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Marlins-Nationals Preview

Though Max Scherzer has little to show for how well he's pitched, the right-hander isn't looking for sympathy.

His Washington Nationals teammates hope to provide more support as Scherzer tries to avoid matching a career high with his third straight losing start Wednesday against the visiting Miami Marlins.

Scherzer (1-3, 1.26 ERA) has the lowest ERA among NL starters but he's received two or fewer runs while on the mound in four of his five outings, including one total in the last two. According to his teammates, Scherzer hasn't complained about the lack of support.

"He is the last person who wants you to feel sorry for him," second baseman Dan Uggla told MLB's official website. "He is about the team. He is about winning and getting things going. It's not about his personal stats."

Pitching on seven days' rest because of a thumb issue, Scherzer allowed a solo homer and struck out 10 over seven innings of Friday's 4-0 loss to Matt Harvey and the New York Mets. The only other time he dropped three straight starts came in May 2010.

"We understand that he has pitched his (butt) off this year. It just so happens we haven't given him much run support," said Uggla, who's batting .204. "That's the way the game goes sometimes. It's not going to be like that all year. He knows that. We know that."

The Nationals (13-15) have been held to one run three times and shut out another over the last five contests. One night after recording 12 hits in Monday's 6-4 win over Miami (13-14), Washington managed three and went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position during a 2-1 defeat.

Wilson Ramos had two of those hits for the Nationals, who had won six of seven and remain concerned after right-hander Stephen Strasburg left with a shoulder issue after three innings Tuesday.

Hitless in six at-bats for the series, teammate Bryce Harper is 1 for 17 this month. He's 2 for 15 against Miami's Tom Koehler (2-2, 4.67), but one of those hits left the park.

The right-hander allowed six hits in 7 1-3 innings during an 8-0 win April 25 to improve to 3-3 and drop his ERA to 3.22 in six starts against the Nationals. He followed by giving up a three-run homer and three other hits in five innings while not factoring in the decision of Friday's 4-3 victory over Philadelphia.

Ichiro Suzuki recorded his fourth straight two-hit game against the Nationals and had an RBI on Tuesday for the Marlins, who have won four of the first five with Washington. The 41-year-old Suzuki hit .217 with one RBI mostly off the bench in the first 13 games, but is batting .327 with six RBIs over the last 14 while replacing the injured Christian Yelich.

Out since April 20 with a lower-back strain, Yelich could return for this week's four-game series at San Francisco.

"He's probably not far off," manager Mike Redmond said.

Suzuki is batting .361 while hitting safely in 19 of 20 career games against the Nationals, including 11 in a row. He's 3 for his last 6 versus Scherzer, whose only previous appearance versus Miami came in 2009 with Arizona.

Leading the majors with a .422 average and 22 for 40 (.550) during a 10-game hitting streak, Dee Gordon is 4 for 11 with a homer and a double against Scherzer.

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