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Miami Marlins walk off on Washington Nationals, 9-8: Jeremy Hellickson starts vs the Fish...

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Jeremy Hellickson put together a solid start, giving up a run on two hits while striking out four in what ended up a 9-8 loss to the Marlins.

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

Jeremy Hellickson got off to a late start last season, after he signed with the Washington Nationals in mid-March. He signed five weeks earlier this winter, returning to the Nats on another one-year deal, and the 31-year-old, nine-year veteran told reporters following his first outing of the Spring he should be better off this time around after he was behind a bit going into the start of the 2018 campaign in terms of his preparation.

“You can throw all the live sim games you want,” Hellickson explained last week, “and it just doesn’t compare to game situations, and the speed of the real game. It was nice to get here before games started this year, and get six or seven starts in.”

This afternoon in Jupiter, FL’s Roger Dean Stadium, Hellickson gave up a two-out double by Brian Anderson in the first, on a ball that bounced off the right field wall, but he stranded the first runner to reach base when he struck Jorge Alfaro out to end the bottom of the first.

Lewis Brinson hit a one-out solo shot to left off of Hellickson on a 1-0 pitch in the bottom of the second, a half an inning after the Nationals jumped out to a 2-0 lead, 2-1, but the starter retired the next two batters in a relatively quick inning of work.

Hellickson returned to the mound for a third inning after the Nationals jumped up 4-1, and struck out two batters (Bryan Holaday and Curtis Granderson) in a 1-2-3 frame.

Hellickson talked after the outing about working a slider into his repertoire this Spring:

Suzuki Scores: Kurt Suzuki, who started behind the plate today, (Yan Gomes hit behind him in the lineup and served as the DH), connected for the Nationals’ first hit in the second, with a single to center, and he moved up on a hit-by-pitch on Andrew Stevenson before scoring on an RBI single by Michael A. Taylor, who improved to 8 for 13 early this Spring with the hit, 1-0.

Stevenson moved up on a single by Wilmer Difo in the next at bat and scored on a sac fly by Adrian Sanchez to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead on Wei-Yin Chen and the Fish after one and a half.

Anthony Rendon walked to star the third, and scored on an RBI double by Ryan Zimmerman to put the Nationals up 3-1, and Zimmerman took third on a throwing error on the play, and scored on an RBI single by Suzuki, whose second hit knocked Chen out and made it 4-1.

Bullpen Action: Erick Fedde gave up eight hits, two walks, and six earned runs in his first two games and three innings pitched this Spring, but he retired the Marlins in order in a quick bottom of the fourth this afternoon, after taking over on the mound for Hellickson.

Fedde came back out in the fifth and gave up the second home run of the game by Brinson, who took the Nationals’ righty out the other way for a solo shot to right-center that got the Fish within two, 4-2.

After limiting the damage to the home run in the fifth, Fedde gave up a leadoff double and had a walk and ROE load the bases before a second walk forced in a run and made it a 4-3 Nationals’ lead.

Jimmy Cordero took over with the bases loaded and one out and a one-run lead, and gave up a run on a groundout by Magneuris Sierra, 4-4, before an RBI single put the Fish ahead, 5-4, with Nick Fortes driving a liner to left. Gabriel Guerrero followed with a two-run double that made it 7-4 Marlins.

NRI Charge!!: Brandon Snyder singled and scored on a two-run blast by Jacob Wilson, who hit a 1-0 pitch from reliever Nick Anderson out to left field to make it a 7-6 game in Miami’s favor.

J.J. Hoover retied the Marlins in order, striking out two in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Aaron Barrett worked around a single in a scoreless eighth, and the Nationals took the lead in the top of the ninth with a hit-by-pitch (on Brandon Snyder), two walks (by Hunter Jones and Carter Kieboom), and a two-run single (by Victor Robles) making it an 8-7 game in the visiting team’s favor.

But the lead didn’t last long. Wander Suero came on in the bottom of the ninth and gave up a leadoff home run by Gabriel Guerrero, 8-8.

Pedro Alvarez singled in the next at bat, and was replaced by a pinch runner, Brad Miller, who stole second base, and after a walk by Jon Berti, moved to third on a hit-by-pitch, and scored the walk-off run on Isaac Galloway’s walk-off single, 9-8 Fish.