Nationals rout Diamondbacks for eighth straight win


The Nationals are the hottest team in the majors.

Stephen Strasburg yielded just three hits over eight innings of one-run ball and shortstop Ian Desmond went 3-for-4 with four RBI in an 8-1 stomping of the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. It was the eighth straight victory for the Nats, who have a six-game lead over the second-place Braves in the National League East standings.

Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters in May that he will do his famous Babe Ruth home run trot impersonation if his club wins 10 straight games this year: “If we do 10 in a row, I will break it out,” he said. “It’s been a long time, but yeah, I would. 10 in a row, you got it.” Here’s what that looks like:

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.