New-look Nats already?

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Let’s see, we’re three innings into August, and already it’s looking a whole lot better than July for the Nationals. Emilio Bonifacio and Alberto Gonzalez are making their debuts in D.C. And what have they done so far? Well, Bonifacio has an RBI single, a stolen base and a run scored. Gonzalez has a double, a walk and a run scored. Not a bad little return for the Nats’ investment so far. Elijah Dukes also is back after missing four weeks following knee surgery. Pretty remarkable that he’s back already when doctors initially told him he’d be out 6 to 8 weeks. But clearly he’s ready to be here, because he’s 2-for-2 with a two-run double and a run scored. Through three innings, it’s Nats 5, Reds 0, and surely no one is happier about that than Manny Acta, who sounded ready before the game to wash away the bad memories of the last four months and focus instead on the next two. “You can’t erase all the losses we had, but that’s the way I’m approaching it,” he said. “I even brought a new fungo out there. I dumped my old fungo bat. That’s the way I’m looking at it. I’m glad July is gone. It’s a July to forget. That’s the way I look at it. It’s a new start for us to take a look at these kids, the future, and go from there.” So far, so good.

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Mark Zuckerman

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