Zimmermann tries to extend unbeaten streak vs. Marlins

(SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Zimmermann aims to avoid his first loss since mid-July on Saturday evening as the Washington Nationals play the third contest of a four-game set with the Miami Marlins.

Zimmermann is in the midst of an 11-start unbeaten streak. Washington is 10-1 over that span, having won each of Zimmermann's last nine starts, while the right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.51 earned run average since a setback on July 11.

Zimmermann extended his run with a 3-0 win over the New York Mets on Sunday, scattering six hits and striking out five over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. That improved the 28-year-old to 12-5 on the year with a 2.83 ERA.

He is 1-0 with a 5.23 ERA in four starts against the Marlins this season, with the bulk of that damage coming on April 9 in a no-decision. Zimmermann yielded five runs over 1 2/3 innings in that outing.

The Marlins counter with 24-year-old Jarred Cosart, who continues to impress since being acquired from the Houston Astros.

Cosart is 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA in eight starts since the trade and is coming off Monday's no-decision versus the Mets. He yielded two early runs as well as five hits and two walks over six innings.

The right-hander faced the Nats for the first time in his career back on April 29 while with the Astros, getting a no-decision after six innings of two-run ball.

There is a chance that Marlins pitching may face Ryan Zimmerman in this series as the Nats slugger has joined the club in Miami. Zimmerman has not played since landing on the disabled list on July 23 because of a Grade 3 hamstring strain, with that ailment coming after he missed 44 games earlier in the year with a fractured right thumb.

Zimmerman has been rehabbing in Florida, seeing time at his usual third base as well as first base and left field. He is hitting .282 with five homers and 36 RBI in 53 games this season.

Washington has won both games of this series, winning 3-2 on Friday night behind Adam LaRoche's two-run homer.

Doug Fister allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings for Washington, which has won 10 of its last 13 games. Drew Storen fired a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save of the season.

"Doug was really good tonight," Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

The Nationals clinched the National League East on Tuesday and are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for home-field advantage in the NL.

Justin Bour cracked his first major league homer among his two RBI for the Marlins, who have dropped seven of their last 10 contests. Tom Koehler surrendered three runs on six hits and four walks over five frames in defeat.

Washington has an 8-5 edge against Miami this season and the NL East rivals will close out the season with four games at Nationals Park.