Hernandez to face former team

Hernandez to face former team

Squaring off against former teammates is nothing new for Livan Hernandez.

"I've been in a lot of situations like this," the veteran right-hander said. "I've faced the Giants -- I've faced the Marlins a lot of times. I've done that a lot. I've just got to go outside and do my job and try to win."

Hernandez pitched for the Expos/Nationals from 2003 until he was dealt to Arizona in August of last year in exchange for Minor League pitchers Garrett Mock and Matt Chico.

"I've got a lot of friends over there and I've got a lot of respect for the owners," Hernandez said of the Nats. "[The owners] are doing a great job bringing baseball back to D.C. I think D.C. is a great city for the sport to be in. They support the players very good. Not good. Very good."

Nats manager Manny Acta was a coach in Montreal while Hernandez was there.

"I'm happy that Manny Acta is getting the chance to be a manager," he said. "Manny's great and I think he's a great manager."

Hernandez started twice against the Nats last year, once in Washington and once in Phoenix. He got the win at home, but suffered the loss at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

The D-backs have made good use of Hernandez's knowledge of his former mates. Edgar Gonzalez credited Hernandez with encouraging him to throw more offspeed pitches in his win Thursday because the Nats hitters, Hernandez said, don't hit them as well. It was a similar strategy that was used by Micah Owings in his win the following night.

In his first start of the 2007 season, it took Hernandez a couple of innings to find his rhythm, as he allowed a run in each of the first two innings. He was lights out after that, as he allowed just one more hit before leaving the game after seven innings.

"Great job to get out there and give us as much as he did after they got the runs early," manager Bob Melvin said after the game.

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Livan Hernandez (0-0, 2.57 ERA)
Hernandez is one of just three pitchers in Major League Baseball to make 30 or more starts in each of the last nine seasons.

WAS: RHP Shawn Hill (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
Hill allowed five runs (two earned) over five innings of work against the Marlins last week.

Player to watch
Third baseman Brian Barden is likely to get his first big-league start.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• 3TV

On radio
• 620 AM KTAR, 1400 AM KSUN (Español)

Up next
• Monday: (LHP Doug Davis, 0-1, 0.00) vs. Cincinnati (RHP Bronson Arroyo, 0-1, 5.14), 6:40 p.m. MST
• Tuesday: (RHP Edgar Gonzalez, 1-0, 3.60) vs. Cincinnati (RHP Kyle Lohse, 0-0, 2.84), 6:40 p.m. MST
• Wednesday: (RHP Micah Owings, 1-0, 0.00) vs. Cincinnati (RHP Matt Belisle, 1-0, 1.50), 6:40 p.m. MST

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