Washington Nationals

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Nationals extend general manager Mike Rizzo through 2018

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WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals picked up the contract option for Mike Rizzo that keeps the president of baseball operations and general manager with the organization through the 2018 season.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Nationals exercised the option before the June 15 deadline.

Rizzo joined the organization in 2007 and was named GM in 2010, the same year he selected Bryce Harper No. 1 overall in the first-year player draft. Washington won the NL East in 2012 and 2014.

“We are pleased with the job Mike has done over the past nine years,” Nationals owner Theodore Lerner said in a statement released Saturday. “He and the baseball operations team have worked tirelessly to help build this organization into one of Major League Baseball’s elite clubs. We are fortunate to have him.”

Rizzo was promoted to president of baseball operations during the 2013 season.

“I am honored by the Lerner family’s continued faith and confidence in me and am thrilled to be remaining with the Washington Nationals organization,” said Rizzo. “While I am proud of the work we have accomplished, we still must achieve the ultimate goal of bringing a World Series Championship back to Washington.”

Paul Goldschmidt activated from paternity leave list

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 12:  Paul Goldschmidt #44 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up on deck during the first inning of the MLB game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Chase Field on August 12, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 7-6. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Diamondbacks have activated first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the paternity leave list. He’s slated to return to the starting lineup this afternoon against the Cubs.

Goldschmidt missed two games this week to be wife his wife, Amy, for the birth of their first child. Fortunately, all went well with wife and baby.

Goldschmidt, 27, is batting .322/.437/.563 with 27 home runs, 97 RBI, and 21 stolen bases over 133 games this season. He’s likely the biggest challenger to Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the National League MVP Award.

Settling the Score: Friday’s results

Washington Nationals' Michael Taylor, right, celebrates with relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58), and Jayson Werth, back center, as he comes home for his game-winning three-run homer during the10th inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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The Nationals still have a lot of work to do, but they are trying to make things interesting in the National League East.

Michael Taylor slugged a pinch-hit, walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning last night as part of a 5-2 win over the Braves.

The Braves held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth before Matt den Dekker delivered a game-tying pinch-hit single with two outs against Arodys Vizcaino. After Jonathan Papelbon pitched his second straight scoreless inning, Bryce Harper led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk against Matt Marksberry. Brandon Cunniff entered the game to pitch to Ryan Zimmerman, but gave up a single to move Harper to third. Taylor, who has been dealing with a knee issue over the past two days, then hit for Papelbon and sent everyone home happy.

The Nationals have won three straight games and sit at 69-65 on the year. The Mets lost to the Marlins last night, so Washington is five games back in the NL East with 28 games to play. The two teams will begin a huge three-game series Monday in Washington, D.C., but the Nationals will try to pick up more ground by beating up on the Braves this weekend.

Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:

Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 14

Rays 2, Yankees 5

Orioles 10, Blue Jays 2

Indians 8, Tigers 1

Phillies 5, Red Sox 7

Braves 2, Nationals 5 (10 innings)

Mets 5, Marlins 6 (11 innings)

White Sox 12, Royals 1

Pirates 9, Cardinals 3

Twins 0, Astros 8

Rangers 2, Angels 5

Giants 1, Rockies 2

Mariners 11, Athletics 8

Dodgers 8, Padres 4

Brewers/Reds – postponed