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Nationals to open 2010 vs. Phillies

Nationals to open 2010 vs. Phillies

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals' preliminary schedule for the 2010 season was released on Tuesday, and the team hopes to get better results this time.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will start his fifth full season with the club, when the Nationals play their first game at Nationals Park against the Phillies starting April 5. It's the start of a three-game series against their National League East rival.

The Nationals don't play an NL East opponent again at Nationals Park until they play the Braves starting May 4. In between, the Nationals play NL Central and West teams at home as they face the Brewers, Rockies and Dodgers starting April 16th.

During the month of June, the Nationals will play Interleague games. They will go to Cleveland to face the Indians starting on June 11. It's the first time the two teams have faced each other since the 2007 season.

The Nationals will also be on the road when they face the Tigers, and then the Orioles in the "Battle of the Beltways." Washington will also play the White Sox, Royals and Orioles at Nationals Park.

Washington will see a lot of its NL East rivals during the month of September and October. Its last three games at Nationals Park will be against the Phillies starting Sept. 27, while Washington ends the season at Citi Field with a three-game series against the Mets starting Oct. 1.

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

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