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Nationals fall to Marlins, 4-3, in season finale but win season-opening series

Nationals fall to Marlins, 4-3, in season finale but win season-opening series

WASHINGTON -- Justin Bour doubled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 10th inning after the Marlins erased two leads against a shaky Nationals bullpen, and Miami earned its first win of the season by beating Washington 4-3 Thursday night.

In a game delayed by rain for more than an hour both at the start and in the middle of the sixth, Bour sent a shot off Joe Blanton (0-1) down the left field line. That brought home J.T. Realmuto, whose single in the 10th was his third hit of the game, including a two-run homer in the eighth that made it two-all.

David Phelps (1-1) earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning. A.J. Ramos, Miami's sixth pitcher, worked the 10th to earn his first save. He put two men on with one out, then retired Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon to end it.

Nationals relievers Shawn Kelley, Sammy Solis and Blake Treinen combined to give up leads in the eighth and ninth innings.

Washington entered the eighth with a 2-0 edge thanks to homers from Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth.

But Kelley, who lost the spring training competition for the closer's job to Treinen, promptly blew it. He walked Christian Yelich, then two outs later, gave up Realmuto's second homer of the season.

Zimmerman put the Nationals back in front 3-2 in the eighth with a solo shot to straightaway center off Junichi Tazawa that originally resulted in a triple but was ruled on replay review to have cleared the wall. Zimmerman drove a 1-0 curveball just over the outstretched glove of outfielder Yelich and has homered in the past two games.

That lead didn't last long, though, because pinch-hitter Tyler Moore -- a former member of the Nationals -- delivered an RBI single up the middle off Treinen with a 2-2 count and two outs in the ninth. Treinen came in with a man on third, put there by Solis.

Eaton's homer came in the first off Tom Koehler, and Werth's was in the seventh off Kyle Barraclough, moments after Washington's left fielder made a running, twisting catch in the top of the inning.

A game that began 1 hour, 20 minutes late because of showers was held up for another 63 minutes in the middle of the sixth.

NATIONALS ROTATION

RHP Stephen Strasburg is being given an extra day of rest and will pitch Sunday at Philadelphia. That leaves the Nationals without a starter for Saturday, because the rotation's fifth member, RHP Joe Ross, was sent to the minors and can't be brought back yet. Manager Dusty Baker would not say who will pitch Saturday, but it is expected to be RHP Jeremy Guthrie, who hasn't appeared in the majors since 2015 with Kansas City.

UP NEXT

Marlins: Open a three-game series at the Mets on Friday, with LHP Wei-Yin Chen facing RHP Zack Wheeler. Chen is 0 for 50 with 21 strikeouts as a hitter in his big league career.

Nationals: NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer pitches Friday against the Phillies. Scherzer's spring preparation was delayed because he was still in pain from a fractured knuckle on his pitching hand. "I'm good to throw 100 pitches tomorrow. That's what's so exciting about where I was at, to where I am now. I'm going to be able to compete in this first turn of the rotation," Scherzer said Thursday.

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Bryce Harper named National League Player of the Week

Bryce Harper named National League Player of the Week

If you've understandably been caught up with the Capitals and Wizards in their respective playoff series, you might not be aware of just how hot Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is right now. Fresh off a three-game sweep of the rival Mets in New York, Harper was named National League Player of the Week. 

For the whole week, Harper hit .550 (11-for-20) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, seven walks and 10 runs scored. 

He is now leading all of baseball in batting average (.400), he's tied for second in homers (7), and he's alone in second in RBI (20). He's also amassed a blistering 1.340 OPS through the team's first 18 games. 

Harper's biggest game of the past week came in Atlanta when he went yard twice, with his second homer being a grand slam. He finished the game 4-for-4 with two homers, one double, five RBI, one walk and four runs scored. 

With Harper's injuries from last season behind him (even though he won't completely admit to being hurt), the Nationals' right fielder is back to, or even better than, his 2015 form that ended with his first career MVP award. During that season Harper took home player of the week honors three times. 

The Nationals as a team have the best record in baseball at 13-5, and already have a three-game lead in the NL East. 

Related: MLB Power Rankings

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Charlie Blackmon hits 2-run homer, Rockies beat Nationals 8-4

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USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Blackmon hits 2-run homer, Rockies beat Nationals 8-4

DENVER (AP) -- Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer in the seventh, Colorado's lights-out bullpen threw three-plus scoreless innings and the Colorado Rockies beat Washington 8-4 on Monday night, ending the Nationals' seven-game winning streak.

Trailing 4-3, Blackmon lined a hanging slider from lefty Enny Romero (1-1) into the right-field stands. It was Blackmon's sixth homer of the season and followed a pinch-hit double from Pat Valaika -- his first hit of the season.

The Rockies' relievers came through once again after starter Tyler Anderson wore down. Carlos Estevez (2-0) got four outs and Adam Ottavino threw an effective eighth. Greg Holland pitched the ninth in a non-save situation after the Rockies added three insurance runs in the eighth. He got pinch-hitter Bryce Harper to ground out to end the game.

The Rockies' bullpen is now 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA, which is tops in the NL.

MORE NATIONALS: BRYCE HARPER PICKS UP HIS FIRST PIECE OF HARDWARE ON THE SEASON