Nationals Game Notes: August 23 at Baltimore Orioles

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Washington Nationals (73-51) at Baltimore Orioles (68-56)
RHP Reynaldo Lopez [2-1, 4.37] | RHP Kevin Gausman [4-10, 4.11]
Tuesday, August 23 l Game #125 / Road #66 l Oriole Park at Camden Yards l Baltimore, M.D. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

EDGED OUT
The Nationals opened their four-game home-and-home series with a 4-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards on Monday night, edged in the one-run game by the O’s despite a strong outing from spot starter RHP A.J. Cole, as well as home runs from 3B Anthony Rendon and SS Danny Espinosa…Washington is just over halfway through a stretch of 20 games in 20 days that began on Aug. 12…Thus far, the Nationals are 6-5 with BAL (3 games), COL (3 games) and PHI (3 games) remaining before their next scheduled off day (Sept. 1).

  • At 73-51 (.589), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (79-45, .637)…The Nationals and Cubs are the only 70-win teams in the NL…Reaching the 70-win mark in game No. 117, the 2016 Nationals are the fastest in club history to that total since the 2012 Nationals earned No. 70 in game No. 113.
  • WSH also ranks second in MLB with a +144 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+212).
  • The Nationals have lost back-to-back games for just the 14th time all season…Washington has only lost three or more consecutive games four times all year, and not since June 25.

INFIELD POP
The Nationals’ offense on Monday night was provided almost exclusively by their infield with 2B Daniel Murphy’s RBI-single driving in CF Trea Turner with the game’s first run, and then 3B Anthony Rendon and SS Danny Espinosa providing the power with solo home runs in the fourth and seventh innings, respectively…For Rendon, it was his 16th home run of the season, and for Espinosa his 19th.

  • The Nationals’ infielders (1B, 2B, SS, 3B) have combined to club 79 home runs this season, the third-most among all infield groups in the National League (eighth-most in the Major Leagues)…With Murphy and Espinosa primarily up the middle, the Nationals’ pivot players lead the Major Leagues with 40 combined home runs.
  • The home run, part of a 1-for-3 evening for Rendon that included a walk, pushed his average to .333 (38-for-114) with 12 doubles, seven homers, 25 RBI, 12 walks, three stolen bases, 21 runs scored, and just 16 strikeouts in 130 plate appearances since July 16…Rendon leads all NL 3B in doubles (30), ahead of CHI’s Kris Bryant (29).

HELLO, MR. HARPER
Nationals RF Bryce Harper has driven in runs in seven of his last nine games and reached base in all nine (.500 OBP).

  • Since returning to the Nationals’ lineup on Aug. 14, Harper is now 12-for-33 (.364) with three doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, nine walks, eight runs scored and two stolen bases.
  • His 11 RBI are tied for fifth in the National League in this stretch, behind only Kris Bryant & Ryan Braun (12), Joey Votto (13), and Adrian Gonzalez (15).

RETURN OF THE Z-MAN
Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman returned from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday (left wrist contusion) and wasted no time making his presence felt…Zimmerman homered on the first pitch he saw, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, and finished the night 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

  • Saturday marked Zimmerman’s third three-plus hit game of the season (also May 4 at KC (three hits) and May 28 vs. STL (four hits)).
  • Going 1-for-4 with a double on Monday, Zimmerman is now 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, a home run, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored since his return to the active roster.
  • In 23 career games, Zimmerman is a .307 hitter at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, (27-for-88) with five doubles, a triple, five home runs, and 14 RBI to go with nine walks and just 10 strikeouts in 97 plate appearances.

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