Nationals Vs. Pirates Preview: Washington Turns To Stephen Strasburg To Avoid Sweep

The Washington Nationals are facing the possibility that they will be swept for the second time on the road this season as they play the finale of a three game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. The Nationals will turn to pitcher Stephen Strasburg, making his first start against the Pirates since his 14-strikeout debut on June 8, 2010.

Strasburg is 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA in six starts this season. In his last start against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 4, Strasburg pitched six innings and gave up three runs on three hits and struck out four in a no decision. The Nationals are 5-1 when Strasburg starts and he has held opponents to a .187 batting average this season.

Strasburg will match up against Pirates starting pitcher Kevin Correia, 1-2 on the season with a 3.38 ERA. The last two outings for Correia have not gone as well as he has complied a 5.56 ERA in two straight losses, including a seven-inning performance against the Cincinnati Reds on May 4, where he allowed five runs on nine hits.

The Nationals can hope that outfielder Bryce Harper can get a spark back in the offense after going three for eighteen in the last five games, dropping his batting average to .265.

The game is scheduled for a first pitch at 7:05 p.m. with television coverage on MASN 2 with radio coverage on 106.7 The Fan FM, 1500 WFED AM and 1580 WFHS AM.

As always, you can head over to Federal Baseball for more on this series and all things Washington Nationals baseball. For some perspective from the other dugout you can head over to Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pittsburgh Pirates blog. For more on this and every MLB series, please head over to the SB Nation Major League Baseball hub page.

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