Marlins hang on in D.C. for Latos' first win
WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Mat Latos proved to be too much for the Nationals on Tuesday night, as the Marlins won, 2-1, at Nationals Park.
Latos lasted 6 1/3 innings and allowed the one run on two hits. He earned his first win of the season, racking up six strikeouts and issuing five walks. The run came in the second inning, when Ryan Zimmerman scored on a groundout by Dan Uggla.
Stephen Strasburg started for Washington and was saddled with his third loss of the season after allowing two runs in the second inning. He left the game after throwing three innings because of a shoulder injury.
With the victory, the Marlins improved to 13-14, while the Nationals (13-15) saw their three-game winning streak snapped.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Marlins do their damage in the second: The bottom four hitters in the Marlins' lineup all reached base in succession to begin the second inning against Strasburg. Before the Nats could record an out, Miami had a 2-0 lead. Catcher J.T. Realmuto led off with a triple down the left-field line and scored on an RBI single from Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro moved to second after Adeiny Hechavarria was hit by a pitch. Ichiro then scored from second after Strasburg's throwing error on Latos' sacrifice bunt. Strasburg fielded the ball cleanly but threw low to Uggla, who was pulled off the bag and bobbled the throw.
Strasburg leaves game: With two outs in the second inning and the Marlins leading, 2-0, Nationals manager Matt Williams, pitching coach Steve McCatty and athletic trainer Lee Kuntz went to the mound and checked on Strasburg. But Strasburg stayed in the game until right-hander Doug Fister came in as a pinch-hitter and singled to right in the bottom of the third inning. Williams said Strasburg was dealing with irritation underneath his right shoulder blade, which could be "an alignment issue." More >
Latos impresses: Six days after exiting his last start in the fifth inning with a strained hamstring, Latos threw a season-high 102 pitches for his first win with the Marlins. The right-hander had been on a personal seven-game winless drought (dating to last season). More >
Nats bullpen comes through: Left-hander Sammy Solis replaced Strasburg and pitched three shutout innings, allowing just one hit to Martin Prado. In two games, Solis, the Nationals' 28th-best prospect, has turned in five shutout innings. Blake Treinen, Matt Thornton and Aaron Barrett combined for three shutout innings.
"The good thing about Sammy is that he is a former starter and he understands how to pace himself," Williams said. "He threw the ball really well. He kept us in the game and allowed us to have chances to win it." More >
Cishek earns save: Despite Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond both reaching base to begin the bottom of the ninth, the Nationals left the potential tying and winning runs stranded as Marlins closer Steve Cishek recorded the final three outs for his third save of the season. Uggla bunted into a fielder's choice with Cishek throwing out pinch-runner Danny Espinosa at third base for the first out. Cishek then struck out Michael Taylor and Tyler Moore to end the game.
"That's probably the best that I've felt all year. The velocity on my fastball was a little higher than normal early in the game. I had good command of my curveball, better command of my slider and my changeup as well, so it was good to be able to mix them all together. I got to pitch downhill like I need to and pound the bottom of the strike zone." -- Latos
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• The Marlins' win came on manager Mike Redmond's 44th birthday. Miami improved to 3-0 on Redmond's birthday since 2013.
"Is there any way we can get tomorrow to be my birthday, too?" Redmond joked in the clubhouse. "Is there any carryover effect?"
• Fister became the fourth pitcher in Nationals history to collect a pinch hit, joining Luis Ayala, Livan Hernandez and Beltran Perez.
Marlins: Tom Koehler will face the Nationals for the second time in two weeks in Wednesday's series finale at 1:05 p.m. ET. The right-hander had his best start of the season in an 8-0 win against the Nationals on April 25 in Miami. Koehler threw a season-high 7 1/3 shutout innings and allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six.
Nationals: Washington counters with right-hander Max Scherzer, who has made five quality starts in as many appearances for the Nationals but has a 1-3 record to show for it. The Nationals have scored an average of 2.78 runs in Scherzer's starts, the 13th-lowest run support among qualified pitchers in the National League (entering Tuesday).