National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 17th (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (17-20) at Washington Nationals (23-14), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - James McDonald (2-2, 2.42) Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (2-3, 2.14)
(Sports Network) - Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann aims for his first home win of the season tonight when the Washington Nationals host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second game of a two-game series at Nationals Park.
Zimmerman, a second-round pick of Washington in 2007, has made four starts at home in 2012 and is 0-2 with a 2.73 earned run average across 26 1/3 innings, losing to Arizona and Philadelphia while getting no-decisions against Cincinnati and Houston.
Ironically, the Nationals own the National League's best home record at 14-5.
The Wisconsin native, who'll turn 26 next week, was a 2-1 winner at Cincinnati in his most recent outing on May 12, allowing a single run on five hits with a walk and nine strikeouts.
He has never faced the Pirates.
On Wednesday, Adam LaRoche collected his 1,000th career hit with a three-run double in the seventh and added a solo home run, as Washington took down the Pirates, 7-4.
Ian Desmond and Xavier Nady each hit solo home runs and Bryce Harper crushed his first career triple and scored twice for the Nationals, who bounced back from a 6-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
Gio Gonzalez (5-1) allowed three runs on four hits and a pair of walks while striking out 10 over seven full frames. Tyler Clippard allowed a run in the eighth, but Henry Rodriguez worked around an error in the ninth to pick up his ninth save of the season.
Josh Harrison hit a two-run home run and added an RBI single for the Pirates, who have lost two straight since a three-game winning streak.
Erik Bedard (2-5) gave up four runs on six hits and a walk while fanning seven over six innings to take the loss.
Pittsburgh goes with righty James McDonald, who aims for a third win in his last four starts after beginning the year with a four-start drought.
The 27-year-old Californian allowed 13 hits and four runs in 14 innings while defeating Atlanta and Cincinnati on April 30 and May 5, but lost a 1-0 decision to Houston in his most recent outing on May 11.
In that game, he pitched eight innings, allowed four hits and a run and struck out eight.
He's 0-1 in four career meetings with Washington with a 4.15 ERA.
The Pirates won two of three when they hosted the Nats from May 8-10.
05/17 10:48:47 ET