Game 50: Marlins 5, Nationals 3

Look at it this way: if we hadn’t traveled down to Miami, we’d have finished the road trip at 5-1.

But onto some more important news…

The Nationals tried to avoid getting swept by the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night, with Chien-Ming Wang toeing the mound as a starter for the first time this season. After showing signs of promise last season (4-3, 4.04 ERA) as well as on Saturday night (3 IP, 1 ER), there was reason to believe that Wang had a shot against the struggling Josh Johnson (2-3, 4.87 ERA prior to last night’s game). However, Johnson was able to out-duel Wang, going 2 more innings and giving up 1 less run. Johnson also struck out 5 (as to Wang’s 4) and walked only 1 (as to Wang’s 3). Wang took the loss, giving him a 1-1 record on the year. Johnson walked away with his third win of the season (3-3) and Heath Bell was able to close his third consecutive game of the series.

The Nationals offense struck early last night, tacking on 3 runs in the first 4 innings. A leadoff triple by Danny Espinosa would start the Nats scoring in the second inning, setting up a Roger Bernadina sac-fly to Bryan Peterson, bringing the score back even headed into the bottom of thee second.

The Nats would strike again 2 innings later, once again thanks to Espinosa and Bernadina. The second Nationals run would score on an Espinosa single to right field, plating Adam LaRoche from third. Bernadina would follow that up with a double to deep-right center field, once again driving in Espinosa.

For the time being the Nats would have a 3-1 lead, until singles by Josh Johnson and Chris Coghlan tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the 4th. The Nationals would then watch as the Marlins would score 2 more runs over the course of the late innings courtesy of RBIs by John Buck and (who other than) Giancarlo Stanton (solo shot), giving the Marlins a 5-3 lead.

Washington would threaten one more time in the top of the 9th, however Rick Ankiel would not be able to keep the inning alive with 2 outs, stranding runners on first and third (tying run at first) to end the game.

Next Game: The Nats will look to turn their recent misfortunes around tomorrow night, sending Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 2.64 ERA) to the mound against fellow 2009 1st-round pick Mike Minor (2-4, 6.98 ERA). Game time is 7:05 PM ET at Nationals Park.

Tags: Chien-Ming Wang Josh Johnson Miami Marlins Washington Nationals

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