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Nats try to take down Sanchez ... again

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Nats try to take down Sanchez ... again

MIAMI -- Over the last seven seasons, the Nationals have had 18 chances to beat Anibal Sanchez. And they're 0-for-18 against the Marlins right-hander. Perhaps the 19th time will be the charm.

Sanchez (7-0, 2.10 ERA in those 18 starts) will be on the mound tonight at Marlins Park, facing a Nationals club that would certainly like to bounce back from yesterday's 5-3 loss and avoid clinching only their fourth series loss of the season (they previously lost to the Dodgers, Pirates and Orioles). Edwin Jackson, who despite his 3.38 ERA this season remarkably has only one win (that complete-game, two-hitter against the Reds), gets the start for Davey Johnson.

The Nationals will have a new player on their bench, Jhonatan Solano, who becomes the fifth different catcher on the roster already this year. And, in a nice twist of fate, Solano's brother Donovan was just called up by the Marlins last week.

Updates and analysis to come, so please check the Nats Insider live game thread...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS (29-19)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
LF Corey Brown
C Carlos Maldonado
RHP Edwin Jackson
MARLINS (27-22)
SS Jose Reyes
2B Omar Infante
3B Hanley Ramirez
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Logan Morrison
CF Bryan Petersen
C John Buck
LF Chris Coghlan
RHP Anibal Sanchez

UMPIRES
HP Dan Iassogna, 1B James Hoye, 2B Jim Joyce (cc), 3B Jim Reynolds

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Nationals rally against Rivero, beat Pirates 10-7

Nationals rally against Rivero, beat Pirates 10-7

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pinch-hitter Jayson Werth hit a tying two-run homer, Chris Heisey drove in the go-ahead run, and the Washington Nationals scored five runs off former teammate Felipe Rivero in the eighth inning to rally past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-7 on Sunday.

Clint Robinson added an RBI single and Pedro Severino drew a bases-loaded walk in the inning. Rivero (1-5) had allowed just four earned runs in his previous 25 innings since being traded to the Pirates.

Jung Ho Kang hit a two-run homer off Koda Glover to give the Pirates the lead in the bottom of the seventh, but Glover (3-0) got the win with the Nationals' offensive outburst the following half inning.

Former Pirates closer Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 43rd save.

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Benches clear in confrontation between Nats and Pirates

Benches clear in confrontation between Nats and Pirates

With the division title clinched the night before, it seemed the Nationals were poised for an uneventful series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon. 

That wasn't to be, as the two clubs engaged in a benches clearing altercation in the bottom of the third inning. The tension started in the top of the frame, when Bryce Harper was injured while sliding to third base on a triple. The Nats took exception to Pirates third baseman Jung-ho Kang faking a tag on Harper, which may have led to the injury. 

So when Nats starter A.J. Cole threw behind Kang in the bottom of the inning, the near-fracas was ignited.

Cole was immediately ejected from the game, benches cleared, and each side exchanged words. The Pirates' Sean Rodriguez was also ejected from the game.