What to Watch for: 5.28.13

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Baltimore Orioles (28-23) vs. Washington Nationals (26-25)

RHP Kevin Gausman (0-1, 7.20) vs. RHP Nathan Karns (0-0, 0.00) 

The bats never got hot as the Nationals dropped the first game of the 2013 Battle of the Beltways yesterday. Washington looks to turn it around in a clash of rookie pitchers in the final game of a five-game homestand. Right-handed prospect Nathan Karns will get the start for the Nats, while the Orioles will put 22-year-old Kevin Gausman, who is making his second big league start, on the mound.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Lombardozzi 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Moore LF

7. Bernadina RF

8. Suzuki C

9. Karns RHP

HERE’S TO A SWEET 16TH

Tonight, Nathan Karns will become the first pitcher to make a Major League debut for the Nationals in a starting role since Tommy Milone burst on the scene on September 3, 2011 vs. the New York Mets in a start that is likely best remembered for him homering on the first pitch he saw. Karns will be the 16th pitcher to debut in the big leagues in a starting role for the Nationals. The Nationals are 9-6 in these 15 debuts and the starters in those games are collectively 4-5 with a 5.40 ERA (45 ER/75.0 IP). The most recent of these 15 neophytes to pocket a debut win was Stephen Strasburg, June 10 vs. Pittsburgh.

LONG STREAK OF LONG BALLS

The Nationals have hit at least one home run in 72 consecutive series. The last time Washington played a homerless series was during a four-game set at Citi Field, September 12-15, 2011. As the Nationals did not homer in yesterday’s two-game series opener, the streak is on the line tonight.

STINGY WITH THE LONG BALL

Jim Lett’s bullpen has not allowed a home run at Nationals Park since April 12. Since then, Nationals relievers have tossed 46.2 homerless innings of relief at home, good for a 2.89 ERA over that span.

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