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Livan Hernandez pitches, so of course the Nats are shut out

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For the third straight time Thursday, the Nationals were shut out in a Livan Hernandez start, losing 1-0 to the Mets as Dillon Gee and two relievers combined on a three-hitter.

The loss dropped him to .500 for his career at 169-169.

It took Hernandez himself to ruin Gee’s bid for a no-hitter when he singled with two outs in the sixth.  The Nats’ only other hits came courtesy of Alex Cora and Laynce Nix.

Hernandez has been on the wrong side of 1-0 games in back-to-back outings.  Just like last Saturday against the Marlins, he allowed one run over seven innings in this one.  The Nationals were also shut out in a May 8 start in which Hernandez gave up six runs.

In all, the Nats have been shut out in four of Hernandez’s 10 starts.  They scored one or two runs in two of the others.  When the Nationals have scored at least three runs, Hernandez is 3-0 with one no-decision.  For the season, he’s 3-6 with a 3.64 ERA.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.