The Washington Nationals are in Pittsburgh tonight for the first game of their four-game set with the Pirates in PNC Park. The Nats are coming off a loss to the Cincinnati Reds and a 3-3 homestand in the nation's capital.
The Pirates dropped two of three to the New York Yankees this past weekend and split a two-game home set with the Baltimore Orioles this week, leaving them 19-26 so far this season. After 45 games last season, the eventual NL Wild Card winners were 27-18 on the way to a 94-68 finish. The Pirates took four of seven from the Nationals in 2013, though they dropped two of the three games with the Nats at home in PNC.
Pittsburgh's hitters will be getting their first look at 25-year-old Nats' starter Blake Treinen tonight when he makes his second start of the season. Treinen pitched out of the bullpen earlier this year and made a spot start against the LA Dodgers two weeks back.
The Nationals will face Pirates' right-hander Edinson Volquez, the former Rangers, Reds, Padres and Dodgers' starter who signed a 1-year/$5M deal with Pittsburgh last December. In four career starts against the Nats before tonight, the veteran of 10 major league seasons in (1-2) with a 6.64 ERA, 12 walks (5.31 BB/9) and 21 Ks (9.30 K/9) in 20 1/3 innings pitched over which he's held Nationals' hitters to a combined .240/.352/.400 line.
• Here are the Nationals and Pirates' lineups for the first game of four in Pittsburgh:
|WASHINGTON NATIONALS||PITTSBURGH PIRATES|
|Denard Span - CF||Josh Harrison - RF|
|Anthony Rendon - 3B||Neil Walker - 2B|
|Jayson Werth - RF||A. McCutchen - CF|
|Wilson Ramos - C||Pedro Alvarez - 3B|
|Ian Desmond - SS||Starling Marte - LF|
|Tyler Moore - 1B||Ike Davis - 1B|
|Danny Espinosa - 2B||Jordy Mercer - SS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Chris Stewart - C|
|Blake Treinen - RHP||Edinson Volquez - RHP|
Game Time: 7:05 PM EDT from PNC.