Cardinals Vs. Nationals: Playoff Contenders Meet For Weekend Series

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson #33 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 24, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals open a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. Former Cardinal Edwin Jackson will start for the Nationals while Jaime Garcia will start for the Cardinals.

The Washington Nationals open a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night. The Nationals hold a five-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East while the Cardinals have a one-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild card spot.

The Nationals will send former Cardinal Edwin Jackson (7-9, 3.72 ERA) to the mound . Jackson has lost his last two starts, including one against the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 24. In that game, Jackson went six innings and allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out eight.

On the other side, the Cardinals will start Jaime Garcia (3-5, 4.15). Garcia has not recorded a victory since May 16. In his last start on Aug. 25 against the Cincinnati Reds, Garcia went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out five batters.

Thursday's game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. The game will be televised nationally on MLB Network and broadcast locally on MASN. Radio coverage will be provided by 106.7 The Fan FM, 1500 WFED AM and 1580 WHFS AM.

For more information on the Washington Nationals check out the SB Nation Blog Federal Baseball. For the perspective from the other dugout, check out Viva El Birdos. For more news, notes and information from around Major League Baseball, check out SB Nation's official MLB Hub Page.

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