What to Watch for: 6/21

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Tampa Bay Rays (38-30) vs. Washington Nationals (39-27)

LHP Matt Moore (4-5, 4.16) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-3, 2.52)

The Nationals and Rays meet for the rubber game in this series after Washington held on for a hard-fought, 3-2 victory on Wednesday night to snap a four-game losing streak. This is the final game of the homestand for Washington before beginning a 10-game road trip in Baltimore Friday night.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

Espinosa 2B

Harper CF

Zimmerman 3B

Morse RF

Desmond SS

Moore 1B

Nady LF

Flores C

Gonzalez LHP

RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

Washington, having split two games against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, plays its third rubber game of 2012 tonight. The Nationals won their two previous rubber games, 5/3 vs. Arizona (2-1) and 4/11 at New York (NL) (4-0). In 2011, the Nationals finished 9-14 overall in rubber games.

DC’s 1-2 PUNCH

The Nationals are 22-5 (.815) this season in games started by Stephen Strasburg (winner on Wednesday vs. Tampa Bay) and Gio Gonzalez, who starts tonight in the series finale. Gio (11.1 K/9.0 IP) and Rays’ starter Matt Moore (9.4/9.0 IP) are two of eight qualified lefties fanning 1.0+ batter per inning.

2ND-PLACE HOLD-ER

With a scoreless eighth inning Wednesday vs. Tampa Bay, Sean Burnett pocketed his 52nd hold as a member of the Nationals and moved past Jon Rauch (51) and into sole possession of second place on the club’s all-time list. Only Tyler Clippard (74) has more career franchise holds than Burnett.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. RAYS LIVE -

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