Florida (65-64) needs to regroup after blowing a five-run lead in the final two innings of a 7-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. Clinging to their slim hope of reaching the postseason, the Marlins have lost two in a row since winning eight of 10.
The Marlins, however, have a chance to get back on track against Washington (56-75). Florida is 8-4 against the Nationals and outscored them 25-7 during a five-game winning streak. Washington is 2-4 in Florida.
Sanabia (3-1, 3.62 ERA) earned his first career win in his second start by allowing four hits and striking out five in 5 1-3 innings of a 1-0 victory over Washington on July 18.
He gave up three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-4 win at New York on Wednesday to improve to 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA since being recalled from the minors Aug. 19. Sanabia was 1-0 with a 4.80 ERA in four starts before being sent down to Triple-A New Orleans.
“His slider is sharper now,” manager Edwin Rodriguez told the Marlins’ official website. “That hard slider is more like a cutter. Huge improvement.”
“I will be fine,” said Ramirez, who is 14 for 25 with two homers and six RBIs in his last six games.
Though the right-hander is 0-10 with a 7.85 ERA in 12 starts since beating Cincinnati on Sept. 8, he has allowed one run and four hits in each of his last two outings. Marquis went 7 1-3 innings in a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, the second consecutive time the Nationals have been shut out when he starts.
“Day by day it’s just gotten more comfortable,” said Marquis, 0-4 with a 3.98 ERA since missing almost four months with an elbow injury. “It was definitely exciting to get that feeling back, and hopefully I can continue to do it.”
Making his first appearance against the Marlins since 2008, Marquis is 4-5 with a 6.37 ERA in 11 starts versus Florida.
The Nationals have won two straight and took three of four from the Cardinals after losing four in a row. They have not won three straight games since July 29-31.
Michael Morse(notes) went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer in Washington’s 4-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday. He is 8 for 12 with three doubles, a triple and home run in his last three games but 1 for 13 versus Florida in 2010.