Marlins lose on historic night for Reynolds, Nats

Washington infielder homers twice, drives in 10 runs in 18-4 rout

July 8th, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Home runs are hard to come by at any time off Max Scherzer. Doing it two straight at-bats is even more of a rare occurrence.
The Marlins were able to strike twice in the fourth inning on Saturday -- with and J.T. Realmuto connecting on back-to-back home runs off the two-time reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. But, overall, the more damaging big blasts were provided by , who had a historic night, belting two home runs and driving in 10 in Washington's 18-4 rout of Miami at Nationals Park.
"They're a good club," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I know they haven't played up to what they think they're going to be this year, but we know they have a good club. We haven't had any success with them for a while now. They're a good lineup, up and down. But we've pitched better than this. You still have to get the ball where you want to."
The Marlins have now dropped the first three games of the series, and 14 straight overall to Washington dating back to last August. That's the longest such streak against any club in franchise history.
A walk-off hero with a home run in the ninth inning on Friday in the Nationals' 3-2 win, Reynolds picked things up on Saturday, matching the Nationals' franchise record with 10 RBIs. The veteran started things off with a two-run homer off in the second inning.

Starting at first base, Reynolds went 5-for-5 and was a triple shy of a cycle. Going back to his walk-off homer on Friday, he now has RBI hits in six straight at-bats. In the sixth inning, he blasted a three-run homer off .
"He's swinging the bat good, obviously," Mattingly said. "We've seen him swing the bat good in the past, also. I know there are certain areas [of the strike zone] you've got to get to with him, and we haven't been able to get to those areas. Between him and [Matt] Adams over there at first, I don't think we've been able to get either one of them, it feels like."
The Marlins have now dropped the first three games of the series, and 14 straight overall to Washington dating back to last August. That's the longest such streak against any club in franchise history.
Washington broke things open with a season-high seven runs in the fifth inning off Chen, who was charged with seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, and Hernandez. Chen's rough outing inflated his road ERA to 10.47, a dramatic difference from his 1.89 ERA at home.
"I think they were doing a great job of fouling off pitches," Chen said through an interpreter. "I was able to get the first two strikes, but it was tough to get the third strike to get hitters out. They probably had a pretty good game plan against me, so it was tough for me to get a third strike."
Until the Nationals seized control with their explosive fifth inning, the Marlins made Scherzer work. Castro and Realmuto became the first Marlins to belt back-to-back homers this season. In the seventh inning, joined the action, with his first big league home run.

"I thought we did a decent job with Scherzer," Mattingly said. "Obviously, those two homers there kind of get us back in it."
Scherzer allowed three home runs and four runs in seven innings. The veteran right-hander entered the game having surrendered 10 homers in 120 2/3 innings.
Before the game got out of hand, Scherzer was making quick work early of the Marlins. He had retired nine straight before Castro, on a 2-2 curveball, deposited the ball into the seats in left field in the fourth. Realmuto followed, with his home run coming on an 0-2 slider.
Off the bat, the question was if Realmuto's fly ball would remain fair. Initially, Realmuto gave the drive a look, drifting slowly down the line, until he realized the ball would indeed be gone.
Statcast™ projected Castro's home run, his sixth of the season, at 406 feet with an exit velocity of 98.1 mph. Realmuto's was listed at 396 feet, and the ball came off the bat at 102.7 mph.
Realmuto, making his claim to be an All-Star for the first time, now has 12 home runs.
The 18 runs allowed were the second highest of the season for Miami. On April 7 at the Phillies, the Marlins lost 20-1.
"We've really thrown the ball pretty well overall this season," Mattingly said. "But we've had a rough series so far. Hopefully Trevor [Richards] gets us on track tomorrow, and we can put a win together and move on."
Richards, a rookie, starts the finale on Sunday afternoon.

Big fifth: Well before the game got out of hand, the Marlins pulled even at 3-3 in the fifth on ' RBI single, which scored JT Riddle, who tripled. Things turned rapidly in the bottom of the inning. Scherzer got the seven-run frame started with a single to center. Miami actually had a chance to perhaps turn a double play on 's grounder to second, which Castro bobbled and still was able to get the force out of Scherzer at second. But rather than two out and no one on, the Nationals had one out and Turner on first. Washington took advantage, and batted around, with capping the scoring with a three-run homer.
"If he gets the two-ball there, it's two outs and nobody on," Mattingly said. "It just gets away there with his pitch count."
Another misplay in the inning was overthrowing the cutoff man on 's two-run double in the fifth inning.
"We kind of give them five outs there," Mattingly said of the fifth inning. "That was a tough inning for us defensively. And then we couldn't stop them after that. There wasn't a whole lot we could do."

Chen has been working on his hitting, and it paid off with a single off Scherzer in the fifth inning. Chen, who broke in with the Orioles and spent four season in the American League, was just 3-for-75 entering Saturday. The single to center came in his second at-bat.
"I really don't worry about them, honestly. These games don't feel good. These games are not games that you want to go through, but it is what it is on certain nights, you end up not being able to stop people. I've played in series like this, where you score about a run in a series, and then it turns around in the next series." -- Mattingly on not worrying about the young Marlins' club letting down after three straight losses at Washington.
Richards, who has worked as many as six innings once in his last four starts, takes the hill for the Marlins on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET in the series finale at Nationals Park. goes for Washington. Richards has never faced the Nationals and has a 6.08 road ERA.