Nationals-Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees don't see much of Washington, but the Nationals have been unfortunate enough to be a part of some of the Yankees' longest recent winning streaks.

When the clubs conclude a two-game series Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, New York will try for its first eight-game winning streak in nearly three years and first eight-gamer at home in almost five.

The Yankees (33-25) last won eight straight during a 10-game run June 8-18, 2012, with wins Nos. 7-9 coming in Washington. Their most recent eight-game run at home was Aug. 21-Sept. 4, 2010.

Stephen Drew paced Tuesday's 6-1 victory with two home runs, giving him a pair of two-homer games in his last four after going deep six times in his previous 76. Drew's .292 average in the last seven has only brought his season mark up to .175.

"It's a numbers game and in April I did have some great at-bats and nothing for it," he said.

Brian McCann has gone 6 for 12 in his past three games.

Bryce Harper hit his 20th home run Tuesday but the Nationals (30-28) lost their third straight and ninth in 11, a span in which they've posted a 5.59 ERA. They've also struggled offensively in a 5-11 stretch, averaging 2.50 runs. Ryan Zimmerman is in a 1-for-25 slump.

"We're just not getting a break," Tuesday's losing pitcher Max Scherzer said.

The Yankees are seeking a split in the season series after dropping two in Washington on May 19 and 20. Nathan Eovaldi and Gio Gonzalez matched up in an 8-6 final in the first of those, and both starters will be after better performances.

Eovaldi (5-1, 4.16 ERA) avoided the loss after allowing five runs in 4 1-3 innings. The right-hander saw plenty of Washington the previous two seasons with Miami and is 2-4 with a 5.32 ERA in eight career starts in the series.

Harper is 6 for 14 with a home run in the matchup, while Anthony Rendon is 7 for 17 and Zimmerman 3 for 10 with two homers.

Eovaldi has been better since that meeting with the Nationals, going 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts after allowing one run in 5 1-3 innings of Friday's 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. He won his third straight start at Yankee Stadium, posting a 2.50 ERA in that span.

Gonzalez (4-3, 4.57) has gone 1-5 with a 7.30 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees, with the win coming in his first matchup with them in 2009, in which he allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings. He's posted an 8.60 mark in the series since, and the only game he didn't lose in that span was last month when he allowed six runs in five innings.

His mark of 5.84 walks per nine innings against the Yankees is nearly two higher than his career average of 3.88. Mark Teixeira is 6 for 18 with two home runs, two doubles and a .478 on-base percentage against Gonzalez.

Control was also a problem in Gonzalez's last time out as he walked four in Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The left-hander allowed both runs and four hits in six innings, giving him a 1-1 mark and 5.86 ERA in his last five starts.

Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 5.71 ERA in six road starts on the season.

Nationals center fielder Denard Span was scratched Tuesday due to back spasms.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.