Tonight in MLB: Detwiler returns for Nationals

Tonight in MLB: Detwiler returns for Nationals
June 13, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Ross Detwiler is making his first start since straining a back muscle on May 15. (USA Today Images)

CSNPhilly.com/AP

The Phillies dropped their fifth straight loss Wednesday night to the Twins. The loss was aided by a perfect storm of misfortune for the Phillies (see story).

Cliff Lee (7-2, 2.55) looks to break the streak against Minnesota. The Twins will counter with Kevin Correia (5-4, 4.11).

Here's a look around Major League Baseball:

Nationals at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
The Washington Nationals are about to get a boost from the expected return of two key members of their starting rotation.

Ross Detwiler will be the first to come off the disabled list and try to help the Nationals win their first road series in more than a month Thursday against the Colorado Rockies.

With Detwiler (2-4, 2.76 ERA) set to make his first start since straining a back muscle May 15 and star Stephen Strasburg expected back from a lat strain Sunday at Cleveland, Washington (32-32) has reason to feel optimistic.

Detwiler, who allowed one run in 3 2-3 innings during a rehab appearance with Class-A Potomac on Saturday, plans to wait to give a fair assessment of his recovery.

He'll try to help the Nationals build on a 5-1 victory over Colorado (35-31) on Wednesday and win a series on the road for the first time since taking two of three at Pittsburgh from May 3-5. Ross Ohlendorf threw six strong innings in his Washington debut, and Ian Desmond had three RBIs as the Nationals notched their third win in 12 road games (see full preview).

Giants at Pirates, 7:05 p.m.

It's been over five years since the Pittsburgh Pirates have swept the San Francisco Giants.

It's been just over one year since Charlie Morton last pitched in the majors.

Morton takes the mound opposite Matt Cain as the Pirates host the Giants in Thursday night's finale.

After taking Tuesday's opener 8-2 behind an impressive effort from prized pitching prospect Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh's bats led the way Wednesday in a 12-8 victory. Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer, Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez - the top four hitters in the batting order - went a combined 13 for 19 with eight runs while Neil Walker added a homer and three RBIs. Alex Presley also went deep.

Seeking a fifth consecutive win in the series and its first sweep of San Francisco since May 6-8, 2008, the Pirates (39-26) turn to Morton. After undergoing Tommy John surgery last June 14, Morton is looking forward to getting back on the field.

"You can't escape emotion," he told MLB's official website. "I'm going to be nervous. I'm going to be excited, emotions that anyone would feel (see full preview)."

Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m.

The Boston Red Sox are trying to create some separation atop the AL East.

The Baltimore Orioles would like to further tighten the crowded race.

Mike Carp will try to continue his offensive surge as the Red Sox open a four-game series with the Orioles at Camden Yards on Thursday night.

Boston (41-26) leads the division, which has Baltimore (37-29), New York and Tampa Bay within five games of first.

The Orioles are third, 3 1/2 games behind the Red Sox, who took two of three from the Rays following Wednesday's 2-1 victory.

Despite scoring five runs with 13 hits - 12 singles - over the last two games, the Red Sox are hitting .303 with 24 homers while averaging 6.3 runs during a 13-6 stretch (see full preview).

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