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Marlins’ Jose Fernandez outduels Tanner Roark in 1-0 win over Nationals

“Tanner [Roark] pitched better than a loss tonight,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the Nationals’ 1-0 loss in Marlins Park.

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Tanner Roark set a new career high in innings pitched Tuesday night, topping the 198 23 he threw as part of the Washington Nationals’ rotation in 2014.

In 2015, he was moved to the pen and back, making spot starts and accumulating 111 IP total on the year.

He was up to 200 13 IP in 2016, when he was done with seven innings on the mound in what ended up a 1-0 loss in Marlins Park, which saw him give up three hits, three walks and one earned run, on a home run by Giancarlo Stanton.

He also made his eighteenth start of seven innings or more this season, and went seven allowing one earned run or less for the twelfth time in 31 starts.

“It’s good and all,” Roark said, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr, after the game, “but we lost, so I’m pretty mad about that. The only thing that matters is winning and losing.

“Tonight we lost.”

“That was tough to take,” Dusty Baker said, in discussing how the Nationals haven’t been scoring a lot of runs lately and came up empty in Marlins Park.

“Tanner pitched better than a loss tonight.”

Roark matched Marlins’ starter Jose Fernandez through five scoreless on an efficient 66 pitches, but gave up a home run on a 94 mph 0-1 fastball to Stanton with two out in the sixth for the only run Miami needed.

“It just boiled down to one pitch to a powerful hitter,” Baker said.

“We had some opportunities to score, I mean, Fernandez was outstanding tonight. He had a really good changeup. He didn’t throwing many sliders, he was throwing mostly fastball/changeups because we had a predominantly left-handed hitting lineup in there and he pitched accordingly.”

Fernandez tossed eight scoreless, striking out 12 and retiring 21-straight at one point, between Stephen Drew’s one-out double in the first and Wilson Ramos’s one-out single in the eighth. He stranded both runners who got on in his final inning of work.

Roark deserved better, but Fernandez did what he’s done to the Nationals throughout his career, improving to (7-0) overall against the Nats in the majors and finishing the night (4-0) in four starts against Washington this season, with three runs allowed in 27 IP (1.00 ERA) against Miami’s NL East rivals.

• We talked about Roark vs Fernandez, Harper’s struggles and more on Nats Nightly after the game: