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Nationals come back from 9-0 deficit against Marlins

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Update (9:19 PM ET): Credit to the Nationals — they battled back. It’s 10-9 after six innings. They hung up a four-spot in the fifth and added five more in the sixth. Trea Turner hit a go-ahead grand slam. Maybe that players-only meeting helped after all.

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Wednesday’s players-only meeting in the Nationals’ clubhouse apparently didn’t do the trick. Through four innings of Thursday night’s series opener at home against the Marlins, the Nationals are getting blown out 9-1.

Starter Jeremy Hellickson has given up all nine runs, eight earned, on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Martin Prado knocked in a run in the top of the first thanks to a fielding error by third baseman Anthony Rendon. In the second, J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run single and Justin Bour followed up with an RBI single. A short while later, Martin Prado clanked a three-run home run off the foul pole down the left field line. Bour added a two-run homer in the fourth.

Trea Turner put the Nationals on the board in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run off of Pablo Lopez, but the Nats will need a lot more than that to get back into the game.

If the Nats drop Thursday’s game, they’ll have lost their fourth game in a row and their 18th in their last 23 games. The first-place Braves are currently leading the Brewers and the Phillies have the night off. The Nationals entered play Thursday seven games behind the Braves and 5.5 behind the Phillies.

If you had been told in mid-April that, in July, Gabe Kapler would be the most successful of the three rookie managers in the National League, you likely would have been very skeptical. Kapler’s Phillies are 47-37. Mickey Callaway’s Mets are 34-49. And Dave Martinez’s 42-43 Nationals are sinking quickly.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”