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Nationals Vs. Padres: Nationals Drop In On Padres In Next Leg Of West Coast Trip

The seventh straight road game of the Washington Nationals 11-game West Coast trip brings them to the doorstep of the San Diego Padres. The Nationals are hoping to beat down the door at PETCO Park and get back in the win column using their old workhorse and warhorse, pitcher Livan Hernandez (3-7, 3.76 ERA).

Hernandez has some decent success against the Padres. The right-handed Cuban has 12 career wins in 28 starts against San Diego and a 4.48 ERA despite being 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts at PETCO Park. Hernandez will be itching to get this win as it would be his first road win of 2011. Currently his road record is 0-7. Pitching against Hernandez and the Nationals Thursday night will be Aaron Harang (6-2, 3.77 ERA)

The Nationals offense will see the return of outfielder Jayson Werth who is still not 100% over a sore ankle that caused the team to sit him for two days. Second baseman Danny Espinosa got dinged by a pitch in the hand Wednesday night against the San Francisco Giants, but he remains in the line-up, outfielder Laynce Nix is hitting clean-up with center fielder Rick Ankiel leading off.

The Padres visited Nationals Park in late May and took two games of a three game series. The Nationals will be looking to return the favor at 10:05 P.M. EST.

Nationals Line-Up

1. Rick Ankiel, CF

2. Ian Desmond, SS

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Laynce Nix, LF

5. Michael Morse, 1B

6. Danny Espinosa, 2B

7. Ivan Rodriguez, C

8. Alex Cora, 3B

9. Livan Hernandez, SP