Chicago (46-43) at Washington (26-64)

Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 1:35 pm EDT Sun Jul 19, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The manager might be different, but the results are the same for the Washington Nationals.

Still looking for their first win under interim manager Jim Riggleman, the Nationals try to avoid a fifth straight loss and being swept by the visiting Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

On Saturday, Washington (26-64) couldn’t hold an early four-run lead and lost 6-5—its third defeat in the four-game set against Chicago and remained winless since Riggleman replaced the fired Manny Acta on Monday.

“We just haven’t been able to get a run home,” said Riggleman, who’s club has lost its last two games by a total of three runs. “It’s going to happen, though. I promise you it’s going to happen.”

Nyjer Morgan(notes) and Nick Johnson(notes) each had three hits and an RBI, while All-Star Ryan Zimmerman(notes) drove in a pair of runs for the Nationals, who lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Morgan has hit safely in six straight games and is 7 for 13 in this series despite the Nationals hitting .208 against the Cubs.

Former National Alfonso Soriano(notes) hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning for the Cubs (46-43), who’ve won a season-high four in a row on the road and five of their last six overall.

It was the 15th homer—and first since June 7—for Soriano, who missed Friday’s contest with a swollen finger. Despite hitting .234, Soriano is 11 for 36 (.306) in 10 games since being dropped from the leadoff spot in the order.

“I feel very comfortable at home plate,” Soriano said. “I had bad first half, so I hope every bad moment I had will stay in the first half and I have a new second half with a better job.”

Looking to sweep their first road series of at least three games this season, the Cubs face Washington’s Garrett Mock(notes) (0-2, 6.92 ERA) for the first time as a starter in this contest.

Mock is being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to make his first start of the season after Ross Detwiler(notes) was sent to the minors. After struggling in 13 relief appearances, Mock went 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA in eight starts for Syracuse.

The right-hander went 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA as a starter in 2008.

Chicago counters with Kevin Hart(notes) (0-1, 1.69), who will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to make his second start after Ted Lilly(notes) was pushed back to Monday because of left knee inflammation.

Hart, who’s made four relief appearances for the Cubs this season, allowed one run and four hits while walking five in five innings of a 4-1 loss to Atlanta on July 8 in his first career start.

“Baseball is one of those games where sometimes you can go out there and give up five and get a win, and sometimes you can go out there and give up one and get a loss,” Hart told the Cubs’ official Web site.

Chicago has won 12 of its last 16 versus Washington.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Hart Pit vs. G. Mock Ari
4-9 Record 3-10
5.44 ERA 5.62
52 K 72
44 BB 44
1.74 WHIP 1.73


Sunday, Jul 19