What to Watch for: 5.16.13

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Washington Nationals (21-19) vs. San Diego Padres (18-21)

RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-5, 3.10) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (3-3, 5.15)

The Nationals head south for the second stop on their three-city California tour as the open a four-game, weekend set with the San Diego Padres Thursday night at Petco Park. Stephen Strasburg makes his first-ever Major League start in his hometown city, where he also attended college at San Diego State University.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Lombardozzi 2B

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Bernadina RF

8. Suzuki C

9. Strasburg RHP

GOING STREAKING

Adam LaRoche enters tonight’s action riding a 12-game hit streak, marking his career long and the longest hit streak by a Nationals player this season. During the stretch, which began on May 2, LaRoche has gone 16-for-41 (.390) with two doubles, a homer, five RBI, seven walks and six runs scored, posting a .469 OBP & .982 OPS. His hit streak, which has raised his average 85 points, began after hitting just .129 (11-for-85) in his initial 25 games this season.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Washington is 16-2 when scoring first this season, compared to 5-17 when its opponent gets on the board first. The Nationals have been outscored 16-22 in the first frame this season, but have outscored their opponents 21-10 in the second inning.

RISP FACTOR

Washington’s offense has gone two consecutive contests without recording a knock with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-13 in those games. The Nationals have gone hitless in 14 straight at-bats with RISP, since Roger Bernadina’s sixth-inning single on Monday at Los Angeles. During the current five-game rough stretch (1-4 record), Washington has batted just .133 (6-for-45) with RISP.

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