Luis Atilano makes his Major League debut and lineups

The Nationals open a three-game series against the Dodgers tonight. Luis Atilano will make his MLB debut as the starting pitcher, in place of Jason Marquis who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Atilano was called up from Triple-A Syracuse earlier today and last pitched on Sunday. He went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts at Syracuse.

“Atilano is the hottest guy up there and he really threw well in Spring Training,” GM Mike Rizzo said. “He is on the same rotation as Jason, so we don’t have to move anybody up or back. It’s a smooth transition with him. Plus, he is the guy who deserves the start on Friday out of the guys from Triple-A. We are comfortable with it and that is our short-term solution. We’ll see what happens in the long term.”

Dodgers (7-8):

1.      Rafael Furcal – SS

2.      Garret Anderson – LF

3.      Andre Ethier – RF

4.      Matt Kemp – CF

5.      James Loney – 1B

6.      Ronnie Belliard – 3B

7.      Blake DeWitt – 2B

8.      A.J. Ellis – C

9.      Charlie Haeger – SP (0-1. 7.20 ERA)

*Wednesday night the Dodgers scored in eight of nine innings, only coming up empty in the fourth frame. According to Dave Smith of retrosheet.org, that ties a franchise record also established on three other occasions. A team has scored in all nine innings just three times in history, most recently in 1999 when the Rockies did it to the Cubs at Wrigley.

* Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp leads the Major Leagues with 20 runs scored and is tied for the Big League lead in home runs (7) and RBI (20).

 

 Nationals (8-8):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Cristian Guzman – SS

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Willie Harris – 3B

8.      Justin Maxwell – RF

9.    Luis Atilano – SP (MLB Debut)

*The Nationals are 5-3 in their last eight games despite playing the Rockies (defending NL Wild Card winner), Brewers (rank 2nd in MLB in runs scored) and Phillies (defending NL Champions).

*The Nationals are tied for the NL lead having been charged with just three unearned runs this season, while last year–through 16 games–Washington had been burdened by 13 unearned runs.

*Ivan Rodriguez enters play tonight tied with the Royals Scott Podsednik for the MLB lead in batting average. Rodriguez is hitting .449 (22-for-49) with 7 doubles and 8 RBI to date.

 

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