The Washington Nationals loaded the bases with no one out, but failed to comeback in the ninth in a loss to the Marlins.
Like Tanner Roark, Joe Ross was looking to get his first win of the month for the Nationals tonight. However, on his 23rd birthday, he lost to Jose Fernandez and the Marlins for the second time in a week. Miami defeated the Nats 3-2 as Justin Bour’s two-run home run ended up being the difference. The offense would make it interesting in the ninth, but couldn’t quite finish the comeback.
Tonight, it was the Nationals who had an early lead against Fernandez. In the top of the fourth, Chris Heisey drew a walk and Bryce Harper singled to center with one out. Two batters later, Clint Robinson (who got the start for Ryan Zimmerman) singled up the middle to drive in Heisey and give the Nats a 1-0 lead.
The Marlins would answer back with a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Ichiro Suzuki hit a ball to left that Heisey tried to make a sliding catch on, but he did not make the play. That was followed up by an errant pickoff throw to first that allowed Ichiro to go all the way to third. Then, Martin Prado drove Ichiro in with a base hit to right to tie the game.
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Ross’ troubles would continue in the following inning. Marcell Ozuna led off the inning with a triple into the gap in right center and Justin Bour crushed a two-run homer to right to give Miami a 3-1 lead.
The Nats’ right-hander wouldn’t finish the sixth inning as Dusty Baker went to Sammy Solis with a runner on second and two outs. Ross went 5.2 innings, gave up three runs on eight hits, struck out seven, and waked two on 96 pitches (60 strikes) as he dropped to 0-4 this month.
Meanwhile, the Nationals offense didn’t have much success against the Marlins’ ace. Fernandez went six innings, gave up one run on four hits, struck out nine, and walked one on 99 pitches (61 strikes) in the win.
After Ross, the bullpen kept the Nats in the game. Sammy Solis and Yusmeiro Petit threw 2.1 scoreless innings, struck out two (both by Petit) and walked two. However, no Nats’ pitcher could get Ichiro out today, as he went 4-for-4 with a walk in the leadoff spot for the Marlins.
In the ninth, the Nats rallied against closer A.J. Ramos, but their comeback fell just short. The offense began the inning with three straight singles, including a RBI single by Wilson Ramos (pinch-hitter) to drive in Harper.
Ramos would walk Rendon to load the bases. But, he got out of the jam when Jayson Werth (pinch-hitting) grounded into a rare 5-2 double play and Jose Lobaton grounded out to first to end the game and pick up his 13th save of the year.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (26-17) will play the rubber game of their three game series with the Miami Marlins (22-20) tomorrow afternoon. You can catch the game on MASN and WUSA9 at 1:10 p.m ET. Max Scherzer (4-3, 4.01 ERA) will get the start for the Nats against Adam Conley (3-2, 3.40) for the Marlins.