WASHINGTON -- The Marlins on Sunday discovered the path to success against the Nationals. It was going from station to station.J.T. Realmuto had a career-high five hits and drove in three runs, and the Marlins used a 22-hit attack -- with 20 of them being singles -- to trip up
WASHINGTON -- The Marlins on Sunday discovered the path to success against the Nationals. It was going from station to station.
J.T. Realmuto had a career-high five hits and drove in three runs, and the Marlins used a 22-hit attack -- with 20 of them being singles -- to trip up the Nationals, 10-2, claiming the finale of a rough weekend series at Nationals Park.
Martin Prado added four hits and JT Riddle had three, while the bullpen combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings, including two by Adam Conley, who was credited with the win.
"It feels like every time a team just really kicks the dog out of us, it feels like the next day we respond really well," said Realmuto, who was named to his first All-Star team after the game. "That just shows the kind of guys we have in the clubhouse -- a lot of gritty guys that show up to play every day, and kind of put the last day behind them. That's what we need to do moving forward."
The Marlins were thumped on Saturday, 18-4, and in the series opener on Thursday, they let a nine-run lead slip away in a 14-12 defeat.
"It was huge for us to end the series on a good note," said Realmuto, who raised his season average to .317. "Obviously, we feel like, at the worst, we should have split this series. Just coming away with a win today, and not getting swept, hopefully it gives us momentum for the next time we play them."
Before unleashing a pesky one-base-at-a-time attack, the Marlins had dropped the first three in the four-game set and were outscored 35-18 entering the series finale. Miami also snapped a string of 14 straight losses to the Nationals dating back to last August.
It wasn't until the ninth inning that Miami had an extra-base hit. After 19 straight singles, Justin Bour delivered a two-run double, and Prado added a run-scoring double later in the frame.
"When you play these good teams, you've got to keep going," Prado said. "They don't stop. I don't think we have to stop, either. It was good to have those runs to open the game up at the end. Pretty good win for the team."
The last time a club finished with as many as 19 hits, with all being singles, was the Dodgers against the Reds on June 3, 1988.
Beating the Nationals finally put to bed the longest losing streak against any opponent in Marlins history. The last team to drop 14 in a row to the same club was the Reds to the Cardinals from Sept. 14, 2017, to June 9, 2018.
"The biggest difference today was it seemed like we got the big hit when we needed it with two outs," manager Don Mattingly said. "We drove in runs with two outs, we got hits that kind of extended innings. We kept tacking on runs. And they had a lot of guys out there. We were able to get some big outs today. It was good to put one on the board."
Miami was able to chip away early on Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark, scoring three in the second while sending nine batters to the plate. Cameron Maybin had an RBI single and Realmuto provided a two-run hit. In the fourth inning, Miami added a run on Riddle's two-out RBI hit.
Both starters had their struggles, with Marlins rookie Trevor Richards working just 3 2/3 innings while allowing a career-high seven walks, with one intentional. In three of the four innings Richards started, he walked the leadoff batter, which helped run his pitch count up to 87 before he was lifted with the bases full and two outs in the fourth, and Miami clinging to a 4-2 lead.
Drew Rucinski worked out of the bases-loaded jam, getting Mark Reynolds to bounce into a forceout. Reynolds had reached safely in his previous eight plate appearances, going 7-for-7 with 11 RBIs before his forceout.
After the Marlins broke the game open in the ninth, Reynolds came in to record the final out.
"Sometimes in these types of games it's about having results as a team, and not individuals," Prado said. "It was huge to know that every single guy, we stuck with our approach the whole game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shutdown innings: In the first three games, the Nationals were able to do major damage against the Marlins' bullpen, scoring 21 runs. On Sunday, the 'pen slowed Washington's offense down. Conley, especially, did his part, striking out four over two innings. Conley bridged the game from the fifth to the seventh. The lone baserunner he allowed came on Realmuto's passed ball after Trea Turner struck out. But the next batter, Juan Soto, lined out to left field, preserving the Marlins' 4-2 lead.
On Thursday, Turner's grand slam off Conley gave the Nationals the lead for good.
"If [Conley] does half of that the other day, we win," Mattingly said. "It was good to see him make adjustments, and get back on track."
Brian Anderson had a single in the seventh inning, giving him 99 hits for the season. That ties Alex Gonzalez (1999) for the most by a Marlins rookie before the All-Star break.
HE SAID IT
"I think we did a pretty good job of making those guys throw the ball over the plate. We just didn't do enough on the pitching side this series, but we actually did a pretty good job offensively." -- Mattingly, summing up the series
Returning to Miami will be a relief for the Marlins after a rough weekend in Washington. Jose Urena, coming off five scoreless innings against the Rays, gets the start in the series opener against the Brewers on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. In 17 career innings vs. Milwaukee, Urena has a 6.35 ERA. Chase Anderson starts for the Brewers at Marlins Park.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.