(SportsNetwork.com) - Right-hander Doug Fister is set for his season debut, as the Washington Nationals step into O.co Coliseum for Friday night's opener of a weekend three-game interleague series with the Oakland Athletics.
Fister missed the first five weeks of the season with a right lat strain, and manager Matt Williams will closely monitor his workload.
"I'm looking forward to just getting back to pitching -- just in general," Fister said. "I'm pitching in Oakland. I've seen those guys a lot. It's going to come down to a big chess game. For me, I have to go out there and execute."
Fister, who spent the previous 2 1/2 seasons with Detroit before coming to Washington in a trade last December, has a 3.17 ERA in 12 career starts against the A's.
For Oakland, southpaw Tommy Milone goes up against the team he made his major league debut with in 2011. He has never faced Washington.
Milone lasted just four innings in his most recent start at Boston, as he was tagged for six earned runs on six hits to go along with four walks and five strikeouts. He enters Friday's game winless through five starts this season with a 5.86 ERA
"I've got to make better pitches, throw more strikes. I just left them over the plate," Milone said after that outing. "I'm leaving balls up and over the middle of the plate. I need to do a better job of throwing more quality strikes and keeping the ball low, and letting them hit it on the ground."
After losing five of their previous six games, the A's earned a much needed 2-0 victory over Seattle in the back end of Wednesday's doubleheader. Yoenis Cespedes went deep for the sixth time this year while Jed Lowrie went 2-for-4 and drove in a run in support of starter Drew Pomeranz, who tossed five shutout innings in his season debut.
"We're just trying to digest this win after losing three in a row," manager Bob Melvin said. "This team's been pretty resilient over the years."
Both teams were idle on Thursday.
Washington notched a series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers this week. On Wednesday, Stephen Strasburg allowed a pair of first-inning runs but nothing else after that, as he went on to pitch 7 1/3 innings. Wilson Ramos broke a 2-2 tie with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Ramos also doubled in what was his first game since breaking his wrist on opening day.
These teams have not met since Washington swept a three-game set at home in 2005.