The Marlins started the series putting up a good fight against Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
They couldn’t muster much more against the rest of the pitchers they faced this weekend and were swept by the Nationals after a 5-2 loss Sunday before a crowd of 11,651 at Marlins Park.
Justin Bour hit his team-leading 10th home run in the eighth inning, and J.T. Realmuto pushed home a run with a double the prior inning.
Too much damage had been done by then though as the Nationals (29-22) beat the Marlins (19-33) for the 11th consecutive time, which according to the Elias Sports Bureau is tied for the second-longest active streak by one team over another. It's the Marlins' longest-ever losing streak to the Nationals.
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"We just couldn't get a whole lot going and that was kind of the theme of the series in general," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We had competitive at-bats, but we just couldn't get anything going."
Stephen Strasburg pitched five shutout innings to pick up the win, striking out eight, walking two and allowing only three hits. The Marlins left nine runners on base.
It was the 23rd time this season the Marlins were held to two runs or fewer, and they fell to 4-19 in those games. Miami owns baseball’s worst run differential at minus-95.
Rookie Elieser Hernandez made his third career start, and gave up two runs on six hits, while striking out three in five innings.
After an efficient first three frames in which he threw only 33 pitches, the Nationals broke through in the fourth on a solo home run by Anthony Rendon.
"He was really sharp early, but then there in the fourth he got behind in a lot of counts," Mattingly said. "That's one of the things that's been impressive is when he's been able to stay ahead in the count. In general, he bounces back from that. You don't just see him get beat up. He keeps throwing strikes and keeps making you earn what you get."
Hernandez gave up four extra-base hits, the last of which led to Washington’s second run after Wilmer Difo tripled in the fifth and came around to score on a single by Strasburg.
"I was executing my pitches at the beginning, but I thought I lost myself there a little bit and made some mistakes to a couple of those hitters and paid the consequences," Hernandez said.
The Nationals did more damage to Jarlin Garcia, who is on an innings limit this season, and pitched for only the second time in the past 15 days.
Garcia had another rough outing, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks and did not record a strikeout. Garcia also gave up a solo home run to Bryce Harper in the sixth when he crushed a 93 mph fastball from Garcia.
It was Harper’s National League-leading 16th home run and the 11th home run surrendered by Garcia this season in 47 innings pitched.
Realmuto’s double to left scored Yadiel Rivera, but the Marlins stranded runners on second and third when Starlin Castro grounded out on the ensuing at-bat.
REMEMBERING A LEGEND
Rafael “Felo” Ramirez was an iconic baseball figure in Latin America and the beloved Spanish-language voice of the Miami Marlins for over a quarter of a century.
A new book titled “Felo Ramirez, The Oracle of the Narrative,” was recently published in Spanish by Omar Claro, a radio broadcaster for Radio Caracol 1260 AM in Miami. The book, available on Amazon.com, tells the story of Ramirez’s legendary 72-year broadcasting career that began in Cuba calling baseball games and boxing matches, continued to the Major Leagues and eventually earned him a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Ramirez, who broadcast over 30 World Series and All-Star Games and was still broadcasting Marlins games both home and away until shortly before his death, passed away at age 94 on August 21, 2017 due to complications stemming from a fall he suffered while getting off the team bus on April 26 in Philadelphia.
Monday: Miami Marlins LHP Caleb Smith (3-5, 3.83 ERA) vs. San Diego Padres LHP Eric Lauer (1-2, 6.67), 4:10 p.m., Petco Park.
Tuesday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (2-0, 3.12 ERA) vs. Padres RHP Tyson Ross (4-3, 3.13), 10:10 p.m., Petco Park.