A.J. Cole looked sharp early (especially his slider), but it was a repeat of his last start vs the Miami Marlins, with long balls and a rough fifth doing the damage again tonight.
Cole, 25, tossed three scoreless and hitless against the visiting team in Nationals Park, but Derek Dietrich connected for the first hit in the fourth, a solo shot to right on a 1-2 slider, and Giancarlo Stanton crushed a first-pitch fastball in the Fish fifth, sending a no-doubter of a three-run blast out to left field for his career-best 38th home run of the season, and a 4-1 lead.
Vance Worley, who tossed seven scoreless against the Nats last week in Marlins Park, gave up one run in six innings tonight, once again baffling Washington’s hitters and earning the win as the Marlins evened up the four-game set in D.C. with a 7-3 win.
Nationals now 66-45
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Washington had action early against Vance Worley, who shut the Nationals out over seven innings last week in Miami, but the Marlins’ starter got a strike’em out, throw’em out DP to get out of a two-on, one-out jam when Ryan Zimmerman K’d swinging with the runners on the move from first and second and Adrian Sanchez got thrown out at third to end the threat.
• A.J. Cole struck out three of the first seven batters he faced in two scoreless frames, working around a HBP that gave the Marlins their only runner early, and he popped up Giancarlo Stanton for out No. 3 of the third after a two-out E:4, completing his third scoreless and hitless frame on 47 pitches.
Another shutout frame for A.J. Cole.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 8, 2017
We're still scoreless here in DC. pic.twitter.com/q0vlge67gy
• Brian Goodwin doubled to left (No. 19 of 2017) getting one over Ichiro Suzuki’s head to start the Nationals’ half of the fourth, and he took third base on a sac bunt by Adrian Sanchez, then scored on an RBI groundout to second by Bryce Harper, 1-0 Nats.
• Derek Dietrich broke up Cole’s no-hit and shutout bids with one swing, sending a 1-2 slider out to right with two out in the fourth to tie things up at 1-1. Dietrich’s 7th.
Cole got two outs on 12 pitches, but ended up throwing 32 pitches total in the fourth, taking him from 47 to 79 pitches overall.
• Miguel Rojas lined an 0-2 fastball to right field for a leadoff single in the fifth, and took third on a Dee Gordon single after moving up to second on a sac bunt.
With one out and runners on the corners, Giancarlo Stanton stepped in and crushed a 93 mph first-pitch fastball, hitting a no-doubter to left for a three-run blast, 4-1 Fish. Stanton’s new career-best 38th of 2017.
38 homers is a new career high for @Giancarlo818.— MLB (@MLB) August 9, 2017
And he got ALL of it. #Crushed pic.twitter.com/xcROs1SdbN
• A.J. Cole’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs, 96 P, 62 S, 8/1 GO/FO.
• Sammy Solis tossed a quick, 10-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth after taking over on the mound, but gave up a leadoff walk to Miguel Rojas in the seventh. Rojas came around on a ground-rule double to left by Dee Gordon with Joe Blanton on the mound, and the run was allowed to count in spite of the fact that it bounced into the stands/was touched by a fan before Rojas reached third base. Odd/rare. 5-1 Fish.
• Derek Dietrich hit a bases-loaded, broken-bat single to left off Oliver Perez to drive in two more and make it 7-1 Marlins.
• Andrew Stevenson (single), Brian Goodwin (double), and Adrian Sanchez (3 for 3, RBI single) connected for consecutive hits in the seventh, with Stevenson scoring on the Sanchez single to left, 7-2. Bryce Harper hit a sac fly to score Goodwin, 7-3, but Ryan Zimmerman lined out to left with Sanchez on the move, and a 7-6 DP ended the threat.
• Matt Albers threw a quick, 1-2-3 eighth and came back out for a scoreless ninth, but the Nationals...
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- After last night’s loss, Miami is 121-108 in the all-time series with Washington, though the Nationals are 52-34 against the Marlins since 2013.
- Adam Lind’s three pinch hit home runs this season are tied for the major league lead, and he’s second in pinch hit RBIs (10); and third in hits (13).
- Bryce Harper’s home run last night was his 150th career home run, making him the 14th player in MLB history to reach that mark before his 25th birthday.
- 14 of Harper’s 29 home runs this season have come in two-strike counts, and 12 of 29 have come in the first inning.
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in SLG (.471), home runs (166), runs scored (601), and extra-base hits (406).
- Nationals’ pitchers started the night leading the NL in Ks (701), and K/9 (9.45), and they were second in opponents’ AVG (.230), opponents’ OBP (.300) and opponents’ SLG (.388).
- A.J. Cole put up a 3.24 ERA in his last three starts and 16 2⁄3 IP in the minors before he was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse.
Nationals now 66-45