Nationals Game Notes: June 3 vs. Cincinnati Reds

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Washington Nationals (33-21) at Cincinnati Reds (19-35)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [3-3, 3.57] | LHP Brandon Finnegan [1-4, 4.14]
Friday, June 3 l Game #55 / Road # 29 l Great American Ball Park l Cincinnati, O.H. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

Moving to a season-high 12 games over .500 with a sweep of the Phillies, the Nationals will open a three-game set at Great American Ball Park Friday evening, their first meeting with the Reds this season…This is the second stop on the Nationals’ current three-city, nine-game, 11-day trek, which is the longest (by days) they’ll make this season.

  • At 33-21 (.611), the Nationals have the second-best record in MLB (Cubs, 37-15 (.712)).
  • The Nationals have played to an 18-10 (.643) record on the road thus far this season, again behind only the Chicago Cubs (17-8, .680) for the best mark in the National League.

The Nationals recalled INF Trea Turner on Friday morning and placed 1B Ryan Zimmerman on the Paternity List…Turner, the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball entering this season (according to Baseball America), earned the second MLB call-up of his career by hitting .310 with a .376 on-base percentage in 50 games at Triple-A…Turner leads the International League in runs (38) and stolen bases (17) while ranking second in hits (61) and fifth in average (.310).

  • Zimmerman and his wife, Heather, welcomed their second child on Thursday.

After setting a franchise record for hits in a calendar month and leading the Major Leagues in batting average, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy was named the National League Player of the Month for May on Thursday…Murphy ended the month of May leading Major League Baseball in batting average (.397), hits (77), and multi-hit games (26).

  • In May alone, Murphy hit .416 (47-for-113) with a .434 OBP and a .673 SLG in 29 games. He collected eight doubles, seven home runs, 32 singles, 23 RBI, two walks, 17 runs scored and 14 multi-hit games…Six of his 23 RBI were go-ahead tallies, and four were game-winners…He ended the month on a 10-game hitting streak, which he extended to 11 games by going 1-for-4 in his first June contest on Wednesday night at Philadelphia.
  • The 47 hits Murphy collected in May tied OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) and OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994) for the franchise record (Nationals/Expos) for hits in a single month….Also a career high in a month for Murphy, his 47 hits were the most recorded by any NL player in any month since Melky Cabrera (51, 2012 San Francisco Giants).
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Murphy, who signed a three-year contract with WSH in January, is the first qualified player to post an average as high as .397 through the first two months of his first season with a new team since Roberto Alomar (.397, 1996 Orioles).
  • Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (26), batting average (.397) and hits (77)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.062), slugging percentage (2nd, .634), on-base percentage (3rd, .428) and doubles (T11th, 15).
  • The Player of the Month honors were the first of Murphy’s career…He is the second National to earn POTM this season (also OF Bryce Harper, April)…They’re the first set of teammates to take home NL POTM in back-to-back months of the same season since Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick (June & July, 2009/STL), and the first NL teammates since the awards were established (1974) to sweep the season’s first two months.

With a 3-for-4 performance that included a home run, four RBI and a run scored on Wednesday night, Nationals C Wilson Ramos improved his batting average to .338 through the season’s first 54 games…Ramos leads all catchers (min. 150 PA) in batting average (.338), on-base percentage (.383), slugging percentage (.536), RBI (29), and fewest strikeouts (19).

  • After hitting .229 in 2015, Ramos and teammate 2B Daniel Murphy are the only players in MLB to have increased their batting average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 PA in 2016 / 500PA in 2015), per Elias…Murphy went from .281 (2015) to .394.

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