What to Watch for: 8/4

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Miami Marlins (49-58) vs. Washington Nationals (63-43)

LHP Mark Buerhle (9-10, 3.60) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 2.28)

The Nationals and Marlins opened a four-game, three-day set by splitting a pair of games in a doubleheader on Friday. Miami’s win in the night cap gave them a 6-5 season edge over Washington, making them the only team in the NL East with a winning record against the first-place Nats, who are 27-17 overall within the division this year.

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Espinosa SS

2. Harper RF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Morse LF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth CF

7. Suzuki C

8. Lombardozzi 2B

9. Zimmermann RHP

SPLITSVILLE

Washington split a twinbill (W, 7-4/L, 2-5) with the Marlins yesterday at Nationals Park. The Nationals earned a split for the fourth consecutive doubleheader, dating to last season. In 18 innings of baseball – which spanned exactly six hours – the two clubs sent 153 batters to the plate who saw a total of 574 pitches and each club scored nine runs on the day.

MICHAEL MORSE(L)

Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 12 straight games, going 17-for-49 (.347) with three doubles, three homers, nine RBI, two walks and nine runs scored. Morse’s 12-game run is the second-longest current hitting streak in the NL (Miami’s Jose Reyes is riding a 22-game hitting streak). With a hit tonight, Morse would match Steve Lombardozzi, who recorded a 13-gamer from June 29-July 20, for the longest hit streak posted by a National this season.

VIEW FROM THE TOP

The Nationals’ .594 winning percentage ranks second in Major League Baseball (Cincinnati, .613) and currently renders a 2.0-game lead over the Braves in the NL East standings. The Nationals have either led the NL East or shared the top spot for 106 of the season’s 116 days. Only the Rangers (113) have enjoyed more days atop of their division this season.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. MARLINS LIVE -

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