Nationals Game Notes: August 29 at Philadelphia Phillies

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Washington Nationals (75-55) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-70)

RHP Tanner Roark [13-7, 2.99] | RHP Jake Thompson [1-3, 9.78]

Monday, August 29 l Game #131 / Road #67 l Citizens Bank Park l Philadelphia, P.A. l 7:05 P.M.

Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

After a brief, five-game homestand, the Nationals head back out on the road for a seven-day, six-game road trip to Philadelphia and New York…In something of a rarity, the Nationals’ current road trip will feature exclusively night games with three evening contests here in Philadelphia, two 7:10 p.m. games in New York and an 8:08 p.m. start on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball on Sept. 4 at Citi Field.

  • On Sept. 1, the Nationals will enjoy their first off day since Aug. 11, concluding a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, during which they are currently 8-9.
  • At 75-55 (.577), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (82-47, .636)…WSH ranks 2nd in MLB with a +135 run differential, behind the Cubs (+217).
  • Since August 10, the Nationals lead Major League Baseball in runs scored (108) while ranking second in AVG (.287), fifth in OBP (.345) and sixth in SLG (.478).

TRÈS CHIC

Nationals rookie INF/OF Trea Turner continued his blistering hot August with a leadoff home run to left field on Sunday…He added a single in the fifth for his sixth consecutive multi-hit game — tying the longest streak in the Major Leagues this season…Turner has reached base safely in his last 18 straight games and hit safely in 16 of those 18…In that stretch, Turner is hitting .410 (34-for-83) with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, nine RBI, nine stolen bases and 21 runs scored.

  • Turner has 42 hits this month, a Nationals rookie record (2005-present) for hits in a single calendar month…With three games remaining in the month, Turner is chasing 2B Daniel Murphy for the Nationals record for hits in a month (47, May), as well as the franchise record (Nationals/Expos) of 47, held by Murphy, OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) & OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994).
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Turner’s 27 runs this month set a new franchise record for most runs in a month by a Nationals/Expos rookie, topping the 26 Bryce Harper scored in Sept. 2012…Only Turner, Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman (26, July 2012) have scored at least 26 runs in a month since baseball returned to D.C. in 2005.
  • With one more stolen base, Turner will tie Harper (18 in 2012) for the most stolen bases in a rookie season in Nationals history (2005-present).
  • Since the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB in triples (6), while ranking among hitters in stolen bases (3rd, 17), hits (5th, 58), and runs scored (T5th, 34).
  • Among MLB rookies with at least 180 plate appearances, Turner leads in average (.345) while ranking in the top five in slugging percentage (4th, .548) and on-base percentage (5th, .366)…He leads all rookies in triples (6) and ranks third with 17 stolen bases.

POWER UP

Nationals C Wilson Ramos hit his 20th home run of the season on Sunday, one of three blasts by the Nationals (also Trea Turner and Bryce Harper) in a 5-3 loss to Colorado…Ramos’ longball made him the fourth Nationals player to cross the 20-homer threshold this season…He joined 2B Daniel Murphy (25), Harper (23), and SS Danny Espinosa (20).

  • The Nationals and the Rockies are the only teams in the National League to boast four players with 20 home runs this season…They are joined in the American League by Baltimore (5), Texas (4) and Toronto (4).
  • The four 20-homer players is the most the Nationals have had since 2013 when Ian Desmond, Harper, Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth, and Ryan Zimmerman all hit 20 or more.

A look back at Frank Howard’s impact on baseball in Washington from someone who was there

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Senators

Brad Eney (left) and Frank Howard (right) at Fenway Park.

Before playing the Rockies on Friday, the Nationals inducted former Washington Senators outfielder Frank Howard into the Ring of Honor at Nationals Park. During the ceremony, Nationals Manager Dusty Baker spoke glowingly about Howard, who was his brother’s favorite player while growing up.

“He’s the most pleasant gentle giant of a man that I know,” Baker said. “Now, I’d hate to upset him because as a kid his name was Big Frank Howard or Hondo.”

Howard is one of the most beloved figures in D.C. baseball history and, to this day, no player representing Washington D.C. has been able to hit more home runs than Howard – a legendary 237.

During his time in Washington, teammates, media and fans alike marveled at Howard’s tape-measure home runs, many of which taunted cavernous D.C. Stadium’s dimensions. As Dusty alluded to, his powerful hits earned him the nicknames “The Capital Punisher,” “The Washington Monument,” and “Hondo.”

Before the ceremony on Friday, we had the pleasure to sit down with someone who knew Howard very well, Brad Eney. Brad orchestrated team travel for the Washington Senators from 1969 to 1971, and attended every Senators game during the 1970 and 1971 seasons. Brad and his wife, Linda, traveled from West Virginia to Nationals Park on Friday to help honor Frank. Brad participated in pregame ceremonies, and proudly watched as Howard was inducted into the Ring of Honor.

Brad on Frank’s incredible size…

“I’ve got a picture of me and Frank [from his playing days]. I was 265 pounds at the time, and he makes me look like a 10-year-old, undernourished kid. This guy was big.”

On Frank’s legendary power…

“We were in Boston and I remember Frank was taking batting practice, and I was in left field shagging flies. He’s bouncing them off the big Green Monster. I [kept thinking] I’m going to catch this one, and then it’s ten feet over my head. You can count the dents in that wall that Frank put in there. It was unbelievable how hard he could hit a ball.”

On Frank’s amazing one-week stretch in the spring of 1968, when he hit 10 home runs in 20 at bats

“The team had a series in Detroit, and people were just sitting there with their mouths hanging open. Another [home run]. Then another one. Another one.”

On the Senators leaving for Texas in 1971 and the Nationals bringing baseball back to Washington…

“34 years without a ball club in D.C. was heartbreaking. On the final flight before our last series in D.C., I had to get on the PA system and I know I was choking up doing it. This town wasn’t just losing a ball club, I’m losing 40 friends. It was really a sad day. It was amazing when the team came back… we never miss a game on television.”

Thank you to Brad for chatting with us, and congratulations to Frank Howard on his induction into the Ring of Honor!

Nationals Game Notes: August 28 vs. Colorado Rockies

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Colorado Rockies (61-68) vs. Washington Nationals (75-54)

RHP Chad Bettis [10-7, 5.29] | RHP Lucas Giolito [0-0, 4.91]

Sunday, August 28 l Game #130 / Home #64 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:35 P.M.

Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

The Nationals and Rockies face off in the rubber game of this three-game weekend set…Following the game, Washington will travel to Philadelphia where the Nationals will begin a three-game series with the Phillies on Monday night.

  • On September 1st, the Nationals will enjoy their first off day since August 11, concluding a stretch of 20 games in 20 days…Following the day off, Washington will visit the New York Mets for a three-game series before returning to D.C.

ROSTER MOVE

The Nationals recalled RHP Lucas Giolito on Sunday and optioned INF Wilmer Difo to Double-A Harrisburg. Giolito will start Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies…Giolito, 22, returns to the Nationals to start the fourth Major League game of his career.

TREA OF LIGHT

Among MLB rookies with at least 180 plate appearances, Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner leads in batting average (.341) while ranking in the top five in slugging percentage (5th, .532) and on-base percentage (5th, .363)…He leads all rookies with six triples and ranks third among all rookies with 17 stolen bases.

  • With one more stolen base, Turner will tie Bryce Harper (18 in 2012) for the most stolen bases in a rookie season in Nationals history (2005-present).
  • Turner has reached base safely in 17 straight games, hitting safely in 15 of the 17…During this stretch, he is hitting .405 (32-for-79) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, eight RBI, two walks, nine stolen bases and 20 runs scored.
  • Since the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB in triples (6), while ranking among hitters in stolen bases (3rd, 17), hits (T6th, 56), and runs scored (T7th, 33).
  • Turner leads MLB with 26 runs scored this month…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that matches the franchise record for most runs in a month by a Nationals/Expos rookie, tying Bryce Harper (26, September 2012)…Only Turner, Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman (26, July 2012) have scored at least 26 runs in a month since 2005.

STATUS CHECK

At 75-54 (.581), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (82-46, .641).

  • Washington also ranks second in MLB with a +137 run differential, behind the Cubs (+218).
  • Since August 10, the Nationals lead Major League Baseball in runs scored (105) and batting average (.292) while ranking third in on-base percentage (.352) and sixth in slugging percentage (.479).

Today in Nationals’ History: Cristian Guzman hits for the cycle in D.C.

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August 28, 2008 – INF Cristian Guzman became the first Washington, D.C.-based big leaguer to hit for the cycle (sequence HR, 1B, 2B, 3B) in front of fans in the Nation’s Capital. Before Guzman’s achievement, six players representing the AL Nationals, Senators, expansion Senators or Nationals hit for the cycle, but all six came on the road. Guzman’s cycle was the seventh to occur in D.C. since 1900, the first in nearly 61 years since Detroit’s Vic Wertz accomplished the feat on September 14, 1947 at Griffith Stadium.

Nationals Game Notes: August 27 vs. Colorado Rockies

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Colorado Rockies (60-68) vs. Washington Nationals (75-53)

LHP Jorge De La Rosa [8-7, 5.07] | RHP A.J. Cole [0-1, 5.14]

Saturday, August 27 l Game #129 / Home #63 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:05 P.M.

Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

MILESTONES ALL AROUND

LHP Gio Gonzalez earned his 100th career win in Friday night’s 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies…He reached the milestone with 6.0 innings of work, allowing two earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk…Gonzalez joined RHP Max Scherzer (6/26/15 at PHI), RHP Jason Marquis (5/10/11 at ATL) and RHP Livan Hernandez (5/9/05 at ARI) as the only pitchers to record their 100th career wins as members of the Washington Nationals.

  • Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy also reached a personal milestone on Friday crushing a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to drive home the 500th RBI of his career.

TREA OF LIGHT

Among MLB rookies with at least 175 plate appearances, Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner leads in batting average (.341) while ranking in the top five in slugging percentage (5th, .539) and on-base percentage (5th, .364)…He leads all rookies with six triples and ranks third among all rookies with 16 stolen bases.

  • Turner has hit safely in 14 of his 16 games dating to August 10…During this stretch, he is hitting .411 (30-for-73) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, eight RBI, two walks, eight stolen bases and 20 runs scored.
  • Since the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB in triples (6), while ranking among hitters in runs scored (T3rd, 33), stolen bases (T3rd, 16), and hits (6th, 54).
  • Turner leads MLB with 26 runs scored this month…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that matches the franchise record for most runs in a month by a Nationals/Expos rookie, tying Bryce Harper (26, September 2012)…Only Turner, Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman (26, July 2012) have scored at least 26 runs in a month since 2005.

STATUS CHECK

At 75-53 (.586), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (82-45, .646).

  • Washington also ranks second in MLB with a +142 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+219).
  • Since August 10, the Nationals lead Major League Baseball in runs scored (101) and batting average (.294) while ranking second in on-base percentage (.354) and fifth in slugging percentage (.491).

LEADING MAN

Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the National League in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.615), OPS (1.005), extra base hits (1st, 67), multi-hit games (49) and ranks among NL hitters in doubles (T1st, 37), RBI (2nd, 98), hits (3rd, 157) and on-base percentage (7th, .390) among many other categories.

  • Murphy leads Major League Baseball with 30 go-ahead RBI and is tied for first in MLB with 16 game-winning RBI.
  • With 98 RBI this season, Murphy is two RBI short of becoming the sixth player in Nationals history (2005-pres.) to post a 100 RBI season…The last player to do it was 1B Adam Laroche (100 RBI in 2012).

The Dog Days of Summer

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IP09Cover

By: Dan Kolko

The baseball schedule can be a grueling one.

This year, the Nationals will play 162 regular season games in 182 days. The road trips are long. The nights in hotel rooms add up quickly. The days off, especially the days off at home, can be few and far between.

That’s why most players rely on their fam­ilies to help get them through the tough times. Parents, siblings, wives, children — they all help to provide a support system, a base that players can lean on during the long season.

And for many Nationals players, that family, that base, isn’t complete without a canine as well.

As fans have noticed over the years, thanks to the Nationals’ popular pet calendar and player Instagram posts, players like Gio Gonzalez, Jayson Werth and Max Scherzer have added dogs to their home setups. In some cases, those pups have gained a bit of a celebrity status of their own.

Werth dog photoWerth’s gigantic Great Dane, Magnus, was even featured in a Nationals Park giveaway this season. The first 20,000 fans that came to the game on June 27 received a figurine of Jayson and Magnus, who is shown standing on his hind legs, nearly looking eye-to-eye with his owner.

When asked if Magnus is aware of his level of popularity in the D.C. area, Werth smiles.

“I’ve told him,” he says. “I think he’s that kind of dog anyways. Whenever somebody comes over, they’re coming over to see him.”

Magnus is one of two dogs the Werths own; the other is a German Shorthaired Pointer named Gunner, who Werth says isn’t nearly as social as his larger counterpart.

Magnus has made a handful of appearanc­es at Nationals Park in the past, though his presence has been less frequent this year.

“I usually save him for when we need him,” Werth jokes. “The old ‘rally dog.’”

2015 Washington Nationals Pet Calendar

Gonzalez’s French Bulldog, Stitch, has become a frequent visitor at the Nation­als’ Spring Training complex, and also sometimes accompanies his owner into the Nats’ home clubhouse in D.C. Every appearance by the dark-coated pup leads to teammates, coaches and team personnel flocking around, making Stitch the center of attention.

“I know the chefs love him. I know that,” Gonzalez says with a laugh. “He hangs out in the kitchen all day long. He’s like, ‘You’ve gotta go to work? I’ve gotta go to work, too! I’m gonna go crush this bacon spread out here.’ But they love him. Everyone that sees him loves him. He snores really loud. He sounds like a little pig running around. He’s real friendly, friendly with kids. Personali­ty-wise, I wouldn’t trade him for any other dog in the world.”

Only recently has Gonzalez added another dog to the mix — another French Bulldog, named Kylo.

“He’s got more of the energy,” Gonzalez says. “He’s a full-time ‘Red Bull’ the whole time. He’s full throttle. And Stitch is more laid-back. But Kylo’s still a puppy.

“Both of them now are in boot camp. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever seen Stitch lay down, stay still, and stay by some­one’s side. You can see this joy in Stitch’s face, this joy where he actually wants to go to these boot camps.”

While Kylo and Stitch are only now going through the boot camp classes, Scherzer’s three dogs — Bo, Rafi and Rocco — have already graduated. Scherzer and his wife, Erica, got the pups (all of which were adopt­ed from shelters) off-leash trained, allowing them to take the trio out and about, even on crowded D.C.-area streets.

2015 Washington Nationals Pet Calendar

“I’m able to go down any major road, and they heel,” Scherzer says. “And I get on a bike and I have them heel and we can march down anywhere. As long as there’s a sidewalk, we can cross anywhere. They know how to sit at stoplights. And once we get to bike paths, dog trails, they know that once I say, ‘Free!’ they can kind of roam and chase anything they want.”

Scherzer is well-known throughout the baseball community for having two differ­ent colored eyes, a genetic anomaly called heterochromia iridum. The condition affects roughly 1-in-500 humans.

In the Scherzer household, however, heter­ochromia iridum affects three of five living creatures. Two of Scherzer’s dogs, Bo and Rocco, have it, as well.

“You wouldn’t believe the number of people who send pictures to me of dogs with two different colored eyes saying I should adopt this one,” Scherzer says. “I get a lot of ’em. So that’s how we found all three of (our dogs).”

Scherzer’s love for dogs, and for pets in general, isn’t just lip service. It led him to take part in charitable work for The Humane Society’s “Pets for Life” program, which helps pet owners in underserved communi­ties get access to affordable pet care.

“A dog will love anybody,” Scherzer says. “As soon as you go up to a dog and pet it on its ears and show it love, it will instantly love you back. They’re incredible creatures. Just how much trust they build with you and understand you, it’s just been awesome having three.”

For Werth, leaving for road trips means not just saying goodbye to his wife and two sons, but also his dogs. And those goodbyes don’t exactly sit well with Magnus.

“Those dogs don’t live that long,” Werth said of Great Danes. “So when I leave for a long road trip, I think it’s longer for him than for anybody else. You can tell he’s the most hurt. He misses me more than anybody else. He’s only going to live for like 7-8 years. So I think the time is different for those dogs.”

The Gonzalez family unit has grown signifi­cantly in the last year. Not only did Kylo get brought home last winter, Gio’s finance, Lea, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy named Enzo, this spring.

When a long road trip ends, and Gonzalez is able to return home, he says having that support system there to greet him helps bring everything into perspective.

“I think just seeing my entire family around is awesome — Lea, Enzo and the dogs,” Gon­zalez says. “It’s almost like everything you’re worried about at the field, you come home and it’s a weight off your shoulders. You get to smile and just be yourself and relax. And I think that’s the joy of having a family like that. The dogs kind of put the icing on the cake.”

Nationals Game Notes: August 26 vs. Colorado Rockies

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Colorado Rockies (60-67) vs. Washington Nationals (74-53)
RHP Jeff Hoffman [0-1, 13.50] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [8-9, 4.30]
Friday, August 26 l Game #128 / Home #62 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

STATUS CHECK
At 74-53 (.583), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (81-45, .643).

  • Washington also ranks second in MLB with a +139 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+217).
  • Since August 10, the Nationals lead Major League Baseball in runs scored (93) and batting average (.292) while ranking second in on-base percentage (.353) and fifth in slugging percentage (.481).

LEADING MAN
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the National League in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.610), OPS (.999), multi-hit games (49) and ranks among NL hitters in doubles (T1st, 37), extra base hits (T1st, 66), RBI (2nd, 96), hits (3rd, 156) and on-base percentage (7th, .389) among many other categories.

  • Murphy is tied for first in Major League Baseball with 29 go-ahead RBI and 16 game winning RBI.
  • With 96 RBI this season, Murphy is four RBI short of becoming the sixth player in Nationals history (2005-pres.) to post a 100 RBI season…The last player to do it was 1B Adam Laroche (100 RBI in 2012).

HELLO, MR. HARPER
Since returning to the Nationals’ lineup on Aug. 14, Nationals RF Bryce Harper has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games and has reached base safely in in all 12, posting a .491 on-base percentage (18 H, 9 BB) along the way…Harper has driven in runs in eight of the 12 contests.

  • He is hitting .391 (18-for-46) with four doubles, two homers, 13 RBI, nine walks, two stolen bases, nine runs scored and a .609 slugging percentage since returning to the lineup… Harper has posted multi-hit efforts in five of his last six games.

Nationals Game Notes: August 25 vs. Baltimore Orioles

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Baltimore Orioles (70-56) at Washington Nationals (73-53)
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez [5-10, 6.94] | RHP Max Scherzer [13-7, 3.05]
Thursday, August 25 l Game #127 / Home #61 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

TREA OF LIGHT
For the second consecutive game Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner recorded a career-high four hits and, in doing so, tied a franchise record (Nationals/Expos) with hits in eight straight plate appearances…Turner went 4-for-4 on Tuesday in Baltimore and followed that with four consecutive hits on Wednesday night, tying the record with a single in the seventh inning…Turner matched the feats of Hall of Famer Andre Dawson (June 4-7, 1983) and Washington’s Dimitri Young (May 31-June 1, 2007) for the record long streak.

  • In 14 games dating to August 10, Turner is hitting .406 (26-for-64) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, eight RBI, two walks, six stolen bases and 17 runs scored.
  • In Tuesday night’s game, Turner initially stole two bases, but both calls were overturned via replay review…Nevertheless, in just 37 games this season, Turner is tied for third among MLB rookies with 14 stolen bases.
  • Since the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB lead in triples (6) and is tied for third in stolen bases (14).

NEW ADDITION
The Nationals acquired LHP Marc Rzepczynski and cash from the Oakland Athletics on Thursday in exchange for Minor League INF Max Schrock…Rzepczynski comes to the Nationals with a 1-0 record and a 3.00 ERA in 56 appearances out of Oakland’s bullpen this season…He ranks second in the Major Leagues with a 70.5 percent ground-ball rate.

  • Over the course of his career, Rzepczynski has held left-handed batters to a .225 batting average, a .295 on-base percentage and a .302 slugging percentage…Of the 714 left-handed batters he’s faced in his career, Rzepczynski has allowed just eight HR.

STATUS CHECK
At 73-53 (.584), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (81-45, .643).

  • Washington also ranks second in MLB with a +135 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+217).
  • With Wednesday night’s loss, the Nationals have lost four straight games for the first time since their seven-game losing streak from June 18-25…Washington has lost four or more consecutive games only three times this season.

LEADING MAN
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the National League in batting average (.347), slugging percentage (.611), OPS (1.001), multi-hit games (49) and ranks among NL hitters in doubles (2nd, 36), RBI (2nd, 95), extra base hits (T2nd, 65), hits (3rd, 155) and on-base percentage (7th, .391) among many other categories.

  • Murphy is tied for first in Major League Baseball with 29 go-ahead RBI and 16 game-winning RBI.
  • Murphy has recorded a franchise record (WSH/MON) 22 RBI in 17 Interleague games this season…The previous high of 16 was held by 1B Adam Dunn in 2010.
  • With 95 RBI this season, Murphy is five RBI short of becoming the sixth player in Nationals history (2005-pres.) to post a 100 RBI season…The last player to do it was 1B Adam Laroche (100 RBI in 2012).

Nationals Game Notes: August 24 vs. Baltimore Orioles

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Baltimore Orioles (69-56) at Washington Nationals (73-52)
LHP Wade Miley [7-10, 5.58] | RHP Tanner Roark [13-6, 2.87]
Wednesday, August 24 l Game #126 / Home #60 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

HOME, SWEET HOME
The Nationals return home to continue this week’s Interleague series with the Baltimore Orioles before welcoming the Colorado Rockies to Nationals Park for a three-game series beginning on Friday.

  • Starting with Wednesday’s contest against Baltimore, the Nationals will play 15 of their next 21 games at Nationals Park…Of their remaining 36 regular season games, 21 will at home and 15 will be on the road.

LEADING MAN
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the National League in slugging percentage (.604), OPS (.993), multi-hit games (48) and ranks among NL hitters in batting average (2nd, .344), doubles (2nd, 36), RBI (2nd, 90), extra base hits (T2nd, 64), hits (3rd, 152) and on-base percentage (9th, .388) among many other categories.

  • Murphy paces Major League Baseball with 29 go-ahead RBI and is tied for first with 16 game-winning RBI.
  • Murphy has recorded a franchise record (WSH/MON) 17 RBI in 17 Interleague games this season…The previous high of 16 was held by 1B Adam Dunn in 2010.

TREA OF LIGHT
Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner recorded a career-high four hits in Washington’s 8-1 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday night…That effort snapped a two-game hitless streak…In 13 games dating to August 10, Turner is hitting 22-for-59 (.373) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, eight RBI, two walks, six stolen bases and 16 runs scored.

  • In Tuesday night’s game, Turner initially stole two bases, but both calls were overturned via replay review…Nevertheless, in just 36 games this season, Turner is tied for third among MLB rookies with 14 stolen bases.
  • Since the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB lead in triples (6) and is tied for third in stolen bases (14).

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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