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Nationals can't contain Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins win 3-2

Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams declined to share the Nats' scouting report on Giancarlo Stanton after the Miami Marlins' slugger went 3 for 4 with a double and a home run in today's game. He said you should avoid throwing him hanging sliders though.

Mitchell Layton

Miami Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton entered this afternoon's Memorial Day matinee in the nation's capital with a .307/.398/.599 line on the year, 12 doubles and 14 HRs in 51 games and 221 PAs.

Against the Washington Nationals, the 24-year-old power-hitting outfielder started the three-game set in D.C. with a .307/.398/.674 line, 19 doubles and 20 HRs in 60 games and 249 plate appearances with a .320/.403/.736 line, 13 of his 19 doubles and 13 of his 20 home runs in 33 games and 144 PA in Nationals Park.

"I'll tell you this, if it's a hanging breaking ball he can hit it over the fence, and that's what it was." - Matt Williams on Tanner Roark's hanger to Stanton

After his first at bat of the game, Stanton was up to 14 doubles in 145 PAs in the Nats' home.

When Nationals' starter Tanner Roark hung a first-pitch slider to Stanton with a runner on in the top of the third, he added his 14th home run in 146 PAs in Nationals Park, sending an absolute blast out to center field where it bounced off the high green wall beyond the outfield fence, making it 3-0 Marlins in what ended up being a 3-2 win for the visiting Fish.

Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked after the loss what the scouting report on Stanton was heading into today's game?

"Well, we want to make sure we don't give up too much information on our scouting report," Williams said. "But I'll tell you this, if it's a hanging breaking ball he can hit it over the fence, and that's what it was. So, Tanner certainly didn't want to throw it there and that's what happens sometimes with him. If you hang that breaking ball out over the plate sometimes it gets whacked. And it got whacked today."

Stanton connected for two of the five hits Roark allowed today and was directly responsible for all of the runs the Marlins scored in the win.

"Didn't have command early. He settled in after that though. But, early it was a little bit hit and miss with his command." - Matt Williams on Tanner Roark's 10th start of 2014

After doubling in his first at bat on a line drive to right that Jayson Werth got a glove on but couldn't catch it, Stanton scored on an RBI single by Casey McGeehe. Roark gave up the two-run blast in the third, but allowed just two hits over the next four innings before he was hit for in the bottom the seventh.

Williams said the Nats' 27-year-old right-hander settled in nicely after giving up three runs in the first three innings.

"For me he was falling off a little bit," he explained when asked about Roark's outing.

"Didn't have command early. He settled in after that though. But, early it was a little bit hit and miss with his command. The first inning, Stanton hit a double -- Jayson almost caught that ball -- but ended up getting a double and then the single to drive in the first one and just the hanging breaking ball to Stanton again. That's the difference in the game."

As for what might explain the early-inning struggles? One reporter wondered if Roark's quick pace might actually hurt him at times and maybe throw off his mechanics?

"I don't think he's any quicker than he normally is," Williams said, "even when he's painting. Even when he's really good. It's just a question of falling off a just a touch today. Why? Don't know. The hole from the opposing pitcher may have something to do with it. Sometimes you're just feeling like you're falling off a little bit and the command is not quite there. But he settled in after that and got us deep into the game."

After starting his MLB career (5-0) at home in the nation's capital, Roark has now lost two straight in D.C. and the Nationals fell below .500 again with today's loss.

Adam LaRoche hit a two-run blast to right field to make it a one-run game, but that was it for the Nationals, who managed just three hits total off Marlins' starter Nathan Eovaldi, and no hits at all off Miami's bullpen.