Washington (32-39) at Boston (39-28)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 36° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Jun 19, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Tony Armas Jr. was considered a promising prospect for the Boston Red Sox nine years ago. On Monday, he finally makes his debut at Fenway Park—as a member of the Washington Nationals.

The three-game series with Boston begins a 10-game road trip for the Nationals, who left Washington after a thrilling series victory over the New York Yankees this past weekend.

Armas (6-3, 4.18 ERA) was part of one of the most famous trades in Boston history, dealt along with pitcher Carl Pavano to the then-Montreal Expos on Dec. 18, 1997 to complete the trade for Pedro Martinez, who had won the NL Cy Young Award that season.

Martinez went on to win two more Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox and help lead them to the 2004 World Series title before departing for the Mets before last season.

Armas reached the majors with the Expos in 1999, but had three mediocre seasons, reaching double-digit wins once—12-12 in 2002—before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2003.

Fully recovered from the surgery, Armas is off to a great start this season, leading the Washington staff in wins and on pace to finish with his lowest ERA since 2001.

He’ll hope to continue the success Washington (32-39) enjoyed over the weekend, when it won back-to-back games against the Yankees in dramatic fashion.

The Nationals rallied from a 9-2 deficit on Saturday to win 11-9, scoring the final two runs off New York closer Mariano Rivera.

With Rivera unavailable to pitch on Sunday after appearing in the previous two games, the Yankees left starter Chien-Ming Wang in the game to spare the bullpen and Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman took advantage, hitting a game-ending, two-run homer to give the Nationals a 3-2 victory in front of a crowd of 45,157, the largest in RFK Stadium history.

After losing five straight, Washington won consecutive home games and finished 5-6 on its homestand.

“It was great when we didn’t see Rivera out there in the ninth,” Jose Vidro said. “I said, ‘Oh, man. We’ve got a very good chance now, because the guy was starting to leave pitches up in the zone.”’

Zimmerman, the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, is batting .433 (13-for-30) during a seven-game hitting streak and has eight RBIs in his last five games. He’s had three straight multihit games, at least one hit in all six interleague contests this season and is batting 10-for-24 (.417) in interleague play.

The Red Sox (39-28) swept Atlanta in a three-game series over the weekend and return to Fenway Park for a nine-game homestand against NL East teams.

Mike Lowell had a pinch-hit, go-ahead two-run double as the Red Sox scored six runs in the eighth inning on their way to a 10-7 victory on Sunday.

“You get a hit and you feel like you’re on top of the world,” Lowell said. “I took a couple of good swings and worked the count to 3-2. I’m very happy with the result.”

David Ortiz hit his 20th homer—giving him five straight 20-homer seasons— and Manny Ramirez snapped an 0-for-18 slump with a home run for Boston.

Kyle Snyder (0-0, 22.50) makes his Red Sox debut on Monday, hoping to pitch better for Boston than he did for Kansas City in his only start of the season.

Snyder allowed 10 hits and nine runs—five earned—in two innings against the Rangers on June 8, but didn’t earn a decision as the Royals rallied for a 16-12 victory.

The right-hander was designated for assignment by the Royals on June 11 and acquired off waivers by the Red Sox on Friday.

Snyder is starting in place of Matt Clement, who was placed on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.

He is 2-9 with a 5.91 ERA in 29 career games—19 starts—all with the Royals, and spent most of this season in the minors.

The Red Sox lead the all-time series with the Nationals 8-7, but the teams haven’t met since 2001, when the Nationals were still based in Montreal.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Armas Atl vs. K. Snyder NYM
9-12 Record 4-5
5.03 ERA 6.56
97 K 57
64 BB 20
1.50 WHIP 1.77