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MIAMI (SportsDirect Inc.) – When healthy, Jose Fernandez has been dazzling during his brief career – especially at home. The young Miami Marlins ace will try to make history when he takes the mound against the visiting Washington Nationals on Saturday.

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Fernandez will make his first start since Aug. 7, and a win would make him 16-0 all-time at Marlins Park, matching the major-league record for home victories without a loss to begin a career. He will face a reeling Washington team that has dropped four straight to crush its playoff hopes. The Nationals were the overwhelming favorite to win the National League East in the preseason, but Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Marlins dropped them to two games over .500 and 8 1/2 back of the New York Mets in the division. Miami has won eight of its last 10 as it fights to avoid the NL East cellar.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Tanner Roark (4-4, 4.41 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Jose Fernandez (4-0, 2.30)

Roark returned to the rotation Sept. 4 after pitching out of the bullpen for most of the season and allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Atlanta. The 28-year-old Illinois native is 3-1 with a 5.21 ERA in seven starts this season and has only two quality starts. Roark is 2-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 10 appearances (four starts) against the Marlins.

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Fernandez was terrific in seven starts following his return from Tommy John surgery, recording six straight quality starts before giving up two runs over five innings Aug. 7 at Atlanta, where he suffered a biceps strain that sent him back to the disabled list. The 23-year-old has been nearly unhittable in 24 career home starts, never having allowed more than three runs in a game. Fernandez has dominated the Nationals in four meetings, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA.


  1. Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman is batting .435 during an 11-game hitting streak but has missed the past three games with a left oblique injury.
  2. Marlins C J.T. Realmuto is 11-for-28 during an eight-game hitting streak.
  3. Miami OF Ichiro Suzuki is hitless in his last 15 at-bats.


PREDICTION: Marlins 4, Nationals 2

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