Paolo Espino tossed five scoreless and handed a 2-0 lead to Austin Voth, who gave up a walk, single, and three-run home run in the first three at bats after taking over on the hill, but the Washington Nationals rallied against the visiting Miami Marlins in Nationals Park, scoring three in the bottom of the fifth in what ended up a 6-3 win.
Espino vs the Marlins: In five first half starts, Paolo Espino, 34, put up a 3.22 ERA, five walks, 11 Ks, and a .265/.300/.410 line against in 22 1⁄3 IP. He’s also made 16 appearances out of the bullpen, with a 3.42 ERA, four walks, 20 Ks, and a .198/.232/.385 line against in 23 2⁄3 IP out of the bullpen.
“I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given,” Espino said after his final start of the first half. “In general I think it was a pretty good first half, I’m very happy with what I did, but we definitely got a lot more work to do. Hopefully we — I mean, hopefully I — I keep doing the same thing, I’m just going to keep pushing myself, keep getting ready, preparing myself for any situation, either if it’s starting, relieving, anything, I’m just going to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for the next day.”
He was needed in the rotation again tonight, and Espino got off to a strong start, working around two singles in a scoreless, 18-pitch first, and he came back out for the top of the second with a 1-0 lead and stranded a two-out double in a 15-pitch inning, then stranded a one-out single in the third, and retired the side in order in the Marlins’ fourth, completing four scoreless on 60 pitches.
A 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Espino at 73 pitches total, with eight-straight Marlins’ hitters set down to end his outing...
Paolo Espino’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 73 P, 49 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
Rogers vs the Nationals: Winless in his last five starts, Trevor Rogers, 23, put up a 3.51 ERA over that stretch, holding opposing hitters to a combined .211/.283/.305 line against in 25 2⁄3 IP over that stretch, walking nine and striking out 33.
Rogers faced the Nationals earlier this season in Miami, giving up up four hits, three walks, and three earned runs in five innings on the mound. He fell behind early tonight, with Josh Harrison doubling to lead off the bottom of the second inning and scoring on an RBI single off of Victor Robles’s bat, 1-0 after two.
The Marlins’ lefty held it there through four, throwing 60 pitches total, but he returned to the mound in the bottom of the fifth inning and gave up a one-out single to right by Trea Turner (on an 0-2 fastball), and a two-out RBI double to center by Ryan Zimmerman (on a second 0-2 pitch) that drove Turner in and made it 2-0 Nationals after five.
Trevor Rogers’ Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 78 P, 56 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Alcides Exits: Since joining the Nationals in a trade from the Royals, Alcides Escobar was 19 for 57 (.316 AVG) going into tonight’s game, with three doubles, a triple, home run, three walks, two HBPs, and 10 runs scored in 13 games (with hits in 10 of 13). He was hitless tonight in the second of three with the Fish in D.C. before Marlins’ lefty Richard Bleier hit him in the right wrist with a high-80s cutter that knocked Escobar out of the game. More info on the extent of the issue later...
Bullpen Action: Austin Voth took over on the mound for the Nationals in the sixth and gave up a leadoff walk to Isan Díaz, a single by Starlin Marte, and a three-run home run to left by Adam Duvall, whose 21st of the season put the Marlins up, 3-2 in a hurry.
Richard Bleier took over for the Marlins in the bottom of the sixth and the lefty gave up a one-out double to right by Tres Barrera (2 for 3, 2 2B), who scored on a two-out hit off of pinch hitter Yadiel Hernández’s bat, 3-3.
Bleier hit Alcides Escobar in the back/right arm/wrist in the next at bat, putting two on with two out and knocking Escobar out of the game, and Trea Turner stepped in next against a new pitcher, right-hander Anthony Bender, and lined an opposite field single to right to put the Nationals up again, 4-3, and 5-3 on a shift-beating RBI single to center by Juan Soto.
Kyle Finnegan got the top of the seventh for the Nationals, and retired the side in order in a seven-pitch frame.
John Curtiss kept it a 5-3 game in the Nationals’ favor with a scoreless seventh for the Fish.
Daniel Hudson retired the side in order in an eight-pitch eighth, and Josh Bell added to the lead with a home run to left off Marlins’ lefty Steven Okert in the bottom of the eighth, 6-3. Bell’s 14th of 2021 and the 100th HR of his career. Congrats, Josh.
Brad Hand came on to close it out in the ninth and retired the Marlins in order. Ballgame.
Final Score: 6-3 Nationals
Nationals now 45-49