Dillon Peters set a pretty high standard for himself in his first major-league start.
While his second on Wednesday night wasn’t awful, Peters’ performance wasn’t good enough to keep the Marlins from dropping another game to the Nationals.
The Marlins’ latest anemic offensive performance led to a 8-1 defeat — their eighth consecutive loss to the National League East leaders. The Marlins (67-72) have scored only 12 runs during those losses. The Nationals (85-54) have won 13 of the 19 meetings this season.
Peters, the Marlins’ rookie lefty, who pitched seven shutout innings in his debut last Friday against the Phillies, gave up two quick runs in the first inning. Ryan Zimmerman smacked a solo home run in the fourth.
Peters, the No. 4 overall prospect in the Marlins’ farm system, gave up six hits, walked two, and struck out six over five innings in his first career defeat.
While the damage on Peters wasn’t severe, it was enough for the Nationals to prevail as the Marlins continued to struggle at the plate against a division nemesis that has had their number since early August.
“They were coming in ready to swing at the fastball and I was leaving it a lot over the middle of the plate,” Peters said. “You just have to keep chucking away. I just have to keep my head down and keep working and get ready for my next start.”
Hialeah native Gio Gonzalez, in particular, continued to torment the Marlins.
Although not his best outing against his hometown team, Gonzalez kept the Marlins off the board for five innings, allowing only three hits, three walks and striking out four on 101 pitches.
In five starts against the Marlins this season, Gonzalez allowed only four runs in 33 innings pitched (1.09 ERA) and had 30 strikeouts with only 10 walks.
The Marlins had their chances to score on Gonzalez, loading the bases in the fourth inning with no outs on a pair of walks and a single by Christian Yelich.
But the Marlins came up empty after a hard-luck line drive by J.T. Realmuto was snared by Trea Turner. Gonzalez proceeded to strike out Tyler Moore and Brian Anderson.
“J.T.’s ball has a chance to flip the game right there,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It could be one that’s in the seam and gets three [runs] right there and you have a new game. He had close to 100 pitches in five innings so it wasn’t like we were just up there hacking. I’m reaching for straws at this point to find a reason why [we’re not hitting].”
▪ Mattingly said before Wednesday’s game that Justin Bour remains on track for a potential return as early as this weekend in Atlanta.
Bour, who has already played three games for Double A Jacksonville last weekend, was scheduled to play full nine-inning games Wednesday and Thursday during the Jumbo Shrimp’s Southern League playoff series against Pensacola.
Bour (right oblique strain) has been on the disabled list since July 25.
▪ Ichiro Suzuki recorded his 25th pinch-hit of the season, moving him into a third-place tie all-time with Jose Morales (1976). Ichiro is three pinch-hits short of the single-season record set by John Vander Wal in 1995.