=== Nationals seek to extend Phillies' slump ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Nationals go for a series win over the
struggling Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday night at Nationals Park.
The Nationals opened this series with Tuesday's 7-0 victory behind Jordan
Zimmermann's eight scoreless innings. Zimmermann scattered five hits, struck
out four and didn't walk a batter. Tyler Clippard closed the door in the ninth
to preserve the shutout.
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman returned from a thumb injury and played
left field, finishing with two doubles and an RBI. Zimmerman got acclimated in
the outfield during his rehab stint with Class A Potomac.
"We saw tonight what (Zimmerman) can do offensively," said Washington manager
Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer, Ian Desmond added a solo shot and former
Phillie Jayson Werth knocked in a pair of runs. The Nationals have won three
of their last four games.
Stephen Strasburg will toe the rubber for the Nationals Wednesday and he ended
a three-start winless drought (0-2) his previous time out in Friday's 9-2 win
over the Texas Rangers. He gave up two unearned runs in six innings and has
lasted that long on the hill in eight straight outings.
Strasburg, who evened his mark at 4-4 in 12 starts with a 3.15 ERA, is 4-1 in
seven home assignments this season and 2-1 lifetime with a 2.28 ERA against
the Phillies in seven starts.
The Phillies, who had a team meeting prior to the loss, started a six-game
trip on a sour note and have lost four straight and 10 of the last 14 games.
They have been outscored by an 18-2 difference the past two games.
Phils young hurler David Buchanan was battered for all seven runs and 10 hits
in six innings to take the loss. He had six K's and two walks.
"Every day we show up here, ready to go and put in our work," said Buchanan.
"The ball isn't falling our way. I don't see any panic. There's a lot of
heart. Guys are battling."
Jimmy Rollins had a hit and is now nine 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 shortstop is batting .252 with six homers and 22 RBI.
The Phillies are 6 1/2 games off the lead in the NL East and will visit the
Cincinnati Reds next on this road trip.
Philadelphia will send A.J. Burnett to the mound Wednesday and he is 1-3 in
his last four decisions. Burnett did not factor in the outcome of Friday's
6-5, 14-inning win over the New York Mets and was reached for five runs in
seven innings with 11 strikeouts and six walks.
Burnett has a 3-4 record and a 3.79 ERA in 12 starts with the Phillies and has
enjoyed success against Washington, going 9-3 in 18 career meetings (17
starts) to go along with a 3.00 ERA.
Philadelphia won two of three games at home versus Washington in early May,
but was 2-7 at Nationals Park a season ago.
06/04 10:48:35 ET