Final

Series: Game 2 of 4

Washington leads 2-0 (as of 4/26)

Game 1: Thursday, April 25
Cincinnati1Final
Washington8
Game 2: Friday, April 26
Cincinnati0Final
Washington1
Game 3: Saturday, April 27
Cincinnati3Final
Washington6
Game 4: Sunday, April 28
Cincinnati5Final
Washington2

Reds 0

(13-11, 1-7 away)

Nationals 1

(12-11, 8-6 home)

Coverage:  MASN

7:05 PM ET, April 26, 2013

Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. 

123456789 R H E
CIN 000000000 0 1 0
WSH 00010000 - 1 6 1

W: J. Zimmermann (4-1)

L: H. Bailey (1-2)

Reds-Nationals Preview

STATS LLC

While the Washington Nationals busted out of their slump, the Cincinnati Reds' struggles at the plate continue.

Both teams, however, could have trouble offensively Friday night with the Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann squaring off against the Reds' Homer Bailey in the nation's capital.

After managing four runs during a four-game losing streak, Washington beat Cincinnati 8-1 on Thursday as Denard Span and Danny Espinosa each drove in three runs.

Espinosa and Bryce Harper both homered for the Nationals (11-11), who finished with five extra-base hits -- equaling the number they had during the skid. They had 12 hits overall Thursday after batting .169 in the previous six games.

"This is definitely more of what I expect from our team than the last three games," said Espinosa, who had been in a 2-for-18 slump and entered the game batting .155.

All that offense was more than enough for Gio Gonzalez, who went eight innings and allowed one hit -- a fourth-inning homer to Joey Votto.

"It's been a long time since we've been shaking hands," said manager Davey Johnson, whose team also snapped a six-game home losing streak. "That's more like what we are -- good pitching and timely hitting."

Washington could be up against some strong pitching in a matchup with Bailey (1-1, 3.24 ERA), whose only win this year came against the Nationals. In his season debut April 5, the right-hander allowed two hits over six innings in a 15-0 win.

Other than being knocked around by St. Louis in his second start, Bailey is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his other three outings. He has 18 strikeouts over his last 14 innings, yielding two runs.

Zimmermann's turn in the rotation did not come up in these teams' series earlier this month, and Cincinnati (13-10) probably didn't mind.

Zimmermann (3-1, 2.67) was sharp in his two starts against the Reds last season, going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA. He has a 0.71 ERA in two career home starts versus Cincinnati.

After throwing 103 pitches in a six-hitter against Miami on April 15, Zimmermann labored against the New York Mets on Sunday, needing 96 pitches to go five in a 2-0 loss. He exited after giving up two runs, two hits and three walks -- the same number he issued through his first three starts. He threw a season-high 36 balls.

"I fell behind guys, didn't throw a lot of first-pitch strikes," the righty said. "Without first-pitch strikes, you have to work a little harder."

Zimmermann has limited Jay Bruce to one hit in 11 at-bats, but Votto is 4 for 8 with a homer.

The Reds have been scuffling at the plate, managing four total runs in dropping two of three. They had averaged 5.8 runs in winning seven of their previous eight.

Cleanup hitter Brandon Phillips is hitless in 10 at-bats in the last three games while Bruce is 1 for 10 with five strikeouts.

Shin-Soo Choo was 0 for 3 on Friday but walked in the ninth inning and has reached base safely in his first 22 games this season. The leadoff hitter has scored 18 times and leads the majors with a .523 on-base percentage.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Gameday Matchup

 CincinnatiWashington
W-L90-7286-76
Night56-4561-49
Grass90-7286-76
Current StreakL5L1
Last 104-65-5

Pitching Matchup

CincinnatiWashington
H. Bailey
11-12, 3.49 ERA

Last Game:
9/27 vs PIT
5.0 IP, 4 ER
Dec = Loss
J. Zimmermann
19-9, 3.25 ERA

Last Game:
9/25 at STL
7.0 IP, 4 ER
Dec = Loss

Gameday Lineups

NO.CincinnatiWashington
1. S. Choo, CF D. Span, CF
2. C. Izturis, SS S. Lombardozzi, 3B
3. J. Votto, 1B B. Harper, LF
4. B. Phillips, 2B J. Werth, RF
5. J. Bruce, RF A. LaRoche, 1B
6. T. Frazier, 3B I. Desmond, SS
7. X. Paul, LF D. Espinosa, 2B
8. C. Miller, C K. Suzuki, C
9. H. Bailey, P J. Zimmermann, P