Jose Urena tosses 1st career complete game, Marlins thump Nationals to take series
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Urena’s previous start ended after one very heated pitch.
On Sunday, he went the distance.
Urena (4-12) was suspended for six games by Major League Baseball after hitting Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. on Wednesday. Urena was ejected from that start after throwing one fastball and appealed the penalty, keeping him eligible to play.
“I know what I did, and I know what kind of person I am and what kind of teammate,” Urena said. “Just tried to execute my plan and go out there and have fun and show what I can do.”
Urena, tied for the NL lead in hit batters, didn’t plunk anyone on the Nationals, nor did he alter his approach. He struck out four, walked two and retired the last 16 batters. It was his first complete game in 74 big league starts.
“If you make a mistake you’ve got to pay,” Urena said of Washington’s lineup. “We tried to move their feet, make them uncomfortable at the plate. Try to attack the inside.”
Right-hander Pablo Lopez was originally slated to start Sunday’s game, but manager Don Mattingly opted to push him back to Tuesday and insert Urena.
The 26-year-old right-hander’s next start would normally be scheduled for next weekend at home against the Braves. Urena could decide to drop the appeal, serve the suspension and miss that series — after the game, he said he’ll maintain the appeal.
Starlin Castro got a career-high five hits and scored three times. JT Riddle and J.T. Realmuto each homered and drove in three runs for Miami, with Riddle connecting for the second straight game. Isaac Galloway had three hits, including his first career homer.
It was the Marlins’ first series win in Washington since 2014.
Trying to keep pace with the Braves and Phillies in the NL East, the third-place Nationals have now lost four of their last five against the last-place Marlins. The Nationals host the Phillies for three games beginning Tuesday night.
Gio Gonzalez (7-10) allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Over his last 13 starts, Gonzalez is 1-8 with 7.07 ERA.
“I think it was in all honesty an ugly game. And everybody saw it,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Gio couldn’t keep us in the game and it got ugly.”
Leading 3-1, the Marlins broke it open with a five-run fifth. After Riddle’s sacrifice fly, the Marlins loaded the bases and Rafael Ortega hit a bases-loaded, two-run double off the glove of a diving first baseman Matt Adams to end Gonzalez’s afternoon.
Realmuto greeted reliever Greg Holland with a two-run single, making it 8-1.
After a pair of third-inning walks, Castro blooped an RBI single in front of charging center fielder Bryce Harper. Austin Dean then lined a two-run double over the head of Harper, who appeared to misread it off the bat. Later, Harper rushed in and dropped Brian Anderson‘s flyball for an error in the seventh.
Marlins: INF/OF Garrett Cooper (right wrist sprain) went 0 for 3 in a rehab game with Single-A Jupiter on Sunday. He played six innings at first base.
Nationals: Martinez said RHP Stephen Strasburg (cervical nerve impingement), who threw a bullpen session Saturday, will come off the DL and start Wednesday vs. the Phillies. “He feels good,” Martinez said. “He says he’s ready.” … Martinez is hopeful that reliever Kelvin Herrera (right rotator cuff impingement) will return for the Phillies series. … RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) threw a bullpen session Saturday.
Marlins: Lopez (2-3, 4.79) starts when the Marlins host the Yankees in the first of two games on Tuesday night. It will be his first start against the Yankees.
Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (8-12, 4.13) opposes the visiting Phillies on Tuesday night. He’s 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA against the Phillies this season, but 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA overall since the All-Star break.