Yankees' Sabathia to face Nationals' Scherzer if no rain


WASHINGTON -- The New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals went home tied Tuesday night.

They may have no better luck finishing up on Wednesday.

With the score 3-3 after 5 1/2 innings, the heavy rain began. After just over an hour the game was suspended and is slated to be completed Wednesday at 5:05 p.m., before the regularly scheduled series finale, but rain is expected throughout the day in the Washington area.

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"The forecast we know doesn't look great," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "All we can do is hope that something breaks up for us and get prepared to hopefully start at 5 o'clock and hope we can get a couple games in. Obviously, that's out of our hands."

Washington had a chance to take the opener when it jumped out to a 3-0 lead off Masahiro Tanaka after two innings.

However, outfielders Matt Adams and Andrew Stevenson collided on a Didi Gregorius fly ball to open the fourth. Gregorius ended up on second and Tyler Austin followed with a homer.

Austin tied it with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fifth off starter Gio Gonzalez, and both teams are into their bullpen when play resumes.

"We thought it was going to rain and we were just trying to stay ahead and then (after New York tied it) we tried to score," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "We pinch hit for Gio to maybe see if we could score a run before the rain came but it didn't happen, so we resume tomorrow."

New York's CC Sabathia (2-0, 2.23 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.69) in Wednesday's finale.

Scherzer, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, is making a strong case for No. 3.

He has won six straight decisions and hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in any start. Scherzer leads the majors with 14 strikeouts per nine innings and has held opponents to a .116 batting average in four home starts this season.

"I think what separates Max is his competitiveness, the fire and energy that he pitches with, almost imposing his will at times on hitters. He's just in attack mode all the time," closer Sean Doolittle told the Washington Post.

Scherzer was moved ahead of Tanner Roark to pitch on his normal rest as the Nationals have two off days this week.

Last time out Scherzer allowed a run on four hits in seven innings of a 3-1 win at Arizona.

Against the Yankees, he's 4-3 in seven career starts with a 4.04 earned run average, but he has not faced them since 2015.

Giancarlo Stanton -- who picked up career hit 1,000 Tuesday night -- is 4-for-18 with two homers and five RBIs against Scherzer, while Neil Walker is 4-for-23 with three homers and six RBIs. Brett Gardner is 3-for-16 and Aaron Hicks is 0-for-10.

Sabathia is coming off his worst start of the season, in which he allowed four runs and nine hits in four-plus innings against the Red Sox. He ended up with a no-decision in a 5-4 Boston win at Yankee Stadium.

"I threw some pitches in the zone that probably were too good to hit with two strikes," Sabathia, whose ERA rose from 1.39 to 2.23, told Newsday. "As the game went on, my fastball felt pretty good, but I was trying to challenge a little more than I probably should have to some good hitters."

Sabathia is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three career starts against the Washington/Montreal franchise, but has not faced the Nationals since 2009.

Howie Kendrick is 10-for-24 versus Sabathia and Mark Reynolds as 4-for-18 with a homer.

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