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Preview: Nationals (56-46) at Tigers (56-45)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Comerica Park
Date: July 30, 2013 7:08 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg made a huge impression in his first appearance in a big-league uniform in spring training three years ago by striking out Miguel Cabrera.

Those two will finally meet when it counts Tuesday night.

The Washington Nationals starter has never faced Cabrera or the Detroit Tigers in the regular season heading into the opener of this two-game set at Comerica Park.

Strasburg's spring debut with the Nationals on March 9, 2010 against Detroit drew plenty of attention. He yielded two hits in two scoreless innings, striking out Cabrera with a high-90s fastball and drawing praise from the Tigers slugger and Detroit manager Jim Leyland.


Strasburg (5-8, 2.85 ERA) will pitch to the reigning AL MVP for the first time in interleague play. He is 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA in eight career outings against the AL.

Both Strasburg and Cabrera endured frustrating efforts in their last games.

The Nationals right-hander was charged with last Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh despite yielding one run and two hits in eight innings with a season-high 12 strikeouts. Afterward, he emphatically stated that the defending NL East champions needed to start turning their season around.

Washington (52-54) has responded with a 4-1 stretch, winning 14-1 over the New York Mets on Sunday.

"This is definitely what we envisioned coming out of spring training,' outfielder Denard Span said. "Being able to score runs like this and put a lot of pressure on the other teams' (pitching)."

Cabrera, meanwhile, was ejected by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild for arguing a strike call in the third inning of Sunday's 12-4 win over Philadelphia. Leyland was also tossed.

"I said the call was horrible and he threw me out,' Cabrera said. "I think it's not time to blame anybody - to blame the umpires, to blame somebody else. You want to compete and you want to do something special and try to win games. I'm kind of upset at how he threw me out, but that happens."

Detroit (59-45) outscored the Phillies 24-5 in a three-game sweep to improve to 6-2 against the NL East, but both defeats came at Washington on May 8 and 9.

The Tigers have won seven straight and 12 of 14 at home versus the NL East.

The Nationals' five-game surge following a season-high six-game losing streak has coincided with Ryan Zimmerman going 10 for 21. He was 3 for 4 to lead a season-high 18-hit attack Sunday.

"I think we all know what this group is capable of and what kind of people we have in here,' he said. "That's one of the biggest strengths of this team is not worrying about things that happen, good or bad.'

Washington looks to defeat Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 2.68) for the second time after he allowed three runs over six innings in a 3-1 loss May 8.

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in seven home starts.

While Zimmerman is a .222 hitter against Sanchez, Jayson Werth - who missed the first series between these clubs with a strained right hamstring - is worse at 5 for 30 with 19 strikeouts. No player has fanned more versus Sanchez.

The Tigers bolstered their bullpen Monday by acquiring right-hander Jose Veras from Houston for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Nationals at Tigers
Tue, Jul 30 Final 1 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
Nationals at Tigers
Wed, Jul 31 Final 1 to 11
 Boxscores    Recaps

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  +125   -185   7.5 
 DET  -135   +165   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  +125   -175   7.5 
 DET  -135   +155   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 WAS  44%   17%   38% 
 DET  56%   83%   62% 

 May 9, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 4 Over: 9 
 WAS 5 Cover: +115 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 8, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 1 Under: 4 
 WAS 3 Cover: +103 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 7, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 0 Under: 0 
 WAS 0 Cover: +111 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 22, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 4 Cover: +140 
 WAS 3 Over: 7 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 18, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 5 Cover: +105 
 WAS 1 Over: 6 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 17, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 12 Cover: +125 
 DET 10 Over: 22 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 1 Over: 3 
 DET 2 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps

 Tuesday, Jul 30
    Brewers at Cubs
2:20 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Pirates
4:05 PM EDT
    Astros at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
    Nationals at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    White Sox at Indians
7:05 PM EDT
    Giants at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
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7:10 PM EDT
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7:10 PM EDT
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7:10 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Angels at Rangers
8:05 PM EDT
    Brewers at Cubs
8:05 PM EDT
    Royals at Twins
8:10 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Athletics
10:05 PM EDT
    Yankees at Dodgers
10:10 PM EDT
    Reds at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
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