The Marlins look to wrap up a three-game sweep Wednesday when the teams finish their season-opening series at RFK Stadium.
Florida beat Washington 9-3 on Tuesday to improve to 2-0 for just the second time in team history. The Marlins opened 3-0 in 1997 en route to their first of two World Series titles.
“It’s 2007 now,” first-year manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Marlins’ official Web site.
Scott Olsen gave up just two runs in 5 1-3 innings one day after Dontrelle Willis pitched six strong innings in Florida’s season-opening 9-2 victory. Josh Willingham went 3-for-5 with a two-run double, and Miguel Cabrera scored three runs and had two hits, improving to 5-for-7 over the first two games.
“This is fun, playing baseball and seeing guys hit the ball all over the field, it’s been fun,” second baseman Dan Uggla told the team’s site. “Seeing Dontrelle and Olsen working the way they have the last two days, that’s the kind of pitching we need.”
Washington (0-2), meanwhile, made a series of defensive miscues that helped Florida take control of Tuesday’s game. Shortstop Josh Wilson was charged with an error and tried an ill-advised shovel-pass with his glove on a play that was ruled a hit, first baseman Dmitri Young let a ball go through his legs for an error, and reliever Ray King failed to cover the bag at first on a possible double play.
“It takes more than that to frustrate me. We’ve just got to play better defense,” said Washington’s Manny Acta, also in his first season as manager. “We’ve just got to keep on working. We’ll get better at it.”
Acta also said it was too early to worry about what has been an anemic offense that is hitting just .194 (12-for-62).
“It’s only two games. If we go out and play 10 games and I see the same result, then I’ll get concerned,” he said. “But it’s only two games. We can go on a rampage starting tomorrow.”
Wilson was making his first major league start since appearing in 11 games with Florida in 2005 in place of Cristian Guzman, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list after injuring his left hamstring on Monday. Center fielder Nook Logan also went on the 15-day DL after hurting his left foot in the season opener, and Kory Casto—who had never played above Double-A—took his place in the outfield.
The Nationals will try to solve Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez on Wednesday. The 23-year-old right-hander did not make his major league debut until June 25, but went 10-3 in 18 appearances—including 17 starts—and combined with Scott Olsen, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco to make Florida the first team to have four rookies with at least 10 wins.
Sanchez went 6-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his last eight starts and threw the first no-hitter in the majors in 2 1/2 years against Arizona on Sept. 6. He went 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four starts against Washington in 2006, but did not receive a decision in either of his two starts at RFK, where he had a 4.91 ERA.
Washington will counter with 23-year-old Matt Chico, who is making his major league debut. The left-hander was acquired by the Nationals in an August trade that sent Livan Hernandez to Arizona and made four starts for Washington’s Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, going 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA.
Chico also went 7-2 with a 2.22 ERA in 13 starts for Arizona’s Double-A team in Tennessee.
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