For the Phillies, it will be their second straight series against a division leader. On Thursday, they beat the Reds on a walk-off single by John Mayberry in the 11th inning, giving themselves a split in the four-game set.
Right-hander Kyle Kendrick will start Friday for the Phillies. He has made two starts against the Nationals this season and one relief appearance. In all, he has allowed three runs on 12 hits in 12 innings.
Kendrick is coming off what was perhaps the best start of his career. He threw eight shutout innings against the Brewers on Sunday, and he has thrown 15 straight scoreless innings dating back to an Aug. 8 loss to the Braves.
"It's been good," Kendrick said Sunday. "Just trying to stay the same. That's the main thing. Being who I am, staying the same, pounding the sinker, changeup, mixing in a couple cutters, a couple sliders. Thirty cutters a game is not me. I'm just trying to stay who I am."
Right-hander Edwin Jackson will get the ball for the Nationals. He struck out a season-high 11 batters in seven innings in his start Saturday against the Mets. As good as he was, however, the Nationals lost, which disappointed Jackson.
But manager Davey Johnson was impressed by Jackson's stuff against New York.
"Jackson has been good all year. It was probably the most dominant I have seen him pitch," Johnson said "He had outstanding stuff. His fastball ... had a lot of life and moving. ... I don't know how many K's he had, but he had a lot. His stuff was so electric. He was overmatching them."
Jackson hadn't struck out that many batters in a game since April 7, 2011, when he set 13 Rays down on strikes.
Nationals: At home on the road
The Nationals' road winning percentage of .621 is the best in the Major Leagues, and they are 14-4-2 in road series this season. They have already secured their first winning record on the road since moving to Washington in 2005.
The Nationals have been even better of late away from D.C., winning 14 of their last 17 road games. They are 2-1 in Philadelphia this year.
Phillies: Evaluations continue for 2013 roster hopefuls
After a series of Trade Deadline deals opened several spots for young players to prove their worth to the front office, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he's been pleased with the results so far. But Amaro said he wasn't going to make any decisions after three weeks of baseball.
Outfielder Domonic Brown, infielder Kevin Frandsen, catcher Erik Kratz and left-hander Jeremy Horst are among those taking advantage of their opportunities. Brown, who is hitting .286 in 23 games, hit his first home run of the season in the Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Reds on Wednesday. The former top prospect has caught Amaro's eye in his most recent stint in Philadelphia.
"He's not a finished product yet," Amaro said. "He's still learning. But I have a lot of confidence he can be an everyday right fielder or left fielder."
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and shortstop Ian Desmond have been very successful against Kendrick in their careers. Zimmerman is hitting .400 with an .800 slugging percentage in 29 plate appearances against the right-hander. Desmond is hitting .421 with a .789 slugging percentage in 20 plate appearances.