Nationals' DJ Herz strikes out 13 and allows 1 hit in 6 innings for first MLB win, 4-0 over Marlins

Updated Jun. 15, 2024 7:26 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — DJ Herz struck out 13 and allowed one hit over six innings for his first major league victory, combining on a four-hitter that led the Washington Nationals over the Miami Marlins 4-0 Saturday.

Joey Meneses and Lane Thomas homered for Washington, which has won seven of eight overall and improved to 6-0 against Miami this year.

Herz (1-1), a 23-year-old left-hander who made his major league debut June 4, walked none. He struck out eight of his first 10 batters and his total was the second-highest by a Nationals rookie since the team moved to Washington for 2005, trailing only Stephen Strasburg’s 14 in his debut on June 8, 2010.

“I think that was probably my best game I’ve ever pitched,” said Herz, who did not make it out of the fifth inning in his first two starts. “To do it at this level, it’s a great feeling.”

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Miami lost its fourth straight game and dropped to 2-10 in June. The Marlins are an NL-worst 23-47 and are 24 games under .500 for the first time this season. They are 3-22 when facing left-handed starters.

Miami didn’t have a runner until Jake Burger’s leadoff single in the fifth. Herz retired his final six batters, striking out five. He struck out the side in the third and the sixth innings and hopped off the mound with excitement after getting Miami’s Tim Anderson for the third time to finish his outing.

“I was very pleased with the 18 outs he gave us,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “That’s part of it. He had 84 pitches. We could have sent him back out there, but I thought he did a great job.”

Herz struck out 68.4% of the batters he faced.

“When you can throw the fastball at the top for a strike and then tunnel it off the changeup, it’s difficult to hit,” Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “We did not hit the fastball, so if you’re not hitting the fastball and then you’re early on the changeup, it’s tough to hit. He had a really good day.”

Dylan Floro worked a 1-2-3 seventh, Hunter Harvey escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, and Kyle Finnegan worked around Burger’s two-out triple in the ninth.

Thomas doubled in the first and scored on Meneses’ sacrifice fly, then homered in the third off Trevor Rogers (1-8), who allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings --- his longest outing since June 10, 2021.

Thomas has six homers — he hit 28 last year — and went deep in back-to-back games for the first time this season. He hit 28 home runs last year.

Meneses added a two-run homer off Andrew Nardi in the eighth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: RHP Bryan Hoeing (hamstring strain) struck out two in two scoreless innings in a rehabilitation appearance Friday for Class A Jupiter. … Miami selected the contract of LHP Kent Emanuel from Jacksonville and optioned RHP Shaun Anderson to the Triple-A team.

Nationals: Winker left the game in the third with a right knee injury sustained while running the bases two innings earlier and was to have an MRI. … Washington signed OF Harold Ramírez to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Rochester, a day after Tampa Bay released him. Ramírez hit .268 with a homer and 13 RBIs for the Rays this season. … RHP Cade Cavalli (Tommy John surgery) threw a two-inning bullpen session.

UP NEXT

Washington rookie LHP Mitchell Parker (4-3, 3.21 ERA), who has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of his 11 starts, faces Miami LHP Jesús Luzardo (3-5, 5.11) as the three-game series concludes Sunday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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