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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, June 5 (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (24-33) at Washington Nationals (29-28), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Kyle Kendrick (1-5, 4.21) Washington - Doug Fister (3-1, 3.34)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Phillies have made a turn for the worse and it appears there's no end in sight.
The Phillies will try to salvage the finale of a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Thursday and avoid losing for the sixth straight time.
Philadelphia dropped its fifth in a row with Wednesday's rain-delayed 8-4 loss at Nationals Park, as starting pitcher A.J. Burnett recorded another rough outing by allowing eight runs and 10 hits in six innings with four walks and three strikeouts.
"There were a couple of long at-bats and then I made a mistake up to (Danny) Espinosa," said Burnett. "A few things here and there that I don't do that I need get back to doing what I do."
John Mayberry, Jr. hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer, while Ryan Howard and Reid Brignac had two hits apiece. Jimmy Rollins was 0-for-5 with four K's and is still nine hits shy of passing Mike Schmidt (2,234) for the most in team history. Schmidt recently said Rollins is having a Hall of Fame career.
The Phillies, who will visit Cincinnati next for three games, have posted a National League-worst 9-19 record in the past 28 contests.
Kyle Kendrick aims to stem the tide for the Phillies Thursday and he is 1-5 with a 4.21 ERA in 11 starts. Kendrick is 1-0 in his last two outings and did not figure into the decision of a 5-4 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday, when he gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Kendrick posted his first win of the season May 26 versus Colorado and tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings in a 9-0 decision. The right-hander has faced the Reds 24 times (22 starts) in his career and has a 5-8 record with a 4.85 ERA.
Stephen Strasburg was solid on the mound for the Nationals Wednesday, striking out 11 batters and walking none across seven innings. He gave up four runs -- two earned -- and pushed his record to 5-4.
"(I'm) just trying to go out there and do my job, that's the bottom line," said Strasburg. "Some teams I pitch well against and others I don't. I guess it's just how I'm feeling at the time."
Strasburg went 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Aaron Barrett and Jerry Blevins each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. The Nats' bullpen is the best in the major leagues with a 2.16 ERA.
Anthony Rendon had three hits, including a home run, and three RBI and both Denard Span and Espinosa finished with two hits and two RBI for the Nationals, winners in four of five and five of the last eight games. The Nationals have homered 10 times in the last seven games.
The Nationals are 4-3 on this homestand and will start a 10-game western jaunt Friday against the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
Hoping to pitch Washington to a three-game sweep of the NL East-rival Phillies Thursday will be Doug Fister. Fister will make his sixth start of the season and is 3-1 so far with a 3.34 ERA over the first five appearances. He won his third straight start in Saturday's 10-2 defeat of the Texas Rangers and allowed two runs in six innings with a season high-tying six K's.
Fister, a right-hander, is in his first season with the Nationals and has won both of his home starts. He won his only career start against the Phillies last July 26 as a member of the Detroit Tigers and allowed one unearned run in eight innings of a 2-1 win with six strikeouts and one walk.
Philadelphia won two of three games at home versus Washington in early May, but was 2-7 at Nationals Park a season ago. The Nationals are 32-21 in this series' last 53 games dating back to May 31, 2011.
06/05 10:35:33 ET