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Marlins aim to extend dominance of Nationals

Sportsnaut
Jul 1, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Jon Berti (5) hits a sacrifice fly RBI against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins might not seem like a confident team in many cases, but they probably carry that tag this weekend.

After all, they’re in Washington.

The Marlins face the Washington Nationals again on Saturday, aiming to add to their recent dominance in the series.

Miami has won nine of 10 meetings with the Nationals this season.

“Definitely it helps,” Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson said. “Coming in there and winning the first one is definitely a good sign.”

The Marlins captured the opener of the four-game series with 6-3 decision on Friday.

The Marlins received a boost from the return of second baseman Joey Wendle, who hadn’t played for Miami since May 30 because of a hamstring ailment. In his first game back, he went 2-for-4, drove in a run and scored a run.

Anderson, who was in just his fourth game since returning from a monthlong stint on the injured list, homered for the first time since mid-May. He finished with two of Miami’s 12 hits.

“Just keep attacking the pitcher and don’t let him breathe,” Anderson said of his approach. “Doing the same thing on defense, keep getting to the baseball, get those outs and let our pitchers do their thing and that’s going to lead to wins.”

Miami’s offense continues to receive a boost from Jon Berti, who added two more stolen bases on Friday to boost his majors-leading total to 24.

“I think (Berti) knows how effective he can be on the bases, and it’s not by accident,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Berti’s disruption on the basepaths is no surprise to the Nationals, either.

“Berti can run. We knew that coming in,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “We tried a pitch out once. Berti can steal bases. I think (catcher Keibert Ruiz) got rid of it and threw the ball on the base. He’s just fast.”

On Saturday, the Marlins go with left-hander Daniel Castano (0-1, 2.57 ERA), who will make his fourth start of the year and his seventh appearance. His lone career victory in 18 games (13 starts) came in September 2020.

Despite three previous games vs. the Nationals — two of them starts — Castano has logged only 6 2/3 innings while going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. Washington is the only opponent against which he has more than one career decision.

Right-hander Jackson Tetreault (2-1, 4.24 ERA) will get the call for the Nationals for his fourth career game, all starts. He won each of his past two outings, throwing a combined 13 innings while allowing four runs (one earned)_.

Both teams had a position player leave early due to an ailment in the series opener.

Miami shortstop Miguel Rojas exited late in the game with a stinger after bumping into Wendle. His departure was mostly considered a precaution.

“It seemed like we should get him out of there and make sure he’s ready for (Saturday),” Mattingly said.

Nationals outfielder Victor Robles was pulled from the game with a leg contusion before the fifth inning after fouling a ball off his left shin in the third. He has a lump but no major damage, according to Martinez.

“He’s sore,” the manager said. “He’ll be day-to-day.”

–Field Level Media