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Weekend in Review: Comebacks, Cuts, and Cup Chases

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Nats close homestand with another come-from-behind victory

The Nationals continued their resilient run of victories on Sunday with a 14-6 comeback win over the Giants. Sunday’s victory resulted in a series victory for the Nationals and their 12th win in their last 13 games.

The contest began with a leadoff homerun by Gregor Blanco (only his second of the year) off of Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg gave up a homer to Travis Ishikawa (his second of the year as well) in the second inning and came out for a pinch hitter after four innings pitched and three more runs allowed.

Facing a larger deficit than what the team had consistently overcome in their recent string of comeback victories, the Nationals lineup persevered and pushed through a couple of runs while the Nats bullpen kept the game from getting completely out of hand.

The score was 6-2 when Ian Desmond homered with one out in the inning. What followed was an offensive barrage that was unexpected and yet not a complete surprise given the Nationals’ late-game heroics in their latest homestand.

Each National except Rendon -- who walked -- had a hit, with the eight hits in one inning tying a Nationals record. When Desmond struck out in his second at-bat in the inning to close the 6th, the Nationals were ahead 8-6.

Given the bullpen’s recent adventures when trying to hold a lead, Nationals fans could not take their two-run lead for granted. The lineup cured any lingering anxiety with another run in the 7th inning and five more in the eighth for a 14-6 victory. With the win, the Nationals continued their steady separation in the standings from division-rival Atlanta with an eight-game lead in the NL East.

DC United climbs atop Eastern Conference standings

One year after a 3-win Major League Soccer campaign, DC United boosted its goal of a worst-to-first finish by toppling Sporting Kansas City 3-0 Saturday night.

The win, the club’s first-ever at KC’s Sporting Park, came courtesy of three goals in eight minutes by United’s Fabian Espindola, Chris Rolfe, and Perry Kitchen as well as a clean sheet from keeper Bill Hamid.

DC United’s point total now stands just ahead of SKC’s total in the Eastern Conference and within striking distance of the overall league mark.

Redskins cut Rob Jackson

The Redskins cut outside linebacker/defensive end Rob Jackson as the team starts trimming the roster prior to the season opener. Jackson, a late-round draft pick in 2008, has seen significant playing time in recent years, most notably starting in place of an injured Brian Orakpo in 2012.

Jackson will be remembered for his penchant to make big plays in key situations, such as his interception against the Dallas Cowboys in the final game of the 2012 season. That interception essentially sealed the Redskins’ victory and thus the NFC East title.

Jackson’s place in the team’s long-term plans was likely lost due to his removal from special teams service as well as his four-game suspension at the start of the 2013 season for violating the league substance abuse policy. Nevertheless, many are surprised at this move by a team who plans to use a regular rotation of backers and defensive linemen to generate pressure on their opponents.

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