Washington Nationals (57-46) at Miami Marlins (52-53), 7:10 p.m. (ET)
07/28/2014 10:55 AM
07/29/2014 10:32 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Stephen Strasburg doesn't particularly like taking his talents to South Beach.
Still, that's where the hard-throwing right-hander will get the call on Tuesday night when Washington faces the host Miami Marlins in the second of three games at Marlins Park.
Strasburg has mastered the Marlins in the friendly confines of Nationals Park, going 3-1 against them with a 3.06 earned run average in nine meetings. In fact, he pitched 18 scoreless innings against them in south Florida in his first three opportunities, but has stagnated lately.
In his last four trips to Miami, Strasburg is 1-3 with an ugly 11.65 ERA.
He beat Miami, 7-1, in Washington on April 10. But on April 15 at Marlins Park, he was on the short end of an 11-2 deficit.
"We've put together some pretty good at-bats off him over the last couple of years, and had some good games against him," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
To make matters worse, Strasburg is winless in his last two starts overall, including a 6-4 loss at Colorado on Wednesday in which he allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The Marlins have won eight of nine and are a game shy of .500, a mark they've not reached since late June.
"This team plays 27 outs the whole season," Miami's Jeff Baker said. "Moving forward, we just have to play hard."
Taking the mound amid the red-hot resurgence is righty Henderson Alvarez, who's winless in six starts against Washington, going 0-3 in spite of a 3.19 ERA, because his teammates have managed just 10 total runs of support.
He'd been strong on the road against all foes during a 3-0 stretch across six starts, but pitched just 2 2/3 innings in San Francisco on July 19 before being struck in the shin with a line drive. In one start since, he went eight innings in a 3-2 win at Atlanta.
On Monday, Jeff Baker's RBI single capped a four-run ninth inning for the Marlins, who rallied to beat the Nationals, 7-6.
The Marlins trailed 6-0 through six innings and entered the ninth behind 6-3.
Casey McGehee led off the ninth with a walk and Garrett Jones doubled to put runners on second and third. Marcell Ozuna hit a line drive to center to score McGehee, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate Jones. A wild pitch moved Ozuna to second with just one out. With the count full, Adeiny Hechavarria hit a liner to center for a game-tying triple.
After Donovan Solano was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, Baker, who had entered the game in the eighth to pinch-hit, hit a line drive that sailed over the head of Bryce Harper and landed at the base of the wall in left to score the winning run.
Rafael Soriano (2-1) gave up three hits and four runs in the ninth, but ultimately it was Jerry Blevins who threw the final pitch in the frame. Mike Dunn (8-5) struck out one in a perfect ninth inning to earn the win for the Marlins.
The Nats are 5-4 against Miami this season and sit a half-game ahead of Atlanta for the NL East lead.
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