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Diamondbacks hope to keep hits coming vs. Nationals

Sportsnaut
Apr 20, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA;  Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Seth Beer (28) swings through a two run single in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After finally breaking out of their early-season slump, the Arizona Diamondbacks look to carry the momentum into the finale of a four-game series against the host Washington Nationals on Thursday.

Arizona entered Wednesday last in the majors in runs scored before setting season highs in hits (10) and runs in an 11-2 win over the Nationals.

“We’ve gotten guys on base when we needed to, and sometimes someone couldn’t come through with that big hit,” D-backs rookie Seth Beer said before Wednesday’s game. “That happens. That’s just baseball — that’s why we love this game and that’s why we hate it. But the more we can continue to get opportunities is when things will start to go our way.”

Beer went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to help the D-backs end a three-game losing skid. Teammate Daulton Varsho homered and drove in three runs.

Arizona will turn to right-hander Zach Davies (0-1, 5.79 ERA) for the series finale. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA in five career starts versus Washington.

After turning in a solid outing against the San Diego Padres in his season debut, Davies allowed five runs (four earned) over 4 1/3 innings in a 10-3 loss to the New York Mets on Friday.

Davies, 29, was signed by Arizona last month to provide a veteran presence in the rotation.

“I think he’s a very instinctual guy,” Diamondbacks bench coach Jeff Banister said. “He’s got that back and forth that can get hitters in between. And if you get hitters in between, you make pitches, you get outs. I feel confident that we’re going to see some good things from him.”

Washington, which opened the series with a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday, received a scare on Wednesday when first baseman Josh Bell exited the game in the fourth inning due to a left knee injury.

Bell, who has been the team’s best hitter with two homers and 11 RBIs, is listed as day-to-day and will have an MRI exam on Thursday.

Nationals starter Josh Rogers (1-1, 3.72 ERA) allowed three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Rogers, 27, is making his first appearance against Arizona. The left-hander went 2-2 with a 3.28 ERA in six starts with the Nationals last season.

“The key with him is attacking the strike zone early,” Washington manager Davey Martinez said. “When he gets ahead, he keeps fighting, keeps getting outs, and his attitude, his attitude out there is just pumped up, so it’s fun to watch him pitch.”

The Nationals could use a strong outing from Rogers to help out their bullpen, especially after left-hander Sean Doolittle was placed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday.

The veteran reliever, who was diagnosed with a left elbow sprain, had opened the season by allowing just one hit through 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

Left-handed relievers Sam Clay and Francisco Perez were recalled from Triple-A Rochester to help replace Doolittle, who could be out several weeks.

“We don’t have a timetable,” Doolittle said. “I know that sounds like I’m talking around it and talking in generalities, but we’ve got to let it tell us what’s going on, so we’re going to throw ourselves into that process right now. By the end of that 10 days, we’ll start throwing again, see where we’re at and go from there.”

–Field Level Media