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Major League Baseball
Preview
Philadelphia at Washington
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, May 22, 2015
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia

The Washington Nationals look to continue their surge when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of their three-game series on Friday. Washington enters with a five-game winning streak that has moved it past the New York Mets for the top spot in the National League East.

After capturing the final three contests of a four-game set at San Diego, the Nationals swept a brief two-game home series with the New York Yankees as they overcame a two-run deficit on Wednesday to post a 3-2 victory. Philadelphia has lost two of its last three contests after posting a season-high six-game winning streak. The Phillies were forced to settle for a split of their four-game series at Colorado as they suffered a 7-3 loss on Thursday despite Ryan Howard's ninth home run of the campaign. Chase Utley continued to battle out of his horrendous season-opening slump, recording two hits in four at-bats to improve to 9-for-20 during a six-game hitting streak and raise his average from .118 to .169 in that span.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, WCAU (Philadelphia), MASN (Washington)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Sean O'Sullivan (1-2, 3.68 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Max Scherzer (4-3, 1.75)

O'Sullivan is coming off his first major-league win in more than four years, a 6-0 triumph over Arizona on Sunday in which he scattered five hits over six scoreless innings. The 27-year-old had not been victorious since May 12, 2011, when he defeated the Yankees in New York while pitching for Kansas City. O'Sullivan has made two career starts against Washington, going 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA.

Scherzer won his third consecutive start Saturday, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out 11 over seven scoreless innings at San Diego. The 30-year-old has worked at least seven frames in seven of his eight outings this season and each of the last six. Scherzer is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four career turns against Philadelphia - including a 1-0 mark in two meetings this year.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Nationals have won seven straight series after dropping five of their first six this season.

2. Philadelphia CF Odubel Herrera is 9-for-25 versus Washington this campaign - including 3-for-7 against Scherzer.

3. The NL East rivals are meeting for the third time already this year, with each club winning a series at home.

PREDICTION: Nationals 7, Phillies 0
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Philadelphia 18-25 L1 12-10 6-15 9-16 3-5 5-2 1-2
Washington 24-17 W5 12-6 12-11 15-11 1-2 5-2 3-2
Last Meeting
Philadelphia Washington
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/19/15 PHI 1 WAS 4 .206 0 .515 .273 0 .702
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Philadelphia O. Herrera .360 9 .989
Washington I. Desmond .345 10 .786
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Philadelphia D. Ruf 1 1 2
Washington B. Harper 3 6 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
Philadelphia 3.63 .228 55
Washington 2.42 .236 51
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Philadelphia F. Galvis .319 46 .748
Washington B. Harper .333 46 1.203
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Philadelphia R. Howard 9 14 21
Washington B. Harper 15 37 38
Pitching ERA Avg K
Philadelphia 4.09 .241 294
Washington 3.75 .261 321