Marlins-Nationals Preview

The Associated Press

After watching their winning streak come to an end, the Washington Nationals will try to bounce back against the NL's worst team.

The Nationals look to continue their recent home success against the Miami Marlins in the opener of a three-game set Tuesday night.

Washington (65-65) had averaged 7.6 runs during a season high-tying five-game winning streak before falling 6-4 at Kansas City on Sunday. Denard Span went deep and had four of the team's 14 hits, but the Nationals went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.

"It hurts, but we're not going to win the rest of our games," said pitcher Dan Haren, whose team is hitting .314 in its last six. "We're going to lose a few. Offensively, we're swinging the bats really well. It's a good time for an off day (Monday). We'll take a day to regroup and then get after the Marlins."

The Nationals have taken six of nine from the Marlins this year, including all three home matchups by an 11-1 margin. Washington has compiled a 10-3 home record versus Miami dating to September 2011.

The Marlins (49-80) hit the road after concluding a 3-7 homestand with Sunday's 4-3 loss to Colorado, their fifth defeat in six games. Justin Ruggiano stayed hot with his 15th homer, but Miami committed two errors and went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

"We're not a team that's equipped to make a lot of mistakes, and when we do make mistakes they usually come back to haunt us and you saw that again today," manager Mike Redmond said.

The Marlins now give the ball to Nathan Eovaldi (2-4, 3.82 ERA). The right-hander has gone 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA over a seven-start stretch since yielding three runs and three hits in six innings to beat Washington 8-3 on July 12, his only matchup in the series.

After giving up career highs of 11 runs and 12 hits in three-plus innings in a 14-10 loss to San Francisco on Aug. 16, Eovaldi allowed three runs in seven innings in a 4-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

"He looked really sharp, and he threw some great fastballs, well-located," Redmond told MLB's official website.

The Nationals will turn to Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.58) for his fourth start of the year. In his first outing since returning from the disabled list due to shoulder inflammation, Ohlendorf surrendered four runs in 4 1-3 innings in Wednesday's 11-6 road win over the Chicago Cubs.

"I was just glad to get back out there," he said. "I felt good. I wish I'd pitched deeper in the game for us, but our offense did an awesome job. ... I was really happy with my fastball."

The right-hander has a 7.29 ERA in losing his last four starts to the Marlins, but threw four scoreless innings of relief opposite Eovaldi last month.

Ohlendorf will need to be careful against Ruggiano, who is 10 for his last 19 with three homers and eight RBIs in his last seven contests.

Washington's Bryce Harper is batting .394 with a homer and six RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak. Span has hit safely in nine straight, going 16 for 40 (.400).

Harper is batting .323 with six homers, nine RBIs and 14 runs in his last 15 games versus Miami.

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