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Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Bryce Harper's slow start may officially be behind him. The 18-year-old outfielder went 3-for-3 on Friday night with a double, a home run, six RBI and two walks in a 17-1 Hagerstown rout.
Hernandez will make his 450th consecutive start tonight when the Nationals and Pirates finally open their three-game series at PNC Park, one day after the opener was postponed by rain. That's not 450th career start, that's 450th straight start without ever missing a turn in the rotation.
The rain that washed away the Nationals' Friday night game against the Pirates also altered reliever Todd Coffey's plans to test his strained left calf with some fielding practice. But the right-hander got in some sprints on a Woodway treadmill at PNC Park and came through the running session reporting no issues with the calf. Both he and manager Jim Riggleman expect Coffey to be ready to come off the disabled list on Sunday when he's first eligible.
The Nationals filled the roster space created when they optioned catcher Jesus Flores back to Triple-A Syracuse with infielder Brian Bixler, allowing Bixler to possibly make his first major league appearance in a Nationals' uniform against the team that drafted and developed him.
With steady rain coming down all day in Pittsburgh and no break forecasted for the evening, tonight's Nationals game against the Pirates has been postponed. The teams will play a makeup game on Monday at 7 p.m. Monday was a mutual off day for both teams.
The tarp is on the field and the rain has been coming down all day but it's been relatively light. The forecast, however, doesn't exactly bode well as it's supposed to rain throughout much of the night. Should the Nationals and Pirates play tonight, Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez will be making his 450th consecutive start an incredible mark for the durable veteran who has never once been on the disabled list in his 13-plus years in major league baseball. Here are the full lineups.
Welcome to rainy Pittsburgh where, if the forecast holds, we may be saying that an awful lot this weekend as the Nationals look to rebound from dropping the final two games of their series in St. Louis with a three-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Here are their career numbers against Pirates' RHP Jeff Karstens.
The Nationals optioned catcher Jesus Flores back to Triple-A Syracuse after their 5-0 loss to the Cardinals this afternoon, ending the catcher's 10-day stay with the major league team. A corresponding roster move is expected to be announced on Friday before the team's game against Pittsburgh.
Nationals' left-hander John Lannan will throw a bullpen session on Friday in Pittsburgh but as long as he comes out of that in good shape the Nationals expect him to make his next start on Sunday in Pittsburgh on three days of rest.
Updates on several injured Nationals including Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg.
Faced with an opportunity to secure the team's second series victory in St. Louis since relocating to Washington in 2005, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman is going with a mostly traditional lineup against a right-handed pitcher (in the absence of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, of course).
The Nationals have a chance this afternoon to win their third series in their last four and to head to Pittsburgh two games over .500 for longer than two hours for the first time since May 16, 2010. In order to do that, though, they'll need their offense to perk up after a quiet night in a 5-3 loss to the Cardinals in Game 2 of a doubleheader. Here are their career numbers against right-hander Kyle Lohse.
There was plenty for the Nationals to be unhappy with on Wednesday night after a long day at the ballpark produced a split of a doubleheader and left them one game over .500 with a 9-8 record but there were a few positives to accentuate.
John Lannan labored but still got the job done on Wednesday. Now the Nationals need him to do that on three-days rest this Sunday and he said he's up for the challenge.
Playing their second doubleheader in four days, the Nationals tallied just three extra base hits in Game 1 but used aggressive baserunning and timely base hits for a six-run third inning that they managed to hold on to – with help from the longball -- for an 8-6 win.
By Emily Miller
Obama is losing the debate on gun ownership, concealed-carry permits
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