Miami Marlins

A historic game by Nationals journeyman Mark Reynolds leads to latest Marlins debacle

Mark Reynolds was a walk-off hero against the Marlins on Friday.

He recorded one of the most prolific offensive games in Major League Baseball history at their expense on Saturday.

Reynolds, a 34-year old journeyman infielder that signed with the Nationals in mid-April, totaled 10 RBI to tie a franchise record, and ignited Washington’s 18-4 blowout win over the Marlins.

A night after he hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth off closer Kyle Barraclough, Reynolds went 5 for 5 with two more home runs, a double and two singles as the Nationals (45-43) extended their franchise-record winning streak against the Marlins (36-55) to 14 games, which is also a franchise-record losing streak for Miami against a single opponent.

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Mark Reynolds celebrated after hitting a home run for Washington on July 7. Reynolds has 10 home runs this season, bringing his career total to 291 in 12 major league seasons. Scott Taetsch AP

Reynolds, who is playing for his eighth major-league team, became the 15th player in MLB history to record 10 or more RBI in a game and the first since the Reds’ Scooter Gennett did on June 6, 2017.

"He's swinging the bat good right now and we've seen that from him in the past also," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I know there's certain areas you have to get to [as a pitcher] with him and we haven't been able to get to those areas."

Reynolds’ big night came two days after Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner posted eight RBI in the Marlins’ 14-12 loss to Washington on Thursday when Miami let a franchise-worst nine-run lead slip away.

Reynolds’ two-run home run in the second inning and run-scoring double in the fourth came off Wei-Yin Chen and twice gave the Nationals leads.

Starlin Castro and J.T. Realmuto hit back-to-back solo home runs off Max Scherzer to tie the game at 2 in the fourth inning.

It was the first time this season the Marlins hit consecutive home runs and the first time since their former catcher A.J. Ellis and Miguel Rojas did on Sept. 20 of last year.

The Marlins tied the game at 3 in the fifth inning on a triple from JT Riddle and a single by Miguel Rojas.

Then the Nationals then struck for seven in the fifth inning to break the game open as 10 batters came to the plate.

Max Scherzer led off that inning with a single. Things may have gone differently had Castro fielded a grounder by Turner cleanly and started a double play. After that, Juan Soto singled and Anthony Rendon hit a two-run double that began the onslaught.

"We kind of give them five outs that inning and that was a tough one defensively," Mattingly said. "And then we just couldn't stop them after that. There was not a whole lot we could do."

Chen’s road struggles continued as he gave up seven runs on seven hits and two walks (one intentional) and struck out three.

Chen’s road ERA ballooned to 10.47 in eight starts (32 2/3 innings pitched) and is 1-5 away from Miami. At home, Chen is 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA in six starts (33 1/3 innings).

"Their hitters did a really good job fouling off pitches so I was able to get the first two strikes, but it was hard to get that third strike and get anyone out," Chen said. "They had a pretty good game plan against me."

Elieser Hernandez came on in relief, but took a pounding also as he gave up 10 runs on eight hits (two home runs) in 2 1/3 innings.

Both home runs came on two-strike counts as Castro homered off a 79.3 mph curveball. Realmuto’s home run came on a 0-2 count off an 86.3 mph slider. Entering the game, opposing batters were hitting .076 when down 0-2 in the count against Scherzer.

Yadiel Rivera played his first career game in center field for the Marlins, and hit his first career homer with a solo off Scherzer in the seventh inning. Rivera matched a club record held by Alfredo Amezaga for most positions played in a season.

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