Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals series primer

The Miami Marlins are off to a 5-2 start thanks in large part to the hot bats of Giancarlo Stanton (left) and Casey McGehee.

Steve Mitchell

After opening 2014 with a 5-2 homestand, the first-place Miami Marlins travel north to face National League East favorite Washington (4-2) for three games.

Last year, the Marlins scored just once over their first three matchups at Nationals Park en route to a 100-loss season. Miami won just five of 19 contests between the teams, one of 10 on the road.

Righty Henderson Alvarez looks to rebound from a rough first start since his no-hitter on Closing Day. Lefty Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, beat his hometown Marlins three times in 2013.

Here’s a look at the upcoming Marlins-Nationals series …

SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS

WHO’S HOT

OF Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins): Known for his slow starts, Stanton is hitting .345 with three doubles, two homers and 12 RBI through seven games. His two-run blast on Friday nearly left Marlins Park. He broke a team record and holds the third-longest consecutive games streak with an RBI to start the season.

2B Anthony Rendon (Nationals): To begin his first full season, Rendon leads all Washington starters with a .391 average (9 for 23) with four runs, two doubles, a homer and five RBI (second on the team). He has a hit in all six games.

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WHO’S NOT

1B Garrett Jones (Marlins): After collecting two hits on Friday to bump his average to .250, Jones went hitless in his last six at-bats as it dropped to a team-low .192. He has a run, two walks and three strikeouts. A career .193 batter against southpaws, Jones will face a tough test in Gonzalez.

OF Bryce Harper (Nationals): Things didn’t start off well for Harper when he got hit in the head by Eric Young Jr.’s shin trying to break up a double play on Opening Day. He is just 3 for 21 (.143) with a run, a walk, 10 strikeouts, no extra-base hits and no RBI over five games.

STORYLINES

1: The Marlins went 1-9 in Washington D.C. last season, the fewest wins by the club in a single season.

21: Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee have combined for 21 RBI through the first six games, the first duo to achieve that feat since 1994 (Colorado’s Dante Bichette and Andres Galarraga).

1.50: Right-hander Jordan Zimmerman went 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts against the Marlins last season. Two of those appearances came in April.

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77: Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is a notorious Marlin killer with 23 home runs and 77 RBI over 133 games.

QUOTE BOARD

”He’s such a competitor. It’s just a different vibe when he’s out there. I think today we all felt that.”— Manager Mike Redmond about co-National League Player of the Week Jose Fernandez

”I said it in spring training, before the team started, before anything — I said this team, the relationships are different. It’s amazing. Guys are coming to the locker room every day, to the field, they want to play, they want to win ballgames. That’s the only thing you can ask for, having nine guys go out there and give 100 percent.” — Ace Jose Fernandez after his start on Saturday

”I was more focused on it being out. It was a long home run, but you know me — two runs. That’s it.” — Slugger Giancarlo Stanton on his record-breaking distance homer on Friday

LOOKING AHEAD

April 11-13 — Marlins at Phillies

Erin Brown (@rinkside) contributed to this report. You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.