CINCINNATI -- Looking to fortify a bullpen that has blown more than a third of its save chances, the Washington Nationals acquired relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Oakland Athletics for right-hander Blake Treinen and a pair of prospects.
Left-hander Jesus Luzardo and infielder Sheldon Neuse were sent to Oakland as part of Sunday's deal.
A 36-year-old right-hander, Madson has a 2.06 ERA and is seventh among relievers in hits plus walks per inning at 0.79. He has not allowed any of the seven inherited runners to score in his past 13 appearances.
Doolittle is a 30-year-old left-hander who has held left-handed batters hitless in 23 at-bats this year with 12 strikeouts and no walks. He is 1-0 with three saves, a 3.38 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.
NL East-leading Washington has a strong rotation led by Max Scherzer (11-5), Stephen Strasburg (9-3) and Gio Gonzalez (8-4) but has converted just 22 of 36 save chances (see full story).
Red Sox manager Farrell says Boston will file formal protest
BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell says Boston will move forward with a formal protest over the lack of an interference call in a 4-1, 16-inning loss to the New York Yankees.
Matt Holliday walked leading off the 11th Saturday and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a grounder to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to second for a forceout. Holliday retreated toward first and slid into the bag as shortstop Xander Bogaerts' throw arrived.
Moreland wasn't able to reach the ball, which hit Ellsbury and bounced into foul territory. Farrell argued for an interference call, but umpires allowed Ellsbury to stay on first.
"We still firmly believe there was interference on the play and if it goes unaddressed or without any further attention brought to it, who's to say you can't instruct runners to do the same going forward?" Farrell said Sunday.
Holliday said he was unaware Moreland did not touch first before throwing to second (see full story).
Rockies activate Desmond, put RHP Chatwood on 10-day DL
NEW YORK -- Ian Desmond has been activated from the 10-day disabled list by the Colorado Rockies and is in the starting lineup against the New York Mets.
The versatile Desmond had been sidelined since July 3 with a strained right calf. He returned without a minor league rehab assignment, playing left field and batting fifth Sunday for the struggling Rockies, who had lost 15 of 20.
Desmond made an immediate impact his first time up, hitting a two-run single off Steven Matz with two outs in the first inning.
To open a roster spot, Colorado placed right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the 10-day DL with a right calf strain. A wild Chatwood was removed from Saturday night's start against the Mets after walking three of the five batters he faced and getting only one out. He also gave up Jay Bruce's three-run homer.