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RHP Drew Storen saw his ERA balloon to 5.40 after allowing three earned runs Wednesday, and the reliever could be a candidate to be sent down to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for RHP Ryan Mattheus, who is scheduled to come off the disabled list. Storen has 14 holds this season.
2B Steve Lombardozzi had a big day Thursday, as the utility man went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored, in addition to making several sparkling plays in the field to keep the Pirates off the board. Lombardozzi, in limited play, is now hitting .379 in his last 17 games.
RHP Rafael Soriano had another rough outing in a non-save situation, giving up two runs in the ninth inning when handed a four-run lead. Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr, acting as manager, moved quickly and pulled the veteran. "He wasn't throwing the ball over the plate," Knorr said. "If he didn't want to be in the mode to shut the game down, I'll bring somebody else in."
OF Jayson Werth had been one of the Nationals' most productive hitters, carrying a .322 average and 11 homers in the 43 games since he's come off the disabled list June 4. But Thursday was a tough one for the veteran, as he struck out three times, once with the bases loaded and twice looking.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann looks to end a two-game winning streak and erase the memory of his worst start of the season, a two-inning nightmare against the Dodgers on July 21 in which he was shelled for seven runs. But he has allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of 13 starts against New York, whom he's 3-3 against in his career.
RHP Tyler Clippard extended his streak of scoreless innings to 13 with a 1-2-3 eighth inning Thursday. Clippard's run is the longest by any Nationals relief pitcher this season.
RHP Ross Ohlendorf will make another spot start for Washington in Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader. It will be his first start since June 12, when he earned the win in his Nationals debut against Colorado. Ohlendorf has appeared in four games against the Mets, with no record and an ERA of 18.00.
SS Ian Desmond was back in the lineup Thursday, and he went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. He sat out Wednesday due to a blister on his left hand.