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Washington at Los Angeles

Venue: Dodger Stadium
  •  

The Washington Nationals ended their homestand with a defeat in strange fashion. But they'll have the luxury of turning to the dominant Jordan Zimmermann as they try to start off their West Coast swing on the right foot.

Washington begins a 10-game road trip against NL West foes Monday night with the first of three against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Nationals' five-game winning streak came to a halt Saturday with an 8-2 loss to the Cubs, then has their 2-1 defeat to Chicago Sunday decided bizarrely.

Kurt Suzuki's throw struck the bat of Welington Castillo during Chicago's ninth-inning double-steal attempt, buying enough time for Alfonso Soriano to come around and score the go-ahead run.

"That's the first time I have ever done something like that, let alone saw it," Suzuki said. "It's one of those things where, a freak thing happens like that."

Washington (20-17) was 3 for 19 with runners in scoring position in the back-to-back losses, a 1-for-9 effort Sunday spoiling Gio Gonzalez's seven shutout innings. Bryce Harper returned to the lineup Sunday after missing two straight following surgery on an ingrown toenail, though he was 0 for 2 with two walks. Harper is 4 for 35 (.114) over his last 11 games with one homer and one double during that slump.

Zimmermann (6-1, 1.59 ERA) gets the ball looking to become the majors' first seven-game winner. He's given up just one run, 10 hits and three walks in 24 innings in winning his last three starts.

The right-hander is walking a career-low 1.59 batters per nine innings, though his strikeouts are also at a career-low 6.0 per nine. Zimmermann seems to be sacrificing strikeouts in favor of efficiency - he's getting through innings with an average of just 13.3 pitches.

He didn't win his seventh game last year until July 18, his 19th start.

"This year, more than any other year, he is throwing a lot more breaking balls for strikes," teammate Tyler Clippard told the team's official website. "He is throwing their timing off. On top of that, he is locating."

The Dodgers (15-21) come in on a better note, following an eight-game skid with two home wins in a row over the Marlins.

"Once you've lost eight in a row, it doesn't sound like much to win a series," manager Don Mattingly said. "But it's a start. That's the way it feels."

Matt Kemp had two singles to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he's 15 for 46 (.326), and Scott Van Slyke tagged his third career home run two days after being recalled from Triple-A.

Los Angeles will start Josh Beckett (0-4, 5.13 ERA), who is without a victory in his first seven starts of a season for the first time in his 13-year career.

He's 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 16 starts against the Nationals/Expos franchise but only one of those outings has come since 2005. He gave up four runs and five hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 7-6 victory on Sept. 19, 2012.

Zimmermann limited the Dodgers to one run over six innings in a 3-1 Washington win in the first half of a doubleheader earlier that day.

The Nationals were 8-8 on the road against the NL West last season but were swept in Los Angeles. The Dodgers have won 17 of 20 in the series at Chavez Ravine since 2006.

Copyright 2014 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

Jordan Zimmermann, RHP
2013 stats
51.0 Innings Pitched 40.1
6-1 Wins-Losses 0-4
1.59 Earned Run Average 5.13
9 Walks 13
34 Strikeouts 36
97 Pitches Per Start 96
Career vs. opponent
12.0 Innings Pitched 102.1
1-0 Wins-Losses 7-2
5.25 Earned Run Average 2.46

Josh Beckett, RHP
Weather
weather image  Sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
87°F62°F9mph/SW34%3%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Washington1st NL East8663.577-7-3 W 3
Los Angeles1st NL West8664.573-8-2 W 3
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Josh Beckett
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Desmond31000.333
Lombardozzi31100.333
Tracy72004.286
Span92022.222
Suzuki102011.200
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jordan Zimmermann
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Cruz32000.667
Punto52010.400
Ethier62000.333
Kemp62102.333
Schumaker103003.300
 

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Injuries
Washington
PlayerInjury
T. JordanElbow
J. KobernusHand
N. McLouthShoulder
R. OhlendorfBack
M. PurkeElbow
R. ZimmermanHamstring
Los Angeles
PlayerInjury
J. BeckettHip, groin
C. BillingsleyElbow
C. FigginsQuadriceps
O. GarciaElbow
P. MaholmKnee
P. RodriguezShoulder
H. RyuShoulder
C. WithrowElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 25LADCOL 5-4Brothers Wright 
Apr 26LADLAD 6-3Maholm Nicasio 
Apr 27LADCOL 6-1De La Rosa Ryu 
Jun 6COLLAD 7-2Ryu Butler 
Jun 7COLCOL 5-4Morales Perez 
Jun 8COLLAD 6-1Kershaw De La Rosa 
Jun 16LADLAD 6-1Ryu Matzek 
Jun 17LADLAD 4-2Greinke Chacin 
Jun 18LADLAD 8-0Kershaw De La Rosa 
Jul 3COLLAD 3-2Greinke Hawkins 
Jul 4COLLAD 9-0Kershaw Jurrjens 
Jul 5COLCOL 8-7De La Rosa Haren 
Jul 6COLLAD 8-2Beckett Flande 
Sep 15COLLAD 11-3Wright Bergman 
Sep 16COL 8:40 PM EDT  
Sep 17COL 3:10 PM EDT  
Sep 26LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 27LAD 9:10 PM EDT  
Sep 28LAD 4:10 PM EDT