Washington Nationals Recap: Jose Lobaton Walk-Off Sacrifice Fly Defeats Marlins In 10 Innings

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Tonight’s game was a highly anticipated pitching matchup that lived up to the hype, for the most part. Jose Fernandez got the start for the Miami Marlins against Max Scherzer for the Washington Nationals. Both pitchers would not get a decision in this one. Instead, the game would end up going to extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, Jose Lobaton, who started the game at catcher tonight, hit a sacrifice fly to left that drove in Jayson Werth to win the game for the Nats, 5-4.

The Marlins would get on the board first against Scherzer. Three batters into the game, with Dee Gordon on first, Christian Yelich hit a two-run homer to right center to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. It was Yelich’s seventh home run of the season and the 25th home run that the Nats’ ace has allowed this season.

Washington would find a way to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the second. Clint Robinson led off the inning against Fernandez by hitting a first pitch fastball into the second deck in right center for a solo home run. Robinson’s eighth home run of the season cut the Marlins’ lead to 2-1.

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Despite Fernandez reaching 100 miles per hour on his fastball at times, the Nationals would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth. Bryce Harper led off the inning with an infield single and Jayson Werth was hit in the elbow. With two on and no out, a wild pitch by Fernandez against Robinson would move both runners into scoring position.

Then, with Ian Desmond up, Fernandez threw a 1-2 curveball into the dirt that got away from J.T. Realmuto. That allowed Harper to score and the Nats to tie the game. Fernandez went 5.2 innings, gave up two runs on five hits, struck out eight batters, and walked two in the no-decision.

As for Scherzer, he did not give up a run after the home run by Yelich. In the top of the seventh, Scherzer was at 102 pitches and there was a runner on second (Miguel Rojas) with two outs. Matt Williams went out to the mound, but Scherzer emphatically told Williams he wanted to stay in the game. He would get Gordon to groundout to short to end the inning. Scherzer went seven innings, gave up two runs on five hits, struck out six, and walked three on 104 pitches (70 strikes) in the no-decision.

Felipe Rivero would start the eighth inning for the Nats in relief of Scherzer. Ichiro Suzuki led off the inning by reaching on an infield single. Two batters later, Justin Bour hit a single through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners. Williams would go to Blake Treinen to try to get out of the jam. However, Marcell Ozuna hit a groundball to Desmond that made it tough to turn a double play on. Ichiro would score on the play and the Marlins would take a 3-2 lead.

That lead would not last for long. Yunel Escobar led off the bottom of the eighth with a base hit against Jose Urena, but was later pinch-ran for by Trea Turner. Harper would draw a walk to put the first two runners on. After a wild pitch forced Urena to intentionally walk Robinson, Desmond hit a fly ball to center that was caught by Ozuna, but Turner’s speed allowed him to score and tie the game. Then, Michael Taylor, in his second at-bat of the game, hit a fastball up the middle for a base hit to score Bryce Harper and give the Nats their first lead of the night, 4-3.

Jonathan Papelbon was back for the Nats tonight after being unavailable last night due to a high fever. Rojas led off the ninth with a double to right, but he advanced to third on an errant throw by Harper that went into left field. Two batters later, Gordon hit a sac fly to center that allowed Rojas to score and tied the game. Papelbon has now blown back-to-back saves.

Matt Thornton and Casey Janssen (2-5, 4.95 ERA) would pitch a scoreless top of the tenth, with Janssen ending up getting the win. Werth led off the bottom of the tenth with a double. Robinson would be intentionally walked and the runners would move over on another wild pitch, this one by Brian Ellington (1-1, 2.70). Later in the inning, after another intentional walk to Taylor loaded the bases, Lobaton hit the game-winning sacrifice fly as Realmuto was unable to handle the throw home from Yelich.

Next Game: The Washington Nationals (76-71) will play the third game of their four game series against the Miami Marlins (64-84) tomorrow afternoon at Nats Park. You can catch the game on MASN at 4:05 PM ET. Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.51 ERA) will take the ball for the Nats against Justin Nicolino (3-3, 3.81) for the Marlins.

Next: District Daily: Harper And Scherzer Nominated For Esurance Awards

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