With the season, or at least the current makeup of the roster, on the line, the Washington Nationals fell behind 3-0 early tonight in Miami, but rallied for a 10-3 win over the Marlins.
Tommy Milone gave up three in the first in his 2018 major league debut, but settled in as the Nats chipped away with solo home runs by Trea Turner and Juan Soto in the fourth, and tied it up on an RBI double by Ryan Zimmerman in the sixth inning before taking a 5-3 lead on a two-run triple by Trea Turner in the top of the seventh.
Bryce Harper doubled to drive in a run in the seventh as well, and the Nationals were up by three after six and a half, 6-3.
Justin Miller, Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson, and Shawn Kelley followed Milone on the hill, keeping the Fish off the board the rest of the way.
Milone vs the Marlins: Tommy Milone signed a minor league deal with Washington this past winter, six years after the 2008 Nationals’ 10th Round pick was traded to the Oakland A’s.
In 20 starts for the Nats’ Triple-A affiliate this season, the 31-year-old lefty was (7-4) with a 4.19 ERA, a 3.29 FIP, 24 walks (1.97 BB/9), and 113 Ks (9/27 K/9) in 109 2⁄3 innings pitched before he made his 2018 debut in the majors tonight.
He was called up to the majors again this afternoon to take Stephen Strasburg’s spot in the rotation after the 30-year-old righty landed on the Disabled List one start after he came off the DL.
Milone took the mound in the big leagues for the first time this season, and gave up three hits in a row, back-to-back singles by Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson and an RBI double by J.T. Realmuto, 1-0.
Justin Bour followed with a sac fly, 2-0, and a two-out RBI single by Cameron Maybin made it a 3-0 game in the Marlins’ favor after a 24-pitch first by the Nationals’ lefty.
Milone held the Marlins there as the Nationals chipped away, however, with solo shots by Trea Turner and Juan Soto in the top of the fourth making it a one-run game, and he completed five to keep it close before Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-out RBI double in the top of the sixth to tie things up at 3-3.
Tommy Milone’s Line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks, 84 P, 58 S, 3/3 GO/FO.
Straily vs the Nationals: Dan Straily gave up two runs on five hits over six innings on the mound when he faced the Nationals in the nation’s capital back on July 6th, receiving no decision in what ended up a 3-2 loss for the Marlins.
“He threw the ball well against a tough lineup,” Marlins’ manager Don Mattlingly told reporters after the loss.
“You’ve got to pitch those guys carefully, I thought he did a really good job.”
In two starts before facing the Nationals again tonight, the right-hander gave up eight hits and three runs, two earned, in 13 innings (1.38 ERA), and he started the series opener with the Nationals in Miami with three scoreless on 48 pitches as the Fish jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Marlins Park.
Trea Turner got hold of a 2-0 fastball in the fourth, however, and hit a no-doubter of a homer out to center field that bounced off Red Grooms’ psychedelic home run sculpture to get the visiting team on the board, 3-1 Marlins. No. 13 for Turner.
Flamingoing ... Flamingoing ... FlaminGONE! pic.twitter.com/nMEZkiCoS8— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 27, 2018
Juan Soto followed two outs later with another solo home run, lining a 1-1 fastball out to right field for the second solo shot off Straily in the fourth, 3-2. Soto’s 12th.
Right back in it! Solo shots by Turner and Soto make it a 3-2 game! pic.twitter.com/yBrDqnCtXh— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) July 27, 2018
It was still 3-2 in the sixth when Adam Eaton, who’d walked to start the inning, scored on a two-out RBI double by Ryan Zimmerman, who just missed a two-run home run. Straily put Juan Soto on with an intentional walk, and that was it for the Marlins’ righty...
Dan Straily’s Line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 99 P, 60 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
#JuanPursuit: The Nats mentioned in their pregame notes that 19-year-old Nationals’ slugger, Juan Soto, hit his 11th home run of the year in the Milwaukee, leaving him tied with Brewers’ great and Hall of Famer Robin Yount (1974-75) for the eighth-most home runs in Major League history as a teenager. Next on the list was Ed Kranepool, who hit 12 home runs as a teenage major leaguer from 1962-64 with the New York Mets, for whom Kranepool played all of his 18 major league seasons after debuting as a 17-year-old in 1962.
BULLPEN ACTION: Brad Ziegler took over for the Marlins with two on and two out in the Nationals’ sixth, after Ryan Zimmerman drove in a run with a double to tie it up, 3-3, and Juan Soto was walked intentionally. Mark Reynolds walked to load’em up in front of Matt Wieters, who grounded out to end the threat.
Justin Miller retired the Marlins in order in a quick, 14-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth.
Adam Conley got the seventh for the Fish and walked Wilmer Difo to start the frame. Difo got a bad read on a Michael A. Taylor fly to right that bounced off the outfield fence, and only took second, but he tagged up and took third on a fly to center by Adam Eaton, on which Taylor neglected to take second, ugh, but both runners scored on a triple to right field off Trea Turner’s bat, and Turner scored from third on a chopper by first by Bryce Harper, 6-3.
Brandon Kintzler retired the Marlins in order in a 10-pitch seventh.
Ryan Madson needed 18 pitches for a scoreless bottom of the eighth.
Bryce Harper walked to start the Nationals’ ninth, and one out later Juan Soto sent a ground ball through the shift on the left side to send Harper around to third. Soto took second too, and an intentional walk to Mark Reynolds loaded them up with one out.
Fish right-hander Ben Meyer gave up a double to center by Matt Wieters in the next at bat and the Nationals went up, 8-3, though Reynolds was thrown out at home on the play.
Wilmer Difo tripled to center to drive Wieters in, 9-3. Michael A. Taylor doubled to drive Difo in, 10-3.
Shawn Kelley worked around a leadoff single by Cameron Maybin for a quick, scoreless ninth.
Final Score: 10-3 Nationals
Nationals now 51-51