In fact, entering Thursday's action against the Giants, Lo Duca is hitting .308 with eight RBIs for the month of July. He also has shown his versatility by playing left field and first base and has held his own at both positions. Lo Duca is now the everyday first baseman for Washington because Dmitri Young is on the disabled list due to complications stemming from diabetes.
Lo Duca lost his starting job behind the plate because of injuries and the hot bat of Jesus Flores.
"Staying here is still an option, because if I'm going to get regular at-bats, I can still stay here and try to help the team win ballgames," Lo Duca said. "I understand this organization probably wants to move me because I'm probably not in the plans for next year."
WSH: RHP Tim Redding (7-4, 4.17 ERA)
Redding was chased after allowing six runs on six hits in four innings Friday against the Braves, taking his first loss since May 9. Since then, the right-hander had nine no-decisions and a win, when he tossed six scoreless innings against the Astros on July 10 in his final start before the All-Star break. He said he wasn't rusty Friday, and threw a bullpen session earlier in the week to prepare for the start. His command with his fastball was good, but he missed his location with two offspeed pitches that cost him five runs. Redding is 0-4 with a 6.49 ERA in seven career games (five starts) against the Giants.
SF: RHP Matt Cain (5-8, 4.08 ERA)
Cain pitched capably in his previous start -- six innings, three earned runs -- but he walked as many (five) as he struck out. Through the season, the righty's problems have revolved around his control. He's walked at least three batters in his past four starts and occasionally struggles keeping the ball down in the zone. Because of his location issues, Cain needed 110 pitches in his last outing -- nearly 20 per inning.
In his last six games, Flores is hitting .476 with a home run and nine RBIs. ... The Nationals collected 14 hits on Wednesday and are now hitting .244 as a team. ... Saul Rivera now has a 3.39 ERA this season.
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Official game notes
Friday: Nationals (John Lannan, 6-9, 3.29) at Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 9-9, 3.32), 10:40 p.m. ET
Saturday: Nationals (Odalis Perez, 3-7, 3.99) at Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 7-8, 3.97), 10:10 p.m. ET
Sunday: Nationals (Jason Bergmann, 1-7, 4.21) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 0-3, 5.18), 4:10 p.m. ET