Tonight in MLB: Giants take on struggling Nationals

Tonight in MLB: Giants take on struggling Nationals
May 21, 2013, 2:00 pm
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The Phillies on Monday failed once again to provide Cole Hamels with run support and dropped another game to the Marlins (see story). They also lost three players to injuries: Carlos Ruiz, Mike Adams and Ryan Howard (see story).

Tonight, the Phillies will try to improve their luck against the Marlins with Tyler Cloyd on the mound. Right-hander Jose Fernandez will take the mound for Miami.

Fernandez is familiar with the Phillies, having dazzled them in seven, shutout innings of one-hit baseball on May 4.

Here's a look at some of Tuesday's MLB action:

Nationals at Giants, 10:15 p.m.
While their numbers aren't what they've been in the past, Stephen Strasburg and Matt Cain have put their lengthy win droughts behind them.

Strasburg looks to win consecutive starts for the first time and help the Washington Nationals avoid matching a season-high losing streak Tuesday night against a San Francisco Giants team that has won four straight with Cain on the mound.

Despite a rough outing by Zach Duke in an 8-0 loss in the series opener Monday, Washington starters have one of the lowest ERAs in the majors in May at 2.99.

It's been a much different story offensively for the Nationals (23-22), who are averaging 2.7 runs and hitting .201 while losing seven of 10.

They totaled just 13 runs for Strasburg (2-5, 2.83 ERA) during his career-worst streak of seven consecutive starts without a win that finally ended Thursday (see full preview)

-The Associated Press

Reds at Mets, 7:10 p.m.

Jay Bruce is on a tear, and his recent results against the New York Mets could be described the same way.

A day after his home run proved to be the difference, Bruce looks to continue pounding the Mets as the Cincinnati Reds attempt to extend their dominance at Citi Field on Tuesday night.

Bruce, a career .257 hitter, is on an 11-game hitting streak. The right fielder owns a .400 average with five homers, seven doubles and 14 RBIs in that stretch.

He's also approaching his career-high 13-game hit streak set as a rookie July 27-Aug. 9, 2008 (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Twins at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
The Atlanta Braves finally played a game in which they didn't have to rally to win. If Tim Hudson can't put an end to his recent struggles, they may find themselves needing to overcome a deficit yet again.

Hudson will try to avoid losing three consecutive starts for the first time in three seasons as the Braves go for a fifth straight victory Tuesday night against the slumping Minnesota Twins.

Losers of four in a row to AL teams heading into this three-game series, the Braves (26-18) defeated the Twins 5-1 on Monday in the clubs' first meeting in Atlanta since the 1991 World Series.

Sparked by Dan Uggla's three-run homer, the Braves scored four times in the first inning to snap a string of 11 consecutive games in which they allowed the first run.

Atlanta will now try to extend its season-best five-game home winning streak with Hudson (4-3, 5.12 ERA) trying to win his fourth consecutive start at Turner Field. The right-hander, though, has lost his last two outings, yielding 11 runs in 8 2-3 innings (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

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