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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, June 26 (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (41-36) at Chicago Cubs (32-44), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Doug Fister (6-5, 3.24) Chicago - Travis Wood (7-6, 4.55)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Doug Fister aims for his seventh victory in an eight- start span when he leads the Washington Nationals against the Chicago Cubs tonight in the opener of a four-game series.

Fister threw eight shutout innings in a victory over Atlanta in his last start. The righty has pitched shutout ball in two of his last three starts, but he's never faced the Cubs.

Travis Wood gets the start tonight for the Cubs. The left-hander had a two- start winning streak stopped his last time out. On Saturday he allowed four hits and three runs over 4 2/3 innings of a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. It marked his first loss at home since April 4 versus Philadelphia.

Wood's only appearance against Washington came Aug. 22, 2013 in a no-decision. He yielded four runs on seven hits while walking two and fanning four in 6 2/3 innings during the Cubs' 5-4, 13-inning loss at Wrigley Field.

The NL East-leading Nationals had their four-game win streak stopped Wednesday, 9-2, at Milwaukee. Nate McLouth and Ian Desmond drove in a run each for the Nationals. Stephen Strasburg (6-6) was touched for eight hits and seven runs over 4 2/3 frames in the loss.

"Guys played great so it kind of stings a little bit more," Strasburg admitted of his poor outing. "I wanted to go out there and do my job and get the sweep. Just wasn't able to get it done."

The Cubs lost for the fourth time in five contests Wednesday in a 4-1 final to the Reds. Starlin Castro drove in the only run of the game for the Cubs. Edwin Jackson (5-8) gave up all four runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

"Aside from the start in San Diego I've been feeling pretty good," said Jackson. "It's tough when you're not getting the results on how you feel, but it's a long season and things can turn around quick."

Washington won four of the seven meetings last season.

06/26 10:32:31 ET