The Nationals’ bats broke out in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in San Diego, swatting four consecutive home runs to turn a 1-1 tie into a 5-1 lead. After Yan Gomes grounded out against Craig Stammen, Howie Kendrick pinch-hit for Stephen Strasburg, smoking a solo homer to left-center to put the Nationals up 2-1. Trea Turner followed up with a dinger of his own, sending a fly ball out to center field. Adam Eaton made it three in a row, swatting a sinker out to center field. Anthony Rendon was No. 4, belting a sinker to right-center at Petco Park to make it 5-1.
Interestingly, it wasn’t that long ago that the Nationals last accomplished this feat. On July 27, 2017 against the Rockies, Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman hit four consecutive homers against Michael Blazek. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Nationals are the only team to have ever done it twice.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.