Daniel Murphy has tormented the Miami Marlins throughout the season, and this series in South Florida has been no different. The 32-year-old Florida native looks to continue to give the Marlins fits as the Washington Nationals vie for a three-game series sweep on Wednesday.
Murphy went deep for the second time in as many days in Tuesday’s 2-1 triumph, improving to 5-for-9 with four RBIs and three runs scored in the series and 18-for-51 with three homers, 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored versus the Marlins this season. Washington has won seven straight encounters with Miami to seize a 12-6 edge in the season series and reduce its magic number toward winning the National League East title to eight. The Marlins have dropped eight of nine overall to fall seven games behind Colorado in the race for the National League’s second wild card. Marcell Ozuna collected his third three-hit performance in nine outings on Tuesday and is batting just .238 versus Wednesday starter Gio Gonzalez.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (13-6, 2.58 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Dillon Peters (0-0, 0.00)
Gonzalez has handcuffed Miami to the tune of posting a 9-3 mark with a 1.94 ERA in 15 career starts and a 3-0 record with a 1.29 ERA and 26 strikeouts in four outings (28 innings) this season. The 31-year-old Miami Dade County native didn’t look as dominant in his last trip to the mound, however, as he saw his five-start winning streak come to a halt in Thursday’s 6-3 setback at Milwaukee. The five runs he allowed in the six-inning stint were the most he surrendered since May 8.
Peters did not record a decision in his major-league debut, but the 25-year-old certainly turned heads after scattering three hits over seven scoreless innings versus Philadelphia on Friday. Peters struck out eight to match Jose Fernandez’s 2013 franchise record for a pitcher in his major-league debut, prompting the younger hurler to say that it’s “unbelievable company” after the contest. The bullpen was unable to hold a one-run lead in the ninth and spoiled Peters’ bid for his first career victory.
1. Miami 2B Dee Gordon is riding a nine-game hitting streak, with eight hits and three runs scored coming against Washington in that stretch.
2. Nationals RF Jayson Werth is 0-for-18 with five strikeouts in his last five contests.
3. Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton is mired in a 2-for-26 stretch overall and is just 6-for-29 with nine strikeouts in his career versus Gonzalez.
PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Marlins 2