Quick Links

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.

Quick Links

Trey Turner ties franchise record of stolen bases in single game with Nats 6-1 win over Cubs

Trey Turner ties franchise record of stolen bases in single game with Nats 6-1 win over Cubs

WASHINGTON -- Neither of the past two NL Cy Young Award winners had his best stuff, though Max Scherzer handled things much better than Jake Arrieta.

Scherzer allowed one run and two hits as the Washington Nationals knocked Arrieta out in the fifth inning on the way to a 6-1 victory Tuesday night. While Arrieta was slow to the plate and allowed seven stolen bases, Scherzer (9-5) threw a strong six innings, striking out six with no walks and retiring 16 of the final 17 batters he faced.

"I didn't really have great fastball command tonight, but I was able to use my offspeed to kind of collect outs when I needed to and I didn't walk anybody," said Scherzer, who allowed an earned run in the first inning for the first time since April but was in command the rest of the night. "When we needed shutdown innings we got them."

Arrieta (7-6), on the other hand, struggled with his control as he issued a season-high six walks and allowed five earned runs, getting the hook two batters into the fifth inning. The 2015 Cy Young winner hadn't walked more than three batters in a game this season.

Manager Joe Maddon quipped that the Cubs "let the wrong guys on base," but catcher Miguel Montero blamed Arrieta for all the steals.

"The reason why they were running left and right today because they know he was slow to the plate," a visibly frustrated Montero said. "It really sucked because the stolen bases go to me, and when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn't give me any time."

Four of the Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise record seven steals came from speedy shortstop Trea Turner, who Arrieta called a "factor" any time he's on.

"I don't care who is behind the plate," Arrieta said. "He's a threat."

MORE NATS: 2017 MLB POWER RANKINGS

Washington manager Dusty Baker said the team knew Arrieta was a pitcher to run on, and the result was a lot of small ball for a team accustomed to driving in runs with power. Washington center fielder Michael Taylor went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and Scherzer washed out the RBI triple he allowed to Kris Bryant in the first by driving in a run with an infield single off Arrieta's glove in the fourth.

When Scherzer was lifted after 93 pitches through six with a comfortable 6-1 lead, the Nationals' beleaguered bullpen got three clean innings of relief from Enny Romero, Blake Treinen, Oliver Perez and Matt Albers.

Trey Turner tied the franchise record with four steals in a game, repeating his own feat from two weeks ago. He had a chance in the eighth to break the record and move within one of the most in a game in the modern era of baseball but did not try with Bryce Harper up and a five-run lead.

"I don't think I was held, but I didn't know if I was supposed to go," said Turner, who has 32 stolen bases this season.

Quick Links

Nationals stage spirited rally in ninth but fall just short in series opener vs. Cubs

Nationals stage spirited rally in ninth but fall just short in series opener vs. Cubs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wade Davis struck out batting leader Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third to end Washington's ninth-inning rally, and the Chicago Cubs held off the Nationals 5-4 Monday night.

In jeopardy of being shut out for the first time this season, the NL East-leading Nationals scored four times in the ninth. Their comeback began against Hector Rondon and continued when Davis entered.

MORE: CSN'S UPDATED MLB POWER RANKINGS

With Washington down 5-3, Bryce Harper's single loaded the bases with two outs. Davis threw a wild pitch that scored a run before striking out a swinging Zimmerman, who's hitting .344. The final pitch bounced, and catcher Willson Contreras zipped a low throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to close out the victory.

Contreras hit a leadoff home run in his first career game-opening at-bat and Eddie Butler (4-2) worked five scoreless innings to keep the Cubs ahead.