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Major League Baseball
Preview
Washington at Miami
When: 1:10 PM ET, Sunday, September 21, 2014
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida

Everything is falling into place for the Washington Nationals, and Ryan Zimmerman’s healthy return could be the final piece to spur them on to a long postseason run. Zimmerman recorded two hits in his first appearance in almost two months, and less than 24 hours later, the visiting Nationals go for a four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins on Sunday. Zimmerman, who had been out since July 22 with a hamstring injury, played left field Saturday and had an RBI as Washington rallied for a 3-2 win.

The Nationals have won 11 of their last 14 contests and lead the Los Angeles Dodgers by 2 ½ games for the best record in the National League. Miami has been eliminated from the NL wild-card race after dropping eight of its last 11 games but can still take second in the NL East with a strong finish. Recent callup Justin Bour is 7-for-18 with four RBIs over the last seven games for the Marlins.

TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (12-11, 3.34 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Nathan Eovaldi (6-12, 4.48)

Strasburg has won four of his last five decisions and pitched seven scoreless innings to beat Atlanta 4-2 on Monday. The 26-year-old allowed one run or fewer in seven of his previous 10 starts and recorded 28 strikeouts without a walk over the last four outings. Marcell Ozuna is 5-for-11 with a homer against Strasburg, who is 1-2 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts versus Miami this season.

Eovaldi is 0-6 over his last seven starts and did not complete five innings in either of his last two, giving up six runs over 4 1/3 frames Tuesday at the New York Mets. The 24-year-old Texas native has displayed good control this season, walking only 40 in a career-high 186 2/3 innings. Zimmerman is 3-for-8 with two homers against Eovaldi, who is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts versus the Nationals in 2014.

WALK-OFFS

1. Washington RF Jayson Werth is 10-for-26 with seven walks over his last eight games overall and has collected 13 RBIs in 14 contests against the Marlins this season.

2. Miami 3B Casey McGehee has 170 hits after notching a single Saturday and is four shy of his career high set with Milwaukee in 2010.

3. The Nationals are 9-5 against the Marlins this year and can clinch the season series with one victory in their last five meetings.

PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Marlins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Washington 90-64 W3 46-28 44-36 39-29 17-16 24-9 10-10
Miami 74-80 L3 40-37 34-43 30-38 14-18 17-17 13-7
Last Meeting
Washington Miami
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/20/14 WAS 3 MIA 2 .343 0 .864 .212 0 .455
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington J. Werth .354 17 1.033
Miami G. Stanton .333 13 1.113
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington J. Werth 3 10 13
Miami G. Stanton 3 8 11
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 3.75 .261 113
Miami 4.21 .242 102
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington D. Span .298 179 .765
Miami C. McGehee .290 170 .722
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington A. LaRoche 25 71 88
Miami G. Stanton 37 89 105
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 3.03 .252 1223
Miami 3.82 .253 1144