Nationals vs. Phillies preview: John Lannan tries to even up series in Philly

The Nationals opened their final road trip of the season with a 6-3 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday night after Ross Detwiler gave up five runs in five innings.

Now, Davey Johnson will now turn to John Lannan to try and even things up. The Braves gained ground in the NL East on Tuesday, so the magic number for the Nats remains at five and the division lead is four with eight games to play.

Lannan will now take the hill for his third start since taking Stephen Strasburg's spot in the rotation in early September. He was roughed up by the Dodgers in his last outing, giving up six runs in less than four innings. The Phillies lineup is not unfamiliar with Lannan, however, and he'll need to dig in if the Nats hope to even up the series and reduce the magic number.

Philadelphia will counter with Kyle Kendrick, who's been one of the steadier pitchers in the game over the past two months. Kendrick has consistently kept his club in it during his starts down the stretch, as they tried to make a miraculous September run. They're now five games out of a wild card spot, so it's likely they have been relegated to the role of spoiler. In four appearances against the Nats this season, Kendrick's posted a 2.37 ERA.

First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET, and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2. MASN will have the local broadcast.

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