Sunday Night Baseball: Braves at Nationals
The Braves attempt to make one last push at an NL East title on Sunday Night Baseball when they host the Nationals.
GO GIO GO
Gio Gonzalez can become the first 20-game winner in Nationals history with a victory on Sunday. The lefty is thriving since his transition to the NL and has allowed just one earned run over his last 22 innings. The former Oakland starter has been solid away from home this campaign, allowing just nine runs in his last four road starts. This will be his fourth start against Atlanta and his third on the road against them. He has surrendered only nine runs and 13 hits in those three road outings.
Atlanta starter Mike Minor is 8-10 with a 4.42 ERA this season. He started the campaign slowly, but has turned things around recently. The right-hander has yielded three earned runs or less in nine of his last ten starts, while striking out 15 batters in his last two outings against Milwaukee and Colorado.
Stephen Strasburg was recently shut down for the rest of the season. Washington is also without Henry Rodriguez (back) and Wilson Ramos (knee). Michael Morse is not at 100 percent and his status for Sunday night is questionable due to a wrist injury. Atlanta has a relatively clean bill of health; they’re still without pitchers Brandon Beachy (elbow), Ben Sheets (shoulder), and Jair Jurrjens(groin) but they’ve managed to survive those injuries because hurlers like Minor and Kris Medlen have stepped up.
*Nationals are 13-3 in Gonzalez's last 16 road starts.
*Nationals are 4-0 in Gonzalez's last four road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
*Braves are 5-2 in their last seven Sunday games.
*Braves are 2-5 in Minor's last seven starts.
HITTERS TO WATCH
Ryan Zimmerman 2-for-11 vs. Minor.
Danny Espinosa 3-for-11 vs. Minor.
Jason Heyward 3-for-9 vs. Gonzalez.
Martin Prado 1-for-9 vs. Gonzalez.