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Washington Nationals 3-2 over Miami Marlins on Adam Lind RBI single in 8th

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Max Scherzer calmed concerns about his neck with an impressive 114-pitch outing, and the Nationals took the series opener from the Marlins, 3-2 on an RBI single by Adam Lind...

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

Max Scherzer assured reporters he was fine all week, after he left his start against the Marlins last week in Miami after just one inning with neck spasms.

Until he took the mound for another start, however, there would be questions.

Tonight in the nation’s capital, with the Marlins in D.C. for the first game of a four-game set, Scherzer alleviated any concerns with an impressive 114-pitch outing in what ended up a 3-2 win.

Matt Wieters, after his big grand slam in Chicago, drove in the Nationals’ first run of the game with an RBI single in the second, and Bryce Harper added his 150th career home run in the fourth to give Scherzer and the Nats a 2-0 lead, but the Marlins tied things up at 2-2 with an RBI single by reliever Odrisamer Despaigne and a solo home run by Giancarlo Stanton.

It stayed tied until the bottom of the eighth when Wilmer Difo singled to start the frame, and scored two outs later on an RBI single to center by Adam Lind, 3-2.

Nationals now 66-44

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:

Last week, Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer left his start against Miami after just one inning pitched with neck spasms.

Tonight, it was Marlins’ left-hander Chris O’Grady who had an oblique issue that led to his departure after just an 1 13 IP on the mound in Nationals Park.

O’Grady issued a leadoff walk to Ryan Zimmerman and retired Daniel Murphy before he was done for the night with one out in the second, and a HBP on Anthony Rendon and RBI single by Matt Wieters followed after Odrisamer Despaigne took over on the hill, with Wieters’ low liner to right driving Zimmerman in to make it 1-0 Nats after two.

Bryce Harper jumped on a first-pitch curve from Despaigne in the fourth, sending a 412 ft. solo home run to right-center to make it 2-0 Nationals. Harper’s 29th of 2017.

Max Scherzer gave up just two hits through four, striking out five, and he picked up his sixth K in the fifth before a one-out double to left by Tomas Telis and a two-out RBI single to center by Odrisamer Despaigne cut the Nats’ lead in half, 2-1 after four and a half.

Giancarlo Stanton tied it up in the sixth, taking a 96 mph 3-1 fastball from Scherzer to left-center for his 37th home run of 2017, 2-2, and his 17th career home run in 49 games in Nationals Park.

• Scherzer came back out for the seventh inning at 94 pitches, and worked around a two-out walk to Ichiro Suzuki in a 20-pitch inning that left him at 114 total. Still 2-2.

• Max Scherzer’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 114 P, 77 S, 7/4 GO/FO.

After Junichi Tazawa tossed a scoreless seventh, Brandon Kintzler took over on the mound in his Nats Park debut and retired the Marlins in order in a 12-pitch frame.

Wilmer Difo’s second hit of the game was a leadoff single through the left side to start the Nationals’ half of the eighth inning. He moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by Andrew Stevenson, took third on a groundout by Brian Goodwin, and scored on a two-out, two-strike RBI single by Adam Lind off Jarlin Garcia that put the Nationals up, 3-2.

Sean Doolittle worked around a leadoff single to earn his sixth save with the Nats, tossing a relatively quick, 17-pitch ninth.

Final Score: 3-2 Nationals

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • Miami holds the all-time lead in the matchup with the Washington Nationals, and the Marlins are 5-4 against the Nationals this season, but the Nats are 51-34 against the Fish since 2013 with wins in six of the last nine as they start a four-game set in D.C. this week.
  • Miami and Washington have split the last 28 games they’ve played, and have had nine games decided by one run, including three of the last four and five of the last seven.
  • Washington’s offense starts the night leading the NL in SLG (.472), home runs (165), runs (598), and extra-base hits (405), and they’re second in AVG (.274), hits (1,042), and OBP (.338).
  • The Marlins start the night leading the NL with a .988 fielding percentage, and their 48 errors are second-fewest in MLB (Kansas City, .989, 43 errors).
  • This week’s series with the Marlins in Nationals Park is the first in D.C. since the Fish came to Washington for the opening series this season.
  • Max Scherzer started the night leading the NL in Ks (201), K/9 (12.36) opponents’ slugging percentage (.310), and he was second in opponents’ OBP (.235), ERA (2.21), and innings pitched (146 13).
  • This Date in Nationals History: On August 7, 2010, Ryan Zimmerman became the first National (2005-present) to homer in four consecutive games.

Nationals now 66-44