Published September 07, 2013
| Sports Network
The Washington Nationals failed to solve Jose Fernandez in Friday's series opener with Miami. The playoff-hopeful Nats now get their crack at Nathan Eovaldi, a right-hander who is coming off his best outing of the season.
Eovaldi threw eight shutout innings in a 7-0 win at Atlanta on Sunday. That snapped a five-decision skid for Eovaldi, who has made two career starts against Washington, both this year, going 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA.
Tanner Roark, who has made nine relief appearances in his maiden MLB season, will make his first career start when he steps on the mound for the Nationals. The 26-year-old right-hander has worked 22 2/3 innings in 2013.
Fernandez fired seven shutout innings of one-hit ball in Miami's 7-0 triumph Friday night. Fernandez (11-6) lost his no-hitter with one out in the sixth when pinch-hitter Zach Walters cued a roller down the third-base line. Third baseman Placido Polanco tried the let the ball roll foul, but it stayed fair.
It was Walters' first career hit.
One of the NL Rookie of the Year frontrunners, Fernandez, who moved to 8-0 with a minuscule 1.19 ERA at Marlins Park this season, fanned nine and walked just two for Miami, which has won four of its last five tilts.
"I think tonight was probably the best," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Watching the way he commanded his pitches against a great lineup, he was in complete control tonight. It seemed he could do whatever he wanted with his pitches."
The 21-year-old Cuban flamethrower is the 14th pitcher since 1916 with at least 13 home starts to tally seven wins without a loss. Of those 14 hurlers, Fernandez's ERA is second to Orel Hershiser's 1.08 mark at Dodger Stadium in 1985.
Fernandez also smacked two hits, Giancarlo Stanton added a solo homer and three RBI and Logan Morrison cracked a two-run shot in the victory.
Dan Haren (8-13) allowed five runs on six hits and two walks over three innings for the Nationals, who had won three of their last four games coming in.
"Two starts of being great and then two starts in a row where I can't get into the fourth inning, I have no explanation for it," Haren said. "I feel terrible about it for the team standpoint."
The Nationals dropped eight games behind Cincinnati for the second wild card spot. Arizona is also eight games off the pace.
Washington's Denard Span, who sat out Friday's contest, has a 17-game hitting streak.
Washington leads the season series, 9-4.