Washington Nationals' starter Joe Ross took the mound this afternoon (1-0) with a 0.84 ERA and a .222/.300/.333 line against in 10 ⅔ innings pitched over four games, two of them starts, versus Miami. Marlins' starter Jose Fernandez, in seven starts versus the Nationals in his career, was (4-0) with a 1.05 ERA and a .162/.252/.232 line against in 42 ⅔ IP.
The Nationals' 22-year-old starter and 23-year-old Marlins' ace met in the series finale in the nation's capital today, and Fernandez's Marlins came out on top, giving them a split of the four-game set in D.C.
Miami struck first, scoring two runs on what should have been out No. 3 of the third when Stephen Drew -- inserted into the lineup at the last minute-ish when Daniel Murphy was scratched with illness -- dropped a pop-up to second that got lost in the midday sun. 2-0 Marlins when J.T. Realmuto and Adeiny Hechavarria scored after singling to start the frame.
Ryan Zimmerman sent a fly to right-center to start the Nationals' half of the fourth, and Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton converged on it and collided, failing to come up with the catch. Zimmerman rounded the bases for an inside the park home run, and luckily both outfielders were okay. Shaken up, but okay. 2-1 Marlins. HR No. 4 for Zim.
Giancarlo Stanton took the more traditional, but still impressive, approach to his sixth inning home run, hitting a first-pitch slider from Ross out to right for an opposite field blast off the end of his bat.
Stanton's 16th home run in 194 PAs in Nationals Park, 3-1 Fish.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Fernandez with two down and the Marlins' starter jumped on a first-pitch fastball and lined a two-run single to center to make it 5-1 Miami in the sixth.
• Joe Ross' Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 106 P, 64 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
Yusmeiro Petit handled the top of the seventh for the Nationals and came back out with a scoreless eighth after the Nats stranded a leadoff double in Fernandez's final inning of work.
Jose Fernandez's Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 Ks, 1 HR, 117 P, 75 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman singled one out apart off David Phelps in the eighth, putting runners on the corners with one down, but they were both stranded when Chris Heisey and Wilson Ramos went down swinging.
Kyle Barraclough gave up a single by Danny Espinosa and walked Stephen Drew before he was lifted in favor of A.J. Ramos, who popped up Michael A. Taylor, caught Ben Revere looking and got a fly to center from Daniel Murphy to end it. 5-1 Marlins final.
Nationals now 23-15
• NATS NOTES:
- Daniel Murphy has a seven-game hit streak going heading into the series finale and he's hit safely in 14 of 16 games, going 29 for 66 (.439 AVG) with six doubles and three home runs over that stretch. He sat out of the series finale, with illness cited as the reason for the late scratch.
- Through his first 36 games with the Nationals, after signing a 3-year/$37.5M deal this winter, Murphy has hit safely in 31 of 36 games with multi-hit games in 19 of those games.
- Martin Prado entered play today with a .381 AVG on the year, second-best in the majors, behind only Daniel Murphy, .403 AVG.
- Marcell Ozuna had a 14-game hitting streak going heading into today's game over which he's 25 for 56 (.446 AVG) with four home runs and 10 RBIs, taking his average from .218 to .313 over that stretch. He extended it to 15 games with a sixth-inning single.
- In today's D.C.-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Though the Marlins hold the all-time lead in their head-to-head series with the Nationals, 111-98, Washington is 42-24 since 2013 and 51-33 since the Florida Marlins became the Miami Marlins in 2012.
- Bryce Harper, who sat out last night's game, entered play today leading the NL in OPS, OBP and walks.
- Harper has walked 23 times in the last ten games before today's. He took his 24th walk in his last 11 games in his first plate appearance today.
- Washington's pinch hitter rank second in the NL in pinch hit home runs and third in the majors with 6 of them.
- Nats' starter Joe Ross began the day (1-0) with a 0.84 ERA in four games, two of them starts, against the Marlins in his career.
- Marlins' starter Jose Fernandez started the day (4-0) with a 1.05 ERA in seven career starts against the Nationals.
Nationals now 23-15