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News, notes from Sunday game vs. Washington Nationals

The Arizona Diamondbacks conclude their weekend series with the Washington Nationals with a 1:10 pm start on Sunday at Chase Field. The game can be seen on Bally Sports Arizona.

May 6, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks’ Emmanuel Rivera (15) sneaks a foot in safely past the tag of Washington Nationals infielder Luis García (2) at Chase Field.

Rivera on a roll since Diamondbacks call-up

Emmanuel Rivera wasn’t upset about being optioned to Triple-A Reno after the World Baseball Classic, in which he played for Puerto Rico. And since he was called up to the Diamondbacks on April 25 after they optioned Jake McCarthy to Reno to work on his hitting, Rivera has provided offensive punch.

After his first home run of the season and two hits Saturday for the Diamondbacks in a wild 8-7 win, Rivera entered Sunday’s series finale against the Washington Nationals batting .423 in eight games since his callup.

Rivera has hits in seven of the eight games in which he’s played for his Diamondbacks. He wasn’t in Sunday’s lineup, but has stayed hot after batting .348 with six doubles, two triples, two home runs and 17 runs batted in for Reno, where he played 16 games.

“There’s no difference. Same work I’ve been doing every day. Working in the cage, working with a lot of confidence,” Rivera said in Spanish.

“I don’t have any control over those things,” he said of starting the season in Reno instead of Arizona, where he hit .227 with six home runs and 18 runs batted in over 27 games after being traded from the Kansas City Royals midseason. “All I can do is keep playing ball and playing well.”

Diamondbacks hitting coach Joe Mather said Rivera’s added experience since coming from Kansas City has made a difference.

“I really enjoyed watching all those guys in the WBC, watching him with Team Puerto Rico. You can see that he’s a gamer. And he cares about one thing, and that’s competing against the pitcher and winning the game, winning for his team,” Mather said of Rivera. “That type of mentality carries over through your work and into the game the more you play. So for me, man, he’s going to get better every year he plays just because of the way he goes about his business.”

Sunday’s Diamondbacks-Nationals pitching matchup

Chase Field, 1:10 pm, Diamondbacks RHP Ryne Nelson (1-2, 6.39) vs. Nationals RHP Trevor Williams (1-1, 3.41).

Nelson will be making his fourth home start of the season, but the first of his career against the Nationals and second of his career against an NL East opponent. On April 15, he faced the Miami Marlins in his first ever start against an NL East team. … Nelson has lost his last two starts, most recently at Colorado on April 30 where he allowed six earned runs on nine hits in four innings of work. … Williams will be facing the Diamondbacks for the first time in his career. He is coming off his best start of the season in which he struck out four with a walk and allowed four hits in 5 ⅓ scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs.

Coming up

Monday: At Chase Field, 6:40 pm, Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (4-1, 2.53) vs. Marlins LHP Braxton Garrett (1-1, 5.81).

Tuesday: At Chase Field, 6:40 pm, Diamondbacks RHP Brandon Pfaadt (0-0, 13.50) vs. Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (2-2, 3.66).

Wednesday: At Chase Field, 12:40 pm, Diamondbacks RHP Merrill Kelly (3-3, 2.75) vs. RHP Edward Cabrera (2-3, 4.78).

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Diamondbacks Daily: News, notes from Sunday game vs. Nationals

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