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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, July 27 (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (56-45) at Cincinnati Reds (52-51), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Doug Fister (9-2, 2.92) Cincinnati - Mat Latos (2-2, 3.15)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Doug Fister tries to win his fifth consecutive decision as the Washington Nationals play the rubber match of their three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Fister is 4-0 over his last five starts and hasn't lost since June 15 at St. Louis. The right-hander pitched in and out of several jams in his last start, Monday at Colorado where he gave up nine hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 7-2 win. Fister's lone appearance against the Reds came May 20 in the nation's capital when he threw seven solid frames in a 9-4 triumph.

Mat Latos counters on the hill for the Reds. The righty suffered the loss on Monday at Milwaukee when he allowed eight hits and five runs -- four earned -- over seven frames. Latos is 3-1 with a 2.34 ERA in six games versus the Reds.

The Reds snapped a season-long seven-game skid with a 1-0 victory Saturday afternoon. Johnny Cueto hurled seven strong innings. Cueto (11-6) limited the Nationals to four hits and walked three while striking out nine for Cincinnati, which hasn't lost eight in a row since July 28-Aug. 4, 2009.

"Most teams are going to go through a stretch like this and you hope it's not in September and it takes you out of the race," Reds manager Bryan Price said about ending the losing streak. "It was in the end of July and it hasn't."

Gio Gonzalez (6-6) was up to the task in opposing Cueto, allowing a run on four hits with eight strikeouts.

"Cueto has been fantastic," Gonzalez said. "It was going to be a close one all the way to the end."

Even though the Reds snapped their skid yesterday, several players are mired in slumps at the plate. Zack Cozart is hitless in his last 20 at-bats. Jay Bruce is in a 2-for-28 slide and All-Star Todd Frazier is in a 1-for-17 slump.

The Nationals enter today with a 1 1/2-game lead on Atlanta for first place in the NL East, while the Reds are six games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.

The Nationals have an opportunity for another series victory today. Dating to May 30, Washington is 11-2-2 in series play.

Cincinnati took two of three from the Nats May 19-21. The Nationals have captured just three series in nine seasons at Great American Ball Park.

07/27 10:27:13 ET

  • NFL: San Diego at Denver

    Tonight at 8:25 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

    Tonight at 8:25 on 620am

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Calgary Flames

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
Final
KAN 7
SFG 2
Final
ORL 89
HOU 90
Final
BOS 100
BRK 86
Final
NYK 103
WAS 100
Final
MEM 96
CLE 92
Final
MIL 91
MIN 110
Final
SAN 107
ATL 117
Final
LAL 94
POR 86
Final
LAC 108
PHO 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
IND
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
MIAMI
7:00pm Wednesday
OTT 0
TOR 0
Final
PIT 3
PHI 5
Final
EDM 3
WAS 2
Final
ANA 4
BUF 1
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
NYI
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PIT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
CAR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
BUF
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CLB
 
8:25pm Tonight
DEN
SDC