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Nationals ride big bats to sweep of Marlins

Left-hander Caleb Smith allowed three home runs Sunday, two in the sixth, as the Marlins opened September with an ugly loss.

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

Keeping the baseball inside the ballpark has been difficult for left-hander Caleb Smith in 2019. That issue haunted him on Sunday, too, as Smith coughed up three homers to the Washington Nationals, who completed a three-game weekend series sweep over the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park, 9-3.

Smith, making his third start against the Nationals this season, ran into early trouble in the second, thanks to a poor defensive play from third baseman Martin Prado. Juan Soto, who led off the inning with a sharp double, came around to score the first (unearned) run. Soto doubled home Víctor Robles the next inning, jumping Washington out in front, 2-0.

The Marlins fought back against left-hander Patrick Corbin.. Corbin was on the mound for his fourth start against Miami in 2019, hurling six innings of work on Sunday.

But in the top of the fifth, Starlin Castro’s solo homer put Miami on the board. Austin Dean and Bryan Holaday manufactured one run apiece later in the inning.

Unfortunately, if you cut out the fifth, Miami’s offense was mainly silenced all afternoon.

Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman—fresh off the injured list—each produced long balls. Soto smacked a two-run shot off right-handed reliever Tayron Guerrero in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

Guerrero and right-hander José Ureña were just added to the Marlins active roster earlier in the day. It was an especially long absence for Ureña, who had been dealing with a back issue since early June. He pitched a scoreless eighth in this one and figures to receive more late-inning opportunities the rest of the season.

Dropping to a season-worst forty games below .500, Miami will throw right-hander Sandy Alcantara to open a three-game weekday series Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Alcantara’s lone start against the Pirates June 16 at Marlins Park saw him finish with a no-decision. Right-hander Mitch Keller will make his first career start against the Marlins. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Marlins vs. Nationals box score (Baseball Theater)

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