Just as Washington welcomed one of baseball's top infield prospects to the majors, it may be without its veteran third baseman for the immediate future.
While Trea Turner continues to get situated in the majors, it's uncertain if Yunel Escobar will be available for the struggling Nationals on Saturday night against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
Turner went 0 for 2 after coming off the bench for his much-anticipated debut in Friday's 10-3 defeat. However, it was overshadowed by a rough night from Washington's pitchers and an injury to Escobar.
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Batting .305, Escobar was injured when he ran into a railing and a fan's chest while chasing a foul ball in the first inning. His injury is the latest setback for the Nationals (60-61), who have dropped eight of the last 10 and are five games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.
"Try to come back and get ready for them (Saturday)," losing pitcher Gio Gonzalez said.
Unlikely to play third, Turner was at shortstop Friday and could see time at second base. He batted .322 with eight home runs and 54 RBIs in 116 games between Double-A and Triple-A this season. Though Washington has been held to three or fewer runs in six of the last 10, it doesn't expect Turner to provide an instant fix.
"We're not expecting him to be the savior of the offense or the savior of the ballclub," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We just want him to do what he does best.''
Bryce Harper's 31st homer Friday was the second in his last 21 games, and third while batting .545 in his last seven against the Brewers (53-70), who moved out of last place in the NL Central.
Joe Ross (3-5, 3.86 ERA) allowed two runs and struck out eight in a season-high eight innings of a 7-2 victory at Milwaukee in his second career start July 13.
The right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in his first two starts of August, but is 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA in the last two. He failed to complete five innings in both of those outings.
Jonathan Lucroy went 2 for 4 against Ross, and had three of the Brewers' 14 hits Friday as they won for the fifth time in the last seven contests. Lucroy is batting .350 in the last six games, and .340 in 13 at Washington.
While the Brewers managed one hit against Max Scherzer on June 14, rookie Taylor Jungmann (7-4, 2.23) allowed two runs in five innings of a 4-0 defeat to the Nationals in his second career start.
One of the few bright spots for Milwaukee since debuting June 9, Jungmann has allowed more than two earned runs once in his 13 starts. He gave up three hits and struck out a season-high nine over 6 1-3 scoreless innings of Sunday's 6-1 win over Philadelphia.
That came one start after the right-hander yielded four runs in 2 2-3 innings of a 6-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
"I was confident he was going to bounce back," manager Craig Counsell told MLB's official website. "There's going to be blips in the road, and he came back and pitched a really nice game."
Jungmann has gone eight straight starts spanning 51 2-3 innings since allowing a home run.