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Nationals blow 4-0 lead, drop 8-5 decision to Marlins in series opener in Miami...

It was all going so well... for the first four innings, then things went all pear-shaped for the Nationals, who blew a 4-0 lead and lost to the Marlins, 8-5.

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MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Cordero (0.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER) and Koda Glover (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 ER) malfunctioned and the Washington Nationals blew a 4-0 lead in what ended up an 8-5 loss to the Miami Marlins in tonight’s series opener in Marlins Park.

Erick Fedde tossed four scoreless innings before two walks caused him trouble in the fifth, both Victor Robles (his first in the majors) and Anthony Rendon hit home runs, and the Nationals did tie things up at five after falling behind in the sixth, but the Marlins rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh and held on for the win.

Fedde vs the Fish: Erick Fedde tossed 5 23 scoreless against the Philadelphia Phillies last time out, striking out a career-high nine batters in what was arguably his best start in the majors so far.

“He was attacking the strike zone. He was really good. Kept the ball down and used all his pitches,” Davey Martinez told reporters after that outing.

It was just his second start back following a DL stint for right shoulder inflammation that kept him out of the Nationals’ rotation from July 4th to September 4th when he returned against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Fedde gave up four hits, two walks, and four earned runs in five innings, over which he struck out seven in his first start back.

Tonight in Miami, FL, Fedde took on the Marlins for the first time in his career and he tossed four scoreless on 72 pitches to start, working around one hit and two walks as the Nationals jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

Fedde issued back-to-back walks to Austin Dean and Magneuris Sierra in the first two at bats in the fifth, however, and both runners came around to score on a one-out, two-run double to left by Starlin Castro, 4-2. That was it for Fedde’s outing...

Erick Fedde’s Line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 93 P, 51 S, 6/0 GO/FO.

Richards vs the Nationals: Marlins’ starter Trevor Richards faced the Nationals twice in July, giving up four hits, seven walks, and two earned runs in 3 23 IP in the first of the two starts before tossing six scoreless in which he gave up three hits and two walks in the second.

Richards didn’t receive a decision in either of those outings against Miami’s NL East rivals, both of them losses, and he was winless in seven starts overall before he facing Washington again in tonight’s series opener, going (0-4) with a 6.68 ERA and .267/.351/.542 line against in 32 13 IP over that stretch.

Richards and the Fish fell behind early when the Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the second, with Anthony Rendon singling and Ryan Zimmerman doubling in front of Nats’ second baseman Wilmer Difo, who was walked intentionally. Spencer Kieboom sent a hard-hit grounder to third in the next at bat where Brian Anderson booted it, allowing the first run of the game to score, 1-0. Richards got a double play out of Erick Fedde in the next at bat to limit the damage to the one run.

Victor Robles added to the Nationals’ lead with a leadoff home run in the top of the third on a 90 mph 1-0 fastball from Richards that cleared the 427 ft sign in left-center in Marlins Park and put the Nats up 2-0. First MLB home run for Robles. Anthony Rendon hit a two-run blast to left later in the inning, bringing Trea Turner in to make it 4-0 with his 21st of 2018.

Trevor Richards’ Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 80 P, 52 S, 4/3 GO/FO.

Rendon’s on-base streak extended: Anthony Rendon started the night in Miami with a 25-game on base streak going, over which he was 33 for 100 (.330 AVG) with 11 doubles, four home runs, 15 RBIs, 15 walks, two stolen bases, and 22 runs scored. Rendon singled in his first trip to the plate tonight to extend his career-best on-base streak to 26-straight games, took third on a Ryan Zimmerman double, and scored on a Spencer Kieboom grounder.

Robles’s power display: A 427-foot blast to left-center is a nice way to collect your first MLB home run. That’s what Victor Robles did on a 1-0 fastball from Trevor Richards in the first at bat of the third. Robles crushed the offering from the Marlins’ right-hander, sending a no-doubter of a homer way out onto the walkway above the left field fence right in front of the 427 sign for easy measuring. Robles, who hit 37 doubles and 10 home runs over 114 games and 496 plate appearances in the minors last season, injured his elbow in April and did not have the same power this year (10 2B, 2 HRs in 52 G, 226 PAs), but he got all of this one...

BULLPEN ACTION: Justin Miller took over for Erick Fedde with a runner on second and one out in the Marlins’ fifth, and struck out the two batters he faced to keep it a two-run game, 4-2 Nationals.

Elieser Hernandez worked around an infield single by Anthony Rendon for a scoreless top of the sixth.

Jimmy Cordero got the bottom of the sixth for the Nationals and gave up back-to-back-to-back, one-out singles by Lewis Brinson, Miguel Rojas, and Austin Dean, as the Fish loaded the bases in front of Magneuris Sierra, who hit a 2-1 fastball through the right side to tie it up at 4-4.

Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez went to Wander Suero with runners on first and third and one out, and a balk by Suero brought in the go-ahead run, 5-4, though he got the next two outs without giving up any more.

Drew Rucinski came on for Miami in the top of the seventh, and walked Adam Eaton in the first at bat. Eaton took third on a one-out single by Victor Robles and scored on a force at second on a Trea Turner grounder when Turner beat the throw to first to avoid the double play, 5-5.

Jarlin Garcia took over with a runner on first and two out against Bryce Harper (0 for 3, 3 Ks), and got out No. 3 on a well-struck one-hopper to second that Starlin Castro snagged.

Koda Glover took the mound in the Marlins’ half of the seventh with a streak of 10-straight scoreless appearances going (813 IP) and promptly put two runners on giving up a leadoff single by Brian Anderson and a walk to J.T. Realmuto. Peter O’Brien walked as well to load the bases with no one out in front of Lewis Brinson, who hit a 3-2 sinker through the left side to put the Fish back on top, 6-5. Miguel Rojas made it a two-run lead with a sac fly to center, 7-5.

Nick Wittgren picked up two Ks in a quick, scoreless top of the eighth.

Tim Collins got one out in the Marlins’ eighth, then handed it over to Austen Williams, who served up a hanging curve for Starlin Castro that ended up going over the wall in left, 8-5.

Adam Conley came on to end it in the ninth and retired the Nationals in order to end it.


Final Score: 8-5 Marlins

Nationals now 76-75