Davey Johnson refuses to shave until the National offense wakes up

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Nationals manager Davey Johnson isn’t happy with his team’s offense, which enters tonight’s series opener against the Phillies having averaged 3.38 runs per game, the second-worst rate in the league. Looking for a quirky way to motivate his team, Johnson says he will not shave until the offense makes an appearance:

The Nationals manager apologized for his scraggly appearance before Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, but he added: “I figured I couldn’t get any uglier, so what the heck.”

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The 70-year-old Johnson says it’ll be hard to notice his facial growth because it’s gray and doesn’t grow fast.

Said Johnson: “Maybe I can change the luck.”

With the news of Danny Espinosa’s broken wrist, Bryce Harper getting banged up, and Jayson Werth on the DL until June, the Nationals are going to leaning even harder on Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond, two of their only sources of offense this year.

Video: Athletics tie home run record on the road

Franklin Barreto, Stephen Piscotty, Mark Canha
AP Images
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The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.

Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.

The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.