Apr 16, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) connects for a three run home run during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Marlins have seen enough of Jayson Werth and Zach Walters. Werth continued his flair for the dramatic with another home run against Miami, and Walters hit a pinch hit go ahead home run to help the Nationals win 6-3.
In what appeared to be a decisive Marlins pitching advantage with Jose Fernandez on the hill turned into a pitchers’ duel as the Nats Tanner Roark, he of the 5.91 ERA entering the game, pitched 6 1/3 innings of seven-hit ball with five strikeouts. Fernandez finished the night tossing seven innings and striking out 10.
Things looked bleak for the Nats early as the Marlins went ahead 3-0 on a Derek Dietrich home run in the fourth. Up until that point, both Fernandez and Roark had matched one another pitch for pitch, each surrendering only a single hit. With the way Fernandez continued to pitch, the Marlins lead looked insurmountable.
Werth then did what he does best against the Marlins: hit the ball far. With two outs in the sixth, Werth drove a Fernandez fastball to right field, clearing the bases to even the score 3-3. The home run is Werth’s third home run of the season, all against the Marlins. Tonight’s proved as equally dramatic as in last Wednesday’s 10-7 win when he hit an eighth inning grand slam to put the Nats ahead for good.
It may be a different Wednesday, but the Nationals pulled out the same eighth inning heroics. Walters hit his second home run of the season, the second in as many nights, off of reliever Mike Dunn (0-2) to put the Nats ahead 4-3. Later in the inning, Ian Desmond singled to left, scoring two more. Drew Storen (1-0) relieved Roark in the seventh and picked up the win while Rafael Soriano closed out the ninth for his third save.
The Nats were 1-4 on this recent 6 game road trip, and avoiding their fifth loss in six games looked to be especially difficult considering the pitcher they faced. Fernandez, in 17 career starts at Marlins Park, was 11-0 with a 1.14 ERA. The Nats came into the game second in the NL in batting average at .274 and third in home runs and runs scored. Tonight they collected all three precisely when they needed them most.
The Nationals return home, starting a four game home stand against the St. Louis Cardinals. Both teams enter the series 9-6 and in second place in their respective divisions.