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Nats-Orioles LIVE game thread - Join the conversation!

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Nats-Orioles LIVE game thread - Join the conversation!

After watching his team struggle mightily at the plate the last two nights, Davey Johnson has decided to try something new tonight. His starting lineup features the following: Steve Lombardozzi leading off and playing second base. Danny Espinosa sitting on the bench. Ian Desmond batting fifth. And Carlos Maldonado making his first start behind the plate.

Hey, at this point, why not try something new? The move of Desmond down to the 5-hole is actually most intriguing to me, because it's the first time he's hit anywhere but the leadoff spot this year. Desmond, though, does bring some pop to the plate. He's second among NL shortstops with a .451 slugging percentage. And he's second among all major-league shortstops with six homers.

Ross Detwiler takes the mound for his eighth start of the season. At the same time in Toledo, Chien-Ming Wang will be making another rehab start for Class AAA Syracuse. Keep an eye on how both pitchers perform.

Updates to come on the Nats Insider live game thread, so please check it out...

BALTIMORE ORIOLES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:15 p.m. EDT
TV: Fox
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 76 degrees, Wind 7 mph in from RF

NATIONALS (23-16)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
C Carlos Maldonado
LF Roger Bernadina
LHP Ross Detwiler

ORIOLES (26-14)
2B Robert Andino
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Wilson Betemit
3B Steve Tolleson
LF Xavier Avery
RHP Jason Hammel

UMPIRES
HP Andy Fletcher, 1B Rob Drake, 2B Joe West (cc), 3B Sam Holbrook

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras

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Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

The Washington Nationals recently released the dates of their promotional days and giveaways this season, and there are some real gems in this schedule.

Among the standard bobblehead giveaways — Daniel Murphy on April 14, Trea Turner on May 12 and Tanner Roark on June 9 — and the highly recommended Pups in the Park days — April 29, May 13, June 10, June 25, September 7 and September 30 — pick the right game and you could get a snow globe, an American flag shirt or even a fedora. Seriously.

On May 24’s game against the Mariners, the first 25,000 fans will get a Max Scherzer snow globe, which has the potential to be the coolest knickknack in your house. Or on June 14 against the Braves — oddly not closer to the Fourth of July — Budweiser is behind the first 15,000 21-and-up fans getting an American flag tank top.

But truly the most unique item on this list is the Nationals-themed fedora, which will go to the first 25,000 fans at the Brewers’ July 26 matchup. How the Nats landed on this promotional item remains a mystery, but if you like hats beyond a traditional baseball cap, this is the game to attend.

Other cool or oddball promotions include the Nats Magic 8-Ball game April 3, the Chewbacca Koozie day May 27, Bryce Harper action figure day August 29 and Oktoberfest beer stein day Sept. 29.

Here's the complete list of the team's promotional days and giveaways

MORE NATS: Bryce Harper knows why he didn't play well in 2016