What could have been a dramatic comeback win for the Miami Marlins turned into their 101st loss of the season on Saturday night.
After the Marlins (53-101) erased a 4-0 deficit with a four-run eighth inning to force extras at Marlins Park, the Washington Nationals (85-68) used a big frame of their own to come away with a 10-4 victory in 10 innings.
The Nationals scored six runs on five hits in the 10th to clinch the extra-innings win, with the help of RBI singles from Brian Dozier and Adam Eaton, and a double from Kurt Suzuki that brought in three runs. Marlins relievers Jose Urena and Josh Smith allowed three runs each in the inning.
The Nationals were cruising until the Marlins’ offense strung together four hits for four runs off reliever Fernando Rodney in the eighth inning.
Trailing 4-0 entering the bottom half of the eighth, the Marlins’ four-run frame began with an RBI double from Starlin Castro, who has driven in a run in three consecutive games. Then Austin Dean lined a bases-clearing double with the bases loaded to tie the score.
The Marlins found success against the Nationals’ bullpen, but couldn’t solve starter Stephen Strasburg. In seven scoreless innings, Strasburg limited the Marlins to three hits while striking out six batters.
The night marked Jordan Yamamoto’s return to the mound, as he made his first start for the Marlins since Aug. 24 due to a right forearm strain. In the 14th start of Yamamoto’s season and major-league career, the rookie allowed two runs on six hits while striking out three and walking three in 4 1/3 innings.
“I felt healthy,” Yamamoto said. “I felt good. ... But it’s got to be more efficient. It’s been done, people can go through six or seven innings with 80 pitches. So me only going through 4 1/3 innings, it’s a disappointment to myself and to the team.”
It marked just the second time Yamamoto has allowed fewer than four runs over his past eight starts. Saturday’s outing can be labeled as a step in the right direction, considering the 8.13 ERA he posted over his previous seven starts.
“I thought Jordan was OK for not pitching in a while,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “For the most part, he was in the strike zone changing speeds. At times, it looks like he got a little tentative and didn’t stay aggressive with his stuff. But for him to kind of hang in to that point, I thought was good for him.”
The Nationals opened the scoring in the second inning with a two-out RBI single from Strasburg. Washington added to its 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on another two-out RBI single, this time from Asdrubal Cabrera, to put Miami in a 2-0 hole.
In the eighth, the Nationals tacked on two runs off reliever Tayron Guerrero to take a 4-0 lead before the Marlins went on to force extra innings.
The Marlins play their final home game of the season Sunday, when they close their three-game series against the Nationals at 1:10 p.m.