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Washington Nationals’ lineup for series opener with Colorado Rockies; Howie Kendrick joins Nats...

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Washington and Colorado kick off their three-game set tonight in the nation’s capital, and Howie Kendrick joins the Nationals following last night’s trade...

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Late last night, the Washington Nationals acquired infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick from Philadelphia, giving the 34-year-old, 12-year veteran an opportunity to move on from the 36-64 last place Phillies and join the 61-39 NL East-leaders.

Kendrick told reporters he was excited about the deal and the chance to join the Nats and play for Dusty Baker.

“Early in the year,” Kendrick said, “... even when I got traded here in the offseason, I’ve known [Phillies’ GM] Matt [Klentak] since our time with the Angels together, and then coming into this season they told me, ‘Hey there’s a good chance we’re going to move you if the opportunity comes up,’ and so it was something that I knew was going to happen, eventually, the only problem was that I got hurt a couple times, and any time that happens, that obviously postpones anything happening.

“I’ve known Dusty Baker for quite a while now, and I’ve always been an admirer of his, and I’ve spoken to him on a few occasions and always expressed to him that I would like to play for him at some point, so it’s actually kind of cool that I’m going to get an opportunity to play for Dusty and play for the Nationals.”

Kendrick has posted a .340/.397/.454 line, eight doubles, and two homers in 39 games and 156 plate appearances for the Phillies after he was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers last November, with the limited PAs a result of hamstring and abdominal injuries, and a bruised hand that he suffered on a hit-by-pitch earlier this week.

He’ll join the Nationals tonight, and have a chance to return to the postseason for the fourth straight season if Washington holds on to their big lead in the division.

"It's great, because you always get an opportunity when you are going into a race or being traded to a team in first place already," Kendrick told reporters, as quoted by MLB.com.

"You have a good chance to make the postseason, and that's what you live for.

“Our ultimate goal as players is to win a World Series. I couldn't think of a better place to be going to."

Kendrick is not in the starting lineup tonight, but Dusty Baker to reporters he expected the newest Nat will be active today...

HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE SERIES OPENER WITH THE ROCKIES:

Here’s the official word on Kendrick joining the roster: