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Washington Nationals’ lineup for make-up game with Baltimore Orioles in D.C.

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Dusty Baker talked last month, during the series with the Orioles, about Interleague play, and his problems with it, though he stressed the importance beating the O’s.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Count Dusty Baker among those who is not a fan of Interleague play. As he explained to reporters before the start of the planned four-game, home-and-home series with the Baltimore Orioles last month, the unbalanced schedule is an issue he’s given some thought.

“It crosses my mind,” Baker said in a pregame meeting with reporters in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

“You can squawk about it all you want,” he continued, “nobody is going to do anything about it. I remember when Kansas City was really bad, and the Cardinals would play them every year, but I was in Chicago, but we would play the White Sox and they were really good, you know what I mean? So it’s not equal, because you’re not playing the same teams, but it’s hard to determine who’s going to be good this three years or the next three years.”

Since no one was going to do anything about it, as he noted, the Nats’ skipper stressed the importance of performing well against American League opponents.

“I just hope our team does well in Interleague play, because there’s — I don’t know how many exactly games, 18 games or whatever it is, it counts on your season and how you do in the postseason, so I really kind of stress the importance of trying to be the best in Interleague play.”

Washington is 5-4 in Interleague play so far this season, with tonight’s makeup game with the Orioles and three with the Texas Rangers this weekend, and the Nationals return to the nation’s capital, where they are 16-9 so far this season and 7-3 in the last ten.

The Nats dropped both games in OPACY in May, but took the third game of the series when it shifted back to Nationals Park, walking off on the Orioles.

Baker said afterwards showed the importance of having so-called “last licks”.

“That shows you the power of the last at bat,” he said.

“Because the other games we lost were in the last at bat, and so last night they won the game in dramatic fashion in the last at bat. They’re a good team. They’re a very good team. They’ve got a lot of power. They should go a long ways in their league and we should go a long ways in our league.”

The finale of the four-game set was rained out, of course, so the Nationals and Orioles wrap things up tonight in D.C. on what was originally a day off following the long West Coast road trip...

It appears as if the Nationals’ skipper decided to rest a bunch of his regulars in the first game back from the road...

HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR TONIGHT’S GAME WITH THE ORIOLES: