Nationals Vs. Braves: Washington's Road Trip Moves To Atlanta

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 8: Ross Detwiler #48 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch against the Florida Marlins at Nationals Park on September 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

The Nationals open a weekend series against the Braves, looking to lock up the NL East.

Coming off a sweep of the Mets, the Nationals stay in the division and on the road with a trip to Atlanta. They open their series against the Braves on Friday night with an 8.5-game lead in the NL East. The three-game weekend set could prove to be the final nail in the coffin as Washington's magic number inches closer toward single digits.

Ross Detwiler will be on the hill for the opener. The lefty has pitched well this month and he'll be making his fifth start of the season against the Braves. He's 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA against Atlanta and has not given up more than two earned runs in his past two starts against the division rival.

The Braves will counter with fireballer Kris Medlen, whose name came up as a standard of comparison during the Stephen Strasburg shutdown debate. Medlen has a 1.64 ERA on the season and has been lights-out in the second half. He had a sub-1.00 ERA in both July and August, and he enters Friday having won his last six decisions.

First pitch is set for 7:35 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on MASN.

For more on the Nationals during their playoff push, check out Federal Baseball. For the opponent's perspective, visit Talking Chop. And for daily updates on the playoff race, visit Baseball Nation.

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