Nationals set for rubber match at Miami

8:50 AM, Sep 8, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - It's been more than a month since Stephen Strasburg has suffered a loss. The 25-year-old right-hander leads the Nationals against the Miami Marlins Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Even though the Nationals posted a 9-2 victory Saturday, time is not on the side of the Nats as the season begins to wind down. With 21 games left, the Nationals are still eight games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild card spot.

Strasburg has done his part to help the Nationals. He's 1-0 over his last six starts and hasn't lost since July 30 at Detroit. During the span he's tossed a shutout and has been involved in two early exits, one due to a rain delay and the other via ejection.

All told, Strasburg has given up only six earned runs over his last five starts, covering 26 2/3 innings. He's coming off a no-decision at Philadelphia Monday, when he allowed two hits and an unearned run while fanning 10 over six innings.

Strasburg is 5-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 12 starts versus the Marlins.

Jacob Turner takes the mound for Miami. The righty is coming off a no-decision on August 31 at Atlanta, when he tossed 5 2/3 innings in an 11-inning loss to the Braves. He went 0-1 in two starts with a 5.73 ERA against the Nationals last season.

Pitching at Marlins Park has proved successful for Turner. He's 3-1 in eight home starts this season, compared to a mark of 0-4 on the road.

Ryan Zimmerman hit a pair of home runs Saturday for the Nationals. Wilson Ramos drove in a pair of runs as did Tyler Moore, while Jayson Werth had three hits and scored once for the Nationals, who have won three of four. Tanner Roark (5-0) gave up just four hits and struck out four in his first career start to pick up the win.

"We got off to an early start hitting-wise and scored a couple of runs. That takes a lot of weight off your shoulders when you're pitching," Roark said.

Adeiny Hechavarria and Jeff Mathis each drove in a run for the Marlins, who had won four of five coming in. Nathan Eovaldi (3-6) lasted just three innings in the start, giving up five runs on nine hits.

"I just wasn't locating any of my pitches," Eovaldi said. "The fastball command was off and then I wasn't really throwing any of my breaking ball pitches for strikes."

Washington's Denard Span has an 18-game hitting streak.

Washington leads the season series, 10-4.

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