By David Dwork

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If slugger Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins are going to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the turnaround will have to start against one of the NL’s top pitchers.

Miami and its suddenly struggling offense will have to deal with Washington Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

After winning 13 of 16 and climbing back to three games over .500, the Marlins hit a wall.

They have since lost seven of eight, including four losses to the Nationals.

Stanton has continued to hit home runs, but that’s about it.  He is four for his last 29 at bats, but all four hits are homers.  He has also earned eight walks and struck out 12 times over that span.

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

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (11-4, 2.90 ERA) vs. Marlins RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (0-2, 4.13)

Strasburg has fared well against the Marlins both this season and throughout his career.

He’s 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two starts against Miami this year and holds a 14-7 record with a 3.26 ERA in 27 career appearances facing the Marlins.

Last week Strasburg held Stanton to an 0-for-4 evening while hitting a home run himself to earn his second career shutout.

Despaigne has been a solid addition to a desperate Marlins rotation that has been depleted by injuries.

In two starts since joining the rotation late last month Despaigne has an 0-1 record with a 3.60 ERA.

The 30-year-old has allowed four runs and eight hits over ten innings in his two starts.

ROUNDING THE BASES

  • Stanton’s next home run out of the No. 2 spot in the batting order will give the Marlins an MLB record for most team home runs out of the second position in the lineup.  42 of Stanton’s 53 homers have been out of the No. 2 spot.
  • The Marlins activated LHP Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) off the disabled list on Monday.  He pitched for Miami out of the bullpen.
  • Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth has failed to get a hit over his last 14 at-bats.
  • Washington has defeated Miami six straight games and is 11-6 against the Marlins this season.
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