Washington (56-75) at Florida (65-64)

Mostly Clear Currently: Miami Gardens, FL, US
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Mon Aug 30, 2010
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A visit from the Washington Nationals might be what the Florida Marlins need to bounce back from a frustrating loss.

Rookie Alex Sanabia(notes) tries to win his third straight start and help lead the Marlins to a sixth consecutive victory over the Nationals on Monday night.

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.

“It stinks,” second baseman Dan Uggla(notes) told the Marlins’ official website.

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.”

Hanley Ramirez(notes), batting .378 with five home runs and nine RBIs versus Washington this season, is expected to play after leaving Sunday’s game after feeling light-headed.

“I will be fine,” said Ramirez, who is 14 for 25 with two homers and six RBIs in his last six games.

The All-Star shortstop is 6 for 12 against scheduled starter Jason Marquis(notes) (0-7, 8.79).

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.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman(notes) is 9 for 22 with two homers at Florida this season.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Marquis CIN vs. A. Sanabia LAA
2-9 Record 5-3
6.60 ERA 3.73
31 K 47
24 BB 16
1.70 WHIP 1.24