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Jose Lobaton hits second 3-run homer in Nationals’ playoff history

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On a day when the wind gusted through Nationals Park at an estimated 25 m.p.h., hitting left field and threatening to limit any potential damage by right-handed batters like Justin Turner and Jayson Werth, Jose Lobaton hit his first home run of the postseason.

Lobaton struck in the fourth inning on a 1-1 Rich Hill curveball, driving in Daniel Murphy and Danny Espinosa to take the lead 3-2 in the fourth inning. According to Statcast, the pitch was barreled 102.6 mp.h. off the bat, good for 394 feet in the left bleachers. Not only was it the first lead the of the Nationals’ 2016 playoff run, but it marked just the second time that a Nationals’ batter hit a three-run jack in postseason history.

The last and only batter to hit a three-run postseason homer for the Nationals was outfielder Jerry White. Tied 1-1 in the 1981 NLCS, White went yard in the sixth inning against Los Angeles hurler Jerry Reuss to clinch Game 3 for the Montreal Expos. The Expos went on to lose the NLCS in five games, while the Dodgers eventually clinched the World Series against the Yankees in six.

The Nationals currently lead the Dodgers 4-2 in the sixth.

Dallas Keuchel could make season debut on Friday vs. Nationals

Dallas Keuchel
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Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.

After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.

Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.

Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.