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Blue Jays-Nationals Preview

Jun 21, 2009 - 5:06 AM By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer

Toronto (37-32) at Washington (19-46), 1:35 p.m. EDT

Another solid performance from the Washington Nationals' pitching staff helped Willie Harris become the latest hero for the suddenly surging team.

The Nationals enter Sunday's finale of a three-game set against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays searching for a season-high fifth straight victory and first series sweep this season.

Harris' two-run homer in the 12th inning Saturday lifted Washington to a 5-3 victory. That came one night after Adam Dunn's bases-loaded single led the Nationals (20-46) to a 2-1 win in 11 innings.

The Nats started their streak by taking the final two games of a series against the Yankees in New York.

"We really feel like we can win every game," said Harris, who had two hits for the third time this season and scored twice on Saturday. "When you're losing ballgames, you get a gut feeling you're going to lose a game somehow. Things are going well for us now."

Before Harris' heroics, rookie left-hander Ross Detwiler pitched seven strong innings and exited with a 3-2 lead that veteran Kip Wells couldn't protect. However, four other pitchers combined to allow two hits after that.

The Nationals, on their longest winning streak since taking seven straight from Aug. 26-Sept. 1, have posted a 1.32 ERA in their four wins and seen their team mark drop from 5.33 to 5.05.

After scoring 23 runs and batting .333 in a three-game sweep at defending World Series champion Philadelphia earlier this week, Toronto (37-33) has hit .190 while scoring four runs in the first two contests in Washington.

"(Washington) pitched as well as we have," said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who marked the one-year anniversary of his return to the team Saturday. "They've just managed to outscore us. ... In baseball you don't stay hot all the time."

Vernon Wells, however, ended his the longest homerless drought of his career at 160 at-bats with a solo shot off Detwiler, and is 9 for 26 (.346) in his last five games following an 0-for-16 slump.

Scott Rolen, who had the tying RBI single in the eighth, has batted .455 (20 for 44) during a 10-game hitting streak, and is hitting a team-high .326 overall.

Washington rookie Shairon Martis (5-1, 4.76 ERA) will be looking for his first victory since May 13. After winning five of his first seven starts, Martis has come up empty in his last six outings despite a recent run of solid performances.

The right-hander has a 2.00 ERA in his three starts this month, but has received four runs of support.

The Blue Jays will counter with fellow rookie Ricky Romero (3-3, 3.73), who has showed signs of improvement after struggling earlier in his return from a strained right oblique.

After winning two of his first three major league starts, the left-hander missed more than a month before coming back May 26. He posted a 9.64 ERA while losing both his May starts, but is 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA in three this month.

The Nationals, whose previous series sweep was at home from Aug. 29-31 against Atlanta, have never swept the Blue Jays since moving from Montreal in 2005. The only sweep of Toronto in franchise history was from June 14-16, 2002, at Olympic Stadium.






  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4  FinalJun 22 6:03 AM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4  FinalJun 22 1:54 AM


  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 13 0
    WASHINGTON 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - RICKY ROMERO, JEREMY ACCARDO (8TH), BRANDON LEAGUE (8TH),
    JESSE CARLSON (9TH), JASON FRASOR (9TH) AND ROD BARAJAS
    WAS - SHAIRON MARTIS, JESUS COLOME (6TH), KI

    Jun 21 4:44 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM DUNN SCORED JOSH WILLINGHAM.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A DUNN ON FIRST, C GUZMAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 9
    WASHINGTON 4 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J HANRAHAN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 21 4:37 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH WILLINGHAM SCORED JOSH BARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J WILLINGHAM ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 9
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.331, 1-FOR-4)

    Blue Jays 9, Nationals 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 21 4:31 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LYLE OVERBAY SCORED ADAM LIND AND ALEX RIOS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, L OVERBAY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 9
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R BARAJAS (.270, 0-FOR-4)

    Blue Jays 9, Nationals 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 21 4:24 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED SCOTT ROLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON SECOND, A LIND ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 7
    WASHINGTON 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.277, 2-FOR-4, HR, 3 RBI)

    Blue Jays 7, Nationals 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 21 4:22 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LYLE OVERBAY (9) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF SHAIRON MARTIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6, WASHINGTON 2
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R BARAJAS (.274, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays 6, Nationals 2  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 21 2:28 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSH BARD SCORED ALBERTO GONZALEZ AND WILLIE
    HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BARD ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: S MARTIS (.217, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Blue Jays 5, Nationals 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 21 2:22 PM


  • ML
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V WELLS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: S ROLEN (.329, 1-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays 5, Nationals 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 21 2:11 PM


  • ML
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 4 4 4 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - RICKY ROMERO
    WAS - SHAIRON MARTIS

    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.332, 3 HR, 15 RBI)
    N JOHNSON (.318, 5 HR, 33 RBI)
    R ZIMMERMAN (.299, 12 HR,

    Blue Jays 4, Nationals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 21 1:51 PM