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Slumping Marlins pursue revival in Washington

Aug 19, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Miami Marlins designated hitter Josh Bell (9) hits a solo home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals have been surprisingly solid for most of August.

They will try not to revert to past tendencies when the Miami Marlins visit on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series.

The Nationals hadn’t lost a series in three weeks until stumbling earlier this week in Toronto. The Blue Jays took two of three, including a 7-0 win in the finale on Wednesday.

“You have to be positive,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “Just kind of forget about (Wednesday). We have to get back on that winning streak.”

The Marlins are desperate to get things going to keep alive their shot at a National League wild card. Miami has lost 10 of its past 13 games, including a 3-0, 10-inning setback to the visiting Rays on Wednesday night. Tampa Bay completed a two-game sweep.

The Marlins, who sit three games out of the last NL wild-card position, are under .500 for the first time since late May.

“Four weeks left,” Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “As bad as it has been, we’re still in it. And it has been bad, there’s no doubt.”

Offensive troubles have been at the forefront of the Marlins’ slump. Miami haven’t exceeded four runs in any of its past 10 games.

“It’s tough we couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Schumaker said. “It’s tough to win when you can’t score. We have to figure out a way to execute the game plan and score runs.”

The Marlins managed just four hits in the 10-inning loss to the Rays. Now they will hope for improvement in the first game of Washington’s nine-game homestand.

Martinez said, “We got to play the Marlins. It’s going to be a tough series.”

The Nationals, who have lost three of their past four games, will send Joan Adon (2-0, 5.25 ERA) to the mound on Thursday. The right-hander lasted six innings in two of his four August outings, including holding the Marlins to three hits and no runs on Friday to earn the victory.

In Adon’s only other matchups with Miami, he was charged with a total of nine runs in 7 2/3 innings across a pair of outings in 2022, both defeats.

Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett (7-5, 3.96) was the losing pitcher on Friday against the Nationals, giving up three runs in six innings. He will hope for a better outcome on Thursday as he looks to shed a personal two-game losing streak.

Garrett was the winning pitcher June 17 at Washington, where he held the Nationals to one run over six innings. He is 2-2 with a 3.21 ERA in five career starts against Washington.

The Marlins might get one of their key hitters back during the Washington series. Jorge Soler left the Tuesday game due to hip tightness, and he sat out on Wednesday.

“I feel better,” said Soler, who has hit a team-leading 35 home runs.

Washington will have to see how right fielder Lane Thomas responds to treatment after he exited the Wednesday game.

“His back tightened up on him,” Martinez said. “I wanted to take him out right away and try to get him worked on and get him ready for (Thursday). Hopefully he’ll be better.”

Thomas went 0-for-9 in the series at Toronto.

–Field Level Media