Trea Turner homered twice, once in the third inning, (15), and again in the seventh inning (16), and Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a three-run shot in the fourth, as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins for the 14th time in 17 games in 2019, 6-4 final in the first of three between the Nats and Fish in South Florida this weekend.
Sánchez vs the Marlins: In three starts against the Marlins this season before tonight’s, Aníbal Sánchez was (1-1) with a 3.31 ERA, 11 walks, 14 strikeouts and a .197/.312/.333 line against in 16 1⁄3 IP.
Sánchez third outing against the Nationals’ divisional rivals in 2019 came back on August 30th in D.C., when he gave up three hits, four walks, and two runs in five innings of work, receiving no decision in what ended up being a 7-6 win for the home team.
Last time out before tonight, the right-hander tossed seven scoreless against the Atlanta Braves on the road in SunTrust Park.
This time out, in Miami, Sánchez tossed two scoreless on 23 pitches, but took the mound in the third with a 1-0 lead and gave up a leadoff double by Austin Dean, who took third on the third balk of the season by the Nationals’ starter, then scored on a one-out single to right by Jon Berti, 1-1.
It was 4-1 in the fourth when Sánchez came back out and gave up a one-out solo home run by Starlin Castro, who hit a 1-1 changeup 416 feet to left field in Marlins Park to turn it into a two-run game, 4-2. Castro’s 21st.
A double and hit-by-pitch put two on with one out in the fourth, but the Nats’ starter got out of the inning without further damage, at 63 pitches overall after a 24-pitch frame.
After a 1-2-3 fifth inning, Sánchez gave up a leadoff walk, to the aptly-named Neil Walker, in the sixth, and a hard-hit double to right by Starlin Castro in the next at bat before Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez decided to go to the bullpen...
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 84 P, 50 S, 7/5 GO/FO.
Dugger vs the Nationals: Acquired from Seattle in the December 2017 trade that sent Dee Gordon to the Mariners, Robert Dugger, a 2016 18th Round draft pick, made his MLB debut back on August 5th, and in his first five starts in the majors, the 24-year-old right-hander was (0-2) with a 3.95 ERA, 13 walks, 18 Ks, and a .235/.347/.402 line against in 27 1⁄3 innings pitched before taking the mound in tonight’s start against the Nationals.
Dugger tossed 2 2⁄3 scoreless to begin the outing, working around one walk, but Trea Turner got him with two out in the third, taking a 3-2 fastball to center for a solo home run that put the Nats up, 1-0 after three. No. 15 for Turner.
Juan Soto walked with one down in the fourth inning, took third on a single to center by Howie Kendrick, and scored on a three-run home run to right by Asdrúbal Cabrera, who barreled up a first-pitch fastball from Dugger and sent it screaming out to right for a 4-1 lead and his 17th home run of 2019.
Dugger retired the Nationals in order in the fifth, and was done for the night at that point...
Robert Dugger’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 82 P, 52 S, 3/5 GO/FO.
Fish Dominance: Going into tonight’s game, the Nationals were 13-3 against Miami’s Marlins in 2019, just two wins short of the team record (2005-present) for wins against one club in a single season, with the 15 that Washington won against both New York’s Mets back in 2014, and Atlanta’s Braves in 2016 the most they’ve won, and the Nats were 17-3 against their NL East rivals from South Florida going back to mid-September of 2018. Another win tonight left them one shy of the franchise mark...
BULLPEN ACTION: Jeff Brigham came on for the Fish in the sixth inning, and gave up three straight two-out hits, by Howie Kendrick (2 for 3 tonight, 10 for 15 in the last four), Asdrúbal Cabrera (2 for 2, BB), and Victor Robles (1 for 3), with Kendrick scoring on Robles’s single to make it 5-2 before Robles was thrown out trying to take second on the play.
Wander Suero inherited a second and third, no-out jam from Aníbal Sánchez in the bottom of the sixth, and gave up an RBI single to left by Isan Díaz on a 1-2 cutter outside Díaz lined out to left, 5-3.
An errant pick attempt with runners on the corners allowed the other runner he inherited to score, 5-4, but Jorge Alfaro K’d swinging, and Lewis Brinson sent a fly to left for out No 2, before Austin Dean walked to end Suero’s outing...
Tanner Rainey struck Harold Ramirez out to end the Marlins’ 6th, still 5-4 Nationals.
Ryne Stanek got two outs in the seventh, but gave up a solo shot to left by Trea Turner on a 98 MPH 1-1 fastball that traveled 382 feet. Turner’s second of the night and 16th of the year, 6-4.
Fernando Rodney struck out two in an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh.
Brian Moran retired Juan Soto, striking him out with an 84 MPH 3-2 fastball, then Tyler Kinley came on and got the second and third outs.
Daniel Hudson stranded two in a scoreless, 14-pitch bottom of the eighth.
Tayron Guerrero tossed a scoreless top of the ninth.
Hudson returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth and gave up a one-out single, but got a game-ending 6-4-3 DP in the next AB. Ballgame.
Final Score: 6-4 Nationals
Nationals now 84-68