Stunned Marlins try to regroup against Nationals
Washington fell behind Miami 9-0 in the top of the fourth inning Thursday night but rallied for an improbable 14-12 victory, snapping a five-game losing streak one night after a players-only meeting.
The win marked the largest comeback in Nationals’ history (2005-present) and tied the Montreal/Washington franchise mark.
“This is what this team’s capable of,” Matt Adams, who went 4-for-5 in his return from a fractured index finger, told MASN.com. “Tonight, we never gave up. We got down big, and we just started chipping away. Put together some good ABs, pitchers started getting outs, and things just kind of fell in sync for us.”
Shortstop Trea Turner hit a grand slam, a solo homer, and finished with eight RBIs while raising his average to .280. He tied the MLB record for RBIs as a a leadoff hitter as the Nationals improved to 43-43 with their 12th straight defeat of the Marlins.
“Trea had an unbelievable day, so good for him,” manager Davey Martinez told MASN.com. “I’ve said this before, but for me, he’s an All-Star.”
The Marlins (36-53) got home runs from Brian Anderson, Justin Bour and Martin Prado, who was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, as they matched a record of their own — the largest blown lead in team history — after jumping on Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson.
“We didn’t help ourselves,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told the Miami Herald. “We played good defense. We didn’t make an error all night, but you can’t walk eight guys with that club over there. We let them back in the game and we couldn’t stop the momentum.”
Anderson’s three-run homer pulled Miami within 14-12 in the eighth inning.
Rookie Pablo Lopez got a no-decision despite receiving nine runs of run support in his second career start. He tossed five innings and allowed five earned runs on five hits while striking out three and walking two.
“I didn’t have my best secondary stuff and they just started putting good swings on my fastball,” Lopez told the Herald. “Hitters make adjustments and I have to make mine trying to spin my breaking ball better and locate my changeup.”
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez (6-5, 3.77) tries to turn Thursday’s win into a mini streak for Washington on Friday night. The Nationals have lost his last four starts with Gonzalez allowing 16 runs in 16 innings, though one start was shortened by a rain delay. He is winless in his last six outings.
In his last start, Gonzalez cruised through four innings of a no-decision against the Phillies before coming apart in the fifth, allowing three runs to tie the game in a 40-pitch fifth inning that included three walks.
“He fell behind that inning, and that’s what happens,” Martinez told the Washington Post. “When he falls behind and walks guys, bad things happen.”
Gonzalez is 10-3 with a 1.85 ERA in 16 starts versus Miami.
Marlins right-hander Dan Straily (3-4, 4.70) has allowed three or more earned runs in each of his last five starts. In a loss to the Mets on Sunday, he gave up three runs on five hits over seven innings.
Straily is 0-1 with a 4.03 ERA in five starts against the Nationals.