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Nationals Take On Marlins In First Game Between Two Teams Since Brawl

(Sports Network) - Red-hot lefty John Lannan can make it three straight wins and six in seven starts tonight when the Washington Nationals host the Florida Marlins in game one of three between the National League East Division foes at Nationals Park.

Lannan, who'll turn 26 later this month, was 2-5 on the season after a 6-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox in an interleague game on June 20. He got a no- decision in his next start against Philadelphia but is 5-1 in six outings since, including seven innings of five-hit, one-run ball in a 9-2 win at Pittsburgh on Sept. 4.

One start earlier, Lannan twirled 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball against the St. Louis Cardinals, scattering eight hits and striking out four while walking none.

His only loss since June came Aug. 24 against the Chicago Cubs.

The Long Beach, N.Y. native dropped a 9-3 verdict to the Marlins in their last matchup on May 2 in Miami, but he's 2-2 against them in five career starts over 25 1/3 innings.

Lannan is 2-3 in 10 home starts this season.

Florida counters with rookie righty Alex Sanabia, who turned 22 years old on Wednesday.

The San Diego native, a 32nd-round pick in 2006, has made 11 appearances overall since debuting on June 24 with a 3 1/3-inning stint against the Baltimore Orioles.

He pitched in relief for the first three outings, but has made eight subsequent starts in which he is 3-1 over 39 2/3 innings of work.

Sanabia last won on Aug. 25 against the New York Mets, allowing four hits and two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-4 Marlins triumph.

In two starts since - a loss and a no-decision - he's given up 13 hits and nine runs in 10 2/3 innings.

The loss came Aug. 30 against the Nationals in Miami, reversing the verdict of a July 18 start when he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in Florida's 1-0 defeat of Washington.

Sanabia is 2-0 on the road in six appearances with a 4.56 earned run average.

On Wednesday in Washington, Nick Evans' pinch-hit double in the seventh inning drove in the winning run as New York upended the Nationals, 3-2, to capture the rubber match of a three-game set.

Livan Hernandez (9-11) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits while walking two and fanning four over 6 1/3 innings for the Nats, who have lost 10 of their last 13 rubber games.

Wilson Ramos' first major league home run accounted for the Washington offense.

In Philadelphia, Ryan Howard finished 3-for-5 with a three- run homer and tied a season-high with six RBI as thePhillies built a double-digit lead but held on to top Florida, 10-6, in the finale of a four-game set.

Gaby Sanchez hit a three-run blast and Cameron Maybin contributed a two-run double for the Marlins, who have lost four of six.

Andrew Miller (1-1) was tagged in defeat for 11 hits and seven runs over just four innings, boosting his earned-run average to 6.16.

Florida has won 10 of its 15 meetings with the Nationals this season.