JT Riddle couldn’t do it alone, so Isaac Galloway added a helping hand as the Marlins ended a pair of losing streaks with a 7-5 victory over the Nationals in 10 innings.
Riddle drove in four runs as the Marlins ended their six-game losing skid, including a franchise-record 12 straight on the road. But it was Galloway who came up with the big hit late, a two-run single in the 10th to propel the win-starved Marlins to a much-needed victory.
“It’s been a while,” said manager Don Mattingly of the losing drought.
Riddle drove in four runs, including a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning off Justin Miller. But the Nationals tied it when Adam Eaton culminated a 9-pitch at bat with a home run off Drew Steckenrider.
Galloway took Steckenrider off the hook when, after the Nationals walked Riddle intentionally to load the bases, he drove a bases-loaded single to center off Koda Glover, scoring the go-ahead runs.
“It’s almost like they’re challenging you,” Galloway said of the decision to walk Riddle to get to him.
The Marlins received a surprisingly effective outing from Wei-Yin Chen, who has struggled mightily on the road this season. Chen owned the worst road numbers of any qualified starter in the majors with a 1-6 record and 10.27 ERA. But other than the two-run homer he gave up to Trea Turner, Chen was sharp, going 5 2/3 innings and holding the Nationals to a pair of runs on five hits. He struck out three and didn’t issue any walks.
Alas, Chen failed to earn the win when the bullpen failed to hold the 4-2 lead he left behind in the sixth.
The Nationals tied it in the seventh with two runs off Tayron Guerrero, who hurt himself by hitting a batter to load the bases and uncorking a wild pitch to score one of the runs. Turner’s bloop single tied it before Adam Conley took over and worked out of the jam by getting Juan Soto to ground into a double play.
While Chen was getting rid of his road demons, Riddle was showing signs of ending his second-half hitting slump by equaling career highs with both his four RBI and three hits. Riddle, who had a pair of hits in Friday’s 8-2 loss to the Nationals, had driven in just one run since the All-Star break.
Riddle has been receiving extensive tutorial help in the batting cages to help get him out of his slump.
“I guess for the past week I’ve been really focusing on my hands, and keeping my hands above the ball, and keeping my swing short,” Riddle said. “For me, I think it’s a pretty significant adjustment from what I’m used to.”
All three of Riddle’s hits either tied the score or gave the Marlins the lead. He tied the game 2-2 in the fifth with his RBI double, gave the Marlins a 4-2 lead in the sixth with a two-run single and, after the Nationals had tied it in the seventh, gave the Marlins the lead for good with his sixth home run of the season.
Riddle’s teammates awarded him the “MVP Chain” for Saturday’s performance.
“It was a huge win for us, especially to bounce back twice tonight after they tied the game up,” Riddle said. “We could have very easily shut it down when they came back and tied it up, and shut it down again when they tied it up again in the ninth.”
Brett Graves worked the 10th for his first major league save.
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