The Washington Nationals played the second game of three against the Miami Marlins Saturday afternoon. Having lost the first game of the series, the Nationals were hoping to even the series with Stephen Strasburg on the mound.
Strasburg was nowhere near as sharp as he was during his last start. The Marlins took advantage of most of their opportunities to build a 4-0 lead while Strasburg was pitching. Rafael Martin gave up four more runs in the eighth inning and the Nats lost by a final score of 8-0.
Dee Gordon had a lead off hit to start the Marlins up in the bottom of the first. However, Gordon was thrown out stealing second by Wilson Ramos. The play was challenged by Mike Redmond, but Miami would lose the challenge. It looked like the day was going to go the Nats way from the way the game started.
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The Nats got two on with two out in the second inning, when Ramos and Johnson flared back-to-back singles. But, Danny Espinosa grounded out to end the inning and the Nats failed to score with their first opportunity.
The Marlins scored first in this game in the fourth inning. Martin Prado led off the inning with a double. Then, Giancarlo Stanton doubled right behind him to drive in Prado. Marcell Ozuna flew out to right to move Stanton to third. With one out, Justin Bour would drive Stanton in on a base hit to give Miami a 2-0 lead.
Later in the inning, J.T. Realmuto hit the ball right to Espinosa who tried to glove the ball to turn the double play, but he dropped it. Instead of a sure out at second and a possible double play to end the inning, the Marlins continued the inning with Ichiro Suzuki, who singled to load the bases. Adeiny Hechavarria would ground into a double play to end the Marlins threat and limit the damage to two runs.
The Marlins would score two more runs in the sixth. Stanton drew a walk to start the inning. After Ozuna singled right behind him, Bohr had his second RBI single of the afternoon to make it 3-0. The next batter, Realmuto, grounded into a double play but Ozuna would score on the play to extend the lead to 4-0.
Strasburg was done after six innings. Strasburg only gave up eight hits, but the Marlins made their hits count. The Marlins went 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position during the game. Blake Treinen pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Nationals.
Koehler pitched 7.1 innings and held the Nats completely in check. He scattered six hits in those eight innings and the Nats could get nothing going against him.
Bryan Morris came in to relieve Koehler after he gave up a single to Yunel Escobar. Even though the Nats had seen Morris the day before, it didn’t help. Ian Desmond struck out on Morris’ first batter of the game. Jayson Werth would single with two outs to put two men on base for the Nats. However, Harper would strike out looking at a fastball right down the middle of the plate to end the Nats threat.
Sam Dyson finished the game for the Marlins in the ninth inning as he retired Zimmerman, Ramos and Johnson in order.
Rafael Martin pitched the bottom of the eighth for the Nationals. He had to face Stanton as the lead off batter. Martin hasn’t seen a hitter like Stanton in the minors. Martin’s slider left over the plate went a long way to left field to increase the Marlins lead. Bour and Suzuki would single later in the inning, setting up Hechavarria, who would hit a long three-run homer to make it 8-0.
The Nationals batters not only left seven men on base and went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, but there were five strikeouts by Nats hitters on called third strikes. The Nationals batters were swinging at balls and watching strikes go by.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (7-11) will look to avoid the sweep and their fifth straight loss tomorrow afternoon against the Miami Marlins (7-11) at 1:10 PM ET on MASN2. Gio Gonzalez (1-1, 3.44) will get the start for the Nats against Dan Haren (1-1, 3.32).