Late rally silenced, Marlins shut out by Nats

Late rally silenced, Marlins shut out by Nats

Published Jul. 15, 2012 4:25 p.m. ET

MIAMI (AP) -- It's hard to win when you are 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

The Miami Marlins proved that on Sunday, losing 4-0 to Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.


"That's the reason why we lost," Marlins
manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We had golden opportunities and one of the
best pitchers in the game against the ropes and we didn't take

Hanley Ramirez left six on base. Logan Morrison and Omar Infante stranded five each.

"Sometimes you have to give credit where
credit is due," Morrison said. "(Strasburg) buckled down and didn't
allow us to really take advantage of those opportunities."

Strasburg (10-4) faced multiple jams, but managed to get himself out of trouble on each occasion.

"It's one of those days where you get
through (the jams)," Strasburg said. "You just have to do your best and
keep the team in the ballgame."

The young right-hander pitched six scoreless innings, allowed six hits, and struck out seven. He also drove in a run.

"He's good, he's got four or five
pitches," Marlins catcher John Buck said. "He has a way to be nice and
smooth that makes him deceptive."

The Marlins were shut out for the ninth time this season.

Strasburg was able to get out of a
bases-loaded jam in the third, striking out Morrison before getting
Ramirez on a grounder. He also got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the
second and the Marlins had a runner on second with one out in the

"That's the kind of Strasburg I've grown to love," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.

Steve Lombardozzi, Michael Morse, and Danny Espinosa also drove in a run for the Nationals.

Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard
loaded the bases in the ninth with no outs, but retired the next three
batters. Infante flew out to Bryce Harper in foul territory to end the
game as Harper collided with second baseman Lombardozzi.

"All I was thinking about was a wide
receiver coming through the middle," Harper said. "You're going to get
hammered but you have to catch the ball. He got me in my face and on my
head, but I caught the ball. Game over."

Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (8-7) did
not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Morse led off with a single
to left. Strasburg and Lombardozzi followed with two-out RBI singles.

"I think Ricky fell apart when I walked (Jhonatan Solano intentionally) and the pitcher got a base hit," Guillen said.

It was the fifth RBI in 52 career at-bats for Strasburg, who also walked.

Nolasco ran into trouble again in the
sixth, allowing three consecutive hits to begin the inning, including an
RBI single by Morse. After Espinosa's sacrifice fly gave the Nationals a
4-0 lead, Nolasco was pulled.

"The balls just found some holes, a
couple ground balls here and there," Nolasco said. "Obviously the one to
Strasburg just gets by. The big one I think was to Morse."

Nolasco went 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits.

Guillen exchanged words with Harper in the fourth inning during his
second at-bat after Harper pointed a bat in his direction. Following
Harper's first at-bat, Guillen informed Nationals third base coach Bo
Porter, as opposed to an umpire, about the possibility of Harper's bat
exceeding rules regarding pine tar. Guillen was not happy at Harper's
gesture in his next at-bat and planned to talk to Johnson following the
game. Harper said: "I switched bats, but it wasn't much different from
the first one." ... Nationals CF Roger Bernandina took a hit away from
Buck in the fourth inning with a diving catch to his right. ...
Nationals SS Ian Desmond (left oblique) was held out of the lineup after
aggravating the injury in his final at-bat on Saturday. He is
considered day to day. ... Marlins RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo left his rehab
appearance with Triple-A New Orleans due to tightness in his throwing
arm. He is eligible to return from his suspension on July 23. ...
Nationals RHP Edwin Jackson (5-4, 3.73 ERA) will face RHP Carlos
Zambrano (4-7, 4.20 ERA) in Monday's series finale.