National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 26th (All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (27-18) at Atlanta Braves (26-21), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Stephen Strasburg (4-1, 2.21) Atlanta - Mike Minor (2-4, 6.96)
(Sports Network) - Coming off a win against Baltimore on Sunday, the Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to the mound this afternoon as they continue a three- game series against the Atlanta Braves.
The right-hander recorded eight strikeouts in five innings of a 9-3 victory. The result came after Strasburg's lone loss, May 15 against San Diego. He's faced the Braves twice, losing both times, having given up a total of five earned runs over 10 1/3 innings.
Atlanta southpaw Mike Minor will try to snap a personal three-game losing streak. He's winless over his last six appearances since an April 19 victory at Arizona. Minor has given up 31 earned runs over his last five outings, including four at Cincinnati on Monday. Minor is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA in three games vs. Washington.
Last night, Ryan Zimmerman broke the game open with a three-run double in the seventh inning and Washington beat Atlanta, 7-4, in a battle between the top two teams in the National League East.
"Our pitching is good, but anytime you can continue to widen the gap that's something we need to work on," Zimmerman said. "We'll get better as it goes on. It's just one of those things, we continue to learn from our mistakes and get better at that."
Ian Desmond had a two-run single and Rick Ankiel smacked a two-run triple, both in the first inning, for the division-leading Nationals, who won for the fourth time in five contests. All of Washington's runs came with two outs.
Ross Detwiler allowed five hits and three runs while fanning five and walking four over 4 1/3 innings in the start. Chien-Ming Wang (1-0), who made his season debut after been reinstated from the disabled list on Tuesday, pitched three innings to get the win.
Tim Hudson (3-2) was shelled for eight hits and seven runs over 6 2/3 innings for the Braves, who suffered their season-high fifth straight loss.
"They had a couple of scoring opportunities and took advantage of it," Hudson said. "I was one pitch away from getting out of all the jams, but tip your hat, they took advantage of it and got some base hits and got us in a hole early."
Jason Heyward homered and Matt Diaz drove in three runs in a losing effort. Martin Prado had a pair of doubles and a triple, and scored twice.
Braves catcher David Ross suffered a right groin strain in the second inning and is day-to-day. Ross was pinch-run for by Brian McCann, who had been out the previous three contests with flu-like symptoms.
Chipper Jones didn't start for a seventh straight game due to a left calf contusion. The Braves are 19-5 with him in the starting lineup this season, but 7-16 without him. After the game, it was announced Jones would be going on the disabled list.
The Nationals have won three in a row in this series since losing three straight.
05/26 10:28:34 ET