Stephen Strasburg is slated to make his first big-league appearance in nearly four weeks on Saturday, and he is not happy about the lengthy time period away. Strasburg will attempt to take out his frustration on the San Diego Padres when the visiting Washington Nationals look for their third straight victory in the four-game series.

Strasburg has been ailing with a nerve impingement in his right elbow and expressed his frustration after making a rehab start for Single-A Potomac earlier this week. "I felt like I was ready to come back before this," Strasburg told reporters. "But they wanted to be conservative, so hopefully this was enough." San Diego recorded just four hits in Friday's 7-1 loss and has scored only two runs while losing the first two games of the set. Carlos Asuaje recorded two hits for the Padres and is 7-for-18 during his five-game hitting streak.

TV: 8:40 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSN San Diego

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (10-3, 3.25 ERA) vs. Padres LH Travis Wood (2-4, 6.46)

Strasburg dominated the Padres - the team for which he cheered while growing up in the San Diego area - on May 27, when he registered a career-best 15 strikeouts and gave up three hits in seven scoreless innings. The 29-year-old former San Diego State star is 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA in seven career starts against San Diego and has won both of his turns at Petco Park. Strasburg has dominated the hot-hitting Cory Spangenberg, striking him out six times in eight hitless at-bats.

Wood is 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA in four starts since being acquired from Kansas City. The 30-year-old pitched six scoreless innings against Pittsburgh en route to winning he debut with the team but has lasted just five frames in each of his last three outings. Wood is 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA in nine career appearances (two starts) against Washington and has shut down Daniel Murphy (1-for-10) while struggling with Ryan Zimmerman (3-for-7, one homer).


1. Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (neck) was scratched from Friday's start and placed on the disabled list.

2. Padres rookie RF Hunter Renfroe (20 homers) was benched on Friday as he is mired in a 20-game homerless drought and has recorded only two RBIs this month.

3. Washington LF Howie Kendrick homered on Friday, giving him four blasts and eight RBIs over his last five contests.

PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Padres 2