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Nats vs Braves has all the makings of long rivalry

By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - This has the makings of baseball's next great rivalry.

Washington vs. Atlanta.

Last year, the teams battled all season in the NL East, the Nationals leading most of the way with the Braves in futile pursuit. Washington finished with a league-leading 98 wins - four games ahead of Atlanta, though both made the playoffs.

After both lost to St. Louis in the postseason, they began making moves with the other clearly in mind. The Braves signed B.J. Upton and traded for his younger brother, Justin. The Nationals acquired leadoff hitter Denard Span and picked up reliever Rafael Soriano, adding to a team that already includes 2 of the sport's brightest young players, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

The teams are playing Tuesday in a spring training game at Kissimmee.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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