MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Marlins are running out of time to climb back into the race for a wild card spot.
The Washington Nationals’ magic number to clinch the National League East has been stuck at six for the last few days with the team struggling to get around the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets squeezing out wins.
The Nationals will try to shave one off their magic number when they visit the Marlins in the opener of a three-game series on Monday.
Washington owns an eight-game lead over the Mets in the NL East and needs any combination of wins and New York losses equaling six to clinch a division crown.
The Nationals opened their final road trip of the season at Atlanta over the weekend and took the opener before falling on Saturday and Sunday, and they will head to Pittsburgh for three games to finish out the trip after dealing with the Marlins.
Miami earned a 5-4 win in Philadelphia to avoid a sweep on Sunday but sits five games behind the San Francisco Giants in the race for the second NL wild card.
The Marlins got a tying two-run homer from Christian Yelich in the eighth inning on Sunday, and he is one blast shy of his first 20-homer campaign.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH A.J. Cole (1-2, 4.71 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Wei-Yin Chen (5-4, 4.99)
Cole is searching for his second major-league win and allowed three runs on nine hits and a pair of walks in five innings without factoring in the decision against the Mets on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old rookie yielded six home runs in his first four starts this season but kept the ball in the park against New York.
Cole is making his first appearance against Miami and is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two road starts.
Chen missed almost two months with an elbow strain but went through simulated games as part of a rehab program and is ready to return on Monday.
The Taiwan native lost his last start at Philadelphia on July 20, yielding four runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Chen last saw Washington on April 20 and absorbed a loss despite allowing three runs and striking out seven in seven innings.
- Marlins 2B Dee Gordon has hit safely in 10 straight games.
- Washington rookie INF-OF Trea Turner is 10-for-16 with seven runs scored and five extra-base hits in his last four games.
- Miami RF Giancarlo Stanton (groin) was limited to pinch hitting in the last two games.
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