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Apr 5, 2024 2:49 am

With offenses sputtering, Phillies, Nationals begin 3-game series

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It’s time for the Philadelphia Phillies to get going, but they’ll have to do it away from home.

After a season-opening 2-4 homestand, the Phillies head to Washington to face the Nationals in a three-game series beginning Friday night.

Philadelphia’s offense has sputtered during the first week of the season.

“It will come,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “I have all the confidence in the world, but we’re off to a little bit of a slow start.”

The Nationals have areas to address in the batter’s box as well. They’ve scored more than five runs only once so far.

“We’ve got to get our offense going,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We’ve got to start turning our offense over and drive in some runs.”

Phillies newcomer Whit Merrifield has struggled so far, going 2-for-14 with a pair of singles.

“There hasn’t been much yet,” Thomson said. “But again, I have full confidence in him.”

The Nationals lost two of three games in their first home series, which ended with Thursday’s 7-4 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Washington threatened to pull off the comeback, but that eventually stalled.

“We really chased some breaking balls,” Martinez said. “We’ve got to be patient. We had some opportunities. We just couldn’t get that big hit.”

Washington shortstop CJ Abrams had two hits, including his second home run of the season, in the loss.

“He’s hitting. It’s early,” Martinez said. “I still encourage him to take his walks. He has done really well.”

The Phillies and Nationals might have been bothered by weather-related delays and schedule adjustments in the early portion of their season. They’ll be looking for some continuity.

The Nationals placed outfielder Victor Robles on the 10-day injury list Thursday with an ailing left hamstring. It will take time for him to get back on the field, Martinez said.

Washington called up outfielder Jacob Young from Triple-A Rochester. Young went 0-for-4 in his regular-season debut.

The Phillies will start right-hander Aaron Nola (0-1, 12.46 ERA) on Friday trying to make amends for last weekend’s 4 1/3-inning stint against the Atlanta Braves, who tagged him for seven runs, six earned, and 11 hits.

This will be Nola’s 30th career start against Washington, his second-most starts against one opponent. He is 7-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 167 1/3 innings.

Left-hander Patrick Corbin (0-0, 8.31 ERA) goes to the mound for the Nationals. He allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings of his season debut against the Cincinnati Reds.

Corbin is 6-9 with a 4.74 ERA in 20 career starts against the Phillies, who have homered 20 times off him.

Last year in Washington, the Phillies and Nationals split six games.

–Field Level Media

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