Washington Nationals (57-47) at Miami Marlins (53-53)
Wednesday, July 30 - 12:40 PM EST
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
The surging Miami Marlins look to extend their season-high winning streak to seven games when they host the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of their three-game series. The Marlins came from six runs down to win the opener and blanked the Nationals 3-0 on Tuesday for their ninth victory in 10 contests following a six-game skid. Miami All-Star Giancarlo Stanton, who hasn’t homered in 10 games, may be ready to break out after collecting two hits and two RBIs on Tuesday.
The Marlins are rumored to be interested in acquiring a starting pitcher before Thursday's trade deadline, but Brad Hand could win a job regardless with the way he has performed of late. Hand goes for his third straight win against Washington’s Tanner Roark, who is tied for the team lead in victories (10). With Ryan Zimmerman out indefinitely due to injury, the Nationals need Bryce Harper to get hot as he has contributed four hits in the series.
TV: 12:40 p.m. ET, MLBN, MASN, WUSA 9 (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.82 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Brad Hand (2-2, 4.19)
Roark has won three consecutive starts, allowing one run over seven innings in each to lower his career ERA to 2.43 in 34 games. The 27-year-old Illinois native has surrendered two or fewer runs in 14 of his 20 starts this season and is 5-2 on the road. Casey McGehee and Marcell Ozuna are both 3-for-6 against Roark, who is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA in two outings versus Miami in 2014.
Hand has registered back-to-back victories in a starting role for the first time in his career, yielding two runs over 14 1/3 total innings. He will try to build on that versus the Nationals, who have scored eight runs in 6 1/3 frames over two outings against him this season. Adam LaRoche (3-for-5, homer, three RBIs) and Harper (2-for-5, homer, four RBIs) have given Hand trouble.
1. Washington CF Denard Span is 11-for-23 with six walks and five runs scored over his last six contests.
2. Miami INF-OF Jordany Valdespin (8-for-30) has hit safely in seven of his first eight starts since being recalled from the minors for the first time this season.
3. Nationals RF Jayson Werth (ankle) was held out of the starting lineup Tuesday before flying out as a pinch-hitter in ninth inning.
PREDICTION: Nationals 6, Marlins 4