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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 4 with Arizona Diamondbacks in Chase Field

Washington’s Nationals try to make it two straight vs the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2nd of 4 in Chase Field.

Washington Nationals  v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Each series is important, of course, but Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters before last night’s series opener with the Arizona Diamondbacks that this week’s four-game set in Chase Field was a good test.

“In order to get to where we want to be, these are the teams we’ve got to beat,” Martinez said.

“The Diamondbacks are really good right now. I’m looking forward to today, and trying to win today, and then we’ll move forward from there.”

Martinez’s squad took the series opener 2-1 in extra innings, just their fourth win in 13 one-run games this season.

Matt Adams came up big again with an RBI single off D-backs’ lefty Andrew Chafin in the top of the 11th inning. It was Adams’ fourth hit in 13 at bats against left-handed hitters in 2018, after he and Nationals’ hitting coach Kevin Long made some adjustments in Spring Training to try to help the slugger improve against lefties.

Martinez said he thinks the work has been paying dividends.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to him working with K-Long and [Assistant Hitting Coach] Joe Dillon,” Martinez told reporters. “He’s staying on the ball. He’s using the whole field, which is nice to see. And I had all the confidence in the world. We were joking around and I told him, ‘Hey, I’m going to bet the farm right here that you’re going to come through. So just get the ball up and have a good at bat,’ and he did.”

Adams has been crushing right-handed pitching, (21 for 71, .296/.412/.718, three doubles, 10 home runs), so he’s back in there tonight as the Nationals take on D-backs’ righty Matt Koch in the second game of the series, and he’s playing first base.

Martinez kept Zimmerman out of the lineup yesterday, telling reporters, “He’s starting to swing the bat good, and we want to keep it that way. I don’t want to mess anything up. I want him to be healthy for the whole year,” as quoted on MLB.com.

After the game, however, Martinez said that Zimmerman, who missed three games with a back issue before returning for two games in San Diego, tightened up again last night.

“He tried to get loose,” Martinez explained, “... so we had to back down a little bit. So we’ll have to reevaluate tomorrow.”

Zimmerman’s sitting out again this evening. We’ll see what Martinez has to say about him in his pregame press conference.

HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 4 WITH THE D-BACKS: