baseball's most feared weapons, but on Thursday night at Nationals Park, the slugger's lumber was just one more observer.

Harper put together a performance unlike any other in Major League history in the Nationals' 15-1 win over the Braves, reaching base four times and scoring four runs, all without an official at-bat.

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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 reinstate Moore from DL, call up Cole

Nats reinstate Moore from DL, call up Cole

The Nationals made two roster moves on Thursday, reinstating first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore from the 15-day disabled list and recalling right-hander A.J. Cole from Triple-A Syracuse.

Moore, 28, has missed the past 14 games with a left ankle sprain, which he suffered when he stepped on a baseball in a batting cage. He has appeared in 79 games for the Nats, hitting .200 with 10 doubles and four home runs, with his four pinch-hits tied for second on the team.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

Stats of the Day: Bryce sparks O in 0 at-bats

Harper scores four times and drives in a run for Nationals

Stats of the Day: Bryce sparks O in 0 at-bats

Here are four interesting items from around the big leagues on Thursday …

• No. 3 hitter Bryce Harper walked four times and scored four runs, and cleanup man Ryan Zimmerman doubled twice and drove in four runs in the Nationals' 15-1 victory over the Braves. Harper's line (0-for-0, four runs scored, one RBI on a bases-loaded walk) made him the fourth player since 1914 to have a game with no official at-bats and at least four runs scored, joining Larry Doby ('51), Joe Morgan ('73) and Rickey Henderson ('89). Zimmerman, meanwhile, has driven in 71 runs in 92 games. The ratio of 0.77 RBIs per game is one that has only been reached by three players in franchise history (minimum 100 games): Tim Wallach (.80 in '87), Larry Walker (.83 in '94) and Vladimir Guerrero (.82 in '99, and .80 in 2000).

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Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Right knee remains issue for Taylor

Right knee remains issue for Taylor

WASHINGTON -- Michael Taylor was left out of Matt Williams' starting lineup on Thursday, the second straight start the Nationals' rookie outfielder has missed since reaggravating his injured right knee.

Taylor crashed into the center-field wall last Thursday against San Diego, and his right leg received the majority of the blow. Tests revealed no structural damage, and he returned on Saturday. He played the next three games, but injured the same knee when he fell to the ground after making a throw on Tuesday.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

No one is as nice as Bryce in NL MVP chase

Harper's outstanding season shouldn't be hurt by Nationals' struggles as team

No one is as nice as Bryce in NL MVP chase

If I were writing a column about the National League MVP Award race a month ago, I would have just typed "Bryce Harper should win it," maybe tossed in a few Harper stats and a line about his hair, then moved on. I could have used the rest of my day to catch up on errands or take my dog for a walk. Thing is, I don't even have a dog, so I would have had time to pick out and purchase a dog and taken him for a walk. That's how much free time I would have had.

But those were simpler times, friends.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zim's big night carries Nats over Cards

Zim's big night carries Nats over Cards

ST. LOUIS -- With a pair of solo homers and a go-ahead RBI double off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth, Ryan Zimmerman helped the Nationals salvage a win during their three-game visit to Busch Stadium. Washington's 4-3 victory halted the Cardinals' winning streak at four games.

Zimmerman, who homered in each of the first two games of the series, took fill-in starter Tyler Lyons deep with solo shots in the fourth and sixth. Jayson Werth preceded those blasts with one of his own, a solo homer in the third inning that erased the Cardinals' early lead.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her 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.

Vintage Zimmerman on a tear for Nats

Vintage Zimmerman on a tear for Nats

ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Zimmerman cannot be stopped. He is the Nationals' hottest hitter, and it was his bat that helped his team edge the Cardinals, 4-3, on Wednesday night.

How hot is Zimmerman? In his last seven games, he is 12-for-29 with six home runs and 12 RBIs. He has homered in five out of his last seven games, and he homered in all three games in St. Louis.

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

'Pen session, but no start, for Stras Friday

'Pen session, but no start, for Stras Friday

ST. LOUIS -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will throw a bullpen session on Friday, but he will not make his scheduled start against the Braves that night, according to manager Matt Williams. The news comes after Strasburg threw on flat ground on Wednesday without any pain in his back. Tightness in his back caused him leave Sunday's game against the Marlins after four innings.

"[Strasburg] has to get through the bullpen, which doesn't allow enough time [to make a start]," Williams said. "We have to make sure he feels good letting [the ball] go."

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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 add Martin, Grace to overworked 'pen

Nats add Martin, Grace to overworked 'pen

ST. LOUIS -- Needing to replenish an overworked bullpen, the Nationals recalled right-hander Rafael Martin and left-hander Matt Grace from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday.

Help was needed because six relievers pitched six innings in Tuesday's loss to the Cardinals.

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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.

For Nats' bullpen, loss to Cards twice as tough

Janssen takes defeat for second straight game in St. Louis, this time serving up walk-off homer

For Nats' bullpen, loss to Cards twice as tough

ST. LOUIS -- For the second consecutive game, the Nationals' bullpen was unable to contain the Cardinals. Tuesday night, the struggles led to an 8-5 walk-off loss at Busch Stadium.

With the Nationals leading, 5-3, in the eighth inning, the Cardinals had runners on first and second and no outs, when Greg Garcia bunted toward reliever Drew Storen, who tried to get the forceout at third base. But the ball went past third baseman Yunel Escobar for an error, allowing Tommy Pham to score and make it a one-run game.

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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 erupt early, only to drop heartbreaker

Nats erupt early, only to drop heartbreaker

ST. LOUIS -- Brandon Moss' three-run home run capped a two-out ninth-inning rally as the Cardinals prolonged their home dominance over the Nationals with an 8-5 win Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.

The win extended the Cardinals' lead to six games over the Pirates in the National League Central, while the Nationals remained 6 1/2 behind the Mets in the NL East.

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Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. 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.

Nationals call up catching prospect Severino

Solis recalled from Triple-A; Uggla activated from disabled list

Nationals call up catching prospect Severino

ST. LOUIS -- The Nationals added to their Major League roster by selecting the contract of catcher Pedro Severino from Double-A Harrisburg and recalling left-hander Sammy Solis from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday. The team also activated Dan Uggla from the 15-day disabled list.

Severino, ranked by MLB.com as the Nationals' No. 9 prospect, is considered an above-average defensive catcher, throwing out 38 percent of would-be basestealers in 331 Minor League games.

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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.

Voth dominates for Senators, Skole shows off power

Nationals No. 10 prospect scatters three hits in seven scoreless, No. 22 prospect homers twice

Voth dominates for Senators, Skole shows off power

A pair of Nationals prospects stole the show Tuesday night as Austin Voth dominated on the mound for Double-A Harrisburg while Matt Skole paced Triple-A Syracuse's offense with two home runs.

Voth, the Nationals' No. 10 prospect, scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings in Harrisburg's 5-0 victory over Richmond, marking his sixth scoreless outing in 26 starts this season. He walked two and struck out four, throwing 64 of 97 pitches for strikes.

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

Nationals to send six prospects to AFL

No. 4 prospect Difo leads Washington contingent on the Rafters

Nationals to send six prospects to AFL

ST. LOUIS -- Nationals pitchers Dakota Bacus, Nick Lee, John Simms, catcher Spencer Kieboom, infielder Wilmer Difo and third baseman Drew Ward will play for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. The team will be managed by Tripp Keister, who managed Class A Advanced Potomac.

Difo, the Nationals' No. 4 prospect, according to MLB.com, is the only one with Major League experience. He had a couple of stints in the big leagues this year and went 1-for-8 in eight games. Difo also had a solid Minor League season, hitting .290 with four home runs and 51 RBIs for Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.

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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.

Bullpen inconsistency stunting Nats' progress

Ineffectiveness, injuries plague relief corps

Bullpen inconsistency stunting Nats' progress

ST. LOUIS -- After losing a heartbreaker to the Cardinals, 8-5, on Monday night at Busch Stadium, the Nationals lost a chance to keep pace with the Mets, who won their game against the Phillies and now lead the Nationals League East by 6 1/2 games.

It was Washington's bullpen that couldn't hold a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning. It started with right-hander Casey Janssen, who looked like he was going to get out of the inning when he induced Greg Garcia to hit into a double play. But it went downhill after that.

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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.

Zim's big night overshadowed in setback

Zim's big night overshadowed in setback

ST. LOUIS -- Jason Heyward smashed a two-run double off of the left-field wall to highlight a five-run seventh as the Cardinals beat the Nationals, 8-5, on Monday night at Busch Stadium. With the win, the Cards extended their lead in the National League Central to 5 games, while Nats fell to 6 1/2 back in the NL East.

Heyward's double was the only extra-base hit of the night for the Cardinals. All eight position players reached base, and Heyward, Kolten Wong, Mark Reynolds, Brandon Moss and Jhonny Peralta each had a pair of hits.

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Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. 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.

Zimmerman swinging a hot stick

Credits regular playing time for offensive groove

Zimmerman swinging a hot stick

ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Zimmerman couldn't deny it. The Nationals lost a heartbreaker Monday night. They blew a three-run lead and lost to the Cardinals, 8-5, at Busch Stadium.

It was Zimmerman who gave Washington a 5-3 lead in the top of the seventh before the bullpen gave it right back in the bottom of the inning, as the Nationals dropped to 6 1/2 games behind the Mets in the National League East race.

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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 rally to take rubber game from Marlins

Nats rally to take rubber game from Marlins

WASHINGTON -- A combination of long balls and long rallies paced the Nationals on Sunday as they clinched their fourth consecutive series victory with a 7-4 win over the Marlins at Nationals Park. Washington remains 5 1/2 games back of the Mets, who beat the Red Sox, 5-4.

"We've got a long way to go," outfielder Jayson Werth said. "We've got a tough three-game road trip in St. Louis. We need to keep winning series and keep winning ballgames to give ourselves a chance. I don't think anybody in here has given up. I think everyone believes in each other and believes in this team. We've got a long way to go."

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Fister earns win with strong effort out of bullpen

Fister earns win with strong effort out of bullpen

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Doug Fister came out of the bullpen and picked up the win in the Nationals' 7-4 victory over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.

It was Fister's first win since July 29 against the Marlins. It was also his first win as a reliever this year. Fister lost his spot in the rotation to Joe Ross and was assigned to a long-relief role on Aug. 6.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Schrock on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Astros prospect homers thrice, on list for record-tying fourth time in 2015

Schrock on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

A.J. Reed is at it again. The Astros first-base prospect homered three more times and drove in seven more runs last week at Double-A Corpus Christi, earning Prospect Team of the Week honors for the fourth time in 2015. That ties Reed with Kyle Schwarber for the most recognition this year.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats outfielder Johnson plans to play in 2016

Nats outfielder Johnson plans to play in 2016

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Reed Johnson said he plans to return for the 2016 season. He said playing with Class A Advanced Potomac during a recent rehab stint helped him decide on his future.

"I'm going to try to play again," Johnson said. "When I was in the rehab stint with those guys, it was one of the great times I had all year. … It reassured me to keep playing."

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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.

Three homers help Nationals top Marlins, gain game

Three homers help Nationals top Marlins, gain game

WASHINGTON -- Backed by three home runs, including back-to-back blasts from Clint Robinson and Ian Desmond in the sixth inning, Jordan Zimmermann turned in seven strong innings in the Nationals' 5-1 series-tying victory against the Marlins on Saturday night.

Zimmermann, who improved to 11-8 with the win, scattered seven hits. Justin Bour's second-deck home run in the seventh was the only interruption in a string of zeros.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Awaiting surgery, Span reflects on injury-plagued '15

Awaiting surgery, Span reflects on injury-plagued '15

WASHINGTON -- Nationals center fielder Denard Span knew something was wrong with his left hip after he saw a back specialist a few weeks ago. Span would later learn that he had a torn labrum in the hip, and he will have surgery Tuesday to repair it.

Span said every time he had back spasms, he would feel pain in the hip, but that pain felt secondary to the back spasms. But once he received a cortisone shot for his back, that's when Span knew something was wrong with the hip.

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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.

Turner impresses in first MLB start -- at second

Natural shortstop and No. 2 Nats prospect makes dazzling play

Turner impresses in first MLB start -- at second

WASHINGTON -- Trea Turner made his first Major League start on Friday night, and the natural shortstop showed impressive defensive ability at second base in the Nationals' 4-3 loss to the Marlins.

In the sixth inning, Turner, the No. 2 prospect in the Nationals' system and 11th-ranked prospect in all of baseball, covered a lot of ground toward the right-field foul line and made an over-the-shoulder catch on a Marcell Ozuna pop fly into the Bermuda Triangle in shallow right field. According to Statcast™, Turner ran up to 20.6 mph and covered 107.4 feet to make the grab.

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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.

Velocity OK, is location Scherzer's problem?

Nationals' ace continues to struggle since All-Star break, allowing four runs vs. Fish

Velocity OK, is location Scherzer's problem?

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer acknowledged that the losses are painful. He admitted that he made mistakes in the 4-3 defeat to the Marlins on Friday night.

Scherzer allowed two home runs, and they proved costly in a game Washington needed to win. With the first-place Mets losing, the Nationals remained 6 1/2 games back in the National League East.

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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.