Storms wash out Mariners-Nats; twinbill set for Wednesday

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WASHINGTON — Tuesday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals was postponed because of thunderstorms. MLB approved the postponement after a 1-hour, 4-minute delay from the scheduled 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

The teams will play a split doubleheader on Wednesday. The first game is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. and the second at 6:05 p.m.

Seattle (45-42) has won eight straight and began Tuesday tied with Toronto for the final wild-card spot in the AL. The Mariners last made the playoffs in 2001.

The Nationals (30-58) have lost 10 of 11 and are last in the NL East.

DERBY RETURN

Nationals All-Star right fielder Juan Soto will make his second consecutive appearance in the Home Run Derby. Last season, he hit 18 of his 29 homers after the All-Star break.

“I mean, for me it worked last year,” Soto said before the game. “You see the second half I had. I’m just going to try and see how it feels in there and try and enjoy the show.”

Soto, who made the semifinals of the event last season, entered Tuesday with 17 homers.

FINAL BRAWL SUSPENSION

Mariners All-Star center fielder Julio Rodriguez was scheduled to serve a one-game suspension Tuesday stemming from his involvement in a brawl with the Los Angeles Angels on June 26.

Once he serves his suspension, “we will have all of the suspensions behind us,” manager Scott Servais said before the game was postponed.

Rodriguez is the first Mariners rookie position player to make the All-Star game since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and the third player in club history to be selected at age 21 or younger, joining Ken Griffey Jr. (1990, 91) and Alex Rodriguez (1996, 97).

FRANCE SNUBBED

Servais said that he needed to stick up for first baseman Ty France, who is batting .306 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs but was not selected to the All-Star Game.

“I think it’s crazy Ty France is not going to the All-Star Game to be honest,” Servais said. “Obviously, we play in the Pacific Northwest. We don’t play on the East Coast. Take it for what it’s worth.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Erik Swanson was reinstated from the paternity list.

Nationals: Manager Dave Martinez said RHP Anibal Sanchez (cervical nerve impingement) will make his season debut on Thursday against Atlanta. The 38-year-old last pitched in the majors in 2020 for Washington.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (5-8, 4.00 ERA) will start Game 1 of the twinbill. A starter for Game 2 has not been determined.

Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (7-5, 4.14) will pitch in the first game and RHP Erick Fedde (5-6, 5.01) will start the second.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.