MLB: Nationals look for strong pitching again in rematch vs. Mariners

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The Washington Nationals started a stretch of 17 games in as many days Friday, with their next day off scheduled for June 10.

So it’s imperative their starting pitchers stretch it out a bit.

MacKenzie Gore did that Friday night, matching a career high by pitching seven innings in a 6-1 victory against the visiting Seattle Mariners.

The teams will continue their three-game interleague series Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park.

“You hope that it is (a long outing); you hope that things don’t blow up,” said Nationals manager Dave Martinez, whose team had lost seven of its previous eight games and had allowed 10 or more runs in two games earlier this week.

“… But as he (Gore) got to that fourth inning and I’m watching his pitch count, I’m watching what he’s doing, I thought then that he can go deep in this game, which would be great. And he did. Going seven innings is really good, especially for our bullpen. We’ve got a lot of games coming up, so we’re going to need our starting pitchers to go a little deeper in games.”

Things didn’t start great for Gore, who allowed a leadoff home run to Seattle’s J.P. Crawford in the first inning, the first time that has happened to the left-hander in his 50 major-league starts.

“You never want to lead off a game with a homer, but just (focus on) the next guy,” Gore said. “What had happened had happened.”

Gore allowed just three more hits the rest of the way and stuck out eight.

“After that, he controlled the game really good,” Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz said. “He executed the plan.”

Luis Garcia Jr. hit a three-run homer, Ruiz added a two-run blast, and Eddie Rosario hit a solo shot for the Nationals to account for all of their runs.

“Homers are fun,” Gore said. “We all love them. You guys probably love them, too.”

The Mariners, who were shut out 5-0 by the host New York Yankees on Thursday, matched a season worst with their third straight loss on Friday.

The Mariners were held to one run or less for the 11th time in 52 games this season. They fanned 10 times and lead the majors with 529 strikeouts.

Earlier Friday, the Mariners recalled rookie outfielder Jonatan Clase from Triple-A Tacoma and demoted third baseman Luis Urias, who was hitting just .152.

“We have really struggled to put much together against starting pitching here recently, and that’s got to get better,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “You’re not going to win games 1-0, 2-1, certainly on the road. We’ve got to swing the bats better.”

Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (3-2, 3.20 ERA), who is tied for the major league lead with eight quality starts, is scheduled to take the mound Saturday against Nationals righty Trevor Williams (4-0, 2.35).

Gilbert is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in one previous start vs. Washington; Williams is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in one career outing against Seattle.

–Field Level Media

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