The Nats look to make it six straight wins behind left-hander John Lannan, who is coming off one of his shortest outings. In that start, against the Astros, he allowed six runs (four earned) in only 2 1/3 innings.
"It's one of those days where I didn't get the job done," Lannan said afterward. "That's something that is unacceptable. I just have to move on and get ready for the next one."
That outing broke a stretch of six straight starts in which Lannan allowed three earned runs or fewer, a streak that began following a July 28 loss to the Marlins in which he gave up four.
The Marlins go to our nation's capital by way of Philadelphia, where they played a makeup doubleheader against the Phillies on Thursday. With a 3-1 loss in the opening game, the Marlins clinched the 13th losing season in team history.
"No question it's disappointing," manager Jack McKeon said of a losing season. "On the other hand, you can't use injuries as an excuse. We did have injuries just as we started to put things together, but we punched a hole in our wagon."
Washington is the fourth city of Florida's road trip. This is only the 11th time in the 11-year history of the franchise that the club has hit four cities on one trip.
Starting for the Marlins on Friday is right-hander Javier Vazquez, who is looking to extend his three-game winning streak. Vazquez has been impressive, posting an 0.45 ERA and .169 batting average against in his last three outings, two of which were shutouts.
He fared well against the Nats the last time he faced them, tossing seven innings of one-run ball.
Marlins: LoMo plays with sore knee
Logan Morrison played the first game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Phillies with a sore right knee, but he didn't start the nightcap.
Morrison injured the knee on Friday in Pittsburgh and on Monday underwent an MRI that revealed a bruised right patella and chronic patellar tendinitis.
Emilio Bonifacio leads the National League with 30 hits since Aug. 23. For the season, Bonifacio leads the NL in infield hits and bunt hits.
Nationals: Morse on doorstep of elite club
First baseman Michael Morse is three home runs shy of posting the Nats' fifth 30-homer season since 2005. He would join Alfonso Soriano (46 in '06), Adam Dunn (38 in '10 and 38 in '09) and Ryan Zimmerman (33 in '06) in accomplishing the feat. With a .303 batting average and 86 RBIs, Morse also is looking to become the first Washington hitter to bat .300 or better with at least 27 homers and 85 RBIs.
Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard has a franchise-record 34 holds.
Florida's Omar Infante has at least one hit in 31 of his last 37 games. He is hitting .462 in his career against Lannan.
Against the NL East this season, the Marlins are 27-36.