Escobar's 5-hit night spurs Nats' offense

Third baseman comes through with go-ahead knock in 4-run 8th inning

Escobar's 5-hit night spurs Nats' offense

WASHINGTON -- Yunel Escobar is the quintessential man of few words. And as usual Monday night, the Nationals third baseman got right to the point discussing Washington's dramatic 6-4 victory over the Marlins at Nationals Park.

"That," Escobar said, with bullpen catcher Nilson Robledo interpreting from Spanish, "was the best game of my career."

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

Yunel, Desmond fuel Nats' game-changing rally

Yunel, Desmond fuel Nats' game-changing rally

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to overcome a two-run deficit and beat the Marlins, 6-4, Monday at Nationals Park.

Yunel Escobar capped a 5-for-5 performance with a sharp single to right field that scored two runs to break a 4-4 tie. Ian Desmond's two-run home run to center field -- both hits coming off reliever Bryan Morris -- brought the Nationals back from a 4-2 deficit. The four runs in the inning were one more than Washington scored in its past three games combined -- a pair of 1-0 wins and a 4-0 loss, all against the Mets.

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Damian Cristodero and Ben Standig are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rendon's rehab interrupted by oblique injury

Infielder was working to return from knee sprain; R. Johnson has foot surgery

Rendon's rehab interrupted by oblique injury

WASHINGTON -- The mystery surrounding Anthony Rendon's injury is over. The "tightness" in his left side that kept the Nationals infielder out of four rehab games last week was diagnosed Monday as an oblique injury.

There is no timetable for Rendon's return or when he can aggressively begin rehab, manager Matt Williams said.

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

Statcast signs point to Span's revival

Statcast signs point to Span's revival

It took Denard Span four-tenths of a second to react to the rocket that Giancarlo Stanton sent to the left-center warning track in the sixth inning of what was a tie game in Washington on Monday night, according to Statcast™. By the time the ball landed, 362.3 feet from Stanton's bat, Span had reached a top speed of 19.1 mph and covered more than 97 feet to haul the ball in and preserve the tie, an important moment in what would become a 6-4 Nationals victory over the Marlins.

Several years, back when Span was considered among baseball's best defensive outfielders, that play might not have been so notable. Between 2011-13, first with Minnesota and then with Washington, Span had the third-highest defensive runs saved of the 27 center fielders who accumulated at least 1,500 innings. Those numbers took a serious nosedive last year, ranking him as a slight negative across the board, and while single-year defensive metrics aren't above reproach, the truth of the matter is that Span is in his age-31 season and has some injury concerns.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strasburg squares off with Latos in NL East matchup

Strasburg squares off with Latos in NL East matchup

The Nationals' rotation is loaded with aces, though Stephen Strasburg didn't exactly pitch like one the last time he faced Miami. He gets a chance at redemption Tuesday night, when he squares off with right-hander Mat Latos, whose last start was cut short by a hamstring strain.

Strasburg took his second loss of the season on April 25, when he allowed four runs and eight hits in Miami's 8-0 victory at Marlins Park. The righty rebounded with a season-high seven strikeouts in his last start, against the Mets, to even his record at 2-2.

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

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

Mother's Day is Sunday, and for Melissa Rupert of Liberty Township, Ohio, it will be the first one to celebrate as the mother of a baby boy named Noah.

"He's my entire world," Rupert said. "Every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he'll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy, and I barely think about ... breast cancer."

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fister, 'pen combine for yet another Nats shutout

Fister, 'pen combine for yet another Nats shutout

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Doug Fister and the bullpen were outstanding during the Nationals' 1-0 victory over the Mets on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

Fister allowed five hits over 6 1/3 innings while striking out three batters. It was the antithesis of his last outing, in which he allowed five runs -- four earned -- in 5 2/3 innings against the Braves.

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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 get the job done despite RISP struggles

Nats get the job done despite RISP struggles

NEW YORK -- The Nationals did just enough on offense to edge the Mets, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

Ryan Zimmerman drove in what proved to be the game-winning run in the first inning, when his broken-bat single scored Jayson Werth with two outs.

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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.

One is the winning number for Nationals

Taylor drives in lone run; Desmond gets two hits

One is the winning number for Nationals

NEW YORK -- The Nationals had plenty of opportunities Saturday night, but all they needed was to cash in once behind Gio Gonzalez to edge the Mets, 1-0, at Citi Field.

The only run scored in the top of the second inning off left-hander Jonathon Niese. With runners on second and third and two outs, Michael Taylor hit a shot that tipped Daniel Murphy's glove at third base for an infield single. Ian Desmond was able to score on the play. It was the Nationals' only hit (1-for-8) with runners in scoring position, and they stranded nine runners in the 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.

Fist bump: Righty helps Nats top Mets 1-0 again

Fist bump: Righty helps Nats top Mets 1-0 again

NEW York -- Doug Fister became the second Nationals starter to blank the Mets in two days, and Ryan Zimmerman's first-inning RBI single proved to be enough as Washington beat New York, 1-0, for the second consecutive game on Sunday at Citi Field.

It marked the first time in Nationals/Expos history that the team has won back-to-back games by a score of 1-0.

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

Aggressive Gio sinks Mets in stellar outing

Lefty throws 7 scoreless innings, fans 9

Aggressive Gio sinks Mets in stellar outing

NEW YORK -- Left-hander Gio Gonzalez was the antithesis of his previous start as the Nationals blanked the Mets, 1-0, at Citi Field on Saturday night.

On the heels of allowing six runs on 10 hits over five innings against Miami and seeing his ERA balloon to 5.01, Gonzalez pitched seven shutout innings, allowed six hits and struck out nine. The only time he was in trouble was in the first inning, when he allowed two hits, a walk and wild pitch. But it helped that the Nationals were able to make a key play at the plate.

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

Gio works 7 scoreless, Nats escape with win

Gio works 7 scoreless, Nats escape with win

NEW YORK -- Gio Gonzalez struck out nine over seven shutout innings and Michael Taylor drove in the game's lone run as the Nationals won their fourth game in five chances, blanking the Mets, 1-0, on Saturday night at Citi Field.

Taylor's RBI infield single in the second inning proved enough to down Mets starter Jon Niese, who limited the damage despite finding himself in trouble all night. Niese allowed nine hits -- all singles -- in seven innings, but just one run after stranding nine Nationals. He fell to 2-2 with the hard-luck loss, while Gonzalez improved to 2-2.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for 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.

Rendon, Span dealing with nagging soreness

Infielder's return to Nats in question; outfielder expected to start Sunday

Rendon, Span dealing with nagging soreness

NEW YORK -- Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon was scheduled to play seven innings at second base for Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday, but he was scratched because he had a tough time getting loose, according to a team spokesman.

Manager Matt Williams was hoping that Rendon could return to the Nationals by the end of next week. That appears to be put on hold.

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

Scherzer pitches well, knows wins will come

Nationals' ace has a 1.26 ERA, but just one victory in five starts this season

Scherzer pitches well, knows wins will come

NEW YORK -- Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer proved that his problems with his right thumb are a thing of the past. In fact, he was very good on Friday night, but the Mets won the game, 4-0, at Citi Field.

Scherzer pitched seven innings, allowed one run on five hits and struck out 10 batters. It marked the 26th time in his career that he struck out 10 or more batters in a 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.

Nationals lament lack of offense against Mets

Nationals lament lack of offense against Mets

NEW YORK -- After scoring 34 runs in their previous three games, the Nationals couldn't generate any offense during their 4-0 loss to the Mets on Friday night.

It didn't help that Mets right-hander Matt Harvey was pitching in the game. He tossed seven shutout innings and allowed five hits.

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

Scherzer looks good, but Nats fall short

Scherzer looks good, but Nats fall short

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey became the first pitcher in the Major Leagues to five wins by outlasting Max Scherzer in a battle of aces as the Mets defeated the Nationals, 4-0, at Citi Field on Friday.

Harvey scattered five hits over seven innings, despite striking out just three. But the right-hander walked just one and induced 12 ground balls, which New York's newly revamped infield converted into 10 outs.

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

Lagares and Harper put up ridiculous defensive gems

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Lagares and Harper put up ridiculous defensive gems

After a truly ridiculous number of highlight plays, Juan Lagares has planted himself firmly at the top of the web gem mountain, to the point where it's far more remarkable when you don't take time out of your night to marvel at whatever absurd magic trick he pulled off this time. 

The master was at it again Friday night against the rival Nats, making the kind of grab we've all come to just expect.

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Nationals continue to work on their defense

Nationals continue to work on their defense

NEW YORK -- One thing can be said about the Nationals: They work hard before games when it comes to improving their defense.

Before home games during the regular season and during batting practice on the road, the Nationals are always working on defensive drills.

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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.

#ASGWorthy: Harper making early case

#ASGWorthy: Harper making early case

Bryce Harper is one of the game's brightest young stars, but he could still use a push from the fans. Harper, the Nationals' precocious right fielder, showed why he's #ASGWorthy on Thursday night, when he doubled twice and drove in three runs in Washington's 8-2 victory over the division-rival Mets.

Harper, who has logged a .440 on-base percentage this season, doubled once off Jacob deGrom, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, and then again later off rookie reliever Jack Leathersich. Harper, just 22 years old, has five home runs and 15 RBIs in his team's first 23 games.

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

Harper continues trend of raking in April

Harper continues trend of raking in April

NEW YORK -- Since 2013, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper always gets off to great starts, and this year is no different.

Harper ended April leading the team in home runs (five), RBIs (15), runs scored (18) and on-base percentage (.440). In fact, he has a streak of being on base in 16 consecutive 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

MLB, MLBPA agree to PTBNL rule change

Drafted players can be dealt after World Series rather than a year after signing

MLB, MLBPA agree to PTBNL rule change

To avoid a repeat of Trea Turner's awkward situation, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have agreed to change the rules governing when players signed out of the First-Year Player Draft can be traded.

MLB emailed all 30 teams Friday, informing them that starting with the 2015 Draft, players can be dealt the day after the World Series ends. Previously, they had to wait until the one-year anniversary of signing their first pro contact.

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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 capitalize early, pull away late to beat Mets

Nats capitalize early, pull away late to beat Mets

NEW YORK -- Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos drove in two runs apiece as the Nationals defeated the Mets, 8-2, at Citi Field on Thursday night. Washington has won three straight games to improve its record to 10-13.

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg won his second game of the season, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven.

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

Strasburg settles in after rocky first two innings

Strasburg settles in after rocky first two innings

NEW YORK -- It looked like it was going to be a short night for Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg on Thursday against the Mets at Citi Field. After two innings, Strasburg threw 51 pitches and allowed two runs.

But he started dealing after that and ended up getting the victory as the Nationals defeated the Mets, 8-2. Starting with the third out in the second inning, Strasburg retired 10 consecutive batters and struck out five. Strasburg left the game in the sixth inning after throwing 100 pitches.

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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.

Solis spins 2 shutout innings in MLB debut

Solis spins 2 shutout innings in MLB debut

NEW YORK -- Nationals left-hander Sammy Solis made his Major League debut during Thursday's 8-2 victory over the Mets.

Solis, the Nationals' No. 28 prospect, pitched two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out a batter -- Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson.

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

Span exits win with sore abdominal muscle

Nationals center fielder pulls himself from game, will miss at least one more

Span exits win with sore abdominal muscle

NEW YORK -- Nationals center fielder Denard Span will miss at least one game because of a sore abdominal muscle. He took himself out of Thursday's game against the Mets in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Span started to feel pain in the area -- the rectus abdominis muscle -- where he had surgery in early March. He ended up going 0-for-2 with a run scored and a walk during the Nationals' 8-2 victory over New York.

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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.

Zimmerman eyes return trip to All-Star Game

Zimmerman eyes return trip to All-Star Game

WASHINGTON -- For the first time in his career, Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman is on the All-Star Game ballot as a first baseman.

Zimmerman, who's only Midsummer Classic appearance came in 2009, is looking to record his fourth season in which he drives in 90 runs or more runs. The last time it happened was in '12, when he drove in 95.

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

Nats' bats doing some major damage at plate

Nats' bats doing some major damage at plate

ATLANTA -- For most of April, the Nationals were quite pedestrian at the plate. They came into the series against the Braves batting well below the Mendoza Line.

As they leave Turner Field, the bats are alive and ripping. That's what 26 runs and 30 hits in two games can do for you -- including a 13-4 win in the rubber game on Wednesday night. Both games saw identical outputs of 13 runs on 15 hits -- the first time in franchise history the Nationals put together back-to-back 13-run games.

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