MIAMI (CBSMiami/Gracenote) – While pitching has been a major issue for the Miami Marlins, the team’s hitting might just save the season.
The Marlins put an end to a brief hiccup in their hot streak by overcoming an early six-run deficit to stun the Washington Nationals in the opener of their three-game series.
After Marcell Ozuna’s RBI single in the ninth inning capped an 8-7 win, Miami vies for its 15th victory in 22 outings and a series victory to boot on Tuesday when the National League East rivals reconvene at Marlins Park.
Ozuna has recorded at least one hit in each contest versus Washington this season and five total to go along with four RBIs, but the 26-year-old Dominican is just 2-for-12 in his career against Tuesday starter and Miami native Gio Gonzalez.
Giancarlo Stanton rebounded from a 1-for-14 series against Atlanta with his eighth career three-hit performance of the season, highlighted by his 18th homer to pull even with Ozuna and Justin Bour.
Stanton’s blast provided yet another troublesome performance by Washington’s beleaguered bullpen, which saw Enny Romero fall victim in the ninth inning for the team’s seventh loss in 11 games.
Bryce Harper started the Nationals on the right foot as his two-run homer extended his hitting streak to 12 games, but he’s just 1-for-11 with three strikeouts in his career against Tuesday starter Edinson Volquez.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (6-1, 2.89 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Edinson Volquez (3-7, 3.72)
Gonzalez improved to 3-0 in his last four starts on Thursday after allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings of an 8-3 victory at the New York Mets.
The 31-year-old has permitted two runs or fewer in 11 of his 14 starts, including a sterling effort against Miami to begin the season.
Gonzalez, who owns a 1-2 mark with a 4.24 ERA in four career starts at Marlins Park, scattered seven hits and struck out seven over six scoreless innings in a no-decision on April 6.
Volquez highlighted a three-start winning streak with a no-hitter against Arizona on June 3, but was left with a no-decision in his last outing on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old Dominican allowed five runs on four hits with as many walks in four innings of a no-decision versus Oakland.
Volquez received the same result despite pitching well in his last encounter with Washington, scattering four hits and striking out six over five scoreless innings on April 3.
- Washington SS Trea Turner, who is from Boynton Beach, Fla., has hit safely in four straight and seven of his last eight games.
- Bour, who had a grand slam in the opener, has recorded multi-hit performances in two straight contests and six in his last 10.
- Nationals CF Michael Taylor, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is 10-for-28 with two homers, six RBIs and six runs scored in his last seven games.
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