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Miami at Washington

Venue: Nationals Park
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Gio Gonzalez won 21 games last year while helping the Washington Nationals possess the best ERA in the league on their way to the NL East title.

Things haven't gone nearly as well in 2013 as Washington is struggling to simply stay in the playoff chase.

The Nationals, though, have been on a roll lately, and they'll look to win for the eighth time in nine games Thursday night when Gonzalez takes the mound against the visiting Miami Marlins.

Gonzalez (7-6, 3.72 ERA) finished with a career-best 2.89 ERA in 2012 for the division champions, who are seven games back of Cincinnati for the NL's second wild-card spot.

He went 0-2 with a 2.00 ERA over his previous three starts before allowing seven runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings of Washington's 11-10 win over Kansas City on Friday.

Gonzalez's one strikeout was his fewest in 93 starts since also striking out a single hitter against the Royals on Sept. 14, 2010, while with Oakland.

"You are going to have games where you are going to be iffy," Gonzalez said. "You are going to be all over the place. (Friday) was a perfect example."

The left-hander has been solid against the Marlins, though, going 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA over four career starts. He allowed two hits in six innings of a 3-0 win over Miami on April 3.

Washington (67-65) continued its hot stretch with a 4-3 win Wednesday. Bryce Harper extended his career-best hitting streak to 10, Denard Span raised his hitting streak to 11 and Ian Desmond had three hits.

Desmond drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the seventh.

``Things are on my side right now,'' said Desmond, who is 11 for 22 over his last five games. "I'm in a good spot mentally right now, and a majority of the game is just mental.''

The Nationals are 5-0 at home this season versus Miami (49-82), which has the majors' worst offense and scored 17 runs while dropping seven of eight.

Giancarlo Stanton and Jeff Mathis each homered, but the Marlins fell for the eighth time in 11 matchups with the Nationals.

``I liked the fact that it looked like we kind of swung the bats a little better as far as the hits,'' manager Mike Redmond said. ``I don't know. I'll have to sleep on it. We'll see what I can come up with tomorrow.''

Tom Koehler takes the mound for Miami as he looks to build off a solid outing.

Koehler (3-8, 4.45) gave up one run in seven innings before Colorado rallied to beat the Marlins 3-2 on Friday. He went 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA over his previous three outings.

"He had good tempo,'' Redmond said. "Sometimes he gets a little squirrelly out there and walks a guy, but he did what he needed to do with runs. He micromanaged that one run he gave up. With our pitchers, I know they feel like they have to go out there and be perfect every single night and it's tough to pitch like that.''

The right-hander has never faced Washington.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Tom Koehler, RHP
2013 stats
109.1 Innings Pitched 155.0
3-8 Wins-Losses 7-6
4.45 Earned Run Average 3.72
40 Walks 64
77 Strikeouts 156
95 Pitches Per Start 103
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched 28.0
--- Wins-Losses 2-2
- Earned Run Average 1.93

Gio Gonzalez, LHP
Weather
weather image  Clearing skies. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
85°F72°F8mph/NE61%12%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Miami5th NL East1727.3868 ½ 2-8 W 1
Washington1st NL East2518.581-7-3 L 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Gio Gonzalez
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Dobbs42001.500
Pierre124002.333
Ruggiano72004.286
Polanco154113.267
Mathis122002.167
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Tom Koehler
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Hairston31101.333
Desmond000000
Gonzalez000000
Haren000000
Harper000000
 

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Injuries
Miami
PlayerInjury
H. AlvarezShoulder
S. CishekLeg
J. CosartHead
A. CrowElbow
J. FernandezElbow
D. KellyFinger
M. LatosKnee
J. MathisFinger
Washington
PlayerInjury
E. DavisElbow
D. FisterForearm
R. JohnsonFoot
N. McLouthShoulder
A. RendonKnee, oblique
S. SolisShoulder
C. StammenForearm
J. WerthWrist
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 10PHIPHI 4-1Garcia Gonzalez 
Apr 11PHIPHI 3-2McGowan Roark 
Apr 12PHIWAS 4-3Barrett Diekman 
Apr 16WASWAS 5-2Fister Hamels 
Apr 17WASWAS 7-2Scherzer O'Sullivan 
Apr 18WASPHI 5-3Harang Zimmermann 
Apr 19WASWAS 4-1Strasburg Buchanan 
May 22WASWAS 2-1Scherzer O'Sullivan 
May 23WASPHI 8-1  
May 24WAS 1:35 PM EDT  
Jun 26PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Jun 27PHI 3:05 PM EDT  
Jun 28PHI 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 14PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 15PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 16PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 25WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 26WAS 4:05 PM EDT  
Sep 27WAS 1:35 PM EDT