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Nationals' 2013 schedule released

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Nationals' 2013 schedule released

NEW YORK -- The Nationals will open 2013 with a home series against the Marlins, the first step in a new-look schedule that includes more interleague play and some other new quirks.

Major League Baseball unveiled its 2013 slate this afternoon, revealing for the first time how the 162-game season will play out now that there will be 15 teams in both the National and American Leagues.

The Houston Astros' relocation to the AL brings a more balanced schedule, but it also increases the total number of interleague games to 20 and requires at least one interleague series to take place every day of the season.

Thus, the Nationals will get an early test against an AL powerhouse when the White Sox come to town April 9-11. Like all NL East clubs, they'll face every team from the AL Central next season, with home interleague series also scheduled for May 7-8 against the Tigers and June 7-9 against the Twins, and road series scheduled for June 14-16 at the Indians, July 30-31 at the Tigers and Aug. 23-25 at the Royals.

The Nationals still maintain their annual Battle of the Beltways with the Orioles, but that series has been reduced to four games from six, all played in succession between the two cities. The Orioles will be in Washington May 27-28, with the Nationals playing in Baltimore May 29-30.

After commencing this season on the road in Chicago, the Nationals get to celebrate Opening Day at home in 2013, with the Marlins in town on Monday, April 1. After a built-in day off to protect against a rain-out, the two teams finish their series April 3-4.

Other 2013 highlights include an Independence Day home game against the Brewers, and an unconventional final week of the regular season that will see the Nationals travel to St. Louis Sept. 23-25 and then Arizona (Sept. 27-29).

The full schedule...

2013 NATIONALS SCHEDULE
Apr. 1, 3-4 vs. Marlins
Apr. 5-7 at Reds
Apr. 9-11 vs. White Sox (AL)
Apr. 12-14 vs. Braves
Apr. 15-17 at Marlins
Apr. 19-21 at Mets
Apr. 22-24 vs. Cardinals
Apr. 25-28 vs. Reds
Apr. 29-30, May 1-2 at Braves
May 3-5 at Pirates
May 7-8 vs. Tigers (AL)
May 10-12 vs. Cubs
May 13-15 at Dodgers
May 16-19 at Padres
May 20-22 at Giants
May 24-26 vs. Phillies
May 27-28 vs. Orioles (AL)
May 29-30 at Orioles (AL)
May 31-June 2 at Braves
June 4-6 vs. Mets
June 7-9 vs. Twins (AL)
June 11-13 at Rockies
June 14-16 at Indians (AL)
June 17-19 at Phillies
June 25-27 vs. Diamondbacks
June 28-30 at Mets
July 1-4 vs. Brewers
July 5-7 vs. Padres
July 8-11 at Phillies
July 12-14 at Marlins
July 16 All-Star Game at New York (NL)
July 19-21 vs. Dodgers
July 22-25 vs. Pirates
July 26-28 vs. Mets
July 30-31 at Tigers (AL)
Aug. 2-4 at Brewers
Aug. 5-7 vs. Braves
Aug. 9-11 vs. Phillies
Aug. 13-15 vs. Giants
Aug. 16-18 at Braves
Aug. 19-22 at Cubs
Aug. 23-25 at Royals (AL)
Aug. 27-29 vs. Marlins
Aug. 30-Sept. 1 vs. Mets
Sept. 2-4 at Phillies
Sept. 6-8 at Marlins
Sept. 9-12 at Mets
Sept. 13-15 vs. Phillies
Sept. 16-18 vs. Braves
Sept. 19-22 vs. Marlins
Sept. 23-25 at Cardinals
Sept. 27-29 at Diamondbacks

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC