Series: Game 1 of 3

Philadelphia leads 1-0 (as of 8/25)

Game 1: Monday, August 25
Game 2: Tuesday, August 26
Game 3: Wednesday, August 27

Nationals 2

(75-55, 32-30 away)

Phillies 3

(59-72, 31-38 home)

    Coverage:  CSN

    7:05 PM ET, August 25, 2014

    Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    WSH 000001001 2 6 0
    PHI 00011010 - 3 8 0

    W: A. Burnett (7-14)

    L: T. Roark (12-8)

    S: J. Papelbon (32)

    Nationals-Phillies Preview


    Despite receiving a rare poor performance from their rotation, the Washington Nationals extended their outstanding stretch with their best offensive showing of the season.

    The NL East leaders aren't likely to need another huge scoring outburst with Tanner Roark on the mound.

    As Roark looks to build on another strong outing, the visiting Nationals try for a 13th victory in 14 games Monday night in the series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Washington starters have posted a 2.22 ERA during a 12-1 stretch that included a franchise-record 10 consecutive victories before a 10-3 loss in Friday's series opener with San Francisco.

    Stephen Strasburg allowed five runs over four innings Sunday, but the Nationals (75-54) picked him up by pounding out 18 hits in a 14-6 victory. Jose Lobaton had three hits, while Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa all homered for Washington, which combined for 13 runs in its previous four games.

    "We need to keep it going as long as we can," Strasburg said.

    Now Washington will try to equal its season high with a fourth straight road win behind Roark (12-7, 2.80 ERA). The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his last eight starts and 5-1 with a 1.78 mark in his last eight on the road.

    Roark allowed five hits over seven shutout innings Wednesday, but did not get a decision after the bullpen blew his lead in a 3-2 home win over Arizona. He joined Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels as the only pitchers with at least 10 starts of seven-plus innings and one or fewer runs allowed.

    Roark gave up seven runs in four-plus innings in a 7-2 loss at Philadelphia on May 3, but pitched better against the Phillies on July 13, surrendering one run and four hits over seven in a 10-3 road win.

    Washington seeks a ninth victory in 14 meetings with Philadelphia this season, while the last-place Phillies (58-72) are looking for a fourth win in five games following Sunday's 7-1 home victory over St. Louis.

    Ben Revere, who is tied with Colorado's Justin Morneau for the NL batting lead, is hitting .372 over his last 17 games after going 2 for 3 Sunday.

    The Phillies will likely need another big day at the plate to back A.J. Burnett (6-14, 4.42), who has posted a 6.41 ERA while matching a career high with six consecutive defeats. The right-hander gave up five runs, four walks and struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 5-2 loss at Seattle.

    "I'm not making pitches when I need to make pitches," said Burnett, who has a MLB-high 76 walks.

    This will be Burnett's fifth start of the season against the Nationals. He is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two home starts against them compared to going 0-2 with a 10.57 ERA in two road matchups. He was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Chris Guccione after allowing five runs in 1 2/3 innings in an 11-0 loss at Washington on Aug. 2.

    Anthony Rendon is 5 for 12 with two home runs against Burnett in 2014, while Adam LaRoche is 4 for 9 with a homer and three doubles. Denard Span has gone 5 for 12 against Burnett this year, and is 20 for 54 (.370) versus the Phillies this season.

    Philadelphia's Cody Asche is batting .375 with four doubles in the season series, though Ryan Howard is 5 for 48 (.104) with 21 strikeouts and Chase Utley is 8 for 49 (.163) against the Nationals.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakW2L2
    Last 108-23-7

    Pitching Matchup

    T. Roark
    15-10, 2.85 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/23 vs NYM
    6.1 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Win
    A. Burnett
    8-18, 4.59 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at PHI
    6.2 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    1. D. Span, CF B. Revere, CF
    2. A. Rendon, 3B J. Rollins, SS
    3. J. Werth, RF C. Utley, 2B
    4. A. LaRoche, 1B R. Howard, 1B
    5. I. Desmond, SS M. Byrd, RF
    6. B. Harper, LF D. Brown, LF
    7. W. Ramos, C C. Ruiz, C
    8. D. Espinosa, 2B C. Asche, 3B
    9. T. Roark, P A. Burnett, P

    Research Notes

    Good talking points for Monday... Best 3 records since the All-Star Break belong to the Royals, Nationals and Orioles...All 3 teams are in 1st place in their respective divisions with the Nationals and Orioles owning the largest divisional leads in baseball... The Royals lead the Tigers by 2 games in the AL Central...This is the 4th time in franchise history they have led their division through August 24th...the previous 3 times, they made the postseason, with the last time in 1980...KC made the World Series... Since the Nationals inaugural season in 1969, they have only lead their division by ANY amount through games on August 24th TWICE...this season and 2012...their current lead of 8 games is the largest lead they have ever held on this date... The Orioles lead their division by 6 games through games on August 24th...That is the 6th time in franchise history they have owned a lead of 6 or more games on this date (including this year) and the previous 5 times they have gone on to make the playoffs, with 4 of the 5 times making the World Series...
    A.J. Burnett throws his curveball 32.8 percent of the time, which is the most among qualified pitchers this year. The Washington Nationals have a .507 OPS in at-bats that end in a curveball, which is the fourth lowest in baseball.

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