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The struggling - _WedAMCESTECEST1SepE Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals closed out a rainy weekend at home on a high note.

Harper homered Laken Tomlinson Jersey , Max Scherzer struck out seven in six innings and the Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Sunday in a game hampered by a pair of long weather delays.

Anthony Rendon also had two hits and drove in two runs for Washington, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and helping the Nationals earn a split of the series after Saturday’s game was rained out. Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each had three hits.

”It’s part of it. We play outdoors,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of the rain. ”But the boys hung in there. They were all pretty loose in the clubhouse, honestly. Watching Shark Week. So, it was good.”

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 55 minutes by rain, and another downpour stopped play for almost 100 minutes between the sixth and seventh innings.

Two days after a heated exchange with teammate Stephen Strasburg during Friday’s 8-5 loss, Scherzer (13-5) allowed two runs and eight hits in his third straight win. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has pitched six or more innings in his last 19 starts, though the Braves made him work for it.

”A division team, they know everything I got,” Scherzer said. ”They absolutely grind apart every at-bat. It’s really hard to put them away. Our defense played outstanding today.”

Speaking with reporters for the first time since Friday’s dugout disagreement with Strasburg, Scherzer shed no new light on the exchange, saying only: ”Look, it was miscommunication, settled it. It’s over. End of story.”

Kelvin Herrera got five outs for his first save with Washington.

Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz (7-6) Geronimo Allison Jersey , an All-Star who spent much of this week in Washington, gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

”Just waiting around this long, it’s kind of irritating,” he said of Sunday’s delays. ”I’m ready to get out of D.C. It’s been a while here.”

Harper singled in Eaton to give Washington a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Matt Adams added another RBI single in the seventh, and Harper hit a solo drive in the eighth for his 24th homer.

Scherzer was staked to an early 3-0 lead and then got some help from his defense.

Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the third with a drive off the wall in center, but he was thrown out by Harper while trying for a double. With a runner on first in the fifth, Freddie Freeman’s blast to right was chased down by Eaton on the warning track.

Then in the seventh, Michael A. Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall in center to rob Dansby Swanson of extra bases with one runner on.

Washington got off to a fast start with three runs in the first. Rendon drove in Eaton and Harper with a triple down the right-field line, and then scored on Soto’s groundout.

Swanson drove in Atlanta’s runs with a groundout in the second and a single in the fourth, but the Braves couldn’t land any big blows on Scherzer.

”Got his pitch count up, but that guy never gives in,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. ”He’s an unbelievable competitor, as good as there is in the game.”

MAKEUP DATE

Saturday’s game will be made up Aug. 7 as part of a split doubleheader, with games beginning at 1:05 and 7:05 p.m.

MOVES

The Nationals acquired minor league right-hander Jacob Condra-Bogan from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder Brian Goodwin. The Nationals also recalled lefty Sammy Solis from Triple-A Syracuse.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: All-Star 2B Ozzie Albies, who left Friday’s game with right hamstring tightness James Develin Jersey , got the day off.

Nationals: RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) experienced extended soreness after throwing off the mound Friday. An MRI Saturday revealed a stress reaction, comparable to a bone bruise, in the bridge of his foot and he is wearing a walking boot. … RHP Koda Glover (right shoulder tendinitis) was reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (8-5, 3.51 ERA) pitches the opener of a two-game series in Miami on Monday. He already has beaten the Marlins twice this season, allowing one run in 12 innings.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.72 ERA) opens a three-game series in Milwaukee on Monday night. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career starts versus the Brewers.




TORONTO — Mike Babcock was not sure how much difference his line adjustments made, but the Toronto coach did notice the Maple Leafs‘ improved approach Saturday night in their 4-3 over the Boston Bruins in Game 5.

“I don’t know how much the line changes paid off, I just know that the guys were engaged,” Babcock said after the game in Boston. “We got off to a really good start and our penalty kill, obviously, was great. We were short-handed six times, (including) a five-on-three. So that was great. Our goaltender was good. We got the early lead and we were able to hang on.”

Boston takes a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series into Game 6 on Monday night in Toronto.

The Bruins can be expected to come out with a different attitude at the Air Canada Centre because their coach, Bruce Cassidy, was not impressed by his team’s effort Saturday when only one more win was needed to clinch the series.

The Bruins started slowly, leaking on defense and in goal as the Maple Leafs led 2-0 in the first period and 4-1 in the second.

“It clearly wasn’t good enough Derrick Thomas Jersey ,” Cassidy said after the game. “And then obviously you want a save mixed in with those, and that didn’t happen either. So the stuff we’ve done well lately — defend, get saves — that didn’t happen early on. The start wasn’t good enough.”

When the Maple Leafs took a 4-1 lead at 11:55 of the second period on their 13th shot of the game, Bruins No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask was replaced by Anton Khudobin.

In contrast, Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen had a strong game, stopping 42 shots.

“Freddie was great,” said Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri, who had an assist on his return from a three-game suspension. “He was great when we needed him to be huge for us (Saturday). He made some incredible saves and ultimately gave us a chance.”

Rask will be in goal for the Bruins on Monday.

“Tuukka tomorrow, ready to roll,” Cassidy said Sunday. “I thought in Game 3 he was average, and he came back with a very good game in Game 4 in Toronto. So I guess I’ll take the immediate history and it is clear that we need that going in there.

“(Saturday) he was not at his best, so we made a move accordingly. But I don’t think our team was at its best defending in front of him in terms of killing rushes and we allowed them too much space and that goes hand in hand.”

Bruins left winger Brad Marchand said the loss was not all on Rask.

“He’s a competitor and always is,” Marchand said. “He holds himself accountable for (Saturday) night and it wasn’t just on him. We could have been better in front of him ourselves and collectively as a group we need to be better.”

The Maple Leafs got Kadri back after he was suspended for an illegal hit in Game 1. Another center, Leo Komarov, who suffered a lower-body injury Harrison Smith Jersey , does not appear ready to return.

“When he talked to our guys (training staff) yesterday, he was at 85 percent. Eighty-five percent doesn’t cut it at playoff time,” Babcock said Sunday. “So when you’re ready to play, you’ve got a chance to get in. In my opinion, I haven’t been told at all that he’s available. That’s how it is.”

Babcock said Kadri made an impact in his return.

“I thought Naz made a huge impact,” he said. “He ran over people, he was mean, he made good plays. … I thought Naz was real good in the game.”

The Bruins had center Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup Saturday after he was a late scratch with an upper-body injury for Game 4 on Thursday in Toronto.

Boston defenseman Kevan Miller said the Bruins cannot afford another slow start Monday and must be ready to play for the entire 60 minutes or more.

“Yeah, I think that’s playoff hockey,” Miller said. “That’s kind of the way things go sometimes. (Saturday) night we were pretty close. I think the first period got away from us, but you look at the whole game, after that, we did a pretty good job. It’s just something we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for 60 (Monday).”

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