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Washington Nationals (31-19) at San Francisco Giants (22-31)
Tuesday, May 30 - 10:15 PM EST
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
Tension will fill the ballpark on Tuesday when the Washington Nationals visit the San Francisco Giants in the middle contest of a three-game set. Washington won the opener 3-0 in a Memorial Day contest in which Nationals star Bryce Harper charged the mound after Giants reliever Hunter Strickland plunked him in the right hip with a pitch in the eighth inning.
Harper launched two mammoth long-distance homers off Strickland in the 2014 postseason and Monday's at-bat marked the first time they faced one another since those blasts. "It is so in the past that it is not even relevant anymore," Harper told reporters afterward. "They won the World Series that year. I don't think he should he thinking about what happened in the first round. He should be thinking about wearing that ring home every single night. I don't know why he did it." Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-4 with a homer on Monday and is 6-for-11 over the past three games to raise his average to .374 - second in the National League. The struggling Giants have dropped five of their last seven contests and are 11 games behind the first-place Colorado Rockies in the NL West.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN, MASN2 (Washington), NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 2.90 ERA) vs. Giants RH Jeff Samardzija (1-6, 4.50)
Gonzalez is winless in five May starts and has pitched six innings or fewer in four of the outings while compiling a 4.40 ERA for the month. The 31-year-old received a no-decision against the Seattle Mariners in his last turn when he struck out eight and gave up two runs and three hits over 5 1/3 innings. Gonzalez is 4-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants and has struggled with Aaron Hill (8-for-21).
Samardzija lost to the Chicago Cubs in his last turn when he allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings. The 32-year-old has struck out at least eight in each of his past five turns, totaling 44 in 36 2/3 innings during the stretch. Samardzija is 2-5 with a 3.83 ERA in 14 career appearances (seven starts) against the Nationals and has dominated Zimmerman (1-for-19).
1. Giants UTIL Eduardo Nunez (concussion) sat out Monday one day after being injured.
2. Washington INF Stephen Drew (hamstring) was activated from the disabled list and LHP Matt Grace was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
3. San Francisco 2B Joe Panik is mired in a 1-for-22 drought.
PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Giants 3