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Washington at San Diego

Venue: Petco Park
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The Washington Nationals' top two hitters in their lineup have played together for less than a month, but they've already produced a chemistry that has resulted in a resurgence.

Led by Alfonso Soriano and Felipe Lopez, the Nationals (49-60) continue a three-game weekend series against the NL West-leading San Diego Padres on Saturday.

Soriano and Lopez helped the last-place Nationals end a five-game losing streak against San Diego with a 6-2 victory on Friday. Soriano had an RBI double and Lopez went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

"I hope we stay together for a long time," said Lopez, wo was acquired on July 13 from Cincinnati as part of an eight-player trade in which the Nationals also acquired slugger Austin Kearns. "I have a lot to learn and (Soriano) is a great player. We can only get better."

In the past 13 games, Soriano has hit .373 (19-for-51) with four homers and 11 RBIs, and Lopez has batted .429 (21-for-49) with a homer and seven RBIs. Washington is 9-4 in that span.

"(Lopez) know how to play the game," said Soriano, a free agent after the season. "When he sees me run, he takes some pitches. He then can get a base hit to get an RBI. We have a very good communication and very good timing."

After missing most of the season with a strained forearm, Washington's Pedro Astacio (2-1, 5.23 ERA) will try to reach double-digits in career wins against San Diego.

The right-hander has gone at least six innings in his last three starts, but he struggled in his last outing. Against San Francisco on Monday, Astacio got the win despite allowing four runs and a season-high 10 hits in a 10-7 victory.

That came after he gave up two earned runs over 6 1-3 innings against the Giants on July 26.

"He was pretty good. He wasn't as sharp as he was the last time out," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said.

Astacio also wasn't sharp in a 5-2 loss to the Padres on July 8. He gave up five runs and nine hits over 3 2-3 innings en route to his first loss of 2006.

San Diego (56-53) has lost six of its last eight, but still has a one-game lead over second-place Arizona. The Padres hope rookie right-hander Mike Thompson (3-3, 4.34) can help extend that lead.

Since beating Texas on June 20, Thompson is 0-1 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts. That loss came Sunday after he was recalled from Triple-A Portland when he gave up three runs, six hits and three walks in six innings of a 3-1 defeat against Colorado.

"Mike gave us all we asked of him. Unfortunately, we were shut down offensively," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.

Thompson, who has never faced Washington, has no record and a 3.72 ERA in three home starts.

Padres shortstop Khalil Greene, who sprained the middle finger on his left hand swinging on Thursday against Houston, did not play Friday and may miss the series. Geoff Blum started in place of Greene and went 1-for-3.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Pedro
Astacio
, RHP
2006 stats
32.2 Innings Pitched 64.1
2-1 Wins-Losses 3-3
5.23 Earned Run Average 4.34
10 Walks 22
13 Strikeouts 28
Career vs. opponent
145.0 Innings Pitched -
9-5 Wins-Losses ---
3.60 Earned Run Average -

Mike
Thompson
, RHP
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Washington1st NL East2517.595-8-2 W 6
San Diego3rd NL West2022.47653-7 L 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Mike Thompson
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Castro000000
Church000000
Escobar000000
Harper000000
Jackson000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Pedro Astacio
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Barfield220001.000
Greene220001.000
Gonzalez21101.500
Piazza2510117.400
Blum166011.375
 

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Injuries
Washington
PlayerInjury
E. DavisElbow
D. FisterForearm
C. JanssenShoulder
R. JohnsonFoot
N. McLouthShoulder
A. RendonKnee, oblique
S. SolisShoulder
C. StammenForearm
J. WerthWrist
San Diego
PlayerInjury
Y. AlonsoShoulder
T. FederowiczKnee
J. JohnsonElbow
C. LuebkeElbow
B. MorrowShoulder
W. MyersWrist
M. UptonToe
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6LADLAD 6-3Peralta Kelley 
Apr 7LADSD 7-3Benoit Hatcher 
Apr 8LADLAD 7-4McCarthy Cashner 
Apr 24SDLAD 3-0Greinke Cashner 
Apr 25SDLAD 11-8McCarthy Kennedy 
Apr 26SDSD 3-1Morrow Baker 
May 22LAD10:10 PM EDT  
May 23LAD10:10 PM EDT  
May 24LAD 4:10 PM EDT  
Jun 12SD10:10 PM EDT  
Jun 13SD10:10 PM EDT  
Jun 14SD 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 3SD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 4SD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 5SD 8:40 PM EDT  
Sep 6SD 4:10 PM EDT  
Oct 2LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Oct 3LAD 9:10 PM EDT  
Oct 4LAD 3:10 PM EDT