Nationals: Bryce Harper Ends Home Run Drought In Win Over Marlins
By Ricky Keeler
Tonight, the Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 5-3 thanks to three home runs, including one from Bryce Harper
The Washington Nationals (22-13) have waited 11 days for Bryce Harper to come through with a home run. Tonight, Harper delivered in a big spot as he hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie. The Nats went on to defeat the Miami Marlins (18-16) 5-3, despite some shaky defense during the game from Daniel Murphy.
For four innings, the game was scoreless as Gio Gonzalez gave up only one hit. However, he needed 39 pitches to get through the fifth. After Marcell Ozuna drew a leadoff walk, Chris Johnson hit what appeared to be a double play, but Murphy made an error, which allowed both runners to reach.
Two batters later, Murphy made his second error when he threw the ball away on a groundball by Miguel Rojas when both Gonzalez and Ryan Zimmerman were covering the base. Due to no one getting the ball quick enough, two runs came around to score.
Gonzalez ran into more trouble in the sixth when the Marlins loaded the bases on three straight singles. Dusty Baker took him out of the game for Yusmeiro Petit. The Nats’ left-hander went five innings, gave up two runs (no earned runs) on six hits, struck out seven, and walked two on 106 pitches (65 strikes).
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But, the Washington Nationals bullpen did their job as Petit struck out Adeiny Hechavarria and Oliver Perez got pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich to ground into an inning ending double play.
The Washington Nationals did not do much against Tom Koehler for the first five innings despite drawing five walks. Their best chance against him in that time frame was in the second when Gonzalez doubled to center, but Jose Lobaton was thrown out at the plate.
However, the Nats would tie the game in the sixth against the Marlins’ bullpen. After Koehler gave up a two out single to Lobaton, Don Mattingly brought in Bryan Morris to face pinch-hitter Stephen Drew. Drew hit a two-run homer to right for his second home run of the season to tie it at two.
In the seventh, Anthony Rendon began the inning by drawing a leadoff walk. Then, Harper hit a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right center against Kyle Barraclough for a two-run home run. Harper’s 11th home run of the season put the Nats in front, 4-2.
After Blake Treinen gave up a run in the top of the eighth on a RBI groundout by Johnson, Chris Heisey delivered a pinch-hit home run of his own to left center against Dustin McGowan for a key insurance run. It was Heisey’s fourth home run of the season.
For the ninth, Baker used two relievers to finish the game. Felipe Rivero hit Dietrich and then struck out Cole Gillespie. After Rivero, Jonathan Papelbon struck out J.T. Realmuto and got Martin Prado to ground out to short to end the game and pick up his tenth save of the year. Treinen got his third win of the season in relief despite giving up the run in the eighth.
Next: Nats Vs. Marlins Series Preview (5/13-5/15)
Next Game: The Washington Nationals will play a doubleheader against the Miami Marlins tomorrow at Nats Park. The first game will be at 1:05 p.m ET on MASN with Stephen Strasburg (5-0, 2.76 ERA) goes up against Justin Nicolino (2-0, 2.79) for the Marlins. In Game 2 (7:05 p.m, MASN2), Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.03) will take the ball for the Nats against Kendry Flores for Miami.