Aug 25, 2013, 1:18 PM EDT
After a 7-2 victory over the Royals last night, the Nationals have now won five straight games, all on the road, and 11 of their last 15 overall. They stand above .500 for the first time since July 14 and are 12 games back in the division after the Braves’ third straight loss on Saturday. That’s the closest they’ve been in three weeks. Just when they were written off, Washington has pulled off its best stretch of the 2013 season.
Even if the Nats keep it up the division is still a major longshot, but fortunately for them, the Reds haven’t been playing their best baseball either. The Nats now sit 8.5 games back from the Reds for the final NL Wild Card spot, and Washington has the advantage with their schedule. After they play the Royals today, the Nats face teams with losing records in each of their next 19 games. Conversely, the Reds play expected playoff teams in ten of their next 13, including seven games against the Cardinals.
Today the Nats look for their sixth consecutive win which would be their longest winning streak of the season. Dan Haren (8-11, 4.64) takes the mound against a club he’s been very successful against in the past. Through ten career starts vs. the Royals he is 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA.
Pitching for Kansas City will be right-hander Ervin Santana who has been one of their more reliable starters this year. He holds a 3.13 ERA through 167 innings in what has been the best season of his nine-year MLB career.
Enjoy the game…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Where: Kauffman Stadium
Gametime: 2:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN 2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 869
Weather: Mostly sunny, 92 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from LF
CF Denard Span
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Bryce Harper
DH Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam LaRoche
C Wilson Ramos
LF Tyler Moore
2B Anthony Rendon
RHP Dan Haren
LF Alex Gordon
2B Emilio Bonifacio
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Billy Butler
3B Mike Moustakas
C Salvador Perez
RF David Lough
SS Alcides Escobar
CF Jarrod Dyson
RHP Ervin Santana
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Saturday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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