Anthony Rendon’s ninth-inning homer lifts Nats over Indians


Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon had three hits in five at-bats tonight, including a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning that broke a 6-6 tie to give the Nationals the victory over the Indians. It was the first of the 23-year-old’s career. Closer Rafael Soriano came on in the bottom half of the inning to nail down the save.

Rendon didn’t hit much in his first stint with the Nationals between April 21 and May 2. In 30 trips to the plate spanning eight games, Rendon posted a paltry .647 OPS. His second stint, which started on June 5, has been much better. Rendon has hit safely in all eight games, including four multi-hit games. Seven of his 13 hits since returning have gone for extra bases.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.