Washington (5-11) at Miami (6-9)

Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 61° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Apr 20, 2007
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The Florida Marlins are already slumping, and now they might be losing their star third baseman.

The Marlins could be without Miguel Cabrera on Friday when they open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals at Dolphin Stadium.

Cabrera left Thursday’s 11-3 loss to the New York Mets with an injured right oblique and declined to predict when he’ll be back in the lineup. Cabrera, who is hitting .333 with team highs of four homers and 13 RBIs, said the injury occurred in the first inning of Wednesday’s loss.

“When I swing and miss a ball, I feel something,” he said.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said that Cabrera will be re-evaluated Friday.

“Obviously he’s a huge part of our lineup,” first baseman Mike Jacobs said. “Hopefully we can get by for a few games if he’s not in there.”

The injury comes at a bad time for the Marlins (6-9), who have dropped five in a row. They were outscored 20-5 and outhit 33-7 in two games against the Mets.

The Marlins, who have lost seven of eight, have scored three or fewer runs in each of their last four games.

“We’re not playing very good right now,” Cabrera said.

The Nationals (5-11) had won three of four before losing 4-2 to Philadelphia on Thursday. Dmitri Young went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI for Washington, which opened the season 1-8.

“I love the way we’re playing right now,” first-year manager Manny Acta said. “The guys, they’re giving all the effort they’re supposed to.”

The Nationals have been outscored 20-0 in the first inning and have hit 1-for-36 (.028) in the opening inning over their last 12 games. They are the first NL team to go through the first 16 games of a season without scoring in the first inning since the 1979 St. Louis Cardinals failed to do so in their opening 17 games.

The Nationals dropped two of three against Florida in their first series, but beat the Marlins 7-6 in the finale on April 4 to end a six-game losing streak to them.

Florida’s Scott Olsen (2-1, 6.92 ERA) and Washington’s Shawn Hill (1-2, 2.89), who are each starting Friday’s series opener, also squared off on April 3. Olsen allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings to earn the 9-3 win and added two hits and a RBI, while Hill allowed five runs—two earned—in five innings and was charged with the loss in his first career outing against the Marlins.

Olsen lasted just 2 2-3 innings in his last start on Sunday, allowing five third-inning runs in an 8-4 loss in Atlanta. He had given up just five runs in 9 1-3 total innings in winning his first two starts.

“I got killed,” Olsen told the Marlins’ Web site. “I didn’t throw strikes. That’s the bottom line. When I did, they hit it. Even when it wasn’t a strike, they still hit it. Days happen like that.”

Olsen is 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals.

Hill allowed two runs in seven innings of Saturday’s 6-2 win over the New York Mets, matching the longest outing of his career. The right-hander, who turns 26 later this month, has allowed just two earned runs in each of his first three starts, but did not receive any run support in his first two.

“You just get a little offense, and you don’t feel like if you give up one, you’re done,” he told the Nationals’ team Web site. “You can just go out, keep pitching, give up one or two, and it’s not the end of the world. You’ll keep fighting.”

The win was the third in Hill’s career and first since June 11. He did not pitch in the majors after June 28 because of a sore elbow.

“I have a lot of confidence in this kid, and I think he’s going to give us a chance every five days,” Acta said.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Hill Det vs. S. Olsen CWS
4-5 Record 10-15
3.42 ERA 5.81
65 K 133
25 BB 85
1.14 WHIP 1.76

Scoreboard

Friday, Apr 20