The Marlins were searching for anything—literally anything—to get the offense on a hot streak. After scoring just five total runs in their last 36 innings of play, the bats collectively woke up off left-hander Jon Lester Friday night in the second of a four-game series at loanDepot park. The final score? Marlins 11, Nationals 2.
Yes, the Marlins scored 11 runs in one baseball game and four came in the opening inning, thanks in large part to Miguel Rojas’ one-out, three-run home run to left moments after Adam Duvall drove home Starling Marte from second with a hard single to left field.
Don Mattingly received a key hitter back in the order Friday. Garrett Cooper, reinstated off the injured list after a 15-game absence, collected three hits, including a towering two-run home run into AutoNation Alley. This performance alone bumped up his season’s weighted runs created plus from 107 to 119 (100 represents the league average).
Lester’s night lasted less than three innings and the veteran was charged with a season-high seven earned runs on five hits. In four previous career starts at Marlins Park/loanDepot park, Lester had a 5.64 ERA—that swelled to 7.66 when including Friday’s results.
Miami’s offensive explosion provided plenty of comfortability for Pablo López, who managed to work six innings and striking out nine hitters in the victory. It is the third time this season the right-hander has fanned nine in a start. Mighty Nats leadoff man Kyle Schwarber went deep yet again, but López showed his resiliency after that lowlight in the top of the third.
Rojas said it perfectly after the game, imploring the team to find a way to maintain consistency on the offensive side of the baseball.
Right-hander Zach Thompson, solid in his first three starts of his professional career, is Saturday’s projected starter. He’ll take the mound at approximately 4:10 p.m.
- Adam Duvall