Apr 18, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) throws in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Gonzalez Takes the Mound as Nationals Look to Avoid Sweep

After another poor display of pitching, offense and defense in a 7-2 loss against the Angels last night, the Washington Nationals will try to change the script and avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels. It’s never a good idea to over-dramatize a game in April, but a win tonight would be huge for the Nationals as they prepare to face the San Diego Padres on Thursday. Washington has been out hit 21-6 in the series that began on Monday night and has been outscored by seven runs over the last two games.

Fortunately for the Nationals, their most reliable starting pitcher so far this season will be taking the mound for game three. Gio Gonzalez will make his fourth start of the year as he tries to keep the momentum going from a dominant start against the Cardinals last Friday, in which he gave up just one run on four hits while striking out seven. The Angels will counter with right-hander Jered Weaver, who boasts a career 3.27 ERA.

The Nationals will need more than just a strong pitching performance to beat the Angels, however, as the team has not scored more than three runs in almost a week and continues to make errors on a nightly basis. Before tonight’s game, the Nationals sit at one game over .500 and three games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East with a record of 11-10.

With a loss tonight, the Nationals would fall to .500 for the first time since Opening Day. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

Nationals:

Span CF

Rendon 3B

Werth RF

LaRoche 1B

Harper LF

Desmond SS

Espinosa 2B

Lobaton C

Gonzalez P

 

Angels:

Cowgill RF

Trout CF

Pujols 1B

Kendrick 2B

Aybar SS

Iannetta C

Freese 3B

Shuck LF

Weaver P

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