The Washington Nationals headed into the three-day weekend set against the Miami Marlins looking to rebound after getting swept by the New York Mets to put them seven games back in the NL East. The Marlins came into this series riding a bit of a hot streak winning seven out of their last nine, which included taking two-out-of-three against the Mets in walk-off fashion.
To try to stem the tide, the Nats sent out Gio Gonzalez (10-7, 3.87 ERA), who has been a bit inconsistent this year but has had flashes of brilliance, against Jarred Cosart (1-4, 4.67 ERA) for the Marlins.
The Marlins opened the scoring for the night in the bottom of the fourth when Gio allowed a walk to Martin Prado and then a single from Justin Bour put runners on the corners with one out. The Nats were almost able to wiggle out of the inning with a double play as Marcell Ozuna grounded to short, but he was able to beat out the relay throw, which scored Prado. Gonzalez was able to limit the damage one hitter later by striking out J.T. Realmuto.
The Nats got on the board in the top of the sixth with a lead-off single by Yunel Escobar. Escobar then took second on a short-armed, pick-off throw from Kyle Barraclough that got past Bour. Yunel then took the next 180 feet on sacrifice flies by Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos, which tied the game at one.
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Gio Gonzalez had a solid night as he went 5.1 innings and gave up one earned run on four hits. Matt Williams had a quick hook in the bottom of the sixth when Gio gave up a single to Christian Yelich and then a walk to Prado. Bour then smashed a ball to center for the first out, but Yelich tagged and was able to make it to third.
That was it for Gio, as Williams brought in another member of his beleaguered bullpen in Blake Treinen. Treinen provided exactly what was needed for that situation and was able to get Marcell Ozuna to ground into an inning-ending double play to keep the score tied.
The Marlins were able to scratch out another run in the bottom of the seventh against the Nats bullpen. Casey Janssen started the inning and promptly gave up a double to Realmuto. With the bottom of the order coming up, the Marlins chose to bunt with Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki popped the bunt up, which may have caused some confusion with Janssen, who threw to third, but he was unable to get Realmuto. With runners on the corners and no outs, Miguel Rojas slapped one into right for Bryce Harper to snag, but Realmuto came in to score and the Marlins took the lead, 2-1. Felipe Rivero relived Janssen and was able to produce an inning-ending double play to limit the damage at one.
The Nats had plenty of opportunities all night to put runs on the board, but they were 0-f0r-6 with runners in scoring position as they lost the series opener to the Marlins, 2-1.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (71-69) will play the second of their three-game set against the Miami Marlins (60-81) tomorrow evening at 7:10 PM ET. You can catch the game on MASN. Tanner Roark (4-4, 4.41 ERA) gets the start for the Nats while Jose Fernandez (4-0, 2.30 ERA) goes for the Marlins.