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Wire Taps: Nationals’ six-game win streak ends; Bryce Harper Field dedicated + Davey Martinez on having Harper’s back...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of today’s series finale with the Phillies...

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper talked about Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez having the team’s back when he talked to reporters about moving into the leadoff spot in Washington’s lineup after he’d gotten walked repeatedly over the last couple weeks.

“Martinez believes in our team. He believes in us as a group, and we believe in him as well. He’s one of the best managers I’ve ever been around,” Harper said, as quoted by writer Jamal Collier earlier this week.

Martinez had Harper’s back again on Saturday when the 25-year-old slugger got into it with home plate ump Mike Muchlinski after striking out to end the home-half of the seventh.

Harper barked back at Muchlinski, who didn’t want to hear it. Martinez emerged from the Nationals’ dugout to get between his outfielder and the umpire.

“He thought he called a bad pitch, and I wasn’t going to let Mike come out like that,” the first-year skipper said.

“There were some words said, but I was just trying to protect Bryce,” Martinez explained.

Check out today’s links before the start of today’s series finale with the Phillies ...


Nationals snap six-game win streak in loss
"A loss like Saturday's, where their offense sputtered and they lost a close game, had become somewhat routine for the Nationals before this week."

Anthony Rendon returns, but Nationals’ offense struggles in 3-1 loss
"Anthony Rendon emerged from the back of the clubhouse to find an eight-piece mariachi band serenading the Washington Nationals on Saturday morning."

Phillies beat Nationals 3-1
"Velasquez didn’t allow a hit until Wilmer Difo’s homer in the fifth. The right-hander struck out four, walked four and hit a batter."

Martinez on Rendon, Gott, Zimmerman and the mariachi band
"First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was a late scratch from today’s starting lineup due to a “stiff side” from a fall in Friday’s game against the Phillies."

Turner on ninth-inning gaffe, Rendon makes it through return
"Velasquez allowed only one hit, a solo homer by Wilmer Difo, in quieting the Nationals for five innings."


Photos: New Takoma baseball diamond named after Bryce Harper
"Hundreds of kids on Little League teams from around the District gathered at the Takoma Community Center in Northwest D.C. on Saturday..."

Bryce Harper earns field named after him
"The Nationals Dream Foundation dedicated Bryce Harper Field on Saturday morning, their third legacy field, committed to renovating one youth baseball or softball field in the D.C. region each year."

‘This is my second home’: Bryce Harper Field dedicated in Northwest Washington
"This could be Harper’s final year as a Washington National. This season is the organization’s last chance to convince him to stay."


Suns fall at Kannapolis
"Craig Dedelow tripled and singled twice, driving home two runs as the Kannapolis Intimidators topped the Hagerstown Suns 7-3 on Saturday."

Timely Hitting Eludes P-Nats in 5-4 Defeat
"The Potomac Nationals (16-13) found themselves on the comeback prowl for the second straight game against the Salem Red Sox (17-12) on Saturday Night, but the hits came too late in the 5-4 loss."

Ward Hits Game-Tying Homer but Senators Fall in Extras
"Drew Ward tied the game with a home run in the ninth but Chris Gittens' walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the tenth sent the Senators to their fourth straight loss."

Chiefs' five-run ninth falls just short Saturday in Buffalo
"The Syracuse Chiefs scored five runs on five hits in the ninth inning, but their comeback fell just short with the tying run left on second base, in a 7-6 loss to the Buffalo Bisons."


Conforto 'disappointed' with loss, his performance
"After coming back ahead of schedule from a shoulder injury, 2018 hasn't exactly gotten off to the start Michael Conforto hoped it would."

Hey, the Phillies Actually Have a Chance Sunday vs. Max Scherzer
"Pitching matchups like Sunday's are a major reason why the Phillies signed Jake Arrieta."

Marlins look for lineup to score more runs
"Saturday's iteration was the fifth this season -- all in the last eight games -- to move All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto into the leadoff spot. Realmuto is certainly not a prototypical leadoff hitter, but his .381 on-base percentage paces the team."

‘High upside’ Camargo back in Braves lineup with Swanson ailing
"With Dansby Swanson ailing, Johan Camargo returns to the Braves’ regular lineup."