The Miami Marlins ended Bryce Harper's home run streak at four games while the Washington Nationals were unable to prevent Giancarlo Stanton from going deep.
This four-game series at Marlins Park continues Tuesday night with Harper facing the hard-nosed Adam Conley while Stanton will step into the batter's box versus familiar foe Stephen Strasburg.
The major storyline in this series is about two of baseball's most feared sluggers. Harper had established a career high by homering in four straight games before going 0 for 2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly in Monday's 6-1 defeat.
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"Every time you get him out, you breathe a sigh of relief,'' Miami manager Don Mattingly said.
Stanton ended a five-game homerless drought with a solo shot in the fifth inning. He's 5 for 12 against Washington (9-3) this year.
"Boy, it's hard to keep big boy in the ballpark too over there forever, you just can't do it," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.
Harper is 4 for 7 with one homer and two doubles when facing left-handers as he faces the southpaw Conley (0-0, 3.86 ERA), against whom he is 1 for 2 with two walks.
Conley threw six scoreless innings in last Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets, finishing with a career-high nine strikeouts and one walk.
''He pounded the strike zone,'' Mattingly said. ''He's going to come in there. He's not going to back off. He's going to pitch inside. It's interesting to watch how hitters react to him.''
Conley was much more effective than his first start April 7 when he was charged with three runs in one inning in a 6-4 victory at Washington, departing early due to a weather delay.
Strasburg (2-0, 1.98) can open with victories in his first three starts for the first time. He has beaten Atlanta in his first two outings and did not allow an extra-base hit over 13 2-3 innings.
Stanton is the hitter with the third-most at-bats against the right-hander, going 13 for 32 (.406) with three homers and six doubles. Marcell Ozuna is 8 for 22 with two homers off Strasburg while lefty-swinging Justin Bour went 4 for 8 with one homer last year versus him.
Strasburg went 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA in four 2015 starts against Miami. He is 2-5 with a 6.57 ERA in his last seven at Marlins Park.
Reports are surfacing that Strasburg is throwing his slider more, although he is denying that he is even employing one.
The Nationals have lost consecutive games for the first time while the Marlins (4-7) ended a four-game slide with their first home win in six tries Monday.
The slumping Ozuna delivered a two-out, two-run single in the first inning after entering with a .190 average. Christian Yelich went 2 for 4 for Miami, third in the NL with a .276 average but tied for the league's second-fewest homers with seven.
Washington's Daniel Murphy is batting .441 during a 10-game hitting streak.