Washington Nationals (49-40) at Baltimore Orioles (49-41), 7:05 p.m. (ET)

 

The Sports Network

(SportsNetwork.com) - Gio Gonzalez can continue a recent run of pitching success when the Washington Nationals visit Camden Yards on Thursday night for the finale of a rain-shortened series with the Baltimore Orioles.

The teams were scheduled to play games at Nationals Park and Camden Yards, but Tuesday's second game in Washington was postponed by rain.

The Nationals have won eight of 10 games thanks to outstanding starting pitching, which has resulted in a 2.13 earned run average in those 10 games and just four runs allowed over the last 28 innings. The Orioles managed just four runs in 14 innings against Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister to begin the series.

Leading into the series, Baltimore had averaged 6.3 runs in the previous nine games.

"We're getting some momentum together and that's kind of where we're at right now," Fister said.

A win on Wednesday, coupled with Atlanta's loss to the New York Mets, allowed the Nationals to push into first place in the National League East and it's an edge they'll try to maintain with starter Gonzalez, who's pitched 22 innings without allowing a run.

He tossed eight innings of scoreless four-hit ball in his most recent start, a 13-0 defeat of the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

"He locates his fastball, works it to both sides of the plate," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "And his breaking ball is really good. It's got sharp, late break, good tilt."

Gonzalez missed a month of this season thanks to shoulder inflammation, but he's 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts since. He's had repeated trouble in interleague games, however, where he's 0-3 with a bloated 7.28 ERA in 10 starts since the beginning of last season.

Baltimore counters with Wei-Yin Chen, who'll try to avoid consecutive losses for the team for the first time since late June.

Chen lost the first game of the most recent two-game streak, but bounced back last Thursday while allowing two runs in six innings of a 5-2 defeat of Texas.

He's faced the Nationals twice and lost both times while compiling a 7.71 ERA.

On Wednesday, Doug Fister threw seven strong innings and Washington got solo home runs from Wilson Ramos, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth in a 6-2 win.

Fister (8-2), who won his third straight decision, gave up seven hits and a pair of runs, while recording two walks and three strikeouts. The right-hander was removed after throwing 113 pitches, 73 for strikes.

Werth and Adam LaRoche drove in two runs

Baltimore's Bud Norris (7-6), who was activated off the disabled list Tuesday, surrendered six hits and five runs in four-plus frames to have his four-game winning streak snapped.

Manny Machado continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 with a solo homer.

Baltimore won its series with the Nats, 3-1, a year ago.

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