Nationals Vs. Dodgers: Division Leaders Meet At Chavez Ravine

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 26: Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals hits a solo home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on April 26, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals face their biggest test of the early season on Friday night as they go to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. Can Ross Detwiler continue his amazing start to the season to best the defending NL Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw?

The Washington Nationals have been one of the best stories in baseball, starting with the pitching staff, which has a 2.20 ERA. Friday night, they get their biggest test of the season, facing the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. Pitcher Ross Detwiler takes the mound for the Nationals, with a 2-0 record with a 0.56 ERA. He is coming off on of the best performances of his career, going six innings and striking out seven against the Miami Marlins on April 20.

The Los Angeles Dodgers send defending Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to the hill on Friday. Kershaw has a 1-0 record with a 1.61 ERA. In his last start on April 21 saw him scatter three hits and strike out nine batters in seven innings against the Houston Astros.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will miss his fifth straight game with shoulder inflammation, so the rest of the Nationals roster needs to step up offensively to give them some offensive production against one of the National League's best pitchers.

Friday's game is set for a 10:10 p.m. first pitch from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Television coverage will be provided by MASN 2 with radio coverage on 106.7 The Fan, 1500 WFED AM and 1580 WFHS AM.

Here's the Nationals starting lineup:

For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball. For the Dodger point of view, check out True Blue LA. For the latest news and notes from around the majors, check out Baseball Nation.

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