The Washington Nationals have two chances this weekend to win their first home series of the season. Veteran right-hander Jason Marquis would like to be the one to make that happen with his first victory in the nation's capital wearing a Nationals uniform.
Washington goes for its second straight victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday when the teams continue their three-game set.
The Nationals (6-7), who dropped two of three to Atlanta and Philadelphia in their first two home series, snapped Milwaukee's season-high four-game winning streak Friday with a 4-3, 10-inning victory.
After reaching second base on a throwing error and stealing third, Jayson Werth scored the game-winning run by beating a wild throw to the plate by first baseman Prince Fielder following a grounder by Adam LaRoche.
"Big win. It wasn't the prettiest," Werth said after the Nationals ended a four-game skid to the Brewers. "... Hopefully we can get the bats going a little bit."
Washington, which scored three runs in the second inning Friday off two bases-loaded walks and a sacrifice fly, is batting .196 and averaging 3.0 runs at home.
The Nationals will try to provide more support for Marquis (0-0, 3.65 ERA), who makes his first home start of the season. After making just 13 starts in 2010 - his first season with Washington - due to surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, the veteran right-hander has been solid in his first two starts, striking out 11 and walking just two while going six innings or longer in both appearances.
"It's encouraging," manager Jim Riggleman told the Nationals' official website after Marquis had nine strikeouts in six innings of Sunday's 7-3, 11-inning victory at the New York Mets "He wanted to keep going today. He had some more ammunition there. He could have kept firing. But it's encouraging that he wasn't coming out of there (with a tender arm)."
In his last start before elbow surgery, Marquis did not record an out in an 11-7 home loss to Milwaukee last April 18. He hit two batters, walked one and allowed seven runs and four hits in the shortest start of his career.
Marquis is 0-5 with a 6.48 ERA in seven home starts since joining the Nationals.
Milwaukee (7-6) will counter with Yovani Gallardo (1-0, 2.70), who looks to bounce back from his first subpar outing of the young season. Five days after throwing a two-hitter in a 1-0 win over Atlanta, the right-hander lasted a season-low five innings and surrendered four runs and seven hits Sunday, failing to get the decision in a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Gallardo walked a season-high four and threw just 59 of 106 pitches for strikes.
"It was one of those things where my command was off. It obviously wasn't as sharp as the last start, but I'm going to keep going out there as long as I can," he told the Brewers' official website.
Gallardo is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts against Washington.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun extended his hitting streak in Washington to nine Friday with a first-inning single. Braun is 7 for 15 with three doubles against Marquis.
Fielder, 0 for 11 in his last three games in the nation's capital after going hitless in four at_bats Friday, has four hits - three doubles and a homer - in 16 career at_bats versus Marquis.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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