Nationals surging, slugging

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Nationals surging, slugging

Programming note: Giants-Nationals coverage starts at 3 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live, then live baseball from DC follows at 3:30 on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area!

Nats lineup producing at lastThe Giants may have caught a break dodging aces StephenStrasburg and and Gio Gonzalez. However, they are catching a Nationalsoffense that has hit its stride recently, Nationals Insider MarkZuckerman writes at CSNWashington.com.Over the final six games of this road trip through Colorado and Atlanta,the Nationals hit a collective .345, averaged 8.5 runs and 13.6 hits per game,mashing out 24 doubles and 13 homers in the process.Ryan Zimmerman received a cortisone shot in his ailingshoulder and Michael Morse has started getting his timing back after missingeight weeks with a torn lat muscle, and the rest of the Nationals has begunreaping the benefits that came with the resurgence of those two stalwarts.Is this more of a true reflection of the lineup theNationals envisioned all along?"No question," manager Davey Johnson said. "I've said all alongwe're going in the right direction. I know the talent here. I know what we're capableof, and to see us start doing it is more like us. Nine hits a ballgame, thatshould be our low with the talent on this ballclub."The Nationals have kept their offense going despite playingin oppressive heat. They recorded nine hits in triple-digit temperatures intheir series finale at Atlanta.Temperatures for Tuesdays series opener with the Giants are expected to be inthe high 90s.MORE: Nats lineup producing at last
Harper showing poise that defies his age
Bryce Harper may be just 19 years old, but he is displayinga maturity that goes beyond his age, Zuckerman writes. Even though Harper hasgone into a slump leading into the Nationals three-game series with theGiants, Harper continues to say the right things.When MLB's All-Star teams were announced yesterday andHarper learned he was among five players on the "Final Vote" ballot,he could have bragged about his own case for a ticket to Kansas City. Instead, he repeatedly insistedthe retiring Chipper Jones should win the vote."He should have already been in the All-Star Game, no matter what,"Harper said following yesterday's 8-4 win in Atlanta. "He's an All-Star and has beenan All-Star for 20 years. I think Chip should be there and ... if I had tovote, Chip's going."Harper could have made a major faux pas when the Yankeescame to town and said something that indicated his desire to someday play forhis favorite team growing up. Instead, he kept his focus on the Nationals,resisted the urge to hobnob around the batting cage with A-Rod and CC andDerek and eventually professed his desire to spend his entire career in Washington.MORE: Harper conducting himself like an All-Star

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes had three hits including a two-run homer and Lucas Duda had three hits including a solo blast as the New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 on Friday night.

The win snapped the Mets' four-game losing streak. They had lost seven of eight.

The Giants have lost 10 of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 14 and 19 of their last 24.

Along with Cespedes and Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto all had three hits.

After being held to five runs over their last three games, the Mets broke out their hitting slump, combining for 20 hits.

All but one Mets starter (Jose Reyes) had at least one hit and all but two (Reyes and Cabrera) drove in at least one run.

Seth Lugo (2-1) won for the third time in his last four starts. He gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings and was 1 for 2 with one RBI.

Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth off Lugo that spoiled his bid for a fifth straight quality start.

Cespedes' ninth homer of the season highlighted a six-run second inning in which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate.

Cespedes had a double in the sixth that highlighted a three-run inning.

In 13 games since coming off the disabled list Cespedes is 17 for 43 with seven extra-base hits including three home runs.

He's 8 for 18 with three home runs in his last four games at AT&T Park going back to last season.

Ty Blach (4-5) gave up seven runs in three innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five starts.

Cabrera was activated from the disabled list and inserted into the New York Mets' starting lineup at second base rather than shortstop and he said he wants to be traded. Cabrera had three hits Friday night.

The 31-year-old, a two-time All-Star and a veteran of 11 big league seasons, had not started at second since Sept. 28, 2014. The Mets started Jose Reyes at shortstop against San Francisco on Friday night and Wilmer Flores at third.

TRANSACTIONS:

Mets: Second-round draft selection Mark Vientos signed out of high school for a $1.5 million signing bonus. The infielder was the 59th overall selection in this year's draft. . The Mets also signed their third- and fifth-round picks, OF Quinn Brodey and 1B/OF Matt Winaker (both from Stanford). . Brodey signed for a $500,000 bonus and Winaker for $280,000.

Giants: LHP Bryan Morris was designated for assignment and Steven Okert was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (separated left shoulder) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday at the team's spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona. . Utilityman Eduardo Nunez went on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury. The Giants activated 3B Conor Gillaspie (back spasms).

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (6-3, 394 ERA) has allowed one earned run over 17 innings in his last two starts. He's 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five career starts against the Giants. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.42) is 1-6 with a 4.13 ERA in his last nine starts. He's 4-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mets

Morse reveals he barely remembers Harper-Strickland brawl after concussion

Morse reveals he barely remembers Harper-Strickland brawl after concussion

Giants reliever Hunter Strickland received a six-game suspension for his involvement in a May 29 benches-clearing brawl with Bryce Harper and the Nationals. Harper originally was suspended for four games before winning his appeal and served a three-game suspension. 

But the player who has lost the most amont of time came sprinting from first base trying to break up the melee. 

Michael Morse clashed heads with Jeff Samardzija and went crashing down. He has been out since with concussion symptoms and revealed Friday he barely remembers anything from the fight, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

After missing nearly a month of games, Morse feels much better, though effects from the concussion are still there. Every day Morse goes to Stanford for testing and therapy and still deals with lingering symptoms like dizziness once he raises his heartbeat and headaches. 

If Morse ever joins the reeling Giants is a question in itself. 

San Francisco currently has the second-worst record in baseball at 27-48 behind only the Phillies and have already started to shift to younger players. No matter, the 35-year-old Morse wants to be a part of the team. 

"You know me," Morse said to reporters before Friday's game. "Whatever happens, happens. I'm a happy-go-lucky guy. I'm happy to be with these guys. They're going through such hard times.

"I want to be with them, if not on the field, then off the field, helping them mentally if not physically."

In 24 games this season, Morse is batting .194 with just one home run. If his time has come to an end, the one home run was one to remember. 

Morse, in his first game back with the Giants since 2014 launched a pinch-hit solo home run to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Dodgers on April 26. The fan-favorite raised his hands at the crack of the bat, bringing back memories of Game 5 of the 2014 NLCS.