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Washington Nationals news & notes: Nats drop another to Marlins, 4-3; Corey Dickerson returns with homer; Aníbal Sánchez retires...

Notes and quotes from the Nationals’ 4-3 loss to the Marlins last night in loanDepot...

MacKenzie in Miami:

MacKenzie Gore threw 96 pitches in four innings against the New York Mets, and the 24-year-old lefty told his manager, Davey Martinez, he had more to offer if the manager did want to send him back out for the fifth.

“He said he had more in the tank,” Martinez explained, “... and I told him ‘I’m not gonna do that. I mean, four innings and (96) pitches, I need you for more games than just this one.’

“But I love the fact that he even came up to me and asked me. So it was awesome.”

Gore’s four scoreless dropped his ERA to 3.29 on the year (from 3.65), with a 3.62 FIP, 21 BBs, (4.61 BB/9), 51 Ks (11.20 K/9), and a .252/.341/.361 line over eight starts and 41 IP.

Going into his ninth outing, his manager said he just wanted to see Gore pound the strike zone against Miami.

“Strike one. Strike one. We’ve got to pound the strike zone with him,” Martinez explained.

“He’s got great stuff. But we got to get him in the strike zone and be efficient with his pitches. So hopefully he gives us the innings we need and he keeps us in the ballgame.”

Gore gave the Nationals 5 13 innings in the second of three in loanDepot park, throwing 93 pitches in the outing, 60 for strikes, walking two, striking out seven, and giving up five hits and 4 ER in a 4-3 loss to the Marlins.

A walk, wild pitch, and single set the Fish up with an RBI opportunity they cashed in in the top of the second, tying the game at 2-1 after the Nationals jumped out to an early lead. A two-run home run by Jorge Soler, on a center-cut 94.5 MPH fastball in the third made it a 3-2 game in the home team’s favor, and another walk (to Soler) and RBI double (by Bryan De La Cruz) made it 4-2. That 2-0 fastball was dead-center. And that was it for Gore...

He generated 14 swinging strikes overall in the outing, six of them with his fastball, seven on his slider, and one on his curve, and he got 10 called strikes, nine with his heater and one on his curve.

“His location was a little bit off, but his stuff is good,” Martinez said after the 4-3 loss to the Marlins, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco. “He couldn’t get his breaking balls over quite as much as he normally does. Slider wasn’t there tonight. He left a couple of balls out over the plate and they took advantage of it.”

Dickerson’s Back ... From Calf Injury:

Corey Dickerson missed over a month with a calf injury suffered just two games into his 1-year/$2.25M contract with the Nationals, but he returned from the IL earlier this week, and skipper Davey Martinez gave the 33-year-old veteran his first start in the second of three in Miami on Wednesday, pencilling Dickerson in as his DH and No. 6 hitters against the Fish, and right-hander Edward Cabrera.

“It’s good to get him back in there, yeah,” Martinez told reporters before the game.

“And for me, it’s about the hitting. We need that left-handed bat in there today and I’m going to ease his way back in there. But he gets the chance to DH today.”

“He’s a veteran guy that can hit, and to have him back in our lineup is awesome,” Martinez added.

“To get him back, he’s going to go out there and DH today, and hopefully square some balls up for us and drive in some runs.”

Dickerson connected for his first hit as a National in the top of the second inning, hitting a 1-0 sinker inside out to right-center field for a two-run blast which put the visitors up 2-0 early in loanDepot park.

In the seventh inning, he singled and took two bases on a hit by Ildemaro Vargas before he scored on a groundout by Alex Call, getting the Nationals within one run in the 4-3 loss.

“That was awesome,” Martinez said of Dickerson’s HR after the game.

“I mean, you come out like that and hit a ball that hard, that was awesome. I’m happy for him.

“He’s waited a long time to get back in the lineup and it’s good to see that he’s healthy. He’s going to help us.”

Enjoy Retirement, Aníbal:

Aníbal Sánchez announced his retirement on Wednesday, on Instagram:

Throughout these past 17 years in Major League Baseball, God has given me the opportunity to live wonderful moments on and off the field,” Sánchez wrote.

“Baseball has been my great passion since I was a child, and I am extremely grateful to have been able to make that dream a reality.

“During my career I have met people who, like me, fought tirelessly to reach the big leagues, my teammates. It is true that we are from different cultures and speak different languages, and it is in humility of wanting to learn from each other where we become a team. Thank you for all your teachings. To each and every person God has put in my path during all this time, whether with a word of support or criticism, I thank you all for being a part of God’s perfect plan.

— —

Today begins a new chapter where I hang up the glove and uniform to pursue my other passion. I retire as a major league player; however, I will always be close to the sport I love. See you soon.

Sánchez spent three years with the Nationals, making 55 starts, and he started three times in the postseason in 2019, including his 7 23 innings of scoreless work, taking a no-hit bid into the eighth, in NLCS G1 against St. Louis in a dominant outing against the Cardinals.

Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked before last night’s game about his memories of the now-39-year-old starter’s time in Washington, D.C.

“He was the dancer, the hugger, the guy who kept everybody loose,” Martinez said of his role with the World Series champions in ‘19. “So he kept everything fun.

“The chemistry was unbelievable with him and [Gerardo] Parra in that clubhouse. But they brought that energy. I knew that about him when we got him.”

2019 NLCS Game 1 - Washington Nationals v. St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/MLB Photos via Getty Images

“He’s had an unbelievable career,” Martinez added.

“The guy has thrown no-hitters, he’s pitched in the postseason for us. What he meant to our organization doesn’t go unnoticed. I’m happy for him and his family, he’s got another life to live now, but I’m glad to be part of something special with him, and I’ll never forget him.”

One moment from Sánchez’s time in a Nationals uniform that Martinez will remember?

“The St. Louis game,” he said without hesitation. “As we all know, we went through that, we didn’t have [Daniel] Hudson, you know, it was a big moment, first game in St. Louis and he went over there, and man, shoved. Every inning after the sixth inning I said, ‘He’s gone a long time, so we got to keep an eye on him,’ and he kept on going out there and getting outs. And then I think he made it through eight innings, and I thought, ‘That’s perfect. That’s all we needed.”