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MIA@WSH: Strasburg fans 12 in outstanding start

K's were wild when Stephen Strasburg faced the Marlins five days ago at Nationals Park.

The Washington ace struck out 12 in 6 2/3 innings, and combined with Jerry Blevins, Aaron Barrett and Rafael Soriano, the Nationals racked up 17 strikeouts.

That matched the most ever against the Marlins in a nine-inning game.

On Tuesday night, the Marlins will get another look at Strasburg, this time at Marlins Park.

The game will feature a rematch of the starters last week in Washington.

Miami is going with right-hander Tom Koehler, who pitched effectively in a game won, 7-1, by Washington. In six innings, Koehler allowed two runs, both coming on Jayson Werth's homer.

"I think he was aggressive last time out," Nationals manager Matt Williams said of Strasburg. "I think he used his fastball really well, his changeup, his curveball and his slider when he needed to.

"We expect more of the same from him. He's one of those guys that it unique and special, and when he uses his tools, he continues to be that way."

With an overpowering fastball, Strasburg has the ability to overmatch lineups.

"Fastball command for him is key, and establishing his fastball," Williams said. "It's a really good one. When he throws strikes early, it can be a long day for that opposing team."

Not much has gone right for the Marlins of late.

Koehler is 1-1 and has pitched effectively in both of his starts.

The Marlins, who have dropped eight straight games, understand it is early.

"You've just got to keep playing," Koehler said. "If you start getting down on yourself in April, you've got a long way to go."

After Brad Hand exited after three innings on Monday night, the Marlins will be looking for Koehler to go deep into the game, to save the bullpen.

"We've got to do a better job minimizing damage," Koehler said. "When we have that lead, and we have a chance to shut a team down, we need to do it. That's from top to bottom. That's how you win ballgames."

Nationals: Lobaton taking on increased work load

With Wilson Ramos on the disabled list, Jose Lobaton has gotten the majority of work behind the plate.

Lobaton has started seven of 13 games, but just two of the last five. He is hitting .192 with two doubles and an RBI. Sandy Leon has served as his backup, and he was in the lineup on Monday night in the series opener.

"He's fine. He took a beating the second day in Atlanta," Williams said of Lobaton. "The matchup [Monday] is Sandy is going to go after him with [Jordan] Zimmermann. There's no rhyme or reason for it. I expect [Lobaton] to be back in there either tomorrow or the next day for sure."

Marlins: Not much margin for error

Organizationally, the Marlins recognize they are still piecing together their foundation, which they anticipate will be ready to contend in the not-too-distant future.

What's been glaring through this rough stretch is an inability to execute in all areas -- pitching, hitting and defense.

"Guys understand what they've got to do," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "They know we've got to clean up some of the areas to win ballgames. We've got to execute. That's what it comes down to. We've talked about it almost daily. Guys understand that.

"We're not a team that has enough margin for error where we can make a lot of mistakes in a game. I've talked about it since Spring Training. I've been very consistent in the fact that we need to go out there and play a clean game on defense. We can't make a lot of mistakes baserunning, and then we have to execute offensively."

Worth noting

• The Nationals have won 13 of 15 against the Marlins dating back to July 14, 2013.

• Anthony Rendon has hit safely in 11 of 13 games to start the season.

• Garrett Jones belted a solo home run in Monday's loss, giving him home runs in two straight games.

• The starting pitchers' ERA over the Marlins' eight-game losing streak is 5.88.

• Miami's Christian Yelich stayed hot, going 2-for-4 on Monday night to extend his hitting streak to nine games, one shy of his career high.

• In Monday's loss, the Marlins allowed 11 extra-base hits for the first time since allowing 12 to the Rockies on July 4, 2008.

• The Nationals' 11 extra-base hits on Monday matched the most since they move to Washington in 2005. They have now done it three times, with the other two coming on June 26, 2012, at Colorado and on Sept. 4, 2012, at the Cubs.

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