By David Dwork

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WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSMiami) – Coming off a tough weekend series in Atlanta, the Miami Marlins road trip continues in a not-so-friendly ballpark.

The Marlins have been one of the National League’s top three teams since the calendar flipped from May to June but they’ll face a top two team this week in the division-leading Washington Nationals.

The two rivals opened up a three-game series last Monday, with Miami taking two of three from the Nats.

This time around it’ll be four games at Nationals Park, with the Marlins looking at a pitching gauntlet that begins Monday night against Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer.

Miami has been riding the bat of slugger Giancarlo Stanton who has hit 10 home runs since the All-Star break.

Stanton has not excelled against Scherzer though, to the tune of 3-for-12 with a home run during his career.

GAME INFO: First pitch 7:05 PM, Nationals Park

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins LHP Chris O’Grady (2-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.21)

O’Grady struggled during his last start, which was against the Nationals at Marlins Park.

He surrendered six runs on seven hits, including a pair of home runs, over just three innings.

In his previous four outings O’Grady had given up three runs or less.

The Marlins have a 4-1 record in games that O’Grady has started this season.

Scherzer’s last start, also against Miami, was cut short after just one inning.

He threw a perfect first inning and hit a three-run homer in the top of the second, but took himself out of the game following one warm-up pitch when he came out for the next frame.

The 33-year-old has won four straight decisions and leads the National League with 201 strikeouts in 146 1/3 innings.

ROUNDING THE BASES

  • Christian Yelich is hitting .333 in his career against Scherzer, with two home runs and four RBIs.
  • Miami leads the season series against the Nationals 5-4.
  • Washington’s pitching staff is in a bit of disarray this week, with Gio Gonzalez on paternity leave and Stephen Strasburg on the DL.
  • J.T. Realmuto has hit safety in 40 of his 47 road games this season, holding a .366 average away from Marlins Park.
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