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Marlins vs. Nationals: Washington Looks To Avoid Sweep In Matinee

Since reaching the .500 mark on July 18, the Washington Nationals have lost six of seven games to drop their record to 49-54, including four straight after a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers

That win was keyed by starting pitcher John Lannan, who allowed just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings, and hit a two-run homer in the second inning. He'll take his 7-6 record and 3.51 ERA to the mound Thursday afternoon for the Nationals, who hope to break out of their recent funk under newly-hired manager Davey Johnson. 

The Marlins will send 21-year-old southpaw Brad Hand (1-3, 2.77 ERA) to the mound at Nationals Park. The rookie has just five starts in his major league career, and is coming off his best performance since being promoted to the big leagues on June 7. The youngster pitches seven scoreless innings against the Houston Astros, limiting them to just two hits while earning his first major league win. 

Here is the Nationals' lineup:

  1. Jerry Hairston (CF)
  2. Danny Espinosa (2B)
  3. Ryan Zimmerman (3B)
  4. Michael Morse (1B)
  5. Jayson Werth (RF)
  6. Jonny Gomes (LF)
  7. Ian Desmond (SS)
  8. Wilson Ramos (C)
  9. John Lannan (P)