Nationals try to build winning streak vs. Twins

Field Level Media

May 21, 2024 at 6:50 am.

The Washington Nationals will try to keep their offense humming when they host the Minnesota Twins in the middle game of their series on Tuesday.

After mustering five runs over four losses, the Nationals scored five in a loss on Sunday and then erupted in a 12-3 win over the Twins on Monday night.

The Nationals went 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position and equaled their season high in hits with 14.

“I think a lot of us have had a tough week offensively,” outfielder Eddie Rosario said. “It’s great motivation to add to the confidence, having several base hits in the game today. I think it’s going to add to us starting to play a lot better.”

Luis Garcia and Jesse Winker each had two hits and provided early homers. Rosario also had two hits and drove in three late runs for Washington.

Left-hander Patrick Corbin (1-4, 5.59 ERA) will try to give the Nationals a winning streak Tuesday and will be opposed by Twins right-hander Joe Ryan (2-3, 3.57).

Corbin has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last three outings while lowering his ERA from 6.82 to 5.59. In his last start, he gave up two earned runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings in a 2-0 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday.

The veteran left-hander did not record a strikeout but generated nine ground-ball outs from the 23 batters he faced in a strong outing.

“Felt good throughout the day,” Corbin said. “Got ahead of guys, made some pitches, got a lot of ground balls today, used the changeup, but yeah, just tried to keep us in the game there.”

Corbin has only faced the Twins twice, posting a 1-1 mark with a 4.50 ERA.

Ryan lowered his ERA to 3.21 with a seven-inning, one-run performance May 10 against the Blue Jays. But last time out, he was touched for four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a loss at home to the Yankees on Thursday.

He has never faced the Nationals.

Minnesota trailed 3-1 after four innings Monday night before surrendering seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings to fall for the seventh straight time. The Twins have been outscored 45-12 during the skid. It is the longest Twins losing streak since an eight-game slide in April 2018 and, after winning 17 of 20 before the losing streak, Minnesota enters Tuesday one game over .500.

“I’ve seen a lot of streaky baseball — we all have,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “This is next level stuff. We’re taking this to the next level. Sometimes that could be a good thing and right now, it’s not a very good thing.”

Carlos Correa homered and Willi Castro had two hits for the Twins in Monday’s loss.

Baldelli held a team meeting after Sunday’s game and the players met after Monday’s loss.

“We’re not where we need to be, and tomorrow we have to be better,” Correa said. “We have to turn it around. It’s not fun to be in this spot. It’s not where we want to be, and we just have to be better and everybody knows it.”