Nationals going for 6th straight win, sweep of Tigers

Thu Jun 13 1:47am ET
Field Level Media

The Washington Nationals have won a season-high five straight games, reversing the damage of a four-game skid that left them 27-35 a week ago.

They can creep closer to the .500 mark on Thursday afternoon when they go for a sweep of their three-game series with the host Detroit Tigers.

The Nationals began their burst with three straight wins over the Atlanta Braves and have scored 29 runs during the hot streak. Leadoff hitter CJ Abrams led Wednesday's 7-5 victory with a solo homer and RBI double.

Washington initially planned to start left-hander MacKenzie Gore on Thursday. However, the 25-year-old is getting an extra day off, and another lefty, Patrick Corbin, is getting the call.

"We're pushing MacKenzie back a day," Washington manager Dave Martinez said. "He has a little bit of a nail issue on his throwing hand, so one more day will definitely help. So, Corbin's good to go."

Corbin (1-7, 6.15 ERA) has lost four straight decisions in a span of five starts. Most recently, against the visiting New York Mets on June 5, he gave up six earned runs, including three home runs, and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"Couple heaters on the corner, but elevated," Corbin said of the homers. "Maybe not the best sinker. They put some good swings on some of those pitches."

Over his past four starts, Corbin has been taken deep eight times.

Corbin won his only career outing against Detroit. On May 20, 2023, he held the Tigers to two runs on six hits in six innings in a 5-2 win in Washington.

Casey Mize (1-4, 4.73), who is scheduled to start for Detroit, has not won a game since April 21. He is 0-4 with four no-decisions and an ERA of 5.73 in that span.

In his last outing, Mize gave up five runs (three earned) and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. He threw 97 pitches and recorded only one strikeout.

The Tigers led 4-1 after two innings but eventually lost 5-4.

"Obviously, I didn't do a good enough job on the scoreboard," Mize said. "Too many hits, too many runs. Our offense had a good game plan against (Brewers starter Freddy) Peralta and chased him from the game early and put up some runs. And I wasn't able to hold the lead for us. Obviously disappointed in that."

Disappointing could describe the entire season for Mize, who missed most of the past two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery. His fastball velocity is better than ever, averaging 95.5 mph, but he has struggled to put away batters. He has just 39 strikeouts in 59 innings.

Mize, the top pick of the 2018 draft, will be facing the Nationals for the first time.

If Thursday's game is close, Washington will likely be without closer Kyle Finnegan. He has pitched the past three games, picking up two saves and a victory.

In this series, Finnegan struck out three of the four batters he faced on Tuesday, a 5-4, 10-inning victory. He pitched the ninth on Wednesday and earned his 19th save despite giving up a solo homer to Riley Greene.