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Preview: Nationals (57-48) at Pirates (56-51)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: PNC Park
Date: May 03, 2013 7:05 PM EDT
  

While their injury issues have played a role in their recent slump, the Washington Nationals could get a boost offensively in the opener of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ryan Zimmerman will return to the lineup on Friday night as he looks to help the Nationals win their third straight on a seven-game road trip.

After hitting .282 with 25 homers and 95 RBIs in 2012, Zimmerman was batting .226 with one homer and 11 RBIs before suffering a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss the last 14 games.

Without the star third baseman, Washington has scored 37 runs while batting .197 with nine homers.

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The Nationals (15-14) scored three times over the first two innings Thursday before coming up empty the rest of the way in a 3-1 victory that gave them a four-game split in Atlanta.

Bryce Harper was able to play after bruising his left shoulder a day earlier, but Jayson Werth could miss this series after leaving for a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. Werth had missed the previous two games with a strained right hamstring and bruised left ankle.

Zimmerman, though, was in the lineup after going 0 for 3 in his final rehab game with High-A Potomac on Wednesday.

"Hopefully, we're getting close to being full strength," manager Davey Johnson told the league's official website. "Zim came through Wednesday's rehab game all right. He's going to work out, and then he will join us on Friday."

Although Zimmerman is batting .375 (24 for 64) in 16 games at PNC Park, he's hitless in six at_bats against Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett (2-2, 2.83 ERA).

The Pirates (16-12), who have won three straight at home, send the veteran right-hander to the mound as they look to build on a 6-4 trip.

After losing two of his first three starts, Burnett has started to find his groove with a 2-0 record and 2.00 ERA over his last three.

Burnett, who ranks among the major league leaders with 48 strikeouts in 35 innings, allowed two runs and struck out 10 over eight innings as Pittsburgh rallied for a 5-4 win over Washington at PNC Park on May 8.

Adam LaRoche is in the middle of a 2-for-38 slump but has six hits, including a homer and two doubles, in 18 at_bats against Burnett.

Denard Span, who went 3 for 4 with two RBIs on Thursday, is 7 for 21 when facing Burnett.

Washington will counter with left-hander Ross Detwiler (1-2, 2.03), who has given up two runs over 13 innings in a pair of road starts.

He'll try to bounce back from his worst outing of the season as he allowed four runs and a career high-tying 11 hits in five innings of a 5-2 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.

In his only start at PNC Park, Detwiler surrendered three runs and seven hits over six innings in a 4-2 loss May 9.

Andrew McCutchen is hitting .442 with 10 homers and 21 RBIs in 23 games versus the Nationals and has singled in each of his three at_bats against Detwiler.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Nationals at Pirates
Fri, May 3 Final 1 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Nationals at Pirates
Sat, May 4 Final 5 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Nationals at Pirates
Sun, May 5 Final 6 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  +125   -185   7 
 PIT  -135   +165   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  +125   -200   7 
 PIT  -135   +170   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  51%   31%   40% 
 PIT  49%   69%   60% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Friday, May 3
 
    Reds at Cubs
2:20 PM EDT
    Athletics at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Mariners at Blue Jays
7:05 PM EDT
    Twins at Indians
7:05 PM EDT
    Marlins at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
    Mets at Braves
7:30 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Rangers
8:05 PM EDT
    White Sox at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
    Tigers at Astros
8:10 PM EDT
    Rays at Rockies
8:40 PM EDT
    Orioles at Angels
10:05 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Giants
10:15 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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