Tonight in MLB: LaRoche looks to stay hot for Nats

Tonight in MLB: LaRoche looks to stay hot for Nats
May 18, 2013, 11:15 am
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The Phillies saw a familiar face -- Jonathan Broxton -- in the eighth inning and scored two runs with him on the hill in a 5-3 win over the Reds on Friday (see story).

Also, Charlie Manuel believes it's time for the Phillies to simply "shut up and play" to prove they can still win with this core (see story).

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

Nationals at Padres, 8:40 p.m.
If Adam LaRoche can keep up his production at Petco Park, Jordan Zimmermann might have an easier time taking over the major league lead in wins.

LaRoche looks to stay hot in support of Zimmerman, who goes for his eighth victory Saturday night when the Washington Nationals try for three in a row against the San Diego Padres.

After LaRoche hit two more home runs in San Diego on Friday, Chad Tracy's pinch-hit solo shot in the 10th inning proved to be the decisive blow in a 6-5 victory over the Padres (18-23).

After dropping two of three in Los Angeles, Washington (23-19) has won two in a row at Petco Park to move above .500 on its 10-game road trip.

LaRoche has keyed the team's success against the Padres, going 3 for 7 with three homers and six RBIs in the first two games of this four-game series.

He's hitting .407 (11 for 27) with eight extra-base hits and eight RBIs in his last seven visits to Petco. His 10 career homers in San Diego are his most in a city where he hasn't played for that team, and he's driven in 28 runs in 34 games there.

The left-handed slugger has homered in three straight games and is batting .396 with 11 RBIs during a 14-game hitting streak overall (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Dodgers at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
Perhaps a little time at home was all the Atlanta Braves needed to emerge from their recent slump.

One night after rallying for a victory, the Braves look to squeeze another win from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field on Saturday night.

Atlanta, which played 26 of 34 on the road before starting this three-game set, came home having lost five of six to end a 10-game trip. The Braves hit .210 and scored just 2.8 runs per game over that six-game stretch.

They've been much better at home, improving to 10-5 there with an 8-5 win over the Dodgers on Friday. Atlanta scored six times over the sixth and seven innings to erase a two-run deficit.

The Braves, at long last, have all of their top hitters available. Right fielder Jason Heyward reached base three times and scored twice in his return from an emergency appendectomy. It marked his first action since April 20, after which he hit the disabled list with a paltry .121 batting average (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Diamondbacks at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
It turns out a trip to Miami may have been just what the Arizona Diamondbacks needed to heat up their bats.

Nothing seems to be doing that for the Marlins.

Arizona looks to build on one of its best offensive performances of the year and extend light-hitting Miami's losing streak to seven Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks (24-18) tied a season high with three home runs in a 9-2 victory in Miami on Friday night. Their nine runs and 16 hits were both one shy of season highs.

"I just hope we can do this more often," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It would sure help our pitching staff."

Gibson's team had only three homers over the previous seven games while scoring 16 runs (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

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