The Miami Marlins just could not find an offensive rhythm despite getting opportunities on a heavily-worked Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals. The Fish could not get a runner to cross the plate despite chances in the second and seventh innings, while the Nats pounced on a number of two-out opportunities and eventually ran away with a game that felt closer than the final score.
The Marlins got their first shot in the second inning, when the bottom of the order put two men on board. With one out, Garrett Jones and Marcell Ozuna reached base and Reed Johnson was at the plate. Two pitches later, he flew out and Henderson Alvarez, the Marlins starter, had to fend for himself versus Gonzalez.
The second close call Miami got was once again involving the bottom of the order, as Jones drew a walk and Ozuna singled his way aboard. This time, Reed Johnson laid down an excellent bunt in an attempt to get on board and load the bases, only to have the plan foiled by third baseman Anthony Rendon, who had shifted back to his natural position due to Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder arthritis. With two outs, pinch hitter Greg Dobbs failed to capitalize, ending the threat.
Henderson Alvarez was better in his second outing, striking out four and walking two in 5 2/3 innings pitched. He mostly ran a smooth campaign throughout despite spotting the Nationals a 1-0 lead early with a Jayson Werth double and Adam LaRoche single. But in the sixth inning, Alvarez and the defense both faltered. Alvarez allowed singles to Bryce Harper and LaRoche (who plastered Miami for three hits tonight), but the team was a botched catch away from getting away unscathed. Jarrod Saltalamacchia blocked a pitch at the plate and tossed out an accurate throw to second base to potentially nail a running LaRoche, only for second baseman Jeff Baker to drop the ball and allow Harper to score from third base. A few plays later, Rendon singled home LaRoche, all with two outs on the board.
Miami will try again tomorrow, this time with Jacob Turner on the mound.