video thumbnail

SD@ATL: Latos fans seven over six innings

Mat Latos has returned to his 2010 form during his last three starts.

The Nationals' starting rotation has been revived as well over the last two weeks.

Throw in the pitchers haven that is PETCO Park, and Friday's Nationals-Padres clash figures to be a pitchers' duel.

Latos, who has won each of his last three starts and is sporting a 2.37 ERA in that time, will face Washington's Jason Marquis. Marquis was given a five-game suspension for hitting Arizona's Justin Upton, but appealed it, making himself eligible to pitch on Friday.

He has the task of getting the Nationals, who have lost five of seven despite solid pitching, on the right track. In the first game of their four-game series on Thursday, the Nats dropped their second straight game, a 7-3 loss to the Padres.

Marquis has been the Nationals' most effective starter, at least in terms of wins and losses. He is 6-2 on the season with a 3.84 ERA, and had a shutout in the sixth inning of his last start when he was ejected for hitting Upton.

As well as Marquis has pitched, Latos has been hotter, recently.

The Alexandria, Va., native has owned the Nationals in the past, too, boasting a 3-0 record and a 1.93 ERA in his three games against Washington.

The Padres' righty has been a bright spot on a pitching staff that has fallen victim to a slew of injuries. For one night, at least, Latos is hoping to make Padres fans forget the banged up arms.

Padres: Pitching staff takes a beating
• Padres starter Dustin Moseley is still in limbo, with regards to a subluxation of his non-throwing shoulder that he suffered in his last start.

"We're going to wait a day or two to see really how this thing feels," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "It's really tough to make a determination on his next start, which will be Monday in Colorado. But we're going to give him every opportunity, see how it goes these next couple of days."

As for reliever Luke Gregerson, the diagnosis was a little clearer. Gregerson was placed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique he suffered while warming up in the bullpen. In his place, Evan Scribner was called up from Triple-A Tucson.

"That's a freak accident, a freak injury," Black said. "It's not the first time that's happened to a pitcher, but when it happens to you, it kind of buckles you a little bit. We feel we have some depth in our 'pen."

• In his Major League debut on Thursday, Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run scored. Rizzo tripled to center for his first big league hit in the bottom of the fifth, and came around to score later in the inning.

Nationals: Nats looking for wins in San Diego
• The Nationals haven't won a series in San Diego since the franchise was still in Montreal. The Expos knocked off the Padres in August of 2001.

It has been even longer since the franchise won back-to-back games in San Diego. That last occurred on Sept. 11-12 of 1999.

Worth noting
• In their last 10 meetings, the Nationals and Padres have played six one-run games. Eight of those games have been decided by two runs or less. By those standards, Thursday's 7-3 Padres victory was a blowout.

• The Nats enter Friday's game with little experience against Latos. No Nationals hitter has faced him more than five times. As a whole, Washington hitters are 5-for-21 (.239) against the Padres' righty.

MLB.com Comments