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Apr 10, 2024 4:03 am

Giants search for solutions with men on base vs. Nats

giants, nationals

The Nationals hope to continue the San Francisco Giants’ home-stadium frustrations when Washington goes for a series sweep on Wednesday afternoon.

Nationals closer Kyle Finnegan sent the Giants and their fans home disappointed for the second straight day when he pitched out of a ninth-inning jam to preserve a 5-3 win on Tuesday.

The Giants out-hit the visitors 10-8 but struggled in the clutch again. San Francisco is 2-for-33 (.061) with runners in scoring position over the first five games of its homestand.

“We leave 11 on again. That’s been a theme,” Giants manager Bob Melvin lamented after his team’s eighth loss in 12 games this season. “We keep getting them on … can’t score them. It’s getting a bit frustrating.”

The first two games of the series each featured just one home run, both by the Nationals. A two-run shot by Lane Thomas helped the visitors produce an 8-1 win on Monday, and CJ Abrams provided the eventual margin of victory in the rematch with a two-run blast.

The Nationals have won three in a row since a 2-6 start. Last season, they won three straight just eight times, getting a fourth win in a row on just one of those occasions.

They did win two of three at San Francisco last May, and they swept three-game road sets against the Giants in 2017 and 2019.

Not everything went right for the Nationals on Tuesday. Before the game, the club had to put staff ace Josiah Gray on the injured list due to a flexor strain in his right arm.

“Obviously, it (stinks) to miss time and not be out there … helping the guys and winning games,” Gray said. “But it’s a part of what pitchers are and what we do. So just going to take it on the chin and take it day by day.”

The initial diagnosis revealed no tendon damage, so no surgery is expected.

The top of the Washington rotation now belongs to veteran left-hander Patrick Corbin (0-1, 6.97 ERA), a two-time All-Star who has fallen upon hard times in recent years.

Corbin has led the National League in losses in each of the last three seasons, totaling 50 over that stretch to go with 25 wins. He has allowed 16 hits and eight runs in just 10 1/3 innings so far this season. In his most recent outing, Corbin yielded four runs on nine hits in six-plus innings during a 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.

The 34-year-old has built up decent numbers against the Giants in his career, going 9-10 with a 3.31 ERA in 28 games, including 26 starts. However, he lost his past two starts against the Giants, bombed for 15 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in just 7 2/3 innings.

San Francisco is expected to counter with right-hander Jordan Hicks (1-0, 0.75 ERA), who has pitched brilliantly in his first two outings for the organization. He has allowed just eight hits and two runs (one earned) over 12 innings, striking out 11 and walking one.

Hicks has never started a game against the Nationals in his career, but has faced them 11 times in relief, going 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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