MLB

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 12:35 PM ET
 

Marlins-Nationals Preview

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Mike Stanton has played a huge role in the Florida Marlins' recent success at Nationals Park.

The second-year slugger looks to help the Marlins to a fifth straight win overall Thursday and a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals, who hope to avoid matching a season high with a fifth consecutive defeat.

Stanton opened the scoring Wednesday with a solo homer in the second inning and added another hit in Florida's 7-5 win over Washington. The Marlins (51-53), who are 13-5 since July 6, have won 10 of 11 at Nationals Park.

Stanton has hit .442 with seven homers and 13 RBIs during that stretch at Washington, which includes all 11 of his career games there.

Mike Cameron hit two homers while Emilio Bonifacio extended his MLB-leading hitting streak to 25 games Wednesday. Cameron is hitting just .195 in 14 games since he was acquired by Florida from Boston on July 5, but is 4 for 10 with four RBIs in this series.

"It's not the idea to try and go up and try and hit homers," Cameron said. "Those things will come."

Bonifacio hasn't homered but is batting .385 with 18 stolen bases during his hitting streak.

The Marlins look to stay hot in the finale when they face John Lannan (7-6, 3.51 ERA), who tries to win a third consecutive start.

Lannan, 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA his last 11 outings, allowed two runs and three hits while walking four over 6 1-3 innings of a 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

He also helped his cause for the second straight game by hitting his first career homer. Lannan has recorded all of his four hits and four RBIs this season during his last two starts.

"I'm trying to feel something (at the plate)," Lannan told the Nationals' official website.

Lannan is 0 for 12 at the plate versus Florida and 2-3 with a 5.35 ERA in seven starts against the Marlins. He allowed three runs in five-plus innings of Washington's 5-3, 11-inning win at Florida on April 7.

The left-hander looks to help the Nationals (49-54) get back on track after falling to 9-16 under manager Davey Johnson.

"I don't like to get beat," Johnson said. "It's something I don't like. I like to sleep good at night, and I don't sleep as good when we lose. I know these guys are capable of a lot more and I know it's coming."

Laynce Nix hit his 14th homer and Ryan Zimmerman had three hits, including an RBI double as the Nationals tried to mount a comeback with four runs in the ninth. Despite his team's struggles, Zimmerman has hit .319 his last 17 games to raise his average 37 points to .261.

Zimmerman is 7 for 19 with four RBIs in five games versus Florida this season.

The Nationals will get their first look at rookie Brad Hand (1-3, 2.77), who will be recalled from the minors to make his sixth start for the Marlins. The left-hander last pitched in the majors July 7, when he allowed two hits in seven innings of a 5-0 win over Houston.

He is 9-3 with a 3.81 ERA for Double-A Jacksonville.

Tagged: Nationals, Marlins, Mike Cameron, Ryan Zimmerman, John Lannan, Giancarlo Stanton

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