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Nats' Scherzer seeks MLB-best 16th win

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

MIAMI -- The Washington Nationals woke up Thursday with a losing record, nine games off the lead in a division they were supposed to dominate.

Washington (61-61), which sits third in the National League East, visits the last-place Miami Marlins (48-75) on Friday. The Nationals lost four games in a row before a win Thursday, while Miami has dropped five straight.

After a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Nationals players sat in their clubhouse, searching for answers.

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Nola, Syndergaard square off in Philly

Two of baseball's best young pitchers will square off Friday night in Philadelphia.

Aaron Nola (13-3, 2.28 ERA) and Noah Syndergaard (8-2, 3.22) will face each other in a marquee pitching matchup as the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets meet for the third time in two days at Citizens Bank Park.

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Tribe, Carrasco look to extend run to 6

CLEVELAND -- Two teams that are a study in contrasts will meet Friday night at Progressive Field to open a three-game series: The Cleveland Indians, who have the biggest lead in any division in the majors, will face the Baltimore Orioles, who are the farthest out of first place of any last-place team in the big leagues.

Cleveland (69-51) leads the AL Central by 12 1/2 games over second-place Minnesota. Baltimore (36-85) is 49 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston.

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Urena banned 6 games for hitting Acuna

NEW YORK (AP) Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Urena has been suspended six games and fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally hitting Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves with a pitch.

Major League Baseball announced the penalties Thursday, a day after Urena hit Acuna on the left arm with his first pitch in the Marlins' 5-2 loss in Atlanta. The 20-year-old Acuna went into the game having homered in five straight games, including four homers in the three games against Miami - three of them leading off.

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Puig suspended 2 for brawl with Giants

NEW YORK (AP) Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed fine for fighting and inciting a bench-clearing incident against San Francisco.

Major League Baseball announced the sanctions Thursday, two days after the Cuban player took a swing at Giants catch Nick Hundley in the seventh inning of the Dodgers' 2-1 home loss. Hundley also was fined.

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Rangers turn rare triple play in win

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Triple plays are rare enough to begin with. Jurickson Profar and the Texas Rangers turned one that was especially unusual Thursday night.

In fact, it had been more than a century since there was another one like it in the majors.

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Nats end skid, snap Cards' streak at 8

ST. LOUIS (AP) Koda Glover rewarded his manager's faith.

Bryce Harper had three hits and drove in three runs, Glover earned the save in the first opportunity since Ryan Madson was placed on the disabled list, and the Washington Nationals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

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Buchholz 5-hits Padres as D-backs win

SAN DIEGO (AP) For a player who was without a job in April, Clay Buchholz is performing like a mainstay.

Buchholz pitched a five-hitter, David Peralta hit a three-run homer and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.

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Lester bounces back as Cubs top Bucs 1-0

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jon Lester wasn't overly excited about winning for the first time in just over a month.

However, Cubs manager Joe Maddon couldn't have been happier with his performance.

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