Tuesday, June 12, 2018

NEW YORK — The injuries - and near injuries – keep piling up for the Washington Nationals.

And so do the scoreless innings on offense.

That is not a good combination, as a quartet of Yankees pitchers held Washington to just five singles in a 3-0 victory on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium in the first of a two-game interleague series.

While the Nationals (36-28) have not scored in 19 straight innings, a bigger concern for manager Dave Martinez after the game was the health of Bryce Harper.

The Washington right fielder was hit by a pitch twice Tuesday – once near the elbow and once on the left foot. He left the game in the top of the eighth inning after he was drilled on the foot.

 “I tried to walk down the first base line,” Harper said of getting hit by Dellin Betances in the eighth. “It was no point.”

But Harper, who took himself out for pinch-runner Brian Goodwin, said after the game he was fine and the X-rays were negative on his foot.

Was he upset for being hitting twice after getting walked his first two at-bats?

“Not at all,” he said. “Just hurt. That is it.”

Martinez expects Harper to play Wednesday night against the Yankees.

“He took it off the big toe,” Martinez said. “He just came in and said he was good. He said he was fine. He got hit square (on the foot). He said it hurt. Of course it hurt. He is a tough kid. He is in there (Wednesday).”

It was the fifth time in Harper’s career he reached base four times in a game without a hit and the first time since 2016, when it was done against the New York Mets.

The Nationals, who began the day tied for first, were fortunate that center fielder Michael A. Taylor was not hurt after making a nice catch on the warning track in the fourth inning.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia (4-1) gave up four hits and no runs in 5 2/3 innings and recorded his 1,500th career strikeout when he got Taylor in the fourth.
 “He grew great,” Harper said. “I thought he pitched really well.”

“He kept us off balance,” Martinez said. “CC is smart. He is a really good pitcher. He pitched well.”

Daniel Murphy, in his first game this season for the Nationals, was hitless in four at-bats as the designated hitter.

“His timing could have been a little off,” Martinez said. “I know he is going to hit. We will see how he feels (Wednesday). He is going to be fine.”
 The Nationals have been shut out two games in a row, tying a franchise record dating back to 2005.
 Washington starter Tanner Roark (3-67), who gave up three runs in six innings, has received two runs or fewer of support in seven of his 13 starts this season.
 “Bad day at the plate,” Roark said of Harper. “He’s a tough guy. I’m sure he will be in there tomorrow.”
 Martinez announced after the game that right-hander Erick Fedde would start Wednesday for the Nationals, as expected.

The A.L. East-leading Yankees (42-19) will start Sonny Gray.

NOTES: It was 70 years ago – on June 13, 1948 – that legend Babe Ruth made his last appearance at Yankee Stadium. The ailing Ruth was there as the Yankees retired his No. 3 jersey. A few months later, on Aug. 16, 1948, he died at the age of 53 of throat cancer. He was born in Baltimore in 1895 and hit a then-record 714 homers … Nationals lefty Matt Grace took over for Roark in the last of the seventh and Wander Suero threw the ninth.

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