Lime green outfield fence. Fish tanks built into the walls behind home. Slightly psychedelic Red Grooms' home run sculpture in center field. Plenty of empty seats. Washington's three-game, first-half-ending series with the Miami Marlins in Marlins Park started with the Nationals loading the bases against Fish starter Nathan Eovaldi, the one-time LA Dodgers' prospect acquired in the July 2012 trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to Los Angeles. Ryan Zimmerman stepped to the plate against the Marlins' 23-year-old right-hander and K'd looking at an 0-2 slider outside that was called strike three by home plate umpire Jerry Layne. Adam LaRoche got hold of a 97 mph 2-1 heater in the next at bat, however, and two runs scored when the Nats' first baseman doubled to the corner in right off the Fish starter. Jayson Werth drove Bryce Harper in from third with a groundout to short in the next at bat to make it 3-0 Nationals after a 32-pitch first by Eovaldi.
Stephen Strasburg walked Justin Ruggiano when he "missed" with a 95 mph 3-1 fastball outside in the first at bat of the Marlins' first, then pretty much let the Marlins' outfielder steal second with Giancarlo Stanton at the plate. Stanton took the second walk of the first from the Nats' right-handed starter and Logan Morrison took the third as Strasburg walked the bases loaded after 20 pitches in the bottom of the first. Two pitches later it was a 3-3 game after Miami center fielder Marcell Ozuna cleared the bases with a three-run triple to center on a 1-0 fastball from Strasburg. Derek Dietrich's single to right made it 4-3 Marlins and Dietrich went first-to-third on an Adeiny Hechavarria opposite field single. One-out later Nathan Eovaldi hit another opposite field single to right to bring Dietrich in and make it 5-3 Miami after one in Marlins Park. Strasburg's line after 1.0: 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 36 P, 16 S.
Wilson Ramos walked in a six-pitch at bat in the top of the second and two outs later he was standing on second base after a sac bunt by Stephen Strasburg and fly to center by Denard Span when Ian Desmond struck out chasing a 1-2 slider outside to end a 17-pitch second by Nathan Eovaldi. Stephen Strasburg issued his fourth walk of the game to Marlins' third baseman Ed Lucas in the first at bat of the home-half of the second. Giancarlo Stanton's seven-pitch at bat against the Nats' starter ended with a two-run home run to right that left the Marlins' slugger 1 for 1 with a walk and a home run tonight and 7 for 17 with four doubles and three home runs vs Strasburg early in their respective careers. 66 pitches in 2.0 IP. 7-3 Fish.
Nathan Eovaldi was at 60 pitches total after an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the third. Stephen Strasburg was replaced by Ross Ohlendorf in the bottom of the inning. Strasburg's line: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 66 P, 33 S. Ohlendorf put two runners on, but completed a scoreless bottom of the third on 20 pitches. Still 7-3 Fish.
Wilson Ramos reached first safely on a two-out single in the fourth that Nathan Eovaldi tried to barehand but missed, but the Marlins' starter struck Ross Ohlendorf out to end a 13-pitch inning, after which he was up to 73 pitches overall. Ohlendorf's 14-pitch fourth had him at 33 total in 2.0 scoreless after taking over for Strasburg.
The Nationals went down in order in a 10-pitch fifth by Nathan Eovaldi, who was up to 83 total after five. Ross Ohlendorf's 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth against Derek Dietrich, Adeiny Hechavarria and Rob Brantly had the right-hander with the old-timey delivery up to 46 pitches after three scoreless. 7-3 Fish after five.
Giancarlo Stanton caught a fly to right off Ryan Zimmerman's bat near the top of the fence for the first out of the Nationals' sixth. Adam LaRoche couldn't check his swing and he was punched out on an 0-2 slider on Nathan Eovaldi's 92nd pitch of the night. Jayson Werth walked with two down, but Anthony Rendon's fly to right ended the top of the sixth after 19 pitches from the Marilns' starter, who was at 100 pitches even after six.
Ross Ohlendorf issued a two-out walk to Ed Lucas in the bottom of the sixth, but a 23-pitch inning ended when the Nats' right-hander struck Giancarlo Stanton out with his 66th pitch in 4.0 scoreless innings in relief. Still 7-3 Marlins in Miami.
Denard Span singled to right with two down in the seventh against Marlins' right-hander Ryan Webb and stole second with Ian Desmond at the plate. Desmond took a two-out walk from the Fish reliever, who was replaced by left-hander Mike Dunn, who got a fly to deep center by Bryce Harper for out no.3 of the top of the seventh. 7-3 Marlins after six and a half. Derek Dietrich reached on an infield single Anthony Rendon couldn't scoop with his glove, and then scored on a two-out RBI double by Marlins' shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria off Nationals' lefty Fernando Abad. 8-3 Miami in the bottom of the seventh.
Jayson Werth doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard in left on a 2-1 slider with two down in the top of the eighth, and Marlins' lefty Mike Dunn walked Anthony Rendon to put two on for Wilson Ramos, whose grounder to the mound ended the top of the frame. Fernando Abad gave up a two-out single but completed a scoreless eighth after which it was still 8-3 Fish.
Steve Lombardozzi singled to left off Chad Qualls in the top of the ninth. Denard Span K'd looking at a 2-2 slider outside. Ian Desmond chased an 0-2 slider outside. Bryce Harper walked with two down, but Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to end it. Marlins win, 8-3 final.
Nationals now 47-46