If Stephen Strasburg is to avoid losing a third straight start, he likely can’t afford another rough outing in Miami.
The right-hander looks to end his recent struggles there and help the Washington Nationals keep the Marlins from a season-high sixth straight victory Tuesday night.
Strasburg (7-8, 3.67 ERA) is 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA in nine home starts versus Miami and has allowed four runs over 21 2-3 innings to go 2-0 over the previous four. He didn’t yield a run in 18 innings to win his first three road starts against the Marlins, but is 1-3 with an 11.65 ERA in the last four at Miami.
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After allowing a homer to Marcell Ozuna and striking out 12 in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-1 home victory over the Marlins (52-53) on April 10, he gave up six runs, including a three-run shot to Giancarlo Stanton, in four innings of an 11-2 defeat at Miami five days later.
"We’ve put together some pretty good at-bats off him over the last couple of years, and had some good games against him," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Ozuna is 5 for 8 versus Strasburg, while Stanton is 9 for 26 with four doubles and three home runs.
The pair will try to continue their success against Strasburg, who is 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA in two starts since going 1-0 with a 2.21 mark in his previous three. For the second straight game, he yielded four runs Wednesday with nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-4 loss at Colorado.
Strasburg will try to help Washington (57-46) bounce back after it wasted a 6-0 lead in Monday’s 7-6 defeat. Ozuna had two hits with two RBIs and Jeff Baker drove home the winning run to cap a four-run ninth for Miami, which has won eight of nine and is in position to reach .500 for the first time since it was 39-39 on June 25.
"This team plays 27 outs the whole season," said Baker, batting .448 during an 11-game hit streak. "Moving forward, we just have to play hard."
Ozuna is batting .406 in eight games against the Nationals this season.
After scoring seven runs for the second time in three games, Miami hopes to provide some support for Henderson Alvarez (7-5, 2.62), who has received 10 runs of backing while going 0-3 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts versus Washington.
The last four came away from Marlins Park, where the right-hander allowed four runs in 45 1-3 innings while going 3-0 in six starts before lasting 2 2-3 on July 19 when he took a liner off the shin and left after giving up two runs in a 5-3 loss to San Francisco.
Alvarez bounced back Thursday to allow a two-run homer in eight innings of a 3-2 win at Atlanta.
"Every time I go out on the mound, I’m focused on doing my job," he told MLB’s official website.
Bryce Harper has homered twice off Alvarez, and he and Adam LaRoche are each 6 for 13 against him. Harper is 10 for 23 with six RBIs versus Miami this season. LaRoche, however, is 2 for 13 in his last four games at Marlins Park.
Teammate Jayson Werth is batting .324 with 11 RBIs in nine games against Miami in 2013, but he could sit after suffering an apparent leg injury Monday.