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Marlins-Nationals rained out, weather halts Stanton's swings at Nationals Park

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WASHINGTON - Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond has a discomforting thought for teams trying to pitch to Giancarlo Stanton.

"He's still a young major league hitter and that's maybe scary to think about, what's he's been able to accomplish in such a short time and that there's still room to get better," Redmond said. "And when he continues to swing at strikes and gets into favourable counts, man. Wow. Watch out."

"As much damage as he thinks he's doing now, he could do even more damage," he said.

The 24-year-old Stanton entered Tuesday as the National League leader in home runs (15) and RBIs (49), and was ninth in batting average (.316).

He didn't get a chance to improve those numbers Tuesday night. Miami's game at Washington was rained out and no makeup date was announced — the Marlins return to the nation's capital Sept. 26-28.

Stanton homered and had three hits in Monday's 3-2 win, improving his career average at Nationals Park to .333, with 14 home runs and 27 RBIs.

Stanton was limited to 116 games last season because of a strained right hamstring. Redmond said his right fielder is healthy and energized, and is hitting in a lineup stabilized by acquisitions such as Casey McGehee. The Miami cleanup man is batting .426 with runners in scoring position.

The Marlins as a team are hitting .261, second in the National League.

"We all understand what type of hitter we are," Stanton said. "Everyone's getting on. I'm getting on for McGehee, (Derek) Dietrich and (Christian) Yelich are getting on me."

Stanton is hitting 51 points above his career .265 average.

"His at-bats have been really good. He's made adjustments," Redmond said. "It all stems from pitch selection. When he's swinging at pitches in the zone, and taking his walks and not expanding the zone, he's going to get pitches to hit and when he does that, he's hit some bullets."

The only hits Tuesday night came in batting practice, as the game was postponed shortly after its scheduled start time because of a downpour accompanied by lightning.

Rather than play a doubleheader Wednesday or a single game Thursday when both teams are off, they'll play a doubleheader during the final weekend of the season.

"Nobody likes to play doubleheaders, especially late in the season," Redmond said. "The only good this is you have more players to cover it."

The rainout was a break of sorts for the Nationals, who have lost five of six, and are batting .195 with 14 runs scored during the slide.

In addition, they're still without regulars Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez, who will all presumably be available in September.

Washington manager Matt Williams will skip over Blake Treinen, who would have pitched Tuesday, in favour of Wednesday's scheduled starter, Jordan Zimmermann.

"Jordan is on normal rest. To push everyone back, we've had to do that earlier in the month with off-days ... we want to keep them on normal rest," Williams said. "Blake's getting his feet wet here ... he has experience in the bullpen, so we can do that for the next couple of days until his turn comes up again."

NOTES: The Marlins will go with Tuesday's scheduled starter, Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.21) on Wednesday and push Tom Koehler back to Friday. . Miami RHP Jose Fernandez (right elbow strain) returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday to have his cast and stitches removed from his May 16 Tommy John surgery. . The Marlins placed RHP Carter Capps on the 15-day DL with a right elbow sprain. Redmond said the reliever will be out at least a month. The team recalled RHP Arquimedes Caminero from Triple-A New Orleans. . Williams said 3B Zimmerman (right thumb fracture) will take full batting practice and field grounders on Wednesday for the first time since his April 12 injury.

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