After finally snapping one streak, the Washington Nationals look to extend another in a positive direction.
Fresh off a comeback victory, the Nationals look to match a season high with a fourth consecutive victory and second straight over the Florida Marlins at home on Wednesday night.
Though the Nationals have the worst record in the majors, they’ve won three in a row and are 9-6 since losing six straight July 12-20. Washington has won four in a row twice this season, most recently July 25-28.
Dunn, who homered for the 28th time and second in as many games, struck out his previous three times Tuesday before coming to the plate in the eighth.
“He’s going to strike out, but he’s going to do what he did,” Nationals interim manager Jim Riggleman said of Dunn, who’s struck out 122 times this season. “You can be on the ropes, but you get a couple guys on, and he can hurt you.”
Dunn, who’s driven in six runs over his last three games, has three home runs and 10 RBIs versus Florida this year.
“He’s going to have to be a lot better than he was (Tuesday) to start (Wednesday),” Riggleman said of Zimmerman, who’s batting .429 (12 for 28) with four home runs and 10 RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.
Lannan, who’s 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts versus Florida this season, dropped his last outing overall after allowing five runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 5-4 loss at Pittsburgh on Friday.
“I had it bad out there, but I took some positives out of it,” said the left-hander, who allowed one run in 17 innings while going 1-0 in his previous two starts.
The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits while striking out a season-high nine in six innings of a 6-3, 10-inning loss to Atlanta on Thursday.
“I see command of the fastball,” manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Marlins’ official Web site of the progress VandenHurk has made after spending most of the season in the minors. “In ’07 and ’08, the fastball was up. Now you see the fastball coming down.”
VandenHurk lost his only start against the Nationals, allowing six runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss on Sept. 3, 2007.