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WSH@NYM: Jordan solid in Major League debut vs. Mets

Taylor Jordan was supposed to pitch in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field in New York on Sunday. Instead, the Merritt Island, Fla., native will have a homecoming of sorts in his fourth Major League start at Marlins Park.

Jordan first joined the Nationals as a temporary replacement for Dan Haren, who spent time on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Then, after Haren's return, the 24-year-old remained in the rotation because Ross Detwiler has had stiffness in his back.

Jordan will look to get the Nationals back on track after a disappointing 2-1 loss in extra innings on Saturday night. He has been solid but not spectacular in his first three big league starts, posting an 0-2 record with a 3.45 ERA. However, there are concerns that he has also been tipping his pitches. First baseman Adam LaRoche noticed the problem after Jordan's debut, and the right-hander has been working to correct it since.

"There's a handful of players I think on every team -- I say that because it's every team I've been on -- that are really good at picking that stuff up," LaRoche said. "It's a big part of the game. That's why I tell our young guys all the time, it's completely different now. You're playing the same game, but you've got a lot more eyeballs on you here."

Henderson Alvarez will take the mound for the Marlins as they look to complete the sweep. The 23-year-old has made just two starts since returning from a stint on the 60-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

In his last start against the Braves, Alvarez struck out two of the first three batters he faced, but struggled the rest of the way. He squandered two leads, walked four batters, and made a throwing error in the sixth inning that allowed Atlanta's go-ahead run to cross the plate.

"He came out in that first inning and he was lights-out," Marlins catcher Rob Brantly said. "After that, I think we started nitpicking the zone too much. We started getting in hitters' counts. As long as we keep them on the defensive, I think we'll be all right."

Marlins: Koehler returns
After a brief stint at Triple-A New Orleans, Tom Koehler rejoined the Marlins on Saturday. He replaced reliever Chad Qualls, who is on the paternity list because he and his wife are expecting the birth of their child this week.

Before being optioned to Triple-A on July 4, Koehler was 1-5 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 16 appearances with the Marlins, including 10 starts. He spent the majority of his time in New Orleans improving his breaking pitches and developing a more consistent delivery.

"With the bullpen [sessions] down there, the game and everything was just trying to repeat the delivery and sharpen up a couple of the breaking balls," Koehler said. "Basically making sure that everything was as consistent as possible."

• Adeiny Hechavarria scored the winning run on Saturday night after reaching base in the 10th inning on a throwing error by Chad Tracy, but he went 0-for-4 at the plate, ending a career-high 11-game hitting streak.

Nationals: Strasburg to start first in the second half
Manager Davey Johnson said on Saturday that he will reset his starting rotation after the All-Star break. Stephen Strasburg, who started on Friday night, will get the call in the team's first game after the break. He will be followed by Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Dan Haren, in that order.

Strasburg will look to bounce back from the shortest outing of his career on Friday against the Marlins. He allowed seven runs in just two innings.

"You are always trying to get better, always trying to learn. It's these types of games where you have nothing working," Strasburg said. "You take a step back, just pick it apart a little bit. You kind of see the flaws a little bit more."

• Outfielder Bryce Harper was ejected in the eighth inning on Saturday for arguing a called third strike. It was the third ejection of Harper's career, his second of the season and his second in Miami.

Worth noting
• After Saturday night's loss, the Nationals returned to .500 for the 20th time this season. They had not been at .500 since July 3.

• Since May 31, Miami has won 14 of 20 games at Marlins Park, averaging 4.9 runs per game (98 total) during that stretch. Prior to May 31, the Marlins averaged just 2.33 runs (63 in 27 games) and were 7-20 at home. Comments