Scherzer aims to pitch Nats to series win over Marlins

( - Despite five quality starts in five chances this season, Washington's Max Scherzer tries to avoid a third straight loss on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a three-game set with the Miami Marlins.

Scherzer has yet to allow more than two earned runs in a start this season, producing a 1.26 earned run average, but comes in with a 1-3 record. Washington has plated only one run in his past two outings and was shutout 4-0 on Friday versus the New York Mets.

The right-hander Scherzer carried a no-hitter into the fourth and gave up one run on a solo homer over seven innings while fanning a season-high nine.

"I'm not going to beat myself over that pitch," Scherzer said of the home run he allowed to New York's Michael Cuddyer's. "I left it over the middle, he put a pretty good swing on it and he was able to damage on it."

Scherzer has faced the Marlins only once before and did not get a decision, charged with three runs over six innings with 10 strikeouts.

Tom Koehler would love to duplicate his previous outing against Washington when he takes the mound today for Miami.

The righty took on a visiting Marlins team on April 25 and hurled 7 1/3 scoreless innings of six-hit ball. Koehler walked only one batter and struck out four in the 8-0 win, moving to 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA lifetime versus the Nationals.

Koehler then faced Philadelphia on Friday and did not factor into a 4-3 win, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks over five innings. He is 2-2 on the year with a 4.67 ERA.

The Marlins evened this series with Tuesday's 2-1 victory, snapping a two-game slide to win for the fifth time in seven games.

Mat Latos hurled 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball and the Marlins plated both of their runs in the second inning. Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI single and he later scored on a throwing error by Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.

"We made pitches when we needed to and picked up a win," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

Strasburg, meanwhile, was lifted after three innings due to shoulder irritation as Washington had a three-game win streak snapped.

"It's something that's just been lingering and I just felt it more and more. I felt like I could have gotten through it," Strasburg said. "But at this point of the season you just want to get it right."

The Nationals only run came in the bottom of the second, when Dan Uggla's groundout allowed Ryan Zimmerman to trot home.

The Marlins outscored the Nationals 17-4 in sweeping a three-game set in Miami from April 24-26, but lost six of nine last season in Washington.