What to Watch for: 4.26.13

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Cincinnati Reds (13-10) vs. Washington Nationals (11-11)

RHP Homer Bailey (1-1, 3.24) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-1, 2.67)

The Nationals snagged the opening contest in this four-game set with an 8-1 victory behind Gio Gonzalez last night. They send team wins leader Jordan Zimmermann to the hill against Reds starter Homer Bailey, who has a 0.90 home ERA, but allowed seven earned runs in just 5.0 innings in his lone road start of the season thus far.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Lombardozzi 3B

3. Harper LF

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

FIRST THINGS FIRST

With the Nationals claiming Thursday’s series opener, 8-1, over the Reds, it should be noted that the Nationals have not lost a home series in which they won the series opener since September 5-8, 2011 vs. Los Angeles (Washington lost that series, two games to one, despite a series-opening victory). Since that series setback, Washington is 16-0-3 in series play at Nationals Park when earning a win in the series lid lifter.

AGGRESSIVE APRIL

Bryce Harper has already set a Nationals (2005-present) club record for home runs in April with eight. His long ball on Thursday moved him past Alfonso Soriano, who previously held the same April mark (seven in 2006). Harper’s 16 RBI is just one shy of matching Adam LaRoche (17 in 2012) and Ryan Zimmerman (17 in ‘06) for the club’s RBI standard in April.

JORDAN RULES DC

Jordan Zimmermann gets the starting nod for Washington hoping to extend his pitching excellence in the Nation’s Capital. Since the beginning of last June, Zimmermann is 7-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 starts at Nationals Park, during which Washington is 10-3 as a club.

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