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Washington Nationals’ lineup for series finale with Atlanta Braves...

Dusty Baker and the Nationals have a chance to go 9.5 games up in the NL East in the series and first-half finale with the Braves this afternoon.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Entering play on Saturday, the Washington Nationals were the lone remaining team in the National League, and one of two in the majors who hadn’t been shut out in 2017.

That streak ended in the Nationals’ 87th game of the season, with Atlanta’s 13-0 win in the nation’s capital, which left the Nationals 2-4 against their NL East rivals in D.C. this season and 6-6 against the Braves overall in 2017.

“I guess it just wasn’t our day,” Dusty Baker said after the Nationals’ fifth loss in the last ten games.

“We hit quite a few atom balls early, especially with runners on base, and you know how I hate to get shut out, but that’s our first shutout of the year.

“We were last in our league and I was watching the Yankee game today and they were last in their league to get shut out — they haven’t been shut out yet — so hopefully we can go another 80-something games without being shut out.”

Washington’s 87-game streak of scoring at least a run per game was the longest to start a season in franchise history.

The last team in Major League Baseball to not get shut out over an entire season was the 2000 Cincinnati Reds, who went 163 games (including one tie).

This afternoon the Nationals turn to Joe Ross in the series and first-half finale.

Ross is unbeaten in his last three starts, with a 2.18 ERA and a .247/.310/.429 line against in 20 23 innings pitched over that stretch.

Ross last faced the Braves in June, giving up nine hits, three walks and five earned runs in 5 23 IP in what ended up a 10-5 loss.

Washington starts the day with an 8.5-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East.