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Washington Nationals fail to sweep: Miami Marlins avoid three straight losses with 4-3 win in extras

The Nationals led 2-0 after seven innings, but the Nats’ bullpen struggled and the Marlins took the series finale, 4-3 in extras.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Gonzalez took the mound in Nationals Park after an hour and a half rain delay in the nation’s capital, and in his first start of 2017, Washington’s 31-year-old lefty held the Miami Marlins scoreless through six innings, striking out seven in a 90-pitch, seven-K outing.

Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth hit solo home runs in the first and seventh innings, respectively, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead, but J.T. Realmuto’s two-run blast tied things up at 2-2 in the eighth.

It stayed tied until Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-out solo home run to center off Fish righty Junichi Tazawa. in the bottom of the eighth inning. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!

Zimmerman’s second of 2017 made it 3-2 Nationals, but former National Tyler Moore hit a two-out, two-strike RBI single in the ninth that tied it back up, 3-3.

They went to extras before Justin Bour hit a two-out RBI single to left off Joe Blanton to drive in the go-ahead and eventual winning run. 4-3 final.

Nationals take two of three from the Fish in the season-opening series.

Nationals now 2-1

Here’s how it happened:

Adam Eaton jumped on a first-pitch fastball in the home half of the first inning and hit a solo shot to right, over the out-of-town scoreboard to put the Nationals up, 1-0 early in the series finale. #sneakypop

Did you see Bryce Harper’s no-look catch in the second?:

Matt Wieters was the first National to get the no-pitch intentional walk (which is the stupid) when Marlins’ starter Tom Koehler put him on with a runner on second and two out in the bottom of the second inning. #Boo

Trea Turner singled to start the Nationals’ half of the third and promptly stole second base (No. 2). Bryce Harper got the intentional sign (?) one out later to put two on in front of Daniel Murphy, who dropped a base-loading single into center on a 3-1 fastball, but Ryan Zimmerman grounded into an inning-and-rally-ending 6-4-3 in the next AB.

Gio Gonzalez worked out of a jam in the fourth, getting a inning-ending 5-6-3 DP out of Justin Bour after back-to-back, one-out singles earned him a visit from Nationals’ pitching coach Mike Maddux.

Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton hit back-to-back singles to left to start the top of the sixth, but Marcell Ozuna followed with a one-hop liner to short to start a 6-4-3 DP.

Dusty Baker put J.T. Realmuto on with two out when Gonzalez fell behind, 2-1, bringing Justin Bour up with runners on the corners and two out, but a 3-2 curve got the Fish slugger swinging four out No. 3 and K No. 7 for the Nationals’ starter. Still 1-0 Nats.

• Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 90 P, 57 S, 6/0 GO/FO.

Koda Glover took the mound in the seventh (following another 1 hr, 3 m rain delay in the middle of the sixth) and worked around an infield single in a scoreless frame. Still a 1-0 game.

Jayson Werth’s first home run of the season was his 220th career home run, a solo shot to left off Kyle Barraclough to lead off the Nationals’ half of the seventh and put the Nats up, 2-0.

Shawn Kelley issued a leadoff walk to Christian Yelich in the eighth, and two outs later, J.T. Realmuto tied it up with a two-run blast into the Red Porch seats, 2-2.

With two down in the Nationals’ half of the eighth, Ryan Zimmerman stepped in against Junichi Tazawa and hit a... go-ahead home run to center! It had to be reviewed before it was ruled a home run. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!!

Sammy Solis got the ball in the ninth and gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters he faced (Adeiny Hechavarria and Derek Dietrich). Dee Gordon failed to get a bunt down, grounding into a 4-6-3 instead.

Blake Treinen came on with a runner on third, against Tyler Moore, and gave up a two-strike single that tied things back up at 3-3.

Jayson Werth reached on an infield single in the bottom of the ninth, and took second on a groundout by Matt Wieters. Adam Lind got the intentional walk.

Trea Turner stepped in with two on and one out and lined out to first and into an unassisted double play.

Joe Blanton gave up a leadoff single that was erased, but a two-out single by J.T. Realmuto led to the go-ahead run scoring when Justin Bour doubled to left, 4-3.

Bryce Harper walked and Daniel Murphy singled with one down in the Nats’ tenth, but Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon both popped out to end it. Ballgame.

That’s how it ended.

Nationals now 2-1


  • In today’s updated “Fun With Arbitrary End Points” segment, Washington trails Miami 116-105 in the all-time series between the two teams, (2005-present), but with wins in the first two games this season, the Nationals are 49-29 against the Marlins since 2013.
  • The Nationals took the first two games of the three-game season-opening set with the Marlins setting themselves up with a chance to sweep their third season-opening series after they took three straight from the New York Mets in 2014 and three in-a-row from Miami in 2013.
  • Heading into today’s game, the Nationals hadn’t swept the Marlins in a series of three games or more since April of 2014.
  • Bryce Harper started the day 11 for 32 (.344/.447/.938) with a double, six home runs and six walks in his career matchup with Marlins’ starter Tom Koehler.
  • Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto went 2 for 4 in each of the first two games this season after he had 27 multi-hit games last season.
  • Gio Gonzalez started the day (6-3) with a 2.21 ERA in 11 career starts against Miami, and the Hialeah, FL-born southpaw hasn’t lost to the Marlins in Nationals Park since August of 2012.

Nationals now 2-1