Day-night doubleheader on tap for Mets-Nationals

WASHINGTON -- It is going to be a long day Sunday at Nationals Park as Player Weekend comes to an end with a day-night doubleheader.

And the day may seem especially long to the New York Mets, who placed an All-Star outfielder on the disabled list Friday (Michael Conforto) and Saturday (Yoenis Cespedes) and lost Saturday for the 10th time in 14 games this year to Washington.

The Mets have announced that lefty Tommy Milone (1-3, 8.12) and right-hander Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.85) will start the games Sunday.

Milone was drafted in the 10th round in 2008 by the Washington Nationals and made his MLB debut against the Mets in 2011.

In his only appearance against Washington, while with the Oakland A's, Milone pitched eight scoreless innings and gave up two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

In two career starts at Nationals Park while with Washington, he was 0-0 with a 6.30 ERA.

First-place Washington is expected to start rookie right-hander Erick Fedde (0-1, 10.61) in the first game and Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.64) in the second game.

Washington ace Max Scherzer has been bothered by a sore neck and has not pitched since facing the San Francisco Giants at home Aug. 13. He threw a bullpen session Saturday and gave a vote of confidence to the Nationals athletic training staff, and Scherzer played catch before Sunday's game at Nationals Park.

But the Nationals decided to go with Fedde, who has never faced the Mets.

"Tomorrow we're going with Fedde in the first game, he's our 26th man that you can call up and we're going with Tanner in the second game and we're planning on going with Max on Monday," said Dusty Baker, the Washington manager, on Saturday.

Scherzer is 7-4 with a 2.27 ERA in 14 games, with 13 starts, in his career against the Mets.

Roark is 6-2 with a 2.61 ERA in his career against New York over 16 games, with 10 starts.

Lugo is 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA in four games, with three starts, against Washington in his career.

While the Mets are out of the playoff race, new closer A.J. Ramos said the team still has something to play for.

"The main thing is to be able to finish the season healthy. That is first and foremost. To end the season on a positive note gives you momentum for the offseason and a little bit of excitement for next year," said Ramos, who was traded to the Mets from the Marlins.

Ramos got the save here Friday, the same day Familia came off the disabled list. Ramos said he used to talk with Familia when they were opponents. Familia gave up three runs on Saturday in a 9-4 loss to the Nationals.

"I have had conversations with him. We would talk all of the time. It has always been good vibes," Ramos said.

Washington reliever Brandon Kintzler, who has been pitching well since coming to Washington, gave up four hits and two runs in the eighth on Saturday.

"He's just getting the ball up a little bit and he's predominantly a ground-ball pitcher and the ground balls they're hitting the last couple times are finding a hole up the middle," Baker said. "When you're facing a sinker baller, you're taught to try to hit the ball up the middle, which they're doing, which they did in Houston and they did today, so Kintzler will be fine, sometimes you just go through an unfortunate period of time."

Kintzler has a 2.93 ERA with the Nationals.
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