ANAHEIM, Calif. – What happened to the Nationals’ lineup? A group that averaged 7.8 runs on 13.8 hits through the first six games of this road trip was shut out on four hits Friday night by Angels rookie Jhonathan Diaz and four relievers. They had a couple good scoring chances early, then practically nothing of consequence late.
They’ll need a more consistent approach and some results tonight against Angels right-hander Michael Lorenzen, who nearly tossed a complete game in his last start, holding the White Sox to three runs over 8 1/3 innings. There aren’t many Nationals hitters with consequential experience against Lorenzen. Josh Bell is 7-for-21 with a homer, and Dee Strange-Gordon is 5-for-10 in his career. Otherwise, nobody has more than five plate appearances against Lorenzen.
Josiah Gray faces one of the toughest tests of his young career tonight in the Angels’ formidable lineup. We saw Joan Adon shine at times Friday night, despite a couple of costly mistakes. Gray’s challenge tonight will be to get ahead in the count with his fastball, put away hitters with his breaking balls and avoid giving up the longball that has often been his Achilles heel in the big leagues.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Where: Angel Stadium
Gametime: 9:07 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, MLB.com
Weather: Clear, 69 degrees, wind 10 mph out to left field