Offense falls flat as Washington Nationals fall to Miami Marlins, split series

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Apr 21, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) runs in to the dugout during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) runs in to the dugout during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Despite another home run from Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals fell to the Marlins Thursday afternoon in Miami.

The Washington Nationals entered Thursday afternoon’s game with a chance to win three out of four games against the Marlins in Miami. The Nationals won Game 3 last night and pulled off a decisive win in Game 2 when they pounded the Marlins with homers in a seven-run seventh inning.

Unfortunately for the Nationals, the offensive explosion from earlier in the series didn’t carry over into Thursday and the team dropped the finale, 5-1.

Max Scherzer got the start first the Nationals and struggled to contain the Marlins’ lineup early in the game. Scherzer allowed five runs on eight hits while striking out three batters and walking two over just five innings of work.

The Marlins got things going early on against Scherzer, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Ichiro Suzuki started the rally with a leadoff single up the middle. Suzuki advanced to third on a double off the bat of Christian Yelich later in the inning, before a three-run homer from Marcell Ozuna drove in both base runners.

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The Marlins scored two more runs against Scherzer. Their fourth run came on an RBI single by Martin Prado in the second inning. Miami scored again in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double off the bat of Justin Bour.

The Nationals scored their only run of the day in the top of the first inning. After Matt den Dekker struck out to lead off the game and Anthony Rendon lined out, Bryce Harper connected on a first pitch fastball from Marlins starter Tom Koehler and launched it over the wall in right center field. It was a solo homer for Harper, who notched his eighth home run of the season.

Unfortunately for the Nationals, that was all the damage the offense could do against Koehler and the Marlins’ pitching staff. Miami shut out the Nationals the rest of the way to secure a 5-1 win and a series split.

Next Up: The Nationals return home tomorrow night after a week-long road trip to take on the Minnesota Twins at Nationals Park. Gio Gonzalez gets the start for Washington while Kyle Gibson takes the mound for Minnesota in the first regular season matchup between the two teams since 2013. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

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