Nationals will play day-night doubleheader Saturday
The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds, rained out Friday night, willplay a day-night doubleheader at Nationals Park on Saturday, with game times at 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. The four-game series is slated to end on Sunday at 1:35 p.m.
Lefty Gio Gonzalez (6-7, 3.78) is slated to pitch the first game Saturday for the Nationals with right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 3.59) going in the second game for Washington.
The Reds will start Anthony DeSclafani (4-3, 5.47) in the first game Saturday and former Mets start Matt Harvey (5-6, 5.13) in the nightcap. The Nationals also have a day-night doubleheader Tuesday at home with the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves were 58-47 in games through Thursday and were 4 games ahead of the third-place Washington Nationals (55-53) in the National League East. They were both chasing first-place Philadelphia, which was 60-48.
The rainout slowed down a high-scoring Nationals offense, which had won three games in a row and six of eight.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had two hits Thursday, clubbed his 26th homer and raised his average to .230 with 67 RBI. He has been on fire since winning the Home Run Derby at Nationals Park last month.
“I think Harper is just a really good hitter,” manager Dave Martinez told reporters before the rainout. “I think throughout the course of the year he was eventually going to come out of it. And he’s starting to do so now. I think right now he’s playing with a lot of heart. He appreciates what the fans did to him that day (at the Home Run Derby). I think that has a little bit to do with it.”
Gonzalez had not posted a win since May 28 at Baltimore and the lefty has lost his previous five decisions.
Washington won both games over the Mets earlier this week and is looking to win back-to-back series for the first time since May, when they swept the Marlins and Orioles.
NOTES: A plaque to honor longtime Nationals Park official scorer Dave Vincent will be noted Saturday at 6 p.m. in the press box before Washington hosts the Reds, according to the Nationals. Vincent, a former resident of northern Virginia, passed away last year. He was also involved with Society of American Baseball Research and was an official scorer in the Single-A Carolina League for the Potomac Nationals ... Washington has now won eight games in a row over the Reds. The Nationals have not won four games in a row since taking six straight May 25-30.