Tonight in MLB: Strasburg, Nats try to extend streak

Tonight in MLB: Strasburg, Nats try to extend streak
May 11, 2013, 11:00 am
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Tyler Cloyd made his 2013 big-league debut Friday night and was just the latest Phillies pitcher to deal with little run support in a 3-2 loss to Arizona (see story).

Meanwhile, Roy Halladay apologized to Phils fans for making his last start despite feeling discomfort in his throwing shoulder (see story).

Now, here's a look at a few MLB games to keep an eye on on Saturday:

Cubs at Nationals, 4:05 p.m.
With recent injury concerns seemingly behind him, Stephen Strasburg hopes to avoid matching the longest winless stretch of his career.

Strasburg looks to win for the first time since opening day and help extend the Washington Nationals' season-high winning streak Saturday when they host the Chicago Cubs.

After firing seven shutout innings to beat Miami on April 1, the ace right-hander has gone 0-4 with a 4.10 ERA over his last six starts.

The Nationals (20-15) had dropped five straight with Strasburg (1-4, 3.45 ERA) starting before a 5-4 win at Pittsburgh on Saturday, when he struck out eight and allowed four runs over seven innings.

Strasburg showed no signs of discomfort after general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed he was experiencing some irritation in his right forearm following a start against Atlanta on April 29 (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Braves at Giants, 4:05 p.m.
The addition of Marco Scutaro last season was a big reason the San Francisco Giants went on to win their second World Series in three years.

He's now keying their recent surge.

Scutaro looks to continue his offensive barrage as the Giants go for a second straight win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

San Francisco (21-15) acquired Scutaro from Colorado for fellow second baseman Charlie Culberson on July 27, a seemingly innocuous move to bolster the infield.

Instead, the journeyman proceeded to become one of the Giants' best hitters, batting .362 with 44 RBIs and 40 runs in 61 regular-season games. He followed that up with a .328 average in the postseason, being named MVP of the NL championship series (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Brewers at Reds, 4:10 p.m.
The Cincinnati Reds are off to their best home start in 19 years.

Giving the ball to Mat Latos is likely to keep it that way.

Latos looks to become the first Reds pitcher in nine years to win eight straight decisions Saturday in a matchup with the struggling Milwaukee Brewers.

Cincinnati (20-16) is proving to be much better at home than on the road, winning a major league-best 14 times on its own field against six losses. It's the Reds' best start to their home schedule since going 15-5 at Riverfront Stadium in 1994.

They won again at home Friday, opening this series with a 4-3 win over Milwaukee (15-18), beating the NL Central rival for the eighth time in 10 home meetings (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Angels at White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
After persevering to post consecutive victories for the first time in almost three weeks, the Los Angeles Angels are feeling confident.

The visiting Angels look to match a season high with their third straight win Saturday night against the Chicago White Sox.

One day after Los Angeles (13-22) rallied from two down to score three times in the eighth inning for a 6-5 win at Houston, it overcame blowing a four-run lead to win 7-5 at Chicago on Friday. The Angels have not won consecutive contests since sweeping a three-game set against Detroit from April 19-21 (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Rangers at Astros, 7:10 p.m.
After dominating the Houston Astros to open his second major league season, Yu Darvish continues to pitch well for the Texas Rangers.

The right-hander looks to maintain his strong start when the visiting Rangers face the lowly Astros on Saturday night.

An All-Star and 16-game winner in 2012 during his first season after leaving Japan, Darvish (5-1, 2.56 ERA) came one out away from a perfect game in a 7-0 win at Houston on April 2. Marwin Gonzalez grounded a clean single through the pitcher's legs and into center field to keep Darvish from making history. He struck out 14 and allowed only that hit in 8 2-3 innings (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

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