MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – After suffering through a horrible stretch in which they lost 10 of 11, the Miami Marlins have gotten back on track as they fight for a playoff spot.
The operative number for the Washington Nationals is four, as that total accounts for their losing skid as well as magic number to win the National League East.
Washington looks to put an end to its winless streak and inch closer to a third division title in five years on Wednesday when it faces the host Miami Marlins in the finale of a three-game series.
Giancarlo Stanton has put on a power display by going deep in the first two contests and is 2-for-7 with a homer and three RBIs in his career versus Wednesday starter Max Scherzer.
Miami is enjoying a late surge with wins in three straight and five of seven to sit four games out in the race for the NL’s second wild card with 11 to play.
The Nationals have all but secured their postseason berth, but recording just eight runs and 27 hits in four games is reason for concern.
Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper is mired in a 1-for-23 stretch with eight strikeouts in his last nine games, but is batting a robust .345 versus Wednesday starter Tom Koehler.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.78 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Tom Koehler (9-11, 3.96)
Scherzer improved to 5-0 in his last six starts on Friday after allowing two runs and striking out eight in seven innings of a 7-2 win at Atlanta.
The former American League Cy Young Award winner has yielded just 10 runs and struck out 48 during that stretch and owns a sterling 11-4 mark with a 3.23 ERA on the road this season.
Scherzer has split a pair of decisions versus Miami, rebounding from a tough outing in April to pitch eight strong innings in an 8-2 rout on May 22.
Koehler saw his winless stretch extend to seven outings on Friday despite allowing two runs in five innings of a no-decision at Philadelphia.
The 30-year-old owns an 0-3 mark in those contests despite surrendering just 19 earned runs.
Koehler owns a 1-1 mark with a 2.12 ERA in three starts versus Washington this season, although he has struggled in his career versus Wilson Ramos (.333) and Anthony Rendon (.300).
- Ramos has eight hits and five RBIs in his last seven games.
- Miami SS Adeiny Hechavarria is 7-for-54 with 13 strikeouts in his last 19 contests.
- Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy has been held out of the starting lineup in three straight games as he nurses soreness in his left leg.
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