Patterson to face Pelfrey in opener

Patterson set to open series vs. Mets at Shea

The Nationals look to win their second consecutive game as they face the Mets on Friday night at Shea Stadium. Washington right-hander John Patterson will face New York right-hander Mike Pelfrey.

Patterson will face the Mets for the 13th time in his career. He is 1-2 with a 5.18 ERA against them. Patterson is looking to break a personal two-game losing streak. Pitching coach Randy St. Claire warned that Patterson is going to have some tough moments early in the season because he is still building arm strength. St. Claire said it was expected from a guy who had missed most 2006 because of an arm injury.

At 9:32 p.m. ET on Thursday night, the Nationals took a lead for the first time since beating the Marlins on a walk-off base hit by Dmitri Young on April 4. The lead stuck and they blanked Braves, 2-0, at Turner Field to snap their six-game losing streak.

Pitching matchup
WAS: RHP John Patterson (0-2, 9.35 ERA)
Third baseman David Wright is 7-for-21 (.333) with two home runs and seven RBIs against Patterson during his career.

NYM: RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-1, 5.48 ERA in 2006)
He will be making his first start against the Nationals.

Player to watch
Outfielder Ryan Church is on a nine-game hitting streak. He leads the team in RBIs with four.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MASN2/DCA-20

On radio
• WTWP 1500

Up next
• Saturday: Washington (RHP Shawn Hill, 0-2, 3.09) at New York (RHP Orlando Hernandez 1-0, 1.38), 1:10 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Washington (LHP Matt Chico, 0-1, 7.27) at New York (RHP John Maine, 1-0, 1.54), 1:10 p.m. ET
• Monday: Atlanta (LHP Chuck James, 2-0, 0.82) at Washington (RHP Jerome Williams, 0-2, 4.91), 7:05 p.m. ET

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.