Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, June 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (40-27) at Baltimore Orioles (39-30), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.92)
Baltimore - Jason Hammel (7-2, 2.87)
(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles are back in Camden Yards and will
begin another Beltway Series tonight with the Washington Nationals.
The Orioles will kick off a nine-game homestand and went 2-4 on their road
trip against the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. Baltimore was swept in
three games at New York and closed out the set with Wednesday's 4-3 setback.
Brian Matusz was dealt the loss and lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs
and seven hits with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.
"For me I like to be able to go deeper in games. That's what's frustrating
today," Matusz said.
Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer for the Orioles, who hadn't gone deep in
their previous five games and have lost four of six games since a five-game
winning streak. Adam Jones went 0-for-4, but has still hit in 31 of his last
39 games (48-for-154).
Baltimore, which is 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the AL East lead, will
also host the LA Angels and Cleveland on the residency and is aiming for its
40th win of the season. The last time the Orioles reached 40 wins in June was
2008, when they were 40-36 by June 24, and they didn't hit the 40-win mark
last year until July 23 (40-57).
Taking the mound for the O's tonight will be Jason Hammel. Hammel has some
decent streaks going for him, as he is 3-0 in five home starts and 4-0 with a
3.99 earned run average in six career starts against the Nationals. Hammel
defeated Washington on May 19 in a 6-5 victory despite surrendering four runs
over 5 1/3 frames.
Hammel tossed a one-hitter his last time out in a 5-0 win at Atlanta on
Saturday and struck out eight with a pair of walks. It was the right-hander's
first career shutout and the effort lifted him to 7-2 in 13 starts this season
to go along with a 2.87 ERA.
The Nationals got back on track following a four-game slide by taking the last
two matchups of a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays in D.C.
In Thursday's 5-2 victory in the series finale at Nationals Park, Washington
scored three runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings to take the lead
for good. Danny Espinosa had two hits and stroked a two-run double in the
sixth inning, while Roger Bernadina and Ian Desmond both knocked in runs.
"He hit the heck out of that ball," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said about
Espinosa's double. "He's hitting the ball where it's pitched and he's hitting
it awfully hard."
Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings to
earn the win for NL East-leading Washington, which won for the eighth time in
12 tries and sits 3 1/2 games ahead of the Mets.
Jordan Zimmermann looks to keep the ball rolling for the Nationals when he
toes the rubber in tonight's opener with Baltimore. Zimmermann is 0-1 in his
last four starts with three straight no-decisions, including a 5-3 loss to the
Yankees in his previous start on Saturday. He lasted six innings against the
Bronx Bombers and gave up three runs -- two earned -- and five hits.
Zimmermann, a right-hander, is hoping to move closer to the .500 mark and owns
a 3-5 record in 13 starts with a 2.92 ERA this season. He is 3-2 in six road
assignments and 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three career starts against the
Orioles. Zimmermann hasn't prevailed since May 22 at Philadelphia.
Washington will commence a 10-game road trip Friday versus Baltimore, Colorado
and Atlanta, and lost two of three contests to Baltimore from May 18-20. The
Orioles have won eight of the last 12 encounters with the Nationals.
06/22 10:37:43 ET