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Game 8: Reds at Nats

Apr 13, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The first-place Nationals host the Reds in the first night home game of the year.

Do you remember the last time the Washington Nationals hosted a game while in sole possession of first place? Let's turn the way-back machine to July 21, 2005, when Frank Robinson's fast-fading, 54-41 Nats held a slim, 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East and welcomed the Astros to RFK Stadium. That night, Roy Oswalt shut out Washington over eight innings, out-dueling Esteban Loaiza. And though he served up a two-run homer to Preston Wilson in the bottom of the ninth, Houston closer Brad Lidge wound up retiring Brad Wilkerson and Brian Schneider to seal a 3-2 victory.

Since that day nearly seven years ago, the Nationals have spent a total of four days in sole possession of first place. All came during the first week of the 2008 season, when Manny Acta's club stormed out of the gates to a 3-0 start … before ultimately losing 102 games. All four of those days in first place came on the road.

So that makes for quite a backdrop to tonight's contest at Nationals Park, where the first-place Nats look to make it four in a row. Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound, hoping to duplicate his stellar effort from his season debut (with perhaps a little run support thrown in for a change). Veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo starts for Cincinnati.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back…

CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WFED (1500 AM), WHFS (1580 AM), XM 188
Weather: Clear, 65 degrees, Wind 4 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (5-2)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
WASHINGTON5245
NEW YORK51482.0
ATLANTA46537.0
MIAMI415812.0
PHILADELPHIA376316.5
*Through Monday's games

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