The Nationals were swept by the Braves over the weekend, and it appears a visit to Miami was just what the doctor ordered. The Nationals bounced back in a big way, scoring 10 runs while beating up on the Marlins on Monday night.
Washington, which swept Miami to open the 2013 season, will look to continue its dominance over its division rival on Tuesday, when the clubs meet for the middle game of the three-game series.
Taking the mound for the Nationals will be right-hander Dan Haren, who was much better his last time out than he was in his first start of the year. After allowing six runs in four innings against the Reds in his Washington debut, he beat the White Sox last Thursday, surrendering three runs over five innings.
"I took a few steps forward," Haren said after that game. "Obviously, I was a little better than last time. I think getting the ball down a little bit more would probably be key for the next game. I still have work to do to get better."
Adam LaRoche will be back in the lineup for the Nationals after receiving a day off Monday so Tyler Moore could get a few at-bats. LaRoche is batting just .147 to start the season but feels good about his swing.
"Not bad. I've been way, way worse as far as my timing up there," LaRoche said. "I'm a little passive still, still taking some pitches that I could do some damage with."
Countering Haren for the Marlins will be right-hander Alex Sanabia. This will be his fourth career appearance and start against the Nationals. He is 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA in those games, but he hasn't faced them since Sept. 10, 2010.
The Marlins scored three runs on Monday, but after 13 games, they've plated only 23 runs.
"It's not like we're the only team that will ever go through it. When it starts at the beginning of the season, it's kind of magnified," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We've got to keep grinding it out with our approach. I think guys are taking better swings the last few games. I know that it will come around."
Marlins: Stanton still ailing
Giancarlo Stanton still felt discomfort in his left shoulder on Monday afternoon and missed his fourth straight game.
Stanton was examined by the team doctor on Monday, and he will test his bruised shoulder by swinging a bat on Tuesday. In a best-case scenario, he'll be pain-free, and possibly available to play in the series. If not, the team will weigh whether to place him on the disabled list.
"Stanton is the same," Redmond said. "He's still not able to do any baseball stuff, either. He says his shoulder is still sore. We're playing shorthanded. We can't play shorthanded for too long. It's too tough."
Stanton is off to a slow start, batting .167 in nine games with no home runs or RBIs.
Nationals: Espinosa hopes to return this week
Second baseman Danny Espinosa, sidelined with a bruised right hand, said on Monday that he hopes to be back on the field for Wednesday's series finale in Miami or, at the latest, on Friday against the Mets in New York.
Espinosa's hand and forearm were still bruised, swollen and stiff on Monday afternoon, and he planned to spend the rest of the day shuttling in and out of the trainer's room for ice and treatment. An X-ray taken on Sunday revealed no structural damage.
"The swelling has increased so much that everything has got extremely stiff," Espinosa said. "The bruising is starting to settle ... all over my forearm and in my hand. The grip strength on my two fingers is a little weak -- not weak, it's stiff. It's really stiff. It's sore, but I would say that the swelling is what's making it hurt so bad."
Espinosa went 7-for-40 with a homer and three RBIs to start the season before getting hurt.
• Denard Span has reached base safely at least twice in eight of Washington's 13 games this year.
• Over its last seven games, Miami's bullpen has allowed 10 earned runs over 25 innings.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.