Series: Game 2 of 3

Florida leads 2-0 (as of 4/6)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 5
in 10
Game 2: Wednesday, April 6
Game 3: Thursday, April 7
in 11

Nationals 4

(1-4, 0-2 away)

Marlins 7

(3-2, 3-2 home)

    7:10 PM ET, April 6, 2011

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    WSH 030100000 4 6 1
    FLA 00004201 - 7 10 2

    W: B. Sanches (1-0)

    L: C. Gaudin (0-1)

    S: J. Oviedo (1)

    Nationals-Marlins Preview


    Chris Volstad went unbeaten against the Washington Nationals last season thanks to some strong run support.

    He may have to pitch better in his season debut Wednesday night to earn a victory over the Nationals, given the Florida Marlins' early offensive problems.

    Florida (2-2) won all five games Volstad started last season against Washington (1-3) as he went 4-0 with a 5.28 ERA. The Marlins totaled 34 runs of support in his victories.

    That kind of backing may be unlikely Wednesday. Florida has scored 12 runs through four games and will be without slugger Mike Stanton in the starting lineup until at least Friday.

    Stanton walked as a pinch-hitter in Tuesday's 3-2, 10-inning victory in the opener of this three-game set. He hasn't started since Friday because of a slight strain in his left hamstring, but will not go on the disabled list.

    "When you take Michael Stanton away from that lineup, it's a huge difference," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "Not having him in the middle of the order is a huge setback."

    In addition, Florida finished 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position Tuesday. The Marlins have stranded 41 runners this season.

    "It seems like they're pressing," Rodriguez said. "The right guys are at the plate. It's one of those slumps. I hope we can get back on track."

    Volstad was 12-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 30 starts in 2010, going 6-0 with a 3.75 ERA in his final eight. The right-hander's form was not as good in five Grapefruit League starts when he went 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA.

    Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman, who homered Tuesday, is 13 for 21 against Volstad. Shortstop Ian Desmond -- 0 for 13 this season -- is 6 for 12 versus Volstad.

    Donnie Murphy delivered a bases-loaded, two-out single in the 10th on Tuesday to lift Florida to its sixth straight win over Washington and 11th in 12 meetings.

    The Nationals also failed in the clutch, going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Through four games, they're batting .121 (4 for 33) in those situations while stranding 32 runners.

    Manager Jim Riggleman will drop the struggling Desmond to seventh in Wednesday's lineup. Second baseman Danny Espinosa will be the new leadoff hitter.

    "As our roster stands, Ian will still be hitting leadoff at times," Riggleman told the Nationals' official website. "We want to get him on track hitting lower in the lineup."

    Riggleman will give the ball to Livan Hernandez (0-1, 2.84 ERA), who went 0-2 with a 2.33 ERA against his first major-league team last season. Hernandez has fared well in his returns to Miami, going 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 15 starts as a visitor.

    The veteran right-hander gave up two runs over 6 1/3 innings Thursday in a 2-0 home loss to Atlanta on opening day.

    Hanley Ramirez is 9 for 26 against Hernandez. The Marlins shortstop, a .310 hitter in April, is 3 for 18 in 2011.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakW1L1
    Last 108-23-7

    Pitching Matchup

    L. Hernandez
    8-13, 4.47 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/4 at WSH
    5.1 IP, 6 ER
    Dec = Loss
    C. Volstad
    5-13, 4.89 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at FLA
    6.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    1. I. Desmond, SS C. Coghlan, CF
    2. J. Werth, RF O. Infante, 2B
    3. R. Zimmerman, 3B H. Ramirez, SS
    4. A. LaRoche, 1B G. Sanchez, 1B
    5. M. Morse, LF L. Morrison, LF
    6. R. Ankiel, CF J. Buck, C
    7. D. Espinosa, 2B D. Murphy, 3B
    8. I. Rodriguez, C E. Bonifacio, RF
    9. L. Hernandez, P C. Volstad, P

    Research Notes

    Jayson Werth is 1 for 20 (.050) in his career with seven strikeouts against Florida's Chris Volstad.

    ESPN Stats & Information