MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Miami Marlins know that every game is now a must-win.
Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark is on the cusp of a career year, but the 29-year-old has endured considered trouble against the Marlins.
Roark will look to shake off his troubles versus Miami and reel in a career-best 16th win on Tuesday as the National League East rivals play the second contest of their three-game series in Miami.
Danny Espinosa belted a three-run homer in a 4-3 loss in the opener for Washington, which has mustered just eight runs during its three-game losing skid and owns a magic number for clinching the division to five.
The blast notwithstanding, the 29-year-old has struggled in his career versus Miami (.159) and is just marginally better (.167) against Tuesday starter Jose Fernandez.
Giancarlo Stanton launched his first homer since Aug. 13 on Monday for the Marlins, who have won two in a row and four of six to move within four games of the second wild card with 12 to play.
The 26-year-old has a pair of blasts in his career versus Roark, but is just 5-for-23 against the right-hander.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Tanner Roark (15-8, 2.75 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Jose Fernandez (15-8, 2.99)
Roark allowed 16 runs on 24 hits in dropping his first three decisions to Miami this season before pitching 6 2/3 strong innings in a 4-1 triumph on May 20.
The right-hander owns a 3-7 career mark with a 4.29 ERA in 16 career appearances versus the Marlins. Roark has pitched considerably better of late, yielding just three runs on 17 hits to post a 2-1 mark with a 1.08 ERA in his last four games.
While Roark has sputtered versus Miami, Fernandez has won all three of his starts against Washington this season to improve to 6-0 with a 1.13 ERA in nine career encounters.
The 24-year-old Cuban has won each of his last two starts overall, following up a 14-strikeout performance versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 9 before overcoming one bad inning five days later to post a 7-5 victory over Atlanta.
Fernandez has dominated at home throughout his career, highlighted by an 11-2 mark and 1.77 ERA this season.
- Washington OF Bryce Harper is 1-for-19 with seven strikeouts in his last eight games.
- Miami C J.T. Realmuto is 19-for-56 with three homers, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored in September.
- Nationals INF-OF Trea Turner went hitless in the series opener, but still is 10-for-20 with seven runs scored and five extra-base hits in his last five games.
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