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The Rays improved their record
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The Rays improved their record #1
WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper made some strides at the plate Thursday night just as the Washington Nationals prepare to welcome the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies to town for a weekend series.
Moved back to the leadoff spot by manager Dave Martinez Parris Campbell Jersey , Harper walked twice and had a sacrifice fly and a double in four plate appearances during a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Harper doubled in the eighth inning of a tie game and came in on Juan Soto’s two-run double and the Nationals took two of three from the Orioles.
“I was able to see a lot of pitches tonight,” Harper told the Washington Times after the Nationals (40-33) improved to 9-1 with him in the leadoff spot.
Harper began the night hitting .133 (8-for-60) in June, with five walks and 23 strikeouts.
“My swing has felt great,” Harper told mlb.com. “I’ve felt great the past month and a half or so, just chasing pitches. Tonight, I tried to do the best I could to get a ball over the middle (of the plate), and I was able to do that.”
The 19-year-old Soto just continues to hit. Thursday night he went 1-for-3 with a walk in the cleanup spot and enters the weekend hitting .326 with six homers and 16 RBIs over 92 major-league at-bats.
“I think we’re all amazed every single day,” Washington starter Max Scherzer told mlb.com. “He’s a great young player. He’s just enjoying himself. He’s the bat we kind of need in our lineup right now http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/auth...eke-jersey , that’s hot. And teams are going to have to figure out how to get him out, because it’s tough right now.”
Friday night that task falls to Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin (4-2, 3.43 ERA). He has won three straight starts, allowing four runs over 18 2/3 innings while striking out 17 batters and walking just three after pitching five effective innings Saturday in Milwaukee.
Elfin will be making his first career start against Washington, which counters with right-hander Tanner Roark (3-7, 3.87).
Roark gave up four runs on eight hits over four innings of in an 8-6 loss at Toronto on Sunday.
On May 5 he lost to the Phillies in Washington when he allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings. For his career, he is 6-7 with a 3.98 ERA in 18 games (16 starts) versus the Phillies.
The Phillies (39-33) trail the second-place Nationals by one-half game in the NL East and trail the Braves by 3 1/3 games. Philadelphia has won seven of its last 10 games and has taken three straight series — against Colorado, at Milwaukee and against St. Louis — as it begins a 10-game stretch against the Nationals and Yankees.
“I think coming off this series Khari Willis Jersey , we anticipate a highly-competitive series against a good ballclub on the road, and it seems like we’re ready for that challenge,” Philadelphia right-hander Jake Arrieta told mlb.com.
Off on Thursday, the Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Wednesday.
Odubel Herrera hit what proved to be the game-winning home run in the seventh inning to go along with a single and a double.
“It was one of those ‘Wow’ moments,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told the Courier Post. “He’s so hot, but he’s such an incredible athlete. It’s really elite barrel accuracy. I don’t know how to describe it. He just knows how to find the barrel, find the sweet spot.”
Herrera is hitting .419 (13-for-31) with two doubles, five home runs Josh Allen Jersey , eight RBIs in the past seven games. He is 13-for-31 (.419) versus Roark.
Wilmer Font helped cool down the surging Houston Astros before leaving with an injury. 
Font and four relievers combined on a three-hitter and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Houston 3-2 on Friday night to snap the Astros’ 11-game road winning streak, which tied a franchise record.
Font (2-3) allowed one run and one hit over five-plus innings before leaving the game with a strained right lat.
”We’ll know more (Saturday), but in all likelihood he’ll probably miss some significant time,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”He’s been throwing the ball so well for us and obviously did again tonight.”
Font, acquired from Oakland on May 25, was recently inserted into the rotation.
”I worked hard for this starting spot, and now this happens,” Font said.
Diego Castillo http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/au...lor-jersey , Chaz Roe, Sergio Romo and Jose Alvarado held the Astros in check after Font’s exit. Alvarado got the final out for his second save.
The Rays improved their record to 8-6 during a stretch of 16 games against Houston, Washington and the New York Yankees.
Alex Bregman homered for the Astros, who lost for just fourth time in 22 games overall. Gerrit Cole (9-2) gave up three runs – one earned – and five hits in six innings to end his seven-game winning streak.
”It’s a tough-luck loss for him because he pitched better than to get a loss,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
Tampa Bay capitalized on a pair of Houston errors to get three runs in the fourth, snapping a 19-inning scoring drought.
Adeiny Hechavarria was credited with a sacrifice fly that center fielder Jake Marisnick dropped for an error. Two more runs scored with two outs when shortstop Marwin Gonzalez made an errant throw to first on Kevin Kiermaier’s grounder.
”We didn’t make the plays,” Hinch said. ”Jake looked like he got back to the wall and either he had a little bit of weird timing and then he’s going to hit the wall and the ball came out. Never controlled it. And Marwin just hurried trying to get Kiermaier and made a low throw and got a little unlucky that (first baseman AJ) Reed deflects it a little far away. Kind of a weird way to score three runs.”
Bregman made it 3-2 in the sixth with his homer off Castillo, who replaced Font during the at-bat. Bregman has seven homers and 18 RBIs in his last 14 games.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Astros: SS Carlos Correa was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list with back stiffness but could be back in a week. Hinch said Correa saw the team spine specialist and ”everything checked out fine.” … RHP Joe Smith (right elbow soreness) allowed three hits in a scoreless inning for Double-A Corpus Christi.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) will start Tuesday for Single-A Charlotte. It hasn’t been determined if he will need a second rehab outing.
STRUGGLING SPRINGER
Astros OF George Springer Josh Oliver Jersey , mired in a 3-of-40 slide, was out of the lineup. ”He’s pretty agitated about how things going for him,” Hinch said. ”Kind of a reset. He’ll be fine.” Springer was a pinch-runner in the ninth.
DAREDEVIL
Hinch did a TV interview from an overhanging catwalk at Tropicana Field. Next season he plans to go on the roof of the domed stadium.
UP NEXT
Astros RHP Justin Verlander (9-3) starts Saturday. Verlander allowed a season-high four earned runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 6-3 loss to Toronto on Monday. Tampa Bay will counter with a bullpen day.

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