The Miami Marlins train is slowly approaching its final stop.
The latest stop, game two of a two-game homestand hosting the Washington Nationals.
Stephen Strasburg came to the rescue for the Nationals. Strasburg matched his season-high with 11 strikeouts as the Nationals beat the Marlins 4-2 Tuesday night.
Marlins split the series with the Nationals winning game one on Monday, 8-5 in comeback fashion. Marlins are still looking for their first series sweep this season and time is running out with 11 games remaining.
Strasburg (9-7) pitched six innings and allowed two runs and five hits with two walks. At one point, he struck out six consecutive batters.
“I thought he was good early,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
Strasburg is 3-0 with a 3.63 ERA in six starts since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 22.
Bryce Harper is still on the Nationals baseball team. Harper tied a season-high with five walks.
Harper, who leads the majors in walks this season with 123, was one walk shy of matching his career-high of six set May 6, 2016, against the Cubs.
Anthony Rendon drove in two runs for the Nationals (77-75), who moved to within 6 1/2 games of the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, who lost 8-1 to St. Louis. Miracles do happen however the postseason will be a long shot for the Nationals.
“By the fourth, you’re feeling like you’re just getting destroyed really because Strasburg is rolling, his pitch count is way down, and we’re throwing a ton of pitches, but we’re right in the game,” Mattingly said.
Sandy Alcantara (2-1) pitched four innings for the Marlins and allowed six hits, six walks, and three runs.
With the loss, Marlins need to go 4-7 over the last 11 games to not lose 100 games for the third time in franchise history. Miami lost 100 in 2013 and lost 108 in 1998.
The train moves on, for the Marlins: RHP Jeff Brigham (0-2, 7.36) will take the mound on Thursday when Miami begins the final home series of the season, a four-game set against Cincinnati.
For the Nationals next up RHP Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.53 ERA) who will begin a four-game series against the New York Mets on Thursday.