Jun 14, 2013, 7:24 PM EDT
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Don't look now, but the Nationals have won back-to-back series for the first time since early-May (when they beat the Pirates and Tigers in succession). If they're going to claw their way back into the thick of the NL East race, this is how they have to do it, taking 2 of 3 from as many upcoming opponents as they can, and they were able to do it in the last week against the Twins and Rockies.
Tonight, the Nationals open a new series in Cleveland, against an Indians club also hovering around the .500 mark. Davey Johnson will have (in theory) his three best starters on the mound: Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg. That's obviously a good thing.
Offensively, Davey is going with a couple of twists with tonight's lineup. Taking advantage of the DH in the AL park, Ryan Zimmerman gets a chance to bat four or five times without taking the field. Chad Tracy will be at third place. Steve Lombardozzi, meanwhile, is at second base, with Anthony Rendon getting the night off.
I'm not in Cleveland this weekend, but please continue the conversation here. And a special thanks to all of you who continue to do your part to keep the discourse intelligent and respectful…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CLEVELAND INDIANS
Where: Progressive Field
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 182
Weather: Clear, 64 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from LF
CF Denard Span
LF Roger Bernadina
DH Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
NL EAST STANDINGS
*Through Saturday's games
NL WILD CARD STANDINGS
*Through Saturday's games
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