Washington Nationals (76-57) at Seattle Mariners (72-61)
Saturday, August 30 - 9:10 PM EST
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
Pitching on the road hasn’t been a strong suit of this season for Stephen Strasburg, who looks to turn that around when the Washington Nationals visit the Seattle Mariners on Saturday. The Washington right-hander is just 2-8 with a 4.77 ERA and 1.37 WHIP on the road despite defeating the New York Mets in his last away outing Aug. 14. The Nationals made themselves at home in Seattle in the series opener by smashing a season-best six homers in Friday’s 8-3 victory.
Wilson Ramos went deep twice and Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth hit one homer apiece as Washington hit six homers for the first time since late in the 2012 season while maintaining its six-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. Four of the homers came against Felix Hernandez – the most the Seattle ace has ever allowed – and Rendon went 4-for-4 with two runs scored to bump his total to nine over the past seven games. Seattle is just 1-3 to start its six-game homestand and fell one game behind the Detroit Tigers for the AL’s second wild card with Friday’s loss.
TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (10-10, 3.59 ERA) vs. Mariners LH Roenis Elias (9-11, 4.01)
Strasburg’s road numbers are sharply worse than his home stats – 8-2 record, 2.66 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He lasted just four innings in his last outing – which was at home – but wasn’t part of the decision after allowing five runs and eight hits against the San Francisco Giants. Strasburg is just 18-19 in 58 starts since the beginning of the 2013 campaign.
Elias was moved up to Saturday and Chris Young was pushed back to Monday. He has lost each of his last two starts and has walked 10 in nine innings during the stretch. Elias is 4-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 home starts this season.
1. The Mariners have allowed 20 runs, 25 hits and eight homers in their last two games – the first being a 12-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.
2. Desmond, who reached a career high with his 81st RBI on Friday, is 9-for-22 with two homers over the last five games.
3. Seattle 1B Logan Morrison is 0-for-11 with six strikeouts over the last three games.
PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Mariners 3