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Yankees vs. Nationals series preview: Battle of the aces

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant in his first start off the disabled list when he solidly shut down the Mariners in Seattle. He'll have a taller task this time around in trying to silence the bats of the Washington Nationals. Opposing the ace on the mound will be Washington's ace in Max Scherzer. Two-game series are a little strange, but this one should be able to pack quite a punch with such a strong pitching matchup in the first of the two games.

In the second and final game, an afternoon game, Nathan Eovaldi squares off with Gio Gonzalez. Eovaldi got the win his last time out when the Yankees roughed up Jered Weaver at home on their way to a sweep of the Angels. Gonzalez is also coming off a win after he held the Red Sox in check in his last start.

Alex Rodriguez is closing in on another milestone that the Yankees seem content to ignore with 3000 hits likely to come in the very near future. It's still a great accomplishment for Rodriguez, even if the team decides to not acknowledge it, and he has the added pleasure of knowing that he has been an integral part of the offense in 2015. They can't ignore that.

The Yankees are in the middle of a six-game winning streak, which is their highest such mark of the season. Two straight sweeps on top of a recent hot streak of games has done a lot to erase the bad feelings associated with being swept by the Texas Rangers and dropping a series to the Oakland Athletics, but there is still work to be done. Another sweep, this time against the Nationals, would be awfully sweet.

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