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Nats’ combined no-hit bid broken up in the eighth inning

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Update #3 (4:09 PM EDT): Ramon Cabrera broke up the no-hit bid with a ground ball single to left field off of reliever Matt Belisle.

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Update #2 (3:53 PM EDT): Treinen got Billy Hamilton to ground out to end the seventh inning, so the combined no-hitter is still in play.

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Update (3:50 PM EDT): In the seventh, Strasburg struck out Jay Bruce, walked Eugenio Suarez, uncorked a wild pitch, then got Brandon Phillips to ground out. It was at that point, Baker decided to lift Strasburg from the game at 109 pitches. It’s hard to blame Baker for doing so. Strasburg is responsible for the runner at third base, which reliever Blake Treinen will inherit.

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Stephen Strasburg has been strong in his return from the disabled list, tossing six no-hit innings thus far in Sunday’s start against the Reds. He has walked three and struck out four on 93 pitches, so if he does go the distance, he’ll rack up quite the high pitch count. Manager Dusty Baker may have to make a tough decision.

If Strasburg does complete the no-hitter, he’ll be the first to do so since Max Scherzer on October 3 last season against the Mets. The Cubs’ Jake Arrieta is the only pitcher this season to have thrown a no-no.

The Nationals have pummeled the Reds’ pitching to the tune of eight runs. Four of them came in the fourth inning on a Danny Espinoa grand slam, his second of the series. Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper have also homered.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.