By David Dwork

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins may have found a groove over the couple weeks, winning three straight series’ and seven of their last 10 games overall.

The strength of Miami’s newfound resolve will be tested in the coming days as the division leading Washington Nationals come to south Florida.

Washington holds the best record in the National League and has won eight of 10 away from home.

The Nationals could enter Monday’s game a little on the tired side though, following a day-night doubleheader against Colorado on Sunday.

The Marlins and Nationals have each been playing well over the past couple months. Since May 28th, Washington holds the second best record in the NL (32-23) while Miami holds the third best (32-24).

GAME INFO: First Pitch 7:10 PM, Marlins Park

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-5, 2.81 ERA) vs. Marlins RHP Jose Urena (9-4, 4.04)

Gonzalez seems to enjoy pitching against his hometown team.  In 13 career starts facing the Marlins, Gonzalez is 7-3 with a 2.19 ERA.

He’s 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against Miami this season.

It’s been a frustrating few weeks for Gonzalez, as he has pitched well despite not getting the results.

He’s held hitters to a .176 batting average and posted a 2.48 ERA in his last six starts but earned just a 1-4 record during that span.

For the Marlins, Urena has been a welcomed surprise on a pitching staff that has not performed nearly as well as hoped.

He holds an 8-2 record over his last 10 decisions, though he has surrendered 16 runs in 24 innings so far during five July starts.

This will be Urena’s first time facing the Nationals this season.

He went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three relief appearances against them last year.

ROUNDING THE BASES

  • Marcell Ozuna’s 3-run home run on Sunday gave him 27 RBIs during the month of July, which leads the National League and is a new career-high.
  • Giancarlo Stanton’s 12 July home runs leads the majors while Washington’s Bryce Harper is close behind with nine.
  • Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon is hitting .383 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs since June 15th.
  • The MLB’s non-waiver Trade Deadline is at 4 p.m. Monday.
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