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Nationals Blow Lead In Ninth, Lose 2-1 To Marlins On Ed Lucas' Walk-Off Grounder

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The Washington Nationals took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but Miami Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton tied it up with a ninth inning home run and an error in the bottom of the tenth allowed the Fish to steal a 2-1 win over the visiting Nats.


Denard Span walked to start tonight's game against 2011 1st Round pick Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins, but the Washington Nationals' leadoff man was thrown out for the fourth time in 14 stolen base attempts this season by Fish catcher Jeff Mathis, who caught the 12th runner in 19 attempts against him so far in 2013. Fernandez needed 15 pitches to finish the first and after a 19-pitch bottom of the inning by Nats' starter Dan Haren, the Marlins' rookie got help from his defense again, with Ryan Zimmerman singling to start the second before Adam LaRoche's groundout to first trapped Zim in a rundown which ended in a double play. Jayson Werth's fly to left ended a 12-pitch second by Fernandez, after which the Fish hurler was at 27 pitches total in two scoreless frames.

Marcell Ozuna K'd swinging at a 2-2 splitter from Dan Haren, who had three K's in 1 1/3 IP. Derek Dietrich's grounder back to the mound gave the Nats' starter two quick outs and the full-count fastball he threw by Marlins' shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria gave him two scoreless innings on 37 pitches after an 18-pitch second.

Wilson Ramos singled to right with one down in the third and took second on a bunt by Dan Haren. Jose Fernandez and Denard Span battled for nine pitches to go to a full count, and the tenth pitch was outside as Span drew his second walk in two at bats to bring Ian Desmond to the plate with two on and two out. Desmond ripped into a first-pitch curve but flew out to Marcell Ozuna in center to end a 20-pitch third by the Marlins' starter that had Fernandez at 48 total.

Jeff Mathis singled to right on an 89 mph 2-1 fastball from Dan Haren and moved up when Jose Fernandez bunted him over/gave up an out. Haren threw a full-count fastball by Justin Ruggiano for the second out of the Marlins' third and his fifth K in 2 2/3 IP. Ed Lucas grounded out to short to strand Mathis at second and end a 16-pitch third that left Haren at 53 pitches overall.

20-year-old slugger Bryce Harper took the third walk of the game given up by Miami's 20-year-old starter Jose Fernandez in the first at bat of the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman popped to short on a 2-2 two-seamer from Fernandez, but a single to left by Adam LaRoche allowed Harper to take third even though he stopped for a moment between the bases before continuing to third when Justin Ruggiano's throw in behind Harper was off-target. Marcell Ozuna's throw home on a fly to center by Jayson Werth was on target, but Jeff Mathis couldn't hold on to it as he got run over by Harper in a violent collision at the plate. 1-0 Nationals in the fourth in Miami.

Dan Haren threw a full-count splitter by Giancarlo Stanton up high for the first out of the fourth and K no.6 in 3 1/3 IP, but the Nats' right-hander issued his first walk of the game to Logan Morrison in the next at bat. Marcell Ozuna flew out to right on a first pitch cutter for the second out of the inning, and a fly to center by Derek Dietrich ended Haren's fourth scoreless after 16 pitches with the Nationals' starter at 69 pitches overall.

Wilson Ramos reached on a throwing error by Marlins' third baseman Ed Lucas, but after Dan Haren bunted his catcher over/gave up an out, Denard Span grounded to second for the second out of the top of the fifth. Ian Desmond K'd looking at a 1-2 curve from Jose Fernandez to strand Ramos. 1-0 after four and a half. Adeiny Hechavarria flew out to Denard Span in center to start the Marlins' fifth. Jeff Mathis hit a weak fly to right that fell in for a single and allowed Fernandez to bunt his catcher over/give up an out, but a Justin Ruggiano fly to right ended Dan Haren's fifth scoreless after nine pitches. 78 total for the veteran starter.

Bryce Harper had a quick discussion with home plate ump Hunter Wendelstedt after he took back-to-back fastballs from Jose Fernandez that appeared outside for called strikes two and three and the first out of the Nationals' sixth. Ryan Zimmerman singled to right on a 1-0 curve, but Adam LaRoche popped to short for out no.2 and Werth flew to center to end the top of the inning, still 1-0 Nats. Ed Lucas popped a 1-2 splitter up to second. Giancarlo Stanton took a full-count cutter for a called strike three and Haren's seventh K. Logan Morrison took a 1-0 fastball to deep center field, but Denard Span caught it on the track some 410 feet from home for out no.3 of a 12-pitch sixth that had Haren at 90 pitches overall after six scoreless.

Roger Bernadina singled in a two-out pinch hit appearance that ended Dan Haren's night. Bernadina stole second on Marlins' right-hander Ryan Webb and catcher Jeff Mathis with Denard Span at the plate, but the Shark was stranded there when Span took a full-count sinker for a called strike three.

Haren's Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 90 P, 55 S, 5/2 GO/FO.

Drew Storen issued a five-pitch walk to Marcell Ozuna in the first at bat of the seventh. Storen dropped an 0-2 curve onto the outsider corner to get Marlins' second baseman Derek Dietrich looking for out no.1, and a first-pitch sinker to Adeiny Hechavarria got the Nats' reliever an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP. Nine-pitch inning. Still 1-0 Nats.

Ian Desmond walked to start the top of the eighth against Marlins' right-hander Ryan Webb, prompting Marlins' skipper Mike Redmond to go the pen for left-hander Dan Jennings. Bryce Harper took a 92 mph 0-2 fastball for a called strike three and when he went at Hunter Wendelstedt again, arguing demonstratively, he got tossed from the game. Desmond got caught stealing according to second base ump Mike Estabrook, bringing Davey Johnson out for a chat, but the umpire didn't change the call and Ryan Zimmerman flew out to end the Nationals' eighth.

Tyler Clippard took over in the bottom of the eighth walked the first batter he faced, Jeff Mathis. Clippard threw an 0-2 fastball by Donovan Solano for out no.1 of the Marlins' half of the inning. Justin Ruggiano lined to short for out no.2, but Desmond's throw to first pulled Adam LaRoche off the bag. No DP. Ed Lucas? Swinging K. 1-0 Nats after eight. 19-pitch inning for Clippard.

Marlins' right-hander A.J. Ramos struck Adam LaRoche out to start the ninth. Jayson Werth walked with one down, but Steve Lombardozzi and WIlson Ramos K'd swinging to end the top of the ninth. Cue his music...

1-0 Nationals after eight and a half. "Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano came out for the bottom of the ninth looking for save no. 25 of 2013. Soriano got ahead of Giancarlo Stanton, but a 1-2 fastball got launched to left for a game-tying solo home run that soared over the Clevelander for a 430 ft home run. 1-1 in the ninth. Logan Morrison K'd swinging for out no.1. Marcell Ozuna flew out to right for the second out of the ninth and Derek Dietrich grounded to first to send it to extras.

Chad Tracy singled off Marlins' reliever Steve Cisek to start the tenth, but he was cut down at second by Jeff Mathis on a weak bunt attempt by Denard Span. Ian Desmond lined to right for an opposite field single that moved Span over to second. Cisek threw a wild pitch with Scott Hairston at the plate, where Bryce Harper should have been, moving both runners into scoring position. Scott Hairston K'd swinging at a 1-2 sinker for out no.2. An 0-2 slider got Ryan Zimmerman swinging. 1-1 after nine and a half.

Chad Tracy took over at first in the bottom of the tenth, and of course, after fielding a ball hit to him by Marlins' shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, Tracy committed a throwing error that put the winning run at second with no one out. Craig Stammen walked Jeff Mathis in the next at bat. Placido Polanco bunted both runners over. Stammen walked Justin Ruggiano intentionally to load the bases, and they almost got a double play, but after Steve Lombardozzi got the force at second, the throw to first was late. 2-1 Marlins. Ballgame.

Nationals now 47-47