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WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals are approaching July 4 on the verge of becoming what nobody predicted them to be when the season started — a .500 club.
Washington fell to 42-41 Monday night with 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox Stefon Diggs Jersey Big , their sixth loss in seven games. Once again, they did almost enough to win, falling behind 3-0 and rallying within one before Craig Kimbrell retired Anthony Rendon with the tying run on base to end it.
Max Scherzer, who has had an impressive year at the plate as well as on the mound, ironically was done in by friend and former pitching teammate Rick Porcello, whose bases-loaded double off Scherzer in the second inning made it 3-0.
“I wish I had a lot to say about that, but I don’t really know what happened,” Porcello, who improved to 10-3, told NESN.com. “Obviously I know he’s got a big fastball and I just got lucky. He got to the top of his windup and I told myself start swinging and I hit it.”
With the loss, Washington dropped seven games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
“This is where the test is, that even when things aren’t going your way, when things are bleak, when we haven’t been playing great baseball, you have to find a way to take and find certain things you are doing well and just try to build off those,” Scherzer, winless in his last five starts Authentic Kirk Cousins Jersey , told MASN.com. “That’s just what the whole team has to do.”
The Red Sox (57-29) survived solo homers by Rendon in the fourth, Daniel Murphy in the sixth and Bryce Harper in the eighth.
Reliever Joe Kelly surrendered the Harper homer to cut Boston’s lead to 4-3. Since the start of June, Kelly has pitched 9 1/3 innings and allowed 12 hits and nine earned runs.
“We’ll keep working with him, one thing that he needs to do better is tempo,” Red Sox manager Joey Cora said. “I think his tempo is going the other way instead of being more aggressive, and just grab the ball and throw it. So, we’ll talk to him.”
Boston left-hander Brian Johnson (1-2, 4.28) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (3-9, 4.10) on Tuesday night.
Johnson allowed a run in four innings for the Red Sox Thursday night against the Angels in place of Steven Wright, who went on the disabled list with a knee injury early last week. Tuesday could be Johnson’s last turn in the rotation with Drew Pomeranz close to returning.
Roark is glad to put June in his rearview mirror. He went 1-4 with a 6.08 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance, surrendering 18 earned runs in 26 2/3 innings. He did show improvement last time out, allowing two runs — one earned — on seven hits over six innings of a 4-3 loss to the Phillies while sporting a mustache and mutton chops.
“Tanner pitched good enough to win and that was good to see,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez told the Washington Post. “He started off a little erratic and then all of a sudden he started getting the ball down, which is good. He pitched well.”
Roark, sounding like any respectably superstitious baseball player, told the Post he’s keeping the mutton chops.
“I feel like it’s a pretty decent look,” he said.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria has been talking with Yoan Moncada about his focus lately.The talented second baseman sure looked locked in on Sunday.
Moncada broke out of a slump with a three-run homer and six RBIs Kirk Cousins Jersey Big , and the White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 10-3 for a split of their four-game series.
”Anytime you’re going through a rough moment, you have doubts, you have questions,” Moncada said through an interpreter. ”But when you keep working hard, you can answer those questions.
”I keep grinding and just working hard.”
Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also connected for the White Sox, who had lost nine of 10. Carlos Rodon (1-2) pitched a season-high eight innings in his fourth start after missing the beginning of the year while recovering from shoulder surgery last September.
Moncada, who hit .183 over the previous 35 games, gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead with a three-run double in the fifth. Moncada then scored on Avisail Garcia’s single, and Jose Abreu added another RBI single.
Palka, Sanchez and Moncada all went deep in the sixth. Moncada belted a three-run drive for his 10th homer, making it 10-2 Chicago.
”I think he’s probably giving a little bit of a wakeup call to himself in terms of where he sees himself,” Renteria said. ”I think he’s also learned that truly you have to take every single pitch of a game into consideration because they all matter.
”I think he’s starting to realize that maybe I have to have a little bit more focus and intensity.”
Oakland set a modern major league record when Mark Canha hit a drive to left on Rodon’s first pitch of the fifth, extending the A’s streak to 25 straight road games with a homer. Canha also opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the second.
A’s right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-2) allowed six runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He permitted only one baserunner through the first four, but got into trouble with two out in the fifth.
The rally started with back-to-back singles by Omar Narvaez and Leury Garcia, and then Blackburn hit ninth hitter Adam Engel with a pitch.
”Garcia didn’t look very good on a couple changeups I threw. I threw another one that was a little up and he kind of flipped it over there (right field),” Blackburn said. ”Then I hit (Engel), and it was kind of downhill from there.”
Rodon allowed two runs and seven hits. The eight innings matched his career high.
”It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys Authentic Harrison Smith Jersey ,” Rodon said. ”There’s up and down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any kind of surgery for a player. You just have to work through it, try to make your way back.”
ANOTHER STOP
Well-traveled right-hander Edwin Jackson will be activated on Monday and start for Oakland at Detroit.
The A’s will become his 13th major league team, which ties retired right-hander Octavio Dotel for the major league record. The 34-year-old went 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Nashville. He owns a 98-120 major league record and 4.67 ERA in 15 seasons.
”I’m probably the only guy in the clubhouse that has never met him, but I did earlier today,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Outfielder Nick Martini will be sent to Triple-A Nashville to open a spot for Jackson on the roster.
HISTORIC HOMER
Melvin said the team celebrated Canha’s record-setting home run in the dugout.
”It’s nice to hang your hat on, but it certainly would have been a little better if we had won the game,” Melvin said.
The previous record was set by the Orioles in 1996.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (sprained right foot) returned to the Bay Area to consult with team physicians. The injury is not believed to be related to his previous right foot injuries. ”We’ll probably know a little bit more in the next couple of days,” Melvin said. … INF Matt Chapman (right hand contusion) could have a cortisone shot in the wrist area on Monday and will sit out the Tigers series. He had an injection in his thumb last Monday. The hope is the trouble spot has been localized and he’ll be available on the next homestand.
White Sox: RHP prospect Dane Dunning left his start Saturday for Double-A Birmingham with right elbow soreness, Renteria said. He will undergo an MRI.
UP NEXT
Athletics: Jackson will make his A’s debut in the opener of a four-game series in Detroit. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 4.95 ERA) goes for the Tigers.
White Sox: Following an off day, the White Sox begin a three-game set against visiting Minnesota on Tuesday. RHP Reynaldo Lopez (2-5, 3.59 ERA) opposes Twins RHP Lance Lynn (5-5, 4.64 ERA) in the opener.


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