Jun 25, 2015, 12:17 PM EDT
Winners of eight of their last 11, the Nationals have a chance to secure a sweep over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday afternoon, as they get set to head out on a road trip beginning with Philly this weekend.
The Nats will play without Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, who are both getting days off. Matt Williams says both are available to pinch-hit, but Harper did suffer a right leg cramp in Wednesday night’s win. Rendon is dealing with soreness in his oblique and, according to Williams, now has some soreness in his left quad as well.
The Nats’ starting rotation hasn’t allowed a run in its last 34 1/3 innings and now Doug Fister (2-3, 4.80) will take his turn. The big right-hander made his return from the disabled list in his last outing and gave up five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rays. He felt encouraged by how his right forearm felt after rehabbing a strain, but will certainly hope for better results against Atlanta.
Pitching for the Braves is right-hander Matt Wisler (1-0, 1.13), who will make just his second career start. Wisler debuted on June 19 against the Mets and was impressive with eight innings of one-run ball.
Stay tuned for updates…
ATLANTA BRAVES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 187
Weather: Chance of rain, 83 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from RF
CF Denard Span
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Clint Robinson
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
1B Tyler Moore
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Doug Fister
2B Jace Peterson
CF Cameron Maybin
RF Nick Markakis
C A.J. Pierzynski
1B Joey Terdoslavich
3B Kelly Johnson
LF Jonny Gomes
SS Pedro Ciriaco
RHP Matt Wisler
HP Mike Estabrook
1B Dana DeMuth (cc)
2B Sam Holbrook
3B Ed Hickox
4:23 p.m. — The Nats are up 1-0 on the Braves early here thanks to some run manufacturing in the first inning. Span led off with a single and reached second on a rare error by Markakis in right field. Prior to today, he had not committed an error in a MLB-record 398 consecutive games. Span then moved to third on a sac bunt by Espinosa. He scored on a groundout to first base by Escobar. 1-0 it is as Fister will go back out there for the second.
4:46 p.m. — The Nats added two more runs in the second inning and now lead 3-0. Ramos led off with a double and scored on a throwing error by Johnson to first. That error allowed Desmond to reach base and he later scored on a double to center field by Taylor. Fister extended the Nats’ rotation’s team record of consecutive scoreless innings to 36 1/3 in the second. On to the third we go.
5:16 p.m. — The Nationals put three more runs on the board on the third and now lead 6-0 on the Braves. Escobar got it started with a one-out double and scored in the next at-bat on a single to center by Robinson. Ramos then reached on an infield grounder when Robinson broke up the double play at second. And Desmond followed that with a two-run bomb to right field. Nats are enjoying a comfortable lead as Fister will take the mound for the fourth inning.
5:29 p.m. — No runs to report on in the fourth inning. Fister got the Braves to go down 1-2-3 and the Nats couldn’t take advantage of singles by Fister and Espinosa. It’s 6-0 with the fifth up next.
5:44 p.m. — It’s still 6-0 after five. The Braves saw Johnson lead off with a single and Gomes follow with a HBP, but that was it. Robinson singled and Moore walked for the Nats, but they did not score. Fister will go back out there having thrown 73 pitches so far.
5:57 p.m. — No scoring once again in the sixth inning. Fister extended the Nats starters’ scoreless streak to 40 1/3 innings, and the bats went silent in the bottom half of the frame. It’s still 6-0 heading to the seventh inning.
6:13 p.m. — Another quiet inning for both teams, as Fister keeps the Braves from crossing the plate to extend the scoreless streak to 41 1/3 innings. Blake Treinen is coming on in the eighth inning with the Nats up 6-0.
6:34 p.m. — The Nats took advantage of another Braves miscue to tack on another run in the eighth inning. After a botched double play attempt on a Michael A. Taylor ground ball, Matt den Dekker laced an RBI single to make it 7-0. We’re headed to the ninth.
6:41 p.m. — And that’ll do it. The Nats win 7-0 to sweep the Braves and extend their winning streak to six games.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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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