Davey Johnson has finally secured his first win as manager of the Washington Nationals. He’ll have two chances Saturday to try and even the record at his latest stop.
Following a nail-biter in the series opener, the Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates square off in a doubleheader in the nation’s capital.
Johnson took over Monday for John McLaren, who served three games as interim manager after Jim Riggleman quit in a contract dispute June 23. The Nationals totaled eight runs while losing Johnson’s first three games against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Nationals again didn’t produce much at the plate Friday night, but finally delivered Johnson’s elusive first win with a 2-1 victory. Pinch-hitter Matt Stairs’(notes) one-out drive off the wall in the ninth inning scored pinch runner Alex Cora(notes) and lifted Washington (41-41) to its 11th win in 12 games at Nationals Park.
“I told all the other starters they’re going to be on a longer leash with me,” Johnson said after his first win since Sept. 30, 2000, with the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I’m expecting more out of them.”
The left-hander had been 3-0 with a 1.18 ERA in his previous six games before facing the Angels on Monday. Lannan allowed three runs and a season-high 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings as the Nationals lost 4-3 in 10 to spoil Johnson’s managerial debut.
“It seemed like I always had runners on, but the defense kept picking me up and I was able to make pitches when I needed to. But it was a battle tonight,” Lannan said.
Lannan lost at Pittsburgh on April 25, and failed to get a decision against the Pirates on May 16 in Washington.
Hernandez had been 0-6 in eight starts before firing a three-hitter to beat St. Louis on June 15. He didn’t get a decision in his next game, but beat the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. The right-hander allowed a run and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings as Washington won 2-1.
Hernandez lost to Pittsburgh on April 23, dropping to 5-6 with a 5.55 ERA in 17 games against the Pirates.
Alex Presley(notes) knocked in the only run Friday for the Pirates (41-40), who went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position. They also failed to get three games over .500, falling to 0-7 when two games above the break-even mark.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.22 ERA in his last four starts. He gave up two unearned runs and five hits over six innings Sunday, but committed one of the Pirates’ season high-tying four errors and didn’t get a decision in a 4-2 loss to Boston.
McDonald will start against the Nationals for the first time.
The right-hander will face the team he made his first big league appearance against last season. Lincoln was tagged for five runs and seven hits in six innings, but didn’t receive a decision in the Pirates’ 7-5 loss in Washington on June 9, 2010.
Lincoln was 1-4 with a 6.66 ERA in 11 games - nine starts - for the Pirates.