DL on July 2 and could go on a rehab assigin
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NEW YORK -- The New York Mets have changed a lot in the eight days since they were swept by the Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C. But the Nationals hope the result remains the same during a four-game series this weekend in New York.The series pitting the top two teams in the National League East begins Thursday night, when the suddenly scorching Mets host the first-place Nationals at Citi Field.The Nationals remained four games ahead of the Mets by virtue of a 7-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, New York beat the Miami Marlins 4-2.The Nationals lead was six games on June 29, the day they capped the sweep of the Mets. At that time, it seemed as if the final series before the All-Star break might present an opportunity for Washington to bury the defending NL champions.But the Mets responded to the three straight losses by authoring a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs and then taking two of three from the Miami Marlins. New York outscored the Cubs and Marlins 46-24 in the last seven games -- a stunning turnaround for a team that scored just 47 runs in 15 games from June 14 through June 29.I said it a lot in the Cubs series: Coming into that series without playing well, (it was) really, really important to have a good series against them, and we did, Mets manager Terry Collins said Wednesday afternoon. (The) Marlins, for all the years Ive been here, play us tougher than any team we play, I think.Now weve got to go against the Nationals, who are going to come in here looking to put some more distance between us. So weve got our work cut out for us this weekend.So do the Nationals, who went 3-3 between series against the Mets despite playing two NL Central non-contenders in the Brewers and Cincinnati Reds.I always want to go into the All-Star break hot and come out hot, Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters Wednesday.Nationals right fielder and reigning NL Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper put his inimitable succinct spin on the weekend.How many games are we up on them? Four? Harper told reporters Wednesday. We could either be tied or up eight. Its plain and simple.Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon is scheduled to start Thursdays opener against Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito in perhaps the most distinct old vs. young battle of the season.Colon is the oldest player in baseball at 43 and has 483 starts under his belt, most among active players. He has been pitching so long that his first appearance against the Nationals franchise came in 2002, when the team was still the Montreal Expos. Colon is 4-6 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 career appearances (10 starts) against the Nationals/Expos.The 21-year-old Giolito. meanwhile, is the seventh-youngest player in the majors and has made just one career start. He threw four shutout innings against the Mets in an appearance cut short by a rain delay on June 28. Cheap Jaguars Jerseys . He says so-called TRT is only one problem and he wants to go even further than the ban. "Its about time," St-Pierre told reporters at a promotional event in Montreal on Friday. "I think its a good thing. Logan Cooke Jersey . Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi scored, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic setting up both despite having a poor game by his high standards. 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PITTSBURGH -- Gerrit Cole never obsessed about pitching a complete game, but was happy to get his first one.Cole pitched a three-hitter and slumping Andrew McCutchen had a three-run home run among his three hits as the Pittsburgh Pirates rolled to a 10-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.It was good, a really good feeling, Cole said. You try to do it every time out but its not something I had been dwelling on. There are lot of variables that can leak into any start and throw you astray, so you just focus on the things you can control like your delivery and making quality pitches.Making the 88th start of his four-year career, Cole (6-6) struck six and walked one while winning for the first time since May 20. He had gone six starts without a victory while also spending nearly five weeks on the disabled list with strained right triceps from June 11-July 16.Cole threw 94 pitches, 70 for strikes, against a Mariners lineup stacked with seven left-handed hitters and a switch-hitter while becoming the first Pirates pitcher to complete a game with fewer than 100 pitches since Francisco Liriano, who also needed just 94 at St. Louis on Aug. 14, 2013.He put his foot down and pitched, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. Thats as efficient as Ive seen him since hes been here. Twenty pitches the first inning, 74 for the other eight. Really good outing.McCutchens three-run blast off David Rollins came in the eighth inning and capped the scoring. His 15th home run of the season pushed the nine-year veterans career total to 166, tying Dave Parker for fifth on the Pirates all-time list.McCutchen, who also doubled, had gone 4 for 29 with eight strikeouts in his previous seven games, dropping the 2013 NL MVPs batting average to .241.I felt something (good), thats for sure, McCutchen said. Im just going to stick with this and keep going. It was a good day for me as far as the feel goes, and had the results with it. Hopefully, it can propel me into these last couple of months of the season.McCutchen and Jung Ho Kang, who hit a three-run double to finish a four-run seventh inning, each had four RBI to help the Pirates win for the sixth time in nine games. Jordy Mercer also had three of the Pirates 14 hits and David Freese and Starling Marte added two each as the top four in the order went a combined 10 for 17.Kang greeted reliever Nathan Karns with his double that pushed the Pirates lead to 7-1.Kang also earlier hit a sacrifice fly off James Paxton (33-5) to finish a three-run third inning that broke a scoreless tie.dddddddddddd.Paxton gave up three runs and six hits in five innings, striking out six and walking one.Drew Storen made his Mariners debut and was charged with four runs in a 1 1/3 innings a night after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in a trade for fellow reliever Joaquin Benoit.Norichika Aoki hit a pair of doubles and scored the Mariners lone run in the sixth inning on Robinson Canos sacrifice fly. Seattle had won five of its previous seven games.Cole threw the ball really well, Mariners manager Scott Servais said. Tip your hat to him.TRAINERS ROOMMariners: DH/OF Nelson Cruz was not in the lineup after fouling a ball off his left foot Tuesday night, though manager Scott Servais said he held the slugger out primarily because the designated hitter rule was not in effect in an NL park. ... RHP Taijuan Walker (right foot tendinitis) pitched a three-inning simulated game Wednesday, the first time he had faced hitters since going on the disabled list July 6, and will likely make a minor league rehab start this weekend. ... RHP Nick Vincent (mid-back strain), on the DL since June 27, will throw off a mound for the first time Friday since being injured and is likely to go on a rehab assignment next week.Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow (shoulder inflammation), who was placed on the disabled list Sunday, is expected to begin playing catch this weekend. ... C Chris Stewart (left knee discomfort) ran the bases Wednesday for the first since going on the DL on July 2 and could go on a rehab assignment by the middle of next week. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong (facial fractures) made what was scheduled to be the last of two rehab starts for Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday night and allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings against Gwinett with one walk and two strikeouts in the International League. He also started twice for Double-A Altoona.UP NEXTMariners: Open a three-game series against the Cubs at Chicago on Friday with RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (11-6, 3.96 ERA) looking to win his sixth straight start as he faces LHP Jon Lester (10-4, 3.09).Pirates: Begin a three-game series Friday night at Milwaukee with LHP Steven Brault (0-1, 2.25) expected to be recalled from Indianapolis and make his second major league start, opposing Brewers RHP Junior Guerra (6-2, 2.85). 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