WASHINGTON (AP) — Jacob Turner pitched five shutout innings. He would have needed four more to keep up with Jordan Zimmermann.
The Miami Marlins starter remains winless on the road in his career after an 8-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Friday night. Turner’s game fell apart when he allowed four consecutive hits to start the sixth inning, while counterpart Zimmerman cruised all the way to a two-hitter.
“It’s frustrating in the sixth, but at the same time, I did throw the ball well for five innings,” Turner said. “Like I said, though, it’s not about who throws the ball well for five innings. The other guy went nine. That’s really the ultimate goal of a starter, to go deeper in the game.”
It was at least some consolation that the Marlins, already enduring a dismal season at the plate, weren’t on the wrong side of a no-hitter.
Zimmermann (19-8), who leads the NL in wins, needed only nine pitches to get through the first inning, eight of them strikes. He struck out the side in the second, getting Logan Morrison to flail at a high 96 mph fastball to end the inning. The perfect game ended with a two-out, five-pitch walk to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth, but the next hitter, Justin Ruggiano, was left so clueless by a two-strike, 88 mph slider that the centerfielder’s left hand came off the bat during a halfhearted swing.
Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon made two nice plays on sharply hit one-hoppers — to his right in the fifth, to his left in the sixth — to allow those in the ballpark to start pondering the possibility of the franchise’s first no-hitter since the move from Montreal in 2005.
Donovan Solano rendered such hopes mute with a solid single to center with two outs in the sixth, eliciting an “awwww” of disappointment and then a nice ovation from the crowd. Chris Coghlan singled in the ninth for the Marlins’ other hit.
“He was nasty today. … I’m grateful for that hit,” Solano said.
For a while, Turner was nearly as stingy, allowing three hits and no runs through five innings. The Nationals broke the scoreless tie by sending 11 batters to the plate in a seven-run sixth that included doubles by Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper and a triple by Denard Span.
The Marlins have lost 12 of 15 and are 0-8 this season at National Park. Turner (3-8) has lost seven consecutive decisions and is 0-8 in his career on the road.
Meanwhile, Zimmermann threw his fourth complete game of the season. He had a one-hitter on April 26 in a 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
“The breaking ball out of his hand, it was fooling me, to be honest,” said Span, watching from his center field perch. “He was buckling me out there.”
NOTES: The Nationals wore blue and yellow patches on their jerseys in memory of the victims of the mass shooting Monday at the nearby Navy Yard. … RHP Stephen Strasburg played catch with no apparent ill effects before the game and is expected to start Saturday for the Nationals. Strasburg’s scheduled start Thursday was pushed back two days because of tightness in his forearm. … RHP Tom Koehler, the Marlins’ scheduled starter Saturday, cut a finger on his left hand while lifting weights but is expected to pitch. “He should be fine,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said. “It’s his glove hand.”