The Washington Nationals try for their first win in four games this evening when they open a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Nationals Park.
The National League East-leading Nationals had trouble dealing with another division leader over the weekend, as they were swept by the American League East front-running New York Yankees, falling in Sunday's tilt 4-1.
"Offensively, we're just coming up a little short," Nats manager Davey Johnson said. "One thing that concerns me, we've got to get Zim (Ryan Zimmerman) going. We've got to get Zim in a happy place."
Zimmerman managed just one hit in 13 at-bats against the Yankees and is hitting a mere .229 on the year. He has just 11 hits in 13 games this month.
"Obviously, I'm not doing as well as I want to," he said. "I think any time you're not getting hits like that, something has to change. I've just got to keep working hard and keep doing the same things I've been doing my whole career. It'll turn around."
Getting the call for the Nats tonight will be righty Chien-Ming Wang, who is 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA. Wang beat the Toronto Blue Jays last Tuesday, holding them to two runs and four hits in five innings. However, he walked five batters and has issued 11 free passes in 17 1/3 innings this season.
Wang is no stranger to the Rays, having faced them 14 times, and is 7-5 with a 4.14 ERA in those contests.
Tampa, meanwhile, has won just two of its last six, but managed a series win over the Miami Marlins over the weekend following a 3-0 win in Sunday's rubber match at Tropicana Field.
Alex Cob tossed seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball to get the win, while B.J. Upton belted a solo home run and scored twice for the Rays, who bounced back from a 15-inning loss on Saturday.
"We had good energy today under the circumstances," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, in reference to the team's marathon a day earlier. "You could feel it in the dugout and Cobb had a lot to do with that."
Tampa Bay pitching has allowed just one earned run in the last 32 innings, good for a 0.27 ERA.
Hoping to keep that streak going tonight, the Rays will turn to lefty David Price, who was hammered in a loss by the New York Mets his last time out. Price gave up seven runs and nine hits in five innings of that one, dropping him to 8-4 to go along with a 3.01 ERA.
Price has never faced the Nationals.
Tampa swept the Nationals the last time these teams met back in 2009.