Nats bracing after Eaton exits with leg injury

Center fielder will undergo MRI Saturday to determine extent of damage

Nats bracing after Eaton exits with leg injury

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals' clubhouse was especially somber after Friday night's 7-5 loss to the Mets, as they considered the potential loss of center fielder Adam Eaton, who exited the game after crumpling to the ground past first base with an apparent left leg injury sustained while trying to beating out an infield single in the ninth.

The Nationals did not have any further information about Eaton's injury, but replays showed him grabbing his left leg and he was unable to put weight on it as he was carried off the field. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

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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.

Nats drop thriller to Mets despite Zim's 2 HRs

Nats drop thriller to Mets despite Zim's 2 HRs

WASHINGTON -- As the Nationals soared to baseball's best record this week, the Mets were hobbled by a plethora of injuries and inconsistent play, leading to a 7 1/2-game gap between the two teams in the standings as this three-game series began Friday night at Nationals Park.

But the dominant effort from Jacob deGrom and a career night from Travis d'Arnaud at the plate halted the Mets' losing streak at six in a thrilling 7-5 victory over the Nationals, staving off a late Nationals rally that included Nats center fielder Adam Eaton leaving the game with a leg injury in the ninth inning.

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

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

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

Solis' MRI reveals nerve inflammation in elbow

Left-handed reliever calls diagnosis 'best-case scenario'

Solis' MRI reveals nerve inflammation in elbow

NEW YORK -- Nationals left-hander Sammy Solis underwent an MRI prior to Friday's game against the Mets, which revealed some nerve inflammation in his left elbow. Solis, who has been on the disabled list since April 19 with left elbow inflammation, told reporters the injury was "best-case scenario" for him; however, there is no timetable for his return.

Initially, the Nationals did not seem overly concerned about Solis, but decided to schedule a MRI when his elbow was not improving with rest. Manager Dusty Baker worried about the problems with Solis' elbow considering it's the same elbow that underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012.

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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.

Relive Harper's MLB debut 5 years later

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Relive Harper's MLB debut 5 years later

Friday, April 28 marks the fifth anniversary of Bryce Harper's MLB debut. While we're all thinking about the gifts we should get Bryce (hair gel, more blue suits, maybe some ice cream sandwiches), let's take a moment to relive his very first day in the big leagues.

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Stras to cap excellent April vs. Mets, Wheeler

Stras to cap excellent April vs. Mets, Wheeler

Working their way back up the National League East standings was never a one-game proposition for the Mets. Nor was maintaining their first-place perch a one-game assignment for the Nationals.

With that in mind, the second game of a three-game set between those teams at Nationals Park on Saturday should contain at least as much juice as Friday night's opener. Right-handers Zack Wheeler and Stephen Strasburg will start the 1:05 p.m. matinee.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Johnson looks to stay hot with Hagerstown

Johnson looks to stay hot with Hagerstown

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in today's Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Daniel Johnson (Nationals No. 29), Hagerstown at Lexington (6:35 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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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.

Nats seal near-perfect trip with historic 7th

Nats seal near-perfect trip with historic 7th

DENVER -- Before the road trip began, manager Dusty Baker was hoping for what he always hopes for -- a perfect 10. But these Nats go to 11.

In Thursday's 16-5 win over the Rockies, the Nats put an 11-run seventh inning together as the exclamation point on an historic 9-1 road trip through Atlanta, New York and Colorado. It was the best winning percentage in a trip of 10 games or more in franchise history.

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

Torrid start puts Harper in elite company

Torrid start puts Harper in elite company

DENVER -- Call him Mr. April. When you're in company with The Sultan of Swat and The Splendid Splinter, you need your own nickname.

Bryce Harper is finishing another April for the ages, hitting a Major League best .418 with eight homers and 25 RBIs. His OPS for the month is 1.358, second only to Eric Thames (1.393), but his career OPS in March and April is 1.076, trailing only Babe Ruth (1.090) and Ted Williams (1.088), according to Stats., Inc.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gio, red-hot Nats rout Rox to cap 9-1 trip

Gio, red-hot Nats rout Rox to cap 9-1 trip

DENVER -- The Nationals came through Denver knowing they wouldn't have Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg to quiet the first-place Rockies, but Gio Gonzalez became the latest to halt the Colorado bats while leading Washington to an unprecedented ninth win to cap a 10-game road trip.

The Nats ran away to a 16-5 win Thursday, and established the highest winning percentage in franchise history on a road trip of such length. In a voyage that also included stops in Atlanta and New York, the Nats went 105-for-368 (.285) with 52 walks, 71 strikeouts, 42 extra-base hits, 16 homers and 79 runs scored (7.9 per game). Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton added to the onslaught, hitting home runs in the rout. 

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Thursday.

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

Strasburg to pitch Saturday, J. Turner stays

Strasburg to pitch Saturday, J. Turner stays

DENVER -- The Nationals made the expected move of reinstating Stephen Strasburg from the paternity list Thursday after he and his wife Rachel welcomed the birth of their second child this week.

Less predictable was the decision to keep Jacob Turner on the big league roster and send Matt Grace back to Triple-A Syracuse. Turner temporarily took Strasburg's place on the roster and in the rotation. He pitched well Monday, allowing three runs on six hits and no walks while striking out six at hitter-friendly Coors Field.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soto belts third homer for Hagerstown

Soto belts third homer for Hagerstown

Tyler Mahle's chances of throwing his second straight perfect game came undone just two batters into his start on Thursday. The Reds' No. 10 prospect still was plenty good, tossing six dominant frames to extend his scoreless innings streak to 19 2/3 for Double-A Pensacola.

Mahle needed just 88 pitches in his previous start to record the first nine-inning perfect game in the Southern League since 1970. He threw 94 (64 strikes) on Thursday, allowing four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts before departing with a 3-0 lead. The Blue Wahoos' bullpen would give back those runs in the subsequent frames, however, ultimately falling to Biloxi, 4-3, and costing Mahle an opportunity at his fifth win in as many starts.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

April mastered, Harper poised for big season

April mastered, Harper poised for big season

DENVER -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper has mastered April, again. The challenge, however, awaits.

As Pirates manager Clint Hurdle likes to say, greatness is the result of being very good for a long period of time. And that's the challenge still facing Harper.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Road show: Top of Nats' order carries load

Lineup's 2-5 batters rack up 12 hits, 9 RBIs in rout

Road show: Top of Nats' order carries load

DENVER -- The road has always been a place for discovery, and on their 10-game trip through Atlanta, New York and Colorado, the Nationals are showing how baseball teams can find themselves on the road.

Manager Dusty Baker tweaked his lineup Thursday in Atlanta, and the results have been phenomenal, shifting a surging offense into overdrive. Moving Ryan Zimmerman into the cleanup role and flipping Adam Eaton and Trea Turner to leadoff and the two-hole has given the Nats a punch that's tough to defend against.

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

Nats' big bats bring heat to chilly Colorado

Turner, Zimmerman, Murphy homer; Harper goes 4-for-4

Nats' big bats bring heat to chilly Colorado

DENVER -- The Nationals clobbered their way to another win early, defeating the Rockies, 11-4, on a chilly Wednesday night at Coors Field to win their eighth game on their current 10-game road trip, which ends with Thursday's four-game series finale. The Nationals improved to 15-6, which is tied for the best start in franchise history, accomplished in 1979 and '81 when they were the Montreal Expos.

Daniel Murphy, Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper each had huge nights, combining to go 12-for-19 and tally nine of the Nats' RBIs. Harper went 4-for-4 with a walk in what was his fifth career four-hit game and third of 2017. Murphy has 12 RBIs since Sunday, Zimmerman is 15-for-33 (.455) with five homers and 14 RBIs in his last nine games, and Turner is 11-for-24 with 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored in six games since coming off the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Wednesday.

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

Ailing hip lands Glover on disabled list

Right-hander replaced in 'pen by lefty Grace from Triple-A

Ailing hip lands Glover on disabled list

DENVER -- The Nationals were so sure they'd need extra pitching help in Colorado, they stowed a Triple-A reliever in Denver before the need even came up. Lefty Matt Grace flew from Syracuse to Colorado on Tuesday in time to watch the Nats' 15-12 win over the Rockies, which cost reliever Koda Glover a trip to the 10-day disabled list with a left hip impingement.

"We knew we were going to need an arm here," manager Dusty Baker said. "[Grace] is a guy that throws general breaking balls down. We need Gracie."

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Wednesday. Oliver Macklin contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Nats mix and match last piece of the puzzle

Nats mix and match last piece of the puzzle

DENVER -- The Nationals' lineup is impressive. Entering Wednesday, three hitters were hitting .300 or better, including Bryce Harper reaffirming his elite status and hitting .400, and rookie Trea Turner coming alive on Tuesday night at Coors Field, driving in seven runs, hitting for the cycle and raising his average to .289.

No wonder they are sitting atop the National League East.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trea-cycle: Young Nat uses wheels for feat

Turner (7 RBIs) triples to cap 3rd cycle in Nationals history

Trea-cycle: Young Nat uses wheels for feat

DENVER -- Nationals shortstop Trea Turner had the hottest night of his career in the coldest game of the season on Tuesday, hitting for the cycle while driving in a personal-best seven runs in a 15-12 win over the Rockies at Coors Field.

Turner singled to right field in the first inning, doubled to left in the second to drive in a pair, hit a two-run homer to right in the sixth and knocked a bases-loaded triple into the right-field corner in the seventh.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver who covered the Nationals on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmerman's hot streak a bonus for Baker

Zimmerman's hot streak a bonus for Baker

DENVER -- The way the Nationals are going, manager Dusty Baker could probably draw a lineup out of a hat and still be leading the league in OPS. After a 15-12 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday, the Nationals are second in the National League in average (.272) and boasting a Major League-best .804 OPS.

The offense is clicking on nearly all cylinders, with six starters hitting over .250. The middle of the order -- Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Daniel Murphy -- came out of the second game of the Rockies series hitting a collective .363 (81-for-223) with 17 homers and 58 RBIs.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner's cycle, hot bats cool off Rox rally

Turner's cycle, hot bats cool off Rox rally

DENVER -- On a damp and frigid Tuesday night at Coors Field, Trea Turner swung the hottest bat, hitting for the cycle and driving in a career-high seven runs in the Nationals' 15-12 victory over the Rockies. Washington has won eight of its last nine games.

Turner singled in the first, doubled in the second, homered in the sixth and tripled in the seventh for the third cycle in Nationals history, and the ninth in the combined history of the Expos and Nationals.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Tuesday.

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

J. Turner delivers quality goods in spot start

J. Turner delivers quality goods in spot start

DENVER -- Like the rest of the 2009 Draft class, Jacob Turner has spent much of his baseball career in Stephen Strasburg's wake. Ironically, Turner -- the No. 9 pick that year and a non-roster invitee to Spring Training camp this year -- made his season debut by filling the shoes of the Nats ace and former No. 1 pick, who missed his scheduled start on Monday while on paternity leave.

Turner opened his season at the always dangerous Coors Field, taming it for the better part of six innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out six and taking a no-decision in the 8-4 loss to the Rockies. It was the Nats' 12th consecutive quality start.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats fan at Coors rewarded by Werth

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Nats fan at Coors rewarded by Werth

The Nationals might have been over 1,500 miles from home during their 8-4 loss to the Rockies on Monday at Coors Field, but one familiar fan helped them feel right at home.

During a previous road trip by the Nationals to Coors Field on Aug. 16, 2016, outfielder Jayson Werth suffered a hit by pitch. He was mostly fine and ended up staying in the game, but it still provided a scare for a young Nationals fan in the stands.

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Harper steamrolls to NL Player of the Week

Nats superstar hit .550 with three homers to win for fifth time in career

Harper steamrolls to NL Player of the Week

Bryce Harper continues to establish himself not only as one of baseball's best players, but as one of the sport's quickest starters. Harper is having his second straight excellent April, and now he's earned a Player of the Week award in the season's first month for the second straight year.

Harper was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday after he hit .550 (11-for-20) with three home runs, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored. Even more than teammates Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman, who are also off to sizzling starts, Harper's bat has sent the Nationals soaring to an MLB-best 13 wins.

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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.

Nats cycle in 6th, but win streak over

Nats cycle in 6th, but win streak over

DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon extended his hit streak to nine games and hit a go-ahead homer to cap a comeback, and the Rockies powered past the Nationals, 8-4, in the opener of a four-game series on Monday at Coors Field featuring the teams with the National League's best records.

Blackmon's deep fly was his sixth this year, and fourth during his streak, which began on April 14. The Rockies, who have won eight of their last 10, piled on another three runs in the eighth to relieve starting pitcher Tyler Anderson from another outing that began strong but ended abruptly.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Friday.

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

Nats' relievers rested, ready for Rox series

Nats' relievers rested, ready for Rox series

DENVER -- To hear manager Dusty Baker tell it, the Nats' 11 consecutive quality starts are all part of a plan to prepare for pitching at Coors Field.

Max Scherzer took the baton on Sunday night and pitched eight innings of three-run ball in a 6-3 win in New York, giving Baker a bullpen perfectly primed to handle the challenges that come up in one of baseball's more offense-oriented parks.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A grand opening for Nationals' Murphy

A grand opening for Nationals' Murphy

NEW YORK -- During his first season with the Nationals in 2016, Daniel Murphy routinely punished his former team during each of their 19 matchups. That theme continued Sunday night at Citi Field, when Murphy hammered a grand slam in the first inning off Zach Wheeler to help the Nationals to a 6-3 victory.

After Murphy, who spent the first seven seasons of his career in New York, collected a hit in all 19 games against the Mets in 2016, he collected a pair Saturday night and then Sunday's homer. He is now batting 34-for-88 (.386) against his former team with eight home runs and 25 RBIs.

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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.

Statcast of the Day: Scherzer's spin zone

Ace unleashes rising action with nearly 2,600 average rpm

Statcast of the Day: Scherzer's spin zone

The term "rising fastball" has been used in baseball for decades, even after science has given us the understanding that fastballs can't really rise as they come to the plate.

Just don't tell that to hitters after they face Max Scherzer. The Nationals' ace throws a fastball with the kind of spin that can overwhelm opposing lineups, and that dominance was on display Sunday night during Washington's 6-3 win over the Mets.

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

Murphy slam leads Nats to 7th straight win

Murphy slam leads Nats to 7th straight win

NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy provided the early offense, and Max Scherzer made it hold up, tossing eight strong innings to lead the Nationals to a 6-3 victory Sunday night at Citi Field to complete a three-game sweep over the Mets.

Murphy launched a grand slam in the first inning off Zack Wheeler and Ryan Zimmerman added some insurance with a two-run homer in the eighth, which was more than enough for Scherzer.

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

Danny Knobler is a contributor for MLB.com based in New York.

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

Nats' rotation continues sterling start

Washington starters have submitted 10 consecutive quality outings

Nats' rotation continues sterling start

NEW YORK -- The starting rotation is once again emerging as a strength for the Nationals, and has been one of the keys to their fast start. They have received contributions from all five starters that have helped carry the team to a 12-5 record, including six consecutive victories.

The latest outing came from left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who spun 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in Saturday's 3-1 victory against the Mets. Nationals starters began the day with the best FIP in the Majors at 2.83 and the most Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs, at 2.3. After Gonzalez's outing Saturday, they have now turned in 10 consecutive quality starts.

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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.