Ben Revere’s first inning stolen base led to Washington’s first run on Sunday at Miami in a game that Nats would win 8-2. Revere had two steals on the day to register his first stolen bases of the season.
The Nationals ended their three game series in Miami with an 8-2 victory that allowed them to not only win the set at Marlins Park by two games to one, but also ended their six game road trip against the Marlins and the Mets with a 4-2 record. Heading home to Nationals Park for a rematch with the Mets, Washington is 1.5 games up over the New Yorkers in the National League East.
NATIONALS 8 @ MARLINS 2 Nationals’ Record (27-17)
WP- Scherzer (5-3) LP- Conley (3-3)
HR- Bour, Mia (9)
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star- It wasn’t a no-hitter or a 20 strikeout performance, but Max Scherzer gave the Nats an excellent effort on Sunday. He struck out eight, walked no one and allowed only six hits as he picked up his fifth win in eight decisions on the season.
Second Star- Leadoff man Ben Revere sparked the visitors on Sunday. He led off the first with a line drive single off of Miami starter Adam Conley, stole second, moved to third on a Jayson Werth grounder to second and scored on Bryce Harper’s sacrifice fly to short centerfield. In his second at bat Revere executed a perfect drag bunt for a single, eventually stole third base and scored on Daniel Murphy’s hit. Later, the suddenly hot lefthanded swinger drove home two runs with a sixth inning hit that chased Conley from the game. Revere became the fourth Nationals’ player to have three hits, two runs, two RBI and two steals in the same game, and the first since Ian Desmond did so on September 13, 2014 at Citi Field against the Mets. Other Nats’ hitters to achieve that feat were Elijah Dukes (6/20/2008 v.s Texas in a 14 inning 4-3 Nats’ win) and Lastings Milledge (in Washington’s 8-7 loss at Florida on 9/14/2008).
Star of the Game- Since moving to the sixth spot in the lineup, Anthony Rendon has looked like the player that many considered one of the top hitters in the National League in 2014. Rendon went 2 for 4 with three RBI (his first three RBI game since 8/23/15 when he drove home three runs against Milwaukee), and also shined with the glove as he made several sparkling plays to support Scherzer.
Valiant in Defeat- The ageless Ichiro Suzuki had two more hits on the game, moving within 44 of the 3,000 hit mark. Suzuki almost had a third safety, but was called out by the replay umpires after he had been ruled safe on a slow bouncer to Rendon at third.
Miami walked nine Nats’ batters on the game, marking the second time this season that the Marlins have walked that many opponents. The first time came back on April 7th at Nationals Park, when the Marlins also issued nine free passes. Despite the wildness from their, the Marlins pulled that game out by a 6-4 score.
The Marlins’ Justin Bour hit another impressive home run, this one an upper deck blast off of Scherzer in the bottom of the seventh that gave Miami its only two runs. Bour has three home runs on the season against Washington. The most by any player against the Nats in a season is eight, set by Andruw Jones of Atlanta in 2005 and equaled by Ryan Howard of Philadelphia in 2007 and Raul Ibanez, also of the Phils, in 2009.
Wilson Ramos had a solid game, going 2 for 3 with a run scored and two walks. The two free pass game was the second of 2016 for Ramos. The Nats’ catcher also did the trick back on May 10th in Washington’s 5-4 loss to Detroit.
DC area native Justin Bour admires his two run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning last night that broke a 1-1 tie and led the Miami Marlins to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.
MARLINS 3 NATIONALS 2 (at Marlins Park) Nationals’ Record (26-17)
WP- Fernandez (6-2) LP- Ross (3-4) SV- Ramos (13)
HR- Bour, Mia (8)
Down a run but with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the ninth innings, it looked as though Marlins’ closer A. J. Ramos was on the verge of his first blown save of the year. But Ramos got ahead in the count on Nats’ pinch-hitter Jayson Werth, and then induced the veteran outfielder to ground into a third unassisted to catcher double play that torpedoed the Nats’ rally. After Jose Lobaton grounded out to first, the Marlins had the wni and the Nats’ three game winning streak was snapped.
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star- Playing only because regular leftfielder Christian Yelich was a late scratch due to back problems, Ichiro Suzuki went 4 for 4 and scored a run at the top of Miami’s order. The game was the 52nd of his storied career in which Suzuki had four or more hits.
Second Star- Some starting pitchers, like Washington’s ace Stephen Strasburg, rarely express emotion on the mound. Others like Miami stalwart Jose Fernandez wear their emotions on their sleeve. Perhaps in part due to his passionate approach, Fernandez (like the reserved Strasburg) is one of the National League’s best pitchers, and that was on display again last night. The fiery righty struck out nine and allowed only one run over six strong innings to put the Marlins on the course to victory. Over 52.2 career innings pitched against the Nationals, Fernandez has fanned 72 batters.
Star of the Game- Justin Bour hails from the DC Metro area, and has more career home runs (seven) against the Nationals than any other opponent. Bour’s no doubt two run home run to right field off of Nats’ starter and loser Joe Ross was the difference maker in yesterday’s contest.
Valiant in Defeat- Ben Revere continued his climb back from his slow start, getting two hits in four at bats on the game. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy also had two hits a piece for the Nats.
2015 was a year to forget for Miami’s Marcel Ozuna. Ozuna posted a .691 OPS on the campaign, and even spent some time in the Minor Leauges to get back on track. So far, the five tool talent is making 2016 a year to remember. The centerfielder went 3 for 4 on the game with a double and National League leading third triple, and has a .911 OPS so far this year.
Ross struck out Martin Prado, Derek Dietrich and the slumping Giancarlo Stanton in the top of the first inning, marking the fifth time in his career and the third time in 2016 that he’s fanned three batters in a frame. On April 30th at St. Louis, Ross punched out Kolten Wong, Jaime Garcia and Jeremy Hazelbaker in the bottom of the third. A week later at Wrigley Field on May 5th, Ross fanned Tim Federowicz, Kyle Hendricks and Dexter Fowler (also in the bottom of the third inning).
The Nats’ second run of the game came on a RBI single off the bat of pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos. The RBI was the 20th of the year for the Buffalo, tying him with Wellington Castillo of Arizona and Francisco Cervelli of Pittsburgh for the most runs driven in by National League catcher.
The rubber game of the three game set is today, with Max Scherzer taking on Miami lefty Adam Conley.
Martin Prado has hit Scherzer hard in his career, registering 11 hits in 22 career at bats. Yelich (4-12, 2b, HR) has also fared well against the Nats’ righty, but Dietrich (2-10, four strikeouts) and Bour (3-15, five strikeouts) have not.
Wilson Ramos has homered twice in six career at bats against Conley, and Anthony Rendon has three hits (including a double) in seven career at bats against the Marlins’ lefty.
Nats’ Killer Martin Prado congratulates teammate Miguel Rojas after he scored one of the seven runs Miami plated against Washington in the Marlins’ victory over the Nats on Saturday evening.
NATIONALS’ RECORD- 23-14
WP- Urena (1-0) LP- Roark (2-3)
HR- Bour, Mia (6)
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star- Justin Bour
The former George Mason University ballplayer drilled a long home run off of Nats’ starter Tanner Roark in the third inning for his sixth career home run against Washington and his fifth career blast at Nationals Park.
Second Star- Jose Urena
The slender Miami reliever threw three solid innings, allowing only two hits and one run, to earn his second career victory. Urena’s effort came on the heels of his throwing 23 pitches in an inning of work in the first game of the day/night doubleheader.
Star of the Game- Marcel Ozuna
The multi-talented Marlins’ outfielder was 3 for 5 on the game, with two runs, two RBI and his third triple of the season.
Valiant in Defeat- Sammy Solis
With starter Tanner Roark leaving the game after five tough innings, the Nats needed some innings from their bullpen and Solis did the job. The lefty threw three hitless innings, striking out three and walking only one, to give most of the rest of the bullpen the evening off.
Marlins’ infielder Martin Prado has been a thorn in Washington’s side since his days in Atlanta, and the veteran continued his success against the Nats on Saturday evening. He went 3 for 4 with a run scored, moving his career batting average against Washington to .314 in 440 career at bats.
So far in 2016, the Marlins have been the one team Nats’ starter Roark has not been able to figure out. In three starts against Miami, Roark has allowed 14 earned runs in 15 innings pitched. In his other 34.1 innings pitched on the season, Roark has allowed only three earned runs.
Nats’ hitting machine Daniel Murphy was 2 for 4 on the game, marking the 19th multi-hit game of the year for the infielder. In games at Nationals Park this year, Murphy is hitting .422 with a 1.082 OPS.
Nationals’ Record 2-1
WP- Phelps (1-0) LP Roark (0-1) SV- Ramos (1)
HR- Harper WAS (2)
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star- If the Nationals published a dictionary of phrases, a picture of Miami’s Martin Prado would likely be displayed alongside “thorn in the side”. Prado was 2 for 5 with two RBI on the game, moving his lifetime batting average against Washington to .311. For players with 300 or more plate appearances, only Freddie Freeman (.333 with 352 PA), Hanley Ramirez (.333 with 562 PA) and Prado’s teammate Giancarlo Stanton (.317 with 302 PA) have hit better against the Nats.
Second Star- Marlins’ shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria starred both with the bat and the glove, driving in two runs (including the go-ahead run) with two hits and making several sparkling defensive plays to help Miami to its first win of the year. Hechavarria’s third inning single off of Tanner Roark put Miami in the lead for good at 4-3, and his seventh inning double off of Matt Belisle padded the visitor’s advantage to 6-3.
Star of the Game- Reliever David Phelps’s four innings of shutout work earned him the win, and he helped his own cause with a RBI single to put the Marlins up 5-3. Phelps’ run batted in was the first of his career.
Unsung Hero- Fairfax County, Virginia native Justin Bour has always hit well at Nationals Park, posting a robust .972 OPS there in 53 at bats. On Thursday, Bour had two doubles and scored two runs in Miami’s win.
Gallant in Defeat- Bryce Harper received recognition for winning the National League MVP before the game, and showed during the contest that he will be a candidate for the award again in 2016. Harper hit a mammoth home run off of Miami’s Bryan Morris to pull Washington within two runs of the Marlins in the eighth, and walked two more times on the game to give him a .500 on base percentage in the first three games of the season. Harper’s home run was the 99th of his career, 17 of which have come against Miami. That figure is the most the Nats’ rightfielder has against any opponent.
Daniel Murphy’s three run triple in the Nats’ first inning marked the first time Washington has had a bases clearing three bagger since Harper did so against San Diego at Nationals Park on April 25, 2014. Only eight players have hit three run triples for the Nats. Besides Murphy and Harper, Steve Lombardozzi (7/26/12 at Milwaukee), Danny Espinosa (4/17/11 v.s. Milwaukee), Roger Bernadina (5/23/10 v.s. Baltimore), Elijah Dukes (8/15/09 at the Chicago Cubs), Felipe Lopez (6/13/2007 at Baltimore) and Termelle Sledge (4/13/05 at Atlanta) have done so.
Tanner Roark gave up nine hits in four innings of work, marking the seventh time he has surrendered at least nine hits in a game. Not surprisingly, Roark is 0-6 in those contests. The Nats’ righty did not give up an extra base hit in the contest, marking the 10th time he’s done that as a starting pitcher. Yesterday’s loss was Roark’s first in eight decisions those games.
2015 rookie sensation Joe Ross makes the start for the Nats on Saturday against Miami’s Tom Koehler.