A rainout gives the Washington Nationals two chances in one day to win their first home series of the season. Veteran right-hander Jason Marquis(notes) would like to be the one to make that happen with his first victory in the nation’s capital wearing a Nationals uniform.
Washington goes for its second straight victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Sunday’s first game of a series-ending doubleheader.
The Nationals (6-7), who dropped two of three to Atlanta and Philadelphia in their first two home series, ended Milwaukee’s season-high, four-game win streak Friday with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings.
After reaching second base on a throwing error and stealing third, Jayson Werth(notes) scored the game-winning run by beating a wild throw to the plate by first baseman Prince Fielder(notes) following a grounder by Adam LaRoche(notes).
“Big win. It wasn’t the prettiest,” Werth said after the Nationals ended a four-game skid to the Brewers. “… Hopefully we can get the bats going a little bit.”
Washington, which scored three runs in the second inning Friday off two bases-loaded walks and a sacrifice fly, is batting .196 and averaging 3.0 runs at home.
The Nationals will try to provide more support for Marquis (0-0, 3.65 ERA) in his first home start this season. In his first season with the Nationals in 2010, he was limited to 13 starts due to elbow surgery.
Marquis is 0-5 with a 6.48 ERA in seven home starts with them.
He was solid in his first two outings this season, pitching at least six innings both times and striking out 11 overall.
“It’s encouraging,” manager Jim Riggleman told the Nationals’ website after Marquis struck out nine during a 7-3 victory at the New York Mets last Sunday. “He wanted to keep going today. He had some more ammunition there. He could have kept firing. But it’s encouraging that he wasn’t coming out of there (with a tender arm).”
In his last start before elbow surgery, Marquis did not record an out in an 11-7 home loss to Milwaukee last April 18. He gave up four hits, hit two batters and walked one while allowing seven runs in the shortest start of his career.
Milwaukee (7-6) will counter with Yovani Gallardo(notes) (1-0, 2.70), who looks to bounce back from a subpar outing. Five days after throwing a two-hitter in a 1-0 win over Atlanta, the right-hander lasted a season-low five innings, surrendered four runs and seven hits, and failed to get the decision in a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs.
“It was one of those things where my command was off. It obviously wasn’t as sharp as the last start, but I’m going to keep going out there as long as I can,” he told the Brewers’ official website.
Gallardo is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts against Washington.
In Sunday’s finale, the Brewers will send out Marco Estrada(notes) (1-0, 5.14), who is filling in for the injured Zack Greinke(notes). The right-hander earned his first career win as a starter in a 5-4 victory over Atlanta on April 6, and pitched a scoreless inning of relief April 9 against the Cubs.
The Nationals will send out another veteran right-hander, Livan Hernandez(notes) (1-1, 3.50), who will try to build off a strong outing. He allowed one run over 6 2-3 innings in a 7-4 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Hernandez also had one of his best starts against the Brewers in his lone matchup last season - a four-hitter at Nationals Park last April. He was 0-3 with a 6.94 ERA in his four previous games against Milwaukee.