Blake Snell hopes to bounce back from his worst outing of the season when the San Diego Padres visit the Washington Nationals in the rubber match of a three-game series on Thursday.
After going 1-3 with a 3.54 ERA over a stretch of five starts, Snell (1-6, 5.40 ERA) gave up six runs on five hits in four innings of a 6-1 home loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
“I didn’t help them by putting them in a hole,” Snell said of his teammates.
The 30-year-old left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four career starts vs. the Nationals.
Right-hander Jake Irvin (1-2, 5.50 ERA) will makes his fifth major league start for the Nationals. The 26-year-old tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the San Francisco Giants on May 8, but in his past two starts, he allowed a total of 12 runs (10 earned) in 7 1/3 innings. In his most recent outing, Irvin gave up six runs, four earned, on five hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.
“Just making worse pitches,” Irvin said of his problems in the game. “It was one of those days where off-speed is not landing as often and it’s disappointing. … I wanted to set a tone.”
On Wednesday, Alex Call had two hits and two RBIs as the Nationals took the middle game of the series 5-3.
Trevor Williams pitched into the sixth inning and Dominic Smith had two hits for the Nationals, who have won three of their past four games and are 11-11 in May. The Nationals are 9-5 at home since April 30 after going 2-11 at home to start the season.
Call’s two-run double was the key hit in a four-run second inning.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our pitchers, so whenever we can take the pressure off them and give them some run support, I think it gives them a little freedom to not have to be perfect,” Call said. “It’s big for everybody. Takes the pressure off. Just makes you feel loose.”
With his fourth-inning RBI double, Lane Thomas extended his on-base streak to a career-high 20 straight games.
Washington relievers worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings to complete the win. Hunter Harvey came in to retire Fernando Tatis, Jr. with two outs and a runner on base in the seventh, and Kyle Finnegan pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Rougned Odor and Ha-Seong Kim homered for the Padres, who had won their previous two games. The problem for San Diego was that it collected only four hits overall in the game.
Starter Ryan Weathers gave up five runs, four earned, in six innings for San Diego.
“He gave us six innings. I thought he pitched fairly well,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Weathers. “When you get four hits, it’s tough to win a game.”
After collecting three hits against his former team on Tuesday in San Diego’s 7-4 win, Juan Soto went 0-for-2 with two walks and a run.
The slumping Padres will look to avoid losing their sixth straight series.
San Diego got some good new off the field on Wednesday. Third baseman Manny Machado took ground balls for the first time since going on the 10-day injured list last week with a fractured left hand. He is eligible to return on Friday.
–Field Level Media