Aguilar's blast lifts Marlins to best record vs. Nats since 2011

July 3rd, 2022

WASHINGTON -- ’s big bat was again a big lift for the Marlins.

His homer, double and two runs scored boosted Miami to a season series win over the Nationals, 5-3, on Saturday at Nationals Park.

The Marlins have now homered in three consecutive games.

With injuries shelving power hitters Jorge Soler (13 home runs) and Jazz Chisholm, Jr. (14 home runs) for the next week or so, round-trippers from Avisaíl García, Brian Anderson and Aguilar the last three games have been welcome additions for a lineup looking to turn up the offense.

Miami has scored five or more runs in back-to-back games for the first time since June 21 and 22.

“We're getting a lot of contributions from different guys really kind of all over the board, from [Jon Berti] and [Miguel Rojas] and Joey [Wendle] now and [Anderson], and we get the big home run from [García], we get a home run today from Aggy,” said manager Don Mattingly. “[Garrett Cooper’s] kind of been steady through it all. We've kind of played solid these last three."

The Marlins have dominated the Nats this season, going 10-1 and winning all five matchups in D.C. It marks the first time the club has won 10 or more games against the Nats since 2011, when they went 11-7 against Washington. They have won three in a row on the road for the first time since April 28, and are 36-40 overall.

"It's a team that looks very complete, that can play really, really good baseball and we can [get to] .500,” Aguilar said via team interpreter Luis Dorante. “It's something that we've got to continue playing hard for the whole season and make those games."

Aguilar connected for his 10th home run of the season to get the offense going in the first inning. The two-run blast off Nationals starter Jackson Tetreault was Aguilar’s first homer since June 14. The long ball traveled 412 feet, with an exit velocity of 104.9 mph, over the left-field wall.

"I was just trying to be aggressive in the at-bat,” said Aguilar. “I found a good pitch right there and just went for it and made good contact and we were able to get the go-ahead run."

Juan Soto finally got to Marlins starter in the sixth, but by that time, the Marlins were in control of the game.

Soto’s solo shot led off the bottom of the sixth, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 4-3. It was only the fourth hit the left-hander had allowed, and his sole earned run.

When Mattingly came out to lift Castano after the homer, the left-hander fist-bumped all of his teammates on the mound before heading to the dugout.

"Yeah, I feel good,” said Castano. “I am confident where I am at. Today is a day I'm really thankful for [pitching coach] Mel [Stottlemyre Jr.] and Nick [Fortes]. Those guys have faced the Nationals a million times. I really haven't that many times as a starter, kind of as a reliever.

“Today was more like, make the big pitch, execute the game plan and get out of trouble. So it was a good team win."

The win was Castano’s first as a starter. The first win of his career came in the final game of the regular season in 2020, when he tossed 6 1/3 innings of relief at Yankee Stadium to beat New York, 5-0.

"It's sweet,” Castano said. “It was great. Kind of a nice, like, ‘all right, finally.’ I have had some close opportunities. I've come out of games 4 2/3 innings a couple of times. It's special because starting is hard. There are so many different dynamics, so many things can happen. At the end of the day, my goal is for the team to win, and if I get a win because of it, sweet."