The healthier the Washington Nationals become, the scarier they get. The Nationals will try to ride their improving lineup to another win when they host the Miami Marlins in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday.
The Nationals have an injury list filled with enough key players - Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Adam Eaton - to anchor any lineup but finally got one big bat back on Monday, when Jayson Werth (foot) played for the first time since June 3 and homered among two hits in support of Max Scherzer, who came off the disabled list and tossed seven strong innings in an 11-2 win. Washington, which expects to get Harper and Turner back soon, owns a 13-game lead over the Marlins in the National League East. Miami is trying to ride the hot bat of Giancarlo Stanton back into the wild card race in the NL, but is still 4 1/2 games behind the Colorado Rockies with Monday’s setback. The Marlins will try to stymie Werth and company with Vance Worley on Tuesday while the Nationals counter with Edwin Jackson.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), MASN (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Vance Worley (2-3, 5.70 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Edwin Jackson (4-3, 3.38)
Worley will be trying to complete six innings for the first time since Aug. 8 at Washington and is coming off a dud at Philadelphia. The 29-year-old was ripped for eight runs and nine hits - two homers - in four innings. Worley picked up back-to-back wins over the Nationals on Aug. 2 and 8, allowing a total of one run in 13 innings.
Jackson has been a welcome addition to the rotation since joining the team last month and owns a 2.93 ERA in seven starts with Washington. The 33-year-old surrendered a total of four runs in 19 innings over his last three starts but had to settle for a loss at Houston on Wednesday, when he received only one run of support. He has so far kept Stanton in the park, but the Marlins slugger is 4-for-9 with three RBIs and three walks against Jackson in his career.
1. Stanton on Monday was named NL Player of the Week after collecting five homers and 11 RBIs in seven games last week.
2. Nationals UTIL Howie Kendrick is 7-for-12 in his last three starts.
3. Turner (wrist) could be activated as early as Tuesday.
PREDICTION: Nationals 7, Marlins 4