Joe Ross moved to Nationals’ bullpen to finish out impressive rookie season

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Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com has the news:

Joe Ross won’t start another game for the Nationals this season, but he’ll still get opportunities to pitch out of the bullpen over the next four weeks while Tanner Roark takes his spot in the rotation.

Ross lasted just 4 1/3 innings Sunday against the Braves and 2 2/3 innings last Tuesday against the Cardinals. The 22-year-old is well above his previous career high in innings pitched and showing definite signs of fatigue, so the Nats pretty much have to lighten his workload despite their desperate position in the National League East.

And maybe Roark gives them a better shot at this point.

Ross registered a 3.79 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 68/20 K/BB ratio over his first 73 2/3 major league innings (13 starts) this season for Washington. He has a rotation spot locked up for 2016.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.

Bryce Harper sets April record for runs scored

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With four runs scored during Sunday’s 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper set a new April record for runs scored at 32, MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports. The record was previously held by Larry Walker, who scored 29 runs for the Rockies in April 1997.

Harper finished 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a solo home run (off of Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki) on the afternoon. He’s now hitting .391/.509/.772 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the year.