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Miami at Washington

Venue: Nationals Park
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The Washington Nationals are proving that their offense can carry them on the rare occasions when a member of their star-studded pitching rotation has an off night.

Stephen Strasburg surely would like to avoid that from happening again, though.

The right-hander looks to bounce back from a pair of shaky outings as Washington seeks a three-game sweep of the visiting Miami Marlins on Thursday.

The Nationals (6-2) got a stellar performance from starter Gio Gonzalez in a 5-0 victory in Tuesday's series opener, but Jordan Zimmermann had the shortest outing of his career Wednesday and spotted the Marlins a five-run lead through two innings.

Jayson Werth capped the comeback and his five-RBI night with a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth that gave the Nationals a 10-7 victory. Anthony Rendon was intentionally walked in front of Werth as the Marlins hoped to induce a double-play ball.

''Knowing Jayson, if the pitcher looks at him wrong, he'll take that personally,'' reliever Craig Stammen said. ''So them blatantly walking to get to him - typically they don't walk to get to your 3-hole hitter."

Bryce Harper, who entered hitting .160 over his first six games, started the rally with a three-run homer in the fourth.

''That's a big swing for him, confidence-wise," manager Matt Williams said.

Washington has a 2.84 team ERA and has allowed two runs or fewer five times, but it also has won two of the three games it has given up at least six. Rendon went 2 for 4 and is hitting .419, while Ryan Zimmerman improved his average to .375 with two hits after not starting the last two games due to a sore shoulder.

The offense picked up Strasburg in the season opener March 31, when Washington rallied for a 9-7 win in 10 innings over the New York Mets.

Strasburg (0-1, 6.10 ERA) allowed four runs and struck out 10 through six innings in that game before giving up six runs - three earned - and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to Atlanta on Saturday.

"I don't feel like I got out of my game plan or anything," Strasburg said. "I really felt like I gave everything I had and battled."

Strasburg now will try to change his luck against a Miami team that also has given him trouble. He's 2-2 with a 6.97 ERA in his last seven starts against the Marlins, pitching fewer than six innings four times - once because of a long rain delay.

Giancarlo Stanton is 8 for 21 with two homers and four doubles off Strasburg. He recorded his 13th RBI on Wednesday and will look to help the Marlins (5-4) avoid a fourth straight defeat after a hot start.

Manager Mike Redmond defended the decision to walk Rendon.

''We were trying to win the ballgame there. We were trying to get a ground ball,'' Redmond said.

Miami will send Tom Koehler to the mound after he gave up two runs in six innings of an 8-2 win over San Diego in his season debut Friday. He's 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA over his last four starts dating to last season.

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two starts against the Nationals, though he gave up two runs and three hits in six innings of a 4-2 victory the last time he faced them Sept. 22.

Washington has outscored Miami 59-22 while winning 11 of the last 12 meetings in D.C.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Miami3rd NL East7880.49414 ½ 5-5 L 2
Washington1st NL East9366.585-5-5 W 1
 
 

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Injuries
Miami
PlayerInjury
T. KolekElbow
Washington
PlayerInjury
A. BarrettElbow
B. HarperThumb
D. MurphyUpper Leg
W. RamosKnee
S. StrasburgElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 7WASMIA 6-4Phelps Roark 
Apr 9WASPPD   
Apr 10WASWAS 4-2Ross Koehler 
Apr 18MIAMIA 6-1Fernandez Roark 
Apr 19MIAWAS 7-0Strasburg Conley 
Apr 20MIAWAS 3-1Petit Chen 
Apr 21MIAMIA 5-1Koehler Scherzer 
May 13WASWAS 5-3Treinen Barraclough 
May 14WASWAS 6-4Strasburg Nicolino 
May 14WASMIA 7-1Urena Roark 
May 15WASMIA 5-1Fernandez Ross 
May 20MIAWAS 4-1Roark Nicolino 
May 21MIAMIA 3-2Fernandez Ross 
May 22MIAWAS 8-2Scherzer Conley 
Sep 19MIAMIA 4-3Ellington Latos 
Sep 20MIAMIA 1-0Fernandez Roark 
Sep 21MIAWAS 8-3Scherzer Koehler 
Sep 30WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Oct 1WAS 4:05 PM EDT  
Oct 2WAS 3:05 PM EDT