Righty Jordan Zimmermann eyes his third win of the season on Monday night when the Washington Nationals visit the Miami Marlins to open a three-game series at Marlins Park.
Zimmermann, who won a career-high 12 games last season, opened his 2013 run with six innings of eight-hit ball against the Marlins on April 4 while scoring a 6-1 win.
He allowed a single run and struck out one batter in that victory, then made it two straight with a 5-2 defeat of the Chicago White Sox on April 10 with seven innings of seven-hit, two-run ball and four strikeouts.
Zimmerman's 2-3 in nine career starts against the Marlins with a 4.09 earned run average across 50 2/3 innings, allowing 52 hits and striking out 41. He has never pitched at Marlins Park.
For Miami, lefty Wade LeBlanc gets another shot at both the Nationals and Zimmermann after dropping the aforementioned 6-1 verdict in Washington.
The 28-year-old Louisiana native was making the first start of his second full season with the Marlins, by whom he was acquired in November 2011 for John Baker.
He gave up five hits and two earned runs against the Nationals, then allowed two runs on six hits in six innings while dropping a 3-2 decision to Atlanta on April 9.
LeBlanc has made five career appearances against Washington, but just the one start, while allowing an overall three runs on nine hits in 10 innings.
On Sunday in Washington, Paul Maholm struck out seven over 7 2/3 innings of four-hit ball as the red-hot Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Nationals with a 9-0 victory.
Kurt Suzuki accounted for half of Washington's four hits, while starter Gio Gonzalez (1-1) was tagged for seven runs on seven hits and three walks over five frames for the Nationals, who were coming off a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox before dropping all three games to the Braves.
"I wasn't attacking the strike zone, leaving every pitch up and falling behind on a good team," Gonzalez admitted. "That's all it was."
In Miami, pinch-hitter Laynce Nix hit a solo homer in the ninth inning and Roy Halladay pitched eight solid frames as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Marlins, 2-1, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Miami starter Kevin Slowey allowed one runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. Jon Rauch (0-2) gave up the homer to Nix to take the loss.
Chris Valaika knocked in the lone run for the Marlins, who fell to 2-10.
"We've battled every game," Slowey said. "I think our record may be a little misleading."
The Nationals swept Miami in a season-opening series at Nationals Park while outscoring the Marlins, 11-1. The teams split 18 games in 2012.