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Nationals Vs. Astros: Nationals Get Set For A Collision With Astros In Houston

The Washington Nationals head into Texas on Monday night and though the space shuttle program has been shutdown, the Nationals will still have the Houston Astros to contend with. Washington and Houston collide at Minute Maid Park and both teams have a little something to prove.

The Nationals are coming off a rough ninth inning walk-off loss to the Atlanta Braves which saw their pitching completely unravel. The Nats have been hovering close to .500 since late in the first half of the season, but every time it seems they get a positive foothold they suffer enough setbacks to put them back or under the halfway mark. They will be looking for a little more consistency from all aspects of their game and will give pitcher Jason Marquis (7-4, 4.05 ERA) the call to the mound to try and secure a victory. Marquis has faced the Astros more than any other opponent during his career.

If Washington is looking for consistency then they might not be a facing a better team as Houston as the Stros have been struggling all season and have the worst record in all the Majors at 31-64. The Nationals offense will get a shot at Jordan Lyles (0-4, 4.60 ERA) who has yet to earn a victory in 2011 after eight starts.

The Nationals will get a little more extra help off the bench Monday night as Jerry Hairston Jr. joins the team in Houston after coming off the DL with a sore wrist injury.


Nationals Line-Up

1. Roger Bernadina, CF

2. Danny Espinosa, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Laynce Nix, LF

5. Michael Morse, 1B

6. Jayson Werth, RF

7. Wilson Ramos, C

8. Ian Desmond, SS

9. Jason Marquis, SP


Astros Line-Up

1. Michael Bourn, CF

2. Angel Sanchez, SS

3. Jeff Keppinger, 2B

4. Hunter Pence, RF

5. Carlos Lee, 1B

6. Jason Michaels, LF

7. Chris Johnson, 3B

8. Carlos Corporan, C

9. Jordan Lyles, SP