Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nats eye 8th straight win in finale vs. Phils

Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals will be looking for their eighth straight win in Sunday's series finale, and the Phillies will be looking to jumpstart their offense behind right-hander Charlie Morton.
With Darin Ruf returning Saturday from a shoulder injury that had kept him out since Wednesday, the Phillies should be happy to get him in the lineup against the left-handed Gonzalez. Ruf has slugged the second-most home runs (three) of any active player against Gonzalez. Among those who have faced him at least 30 times, Ruf also has the highest on-base plus slugging percentage (1.326).
Gonzalez tossed six shutout innings against the Braves on Tuesday in his first start of the season, allowing only three hits in a no-decision.
Morton worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his last start Tuesday against San Diego, beginning a streak of 22 1/3 shutout innings by Phillies starters -- a streak snapped in Friday's loss by Jeremy Hellickson.
Things to know about this game
• Philadelphia entered the series against Washington at .500 for the first time since April 13 of last season. The Phillies have not been above .500 since an Opening Day victory over Texas on March 31, 2014.
• Washington starters have gone five straight games allowing two earned runs or fewer. Prior to Friday's game, the Phillies' rotation had also done so in six of the last seven.
• The Nationals and Phillies played six series in 2015. While Philadelphia won the first and last series against the Nats last season, Washington won all four in between. The Nationals clinched the series with Saturday's win and go for their second straight sweep in the finale.

No comments: