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The Washington Nationals have not won a series against the San Diego Padres in their last six attempts. Livan Hernandez may finally be the player who helps them get over that hurdle. The Nationals right-hander looks to continue his strong play against the Padres when the teams meet in the deciding game of a three-game series at Petco Park on Sunday. Hernandez (9-8, 5.48 ERA) is 8-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 14 career starts versus the Padres and has won his last five decisions against them. He has held San Diego to a .252 batting average, his third-lowest against any opponent. The veteran is also riding a four-game winning streak and has not lost since June 20. Hernandez limited San Francisco to one run and six hits over seven innings in a 4-1 victory on Tuesday. It was his first appearance at AT&T Park since the Giants traded him to the Nationals franchise after the 2002 season. ''Everything was working,'' Hernandez said. ''I could throw any pitch in any count. It's important for me because the sinker has come back. When I have the sinker, I'm going to be a different pitcher.'' Hernandez is 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break. He needs one more victory to reach double digits in wins for the seventh straight season. The Nationals (49-61) have lost six consecutive series to the Padres (57-53) and have not won one since the Montreal Expos swept San Diego in three games from May 6-8, 2003. Washington had won just three of its previous 19 meetings with the Padres before the start of this series. The Nationals won Friday's opener 6-2, but couldn't follow up on Saturday, losing 6-3 to the Padres. San Diego left fielder Dave Roberts was 3-for-4 with a stolen base and two runs scored in the win and is batting .485 (16-for-33) during an eight-game hitting streak. Trevor Hoffman finished the game for San Diego and set a major league record with his 11th 30-save season. Hoffman now has 466 career saves. Jake Peavy (5-11, 4.81) tries to avoid a career-high 12th loss when he takes the ball for San Diego. The right-hander has struggled this season, but has shown improvement over his last two starts. The 2005 All-Star pitched seven strong innings on Tuesday, giving up just one run and six hits, but got no run support in a 1-0 defeat to Houston. That effort followed a 10-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 26 in which Peavy struck out eight and scattered five hits and two runs over seven innings. ''I'm back to myself,'' said Peavy, who is 2-3 with a 4.66 ERA in six career starts versus the Nationals. ''I'm going to have quality starts from here on out.'' The Padres hold a two-game lead over Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West despite suffering six losses in their last nine games. San Diego shortstop Khalil Greene is day-to-day with a sprained middle finger and is not expected to return in this series.
wow, we have a grand total of 0 regular hitters witha .300 average. (not counting Escobar)
And 4 balls to Lopez.
They dont run on the right counts. They need to run a little deeper in the count, or something. They are too predictable. Also I dont think Lopez got that great of a jump.
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