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Pablo López helps his own cause with 2-run single

López banged a broken bat, two-run single up the middle in the second, a milestone for the young right-hander that also helped the Marlins in a close game vs. the Nationals.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Working the opener of a four-game Memorial Day weekend slate on Friday night, Washington Nationals starter Kyle McGowin realized he was going up against a hot Marlins lineup. But he probably wasn’t too worried about pitching carefully to opposing starter Pablo López.

In the top of the second inning, with the bases filled and zero outs, López banged a 90 MPH sinker into center for a broken-bat, two-run single. Those were the first two runs batted in of his career, and the clutch hit extended the lead from 2-1 to 4-1.

McGowin was not the first choice to take the mound for the desperate Nats in this scenario. He replaced veteran right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who had been placed on the 10-day IL due to a shoulder strain.

López struck out in their next matchup in the top of the fourth. Still, he improved to 7-for-30 as a major league batter (.233 BA).

The final line for McGowin: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR (80 pitches). He exited with Washington trailing 5-4.

Meanwhile, López didn’t fare much better, but at least he helped his own cause as the Marlins aim for a seventh straight win: