The Nationals haven’t scored in their last 22 innings

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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The Nationals were 14-4 entering their home series against the Phillies that started on Tuesday. They scored twice in the fifth inning to tie the game at 3-3, but eventually went on to lose 4-3. The Nationals lost 3-0 on Wednesday and were shut out 3-0 again on Thursday, running their consecutive scoreless innings streak to 22.

Jeremy Hellickson tossed seven shutout innings on Wednesday. Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez combined to handle the final two innings. Aaron Nola matched Hellickson with seven shutout frames of his own on Thursday. Dalier Hinojosa, Elvis Araujo, and Gomez combined to handle the final two innings.

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper was a non-factor at the plate during the series. He singled once with two walks on Tuesday, went 0-for-2 with two walks on Wednesday, and went 1-for-4 on Thursday. He had a tough time handling a bullet hit by Cameron Rupp in the top of the ninth inning on Thursday, which perturbed closer Jonathan Papelbon. There was no choking, at least not that we were able to see.

The Nationals are now 14-7, which is still good. But they’ve played the Marlins, Braves, and Phillies six times each and the Twins three times. Their schedule has not exactly been tough. Now they hit the road for 10 days to play the Cardinals, Royals, and Cubs.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.