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WASHINGTON — The sting of the Nationals’ 5-4 loss to the Cubs on Thursday grew a little more when the team announced sparkplug Trea Turner had suffered a nondisplaced fracture in his right wrist during the seventh inning.

Turner was hit in the wrist by a 96.3-mph fastball from Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, but stayed in the game until the top of the ninth when he was replaced by Stephen Drew in a double switch.
MLB Tonight: Trea Turner injury
MLB Tonight: Trea Turner injury
MLB Tonight crew discusses reported Trea Turner’s wrist injury and what the future looks like for the first-place Nationals
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Postgame X-rays revealed the fracture. There is not yet a timetable on Turner’s return.
Turner was starting to hit his stride since returning from a hamstring injury in late April. Turner was slashing .298/.370/.404 in June and became the fifth player since 1994 to steal more than 20 bases in a month. He has been successful on 33 of his 37 stolen-base attempts this season — including a franchise-record four steals in the Nationals’ 6-1 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.
And now, he’ll likely spend significant time on the bench.
Without Turner, the Nationals will likely turn to Drew and Wilmer Difo. Drew is hitting .333 this season as mainly a pinch-hitter and can play shortstop. Difo is batting .196 in 45 games and played some shortstop when Turner and Drew were hurt earlier this season.
The Nationals will also need a new leadoff hitter. Jayson Werth, the usual two-hole hitter, is on the DL with a left foot contusion. Washington has a nine-game lead in the National League East, but will have to maintain that edge for now without Turner.
“You see guys every once in awhile try to stay in there and have a tough at-bat — breaking balls, whatever it is,” Turner said. “They stay in there too long — Giancarlo Stanton when he got hit in the face. It [stinks] because guys are throwing so hard now, you have very little time to get out of the way. When you get hit in little bones, little parts of the body, it’s hard to come away unscathed.”
Turner said he suffered a bone chip in college, but otherwise hasn’t dealt with wrist or hand injuries since he was younger. In April, Turner went to the DL for 11 days with a right hamstring strain.
“Broken bones are a little bit better for me at least,” Turner said. “It’s not a muscle. You don’t have to get it working properly again really. You just have to give it time to heal. It may take a little bit longer but for me, but for the long haul, might be a little bit better.”