Jun 2, 2013, 3:48 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats wrap up their series at Turner Field this afternoon.
ATLANTA — Having lost last night's game in frustrating fashion, the Nationals now find themselves in something of a must-win spot this afternoon, desperately needing to take this series and gain ground on the Braves instead of falling to 6 1/2 games back. Which puts some undo pressure on Nate Karns, making only his second career start.
Karns impressed in his debut Tuesday against the Orioles, but he'll need to take it up another notch today against Atlanta, which has had some time to scout the right-hander. The key for Karns: Can he save something in the tank for the second time around the lineup and get through at least five innings?
Paul Maholm starts for the Braves, and he's been great against the Nationals so far this season, giving up two runs and seven hits in 15 2/3 innings. The left-hander will be facing a lineup that today features a 6-7-8 of Tyler Moore, Danny Espinosa and Jhonatan Solano. The rationale for starting Espinosa, despite his struggles: He's traditionally a much better right-handed hitter. The problem: He's hitting .129 from the right side of the plate this year, worse than his .168 average from the left side.
Updates to come, so please check back…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Chance of storms, 81 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to CF
CF Denard Span
LF Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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