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Game 26: Nats at Braves

Apr 29, 2013, 7:33 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats open a four-game series at Turner Field tonight.

ATLANTA — Only a couple of days ago, the Nationals looked at this week's trip to Atlanta potentially as a make-or-break early series against their division rivals, who held a 5-game lead and looked unstoppable. How quickly things change. All of a sudden, it's the Nats who feel good about themselves (after taking three of four from the Reds over the weekend) and the Braves who are in panic-mode (having lost seven of 10 and seen their NL East lead dwindle to 2 1/2 games).

This does still remain an important series for the Nationals, who certainly want to avenge their earlier sweep at the hands of the Braves in D.C. And it's an important start tonight for Stephen Strasburg, who is mired in a four-game losing streak for the first time in his career even though he's pitched fairly well during that stretch.

As expected, Wilson Ramos has been activated off the 15-day disabled list, with Jhonatan Solano optioned back to Class AAA Syracuse. Ramos, though, is surprisingly not in the lineup tonight. Kurt Suzuki will be behind the plate working with Strasburg. Anthony Rendon also has the night off, with Chad Tracy starting at third base against Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran.

Updates to come…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, ESPN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (13-12)
CF Denard Span
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth

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NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
WASHINGTON4334
NEW YORK40383.5
ATLANTA36417.0
MIAMI324611.5
PHILADELPHIA275217.0
*Through Tuesday's games

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