National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, May 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Arizona Diamondbacks (13-12) at Washington Nationals (15-9), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Ian Kennedy (3-0, 3.37)
Washington - Ross Detwiler (2-1, 1.64)
(Sports Network) - Ian Kennedy is off to another good start for the Arizona
Diamondbacks and will try to stay unbeaten when he takes the mound tonight
against the Washington Nationals in the finale of a three-game series.
Kennedy opened the 2011 campaign 6-1 and finished 21-4 with a superb 2.88
earned run average in 33 starts. It's been so far, so good for Kennedy this
season as evidenced by his 3-0 record and 3.38 ERA in five outings. He did not
figure into the decision of a 3-2 loss at Miami his last time out on Saturday
and was reached for just one run and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The All-Star right-hander struck out five Marlins batters and has fanned at
least that many in four straight starts. Kennedy will make his fifth career
start against Washington and is 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in the first four.
Arizona could use a lift tonight after blowing a two-run lead in the bottom of
the night in Wednesday's 5-4 loss at Nationals Park. Ian Desmond cranked a
game-winning two-run home run off of Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz, sending
Arizona to its second loss in six games.
"He got hit pretty hard. The fastball wasn't exactly where we wanted it. It
happens," Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said.
Joe Saunders entered the game with baseball's best ERA at 0.90, but allowed
three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Justin Upton homered for the second time in three games, Ryan Roberts drove in
two runs and Montero ended with three hits for the D'Backs, who are 4-2 on a
10-game road trip and will visit the Mets for three games this weekend.
Desmond's home run ended Washington's season high five-game slide and made a
winner out of reliever Henry Rodriguez. Rodriguez tossed a scoreless top of
the ninth and starter Edwin Jackson was bailed out after he permitted four
runs and eight hits through the first six innings.
Bryce Harper had three hits, an RBI and scored twice in the win.
"It was unbelievable, great win for the club and just a really exciting time
for us and exciting to be a part of that," Harper said.
The Nationals lead the NL East by one-half game ahead of Atlanta and will
welcome Philadelphia to the nation's capital for three games this weekend. The
Phillies sit 3 1/2 games off the division lead.
Ross Detwiler is coming off his first loss of the season and will take the
ball for the Nationals tonight. Detwiler gave up three runs and five hits over
six innings of a 3-2 setback at Los Angeles last Friday, falling to 2-1 in
four starts to go along with a strong 1.64 ERA.
Detwiler entered the matchup with the Dodgers sporting a microscopic 0.56
earned run average. The lefty is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two career starts
against the Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks and Nationals are meeting for the first time this season, and
Arizona won five of the eight encounters a year ago. The D'Backs were unbeaten
in the previous four matchups until last night's late-inning loss.
05/03 10:36:15 ET