The Washington Nationals are hoping the return of a key contributor on Saturday may lead them to pulling away in the NL East and getting where everyone expected them to be, which is on top. Adam Eaton returned to the lineup in the leadoff spot and was productive as usual in a 7-5 win over the San Francisco Giants. The centerfielder scored both times he was on base and had a hit, while Bryce Harper hit his National League-leading 19th home run and had two hits, as the Nats got off to a 5-0 lead and had to hold off the Giants the rest of the way. Eaton was activated from the 60-day disabled list after missing 52 games with a left ankle bone bruise. He was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat, singled in the second, and would not reach base the rest of the game. The Nats had this success against the son of Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, Derek Rodgriguez, who allowed five runs in just 2.2 innings for his first loss of the year. This comes after allowing just one run in six innings in his major league debut, which his dad was unable to attend. "Pudge" was in the crowd for his son's second career start on Saturday. Also in the crowd was the Stanley Cup Champion, Washington Capitals, led by Alex Ovechkin, who threw not one, but two ceremonial first pitches before the game. The team was constantly on the camera from their suite, entertaining the crowd with celebrations, hoisting the cup, which they won in Vegas last Thursday. Nick Hundley homered for the Giants off of starter Gio Gonzalez, who would not last five innings and did not earn the win. Reliever, Justin Miller, retired all five batters he faced out of the bullpen to earn his third victory of the year. The rubber game of this series will take place on Sunday afternoon.
Judge Powers Yankees Past Mets
Both New York teams got off to a quick start to their season, but only one has kept that pace up, while the other has gone in the opposite direction. That has shown in the first two games of this weekend's Subway Series, as the New York Yankees took their second straight from the New York Mets, 4-3, at Citi Field on Saturday night. Aaron Judge went deep for the game-winning solo shot in the eighth inning, sending the Yankees to their 42nd win in their 60th game. That gives them the best record in baseball through 60 games, which bodes well for their future postseason hopes. The last three World Series winners had the best record through 60 games of the season. Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar also went deep for the Yankees, who lead all of baseball with 103 home runs and are on pace to break the record of 264 home runs in a season set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners. On the other end, the Mets have hit just 62 of them on the year, and have now dropped eight games in a row. They did get long balls from Todd Frazier and Asdrubal Cabrera early on for a 3-0 lead, but could not hang on and are in their longest losing streak since losing 11 in a row in 2004. Anthony Swarzak surrendered Judge's game-winning shot in the eighth to suffer his first loss of the year. The long ball was the 18th of the year for the second-year slugger, while David Robertson threw a scoreless seventh inning to improve to 5-2 for the Yankees. Dellin Betances struck out the side in the eighth before Aroldis Chapman came on for the ninth to record his 17th save in 18 chances. The Yankees will go for the Subway Series sweep on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.
Astros Pull Back in to Tie With Mariners
The Seattle Mariners finally lost a game, which gave the Houston Astros a chance to pull back at the top of the AL West Division. They did just that on Saturday, starting with the Mariners' 7-3 road loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Blake Snell threw six innings of one-run baseball for his eighth win, as the Rays jumped out early with six runs in the first three innings. That success came off of Felix Hernandez, as the Rays were able to put an end to their eight-game losing streak. "King Felix" allowed six overs on seven hits over three innings for his fifth loss of the year and shortest start of the season. Snell gave up seven hits, walked two, and struck out one against his hometown team. Nelson Cruz went deep and Kyle Seager drove in two for the Mariners, who lost for just the fifth time in the past 21 games. Although, that loss was enough to pull them in to a tie for first place in the AL West with the Astros, who earned a 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers later in the night. George Springer broke a tie with an RBI single in the seventh inning, as Houston was able to overcome a tough start by Charlie Morton. The right-hander, who was coming off his first loss of the year, lasted just 3.2 innings and walked a career-high six batters, but only allowed one run and got the no-decision. He also tied an American League record by hitting four batters on the night. Despite that, the Astros never trailed in this one and have now taken the first three games of this weekend series. On the other side, the Rangers tied a franchise record with 17 runners left on base, which is also the most in the majors this season without extra innings. Both the Mariners and Astros will finish their series on Sunday afternoon, with Houston entering the final day of the weekend with one more win, while the M's have one less loss.