Nationals Vs. Reds: Washington Concludes Brief Road Swing In Cincinnati

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Starter Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals begin a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. Can the Nationals' pitching continue to stay hot against the Reds?

The Washington Nationals were sparked by the great performance of starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg on Thursday night in a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Friday night, Gio Gonzalez gets his turn as the Nationals continue their brief road swing against the Cincinnati Reds.

While Strasburg has gotten a lot of the press, Gonzalez has been just as good with a 3-1 record with a 1.72 ERA. In his last start against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 5, Gonzalez pitched seven innings, allowing only one run on four hits and striking out seven batters in a 7-1 win. Gonzalez has also been very consistent, allowing two runs or fewer in his last five starts.

The Reds counter with Mike Leake, winless in his first five starts this season. He currently has a 0-4 record with a 5.97 ERA. He had his longest outing in his last start on May 5 against the Pirates. He went seven innings with three runs allowed, seven walks and two home runs allowed.

Adam LaRoche could be the key to the Nationals' success on offense. In the last series against the Reds, LaRoche went 6 for 17 overall and in his last 10 games, he's hitting .400 with four home runs and eight RBIs.

The game is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch from the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Television coverage will be provided by MASN 2 with radio coverage on 106.7 The Fan FM, 1500 WFED AM and 1580 WFHS AM.

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