Struggling Nationals aim for series win vs. Diamondbacks

MLB

The Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks vie for a three-game series victory on Sunday as a means to get back on track after recent struggles.

The Diamondbacks improved to 2-9 in their last 11 games after posting an 11-4 win in Phoenix on Saturday night. That decision came one day after they sustained a 17-2 loss to the Nationals.

“That was a great bounce-back win,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “You talk about resiliency. I am really proud of our guys for the way they came out prepared and trusted the process, trusted themselves and went out and scored a ton of runs and won a big ballgame.”

Washington is 3-8 in its last 11 games.

Yan Gomes, who had a career-high five hits Friday, went 1-for-4 with a strikeout the following night.

Gomes remains confident the Nationals have the ability to have more games like the series opener than what they showed Saturday.

“I can’t say we’re going to be putting up 17 runs every game, but having one of those games (Friday) shows top to bottom the kind of lineup that we have,” Gomes said.

Two right-handers will start Sunday in the series finale. Washington will turn to Erick Fedde (2-4, 5.29 ERA), while Arizona counters with Luke Weaver (2-3, 5.00).

Fedde is making his second start of the season against Arizona. On April 17, he tied his career high of nine strikeouts in five innings in a 6-2 win.

He is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two career starts against the Diamondbacks. He has recorded 10 strikeouts and four walks in 11 innings.

Weaver took the loss at Washington on April 15 after allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings in the Nationals’ 6-2 win. He is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in two career starts against Washington. He has permitted eight runs on 15 hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Arizona added to its already crowded group of players on the injured list with three more Saturday.

Catcher Carson Kelly, who is batting .338 with six home runs and 19 RBIs, was placed on the 10-day injured list with a fractured left big toe. He sustained the injury after fouling a ball of his toe Thursday against the Miami Marlins.

J.B. Bukauskas (right elbow flexor strain) also went on the 10-day injured list, while fellow right-hander Chris Devenski (right elbow sprain) was placed on the 60-day injured list.

The Diamondbacks recalled infielder Domingo Leyba and right-hander Yoan Lopez from Triple-A Reno on Saturday.

Arizona’s injured list includes outfielders Ketel Marte (right hamstring strain) and Kole Calhoun (left hamstring surgery), infielders Christian Walker (right oblique soreness) and Asdrúbal Cabrera (right hamstring strain), and right-handers Zac Gallen (right elbow sprain) and Taylor Widener (right groin strain).

“It’s unfortunate, you never want to see guys get hurt and it just (stinks) that it’s kind of all happened at the same time,” Kelly said. “Over the course of a long season, it’s a tester. It’s a tester for our guys and our team and what we’re made of.”

–Field Level Media

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