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Washington Nationals fail to sweep, drop finale with Miami Marlins, 3-2 in D.C.

Washington’s Nationals took 3 of 4 from the Miami Marlins, but some mistakes late in the series finale cost them a shot at a sweep...

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Washington’s Nationals had a chance to sweep their four-game set with Miami’s Marlins, but some late errors led to runs, and a 2-1 lead after six innings turned into a 3-2 deficit after the top of the eighth, and the Fish salvaged the series finale with a win on Memorial Day in D.C.

Also, Max Scherzer was pitching, and the Nationals, who are now 2-12 in Scherzer’s starts in 2019, apparently don’t like to win when he’s on the mound.

Scherzer’s Revenge: Max Scherzer got knocked around in his first start against the Marlins this season back on April 20th in Miami, giving up 11 hits and seven runs (six earned) over 5 13 IP on the road in South Florida.

“They’re very familiar with my stuff and they’ve seen me over the years,” Scherzer told reporters after the rough outing.

“When I leave pitches down the middle to these guys, they are going to kill it.”

Going into his second start of 2019 against the Nats’ NL East rivals, Scherzer was coming off a strong outing on the road in Citi Field in which he tossed six scoreless.

He was up to 2 23 scoreless this afternoon before Garrett Cooper doubled to right on a 96 MPH 1-2 fastball and scored from second on an RBI single to right by Neil Walker, 1-0.

Scherzer helped his own cause with an RBI single that drove in the second run the Nationals scored in the bottom of the fifth inning, 2-1, and the right-hander worked his way around a leadoff double by Walker in a 19-pitch top of the sixth which left him at 103 pitches total and ended his 12th start of 2019.

Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 103 P, 81 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Ureña vs the Nationals: Marlins’ righty José Ureña snapped a four-start winless streak (over which he was 0-3 with Miami 0-4 in his outings, and in which he had a 3.12 ERA, 10 walks, 13 Ks, and a .231/.311/.385 line against in 26 innings) with a strong, six-inning outing against the Detroit Tigers last time out before today.

Ureña took the mound this afternoon with a 4.30 ERA, 18 walks, 39 Ks, and a .290/.345/.455 line against overall on the season, and he had his ERA down to 4.02 after four scoreless (on 53 pitches) in which he gave up just two hits.

A leadoff walk by Kurt Suzuki and a double to right field by Gerardo Parra in the bottom of the fifth set the Nationals up with an RBI opportunity they cashed in when Brian Dozier hit a sac fly to center that tied things up at 1-1 after the Marlins jumped out to an early lead. Max Scherzer followed with an RBI single to right that brought Parra around, 2-1.

After the Marlins tied it up at 2-2 in the top of the seventh, Ureña threw a quick, six-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh that left him at just 80 pitches total on the day.

José Ureña’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 80 P, 48 S, 8/2 GO/FO.

Soto is Streaking: With a single in his final at bat on Sunday, Juan Soto extended his career-best hit streak to 10-straight games, over which the 20-year-old slugger was 18 for 37 (.486 AVG) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, five walks, and eight runs scored over that stretch.

Soto’s 10-game hit streak was the longest active streak in the National League, and it took him from a .228/.345/.415 line to .288/.388/.513 on the season heading into today’s series finale with the Fish.

Soto struck out in his first at bat against Marlins’ righty José Ureña, swinging through a 3-2 fastball, but he got to a full count again the second time up and doubled to right field for a new career-high 11-game hit streak (and his 11th two-base hit of 2019).

BULLPEN ACTION: Tanner Rainey took over on the mound in the top of the seventh inning and gave up a leadoff walk to Miguel Rojas.

José Ureña reached on an error by Matt Adams on a bunt attempt when the first baseman dropped the ball as he tried to tag the pitcher on his way to first.

Curtis Granderson lined out to center field in the next at bat, allowing Rojas to take third base, and he scored when the Nationals tried to turn a double play on a Harold Ramirez grounder to short but were a step or two too late, 2-2.

Kyle Barraclough took the mound against his former team with the score tied in the top of the eighth, and gave up a one-out single by Starlin Castro, who took third on an error on a throw to first by Trea Turner (though Matt Adams stretched and got some glove on the high throw) on a Martin Prado grounder in the next at bat.

Barraclough hit Jorge Alfaro on the left forearm in the next at bat, loading the bases with one out, and Miguel Rojas hit a sac fly to right to bring Castro in and make it a 3-2 game.

Nick Anderson took over for Miami with a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, and gave up a one-out single by the unstoppable force that is Howie Kendrick.

Michael A. Taylor came on to run for Kendrick, and took second when Trea Turner walked in the next at bat, but Adam Eaton K’d swinging over a 3-2 curve for out No. 2, leaving it up to Anthony Rendon, who walked to load the bases.

Marlins’ skipper Don Mattingly went to the pen for lefty Adam Conley vs Juan Soto... and Soto lined out to left to end the threat.

Matt Grace and Wander Suero combined for a scoreless top of the ninth.

Sergio Romo got the ninth for the Fish and popped up Matt Adams, Kurt Suzuki, and Gerardo Parra to end it.

Nationals now 22-32