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Wire Taps: Nationals drop second straight to Blue Jays; shut out again + more before today’s finale...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of this afternoon’s series finale with the Blue Jays...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Tip your cap. Get’em next time. Come back tomorrow ready to go. Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked after last night’s loss about Washington’s offense struggling to get anything going against Toronto Blue Jays’ right-hander Marco Estrada, who tossed 6 23 scoreless on the mound in the Rogers Centre, helping to hand the Nats their third shutout loss this week.

“[Estrada] mixed his pitches up,” Martinez said. “His changeup I think caught our guys by surprise, just as slow as it was, but still we had some pitches to hit we just didn’t hit them.

“I mean, really, if you look at it, we just couldn’t get nothing going.”

Martinez’s squad will need to get something going against the Blue Jays today if they want to avoid getting swept in Toronto...

NATS BEAT:

Max Scherzer strikes out 10 in Nationals' loss - (MLB.com)
"It's striking that the Nationals have so often not found a way to get anything going on offense, especially considering they have started to get healthier recently."

Nationals’ offense stays dormant, and Max Scherzer’s one mistake proves costly - (WaPost)
"Scherzer is functioning as intended, as evidenced by the fact that his ERA rose to 2.06 after six strong innings."

Nats shut out for third time in five games, lose 2-0 (updated) - (MASN)
"It was the third time the Nationals have been shut out in their last five games, the seventh time they’ve been held to five or fewer hits in their last 13 games."

Bryce Harper's slump not worrying Nationals - (MLB.com)
"Harper, who leads the National League in homers with 19, has now struck out 20 times in 12 games this month and walked only four times."

Injuries changed the Nationals’ plans again, and Daniel Murphy is back in the field early - (WaPost)
"Ryan Zimmerman has stopped taking batting practice with his teammates before games and has not fielded ground balls on the field yet this weekend in Toronto."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

How Marco Estrada, Aaron Loup and Luke Maile neutralized Bryce Harper in a tight Blue Jays’ win – (The Athletic - Subscription Only)
"Yes,​ Bryce Harper is struggling.​ In 36​ games​ since​ May 3, he’s​ batting​ .188. He​ is​ also​ leading​ the​​ National League in home runs with 19."

Estrada masterful in Blue Jays’ win over Nats - (Toronto Sun)

“As a pitcher, Marco Estrada isn’t exactly a flame-thrower. But he certainly burned the Washington Nationals on Saturday afternoon...”

NL EAST UPDATES:

Gabe Kapler's gutsy decisions pay off in win - (MLB.com)
"Dominguez is not the Phillies' closer, but he is Kapler's preferred choice with the game on the line."

Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes still hurting - (Newsday)
"Neither Yoenis Cespedes nor Noah Syndergaard has resumed baseball activities as they wait for their soreness to disappear..."

Newcomb, Culberson lead Braves to win in front of record crowd - (AJC)
"Every team wants a pitcher that it knows will stop or prevent a losing skid. The Braves appear to have found one in Sean Newcomb."

J.T. Realmuto hits two homers in win vs. O's - (MLB.com)
"Now two-and-a-half months into what could be his best offensive season, Realmuto says spending most of the year hitting third or higher has been more blessing than curse."