Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, May 30th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (28-26) at Washington Nationals (25-27), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Colby Lewis (4-3, 5.10) Washington - Stephen Strasburg (3-4, 3.42)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Colby Lewis will take the mound opposite Stephen Strasburg Friday night at Nationals Park, as the Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals kick off a three-game interleague series.
Lewis is unbeaten in four road starts this season (3-0, 2.86). Most recently, he allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings at Detroit on Sunday and earned the victory despite five walks, as the offense led the way in a 12-4 win.
Strasburg has posted a quality start in seven straight outings, lowering his ERA from 6.00 to 3.42 in that span. However, the offense has totaled only nine runs of support in his five May starts. Strasburg allowed three runs in seven innings at Pittsburgh on Saturday while notching seven strikeouts. However, the bats were once again held in check as the Pirates claimed a 3-2 victory.
Washington has lost six of its last seven games, including two in a row in this week's rain-shortened series with the Miami Marlins. After the Nationals suffered a 3-2 loss to Miami on Monday, Tuesday's game got rained out. The Nats were then dealt an 8-5 loss in 10 innings on Wednesday night before having Thursday off.
"It's tough. We're all trying very hard, trying to get back on track," Strasburg said of his team's recent struggles. "I do think we've probably reached the point where we're trying too hard and need to take a step back and let the game come to us."
On Wednesday, Washington rallied back to force extra innings on Wilson Ramos' seventh-inning homer after giving up an early four-run lead. However, the bullpen imploded in the top of the 10th as Jerry Blevins and Aaron Barrett combined to give up four runs.
Pitching deficiencies have been tough to overcome for Washington with sluggers Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper both out with thumb injuries. Wednesday's game was the first time the team notched 15 hits since Harper was in the lineup back in April.
This is the final stop in an 11-game road trip for the Rangers, their longest of the season. They have gone 6-2 so far on the trip, winning three out of four against both the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers.
On Thursday, Texas rallied late for a 5-4 win to clinch the series victory over the Twins. Leonys Martin led off the eighth inning with a double, then Rougned Odor drove him home on a sacrifice fly for what proved to be the winning run. Right fielder Alex Rios (.325) extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest by a Rangers player this year.
Starter Nick Martinez gave up four runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, but Alexi Ogando came on in relief and got some big outs.
"Ogando came in and bridged the game," manager Ron Washington said. "His 1 1/3 innings was huge. We certainly needed it in order to do what we did in the end. The game doesn't always allow you to do what you want to do, but today it did."
Washington is 5-4 all-time against Texas. Both teams entered the day in third place in their respective divisions.
05/30 10:42:37 ET