Playing their third game since Bryce Harper went on the 10-day disabled list with a bone bruise in his left knee, the Nationals got an insurance run in the sixth on a wild pitch by Bud Norris and an error on Angels first baseman Albert Pujols. That provided some extra breathing room when Cliff Pennington hit a home run in the eighth, the first run Brandon Kintzler has allowed since being traded to Washington from Minnesota.
With Ryan Madson’s availability in question after dealing with a blister Sunday, the Nationals went with Matt Albers in the seventh, Kintzler in the eighth and Sean Doolittle in the ninth. Doolittle picked up his 12th save of the season and his ninth with Washington.
TROUT FEELS FOR HARPER
After Mike Trout missed six weeks earlier this season with a torn ligament in his left thumb, the Angels center fielder is glad Harper’s knee injury isn’t as bad as it looked. Harper, who slipped on a wet first base on Saturday night, avoided any ligament or tendon damage.
Trout said “it’s good for baseball” that Harper will be back this season and isn’t seriously injured.
“It was obviously a scary thing,” Trout said. “You see a guy do that, it’s scary. You think of the worst. But you hope the best comes out of it.”
After jamming his thumb on a base and watching Harper slip on one, Trout didn’t think anything could be done to avoid those kinds of injuries, calling it “just a freak thing.” Now Harper has to deal with the same kind of absence Trout did, except with the Nationals enjoying a comfortable lead atop the NL East.
“It’s frustrating, but you can’t do anything,” Trout said. “For me and for him it’s a freak accident. He slipped on a base, and I slid and there wasn’t even a play. It was just a freak thing. It’s obviously good to be back for me, and I’m sure he’s working hard to get back.”
Angels: Manager Mike Scioscia said LHP Andrew Heaney, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, was scheduled to throw a bullpen session and could join the rotation as soon as this weekend if things go well. … Scioscia he was “pretty comfortable” that RHP Garrett Richards, out since April with a biceps strain, would pitch again this season.
Nationals: After RHP Stephen Strasburg struck out five in five innings of a minor league rehab start Monday night, manager Dusty Baker said if things go well his next start could be in the majors. Strasburg would be lined up to face the Padres in his hometown of San Diego this weekend. … OF Brian Goodwin (groin) wasn’t in uniform Tuesday, but Baker said he wasn’t sure about a trip to the DL. … SS Trea Turner took batting practice for the first time since breaking his right wrist in late June. … LHP Enny Romero (forearm strain) threw a bullpen session Sunday and hopes to go on a rehab assignment soon.
RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-12, 5.24 ERA) starts for the Angels against Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (9-7, 4.74) in the finale to the brief interleague series.