The Washington Nationals are hitting the ball fairly well to start the season, ranking in the top five in the National League in batting average and RBIs.

However, there is one key area that is letting the team down, and it showed in Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Phillies. The Nats own the league's second-highest total of men left on base, stranding an average of nearly eight base runners per game. They left nine men on base Sunday.

But considering that Washington played most of the season so far without two injured all-stars, outfielder Bryce Harper and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, things could be looking up long-term.

Crosstown rivals

Cuban slugger Jose Abreu hit his major-league-leading 12th homer Sunday for the White Sox. He's getting his first taste of Chicago's interleague rivalry with the White Sox playing the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday and Tuesday. Then the teams will play two more games Wednesday and Thursday - with the White Sox hosting on the South Side.

Hold those Tigers

Thanks to a steady number of off days and rainouts, the Tigers have played only 26 games this season - six fewer than the division-rival White Sox. Aside from Detroit, no team has played fewer than 29 games. Arizona leads the majors with 34.

- Inquirer wire services