What to Watch for: 5.14.13

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Washington Nationals (21-17) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (15-22)

RHP Dan Haren (4-3, 5.17) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 1.62)

The Nationals opened their 10-game California trip with a 6-2 victory on Monday night and hope to keep their winning ways going against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Dan Haren takes the mound for Washington riding a three-game winning streak over which he has fashioned a 3.15 ERA, striking out 12 and walking just two.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Espinosa 2B

2. Lombardozzi LF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Desmond SS

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore RF

7. Ramos C

8. Perez CF

9. Haren RHP

BETTER THAN LAST YEAR’S BEST

Nationals starting pitchers rank second in the Major League Baseball with a 3.19 ERA (83 ER/234.0 IP). Last season, Washington paced the National League in starters ERA at 3.40.

GOING STREAKING

Adam LaRoche enters tonight’s action riding a 10-game hit streak, one shy of his career-long of 11 (accomplished twice, last July 22-August 3, 2012). During the stretch, which began on May 2, LaRoche has gone 14-for-34 (.412) with two doubles, four RBI, six walks and five runs scored, posting a .488 OBP and a .958 OPS. LaRoche joins Ian Desmond (10 games, April 24-May 3) as the only Nationals to put together double-digit streaks this season.

NO DOUBLE DIPPING

With just 20 GIDPs, the Nationals have been the second-toughest club in the NL to double-up this season (NYM, 15 GDP). Denard Span, who has not grounded into a double play since September 24 last season, currently ranks third in the NL with 137 at-bats without a GIDP.

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