Pittsburgh at Washington

Venue: Nationals Park
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Neither the Pittsburgh Pirates nor the Washington Nationals have come up with many clutch hits since the All-Star break.

The Nationals have also dropped Dan Haren's last 10 starts heading into Monday night's opener of a four-game home set with the Pirates.

Pittsburgh (57-39) totaled 10 runs and went 2 for 27 with runners in scoring position while losing two of three over the weekend in Cincinnati. The Pirates are hitting an NL-worst .225 with men in scoring in position.

Washington (48-50) also struggled in that department this weekend, going 2 for 26 and scoring five runs while getting swept at home by the Dodgers. The Nationals are batting .237 with runners in scoring position.

"I got confidence in 'em," manager Davey Johnson said. "I don't want to keep talking about the offense. That's all we seem to talk about, that and the injuries."

The Nationals will be out to stop their three-game slide as well as this losing streak with Haren (4-10, 5.61 ERA) on the mound. Haren is 0-7 with a 5.93 ERA during the longest winless stretch of his career.

The right-hander, however, has yielded two runs over 11 innings in two starts this month. He feels a stint on the disabled list to rest an inflamed shoulder has put him back on the right track.

"I kept the ball down," he told the Nationals' official website. "That has been the key for me in the last two starts."

Haren hasn't faced the Pirates since 2010. Catcher Russell Martin has the most experience against him, going 7 for 39 (.179).

Pittsburgh has a slight edge in homers over Washington this year, 95-88. The Pirates hit six solo homers over the weekend while the Nationals ended a six-game drought when Jayson Werth hit a pair in Sunday's 9-2 defeat.

Garrett Jones homered for the second straight day for Pittsburgh in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Reds. Jones had not gone deep in 10 games before these last two.

"I'm just one of the pieces that need to pick it up,'' Jones said. "I had a slow first half and this is the time to hit and be productive and help your team win."

The Pirates avoided a sweep and extended their lead over the third-place Reds to three games.

"There's still a lot of games left, but to get this final game is big," Jones said. "Every game matters."

Pittsburgh will start Charlie Morton (1-2, 3.19), who is 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA in three outings versus Washington but hasn't faced the club in two years.

The right-hander, making his seventh start after elbow surgery, gave up two runs over a season-high seven innings July 12 in a 3-2, 11-inning win over the Mets.

"It's good to see him continue to get a little bit better every time he has the ball," manager Clint Hurdle told the Pirates' official website.

Morton has never faced Bryce Harper, who was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Sunday and is hitting .206 in 17 games since returning after missing a month with left knee bursitis. Harper has struck out 11 times in his last 23 at-bats.

The Nationals took two of three in Pittsburgh from May 3-5.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Charlie Morton, RHP
2013 stats
31.0 Innings Pitched 93.0
1-2 Wins-Losses 4-10
3.19 Earned Run Average 5.61
10 Walks 17
22 Strikeouts 81
77 Pitches Per Start 92
Career vs. opponent
15.1 Innings Pitched 42.0
0-2 Wins-Losses 3-1
4.11 Earned Run Average 4.50

Dan Haren, RHP
Weather
weather image  a few tstorms. Cloudy. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
85°F74°F5mph/S71%79%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Pittsburgh2nd NL Central8874.54326-4 L 2
Washington1st NL East9666.593-8-2 W 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Dan Haren
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Morton21000.500
Jones73001.429
McCutchen62011.333
Sanchez41002.250
Inge143105.214
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Charlie Morton
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
LaRoche32001.667
Bernadina53100.600
Desmond42000.500
Ramos41000.250
Werth82100.250
 

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Injuries
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
P. AlvarezFoot
C. MortonHernia
C. StewartWrist
Washington
PlayerInjury
E. DavisElbow
T. JordanElbow
N. McLouthShoulder
R. OhlendorfBack
M. PurkeElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6WAS 4:05 PM EDT  
Apr 8WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Apr 9WAS 1:05 PM EDT  
Apr 30NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
May 1NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
May 2NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
May 3NYM 1:10 PM EDT  
Jul 20WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Jul 21WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Jul 22WAS12:35 PM EDT  
Jul 31NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 1NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 2NYM 1:10 PM EDT  
Sep 7WAS 1:05 PM EDT  
Sep 8WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 9WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Oct 2NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Oct 3NYM 7:10 PM EDT  
Oct 4NYM 1:10 PM EDT