Aug 28, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcherMax Scherzer
(31) throws to the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit:Brad Mills
-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Nationals start their three-game set against the Miami Marlins looking to extend their series winning streak to four. More importantly for the club, time is running out on their playoff hopes and they need to string together wins to keep pace with the New York Mets, but the Nats lose the opener to the Marlins 4-3.
Max Scherzer (11-11, 2.88 ERA) got the start for the Nationals against the rookie Adam Conley (2-1, 4.96 ERA). Max had another start where he didn’t have his best stuff but he was able to go seven innings giving up six hits and four runs. On the flip side, the Nats were unable to figure out Conley as the rookie was able to keep the Nats off the bases and allowed a scattered five hits and three runs.
The Marlins struck first in the top of the first with a slap single to right by Martin Prado with two outs followed by a booming double off the wall in right center by Derek Dietrich scoring Prado to make it 1-0. Scherzer was able to work himself out of the jam by striking out the next hitter to limit the damage at one run.
The Nationals didn’t wait long to tie it up as in the bottom of the second, Ian Desmond launched the first pitch he saw to deep right center to make the score 1-1.
Miami responded quickly in the top of the third where Dee Gordon led off with a single past the diving Anthony Rendon. Max was able to strike out Ichiro Suzuki, but Prado again came through for the Marlins with a homer into the visitor’s bullpen to make the score 3-1.
The Marlins tacked on another run in the top of the third as Max continued a disturbing trend of his inability to keep the ball in the ballpark. Marcell Ozuna led off the inning with a deep homer to center field to make the score 4-1.
Again, the Nationals score with a homer to pull to within two in the bottom of the fifth. This time, it was a Wilson Ramos no-doubt homer over the visitor’s bullpen in left for his 12th of the year to make the score 4-2.
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The Nationals had a chance to do some damage in the bottom of the sixth and perhaps put this game out of reach as Jayson Werth led off with a double he flicked down the right-field line. Rendon singled to left to put runners on the corners for Bryce Harper. Bryce worked a walk loading the bases for Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman was able to at least drive in one run with a SAC fly to center to make it 4-3. Desmond produced a strikeout and Danny Espinosa worked a great at-bat to load the bases again for Wilson Ramos, but he lined off the pitcher right to the second baseman for the final out of the inning.
That turned out to be the Nats undoing as they were unable to do anything against the Marlins bullpen and drop the first game against the Marlins 4-3.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (64-63) will play the second of their three-game set against the Miami Marlins (52-77) tomorrow afternoon at 7:05 PM ET. You can catch the game on MASN. Jordan Zimmermann (10-8, 3.54 ERA) gets the start for the Nationals while Tom Koehler (8-12, 3.98 ERA) goes for the Marlins.