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Game 128: Nats at Royals

Aug 23, 2013, 5:27 PM EDT

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Instant analysis: Braves 2, Nats 1

The Nationals continue their road trip this weekend with a three game series at the Kansas City Royals, beginning tonight with a 8:10 first pitch. This is the first time the Nats have traveled to Kansas City in their nine years of existence. The two clubs have played just once, in a three game series at Nats Park in 2010.

The Royals have lost five straight games heading into the series, but remain seven games out of the AL Wild Card. This series could, in fact, be the last between the Nats and a team with something to fight for until the second half of September. At 64-62, Kansas City is the only team currently with a winning record the Nats play until they host Atlanta beginning Sept. 16.

Gio Gonzalez (7-6. 3.38) takes the mound for Washington with seven starts against the Royals under his belt. He used to battle them as an American League pitcher and hasn’t had a great history. Through 36 1/3 total innings vs. the Royals he holds a 6.44 ERA, 20 walks and seven homers allowed.

Fellow lefty Bruce Chen (5-1, 2.20) will pitch for Kansas City and make his 13th start against the Nationals. Through 12 outings he is 2-2 with a 4.93 ERA with eight home runs given up in 38 1/3 innings. Chen last faced Washington on June 21 in 2010 and went six innings with two runs surrendered.

Denard Span, in particular, has had great success off Chen in his career. Through 21 plate appearances, Span is batting .313 with four walks and two RBI.

Enjoy the game…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Where: Kauffman Stadium

Gametime: 8:10 p.m. EDT

TV: MASN 2, MLB.tv

Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 185

Weather: Mostly sunny, 88 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (63-64)
CF Denard Span
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Bryce Harper
DH Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Tyler Moore
2B Anthony Rendon
LHP Gio Gonzalez

ROYALS (64-62)
Lineup TBA
LHP Bruce Chen

UMPIRES
TBA

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 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: 1:30 p.m., 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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