Patrick Corbin, Nationals open homestand against D-backs

MLB

Washington left-hander Patrick Corbin faces his former team when the Nationals open a seven-game homestand Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Corbin (0-1, 12.46 ERA) makes his second start of the season and second ever against the Diamondbacks, for whom he pitched from 2012-18, making the All-Star team twice.

In his first start of the season, Corbin allowed six runs on six hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings of a 9-5 loss on Saturday to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Corbin was one of nine Nationals who started the season on the injured list after either testing positive for COVID-19 or coming in close contact with someone who had.

“For the situation and everything that we had to deal with, I feel all right,” Corbin said Saturday after allowing most of the damage in a four-run second inning. “I’m just hoping to move on from this, get on a normal schedule here and be ready to get back out there in five days and be ready to go.”

After a 14-3 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday, the Nationals closed out a 2-4 road trip with a 6-0 win at St. Louis on Wednesday. Washington manager Dave Martinez shook up his lineup, hitting usual leadoff batter Victor Robles ninth and moving Trea Turner, Juan Soto and Ryan Zimmerman up a spot to first, second and third.

“I teeter-tottered a lot about hitting Soto second,” Martinez said Wednesday. “I kind of want to hit Soto second at times. I thought today with us facing (Adam) Wainwright, those two guys had some good success against him, to get them up there and try to get them as many at-bats as possible against him.”

The strategy worked. Turner, Soto and Josh Harrison had two hits apiece and Zimmerman smacked a two-run homer.

Arizona heads east hoping a change will prove beneficial. The Diamondbacks have lost five of their past seven games, including a 7-5 decision to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday that completed a 2-3 homestand. Arizona jumped out to a 5-0 lead before the A’s rallied, getting to four Diamondbacks relievers for six runs.

“Just a couple of tough innings late in the game wound up costing us. But that’s the beauty of baseball,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday. “You can play six or seven really good innings and you blink and make some mistakes, and good teams are going to make you pay.”

Right-hander Merrill Kelly (0-2, 8.10 ERA) was roughed up by the Colorado Rockies in his last outing on April 8, allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits over six innings. Four of the runs were allowed in the first two innings.

“Nothing concerning, I think it was just kind of a day-game downer,” Kelly said postgame. “Just took me a little bit to get going there in the first couple innings as far as body-wise and how I felt. And then after that second inning, kind of woke up a little bit and everything kind of ticked up, the life came back. But nothing concerning, everything feels fine and going forward I don’t see it being a problem.”

Kelly will be making his first career appearance against Washington.

–Field Level Media

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