No Christian Yelich? No problem. Making his first start since May 8th to replace Yelich, who was a late scratch due to back spasms, Ichiro Suzuki finished 4-for-4, walking once and scoring once, and for the second time in less than a week, Jose Fernandez bested Joe Ross.
The Marlins and Nationals remained scoreless thru the first three innings, but in the top of the fourth Clint Robinson singled up the middle, scoring Chris Heisey. Fernandez's eighth strikeout of the game ended what could have turned into a disastrous inning.
Ichiro's two hits accounted for the Marlins' entire offense heading into the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Marcell Ozuna's long curler into the left corner delivered Giancarlo Stanton to third, but after Ross intentionally walked Justin Bour and loaded the bases, J.T. Realmuto struck out. And Adeiny Hechavarria chopped one right to Ross and the Marlins never capitalized on their first opportunity of the game.
Their next opportunity, however, would be just around the corner and this time the Fish capitalized. In the bottom of the fifth, Ichiro achieved his third hit of the game and then reached third when Ross's throw to first slipped beneath Clint Robinson's glove. Martin Prado singled to right and Ichiro scored to tie the game. With Prado at third, though, Stanton continued to struggle and struck out on a wicked slider.
Ozuna tripled to open the sixth, and Bour destroyed a change-up for the go-ahead two-run homer. Up 3-1 in the top of the seventh, Kyle Barraclough replaced Fernandez, who struck out nine and surrendered one earned run on four hits. Ross, meanwhile, lasted just short of six innings, and struck out seven but allowed three earned runs on eight hits.
Closer AJ Ramos coughed up a single to pinch hitter Wilson Ramos, which scored Bryce Harper, but with no outs and the bases loaded, the Marlins' defense engineered a crucial two-out play before Jose Lobaton grounded out to first to end the game.
Should we talk about Stanton? Perhaps just briefly in case we start throwing things. His three strikeouts tonight have sunk his average to .210, and over his last 14 games he is 4-for-48 with 26 strikeouts.
Hero of the Game: Justin Bour