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Apr 6, 2024 7:09 am

Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber aims to stay hot vs. Nationals

Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber will look to extend his six-game hitting streak on Saturday when the Philadelphia Phillies visit the Washington Nationals in the middle contest of their three-game series.

Schwarber, who played for the Nationals in 72 games in 2021, extended his hitting streak in Philadelphia’s 4-0 win Friday with a two-run single in the second inning. He is batting .333 (8-for-24) during his streak.

“You’re seeing good signs now, but I’ve just got to keep up the work and see what happens throughout the course of a year,” Schwarber said. “A year is such a long time, but it’s nice to see early results.”

Bryce Harper had two doubles and an RBI single against his former team, and J.T. Realmuto had two hits.

Aaron Nola and the bullpen combined for a two-hit shutout. Nola rebounded from a poor first start in which he gave up six runs on 11 hits in a 12-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves on March 30.

The Nationals have lost five of seven games thus far and need better performances from their starting pitchers. Washington starters have a 7.60 ERA and have allowed at least two runs in the first two innings in five games.

“We’ve got to try to limit those big innings early,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It definitely wears on you. You’re always trying to come back, do different things. Guys start pressing a little bit.”

Washington pitchers didn’t help their cause at all on Friday night by issuing nine walks.

Though the Nationals didn’t generate much offense, CJ Abrams extended his hitting streak to six games with a third-inning single. During the streak, Abrams is 9-for-24 with a triple, two home runs, five RBIs, three walks and three stolen bases.

Luis Garcia Jr. added his fifth double in five games, tied for the most in Nationals franchise history over six games to start a season.

Philadelphia left-hander Ranger Suarez (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will oppose Washington right-hander Jake Irvin (0-0, 5.40) on Saturday.

Suarez allowed three runs on three hits over five innings of a no-decision against the Braves on Sunday. He struck out seven and walked one.

“I kept the ball low and I got soft contact,” Suarez said through an interpreter. “That was the game plan; that was what I was looking for, and going five innings as well.”

Suarez is 6-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 14 games (seven starts) against Washington.

Irvin gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He struck out four and walked two. Irvin faced the minimum in the first two innings but faltered in the latter part of his outing.

“I just wasn’t in attack mode as much as I was in the first couple (innings),” Irvin said. “I’ve got to get back in there and make guys earn it.”

Irvin tossed six scoreless innings last August in a no-decision in his only previous start against the Phillies.

Phillies right-hander Taijuan Walker, on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder injury, is scheduled to throw two innings of batting practice on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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