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4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)5:05 PM CT, July 21, 2021
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 21,058

Nationals chase three-game sweep of Marlins

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals

  1. The Nationals are 5-2 against Miami this year, limiting the Marlins to three or fewer runs in all but one of those games (an 11-2 loss on June 25). Washington swept a three-game home series with Miami from April 30 to May 2, allowing four runs total in the three wins.
  2. Washington lost two of three games versus San Diego over the weekend, allowing 41 runs in the three games -- including a team-record 24 in Friday's 24-8 loss. The only three-game series in Nationals/Expos history with more runs allowed was in May 2000 at Colorado (43).
  3. The Marlins have a positive run differential for the season (+13) despite being 13 games under .500 (40-53). They are 16-34 (.320) in games decided by one or two runs, second worst in MLB (Diamondbacks, 9-31).
  4. Jesus Aguilar leads the NL with 68 RBI, while Adam Duvall is tied for third with 64. Their 132 combined RBI are the most by any National League teammate duo, and fourth most by any MLB team's top pair.
  5. Juan Soto went 7-for-13 (.538) with three homers and six RBI in three games versus San Diego over the weekend. He's hitting .426 with a 1.254 OPS over his last 13 home games.
  6. Jon Lester gave up a season-high eight runs in 2.2 innings in his last start at San Francisco, though just three of the runs were earned. His 5.54 ERA in 2021 is the highest of his career in his first 14 starts of a season.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/19/2021 thru 7/21/2021

The Washington Nationals will shoot for a much-needed sweep of the visiting Miami Marlins when the teams meet in the finale of their three-game series Wednesday night.

Washington has won three straight, including the first two of a six-game run in which they will oppose two last-place teams, the Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals are trying to get in the thick of the National League East race as the trade deadline approaches.

"Trade-deadline time is always a decision-making time here," Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday. "In the past, we've usually been a buy-first team because we're in the midst of trying to win championships. I think we still feel that way as of right now, today."

Trying to keep that feeling alive Wednesday will be Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde (4-7, 5.32 ERA). He is looking to bounce back from his Friday start, when he allowed six runs on three hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings of a 24-8 loss to the San Diego Padres.

"Starting off both innings with (walks) is not ideal, but I think it just kind of set the tone in the wrong way," Fedde said. "Free bases definitely aren't the way to start the game."

He is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in three career starts vs. Miami, the last one coming in September 2020, when he pitched six scoreless innings of one-hit ball.

Fedde was slated to face off Wednesday against Sandy Alcantara, but the Marlins right-hander was placed on bereavement leave Tuesday. Manager Don Mattingly said the team would bring in someone to make the start.

The Marlins got a solid start from All-Star Trevor Rogers and a three-run homer from Adam Duvall but lost to the Nationals 6-3 on Tuesday. Miami has dropped four straight and eight of 10 as it tries to remain relevant prior to the deadline.

Miami rallied from a 2-0 deficit and led 3-2 thanks to Duvall's sixth-inning shot, but the Nationals put up three runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead.

"Obviously we get a lead and kind of give it right back," Mattingly said. "That's frustrating for our club."

Richard Bleier, who had a string of 12 straight scoreless appearances, was tagged for three runs and the loss. As he left the game, he argued that Alcides Escobar had swung at the pitch that hit him. Bleier continued to argue from the dugout and was ejected.

"It's been a frustrating stretch for everyone involved, and the only thing we can do is move forward," Bleier said, echoing Mattingly's description.

On a positive note, after sitting out the Monday game with a sore shoulder, Miami center fielder Starling Marte returned and went 2-for-4 with a run.

With Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber, catcher Yan Gomes and pitcher Stephen Strasburg among those on the shelf, Rizzo said the pressure is on star players such as Trea Turner and Juan Soto. The pair produced back-to-back RBI singles in the crucial sixth inning Tuesday.

Turner is 7-for-19 (.368) and Soto is 11-for-20 (.550) since the All-Star break.

"We've got good players in here," Turner said. "We've got a lot of grinders and professional hitters, and that's what you get when you have veterans, when you have guys that can put at-bats together. I'm not surprised. Am I glad that we're doing it? Heck, yeah. But I'm not surprised."

--Field Level Media

Updated July 21, 2021

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