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Venue: Rogers Centre
Date: May 25, 2013 1:07 PM EDT
Rogers Centre has long been known as a launching pad.
The Baltimore Orioles can attest to that.
Baltimore looks to continue its home-run barrage Saturday afternoon against R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Orioles (26-22) took over the major league lead in home runs with a season-high four in Friday's 10-6 victory. They have hit at least three homers in four straight games - going deep 13 times during that span - and have multiple home-run contests in seven of the last nine.
"When we got a ball over the plate, it seemed like we didn't miss it,' said right fielder Nick Markakis, who is batting .375 (15 for 40) in a nine-game hitting streak.
No Oriole has been more responsible for the power surge than Chris Davis, who hit his major league-leading 16th Friday. He's homered in three straight games and five of seven.
Adam Jones has homered in consecutive games, while J.J. Hardy had the biggest blow Friday with a three-run shot in the first inning that gave the Orioles a lead they would never relinquish.
Manny Machado was unable to join the home-run party but did collect three hits for a franchise-record fifth consecutive road game. He's batting .524 (11 for 21) against the Blue Jays (20-28) this season.
The stage may well be set for a few more home runs with Dickey (4-5, 4.50 ERA) taking the mound for the Blue Jays. The right-hander has surrendered nine home runs this season, though he has stymied Baltimore's biggest bats in the past. Davis is 3 for 12 against the knuckleballer with four strikeouts, Hardy is 1 for 9 and Jones 1 for 9 with three strikeouts.
Additionally, Dickey has pitched much better of late for Toronto. Since Seattle roughed him up for seven runs in six innings May 4, he has posted a 2.70 ERA over his last three starts, striking out 20 in 20 innings.
Dickey produced his longest start of the season in a 7-5 win over Tampa Bay on Monday, yielding three runs and four hits in eight innings.
"I've felt like I've been stuck in a quagmire for the last week, two weeks,' Dickey said. "So it's nice to feel like you've got at least one foot out of it."
The Blue Jays have rewarded Dickey with enhanced run support. After spotting him 12 runs in his first seven starts, they've provided Dickey with 20 over his last three.
Toronto, meanwhile, would do well to get to Baltimore's bullpen, which has posted a 7.71 ERA over the last 10 games. That group has surrendered seven home runs, 21 walks and a .317 average to opposing hitters during that span.
Looking to ward off the bullpen for as long as possible is Freddy Garcia (0-2, 4.84), who rebounded from his worst outing of the season with an improved showing Monday against the Yankees.
After allowing four runs and seven hits over 3 2-3 innings in an 8-4 loss to San Diego, the veteran right-hander limited New York to two runs and three hits in six innings before leaving without a decision in a 6-4 loss.
Garcia is 8-8 with a 5.90 ERA in 19 starts against the Blue Jays. He did, however, end a five-start losing streak at Toronto in a 10-4 win for the Yankees on Aug. 10.
Jose Bautista is 5 for 11 with two homers against Garcia, while Adam Lind is 4 for 8 with a pair of home runs.
Venue: Fenway Park
Date: May 25, 2013 1:35 PM EDT
Jon Lester has always pitched well against the Cleveland Indians. More recently, he has come to excel at Fenway Park.
On Saturday afternoon, he'll have a chance to put the two together as he looks to propel the Boston Red Sox to a second straight victory.
Lester (6-1, 3.15 ERA), making his first home start against the Indians (27-20) since August 4, 2010, has been dominant at Progressive Field. He is 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA versus Cleveland since the 2011 season, striking out 33 in 26 innings. That includes a start on April 18, in which he surrendered two runs and four hits over seven innings of a 6-3 victory.
The left-hander has also seemingly solved last season's woes at Fenway. In 2012, he posted a 6.31 ERA at home, as opponents hit .302 off of him. This season, he has recorded a 1.66 ERA in Boston, allowing 12 hits over 21 2-3 innings. In his last home start, he retired the first 17 hitters before ultimately finishing with a one-hitter in a 5-0 win over Toronto.
"My job was easy. I put the glove there and he hit it,' catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "I don't think whoever we were facing could have hit him.'
Lester wasn't so good in his last start, however, as he gave up six runs in six innings of a 6-4 defeat to the Chicago White Sox on Monday. After winning Lester's first five starts of the season, Boston has won just two of his last five.
Lester will face a familiar foe in Cleveland's Nick Swisher, who has 15 hits off him in 49 career at_bats. Only Derek Jeter has more hits off the Boston lefty. Swisher will look to provide some pop for an Indians offense that has two home runs in its last four games after hitting 10 during a five-game winning streak.
After batting .203 with six extra-base hits while losing three of four, Boston (29-20) scored eight runs Friday for its highest total since last Saturday.
That offense came in spite of the absence of Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino, who were both placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. Mike Carp provided the biggest hit with a three-run homer in the second inning, breaking an 0-for-21 slump.
"It definitely means a lot,' Carp said. ``I've been struggling for playing time and to have a big at bat like that it builds confidence heading into the next couple days.'
The Red Sox will look to keep up their momentum against struggling Scott Kazmir (2-2, 6.35), who has posted a 10.13 ERA over his last two starts.
He lasted a season-low three-plus innings against Seattle on Monday, yielding five runs and seven hits but escaped without a decision in a wild 10-8 win.
"The last two just didn't really go my way," Kazmir told the Indians' official website. "I never really got into a groove."
Kazmir has plenty of experience against Boston. His 139 2-3 innings against the Red Sox are by far his most against any team. He has a 4.06 lifetime ERA versus Boston.
The left-hander has handled David Ortiz (10 for 46) but Dustin Pedroia is 17 for 33 (.515) in their matchups.
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: May 25, 2013 2:10 PM EDT
Paced by the hot-hitting Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels are in the midst of their most successful stretch of the season.
The visiting Angels look to extend their season-high winning streak to seven games Saturday against the struggling Kansas City Royals.
Trout recorded his fourth straight multi-hit game and Jason Vargas pitched 7 1-2 strong innings in a 5-2 win at Kansas City on Friday. After underachieving out of the gate for the second straight season, the high-priced Angels (21-27) have averaged 5.5 runs while winning 10 of 15.
"You don't want to bank on extended streaks, but you do want to get on a roll,' said Trout, 10 for 17 in the last four games.
Trout has batted .372 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in his last 23 contests. He's hit .366 in 11 career games against the Royals (21-24), who have dropped seven of eight since winning two of three at Los Angeles from May 13-15.
"I don't feel like we're pressing,' Kansas City slugger Billy Butler said. "I just don't feel like we're catching breaks here-and-there."
Trout was one of four Angels to homer off Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie (5-2, 3.49 ERA) in a 6-2 win May 14. Guthrie yielded five runs in seven innings before giving up six over five innings of a 6-5 loss at Houston on Monday.
The right-hander allowed 13 runs while going 5-0 in his first seven starts of 2013, and was 10-0 with a 2.21 ERA over 18 before the loss to Los Angeles.
"(Against the Angels), I was a lot more frustrated, a little bit out of whack," he told the Royals' official website. "(On Monday) I felt pretty decent. I wasn't able to keep us in it."
Josh Hamilton homered off Guthrie last week and is batting .320 with three home runs and two doubles against him.
Kansas City has lost 14 of 18, but hopes to get back on track against ex-Royal Billy Buckner. With Tommy Hanson on the restricted list, Buckner makes his Angels debut and first major league appearance since 2010 with Arizona.
The right-hander was recalled May 16 from Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he went 4-3 with a 4.56 ERA in eight starts. He will be the 21st pitcher used by Los Angeles this year - eight shy of the club record for a season.
"He'll go as long and as hard as he can," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think he'll be fine."
Buckner is 5-11 with a 6.63 ERA in 21 career starts, including 1-2 with a 6.49 ERA in five as a rookie for Kansas City in 2007.
With a home run Friday on the eve of his 39th birthday, Kansas City's Miguel Tejada is 10 for 31 with two homers and seven RBIs in 14 games this season.
Butler is 6 for 29 (.207) with one RBI in eight games since he went 8 for 13 with a homer and nine RBIs in the road set against the Angels.
Venue: Comerica Park
Date: May 25, 2013 4:08 PM EDT
After Joe Mauer's single saved them from being no-hit, the Minnesota Twins aren't likely to have it much easier against Doug Fister at Comerica Park.
The free-falling Twins will try to avoid their 11th straight defeat Saturday when Fister looks to continue his outstanding pitching at home for the Detroit Tigers.
Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the ninth inning Friday before Mauer broke it up with a one-out single. That was the only hit the right-hander allowed in the Tigers' 6-0 victory.
"In the end, it's the result of my work. I try to figure out, to put my ball in the strike zone,' Sanchez said. "It's a nice result, and I take it.'
Behind Sanchez and a red-hot offense, Detroit (27-19) won its fourth in a row and leapfrogged Cleveland to reclaim first place in the AL Central.
The Tigers now look to take the first three in this four-game series with Fister (5-1, 3.62 ERA) on the mound.
While Fister has given up 10 runs and 17 hits over 7 2-3 innings in his last two road starts, he's 9-1 with a 2.94 ERA at home dating back to July, and has a 3.00 ERA while winning each of his four starts there this season.
The right-hander is 3-6 with a 3.13 ERA lifetime against Minnesota (18-27), though he hasn't given up an earned run over 17 innings in consecutive victories. He struck out seven and scattered seven hits in a complete-game 8-0 victory over the Twins at Comerica Park on Sept. 22.
This time, Fister faces a Minnesota team that has totaled 28 runs while hitting .219 during its longest skid since an 11-game slide Sept. 9-21, 2011.
"The ball isn't bouncing our way very well," Mauer said. "You just have to stay positive."
Mauer has been a bright spot, hitting .418 over his last 16 games, though he's 4 for 23 (.174) against Fister.
The All-Star catcher hasn't been able to get the most out of the Twins' starters, who have an 8.16 ERA while allowing 80 hits - including 12 homers - in 46 1-3 innings during the losing streak.
Scheduled starter P.J. Walters hopes to end that troubling trend as he makes his first major league appearance since September.
The right-hander went 2-5 with a 5.69 ERA in 12 starts last season, and he's 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA in four career outings against the Tigers.
Walters, who had a 3.31 ERA over 54 1-3 innings in nine starts at Triple-A Rochester this season, allowed two runs and four hits over five innings in a 6-4 loss to the Tigers in his last big league start Sept. 29.
Prince Fielder took Walters deep in that meeting and has five hits, including a pair of homers, in eight career at_bats in this matchup.
Andy Dirks is 7 for 17 with a homer in his last four games and may be able to stay hot since he's 3 for 7 with a home run off Walters.
Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 10 games with two-run single in the second inning Friday. The reigning AL MVP is 10 for 19 with six homers and 15 RBIs over his last five games. He leads the majors with a .388 average and 57 RBIs.
The Tigers are hitting .345 with 29 runs during their four-game winning streak, one shy of a season high.
Venue: AT&T Park
Date: May 25, 2013 4:05 PM EDT
Michael Cuddyer welcomed himself back to the Colorado Rockies' lineup with a big performance just in time to help the club end a nine-game road losing streak against the San Francisco Giants.
Now, he'll try to help Colorado win for the seventh time in eight tries while extending its winning steak over San Francisco to five on Saturday.
Cuddyer was hitting .319 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs when he went on the disabled list May 12 with an inflamed cervical disk.
In his first at-bat since May 8, the outfielder hit a two-run double in the first inning before adding a solo homer in the sixth to help the Rockies (27-21) earn a 5-0 win in Friday's series opener.
"Being able to go out there and help us get the win was nice," Cuddyer said. "I felt comfortable in the box. In the grand scheme of things I really didn't miss that much time.'
Colorado has a chance to win five straight over its NL West rival for the first time since 2002.
``They've dominated us every time here,' said Carlos Gonzalez, who homered for the second straight game. ``That gives us a lot of confidence when you can win a series against a team that won the championship a couple of times the last few years.'
Cuddyer, though, is just 2 for 14 lifetime off Barry Zito, who will get the start for the Giants (26-22) as they hope to avoid an eighth loss in 11 contests.
Zito (3-3, 3.91 ERA) allowed one earned run or none in six of his first seven starts, but he surrendered eight runs - five earned - and 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 10-6 loss to Toronto on May 14 before giving up five runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 frames of Sunday's 5-0 defeat at Colorado.
``Yeah, I've given up quite a few hits the last couple of games,' Zito said. ``It doesn't feel good to be allowing all those baserunners."
The left-hander, though, had one of his better outings the first time he faced the Rockies on April 10, yielding seven hits in seven innings of a 10-0 home victory. Zito had gone 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts versus Colorado before this week's defeat.
Juan Nicasio (4-1, 4.47) opposed Zito on Sunday and had his best outing of the season, giving up three hits in six innings. He also ended a six-start streak of allowing at least one home run.
With starter Jeff Francis hoping to return from injury soon, Nicasio may be fighting for his spot in the rotation.
"I (don't) have pressure,' he said. ``When I go to pitch, I'm focused. I want to do my job, throw strikes.'
The right-hander also faced the Giants on April 9, giving up four runs and walking five in five innings of Colorado's 9-6 defeat.
Nicasio will face a San Francisco lineup that has totaled one run and 10 hits over the last two games. Marco Scutaro is 0 for 7 in those contests after batting .481 during a 19-game hitting streak.
Scutaro, who played 95 games for the Rockies before being dealt to the Giants on July 28, is hitting .412 against his former team in 20 games since the trade despite going 0 for 4 on Friday.
Buster Posey went 1 for 3 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He's hitting .471 with six homers in his last 19 versus the Rockies.
Venue: Miller Park
Date: May 25, 2013 4:10 PM EDT
No matter how poorly the Milwaukee Brewers have played this month, they continue to fare well against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home.
Looking to win consecutive games for the first time in May, the Brewers hope to continue that home success against the Pirates on Saturday.
Milwaukee (19-27) is 5-16 in May and has not won back-to-back contests since April 29-30 at home against Pittsburgh. However, with Friday's 2-1 victory, the Brewers have won three of four against the Pirates at Miller Park this season and seven of the last eight there.
Since the start of the 2007 season, Milwaukee is 47-8 versus Pittsburgh (29-19) at home.
Alex Gonzalez had a two-run double in the second and Marco Estrada pitched seven strong innings to help the Brewers snap the Pirates' four-game winning streak.
"That was big. It was a good pitch and Alex went down and got it. It was smart hitting,' Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "We certainly needed to get a lead and with the way Marco pitched we held on.'
The loss was the third in 14 games for Pittsburgh, which hopes Jeff Locke (4-1, 2.73 ERA) can help it bounce back and continue his recent success.
After he went 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA in his first three starts, Locke is 3-0 with a 1.70 ERA in the last six. He allowed three hits in seven innings of a 1-0 win over Houston on Sunday.
Manager Clint Hurdle was pleased with the left-hander's latest effort even though both believe he did not have his best stuff.
"'Pitched' is the imperative word,' Hurdle said. "He was behind a number of counts, his first-pitch strikes were below 50 percent ... but, that being said, he didn't give up anything. He was able to put a foot down, get balls on the ground when we needed them.'
Locke is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts versus Milwaukee while surrendering four homers in 10 innings. He allowed three runs over six in a 4-3, 12-inning win May 14.
The Brewers counter with Mike Fiers (1-2, 5.93), who makes his second start of the season while Kyle Lohse continues to deal with elbow irritation.
With a demotion to the minors included, the right-hander's last seven appearances came out of the bullpen after he allowed six runs in five innings of a 9-2 loss to Arizona on April 6. He earned the victory after 1 2-3 scoreless innings in Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"The deeper I go, the better it is for the baseball team," Fiers told the Brewers' official website.
He went 9-10 with a 3.77 ERA over 22 starts in his first full major league season in 2012, including 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in three against the Pirates. Fiers allowed the game-winning homer to Andrew McCutchen in the extra-inning loss at Pittsburgh last week.
McCutchen, 5 for 9 with three homers against Fiers, is batting .433 (13 for 30) in the last seven games. Despite his team's poor history at Miller Park, McCutchen has batted .420 in 12 games there since hitting .226 in his first 20 in Milwaukee.
Brewers star Ryan Braun hit .440 in his first six games against the Pirates this season before he went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Friday.
Venue: Great American Ball Park
Date: May 25, 2013 4:10 PM EDT
Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds are on a roll that has the team ahead of its pace from 2012, when it earned its most victories since the mid-1970s.
Cincinnati will have to go through surprising former Reds pitcher Travis Wood in order to continue its hot stretch against the visiting Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Votto is hitting .511 with four homers and 10 RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak after going 2 for 4 with a fourth-inning solo homer in Friday's 7-4 win.
The 2010 NL MVP is hitting .404 in his last 13 games versus the Cubs.
Cincinnati (30-18) has won four straight and 12 of 15 and is three games ahead of the pace of last season's team that went 97-65 to win the NL Central. It marked the most victories for the team since finishing with 102 in 1976, the second of back-to-back World Series winners.
The Reds have won five straight versus the Cubs and have outscored them 89-63 while winning 15 of the last 17 meetings. Catcher Ryan Hanigan, Cincinnati's No. 8 hitter, delivered the big blow in a five-run fourth inning Friday with a three-run homer.
"They went at me and I got a pitch to handle," Hanigan said. "That was a big turn in the game."
Chicago (18-29) will look to end a season-worst five-game losing streak with help from Wood (4-2, 2.24 ERA), who spent 2010 and '11 with the Reds.
Wood allowed more than two earned runs for only the second time in nine starts Sunday, giving up three - including a tying two-run homer in his seventh and final inning - in Chicago's 4-3 loss to the New York Mets.
He also hit his fourth career homer, a two-run shot in the fifth that gave the Cubs the lead.
"Woody pitched another great game,' manager Dale Sveum said.
The left-hander has made a vast improvement after going 6-13 with a 4.27 ERA in his first season with Chicago in 2012, ranking among the league leaders in ERA and turning in nine quality starts in nine chances.
"He's not doing anything different than last year, except maybe fine-tuning some things," Sveum told the team's official website. "We know how Travis is - he's very competitive."
The Cubs acquired Wood from Cincinnati in December 2011 for reliever Sean Marshall, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a sore left shoulder that has bothered him since spring training.
Wood allowed two runs - including a solo homer to Jay Bruce - in 6 1-3 innings of Chicago's 5-4, 13-inning loss to the Reds on April 22 and has a 4.42 ERA in three starts versus his former team.
Cincinnati will counter with Homer Bailey, who has been stellar in his last two outings.
Bailey (2-3, 3.09) threw a complete game and struck out 10 in a 6-2 win over Miami on May 14 before pitching seven scoreless innings in Cincinnati's 3-2 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.
"Sometimes you win those, sometimes you lose those," Bailey said after his last start. "I am feeling pretty good still."
The right-hander has won four straight decisions against the Cubs, posting a 3.79 ERA in that six-start stretch. He allowed one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 3-1 victory the last time he faced them Sept. 18.
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: May 25, 2013 4:10 PM EDT
Baseball hasn't seen a left-hander as young as 23-year-old Matt Moore start a season this well since one of the greatest New York Yankees sluggers of all-time was still putting fear into the opposition from the pitcher's mound 96 years ago.
The current Yankees are privy to just how good Moore has been, and they won't have Curtis Granderson to try and help slow him down.
Moore takes the mound as the host Tampa Bay Rays look to avoid a fourth loss in five games Saturday against first-place New York.
Though he would later be known for his 714 career home runs, a 22-year-old Boston hurler named Babe Ruth began the 1917 season winning his first nine decisions.
No other lefty would win his first eight at such a young age until Moore (8-0, 2.29 ERA), who has dazzled at times in his second season as a full-time starter for the Rays (24-23).
Moore's ERA rose more than a point while posting a 5.06 mark over his previous three starts, but he allowed just one run in seven innings of a 3-1 win at Baltimore on Sunday.
He has won nine straight decisions dating back to last season to break the franchise record set in 2012 by Cy Young Award winner David Price.
"Historically speaking, it's been wonderful,' manager Joe Maddon said.
Opponents are hitting just .175 off Moore, the third-best mark in the majors.
"It's good for our team. That's the biggest thing we can take away from my record,' Moore said. "On my days to pitch, we're winning all the games. That's the most important part."
Moore gave up one run and two hits - including a solo homer to Robinson Cano - in a season-high eight innings of a 5-1 win over the Yankees on April 22, striking out nine.
New York (29-18) hopes to have a better performance this time after ending a two-game slide with a 9-4 victory in Friday's series opener. They lost Granderson, though, to a broken knuckle on his left pinkie after he was hit by a pitch in the fifth, and manager Joe Girardi indicated the outfielder could miss a minimum of four weeks.
Granderson also missed the first 38 games with a broken right forearm suffered when he was hit with a pitch in his first spring training at-bat.
"It's sad,' Cano said. "He's one of those guys you're going to miss. Hopefully he gets back soon.'
Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer in the fourth while Lyle Overbay and Jayson Nix also drove in a pair of runs Friday.
Though Ivan Nova was activated from the disabled list Friday, Girardi decided to send him to the bullpen and give Vidal Nuno another start Saturday.
Nuno (1-1, 1.13) will be making his fourth career appearance and second start after allowing a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 10th in a 3-2 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday.
His only start came May 13, when he gave up three hits and three walks in five innings of a 7-0 win over Cleveland.
It's unclear how many more starts the left-hander will receive with Nova back. Nova, who had an inflamed right triceps, has been put into a long-reliever role to get back on track before he returns to the rotation.
The Yankees had lost 13 of the previous 16 meetings in St. Petersburg prior to Friday, when the Rays' Evan Longoria went 0 for 4 to end his career-best 16-game hitting streak.
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field
Date: May 25, 2013 7:15 PM EDT
Jake Peavy was off his game last time out.
Facing the majors' worst hitting team could help the former Cy Young winner deliver a better performance this time.
Peavy and the Chicago White Sox go for an eighth victory in 11 games Saturday night when their series against the Miami Marlins continues.
After yielding eight walks in 45 2-3 innings over his first seven starts, Peavy (5-2, 3.31 ERA) surrendered five free passes over six innings in Sunday's 6-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels, including two with the bases loaded.
"I felt really good today, and that's the most frustrating part for me,' he said. "I went out there with a good game plan and felt like we could execute, but I just didn't quite execute well enough. My slider was the best it's been all year, so I've got some positives to take out of it. It's just hard to be positive right now.'
Peavy might feel better about facing a Marlins team that's last in the majors in batting (.221) and runs per game (2.7) following Friday's 4-3, 11-inning defeat.
Miami (13-35), which has lost 13 of 16, has totaled five runs in the last four starts of Saturday's pitcher Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 3.96).
The veteran right-hander, though, helped the Marlins snap a season-worst seven-game losing streak Sunday, throwing eight-plus innings of one-run ball in Sunday's 2-1 home win over Arizona. Nolasco's 11 strikeouts were his most in two years.
"Ricky's been solid all year and I really wanted him to finish that game," manager Mike Redmond said. "He looked good and was in complete control.'
That was not the case in Nolasco's only start against the White Sox, an 8-0 road loss May 21, 2010, when he allowed all the runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Right fielder Alex Rios, 2 for 6 with a double off Nolasco, will try to extend his career-best hitting streak to 19, which would tie the longest in the majors this season. San Francisco's Marco Scutaro had a 19-game streak snapped Wednesday.
Chicago (22-24) is batting .278 with 4.7 runs per game during its 7-3 run. The team is hitting .240 and averaging 3.7 runs this season.
"It just feels like our offense is starting to do a little bit more and we're still getting good pitching,' said infielder Jeff Keppinger, who had two singles Friday, including the game-winner.
While Keppinger has hit safely in six straight and eight of nine, Paul Konerko is also finding his stroke, equaling a season high with three hits Friday to improve to 5 for 9 in the last two contests.
Adam Dunn, 6 for 22 with a homer, triple and double against Nolasco, has struck out twice in each of the last three games and is hitless in 12 at_bats during that stretch.
Peavy will face the Marlins for the first time since 2008 while with San Diego. The right-hander has not enjoyed much success against Placido Polanco, who is 9 for 17 in that matchup.
Peavy will get his first look at rookie Marcell Ozuna, who is riding a nine-game hitting streak - the Marlins' longest of 2013.
These teams have split 10 all-time matchups, with the White Sox leading 4-3 in Chicago.
Venue: Nationals Park
Date: May 25, 2013 7:15 PM EDT
Following a rare productive game at the plate, the Washington Nationals are hoping to have their scruffy-looking manager clean-shaven by the end of their five-game homestand.
The Nationals will attempt to build on a resurgent offensive effort as they go for their eighth win in 11 home games Saturday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Washington (25-23) scored its most runs in a week and plated four in an inning for the first time in almost a month in a 5-2 victory over Philadelphia on Friday.
While it might not have been enough for manager Davey Johnson to get his razor out, it was plenty for Jordan Zimmermann, who became the first eight-game winner in the NL.
Johnson said before the game that he wouldn't shave again until his team started hitting. The Nationals totaled nine runs and batted .189 while losing four of five to wrap up their recent West Coast road trip.
"My wife, she probably wants me to take it off, I'm sure she does,' Johnson said. "But I might leave it on, see if this is not something strange happening here.'
Washington will try to prove Johnson right by providing some run support for Dan Haren (4-5, 5.54 ERA), who has received 20 runs in his wins but four in his losses.
After going 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA over his previous four starts, the right-hander allowed three runs in the first inning and was gone after a four-run fifth in a 13-4 defeat to San Diego on Sunday. He yielded seven runs and nine hits - two homers.
Haren has posted an 0-3 record and 6.14 ERA in four career starts against Philadelphia.
Michael Young has faced Haren more than any Phillie, batting .328 with one homer in 58 at_bats.
Ryan Howard went 1 for 4 with a double Friday and is batting .381 during a five-game hitting streak, though he hasn't homered in 12 games. He's 1 for 6 with a home run and three strikeouts against Haren.
The Phillies (23-25) missed a chance to reach .500 for the first time since April 14 and pull even with the Nationals for second place in the NL East.
"Obviously, we've kind of been up and down all year,' losing pitcher Kyle Kendrick said.
Teammate Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.00) hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in six starts since replacing the injured John Lannan in the rotation.
The left-hander has been much better at home, though, going 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts as opposed to 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in two road outings.
Pettibone makes his first career appearance against the Nationals, who are hitting a major league-worst .196 versus left-handers.
Bryce Harper is hitting .163 with two homers in 43 at_bats versus lefties, while Adam LaRoche is batting .195 with two homers in 41 at_bats against them.
Washington's Steve Lombardozzi, playing second while Danny Espinosa recovers from a broken wrist, had three hits Friday, including a two-run double that capped the rally in the four-run fifth.
Washington's previous four-run inning came April 25 against Cincinnati.