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MIA@ATL: Alvarez holds Braves to two runs over eight

Henderson Alvarez's start against the Giants on July 19 was cut short after he was struck in the left shin by a grounder off the bat of Joe Panik in the third inning.

But the All-Star right-hander silenced any concerns about his injury when he spun eight innings of two-run ball in a win at Atlanta five days later.

Alvarez will make his next start Tuesday night, when he takes on Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg in the second matchup of a three-game set at Marlins Park.

"This year since the season started, I've gone out to work and given 100 percent for my team," said Alvarez, who's 7-5 with a 2.62 ERA this season. "Every time I go out on the mound, I'm focused on doing my job."

Strasburg will be looking to record his first win since July 1 and his first quality start since July 7.

He's allowed four earned runs in each of his past two outings, including his most recent one against the Rockies at Coors Field on Wednesday, when he surrendered three runs in the first inning and lasted 5 1/3 frames. Since the start of June, Strasburg sports a 4.29 ERA in 10 starts.

"I gave up three runs early, and I easily could have shut it down," Strasburg said after Wednesday's contest. "I didn't want to do that. I wanted to give these guys a chance to come back."

Nationals: Trio to share second-base duties
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is expected to miss significant time after injuring his right hamstring running to first base against the Rockies on Tuesday.

In his absence, manager Matt Williams has moved Anthony Rendon back to third base, but the first-year skipper has yet to settle on an everyday replacement at second. Instead, Williams said he is going to split the time between Danny Espinosa, Zach Walters and Kevin Frandsen.

"It's going to be a daily thing. If we get to a point where somebody gets hot, we'll certainly ride the hot hand," Williams said. "But we still have to look at it day by day."

Espinosa started the series opener against the Marlins on Monday night. He went 1-for-4 with a two-RBI single.

Marlins: Team not sellers at Trade Deadline
The Marlins continued their recent hot streak within an impressive come-from-behind walk-off victory over the Nationals on Monday night in the series opener. The team has won five in a row and seven of its past eight and is adamant it will not be a seller leading up to Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I would say you can take us out of the sellers category," said Michael Hill, vice president of baseball operations. "We're just looking for ways to build on what has been a very positive year for us."

One of the important reasons for the Marlins' turnaround has been players other than Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee stepping up at the plate. The duo combined to hit just 11-for-54 with seven RBIs during the recent 6-1 road trip.

One example is Jordany Valdespin, who hit his first home run of the season Saturday and opened scoring on Sunday with an RBI triple.

"When you start winning ballgames, every team talks about the same thing, right?" manager Mike Redmond said. "You talk about big hits from different guys, guys maybe that you don't typically expect all the time. ... We will need everybody these next couple of months to get where we want to go. I know that all these guys are capable."

Worth noting
• Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich (sprained right wrist) started taking grounders and swinging in the cage on Monday. Redmond said Dietrich could begin a rehab assignment by the end of the weeklong homestand.

• The Marlins optioned catcher J.T. Realmuto to Double-A Jacksonville on Monday to clear space for outfielder Jake Marisnick. Comments