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Pirates Vs. Nationals: Bucs Face Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann In Two-Game Set

The Bucs face the Nationals yet again, this time in D.C.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29:  Starter Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Starter Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Pirates and Nationals don't face each other very often, but their second series in a week begins in D.C. Wednesday night as Erik Bedard takes on Gio Gonzalez (7:05, ROOT Sports).

Gonzalez didn't pitch in last week's series. He's been a big part of the Nationals' resurgence this year, striking out 50 batters in 41.2 innings so far. Bedard might have his hands full keeping up with him.

Bedard, meanwhile, returns after missing a start due to back spasms.

Since the Pirates and Nationals' last series, one of the bigger stories surrounding the Nats has been Stephen Strasburg's struggles in his last start, and the unusual reason for them -- he somehow got Hot Stuff ointment in his groin. The Pirates, perhaps fortunately, will miss Strasburg in this brief two-game set. After Gonzalez on Wednesday, James McDonald and the Bucs will take on Jordan Zimmermann on Thursday at 7:05 before heading to Detroit for an interleague series against the Tigers.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Nats, there's Federal Baseball.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.