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Jun 20, 2024 2:28 am

MacKenzie Gore out to lead Nats to series win over D-backs

Gore Nationals

Washington left-hander MacKenzie Gore looks to continue his strong campaign when the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks and the Nationals meet in the rubber game of their series on Thursday.

Washington, which has won nine of its past 11 games, evened the three-game set with a 3-1 win on Wednesday.

Gore (6-5, 3.24 ERA) has given up three earned runs or fewer in 13 of his 14 starts and two earned runs or fewer 11 times.

He has allowed just one earned run in each of his past two starts, including last Friday when he gave up one run on five hits over seven innings in a win over the Miami Marlins. Gore walked one and struck out 10.

But what many remember occurred after Gore gave up a run in the second inning on a late throw by third baseman Nick Senzel. The teammates had words and Senzel pushed Gore before they were separated. Both said the matter was behind them.

“We’ve handled it in here,” Gore said. “The biggest thing is that that was something that I can’t do, but I’m going to leave it at that.”

Gore is 0-0 with a 5.86 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against the Diamondbacks.

He will be opposed by right-hander Ryne Nelson (4-5, 5.49). Nelson, 26, has had an up-and-down campaign. In mid-May, he sported a 7.06 ERA. Last Friday, he gave up one run on six hits over six innings in a win against the Chicago White Sox. Nelson struck out a career-high eight and walked one.

“The cutter/slider was real good today,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “There was a lot of swing and miss, but I just thought he was pitching and sequencing and that created an uneasy approach and kept those guys off balance.”

Nelson has a 3.60 ERA in one career start against the Nationals, allowing two earned runs over five innings in a no-decision last season.

On Wednesday, the Nationals got a solid start from the struggling Patrick Corbin that kept them close until Jesse Winker’s two-run, sixth-inning homer put them ahead to stay. Washington was held to six hits.

“I talk about it all the time — hitting is hard,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “And you’re going to go through those lapses where it’s like that, where you score two or three runs but you’ve got a chance to win. That’s what I love about this team — they don’t give up.”

Hitting has not been hard lately for Winker, who has reached safely in 13 of his past 14 games, hitting .452 (19-for-42) with eight RBIs and eight runs.

Arizona, which had won four of its past six, managed only four hits. Three of the Diamondbacks’ hits and their run came against Corbin, who began the day with a 5.84 ERA. Arizona fared no better against Washington’s bullpen, which tossed four scoreless innings.

“This one has me shaking my head a little bit,” Lovullo said. “I’m here talking with my coaches, thinking what happened? How did we not win this game?”

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had two hits and Corbin Carroll doubled to extend his career-high on-base streak to 19 games. He is batting .311 (23-for-74) with six doubles, two triples, six RBIs, 12 walks and 20 runs scored during the streak.

–Field Level Media

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