What to Watch for: 7/7

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Colorado Rockies (32-51) vs. Washington Nationals (48-33)

LHP Jeff Francis (2-1, 5.16) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-3, 3.01)

The Nationals look to bounce back this afternoon after a 5-1 loss to the Rockies last night. Gio Gonzalez, already with 11 wins, has the chance to snag his fourth consecutive victory and bring the team back up to its high-water mark of 16 games over .500.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Moore LF

8. Flores C

9. Gonzalez LHP

D.C.’S 1-2 PUNCH

Washington is 25-8 (.758) in games started by Stephen Strasburg or Gio Gonzalez this year. Only once this season have the Nationals lost consecutive games started by Strasburg and Gonzalez, while facing the Dodgers in April in Los Angeles.

GOOD BASEBALL GALORE

Despite Friday’s setback, the Nationals have won four of their last five contests, 10 of 16 and 16 of 26. If the Nationals (48-33, .593) can best the Rockies both today and tomorrow, they will record the best first-”half” winning percentage since their arrival in The District.

HOT TO TROT

With the National Weather Service issuing an Excessive Heat Warning for today, note that the hottest game Nationals (2005-present) on record came via a 104-degree first pitch last Saturday, June 30 at Turner Field (L, 5-7). Assuming triple-digit temps at first pitch today, this will mark the fifth time in 12 games dating to June 25 that the Nationals have battled temps of at least 100 degrees.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. ROCKIES LIVE -

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