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.