Miami (36-45) at Washington (37-49)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 6, 2006
  • TV: FSFL, MASN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Marlins look to follow up their highest scoring game in three years with another victory when they wrap up a four-game series against the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium on Thursday.

The Marlins (36-45) broke out of their recent offensive doldrums, posting season highs in runs and hits (19) in their 18-9 rout over the Nationals (37-49) on Wednesday. It was the highest scoring game played in 12 seasons at RFK Stadium since it opened in 1961.

The win snapped Florida’s four-game losing streak, as it equaled the number of runs it had scored in the previous five games combined.

“We needed a win,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. “We’d lost a couple of tough games in the last three.”

Florida’s eight-run inning fifth inning tied a franchise record, and the 18 runs scored were second-most in club history, trailing only a 20-1 win over Atlanta on July 1, 2003.

Rookie second baseman Dan Uggla, who will play in his first All-Star Game Tuesday, went 4-for-6 with two doubles, four RBIs and four runs. He is batting .390 (16-for-41) with four homers, 12 RBIs and 10 runs in his last 10 road games.

“You definitely enjoy a game like this one,” said Josh Willingham, who had a career-high four hits—including a homer—and three RBIs, “especially when everybody is doing well, when everybody is hitting the ball. It got contagious.”

Florida’s Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 6.30 ERA) will try and rebound from a poor relief outing when he makes his second career start on Thursday.

Sanchez threw 5 2-3 innings against the New York Yankees in a 5-0 win in his major league debut on June 25, but got roughed up coming out of the bullpen in an 11-5 loss to Boston on Saturday.

The 22-year-old right-hander gave up seven runs and eight hits, including three homers, in 4 1-3 innings.

“I didn’t have good command of my fastball,” Sanchez said. “I had good command of my curveball, so I only had one pitch today.”

Washington will counter with Livan Hernandez (6-8, 5.46), who also looks to put his recent struggles behind him. He is 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA in his last four starts, and has given up 41 hits and 17 walks in 28 1-3 innings over that span.

Hernandez allowed three runs, 10 hits and four walks in seven innings, not receiving a decision in a 4-3, 10-inning win on Saturday against Tampa Bay.

The right-hander has struggled at RFK all season, going 2-5 with a 5.64 ERA in eight home starts.

Hernandez is 10-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 21 career starts against Florida, the team with whom he won World Series MVP honors in 1997. He allowed seven runs in five innings in an 11-3 loss to the Merlins at home on May 4.

Wednesday’s loss snapped the Nationals’ four-game winning streak, and dropped them to 11-1 when scoring nine runs or more.

“Bad ballgame,” Washington manager Frank Robinson said. “No two ways about it. It was a bad ballgame.”

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman had his third straight multihit game after going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs on Wednesday. He’s batting .452 (14-for-31) with two homers and nine RBIs in his last eight contests.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Sánchez Det vs. L. Hernandez Mil
10-3 Record 13-13
2.83 ERA 4.83
72 K 128
46 BB 78
1.19 WHIP 1.50