Major League Baseball
Preview
Washington at San Francisco
When: 10:15 PM ET, Friday, July 29, 2016
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

The San Francisco Giants are hoping a new arrival and a few returning stars can help end a slide that has seen them go 2-10 since the All-Star break. Infielder Eduardo Nunez is set to make his San Francisco debut Friday as the Giants continue their four-game series against the visiting Washington Nationals, who extended their lead over Miami in the NL East to five games with Thursday’s 4-2 series-opening victory.

Nunez was batting .300 with 47 RBIs and 26 stolen bases before being acquired from Minnesota on Thursday for minor league pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia. The 29-year-old Nunez is expected to provide depth for a Giants team that has struggled without third baseman Matt Duffy (Achilles) and right fielder Hunter Pence, who could return from a torn hamstring as early as this weekend. Second baseman Joe Panik (concussion) returned from the disabled list Thursday to face the Nationals, whose search for relief pitchers likely intensified after closer Jonathan Papelbon allowed two baserunners and was pulled by manager Dusty Baker in the ninth inning of Thursday’s win. Shawn Kelley struck out Angel Pagan with the bases loaded to record his fifth save and could receive more opportunities in place of Papelbon, who has been scored on in each of his last three appearances.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), NBC Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Max Scherzer (10-6, 2.92 ERA) vs. Giants RH Jeff Samardzija (9-6, 4.22)

Scherzer tossed seven innings for his third consecutive start Saturday while holding San Diego to two runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks. The 32-year-old has posted a 1.71 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 13 walks in his last 10 starts since June 1. Scherzer fell to 1-4 with a 6.85 ERA in five career starts against San Francisco after allowing six runs in three innings at AT&T Park on Aug. 14, 2015.

Samardzija yielded two home runs for the second consecutive start Sunday, when he surrendered five runs over 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Yankees. The 31-year-old has allowed a total of 14 homers over his last nine starts and has struggled to rediscover his early-season form. Ryan Zimmerman has one hit in 19 at-bats against Samardzija, who is 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 career games (five starts) against the Nationals.

WALK-OFFS

1. Nationals RF Bryce Harper is mired in a 6-for-55 slump and batting .237 overall.

2. The Giants placed LHP Josh Osich (strained left forearm) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled LHP Matt Reynolds from Triple-A Sacramento.

3. Washington LF Jayson Werth extended his career-best on-base streak to 31 games — the longest current run in the majors — by going 1-for-5 on Thursday.

PREDICTION: Nationals 6, Giants 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Washington 60-42 W2 31-20 29-22 30-14 15-15 5-9 10-4
San Francisco 59-43 L2 30-20 29-23 7-7 14-8 31-18 7-10
Last Meeting
Washington San Francisco
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/28/16 WAS 4 SF 2 .289 0 .755 .156 0 .539
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington A. Rendon .500 2 1.350
San Francisco B. Belt .333 1 .833
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington D. Espinosa 0 1 1
San Francisco B. Belt 0 1 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 2.00 .289 6
San Francisco 4.00 .156 8
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington D. Murphy .351 130 1.009
San Francisco B. Posey .285 96 .817
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington D. Murphy 20 60 75
San Francisco B. Posey 12 57 47
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 3.27 .250 966
San Francisco 3.76 .260 796