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Wire Taps: Nationals links + Denard Span's knee + Trea Turner update

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The Washington Nationals are back in the nation's capital to start a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays after dropping three straight on the road in Cincinnati. Can Jordan Zimmermann right the ship tonight? Nats links below...

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Try not to panic. Washington Nationals' center fielder Denard Span did leave Sunday's series finale in Cincinnati with a sore right knee, but as Nats' skipper Matt Williams explained it after the loss to the Reds, there was just an opportunity to give the outfielder a rest once things got out-of-hand-ish.

"His knee is a little sore," Williams told reporters. "There was a ball in Chicago where he had to go get it and then had to go to the ground to catch it and he banged it a little bit, so it's been a little bit sore.

"There was a ball in Chicago where he had to go get it and then had to go to the ground to catch it and he banged it a little bit, so it's been a little bit sore." - Matt Williams on Denard Span's knee issues

"Today, they'd just gone up by [six] runs and we're going to really have to bang to get back in it anyway and he was sore today so we decided to get him out of there."

The Reds took an 8-2 lead with a six-run bottom of the seventh before Williams sent Tyler Moore up to the plate in Span's spot in the top of the eighth, but had it been a closer game, he said, Span could have stayed in.

"Yeah, of course," he said. "But the circumstances of the game, he was a little gimpy going in today, so we got him out of the game, give him some rest get him iced down and hopefully ready for tomorrow."

He did, however, given all the injury issues the Nats are dealing with these days, tell reporters that he didn't have any long-term concerns about Span at this point.

"It's just part of the game," Williams said. "The way it happens sometimes, and everybody gets nicks and bruises, so that was the case with him but I expect him to be okay tomorrow."

• "'It’s been kind of off and on since [Chicago],' Span said. 'It’s been bothering me. Certain movements — sprinting, trying to decelerate, coming down on it.'" - "Denard Span leaves Sunday’s game with sore right knee" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "Span said there is nothing structurally wrong with the knee, but he has to keep a close eye on it." - "Span exits game in 8th due to sore right knee" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

Are you panicking? Try to relax, maybe some links will help you calm down...

• NATS BEAT: Zim's foot; Nats' bullpen, Hey, it's Jim Riggleman!?!?

• "I'm still doing what I love to do and really wanted to congratulate Mike on what the Nationals have done for the last three or four years. They put together the best team in baseball." - Jim Riggleman - "No hard feelings between Riggleman, Nationals" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Injury aside, because he has never connected foot pain to his hitting, Zimmerman has been unable to establish consistency at the plate this season." - "Ryan Zimmerman, playing through plantar fasciitis, hunting consistency at the plate" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "The Reds sent 10 men to the plate to score six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Nationals had tied the game in the top half." - "Taylor provides only offense as Nats fall" - Robert Bondy and Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Double-A San Antonio Missions shortstop Trea Turner's 16-game hit streak ended yesterday after an 0-for-4. But Turner still has a slash line of .333/.405/.508." - "Rendon update, Turner hitting streak ends at 16 games, Giolito starts tonight" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Bryce Harper was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored after missing yesterday's game with back soreness." - "Nationals Pastime: Scarce offense and bullpen woes leave Nats swept in Cincinnati" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com

• "Left-hander Matt Grace had the worst time this weekend. He didn't retire a batter in Sunday's loss to Cincinnati and allowed four runs on three hits." - "Nationals' bullpen struggles vs. Reds" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "The longevity of a baseball season precludes uninterrupted dominance. No team can win every series, though since late April the Nationals had done that..." - "Bullpen falters as Nationals are swept by Reds" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "Zimmermann has tossed eight consecutive quality starts and will look to keep that streak alive against Toronto." - "Nationals, Blue Jays start Interleague series in D.C." - Gregor Chisolm, MLB.com

• "The disabled list is now a crowded group with Stephen Strasburg now joining Doug Fister, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon. Bryce Harper also missed Saturday’s game with a sore back." - "Making sense of a rare sweep for the Nationals" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Harper and the HR Derby; Harper vs Chapman + more

• "With his father – and pitcher – on the disabled list, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper said he may not participate in this year's Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park, but he hasn't made a final decision yet." - "Bryce Harper may skip Home Run Derby at All-Star Game" - C. Trent Rosencrans, Cincinnati.com

• "The bad news started with slugger Jayson Werth, who is batting just .208 this season. He's out indefinitely with a broken wrist and can be safely dropped in fantasy leagues." - "MLB Quick Hits: Keeping a positive 'Natitude'" - D.J. Foster, FOX Sports

• "Taylor Jordan: Former Merritt Island High pitcher is back up with the Washington Nationals." - "Tracking Brevard’s sports stars: Heston, Johnson have big week" - Hillard Grossman, Florida Today

• "After big hits, Todd Frazier will often pantomime turning a steering wheel — he's driving the bus, if you will. This weekend, Frazier's bus ran over the Washington Nationals." - "Reds complete sweep against Nationals" - C. Trent Rosencrans, Cincinnati.com

• "The other day, Bryce Harper batted against Aroldis Chapman. Who wouldn’t want to examine that plate appearance in detail?" - "Let’s Watch Bryce Harper Face Aroldis Chapman" - Jeff Sullivan, FanGraphs Baseball

NATS MINORS:

• "Dickey suffered the loss for the Suns. In three plus innings of work he was charged for five earned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out one." - "Five-run fourth too much to overcome in 7-5 loss to Kannapolis" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

• "Nationals starter, RHP Nick Pivetta (3-4) surrendered a career-high three home runs and 10 hits, a season-high total, in just 4.1 innings..." - "Potomac Nationals Game Recap vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans" - Potomac Nationals News

• "Harrisburg 4 vs. Bowie 6 - Anthony Rendon - 1 for 4, 1 2B" - Harrisburg Senators Box

• "The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the final game of a three-game series to the Durham Bulls, 3-0, Sunday evening at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham." - "Syracuse Chiefs fall to Durham Bulls, Matt Andriese five shutout innings, Mitch Lively four innings out of pen" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• NL EAST UPDATES: Trade Hamels already!; Mets' May; Teheran's troubles + Fernandez update

Phillies: "Per the source, the Phillies are now willing to take on more of Hamels’ remaining salary than they had been earlier in the season." - "Source: Phillies approach with Cole Hamels trade changing (slightly)" - Rob Bradford, WEEI.com

Mets: "After a largely surprising first month to the 2015 season, reality hit the Mets in May." - "Injury-riddled Mets served up harsh slap of reality in May" - Mike Puma, New York Post

Marlins: "Jose Fernandez and Jarred Cosart will not be the only Marlins starters on the disabled list throwing on Monday." - "Fernandez set for first game action since surgery" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com

Braves: "Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has deflected concerns expressed about Julio Teheran for more than a month." - "Braves skipper: Teheran 'not the same'" - Mark Bowman, braves.com