The Miami Marlins probably wish they could play the Washington Nationals every night.
After beating the Nationals 5-2 at home on Friday, the Marlins will try to do it again on Saturday.
The Marlins (62-89) are 14-3 this year against Washington. That ties the Marlins’ second-best win total vs. one opponent in a single season, matching what they did against the 2008 Nationals.
Miami’s record is 15 wins over the New York Mets in 2004, and the Marlins can beat that record if they can sweep the Nationals this weekend.
On Saturday, the Marlins may feel extra confident about their chances because right-hander Sandy Alcantara (13-8, 2.37 ERA) is starting for them.
In 12 career starts against Washington, Alcantara is 5-6 with a 3.43 ERA. This year, though, Alcantara has overpowered the Nationals, going 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in four starts.
Alcantara’s numbers at home have been really good this year: 8-4 with a 1.67 ERA in 15 starts. On the road, he is 5-4 with a 3.16 ERA.
Washington will counter Alcantara with right-hander Erick Fedde (6-10, 5.29 ERA).
Fedde, a 29-year-old Las Vegas native, can tie his career best with a win on Saturday.
Although going up against Alcantara will be a tough challenge, Fedde is 4-1 with a 2.24 ERA in 10 career starts against the Marlins. In four starts at Miami, Fedde is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
The Nationals’ offense is led by first baseman Joey Meneses, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Washington’s loss to Miami on Friday.
For the season, Meneses — a 30-year-old rookie — has a team-best .923 OPS.
“He’s endured a lot over the years,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of Meneses and his path to the majors. “I love watching him play. He comes to play every day. He’s a student of the game.
“I know he’s a little bit older (than most rookies), but he’s still learning. He wants to learn.”
Washington (52-98) eclipsed last year’s 97-loss total on Friday. The last time they took as many losses was in 2009, when they finished 59-103.
The Nationals have struggled all year against the NL East, going 14-50.
Miami, which had a day off on Thursday, still has played 17 games in the past 17 days.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas has been the Marlins’ workhorse, playing a team-high 133 games. He has also performed at a high level on defense, putting himself into the running for a Gold Glove award.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly raved about a play that Rojas made on Friday. The shortstop went to the hole with a slide, backhanded the ball and still got the out on Riley Adams with a long throw to first.
“That was an unbelievable defensive play,” Mattingly said. “He’s kind of turned that into a slide move.
“Guys who have played (shortstop) long enough have throws from all different angles. He has a different throw for a ball going up the middle.
“Miggy’s throws are (accurate) for the most part. Any ball hit to him, you feel good.”
–Field Level Media