Nationals Vs. Pirates: Nationals Experience Third Rain Out Of Season

The first game of a three game series between the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates was rained out Friday night. It is the third time in 2011 the Nationals have been kept off the field by the weather.

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Nationals Vs. Pirates: Friday Night's Game Rained Out, Make-Up Planned For Monday

The Friday night game between the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Steel City has been rained out. The two teams will make up the game on Monday during what was a planned off day for both teams. Friday's rain out marks the third time this season the Nationals have had a game cancelled due to the elements.

The first rain out occurred on April 16th at Nationals Park against the Milwaukee Brewers. Three days later, the team was visiting the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis, and strong storms postponed the first game of the series as well on April 19th. In both of those instances, the Nationals made up the games in doubleheaders.

The Nationals rotation will stay on schedule, with Livan Hernandez pitching Saturday, Jason Marquis pitching Sunday and John Lannan taking the mound the final game of the three-game series on the Monday make up. Friday's rain out works in Lannan's favor, as he now will pitch on regular rest.

The Nationals and Pirates go to battle Saturday night at PNC Park at 7:05 P.M. EST.

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Nationals Vs. Pirates: Livan Hernandez Hopes His 450th Consecutive Start Is A Good One Against The Bucs

Washington Nationals starter Livan Hernandez (2-1, 2.88 ERA) will pitch in his 450th consecutive game Friday night at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he hopes to make it a good one that will have Washington back on the winning track. The 36-year old's streak started back in 1996 with the Florida Marlins, when he pitched his one relief appearance of his career. Since then, Hernandez has established himself as one of the sport's most willing and able workhorses.

Hernandez and a sputtering Nats offense will square off against Pittsburgh righty Jeff Karstens (1-0, 4.50 ERA), which might be a cure for the Nationals' offense ills of late. Karstens only lasted four innings in his last outing, giving up five runs on eight hits in a Pittsburgh win against the Cincinnati Reds. The Nationals are coming off a 5-0 shutout at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, so they will be looking to exploit any weakness, whether it's Karstens or a Bucs offense that has only been able to score seven runs in their last three games.

First pitch from the City That Clemente Built is at 7:05 p.m. EST.

Nationals Line-Up

1. Danny Espinosa, 2B

2. Rick Ankiel, CF

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Wilson Ramos, C

6. Michael Morse, LF

7. Ian Desmond, SS

8. Jerry Hairston Jr. , 3B

9. Livan Hernandez, SP

Pirates Line-Up

1. Andrew McCutcheon, CF

2. Jose Tabata, LF

3. Lyle Overbay, 1B

4. Neil Walker, 2B

5. Garrett Jones, RF

6. Ryan Doumit, C

7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. Jeff Karstens, SP

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