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09/02/09 3:00 AM ET

Nats need repeat performance by Lannan

Washington (46-87) at San Diego (58-76), 3:35 p.m. ET

SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals hope John Lannan can repeat the solid performance he delivered in his last outing as they look to stop a five-game losing streak and avoid a sweep by the San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon at PETCO Park.

Lannan yielded only two runs over eight innings in his previous turn in the rotation, and a similar effort could help his club salvage a win before heading home to face Florida on Friday.

At the same time, the offense could benefit from a turnaround after scoring just one run in each of the last three games.

It was more of the same on Tuesday night in terms of the results for the Nationals' hitters, although some nice defense by San Diego denied Ryan Zimmerman of a pair of hits.

The club got a decent outing from J.D. Martin, who allowed three runs -- two earned -- over six-plus innings, and interim manager Jim Riggleman said after the game that on most nights, that should be sufficient.

"If we pitch like that, we're usually going to win a ballgame," Riggleman said. "We've got a good offensive ballclub, we're just not showing it lately."

The Nationals would like to show that they're capable of more on offense, especially to break out of the rut that has prevented them from getting a win since Thursday in Chicago.

Pitching matchup
WSH: LHP John Lannan (8-9, 3.95 ERA)
The lefty returned to form against the Cardinals on Friday, giving up two runs in eight innings. But one of the runs was a big one, a solo homer by pinch-hitter Khalil Greene in the eighth that tied the game at 2. The Cardinals won the game in the bottom of the ninth and Lannan took a no-decision. He had given up 23 earned runs in his last 25 innings but dominated the Cardinals to the tune of 17 ground-ball outs. He kept the ball down and was cruising toward his third complete game of the season when he fell behind Greene, 3-1, and served up a fastball that barely reached the seats in left. Despite not getting the win, it looks like the dominating Lannan that the Nationals saw for much of the season has returned.

SD: RHP Kevin Correia (9-10, 4.50 ERA)
Friday's start against the Marlins wasn't Correia's best, but thanks in large part to a five-run cushion going into the bottom of the second, he picked up his team-leading ninth win. Over his past seven starts, Correia is 3-2 with a 3.58 ERA. He is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA in nine career games (two starts) against the Nationals.

Shortstop Cristian Guzman remained unavailable to play in the field on Tuesday night due to soreness in his foot, but he appeared as a pinch-hitter for the second straight game. Guzman is expected to rest the foot again on Wednesday, but he may return to the starting lineup on Friday in Washington. ... Tuesday's loss in San Diego meant the Nationals can at best earn a split with San Diego in the season series. ... Outfielder Justin Maxwell reached base once in his first game since getting a callup on Monday, earning a walk in the eighth.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WFED 1500, SBN 1390 (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Nationals (Craig Stammen, 4-7, 5.11) vs. Marlins (Sean West, 6-5, 4.22), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Nationals (Garrett Mock, 3-6, 5.01) vs. Marlins (Josh Johnson, 13-4, 3.08), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.