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Nationals, Marlins Face Off In Miami

(Sports Network) - Josh Johnson can match a Washington pitching gem with one of his own tonight, when theFlorida Marlins ace takes on the Nationals in the second test of a three-game series between NL East Division foes at Sun Life Stadium.

The Nationals rode rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg to a 4-0 win on Friday night, when the youngster scattered four hits and walked three while fanning seven batters over six innings to lower his earned run average to 2.03.

Strasburg and Florida's Ricky Nolasco each held their opposition scoreless through five frames.

Washington's Josh Willingham hit a three-run double in the top of the sixth inning after Nyjer Morgan andCristian Guzman started the sixth with back-to- back singles off Nolasco (9-7).

Adam Dunn drew a one-out walk to load the bases and Willingham cleared them by driving a 1-2 pitch into the right-center field gap, with the former Marlin taking third on the throw home.

Brian Sanches replaced Nolasco and Ivan Rodriguez lofted a sacrifice fly to center to score Willingham.

Nolasco gave up seven hits and struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings. He had won his previous four starts.

Johnson, a 26-year-old from Minneapolis, is a pristine 6-0 in 13 career appearances against the Nationals with a 3.55 ERA across 71 innings.

He faced them in consecutive starts earlier this season on May 2 and 8, going 1-0 with a no-decision while allowing nine hits and five runs, with four walks and 13 strikeouts over 12 innings.

He was a 4-0 winner over the Los Angeles Dodgers in his most recent performance, scattering six hits and striking out eight in eight innings.

Johnson is 6-2 in 11 home starts in 2010 with a stingy 1.52 ERA.

Washington counters with former Marlins ace Livan Hernandez, who'll make his 30th career start against the team for which he starred en route to a 1997 World Series title.

Now 35, the Cuban export is 13-8 with a 3.52 ERA in those matchups, including a no-decision in a May 9 game the Nationals won, 3-2.

In that outing, Hernandez allowed five hits and a run in seven innings.

He debuted with the Marlins with one big-league appearance in 1996, then won nine games in the regular season for the championship team a year later.

He won 10 games for Florida in 1998, then five in 1999 before being shipped to the San Francisco Giants at the trade deadline.

The Nationals, whom he was with in 2005-06 and rejoined last season, are among seven teams he's been employed by since leaving Florida. The Nationals have won 10 of the past 16 meetings between the teams.