Hanrahan wants to regain Nats' trust

Hanrahan wants to regain trust

WASHINGTON -- The month of April turned out to be far from perfect for right-hander Joel Hanrahan. In 10 games, Hanrahan gave up eight runs in nine innings -- and lost his job as the closer.

His worst game came on April 27 against the Phillies. The bases were loaded when Raul Ibanez came to the plate. Hanrahan felt he had no choice but to throw a fastball, and he paid the price, as Ibanez hit a grand slam to give Philadelphia a 13-11 victory. It was Hanrahan's third blown save of the season.

Hanrahan lost his role as the closer after the game, but manager Manny Acta has not given up on him. He believes Hanrahan will be back in his old role in the future.

"I just got to get back out there and pitch. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen," Hanrahan said.

Since that game in Philadelphia, Hanrahan has appeared in two non-pressure games, giving up no runs in 1 2/3 innings.

"Any time a reliever has a rough day, he wants to get back out there -- Manny knows that, [pitching coach] Randy St. Claire knows that," Hanrahan said. "The best way to get over a bad day is to get back out there. It's good to get back out there and get people out . ... Friday was a good start. I'm going to build off that and keep it going."

Hanrahan hopes to get another chance on Monday, when the Astros face the Nationals at Nationals Park. It will be Washington's first game since Saturday afternoon. Sunday's game against the Cardinals was postponed because of rain.

Washington will play Houston for the first time this season. Last year, the Nationals won two out of six games against them.

Pitching matchup
WSH: LHP John Lannan (0-3, 4.61 ERA)
On Tuesday against the Phillies, Lannan had one bad inning, and it proved costly. The contest was scoreless until the third. After Chase Utley hit a two-run homer, Lannan was able to get the second out of the inning, but then Jayson Werth reached on an error by shortstop Alberto Gonzalez. Lannan said the shoddy defense didn't rattle him, but he continued to have problems on the mound. After Raul Ibanez walked to put runners on first and second, Pedro Feliz hit a three-run homer. Two innings later, Utley hit his second homer. Lannan pitched five innings and gave up six runs -- three earned -- on nine hits.

HOU: RHP Brian Moehler (0-2, 27.00 ERA)
Moehler slides back into the rotation after missing nearly three weeks with a sprained right knee. The right-hander made two rehab starts, reaching 90 pitches in his most recent outing at Double-A Frisco on April 29. Moehler has faced the Nationals 12 times in his career, including seven starts. He has a 2-4 record and a 5.95 ERA vs. Washington, allowing 26 earned runs over 39 1/3 innings.

Austin Kearns has reached base in each of his 15 starts this season. ... Adam Dunn leads the Nationals with a .460 on-base percentage. ... The Nationals' pitching staff has a 5.01 ERA. ... Left-hander Scott Olsen leads the Nationals in strikeouts with 20.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MASN 2

On radio
• WFED 1500, SBN 1390 (Español), ESPN 730 (Sp.)

Up next
• Tuesday: Nationals (Scott Olsen, 1-3,6.07 ) vs. Astros (Roy Oswalt, 0-2, 3.82), 12:35 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Nationals (Daniel Cabrera, 0-2, 4.44) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 0-2, 5.46), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann, 2-1, 4.24) at Dodgers (Randy Wolf, 1-1, 3.93), 10:10 p.m. ET

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.