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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, May 16th (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (21-19) at San Diego Padres (18-21), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Stephen Strasburg (1-5, 3.10) San Diego - Edinson Volquez (3-3, 5.15)

(Sports Network) - The downward spiral that is Stephen Strasburg takes center stage Thursday, as he looks to put a halt on his current winless streak when the Washington Nationals open a three-game series with the San Diego Padres.

Strasburg won his season debut April 1 versus Miami with seven shutout innings of three-hit ball. It appeared Strasburg was back on track after he was shut down at the end of 2012 and had to watch the playoffs from the dugout. Now it looks as if Strasburg could use a long siesta as evidenced by his 0-5 record and 3.61 earned run average in his last seven starts.

Washington is 1-6 in that stretch and dropped an 8-2 decision to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday in Strasburg's last start. The right-hander allowed four unearned runs and five hits in five innings to fall to 1-5 in eight outings to go along with a 3.10 ERA. Strasburg has pitched well in his starts, but just doesn't have the wins to show for it.

"It's frustrating. Stevie is throwing the ball well, he has a heck of a game going and it changed the momentum a little bit," said Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who didn't help the cause with throwing errors. "You feel bad. You don't want that to ever happen."

The Nationals have scored more than two runs just twice in Strasburg's appearances this season. He lost his only career start against San Diego last May 15 in a 6-1 loss, yielding four runs in four innings.

Edinson Volquez has been the opposite of Strasburg and is 3-0 with a 2.49 earned run average in his last four starts. The Padres are 3-1 in that time. Volquez did not record a decision in last Friday's 6-3 loss at Tampa Bay, but did pitch well and limited the Rays to a pair of runs in six innings.

"Volky hung in there ... it was a little maddening in that he was behind in the count a lot," Padres manager Bud Black said. "They didn't get many hits off him. They didn't hit many balls hard off him."

Volquez, a right-hander, started 0-3 in his first four outings -- all San Diego losses -- and is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in three career starts against the Nationals.

The Nationals have lost two straight and four of five games, and dropped the last two contests of a three-game set at Los Angeles.

In Wednesday's 3-1 loss, Dodgers starter Zack Greinke made an early return from a broken collarbone and held the Nationals to a run in 5 1/3 innings. Ross Detwiler drew the start for Washington and lasted only three innings, allowing two runs and six hits in a losing effort.

Detwiler was bothered by tightness in his lower back and was forced to leave the game. Nats catcher Wilson Ramos also departed the contest with a hamstring injury and is day-to-day.

"It's not all that great now. Hopefully, tomorrow morning it will feel a lot better," Detwiler said.

Adam LaRoche homered and Bryce Harper appeared in a pinch-hit role after missing Tuesday's game with side effects from running into the right-field wall Monday night. Harper is expected to be back in the starting lineup against the Padres.

The Nationals are currently on a 10-game road trip and will also visit San Francisco. They are still one game behind Atlanta for the NL East lead.

San Diego is only 4 1/2 games off the pace in the NL West and swept a two-game series from the Baltimore Orioles.

In an 8-4 win Wednesday at Camden Yards, Jason Marquis took the mound and fired five innings of two-run ball to improve to 5-2 on the season.

"They've got a great lineup, so you've got to make your pitches," Marquis said. "Some days you're not going to feel as good as others, but you've still got to make pitches in a big situation."

Alexi Amarista doubled twice and added a two-run homer and Everth Cabrera had four hits with an RBI for the Padres, who have posted back-to-back wins since losing three in a row and will play seven straight at Petco Park.

Kyle Blanks added a solo home run and John Baker drove in two for the Padres.

San Diego lost three of five matchups with Washington last season and have dropped six of the previous eight meetings between the clubs.

05/16 10:22:58 ET

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 3:15 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Washington

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on 620am

  • NHL: Canes vs. NY Rangers

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: NC State at West Virginia

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
3rd
PHI 58
CHA 80
 
3rd
PHI 58
CHA 80
 
3rd
ORL 66
UTA 77
 
2nd
CLE 54
BRK 47
 
Half
BOS 53
MIN 48
 
Half
DET 52
TOR 52
 
2nd
MIA 55
WAS 54
 
2nd
MEM 26
CHI 28
 
2nd
SAN 29
POR 19
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
2nd
BUCK 84
CASEWEST 65
 
2nd
LIB 81
CPNC 60
 
2nd
SCAR 58
CLEM 37
 
2nd
CMICH 88
CONC 52
 
2nd
MIAMI 32
EKENT 55
 
2nd
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 69
 
2nd
ODU 52
MDES 38
 
2nd
BUF 56
NIAG 37
 
2nd
KSU 48
NCAT 43
 
2nd
FAM 48
UNF 65
 
2nd
NORST 68
NARZ 46
 
2nd
DART 44
NILL 38
 
2nd
MORE 50
NKENTUCKY 69
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
2nd
STJ 39
GAELS 41
 
2nd
ALA 49
STILL 32
 
2nd
HAMP 53
TENST 47
 
2nd
TENN 52
TENT 48
 
2nd
WMARY 84
WSHMD 44
 
2nd
MERC 33
COOK 24
 
Half
FLGC 38
FUR 34
 
2nd
CALST 33
SDKST 36
 
1st
MTST 23
CHAT 14
 
1st
NDAK 19
DICKINSON 11
 
1st
LAMON 27
LSUALEX 23
 
1st
PRIN 40
LIP 25
 
1st
LAM 33
MLGN 19
 
1st
MINN 28
SEAT 15
 
1st
LOYC 28
SUTAH 16
 
1st
SELA 31
WINT 30
 
1st
SILL 22
NO 16
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
2nd
NJD 2
TAM 1
 
2nd
OTT 2
ANA 0
 
2nd
DET 1
NYI 1
 
1st
WIN 1
BOS 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL