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Nationals Vs. Orioles: Battle Of Beltways Kicks Off Interleague Play

The Orioles will travel about 45 miles down I-95 on Friday for a weekend series with the Nationals. In the short history of this series, it's never meant as much.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Baltimore Orioles manager in baseball Buck Showalter watches play against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Baltimore Orioles won, 7-4. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Baltimore Orioles manager in baseball Buck Showalter watches play against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Baltimore Orioles won, 7-4. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles are starting their three game series in Washington on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm and the game can be found on MASN.

Simply put, the Beltway Series has never had as much importance as it does this weekend. The Nationals haven't been here for very long, and in that time neither they or the Orioles have been very good. Now the Orioles are, somewhat surprisingly, in first place in the AL East; and the Nationals sit just a half a game behind the Braves for first place in the NL East after leading the Division for most of the year. For two teams that share a broadcast partner, this one is for bragging rights.

We'll have plenty more on this series throughout the weekend here on SB Nation DC, so keep it locked to this StorySteam for all the latest news and updates as they become available. For more on this series and all things Washington Nationals baseball, please head over to Federal Baseball. You can also check out Camden Chat, SB Nation's Baltimore Orioles blog, for some perspective from the other dugout. As always, check out the SB Nation Major League Baseball hub page for more infer on this and all MLB series.