The Marlins, looking to compete in the wildcard race, take on the Nats

The Miami Marlinswho have lost six of their last eight games and are two games behind the last wildcard spot in the National League, return home on Friday to take on the Washington Nationals.

Miami will open the three-game series with left-hander Braxton Garrett (7-4, 3.94 ERA) on the mound.

The marlins are 18-7 this year when Garrett is in the starting XI, who is 2-1 against Washington with a 2.86 ERA in four starts of his career. He beat them nationals On June 17, he pitched six innings with a one-run ball and knocked out eight.

Garrett’s career results are very similar at home (6-8, 4.07 ERA in 27 games) and away (6-6, 3.96 ERA in 25 competitions).

Nick Fortes will likely be Garrett’s catcher again on Friday. In 39 career games together, the duo has a 3.63 ERA. The marlinsThe other catcher, Jacob Stallings, has only worked with Garrett three times (6.39 ERA).

Miami’s lineup will be without outfielder Avisail Garcia, who sustained a left hamstring injury on Tuesday and was placed on the 10-day injured list a day later. Otherwise the marlinsThe offense — led by right fielder Jorge Soler and second baseman Luis Arraez — is healthy.

Soler leads Miami in home runs (33), RBIs (68), and runs (68). Arraez leads the majors in batting average (.355) and surpasses that marlins in OPS (.854).

Pitching is another problem. The marlins have seven pitchers on the injured list, including starters Johnny Cueto, Trevor Rogers and rookie Max Meyer.

Another rehab pitcher, Sixto Sanchez, who is on the Triple-A Jacksonville injured list, threw a bullpen session Tuesday. Sanchez has not appeared in a major league or minor league game since 2020 due to shoulder problems.

“I actually saw his last (bullpen session) and he had a batsman facing him, so that was progress.” marlins said General Manager Kim Ng. “We just have to go by his feelings.”

Of more immediate importance, substitute Tommy Nance was left off the injury list on Thursday after recovering from a shoulder injury. He is scheduled to make his 2023 major league debut this weekend. The right-hander had a 1.32 ERA in the minors this year and covered 13 2/3 innings.

Washington, meanwhile, is tied for bottom in the NL East with the New York Mets, but the nationals have won four series in a row. On Thursday during the marlins were idle, the nationals defeated the host New York Yankees 6-5 to earn that three-game set.

The nationalswho won the World Series in 2019 before disbanding their roster, have a youth movement centered on 22-year-old shortstop CJ Abrams and 25-year-old catcher Keibert Ruiz, among others.

Abrams has hit 14 home runs this season, most recently a solo shot in the seventh inning against the Yankees on Thursday. He also went deep into the series at the start of the series on Tuesday.

“I’m not trying to hit home runs,” Abrams said. “They just happen at the right time, I think.”

Abrams, a former first-round pick, also leads Washington in steals with 33 from 36 attempts.

Ruiz hit a career-record 15 homers this year. He makes consistent contact and starts hitting the ball better. However, he missed Thursday’s game because he felt light-headed after being knocked off his mask by a foul ball the night before.

The nationals Right-hander Joan Adon (1-0, 7.00 ERA) is expected to start on Friday. He is 0-2 with a 10.57 ERA in two career starts against the marlinsboth trips took place in Miami last year.

In his last start, Adon couldn’t make a decision on Aug. 18 against the Philadelphia Phillies after allowing six runs with six hits in four innings.

—Field-level media The Marlins, looking to compete in the wildcard race, take on the Nats

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