Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Head Home After Sweep To Face Atlanta Braves.

Apr 21, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos (3) bats during the game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 3 - 2. in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Nationals finished their nine-game road trip with a 5-4 record though they arrived in Miami 5-1 after six. The sweep by the Marlins ended a 21-8 May for Miami that saw the Fish go from 9-14 and 5 games out on May 1st to 29-22 and a .5 game back on the 31st. But Jhonatan Solano threw Hanley Ramirez out twice last night!!! TWICE! It was a rough end to a strong road trip. But the Nationals are still in 1st place in the NL East as they head home to face the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets in a quick six-game road trip. No game tonight, of course, so instead of rambling on, we'll take a moment before the links start to feature what's really the BIG STORY of the day...

• THE BIG STORY!!!: "This was for Vicky. Victoria Cabrera, the 13-year-old ray of light [Wilson] Ramos has come to consider a little sister. The slight, bespectacled, brunette girl whose ever-present smile does well to hide the turmoil going on inside her chest." - "Nationals' Ramos gives 13-year-old friend the gift of love" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• The rest of today's links starting with the NATS BEAT... RIGHT NOW!!!

• NATS BEAT:

• "[Jesus] Flores said he could have played today, and he was cleared to fully participate in any pregame activity, running included." - "Jesus Flores cleared to play, but Nationals take caution" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "A day after recording a hit in his first career at-bat -- and having a family reunion at Marlins Park -- Jhonatan Solano got his first big league start at catcher." - "With backstops ailing, Solano gets first start" - Tom Green, nationals.com: News

• "Five days ago, Chien-Ming Wang jogged out of the bullpen to relieve Ross Detwiler after a mediocre start. Today, the reverse happened." - "Nationals Pastime: The tables have turned (Nats swept away in Miami)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "It was like watching a movie reel on repeat. For three straight days. Three straight two-run losses." - "Wang struggles in return to rotation as Nats get swept by Marlins" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "There was some thought [Michael] Morse might only be available to hit for a while upon his return and would thus serve as DH for next weekend's interleague series in Boston." - "Morse could return Friday" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "As consolation, the Nationals finished 15-13 this month, their best May since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005. They concluded a 5-4 trip." - "Nats get swept by Marlins, losing finale 5-3" - Steve Wine, AP/WTOP.com

• "[Davey] Johnson joked that [Steve] Lombardozzi, who earned a Minor League Gold Glove award last season, may have to add a first baseman's glove to his collection if the Nats continue to fall victim to the injury bug." - "Lombardozzi continues to provide versatility" - Tom Green, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals have endured a constant stream of injuries this season, but none as bizarre as their latest." - "Henry Rodriguez slams finger in door, could pitch Friday" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "And even though [Michael] Morse’s stay was short, Potomac manager Brian Rupp is grateful for the opportunity his players had to compete with the big leaguer." - "Michael Morse a mentor during stint at Potomac" - Kelly Parsons, Washington Times

• "It takes even more wind out of said sails when, on that nine-game road trip, you have to put your top pinch hitter and one of your better late-inning relievers on the DL..." - "Nationals Pastime: A strong start, a disappointing finish (plus Morse update)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Outfielder Michael Morse, who has been sidelined all season with a torn left lat muscle, feels good after throwing to different bases Wednesday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said." - "'Outside possibility' Morse returns Friday" - Tom Green, nationals.com: News

• "By the time they packed their bags Wednesday night to head home, the Nationals were stinging from a sweep at hands of their longtime nemeses..." - "Rough end to tough road trip" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Washington saw its National League East lead over Miami dip to a half-game and finished its nine-game road trip on a sour note." - "Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins - May 30, 2012" - Tom Green, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "[Danny] Espinosa’s belief that his left-handed swing is as good, if not better than, his right-handed swing is genuine." - "Danny Espinosa makes progress, feels ‘closer’ to breaking out" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Adam] LaRoche said he's always admired the ability of many elite hitters to pay no attention to their stats..." - "LaRoche learns to take the bad with the good" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Nationals came to Miami 5-1 on the trip with a chance to finish one of their best road swings of all time..." - "A few thoughts, observations and leftovers as the Nationals head home" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "One of the all-time great players’ managers, [Davey] Johnson has the Nationals believing they can win." - "Davey Johnson delivering on Nationals’ promise" - Jason Reid, The Washington Post

• "'Hopefully we get a little healthy by Friday, but this has been a rough road trip,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'It's the guys we lost that hurt on this road trip.'" - "Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals - June 1, 2012" - Teddy Cahill, MLB.com Preview

• "Slowly but surely, Danny Espinosa appears to be getting on track at the plate. Thanks in part to some advice from Davey Johnson..." - "Instant analysis: Marlins 5, Nats 3" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Outfielder Michael Morse, who has been sidelined all season with a torn left lat muscle, feels good after throwing to different bases Wednesday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said." - "'Outside possibility' Morse returns Friday" - Tom Green, nationals.com: News

• "[Henry] Rodriguez wore a protective rubber brace to hold down the swelling on Wednesday and he did throw, but it was painful." - "Henry Rodriguez slams finger in door" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (DalaiLama): "The essence of compassion is a desire to alleviate the suffering of others and to promote their well-being."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starter Matt Purke (0-1) suffered the loss in his professional debut, allowing five runs on seven hits, five walks and one strike out." - "Purke Makes Pro Debut in Suns Loss" - Hagerstown Suns News

• "[Matt] Purke topped out at 91 mph in his first pro game with the Nationals organization after spending nearly two months at the Viera, Fla., extended spring training facility." - "Hagerstown's Matt Purke goes five innings in pro debut (updated)" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Potomac: "Michael Morse is back for a third straight game with the P-Nats so come out to Pfitzner Stadium tonight to see him in action!" - "Michael Morse Highlights Thirsty Thursday" - Potomac Nationals News

• "And even though [Michael] Morse’s stay was short, Potomac manager Brian Rupp is grateful for the opportunity his players had to compete with the big leaguer." - "Michael Morse a mentor during stint at Potomac" - Kelly Parsons, Washington Times

Game Story: "Morse Goes 3-For-6 as P-Nats Split with Pelicans" - Potomac Nationals News

• Double-A Harrisburg: Sea Dogs 3, Senators 2 - Eury Perez - 3 for 3, 1 R; Mike Ballard - 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "Left-hander John Lannan fired six innings of one-run ball, with Carlos Rivero's pinch-hit single in the seventh inning driving in the eventual game-winning run." - "Chiefs edge Bats in pitchers' duel" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Last Night In Woodbridge" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Gio Gonzalez talks Chewbacca and his happy place"- Sarah Kogod, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "The Nationals find themselves in an enviable position. Clinging to the National League East lead by a half-game over the Miami Marlins on the last day of May..." - "Morse's return, daunting June on tap for Nationals" - Nationals Buzz: Dave Nichols, MASNSports.com

• "May 31,1921 – Washington plates 7 runs in the home second off the Yanks Waite Hoyt. The Sens pound out 8 consecutive hits off Hoyt in the inning to win going away, 11-5." - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Silver lining: Nats still in first place by 1/2 game. Finish road trip 5-4." - "Death, taxes, and the Marlins beating the Nationals" - Nats Enquirer

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "Rest won't come easily or naturally to a pitcher who has thrown 200-plus innings in eight of the last 10 seasons..." - "Rest is best for Halladay, doctor says" - Frank Fitzpatrick, Philly.com

Mets: "Before last night’s game, Terry Collins tried to explain away the inconsistencies of Lucas Duda." - "Mets' Lucas Duda stops power outage against lefties with two home runs" - Brandon Prunty, NJ.com

Braves: "The future is now for the Atlanta Braves, as they replace rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky with shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who will be making his Major League debut in Washington on Friday." - "Braves Recall Andrelton Simmons, Demote Tyler Pastornicky" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Marlins: "Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins are sorry they're done playing baseball in the month of May." - "Miami Marlins sweep Washington Nationals 5-3 to cap best month in franchise history" - Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post

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