video thumbnail

MIA@WSH: Fister strikes out Angle on three pitches

Nationals right-hander Doug Fister is slated to make his season debut Friday night when his club begins a three-game Interleague set in Oakland.

Lefty Tommy Milone, who made his debut with Washington in 2011, is scheduled to pitch for the A's.

Fister missed more than a month of the season because of a right lat strain, and he is looking forward to getting back on the mound. He is expected to throw no more than 100 pitches.

Fister came from the Tigers in a trade last December that sent infielder Steve Lombardozzi and reliever Ian Krol to Detroit. Fister is expected to be one of the main cogs in the Nationals' rotation.

"I'm looking forward to just getting back to pitching -- just in general," Fister said. "I'm pitching in Oakland. I've seen those guys a lot. It's going to come down to a big chess game. For me, I have to go out there and execute."

A native of Northern California, Fister will have several family members, including his parents, in attendance.

"There will be quite a bit of family and friends, people that I know coming in, so it should be fun," Fister said. "I get to go home to see my family. It should be a good weekend. I'm going to see my mom for Mother's Day. It should be a good time."

Fister will be in familiar territory when he faces the A's. He has pitched against them 12 times in his career, going 5-5 with a 3.17 ERA, and is not surprised the first-place A's have been consistent on the field. After all, he played against them in the American League Division Series the last two years.

"They are very scrappy," he said. "They are a good ballclub. They hit the ball hard and bring every facet of the game [to the table]."

Milone was the losing pitcher in his last start, a 6-3 A's loss in Boston. He gave up six runs on six hits and four walks with five strikeouts in four innings on the day and owns a 5.86 ERA on the year.

The lefty was originally selected by the Nationals in the 10th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and went 1-0 with a 3.81 ERA in five September starts for them in 2011. He has never faced them before, but in eight career Interleague starts is 4-1 with a 6.02 ERA.

Catcher Derek Norris and lefty Fernando Abad also came to the A's via Washington.

A's: Cook headed for MRI; Crisp day to day
Righty reliever Ryan Cook will spend part of Thursday's off-day undergoing an MRI, after suffering a forearm strain while pitching against the Mariners on Wednesday.

Cook said early Wednesday evening he is "really optimistic" the injury isn't serious, emphasizing his symptoms are not in line with those experienced by Tommy John patients.

"No pain in those areas," Cook said. "Seems to be strictly in my forearm, just tightness.

"It's not as bad as you guys think it is, I can tell you that. At least we think right now."

Teammate Coco Crisp endured a neck strain in the same game when making a tremendous catch against the center-field wall. He's day to day.

Nationals: Blevins returns to Oakland
Left-hander Jerry Blevins will return to the city where his Major League career started. Blevins played seven seasons for the A's and helped them win two division titles in 2012 and '13.

"We weren't very good when I first [arrived in Oakland]," Blevins said. "They had a good Minor League system. A lot of guys came up. We played together as a team and went off from there. We believed in each other."

This offseason, Blevins was traded to the Nationals for outfielder Billy Burns. The trade has turned out quite well for Washington, as Blevins has a 2.93 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings this year. One can see Blevins in a couple of roles -- middle relief and the late innings.

"I think I'm doing pretty well. I have been used quite a bit," he said. "I think that shows they understand my versatility and my ability to adapt to a situation. I like my role here. I love the team and I'm really excited to see where the season takes us."

Worth noting
• The Nationals have nine comeback wins this season. They are fourth behind the Tigers, Brewers and Rockies in that category.

• Nationals pitchers lead the Majors in strikeouts with 316. Comments