Wire Taps: Nationals' 3B Anthony Rendon's glove a big help in win over Orioles

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Rendon doesn't appear likely to win the Final Vote competition for the final spot on the NL All-Star roster, but he helped the Washington Nationals beat the Baltimore Orioles last night and earned praise from both teams' managers.

Buck Showalter thought the Baltimore Orioles could have gotten back into the game last night in Oriole Park in Camden Yards if it hadn't been for the Washington Nationals' pesky third baseman.

"Their third baseman had a great night playing third base or we could have gotten back in that thing a little bit." -QOTD: Buck Showalter on Bryce Harper

"Their third baseman had a great night playing third base or we could have gotten back in that thing a little bit," Showalter told reporters after the 6-2 loss to the Nats.

Nationals' skipper Matt Williams talked after the game about how impressed he was with the way Anthony Rendon has transitioned smoothly between second and third base throughout the season.

It's not easy," the former major league third baseman said. "Did you see the balls they hit at him tonight, with authority. And he handled every chance tonight perfectly. It's not easy to do. Playing second base is completely backward from playing the other side of the diamond. So it's not an easy transition, but he's handled it well and he works very hard at it."

Rendon, who is also a candidate for the final spot on the NL All-Star Roster, also went 1 for 4 at the plate, connecting for his 22nd double of the year in his first at bat and scoring on Jayson Werth's 20th double of the season.

It doesn't look like he's going to win the Final Vote runoff, but Rendon is definitely deserving of a spot in the All-Star Game. Will he get added to the roster if someone falls out? Or will he get to relax for a few days before attacking the so-called second half?

We'll find out soon enough, until we do, why not read some links... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "'I have more faith in [general manager] Mike Rizzo and the organization than probably anybody. I've seen it from the very beginning to this point and we've made tremendous strides.'" - "Ian Desmond discusses his present, future with Washington Nationals" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• NATS BEAT:

• "Pick an inning from Wednesday’s win and Anthony Rendon likely had something to do with it, and probably with his glove." - "Anthony Rendon’s defense shines" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Though he left spring training knowing he’d be coming off the bench for the first time in his career, Espinosa’s role changed only two weeks into the season..." - "Danny Espinosa understands, accepts reduced role with Nationals" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Espinosa’s routine has changed but he does everything he can to stay as fresh and active as he can." - "Danny Espinosa re-adjusts to his new role" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Espinosa is batting .216 in 77 games with 93 strikeouts. Is there anything that Espinosa can do to improve his swing and at-bats?" - "Williams on Roark's resilience, Espinosa's work ethic and LaRoche's extra effort" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Hamels, however, has a no-trade clause that can block a deal with 20 of the other 29 MLB teams other than the Phillies. FoxSports.com got hold of those nine teams late Tuesday night, and the Nats just happen to be one of them." - "Cole Hamels would allow a trade to the Nationals" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Early in a humid game in Baltimore, it looked like Nationals starting pitching Doug Fister might not have his best stuff." - "Doug Fister battles way to win over Baltimore" - JP Finlay, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "The wiffle ball tournament continued in the fourth. Ian Desmond smacked his 16th homer of the season, a solo shot over the right-center field wall to give the Nationals a 4-1 lead." - "Nationals erase bad memory with quick strike against Norris (Nats win 6-2)" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Wednesday night, the Nats got their first glimpse at what exactly this team is capable of doing when it not only hits, but hits for power." - "Nationals’ power returns in win over Orioles" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Final Vote candidate Anthony Rendon on second, Werth doubled to right field to score the first run. Adam LaRoche followed and singled to right field to make it a 2-0 game." - "Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles - July 9, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "The Washington Nationals’ capability for hitting home runs far outpaces their ability to predict them." - "Nationals switch on power, move into first place with 6-2 thumping of Orioles" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "A large part of that is due to injuries, certainly. But there haven't been many games this season where the Nats slugged their way to a win." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams discusses Nats' 6-2 win over Orioles" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "A lineup that included Ryan Zimmerman as designated hitter thumped Orioles starter Bud Norris and reliever Brad Brach for six runs in seven innings..." - "Nationals blast ball out of Camden Yards in win over Orioles" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Being on the bench has not stopped Espinosa from working hard. He often works with hitting coach Rick Schu before games and does other things like take ground balls and lift weights." - "Zim at DH, so Espinosa gets start vs. O's" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth had a double and a home run in a 6-2 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night." - "Werth, Fister and LaRoche after 6-2 win at Orioles" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "During Gonzalez's three-game winning streak he has struck out 19 batters, and in his last two starts he's walked just three. The O's will counter with Wei-Yin Chen, who is 8-3 with a 4.12 ERA." - "Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles - July 10, 2014" - Dave Wilson, MLB.com Preview

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Orioles third baseman Manny Machado said he isn't trying to hit home runs, but the numbers show otherwise. After hitting just four homers in his first 50 games, Machado has five in his last eight games." - "With solo home run Wednesday, Manny Machado continues recent success" - Alejandro Zuniga, Baltimore Sun

• "On Tuesday afternoon, Orioles manager Buck Showalter fanned the fire that is the burgeoning rivalry between the two clubs." - "Buck Showalter talks about Orioles fans taking over Nationals Park" - Alejandro Zuniga, baltimoresun.com

• "A ninth round pick out of high school by the New York Yankees in the 2003 MLB Draft, he made 11 appearances in rookie league ball before arriving in the Cereal City to play for the Battle Creek Yankees of the Class A Midwest League during the 2004 season." - "Throwback Thursday: Fear the goggles" - Nick Buckley, battlecreekenquirer.com

• "The Orioles ideally wanted to work right-hander Bud Norris back into the rotation gradually as he returned from his trip to the disabled list with a right groin strain..." - "Bud Norris gives up five runs in return from DL as Orioles lose, 6-2, to the Nationals" - Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Auburn: "We'd already started to call Reynaldo Lopez the Doubledays ace. It might be time to call him a star." - "Lopez dominates once again as Doubledays tame Tigers" - Evan Weston, Auburn Doubledays News

• "Potomac second baseman Tony Renda is 5-foot-8, but he doesn't worry about his lack of height. To him, that's just a waste of time." - "Carolina notes: Renda rises with hard work" - Jeff Seidel, MiLB.com

Low-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (13-8, 57-34) couldn't hang onto a six-run lead on Wednesday, and wound up losing the final game of a three-game series against the Lakewood BlueClaws..." - "Suns cough up six-run lead in 9-7 loss to Lakewood" - Hagerstown Suns News

Double-A Harrisburg: "The only run Harrisburg needed came in the first inning as Michael Taylor (2-for-3, run) singled, moved to second on a Matt Skole single, to third on a balk and then home on an RBI groundout by Kevin Keyes." - "Harrisburg Fires Second Straight Shutout" - Harrisburg Senators News

• "With Kevin Keyes' home run in Tuesday's third inning, he surpassed teammate Michael Taylor for the lead among all Washington Nationals' minor leaguers with 19." - "Mountain Man from Duck Dynasty could witness Harrisburg Senators winning streak tonight on City Island" - Mick Reinhard, PennLive.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Gwinnett (43-50) struck first with three doubles in the bottom of the first inning off Syracuse right-hander A.J. Cole." - "Chiefs beat Braves, claim series win" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Thursday’s News & Notes" - NationalsProspects.com

• "Souza is the most logical choice for a trade. The 25-year-old is crushing International League pitching at Syracuse with a .366/.446/.599 triple-slash line." - "Federal Reserve: Nationals’ Minor League Options Limited For Shortstop Acquisition" - Zach Spedden, The Nats Blog

• NATSTOWN:

• "The Washington Nationals (49-40) took advantage of the hitter-friendly Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday as they teed off with three home runs on the way to a 6-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles (49-41)." - "Nationals Beat Orioles with Offense and Pitching, Retake First Place" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Here's Bryce Harper messing with Matt Williams in the dugout" - Nats Enquirer

• "A Trip To Cooperstown, Part 2" - Nationals 101

• "Harper’s 30-second spot, titled 'Beast,' depicts a softer side of the normally intense outfielder." - "Bryce Harper’s ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial is funny" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post

• "'I try not to get out too much,' Rendon replied. 'I try to enjoy my resting.'" - "Anthony Rendon Hates ‘Transformers’ Movies, Likes Double Decker Tacos" - CBS DC

• "Ranking sixth, seventh, and tenth in weighted on base average, weighted runs created plus, and wins above replacement, respectively, in the National League, the team thus far as produced runs at a slightly disappointing level..." - "Statistically Speaking: Batting Expectations" - Stuart Wallace, District Sports Page

• "Possible Trade Targets to Replace Nationals Ian Desmond" - Ryan Sullivan, NatsGM


• "RRRRRRendon" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Ian Desmond howls like a werewolf after Jayson Werth home run" - Nats Enquirer

NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "The last time Aaron Harang took the hill at Citi Field, he flirted with history." - "Atlanta Braves at New York Mets - July 10, 2014" - Jake Kring-Schreifels and Tim Healey, MLB.com Preview

Marlins: "One of those teams trying to decide its fate is the Miami Marlins, who are sitting a hefty six games back of the division in the National League East following a difficult month of June." - "MLB Trade Deadline: Miami Marlins buyers or sellers?" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

Phillies: "But a package deal built around Hamels, including any combination you like of Papelbon, Byrd, or Burnett, should bring a more enticing return for the Phillies." - "A’s Trade a Blueprint for Phillies?" - Adam Dembowitz, Crashburn Alley

Mets: "Sandy Alderson's 90-win challenge for the Mets seemed like a long shot from the outset." - "How to Explain the Suddenly Hot Mets? Maybe It's the Weather" - Jared Diamond, WSJ

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