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Washington Nationals, desperate for wins, drop 7-5 decision to Miami Marlins in extras

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After rallying to tie it at 5-5 in the ninth, Washington’s Nationals dropped a 7-5 decision to the Miami Marlins, who’d lost six-straight overall and 12-straight on the road before beating the Nats tonight.

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

Adam Eaton hit a game-tying home run to right off Drew Steckenrider to make it 5-5 in the ninth, but the Miami Marlins rallied to score two in the top of the tenth, 7-5, and snapped a six-game losing streak overall and a 12-game losing streak on the road with a win over the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital...

Rodriguez vs Miami: Tommy Milone was scheduled to start tonight’s matchup against the Miami Marlins, but the Washington Nationals announced this morning that Jefry Rodriguez would get the ball instead.

Rodriguez, 25, earned his first win in the majors earlier this month with five strong innings on the mound against the Atlanta Braves in which he gave up three hits, a walk, and one earned run.

In six games, four starts, for the Nats, the right-hander was (1-1) before tonight, with a 5.84 ERA, 13 walks, 20 Ks, and a .255/.358/.479 line against in 24 23 IP.

Rodriguez retired the Marlins in order in a quick, nine-pitch, 1-2-3 first, but his 11th pitch, a 94 mph 1-0 fastball to Derek Dietrich in the second, ended up sailing over the center field fence. No. 15 of 2018 for Dietrich and a 1-0 lead for the Fish.

A leadoff walk to Austin Dean in the top of the fifth hurt Rodriguez when JT Riddle doubled to right-center in the next at bat to drive in the tying run after the Nationals took a 2-1 lead on a two-run Trea Turner home run in the third, 2-2.

Back-to-back singles in the sixth ended Rodriguez’s outing after 77 pitches in five-plus innings on the mound.

Jefry Rodriguez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 77 P, 46 S, 6/3 GO/FO.

Chen vs Washington: Wei-Yin Chen held the Nationals to a run on three hits in 7 13 innings when he faced Washington in Miami back in late May, taking a bid for a shutout into the top of the eighth before giving up a run. His second start of the season against the Marlins’ NL East rivals didn’t go as well, with the Nats putting up seven hits and seven runs in 4 13 IP in what ended up an 18-4 loss for the Fish in the nation’s capital.

Coming into tonight’s start, the 33-year-old southpaw was (2-2) in four second-half starts, with a 3.97 ERA and a .324/.338/.535 line against in 22 23 IP.

Chen tossed two scoreless on 31 pitches to start the game, but he gave up a one-out single to center by the opposing pitcher, Jefry Rodriguez, and a two-run homer to left-center off of Trea Turner’s bat as the Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the third. Turner’s 15th.

It was 2-2 in the sixth, when Chen, who was up to 83 pitches, was lifted after giving up a two-out single by Bryce Harper...

Wei-Yin Chen’s Line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 83 P, 54 S, 8/3 GO/FO.

Kieboom: Spencer Kieboom had himself a big fourth inning behind the plate, helping to get starter Jefry Rodriguez out of potential trouble when he picked Brian Anderson off first after a leadoff single, and caught Starlin Castro trying to steal second after a two-out walk.

After the caught stealing, he’d thrown out 9 of 16 would-be base stealers (56% CS%).

While he’s struggled overall at the plate, with a .190/.278/.228 line before tonight’s game, he has put up decent-ish (for a backup catcher) numbers when he starts with hits in 11 of his 23 starts this season, in which he’s gone 14 for 73 (.192/.289/.233). He made it hits in 12 of 24 of his starts with a one-out double in the fifth.

BULLPEN ACTION: Tim Collins came on for Jefry Rodriguez with two on and no one out in the top of the sixth, striking Derek Dietrich out with a 1-2 slider for the first out of the frame.

Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez went to the pen again with two on and one out, and brought Jimmy Cordero on to face Starlin Castro, who sent a grounder out to second base for what looked like an inning-ending DP off the bat before Daniel Murphy booted it and allowed the Marlins to load the bases.

Austin Dean stepped in with three on and one out and went down swinging at a big 0-2 curve. JT Riddle? Line drive to right over a leaping Murphy for a two-run single and a 4-2 Marlins’ lead.

Drew Rucinski took over with Bryce Harper on first in the sixth, and got a fly to right from Ryan Zimmerman to keep the Marlins ahead by two.

Cordero tossed a scoreless inning in the top of the seventh to keep it a 4-2 game.

Tayron Guerrero gave up back-to-back singles by Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton in the first two at bats of the Nationals’ seventh, and Matt Wieters took a fastball off the foot to load’em up with no one out. A wild pitch allowed Murphy to score from third, 4-3. Matt Adams was a third straight pinch hitter, but he popped out for the first out of the inning.

Trea Turner, who homered in the third, dropped a pop into short-center to bring Eaton in to tie it up at 4-4.

Don Mattingly went to the bullpen for Adam Conley vs Juan Soto, and the Marlins’ lefty got an inning-ending 4-6-3.

Matt Grace got the top of the eighth for the Nats, and recorded the first out before Justin Miller came on to get the second and third.

Conley returned to the mound in the home-half of the eighth, working around a two-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman.

Miller came back out in the top of the ninth, and surrendered a solo shot to right on a 1-2 fastball to JT Riddle that ended up in the second deck, 5-4 Marlins.

Drew Steckenrider got the ninth for the Fish and lost a nine-pitch battle to Adam Eaton, who hit a 2-2 slider out to right field and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a game-tying home run, 5-5. Eaton’s 4th of 2018. Matt Wieters singled to right in the next at bat, putting the go-ahead run at first, but he was stranded there three outs later. On to extras...

Koda Glover took the mound in the top of the tenth, and gave up back-to-back, one-out hits by Bryan Holaday and Starlin Castro, then got a force at second out of Austin Dean in front of JT Riddle, who got the intentionals in front of Isaac Galloway, who... lined a two-run single to center for a 7-5 lead.

Brett Graves came on in the bottom of the tenth and retired the Nationals in order.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 7-5 Marlins

Nationals now 62-62