May 25, 2013 in Sports

Nats face the facts

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson has put his razor away until his ballclub starts hitting the ball.
(Full-size photo)

By the Numbers

66: MLB-leading number of home runs for Baltimore this season, including Chris Davis’ 16, also a league high.

21: Multihit games this season for Angels’ young slugger Mike Trout after a 2-for-4 outing against Kansas City.

Davey Johnson says he’s giving up his razor until the Washington Nationals find their bats.

The manager apologized for his scraggly appearance before Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, but he said it had a purpose.

“If my facial hair looks bad,” he said, “I decided I wouldn’t shave until we started hitting.”

The Nationals are batting .225, second-worst average in the majors. They are a popular favorite to make the World Series, but they were just one game over .500 entering the three-game series against the Phillies. They just returned from a West Coast road trip that included a four-game losing streak and the team’s sixth shutout loss of the season. Plus, there was Bryce Harper’s head-first collision with a wall and a broken hand for Ryan Mattheus after he punched his locker following a rough outing.

While defense, relief pitching and intangibles have cost the Nationals, the lack of hitting has been the most glaring weakness this season. Only two teams have scored fewer than Washington’s 159 runs.

“I figured I couldn’t get any uglier, so what the heck,” Johnson said. “Hopefully I can shave soon. I’ve never had a rally goatee. I’m not hairy enough to get one. Now it’s gray, you can’t hardly see it unless you get these close-ups that I get after the game, so I apologize. You can’t change the shape of a watermelon anyway.

“I’ll be like everybody else around here. Maybe I can change the luck.”

Teixeira nears return

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira says he expects to play in a minor-l eague game Wednesday with Double-A Trenton.

It will be his first game since hurting his right wrist in early March while preparing with the U.S. team for the World Baseball Classic.

Teixeira may be ready to rejoin the Yankees in June.

Clearing the bases

Toronto moved pitcher J.A. Happ to the 60-day disabled list as the lefty recovers from injuries after being hit in the head with a line drive on May 7. … The Red Sox placed outfielder Shane Victorino (strained left hamstring) and third baseman Will Middlebrooks (low back strain) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Alfredo Aceves and infielder Jose Iglesias. … The White Sox reinstated pitcher John Danks from the DL before a start against Miami. The 28-year-old left-hander had been sidelined for more than a year by a shoulder injury.

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