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Nationals Game Notes: May 3 at Kansas City

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Washington Nationals (18-7) at Kansas City Royals (13-12)
RHP Tanner Roark [2-2, 2.03] | RHP Chris Young [1-4, 6.12]
Tuesday, May 3 l Game #26 / Road #14 l Kauffman Stadium l Kansas City, MO l 7:15 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 FM & Nationals Radio Network

ROLLING RIGHT ALONG
The Nationals extended their winning streak to four straight games with a 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium…LHP Gio Gonzalez tossed six scoreless over the defending World Series Champions, while LHP Sammy Solis, RHP Shawn Kelley, LHP Oliver Perez, and RHP Jonathan Papelbon, combined for the final three scoreless frames…The win was the Nationals’fourth shutout of the season and improved their MLB-best team ERA to 2.21.

SPEAKING OF THOSE HEROIC HURLERS…
Through the season’s first 25 games, the Nationals’ pitching staff, as a whole, leads Major League Baseball with the aforementioned 2.21 ERA…The staff also ranks in MLB in opp. slugging percentage (1st, .308), opp. average (2nd, .211), opp. OPS (2nd. 583), opp. OBP (2nd, .275), hits/9.0 innings (2nd, 6.80), WHIP (2nd, 1.05), HR/9.0 innings (2nd, 0.58) and strikeouts (4th, 222).

  • The Nationals boast three starting pitchers in the top 10 in ERA in the National League: LHP Gio Gonzalez (2nd, 1.15), RHP Tanner Roark (8th, 2.03) and RHP Stephen Strasburg (9th, 2.25)…Further, RHP Joe Ross, whose 0.79 ERA would rank first in the NL, falls just short of qualifying to be among league leaders (1 IP per team game).
  • Since April 23rd, Mike Maddux’s pitching staff leads Major League Baseball with 99 strikeouts, ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers (88) and Philadelphia Phillies (88).
  • In their last turn through the rotation (4/28-5/2), Nationals starters are 4-1 with a 0.82 ERA (3 ER/33.0 IP), striking out 29 batters while walking just seven.

AMONG THE BEST TO EVER DO IT
Locking down the victory with a scoreless ninth inning, Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon secured his ninth save of the season and the 358th save of his career, tying Troy Percival for the 10th most in baseball history…Among those listed below, Papelbon has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.56) and the third-best ERA+ (184).

ALL-TIME SAVES LEADERS SAVES
1. Mariano Rivero         652
2. Trevor Hoffman      601
3. Lee Smith      478
4. John Franco          424
5. Billy Wagner             422
6. Francisco Rodriguez*         393
7. Dennis Eckersley       390
8. Joe Nathan         377
9. Jeff Reardon          367
T10. Jonathan Papelbon* 358
T10. Troy Percival 358
*-Active Player

WELCOME TO THE 1,000 CLUB, MR. MURPHY!
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy has hit safely in 21 of his 24 games played, including 12 multi-hit efforts, tied for the most in the Major Leagues (Machado, Marte).

  • As part of his 3-for-4 effort on Monday night, Murphy notched the 1,000th hit of his career with a double in the sixth inning…According to Stats LLC., Murphy is now the 10th player to collect his 1,000th hit as a member of the Washington Nationals.
  • Murphy ranks third in Major League Baseball in batting average (.382) and eighth in on-base percentage (.439).

Nationals Game Notes: May 2 at Kansas City

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Washington Nationals (17-7) at Kansas City Royals (13-11)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [1-1, 1.42] | RHP Edinson Volquez [3-1, 3.34]
Monday, May 2 l Game #25 / Road #13 l Kauffman Stadium l Kansas City, MO l 7:15 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 99.1 FM & Nationals Radio Network

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SWEEPING CHANGE
The Nationals topped the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1, yesterday afternoon and, in doing so, completed their first sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis in team history (2005-pres.)…In addition, it was the Nationals’ first series win against the Cardinals in St. Louis since May 2007…Washington outscored St. Louis, 17-6, while clubbing six home runs during the three-game set.

  • RHP Max Scherzer (7.0 IP, 4 H, 9 SO) earned the win Sunday afternoon and has now recorded at least one win against 29 of the 30 Major League Baseball teams…He has never beaten his former club, the Detroit Tigers, who visit Washington next week.
  • OF Matt den Dekker put the Nationals ahead, 1-0, in the sixth inning with an RBI-single…The Nationals tacked on in the seventh inning with back-to-back home runs by 1B Clint Robinson and SS Danny Espinosa.

I PLAY THE ROAD
Washington continues its 10-game, three-city trip today in Kansas City as the Nationals begin a three-game set against the defending World Series Champions.

  • Washington’s current road trip took them from St. Louis, across the state to Kansas City before they Nationals will head to Chicago on Thursday for a four-game series with the Cubs.
  • This is the first of two 10-game road trips for Washington in 2016…The Nationals will travel to San Diego (4 G), Los Angeles (3 G) and Milwaukee (3 G) from June 16-26.

BEST (NATIONALS) START EVER
At 17-7 (.708), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball (Chicago Cubs, 17-6, .739), and the are in the midst of the best start in Nationals history (2005-pres.) through 24 games.

  • The 17-7 record is the best start in Nationals history (2005-pres.) through the first 24 games and it matches the best record in Nationals/Expos history…The 1979 Expos also went 17-7…The 1932 Senators boast the best record for a D.C.-based team through the first 24 games at 19-5.

CLOSING IN ON No. 1,000
2B Daniel Murphy has hit safely in 20 of his 23 games played, including 11 multi-hit efforts, tied for second in the National League.

  • Murphy ranks third in Major League Baseball in batting average (.365) and ninth in on-base percentage (.426).
  • With 998, Murphy is just two hits shy of reaching the 1,000 hit mark…According to Stats LLC., he will become the 10th player to collect his 1,000th hit as a member of the Washington Nationals, joining:

PLAYER        DATE
1. Jose Guillen         9/9/2005
2. Alfonso Soriano      6/29/2006
3. Cristian Guzman      6/1/2007
4. Aaron Boone          6/25/2008
5. Adam Dunn             5/26/2009
6. Adam LaRoche         5/16/2012
7. Ryan Zimmerman       6/26/2012
8. Jayson Werth         8/10/2013
9. Denard Span          9/5/2014

Nationals OF Bryce Harper named April NL Player of the Month

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at Nationals Park on April 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Beginning the encore to his MVP season with a superb opening month of 2016, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was named the National League Player of the Month for April on Monday. Major League Baseball made the announcement on MLB Network.

Harper, 23, hit .286 with a .406 on-base percentage and a .714 slugging percentage (best in MLB) in 23 April games. In that period, he drove in an MLB-best 24 runs, clubbed nine home runs (3rd in MLB), stole five bases, clobbered 15 extra-base hits and struck out just 13 times in 96 plate appearances. Six of those 24 RBI gave the Nationals a lead, and three of the 24 won the game for Washington, which posted a 16-7 record in the season’s opening month.

The month featured milestones and personal feats for Harper, who clubbed the 100th home run of his career with a grand slam swing vs. Atlanta on April 14 at Nationals Park, and posted a career-best eight-game RBI streak that ran from that game through April 21 at Miami and accounted for 17 Nationals runs. In that stretch, Harper tied a Nationals record (2005-present) by hitting home runs in a career-best four consecutive games, and hit .379 (11-for-29). Eight of his 11 hits went for extra bases (six home runs, two doubles).

At 23 years, 181 days old, Harper became the eighth-youngest player in MLB history to reach the 100-home run mark, joining Mel Ott (22 years, 132 days), Tony Conigliaro (22 years, 197 days), Eddie Mathews (22 years, 292 days), Alex Rodriguez (23 years, 16 days), Andruw Jones (23 years, 62 days), Miguel Cabrera (23 years, 127 days), and Johnny Bench (22 years, 161 days). Harper was younger than Albert Pujols (23 years, 185 days), Hank Aaron (23 years, 191 days) and Ken Griffey Jr. (23 years, 206 days) when he hit the 100-homer mark.

Harper then found himself right at home in Philadelphia, joining Ernie Banks (1955) as the only visiting player in modern MLB history to hit a home run in six straight games in Philly. Harper’s home run streak dates back to 2015, and in 31 career games at Citizens Bank Park Harper is now hitting .325 with four doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 23 RBI and 12 walks. Homering in all three games the Nationals played in Philadelphia April 15-17, and including his home runs in three straight at CBP to close 2015, Harper tied a modern MLB record for any visiting player at any stadium, matching most recently Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who clubbed home runs in six straight at Coors Field from 2011-2012.

April also featured the first pinch-hit home run of Harper’s career, a ninth-inning, game-tying swing that propelled the Nationals into extra innings in their 16-inning affair vs. Minnesota on April 24.

This is the second Player of the Month award of Harper’s career (also May, 2015), and the 10th Pitcher/Player monthly honor for the Nationals organization. He is the third repeat monthly winner, joining Jayson Werth, who took home the July Player of the Month honors in 2013 and 2014, and Max Scherzer, who earned back-to-back Pitcher of the Month nods in May and June, 2015. Other Nationals who’ve earned a monthly award are: Chad Cordero (June, 2005), Stephen Strasburg (April, 2012), Gio Gonzalez (May, 2012), and Jordan Zimmermann (July, 2012).

Nationals Game Notes: May 1 at St. Louis

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Washington Nationals (16-7) at St. Louis Cardinals (12-12)
RHP Max Scherzer [2-1, 4.35] | RHP Carlos Martinez [4-0, 1.93]
Sunday, May 1 l Game #24 / Road #12 l Busch Stadium l St. Louis, MO l 1:15 P.M. CT
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

APRIL SHOWERS? NOT SO MUCH
With heavy rainstorms bearing down on the St. Louis Area, the Nationals topped the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1, Saturday afternoon…In doing so, the Nationals claimed their first series winagainst the Cardinals in St. Louis since May 2007.
• In the win, RHP Joe Ross tossed 6.0 innings of six-hit, one-run ball to earn his third win of the season…The Nationals plated four runs in the first inning, three off the bat of LF Jayson Werth (2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, R) in the form of a three-run home run.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ross’s 0.79 earned-run average is the fourth lowest
in Nationals/Expos history through a pitcher’s first four starts of a season, behind Pedro
Martinez (0.31 in 1997, when he won the Cy Young Award), Woodie Fryman (0.55 in
1975), and Steve Rogers (0.77 in 1973).
• With a win today, Washington will complete the first road sweep over the St. Louis Cardinalsin team history (2005-pres.)
• Washington’s 16 wins in April matched an franchise all-time (2005-pres.) high…The 2014 Nationals also won 16 games in March/April.

BEST (NATIONALS) START EVER
At 16-7 (.682), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball (Chicago Cubs, 17-5, .773), and the are in the midst of the best start in Nationals history (2005-pres.) through 23 games.
• Their 16-7 is the best start in Nationals history (2005-pres.) through the first 23 games and is matches the best record in Nationals/Expos history…The 1996 Expos, 1979 Expos and the 1981 Expos were all 16-7…he 1932 Senators boast the best record for a D.C.-based
team through the first 23 games at 18-5.

Nationals Game Notes: April 30 at St. Louis

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Washington Nationals (15-7) at St. Louis Cardinals (12-11)
RHP Joe Ross [2-0, 0.54] | LHP Jaime Garcia [1-1, 3.24]
Saturday, April 30 l Game #23 / Road #11 l Busch Stadium l St. Louis, MO l 1:15 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

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OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
The Nationals kicked off their 10-game, three-city road trip with a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals last night…RHP Stephen Strasburg (7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, BB, 9 SO) improved to 4-0 for the first time in his career, while SS Danny Espinosa (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R) clubbed his first home run of the season.

  • Washington’s current road trip will take them from St. Louis, this weekend, to western Missouri to face the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals before heading to Chicago on Thursday to start a four-game series against the Cubs.
  • This is the first of two 10-game road trips for Washington in 2016…The Nationals will travel to San Diego (4 G), Los Angeles (3 G) and Milwaukee (3 G) from June 16-26.

BEST (NATIONALS) START EVER
At 15-7 (.682), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League (Chicago Cubs, 17-5, .773), and the are in the midst of the best start in Nationals history (2005-pres.) through 22 games.

  • Their 15-7 is the best start in Nationals history (2005-pres.) through the first 22 games and is the second-best record in Nationals/Expos history (1979 Expos: 16-6) as well as D.C.-baseball history…The 1932 Senators boast the best record for a D.C.-based team through the first 22 games at 17-5.

POP FROM THE TOP
CF Michael A. Taylor took the third pitch of the game from RHP Mike Leake and drove it into the St. Louis bullpen to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead Friday night…It was the fourth leadoff home run of Taylor’s career and his second this season.

  • As a team, Washington has clubbed three leadoff homers in 2016 (Taylor-2, Matt den Dekker-1) and is tied with the Houston Astros for the most leadoff home runs in Major League Baseball…Taylor’s two leadoff blasts ranks just behind HOU 2B Jose Altuve (3) for the most in MLB.

Nationals Game Notes: April 29 at St. Louis

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Washington Nationals (14-7) at St. Louis Cardinals (12-10)
RHP Stephen Strasburg [3-0, 2.17] | RHP Mike Leake [0-2, 5.64]
Friday, April 29 l Game #22 / Road #10 l Busch Stadium l St. Louis, MO l 7:15 P.M. CT
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

THE ROAD TO BE TRAVELED
The Nationals begin a 10-game, three-city road trip that will take them from St. Louis, this weekend, to western Missouri to face the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals before heading to Chicago on Thursday to start a four-game series against the Cubs.

  • This is the first of two 10-game road trips for Washington in 2016…The Nationals will travel to San Diego (4 G), Los Angeles (3 G) and Milwaukee (3 G) from June 16-26.

ARMS RACE
Through the season’s first 21 games, the Nationals’ pitching staff, as a whole, leads Major
League Baseball with a 2.35 ERA and in opp. slugging percentage (.308) and ranks among
MLB staffs in opp. average (.209), opp. OBP (2nd, .278), opp. OPS (2nd. 586), hits/9.0 innings (2nd, 6.72), WHIP (2nd, 1.07), and HR/9.0 innings (2nd, 0.60).

  • The Nationals boast three starting pitchers in the top 10 in ERA in the National League: LHP Gio Gonzalez (4th, 1.42), RHP Tanner Roark (9th, 2.03) and RHP Stephen Strasburg (10th, 2.17)…Further, RHP Joe Ross whose 0.54 ERA would lead the NL, falls just short of qualifying to be among league leaders.

THE DEFENSE (NEVER) RESTS
The Nationals have committed the fewest errors (6) in Major League Baseball and their .992 team fielding percentage is the best in MLB ahead of KCR (.989) and SFG (.989)…The Nationals also rank sixth in the National League with 22 double plays.

  • According to Baseball Prospectus, the Nationals rank second (.740) in the National League and third in Major League Baseball in “Defensive Efficiency” (the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs) behind only the Chicago Cubs (.749) and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (.741)…In comparison, the 2015 Nationals ranked 21st in MLB in Defensive Efficiency at .700.

 

Nationals manager, coaches and players visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Wednesday

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As part of the Nationals’ commitment to the military community, Nationals Manager Dusty Baker, coaches and players visited service members and their families at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Wednesday morning.

The team spent time with wounded veterans working on their physical therapy in the Military Advanced Training Center, listening to stories from the front lines and their individual journeys to recovery. Additionally, a group of players and coaches made a special trip to the pediatric cancer ward to surprise a few military children.

Afterwards, the team joined active duty service members and their families at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda for photos and autographs.

Nationals Game Notes: April 28 vs. Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Phillies (11-10) vs. Washington Nationals (14-6)
RHP Aaron Nola [1-2, 4.50] | RHP Tanner Roark [2-2, 2.63]
Thursday, April 27 l Game #21 / Home #12 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 4:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan / 99.1 & Nationals Radio Network

 

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A Madison Roark production for Take Your Kid To Work Day.

WHERE THINGS STAND
At 14-6 (.700), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League (Chicago Cubs, 15-5, .750), and they have matched the best start in franchise history through 20 games.

 

  • The 2012 Nationals also began the season 14-6, while the 1932 Senators boast the best record for a D.C.-based team through the first 20 games at 15-5.

500 CLUB
With a bunt single in the fifth inning Wednesday night, Nationals SS Danny Espinosa collected the 500th hit of his career…Espinosa joins Ryan Zimmerman (1427), Jayson Werth (1291), Stephen Drew (1050), Daniel Murphy (994), Ben Revere (736), and Bryce Harper (549) as current Washington Nationals who’ve eclipsed the 500-hit mark.

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN AT THE PLATE
Nationals RF Bryce Harper ranks among
MLB hitters in home runs (T1st, 9), RBI (T1st, 24), slugging percentage (2nd, .823), OPS, (2nd, 1.252), intentional walks (3rd, 4), on-base percentage (8th, .434) an
d walks (T10th, 15).

  • When he gets the chance, Harper is making his opportunities with runners on base count in a big way thus far this season…He is 10-for-21 (.476) with nine extra-base hits (four home runs, five doubles) and eight walks (four intentional) when he steps to the plate with men on…During his 2015 NL MVP campaign, Harper batted .336 in those situations, which ranked fifth in MLB.
  • However, Harper often does not get the opportunity to do damage, as his four intentional walks rank third in the Major Leagues and second in the NL…His eight walks with runners on base are tied for fifth in the NL.

 

Nationals Game Notes: April 27 vs. Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Phillies (10-10) vs. Washington Nationals (14-5)
RHP Jeremy Hellickson [1-1, 5.21] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [1-0, 1.42]
Wednesday, April 27 l Game #20 / Home #11 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

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WHERE THINGS STAND
At 14-5 (.737), the Nationals boast the second-best record in baseball (Chicago Cubs, 15-5, .750), and they have matched the best start in franchise history through 19 games.

  • The 2012 Nationals also began the season 14-5, as did the 1932 Senators (the last D.C.-based team to start as well).

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN AT THE PLATE
Nationals RF Bryce Harper leads Major League Baseball in RBI (24), slugging percentage (.844), and home runs (9)…Harper also paces the Major Leagues in OPS (1.274).

  • When he gets the chance, Harper is making his opportunities with runners on base count in a big way thus far this season…He is 10-for-21 (.476) with nine extra-base hits (four home runs, five doubles) and eight walks (four intentional) when he steps to the plate with men on…During his 2015 NL MVP campaign, Harper batted .336 in those situations, which ranked fifth in MLB.
  • However, Harper often does not get the opportunity to do damage, as his four intentional walks rank third in the Major Leagues and second in the NL…His eight walks with runners on base are tied for fourth in the NL.
  • Harper, who clubbed the first pinch-hit home run of his career on Sunday with a game-tying blast to leadoff the ninth, posted a career-best eight-game RBI-streak from April 14-21…The eight-game streak is tied for the second-longest in Nationals history (2005-pres.) behind Ryan Zimmerman’s nine-game streak, Sept. 3-12, 2012.

MASHIN’ MURPH
With a 1-for-3 performance on Tuesday night, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy has now hit safely in 16 of his 18 games played, including an MLB-best 10 multi-hit efforts…He has also reached base safely in 35 of his 75 plate appearances (.465 OBP).

  • Murphy leads MLB in batting average (.394), ranks third in MLB (and the NL) in on-base percentage (.467) and is ninth in MLB (eighth in the NL) in slugging percentage (.636).
  • From April 7-20, Murphy posted a 12-game hitting streak, matching the longest single-season hitting streak of Murphy’s career, a 12-game run from Sept. 18-Oct. 3, 2015…Murphy does own a 14-game streak, which stretched from the end of the 2013 season (Sept. 19) to the start of 2014 (April 4).

Nationals Game Notes: April 26 vs. Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Phillies (9-10) vs. Washington Nationals (14-4)
RHP Vince Velasquez [2-1, 0.93] | RHP Max Scherzer [2-1, 4.32]
Tuesday, April 26 l Game #19 / Home #10 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

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MARATHON MEN
The Nationals topped the Minnesota Twins, 6-5, in a 16-inning affair on Sunday afternoon/evening at Nationals Park on the first walk-off home run of OF Chris Heisey’s career…The 5:56 game was the longest regular-season game (by time) in Nationals history (2005-pres.), and the 16 innings tied the longest regular-season game (by innings) in Nationals history, matching the Nationals’ 4-2 victory at Milwaukee, June 24, 2014.

  • Sunday’s wild game featured a little bit of everything for Washington, including the first leadoff home run of OF Matt den Dekker’s career, a game-tying, bottom-of-the-ninth, pinch-hit home run by Bryce Harper (the first pinch-hit home run of his career), and a near-perfect bunt from LHP Oliver Perez in his first plate appearance since 2010.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time a team won a game of 16 or more innings while hitting a leadoff home run and a walk-off home run since the 2009 San Diego Padres accomplished the feat in a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, who were managed by none other than Dusty Baker.

NOW HE’S SEEN EVERYTHING
Nationals manager Dusty Baker was certain he had never seen anything like what transpired on Sunday, and he was pretty darn close to being right…Baker has won 1,685 games as an MLB manager, but this was his first victory ever in which his team trailed in the ninth inning and again in extra innings.

  • However, according to Elias, Baker had seen something like this before: the last time that an MLB team tied a game with a bottom-of-the-ninth home run and won it in the 15th-inning or later with another home run was May 25, 2008 when the Padres defeated Baker’s Reds, 12-9, in 18 innings… Scott Hairston hit a game-tying ninth-inning home run and Adrian Gonzalez cranked a walk-off home run off of Edinson Volquez.

OFF THE BLOCKS
At 14-4 (.778), the Nationals boast the best record in baseball, and they have matched the best start in franchise history through 18 games…The 2012 Nationals also began the season 14-4, as did the 1932 Senators (the last D.C.-based team to start this well).