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  • 16 August 2019
    PITTSBURGH -- The tag was clearly fake. What happened next was all too real for the NL East champion Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper got hurt and needs X-rays.Harper injured his left thumb making an awkward slide to avoid a pretend tag by Pittsburgh third baseman Jung Ho Kang, and the teams later cleared the benches Sunday in Washingtons 10-7 win.Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Harper was sore and would have X-rays on Monday. The reigning NL MVP had surgery to repair a torn ligament in the same thumb in 2014.Harper led off the third inning with a triple. As he neared third, Kang acted as if a throw was coming and feigned a tag.Harper went down, was checked by a trainer and stayed in. He scored on Anthony Rendons double and was replaced in the field in the bottom half by Chris Heisey.Kang insisted he merely intended to keep Harper from scoring when right fielder Josh Bells throw was way off line.First of all, I meant no harm, Kang said through a translator. During the relay play, I tried to hold the runner on third base. Thats all I tried to do.The next time Kang came up, Nationals starter A.J. Cole threw a fastball behind him and was immediately ejected by plate umpire Jordan Baker as the benches emptied.Cole said he was trying to pitch inside to Kang. Baker said the entire situation wasnt ideal for a team that is focusing on a playoff run.We dont want guys suspended, Baker said. But you know, boys will be boys, and youve still got to defend your teammates.Washingtons Jayson Werth was in the middle of the skirmish. Pirates outfielder Sean Rodriguez was ejected.I was very surprised I was the only one ejected considering, Rodriguez said. I got blamed for being the one that instigated, but you can watch the film yourself.Werth had a pinch-hit, two-run homer and Heisey had a go-ahead single during a five-run burst in the eighth. The Nationals rally came against former teammate Felipe Rivero (1-5).Rivero had allowed just four earned runs in his previous 25 innings since being traded from Washington to the Pirates.Kang hit a two-run homer off Koda Glover to give the Pirates the lead in the seventh.Shawn Kelley (3-2) wound up with the win. Former Pirates closer Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 43rd save.TRAINERS ROOMPirates: C Francisco Cervelli did not play after taking a foul ball off his wrist Saturday. ... RHP Neftali Feliz (arm) threw off flat ground but is not yet ready for a return to the mound.UP NEXTNationals: Tanner Roark (15-9 2.70 ERA) had his start pushed back one day after the Nationals clinched the NL East on Saturday night. Hell looking for his career-best 16th win as Washington hosts Arizona for a four-game series.Pirates: Chad Kuhl (5-3, 3.73 ERA) will start as Pittsburgh begins a four-game series against the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs. Kuhl has allowed seven earned runs in 7 1/3 innings in his two previous starts against Chicago this season. Wes Hopkins Eagles Jersey . The Vancouver coach and an announced sellout crowd of 18,910 watched in dismay as the Canucks lost 7-4 to the New York Islanders on Monday night by squandering a 3-0 lead in the third period. Brian Westbrook Jersey . You can watch the game live on TSN at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. The Flyers had won seven of eight before dropping their last two outings on consecutive days over the weekend. Philadelphia was handed a 6-3 loss by the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon before dropping a 4-1 decision to the Rangers the following night in New York City. . Jane Virtanen scored two, and Alex Roach and Elliott Peterson rounded out the offence for the Hitmen (40-15-6). Brady Brassart chipped in with three assists. Colton McCarthy scored twice, Brayden Point had a goal and two assists, and Jack Rodewald also scored for the Warriors (15-35-9), who were 2 for 5 on the power play. Tommy McDonald Womens Jersey . Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz were sent to Toronto on Saturday as the Maple Leafs traded defenceman Jesse Blacker and draft picks to the Anaheim Ducks. Dallas Goedert Eagles Jersey . -- About a third of the way through the regular season, the Washington Wizards are at . QUEBEC CITY -- On Friday night, the Team North America players found a Quebec City restaurant for a team dinner and a viewing of the intense World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game between USA and Canada.And really for the first time in this training camp, the divide between the Canadians and Americans on the team surfaced. There was good-natured ribbing after goals and, even though they might be facing off against their own countrymen at some point in this tournament, guys were openly cheering for their native teams.I was still rooting for America, said Jack Eichel, who hails from North Chelmsford, Massachusetts. I played for the U.S. enough that I always root for U.S. The only time I wouldnt root for them was if they were playing against our team.Its tough to cheer for a team youre going to play against. At the same time, if youre American or Canadian, its hard not to cheer, said forward Johnny Gaudreau of Carneys Point, New Jersey. I caught myself as the U.S. scored, I was cheering, got up a little bit. Its tough when you see USA and they score, its tough not to get excited. Its a weird situation.While rooting preferences might have been divided at dinner, this team has come together nicely as a group considering the players have no traditional connection other than they all happen to be under 24 years old.The cliques that might have been there on the first day of training camp are gone. The players have made an effort to eat as many meals together as possible when away from the rink. The coaches have done a good job incorporating fun, competitive team-bonding drills at the end of practice to help the cause.On Friday, it was a 3-on-3 drill with two nets pushed close together at center ice; on Saturday, it was a quick shootout competition. Just small things to build up camaraderie on a team that is bonding nicely.ddddddddddddWhen the leadership group was announced before Thursdays game, it was noticed on the outside that the captain (Connor McDavid) and alternates (Aaron Ekblad and Sean Couturier) came up through Hockey Canada and there wasnt any USA Hockey representation joining a Canadian-heavy coaching staff and management group.Head coach Todd McLellan seemed surprised that anyone was keeping track.Never once have we sat down and said that theres a border, McLellan said. Theres nothing political about what were doing as a team.Inside the room? It was a nonissue.It doesnt really matter. As a group, we want to have leaders all around the room, not just guys with letters, said Brandon Saad of Pittsburgh, who certainly could have been part of the leadership group. Whether you have one or not, youre going to play the same way and act the same way.And, as Saad pointed out, the Canadians are outnumbered on the roster.If you count, I think we have more Americans on the team, he said, smiling. (For the record, there are 13 Americans and 10 Canadians.)Defenseman Colton Parayko of St. Albert, Alberta, said the players have done such a good job putting their natural allegiances behind them that hes not even sure he could accurately identify where each of his teammates was born.One week into this thing and the concerns about bonding are gone. You can see it on the ice and feel it in the dressing room while watching the players interact.Theres not a wall built, McLellan said. We belong to the hockey world, Team North America, and theres absolutely nothing to do with the flags of either country. ' ' '