May 30, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Dan Haren (15) throws in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Nationals 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Lineups: Nationals Try To Keep Pace With Braves As Rendon Returns

After Atlanta’s 5-0 win today, the Braves lead the division by 7.5 games. They have been hot as of late, but if yesterday truly was the first day of the rest of the Nats’ season, the Nats will need to keep winning in order to keep up with Atlanta. Beating up on lesser opponents will be a critical part of that, which is why tonight’s game is as important as any other. Dan Haren(4-6, 5.09) will take the mound tonight, looking to continue a recent streak of solid starts. He allowed three runs to the Phillies in six innings and just two to the Orioles in 7.1 IP. However, both times he was done in by a lack of run support, a total of three runs in both games.

Perhaps he will have a bit more support today, as Anthony Rendon makes his return to the majors and his first major league start at second base. In his eight games with the Nats earlier this year, he produced 1.5 more offensive Wins Above Replacement than Steve Lombardozzi and Danny Espinosa have all season together, 0.1 to -1.4. However, history with the Mets’ starter would indicate the Nats won’t score at all. Dillon Gee (3-6, 5.68) dominated the Nats earlier this season, allowing no runs on three hits in 5.2 innings. If he leaves that early, however, the Nats will get a great shot against the Mets’ MLB-worst bullpen. Here are tonight’s lineups:

Washington

Denard Span CF

Jayson Werth RF

Ryan Zimmerman 3B

Adam LaRoche 1B

Ian Desmond SS

Anthony Rendon 2B

Steve Lombardozzi LF

Kurt Suzuki C

Haren RHP

New York

Omar Quintanilla SS

Daniel Murphy 2B

David Wright 3B

Lucas Duda LF

Marlon Byrd RF

Ike Davis 1B

Anthony Recker C

Juan Lagares CF

Gee RHP

Tags: New York Mets Washington Nationals

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