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Game 96: Nats at Astros

Jul 18, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Minute Maid Park hosts the Nationals for the next three days.

After an eventful weekend in Atlanta that featured both positives and negatives, the Nationals continue their road trip in Houston, where the Astros boast the majors' worst record and have lost 16 of 19. Quite simply, this is the kind of series the Nats have to win if they've truly made that all-important leap into the fringes of contention.

Davey Johnson fields his regular lineup, with Wilson Ramos back behind the plate after getting yesterday off and Laynce Nix in left field. He's also got an important bench piece back, with Jerry Hairston activated off the DL after missing three weeks with a fractured wrist.

The Astros send rookie Jordan Lyles (a promising right-hander) to the mound for his ninth career start. Lyles, a first-round pick in 2008, is still in search of his first big-league win.

I'm not on the rest of this road trip, but please keep the conversation going as always here…

NATIONALS at ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 89 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (47-48)
CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse

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Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
NEW YORK7359
WASHINGTON66656.5
ATLANTA547819.0
MIAMI547919.5
PHILADELPHIA538020.5
*Through Tuesday's games

NL WILD CARD STANDINGS

WLGB
PITTSBURGH7951+4.5
CHICAGO7556
SAN FRANCISCO69636.5
WASHINGTON66659.0
*Through Tuesday's games

THE BASEBALL SHOW

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to recap everything happening with the Nats and across baseball.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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