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05/26/10 11:44 PM ET

Stammen, Zito look for rebound outings

Washington starter Craig Stammen is looking for better luck and some better results. Giants starter Barry Zito is looking to bounce back from the worst start of what has otherwise been his best early season.

When the two pitchers meet Thursday in AT&T Park for the finale of a three-game series, they'll both have improvement on their minds.

In his last outing at home against the Orioles, Stammen gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings and fell victim to a bizarre play when Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan thought a deep fly ball off the bat of Adam Jones had bounced off his glove and over the wall and threw the glove to the ground in frustration, allowing Jones to score on a two-run inside-the-park home run.

The Nationals eventually won the game, but Stammen wasn't particularly pleased with his own performance, especially after giving up another homer to Ty Wigginton.

"It wasn't good enough, bottom line," Stammen said of his start. "I gave up two homers. Two two-run homers killed me."

In Zito's last start, his former team did the damage, disrupting a season that has seen the veteran lefty compile the most wins he's ever had through the first nine starts of a season and his lowest ERA.

The Oakland A's, the team Zito won an American League Cy Young Award for in 2002, and, coincidentally, the only team he's never beaten in the Major Leagues, knocked him around for a season-high six runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings last Friday. Two of those hits were back-to-back bloop doubles that fueled a three-run third inning.

"You just can't do anything about it," Zito said. "... I definitely felt better than the results. Sometimes that happens. ... I definitely have adjustments to make. I'm not content at all. I just have to stay low and keep grinding."

Nationals: Zimmerman sitting on milestone
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is one home run shy of 100 for his career. When he gets it, he'll be the second player drafted in 2005 or later to reach that mark. Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, selected fifth overall in the '05 First-Year Player Draft, one selection after Zimmerman, has 110 long balls. Braun hit his 100th last Sept. 9. ... In nine games beginning May 17, the date of Drew Storen's recall, the Washington bullpen is 3-1 with six holds, two saves in three opportunities and a 2.53 ERA (nine earned runs in 32 innings pitched).

Giants: Playing shorthanded
The decision to place shortstop Edgar Renteria on the disabled list Wednesday was made so late that there was no time to make a corresponding move to add a player. That meant the Giants were down one position player and one relief pitcher, as left-hander Jeremy Affledt was also unavailable. After the game, the Giants announced they were calling up Ryan Rohlinger, who was optioned to Triple-A Fresno when Renteria came off the disabled list Saturday in Oakland. ... Zito, who's 2-2 with a 4.33 ERA in six career appearances vs. the Nationals, lost his only start against Washington last year (May 13 at AT&T Park), allowing four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Zito was 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts vs. the Nationals in 2008.

Worth noting
After another victory in Wednesday's game against the Giants, in the 22 games dating back to May 5, the only Nationals starter to earn a win is Luis Atilano, who also beat the Mets on May 10. Other Nationals starters are winless in 14 games since that victory. ... The Giants announced Wednesday that the team will retire uniform No. 20 and celebrate the career of Giants Hall of Famer Monte Irvin on June 26, when the club hosts the Boston Red Sox at AT&T Park. Irvin will be joined by Giants Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Orlando Cepeda in a special pregame ceremony.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.