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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, August 17th (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (59-62) at Atlanta Braves (75-47), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.83) Atlanta - Mike Minor (12-5, 2.87)

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves can't make it easy on themselves all the time and will try to stay hot Saturday in the second portion of a three-game series versus the Washington Nationals at Turner Field.

The Braves needed 10 innings to hand Washington a 3-2 loss in Friday's series opener, as Justin Upton cracked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th. Upton clubbed a solo shot to left-center field for the Braves, winners in three straight and 18 of the last 20 games.

"I didn't think it was going to be out ... but it carried enough," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Upton's game-winning homer.

Upton, Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons had two hits apiece for Atlanta.

Scott Downs picked up the win with a scoreless top of the 10th and starter Alex Wood limited the NL East-rival Nationals to a run in 6 1/3 innings with nine K's and no walks.

Atlanta is 15 1/2 games ahead of Washington for the division lead and is closing in on an NL East title, the first since 2005.

The Braves are 5-2 on a nine-game homestand and will turn to Mike Minor in Saturday's tilt with Washington. Minor is 3-0 in his last four starts and has won four of his past five decisions, including Sunday's 9-4 win over Miami in which he scattered four runs across seven innings.

Minor is 6-3 in 13 home starts and 3-2 with a 4.30 earned run average in seven career starts against the Nationals. In 24 overall starts, the left-handed Minor owns a 12-5 record to go along with a 2.87 ERA.

Washington's chances of making a playoff push are dwindling and the club has dropped consecutive games since winning five in a row. The Nationals opened a 10-game road trip in dramatic fashion on Friday, as Ian Krol served up Upton's blast in the 10th to take the loss.

Taylor Jordan's start was wasted and he held the Braves to a pair of unearned runs in six innings, while Jayson Werth provided two hits and an RBI for the Nationals, who are 9 1/2 games off a wild card berth.

"It's not easy losing, that's for sure," Werth said. "It's kind of been the story of the year for us so far. We play just good enough to lose."

Werth has posted three straight multi-hit games and six over his past eight.

Nationals young star Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch twice. Wood drilled the left-handed batter in the fourth inning and Luis Avilan beaned the All-Star in the upper part of his back during the eighth before both dugouts were issued warnings.

"I feel bad for him, especially because I don't want to hit him in that part of the body. It was a bad day for me," Avilan said. "I was thinking, 'I hope he doesn't think I hit him on purpose.' You know the situation. We were leading, 2-1. I don't want to put the (go-ahead) run at first. I feel bad. If I'm going to hit him on purpose, I'm not going to hit him almost in his head because it's dangerous."

Stephen Strasburg draws the start for the Nationals Saturday and he halted a five-start winless (0-3) drought in Sunday's 6-0 win over Philadelphia. The hard-throwing Strasburg struck out 10 batters for his first career shutout and complete game to improve to 6-9 in 23 starts with a 2.83 earned run average.

Strasburg, a right-hander, is only 1-5 in 10 road starts this season and 3-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 11 career starts against the Braves.

The Braves are 11-3 against the Nationals this season, have won the last six matchups between the clubs and recorded a three-game sweep over them last week.

08/17 10:45:24 ET

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1:05pm Today
DET
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
MIAFLA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
NEASTERN
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PIT
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
SFG
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BOSTONCOLL
 
5:10pm Tonight
ARI
ASU
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
Final
MIA 115
PHO 98
Final
MIN 105
LAC 110
Final
DAL 102
NOP 93
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
 
Final
TEX 61
BAY 59
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
Final
HOW 61
NORST 59
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
Final
NO 79
NICST 89
 
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
Final
ALAAM 75
TXSOU 77
 
Final
VT 59
BC 66
Final
MVSU 66
GRAM 62
 
Final
ISU 77
OKLA 70
Final
ALAST 65
PVU 67
 
Final
ARKPB 64
JST 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMO
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
EMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUT
GEOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
IOWA
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USCU
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
KSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
HC
GHND
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MD
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
OHIO
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
MISS
 
7:00pm Tonight
DAY
RIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
WMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
WRST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
 
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NW
MICH
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
 
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
 
Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SJS 4
MON 0
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS