Nats, Marlins close set in MiamiJul 16, 2012 - 2:48 PM (Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals target a series win this evening against the Miami Marlins in the finale of a four-game set in south Florida.
The Nationals have taken two of the first three tests of this series and are coming off Sunday's 4-0 triumph in which starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg threw six shutout innings and drove in a run. He also fanned seven batters and issued just one walk.
"That was one of the more impressive games (Strasburg) has pitched," Nationals manager Dave Johnson said. "I thought he used his fastball better and his location was better. He got in some jams that he had to work out of but that is the Strasburg I've grown to love."
Michael Morse, Steve Lombardozzi, Danny Espinosa and Strasburg each had an RBI for the Nationals, winners in seven of their last 10. The NL East-leading Nationals are three games ahead of Atlanta in the standings and in the midst of playing 14 straight games against division opponents.
Edwin Jackson gets the ball for Washington tonight and he has won four of his last five decisions. Jackson barely got by San Francisco his last time out in a 9-4 win on July 4, when he was reached for four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Jackson, a right-hander, is 5-4 with a 3.73 earned run average in 16 starts this season and lost to Miami on May 29. In that 3-1 loss at Marlins Park, Jackson gave up two runs -- one earned -- in 6 2/3 innings. Jackson is only 1-5 with a 5.79 ERA in six career games (5 starts) in this series.
The Marlins have dropped four of five games and were done in by a poor effort on the mound by Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco permitted all four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings to suffer the loss. He allowed two runs in the sixth for a 4-0 score.
"The big one I think was to Morse. I made the pitch, and it was just a little too much out of the reach of Jose (Reyes)," Nolasco said. "They just found the holes. I thought I was mixing it up pretty well and keeping it away from the barrel, but that is just the way the game goes."
Miami is 10 games behind the Nationals in the NL East and is hoping Carlos Zambrano can right the ship when he takes the mound Monday.
Zambrano is 0-4 with an 8.00 earned run average in his last six starts and previously toed the rubber in a 3-2 setback at St. Louis on July 7. He surrendered three runs and seven hits over five innings in that one to fall to 4-7 with a 4.20 ERA in 17 starts.
The fiery right-hander is in his first season with Miami and defeated Washington back on May 28 in a 5-3 decision, tossing six innings of three-run ball. He lost to Washington in a 2-0 defeat on April 20. In 17 career meetings, 14 of which have been starts, against the Nationals, Big Z is a solid 9-4 with a 3.26 ERA.
Miami and Washington have split eight matchups this season.
- WASHINGTON: 3
Jul 16 10:25 PM
- Emilio Bonifacio sacrifice bunt to catcher scored Justin Ruggiano. None on with two outs and Carlos Lee due up.
Nationals 3, Marlins 5 Bot 7, 2 OutsJul 16 9:51 PM
- Danny Espinosa doubled to left. On the play, Michael Morse advances to third. Runners on second and third with one out and Roger Bernadina due up.
Nationals 3, Marlins 4 Top 6, 1 OutJul 16 8:56 PM
- Hanley Ramirez two-out, two-run Home Run (13) to left center scored Carlos Lee. Greg Dobbs due up.
Nationals 2, Marlins 4 Bot 3, 2 OutsJul 16 8:11 PM
- Carlos Lee singled to center scored Carlos Zambrano and Jose Reyes. Runner on first with one out and Logan Morrison due up.
Nationals 2, Marlins 2 Bot 3, 1 OutJul 16 8:09 PM
- Ryan Zimmerman two-out, solo Home Run (10) to left. Adam LaRoche due up.
Nationals 2, Marlins 0 Top 3, 2 OutsJul 16 7:56 PM
- Jesus Flores sacrifice fly out to right scored Danny Espinosa. Runner on first with two outs and Edwin Jackson due up.
Nationals 1, Marlins 0 Top 2, 2 OutsJul 16 7:42 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 16 7:12 PM
- Phils take swings against young Fernandez 10:50a
- Strasburg, Cain square off in San Fran 10:49a
- Nats P Mattheus has broken right hand 2:55a
- Vogelsong breaks hand as Giants down Nats 2:51a
- Ruggiano helps Marlins down Phillies 12:36a
- Marlins place Diaz on DL Mon
- Phillies bring swagger to Miami Mon
- Nationals continue western jaunt against Giants Mon
- Padres club Nationals Sun
- Nolasco helps Marlins avoid sweep Sun
- Haren, Cashner face off in San Diego Sun
- D'backs rely on Miley in Miami finale Sun