Washington (46-87) at San Diego (58-76)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 3:35 pm EDT Wed Sep 2, 2009
  • TV: MASN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

San Diego hasn’t needed much production from its lineup to beat the Washington Nationals. Will Venable’s(notes) stellar play in center field has taken some of the burden off Padres hitters as well.

Venable and the Padres look to sweep a series for the first time in over three months as they conclude a three-game set with the lowly Nationals on Wednesday.

After winning the opener of this series 3-1 on Monday night, San Diego (58-76) kept Washington’s hitters in check again the following evening in a 4-1 victory. A victory Wednesday would give the Padres their first sweep since a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs from May 22-24.

Both teams are finishing off what have been terrible seasons. San Diego, though, has won six of eight while Washington (46-86) has lost five straight, scoring two runs or fewer in three of those contests.

Venable’s defense certainly hasn’t helped the Nationals’ cause. He has made impressive plays in three straight games, robbing Washington slugger Ryan Zimmerman(notes) of an extra-base hit with a diving catch with a runner on first base Tuesday.

On Monday, he threw out Nationals catcher Wil Nieves(notes) when he tried to stretch a single into a double. San Diego lost 6-4 to Florida on Sunday, but Venable’s diving catch saved two runs.

Venable also drove in a run in this series’ middle game, helping the Padres beat the Nationals franchise for the 28th time in 36 games.

Kevin Correia(notes) (9-10, 4.50 ERA), who is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts versus Washington, will next take the mound for San Diego.

Correia is 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA in his last two starts. The right-hander earned a win in his last outing despite giving up four runs and 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings of San Diego’s 9-5 victory over Florida on Friday.

The Padres did not score a run for Correia in either of his previous two starts.

“You don’t complain when you’re getting ahead and scoring runs,” Correia said.

The Nationals will counter with John Lannan(notes) (8-9, 3.95), who is coming off one of his best starts of the season. He didn’t receive a decision, though, allowing two runs and four hits in eight innings of Washington’s 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Friday.

The left-hander went 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA in his previous three starts. He was able to keep the ball down in the strike zone against the Cardinals, limiting them to five flyouts.

“That was more like what we saw earlier in the year,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said.

Lannan is 0-1 with a 1.71 ERA in three starts against the Padres, getting an average of 1.7 runs to work with in those contests.

Lannan won’t have Christian Guzman backing him up at shortstop. Guzman is expected to be held out of the starting lineup for the third straight game due to bunions on his foot.

Guzman, though, is available for pinch-hit duty. Guzman, batting .300, grounded out in the eighth Tuesday.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Lannan Col vs. K. Correia Phi
9-13 Record 12-11
3.88 ERA 3.91
89 K 142
68 BB 64
1.35 WHIP 1.30


Wednesday, Sep 2