Marlins lose third straight, 9-0 to Nationals
The Miami Marlins failed to generate much offense again on Thursday night. It didn't matter all that much, either.
Tom Koehler gave up two home runs and Adeiny Hechavarria had two of Miami's four hits in a 9-0 loss to the surging Washington Nationals.
''We did hit some balls hard, right at some guys I guess, if you're trying to find a couple positives, but really, at the end of the day, we didn't pitch well tonight, we didn't hit and we got beat,'' Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond each hit a three-run homer as Washington won for the eighth time in its best nine-game stretch of the season. Bryce Harper also went deep to help the Nationals pull within 6 1/2 games of idle Cincinnati for the second NL wild-card slot.
Gio Gonzalez (8-6) pitched seven innings of three-hit ball in his first victory in six weeks. The left-hander, who was 0-3 with a 5.94 ERA in his previous seven starts, retired his last 11 batters.
It was Miami's eighth loss in the last nine games - matching its worst nine-game stretch since May. Koehler (3-9) allowed six runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.
Miami (49-83) has scored 17 runs in its last nine games. In losing three straight to Washington, the Marlins went 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position.
Against Gonzalez, Miami had two on with two out in the first, and runners on first and second with one out in the second, but failed to score.
''We're not doing the things we need to do to keep the momentum in the game, to come out and score early and take some of pressure off our pitching,'' Redmond said.
The Marlins had three walks and have drawn 34 walks in their last 10 games. None of the runners have scored.
Werth connected in the sixth and Desmond went deep an inning later, breaking open a close game.
Ryan Zimmerman sparked Washington's offense with a leadoff walk in the fourth. Harper drove Koehler's next pitch over the wall in left for his 19th homer, extending his career-best hitting streak to 11 games.
Zimmerman, who went 3 for 3, led off the sixth with a base hit and Harper walked before Werth belted a drive to left for his 21st homer.
''I hung a slider and he crushed it,'' Koehler said. ''Simple as that.''
Desmond had the last homer of the night, a 1-2 shot to left with two out in the seventh for his 20th of the season.
''They've got some guys red hot as you can see,'' Redmond said. ''They have the ability to put the ball in the seats. One swing, two runs, three runs.''
NOTES: The Marlins optioned RHP Arquimedes Caminero to Triple-A New Orleans and recalled RHP Sam Dyson from their top farm club. Caminero had a 2.25 ERA and a blown save in four games with Miami. Dyson was 1-3 with a 2.61 ERA in five starts for the Zephyrs and will fill a long-relief role with the Marlins. He pitched two innings Thursday night and gave up three runs. ... Marlins 2B Donovan Solano hit leadoff for just the second time this season and first time since April. ''We're at a point in the seasons where we have a chance to try different things,'' Redmond said. . A batted ball hit Miami RHP Ryan Webb in the back while he stretched on the field during the Nationals' batting practice. Webb fell to the ground, and Redmond asked Jose Fernandez why he was laughing. ''He gets hit every time,'' Fernandez said. ''We go anywhere, he gets hit.'' Webb left the field with a trainer, and a Miami spokesman said Webb had a bruised back.