What to Watch for: 5.8.13

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Detroit Tigers (19-11) vs. Washington Nationals (17-15)

RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 1.82) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (5-1, 1.64)

Following a two-day break – after playing 17 games in 17 days – the Nationals return home to take on the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers in a short, two-game set. Familiar foe and former Marlin Anibal Sanchez matches up with Jordan Zimmermann, who shares the National League lead with five wins.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper RF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore LF

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

CATT’S MEOW

In 13 games dating to April 23, Steve McCatty’s starting staff has fashioned a 2.96 ERA (28 ER/85.0 IP) thanks in part to a 3.4/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a .218 batting average against.

THE SERIES

The Nationals, since their arrival in the Nation’s Capital, have never beaten the Tigers, going 0-6. The Nationals have posted wins against each of Major League Baseball’s other 28 clubs. This is the Tigers first visit to Nationals Park, although Detroit did sweep a three-game set in D.C., June 15-17, 2007 at RFK.

THE AMERICAN WAY

The Nationals are 21-15 in interleague play since the beginning of 2011. The corresponding .583 winning percentage paces National League clubs (tied for fifth in MLB) in that 2+ year span, during which Washington is 11-7 (.611) at Nationals Park when facing AL competition.

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