Miami (28-23) at Washington (28-26)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jun 3, 2005
  • TV: WPXM, WDCA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Livan Hernandez has established himself as the Washington Nationals’ ace, and one of the top pitchers in the National League.

He’ll look to win his eighth straight decision when the Nationals open a three-game series with the Florida Marlins at RFK Stadium.

Hernandez allowed two earned runs and seven hits in seven innings of Sunday’s 3-2 victory over St. Louis. The Cuban right-hander went 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA in May for the first five-win month of his career and became the second NL pitcher, along with Florida’s Dontrelle Willis, to win eight games.

Hernandez is 7-0 in his last eight starts and 6-0 with a 2.84 ERA in seven starts against teams outside the NL East.

“The only thing I can say is it’s not easy,” Hernandez said. “To win five or six in a row is something else because you see all the teams now, everybody is competitive and teams are good. So, I’ll take it.”

Hernandez will face Florida’s Josh Beckett, who has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all but one of his 11 starts this season. Beckett’s best start of the season came against Washington on April 10, when he allowed just five hits and struck out a season-high 11 in an 8-0 complete-game win in his second outing of the season.

The Marlins avoided a four-game sweep with Thursday’s 6-3 win over Pittsburgh. Florida, which had lost seven of eight, moved percentage points ahead of Atlanta for first place in the NL East.

Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley homered for Florida, and Willis became the first nine-game winner in the majors.

The Nationals beat the Braves 8-6 on Thursday for their fourth win in five games since a five-game losing streak. Backup catcher Gary Bennett homered and drove in five runs, including three on a bases-loaded double in Washington’s five-run eighth inning.

First baseman Nick Johnson left the game after seven innings, complaining of chest pains.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Beckett LAD vs. L. Hernández Mil
15-8 Record 15-10
3.38 ERA 3.98
166 K 147
58 BB 84
1.18 WHIP 1.43