Phillies' Kyle Schwarber looks to continue his good form against the Nationals

(Photo by Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)

Kyle Schwarber will look to extend his six-game hitting streak on Saturday when the Philadelphia Phillies face the Washington Nationals in a three-game center field battle.

Schwarber, who played in 72 games with the Nationals in 2021, extended his hitting streak with a two-run single in the second inning in Philadelphia's 4-0 win on Friday. He has a batting average of .333 (8 hits in 24 at bats) during the streak.

“There are good signs right now, but I just have to keep working and see what happens throughout the year,” Schwarber said. “One year is a very long time, but I'm happy to see results quickly.”

Bryce Harper had two doubles and an RBI against his former team, and JT Realmuto had two hits.

Aaron Nola and the bullpen worked together to achieve a two-hit shutout. Nola bounced back from a slow start, giving up 11 hits and six runs against the Atlanta Braves on March 30th.

The Nationals have lost five of their last seven games and need more performance from their starting pitchers. Washington's starting pitcher has a 7.60 ERA and has allowed at least two runs in the first two innings in five games.

“We've got to try to limit the big innings early,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It definitely tires you. You're always trying to go back and do something different. Everyone starts to put pressure on you a little bit.”

On Friday night, Washington's pitching staff didn't contribute at all, giving up nine walks.

The Nationals didn't generate much offense, but CJ Abrams singled in the third inning, extending his hitting streak to six games. During this streak, Abrams has nine hits in 24 at bats, a triple, two home runs, five RBIs, three walks, and three stolen bases.

Luis Garcia Jr. added his fifth double in five games, tying the most in Nationals franchise history with six games to start a season.

Philadelphia left-hander Ranger Suarez (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will face Washington right-hander Jake Irvin (0-0, 5.40 ERA) on Saturday.

Suarez allowed three hits and three runs in five no-decision innings against the Braves on Sunday. He had seven strikeouts and one walk.

“I kept the ball low and made soft contact,” Suarez said through an interpreter. “That was the game plan. That's what I was looking for and I was going to go five innings.”

Suarez appeared in 14 games (seven starts) against Washington, posting a record of 6 wins, 1 loss, and a 3.72 ERA.

Irvin allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He struck out four and walked two. Irvin pitched his worst in the first two innings, but stalled in the second half.

“I wasn't in attack mode as much as I was the first few (innings),” Irvin said. “I have to get back out there and let the guys earn their money.”

Irvin pitched six scoreless innings in his only start against the Phillies last August.

Phillies right-hander Tyjuan Walker, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder injury, is scheduled to pitch two innings of batting practice on Saturday.

–Field level media

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