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Washington Nationals sweep three-game set with Miami Marlins with 9-3 win in rain-shortened finale...

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Washington wrapped up the home schedule for 2018 with a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins in Nationals Park.

Photo used with permission of rights holder.

Kyle McGowin impressed in his fourth appearance in the majors, and his first start, retiring the first eleven Miami batters he faced before giving up a hit, but he had an issue with the middle finger on his right hand bring a premature end to his outing.

The Nationals built up a 9-0 lead before the Marlins got on the board in what ended up a rain-shortened, 9-3 win in the 2018 home finale in Washington, D.C.

Roark McGowin vs the Marlins: Acquired by the Washington Nationals in a December 2016 trade with the Los Angeles Angels, who’d selected the pitcher in the 5th Round of the 2013 Draft, Kyle McGowin put up a combined 2.99 ERA, 31 walks, and 152 Ks in 23 starts and 141 23 innings on the mound between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A this season before he was called up once rosters expanded earlier this month.

This afternoon, McGowin, who made three relief appearances before today, got his first big league start when the Nationals’ scheduled starter, Tanner Roark, opted to stay by his wife’s side after she gave birth earlier this week.

McGowin got off to a good start, retiring eleven straight batters he faced before a Derek Dietrich single ended his nascent no-hit bid.

He walked the next batter, but stranded both runners when Rafael Ortega grounded out to end a 19-pitch frame that left McGowin at 57 pitches total in four scoreless.

Back-to-back walks in the fifth led to a mound visit from the trainer and Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez, and what appeared to be a blister on his middle finger ended his outing there...

Kyle McGowin’s Line: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 68 P, 34 S, 4/3 GO/FO.

Chen vs the Nationals: Wei-Yin Chen held the Nationals to a run on three hits in 7 13 IP the first time out against the Marlins’ NL East rivals this season, then gave up seven runs and seven hits in 4 13 IP the second time out against Washington in 2018, before a 5 23-inning outing in start No. 3 opposite the Nats in 2018 in which the left-hander allowed five hits and two earned runs in a 7-5 win in which he received no decision.

Start No. 4? Chen started with a scoreless first, but a popped up bunt that got over the mound and fell in for a hit for Juan Soto, a walk to Ryan Zimmerman, and a single by the Nats’ second baseman today, Adrian Sanchez, loaded the bases with no one out in the second, and Spencer Kieboom drove in two runs with a single to center that JT Riddle couldn’t quite get to, 2-0.

Run No. 3 scored on a bunt back to the mound when Chen tossed the ball to catcher Chad Wallach, who sailed the throw to third trying to get Sanchez, who was caught in no man’s land, but scored on the play, 3-0.

Victor Robles drove two runners in with an inside-out double on a grounder by first that made it a 5-0 game.

Wei-Yin Chen’s Line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 72 P, 44 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

Rend-on-base Streak Update: Anthony Rendon started the day with a 33-game on-base streak and an 11-game hitting streak going.

He was 48 for 130 (.369/.454/.662) with 14 doubles, eight home runs, 18 walks, and 15 Ks in the 33 consecutive games he’d reached base and Rendon was 21 for 42 (.500/.569/.952) with four doubles, five home runs, six walks, and four Ks over the course of the hit streak.

Rendon went 0 for 3 the first three times up, and he popped up to start the sixth, 0 for 4.

BULLPEN ACTION: Matt Grace stranded both of the runners he inherited from Kyle McGowin and finished off the Marlins’ half of the fifth, still 5-0 Nationals.

Brett Graves took over for the Marlins in the bottom of the sixth and gave up a one-out double by Mark Reynolds and two singles, one each by Adrian Sanchez and Spencer Kieboom, with Kieboom’s bringing Reynolds in from third to make it a 6-0 game in D.C.

Victor Robles followed with a three-run home run to left (4 for 4) to make it 9-0 with his 3rd homer in the majors.

Grace came back out in the sixth and gave up back-to-back singles before the Nationals went to the pen again for Wander Suero, who struck out three straight to keep it at 9-0.

Tayron Guerrero worked around a one-out double by Juan Soto for a scoreless sixth.

Jefry Rodriguez gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters he faced in the seventh, and Brian Anderson hit a towering three-run home run out to left on a 97 mph 3-1 fastball, 9-3 Nationals.

After the Nationals were held off the board in the bottom of the seventh, another rain delay brought a halt to play...

... they did not return. With rain continuing to fall, the Nationals and Marlins were wiped out by the inclement weather.

Ballgame.

Final Score: 9-3 Nationals

Nationals now 81-78