Stephen Strasburg will try to snap a career-worst three- start losing streak this afternoon when he leads the Nationals against the Marlins in the third installment of a four-game series.
The powerful right-hander, who is coming off a loss to Colorado on July 6 when he pitched six innings, has history on his side going into today's matchup. He owns a 2-0 record and has yet to allow a run while pitching in Miami, but this will be his first appearance at new Marlins Park. He's 2-1 in five career starts against the Marlins.
Ricky Nolasco, who is coming off his second consecutive win on July 6 at St. Louis, gets the ball for the Marlins. His ERA stands at 0.92 over his last three games.
The righty has posted a 9-3 record with a 3.97 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) when facing the Nationals. He has more victories against the Nationals than any other opponent, but has not beaten them in South Florida since June 29, 2009. In three home starts since then, he is 0-2 with a 6.06 ERA.
Last night, Mark Buehrle threw seven strong innings to win his fourth consecutive start, and the Marlins held off the Nationals, 2-1.
Carlos Lee and John Buck had RBI singles in support of Buehrle (9-8), who allowed six hits, walked two and struck out seven.
Steve Cishek recorded the final five outs to get his second save of the year. Roger Bernadina singled with two outs in the ninth and looked to be tagged out on the helmet by Omar Infante on a steal attempt. Bernadina was called safe, but Jesus Flores fanned on an outside pitch to end the game.
"In a game like this, a must-win game, against the team we're chasing, that's why I tried to give him the opportunity to pitch back into the closer situation. I have to put my best option there," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said of Cishek.
Gio Gonzalez (12-4), who was born and raised in nearby Hialeah, gave up five hits and the two runs while fanning nine over six innings. His four-start winning streak was broken.
Miami snapped a three-game skid, while the NL East-leading Nationals failed to gain momentum after a 5-1 win Friday night.
"We just didn't get the hit when we needed it," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "It was old fashioned National League ball."
Miami has won four of the last five meetings with Washington.