The Miami Marlins will begin their final road trip of the first half with a series against the Washington Nationals starting on Tuesday.
Washington has dominated the season series against Miami, with seven wins in ten chances. The Nationals also swept the Marlins at Marlins Park last week in a three-game series. Miami sits at 32-50 on the year, while Washington owns a 42-41 record.
Miami's starting pitcher on Tuesday will be rookie Zac Gallen. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.60 E.R.A through two big-league starts. Gallen has been inefficient thus far, with ten total innings in his two starts. Miami's bullpen did Gallen no favors in his last start, when he was forced to exit in the sixth inning. The 23-year old was facing these same Nationals in that outing.
Miami All-Star Sandy Alcantara will get the ball for Wednesday's outing. Alcantara was named to the All-Star team on Sunday and he will be Miami's only representative at the game. Alcantara is 4-7 with a 3.86 E.R.A and he was knocked around by Washington in his last appearance. Alcanatara allowed six runs on seven hits in that outing, after posting two consecutive quality starts before it.
Elieser Hernandez will be Miam's starter for the series finale on Thursday. Hernandez is 1-2 with a 4.07 E.R.A and has quietly been a consistent contributor for the Marlins. With Caleb Smith set to return soon, Hernandez's time with the big-league could be coming to an end. Miami will have to choose between Hernandez, Gallen and Jordan Yamamoto for a rotation spot when Smith returns. Hernandez could also possibly move into a bullpen role, if the team elects to keep him in the majors.
Miguel Rojas leads the Marlins with his .287 batting average and .350 on-base percentage. Rojas' versatility has also been a huge asset for the Marlins and it could make him an appealing player for contenders at the trade deadline. Rojas has solid career numbers against Washington's pitching staff and he could have a big series ahead of him. The 30-year old is hitting .417 over the last seven days, with five doubles in the mix.
The series in the nation's capital will get underway on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.